In the past year we have seen a jump in the level of intolerance and its backlash around the world.
First you have the un-ending hatred imbedded in Muslim culture towards the Western religions of Christianity of Judiasm. This is reflected in almost every aspect of Islamic society, from their education system, to their politics, to their religion. (Even western music is banned in many Islamic societies for its tendency to promote creativity and freedom of thought.)
This is most evidently seen in a recent report on anti-western/pro-Jihad material published in Saudi Arabian schoolbooks (which Saudi Arabia said they had cleared of all of those hateful references.) http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20060502-124847-2092r
Next, you have the latent and subconscious dislike and mistrust of Islam by the west, as shown by the Dutch cartoonists who caricatured the prophet Mohammed. They were simply trying to promote their freedom of speech, and ended up channeling the frustrations many feel about the connection between terrorism, Islam, and our changing (for the worse) way of life. However, these cartoons unleashed an extreme response almost all Westerners saw as obscene - calling for the deaths of those cartoonists is simply unjustifiable.
And most recently, the Da Vinci Code. An article in The Raw Story reports on the latest reaction to the film/story: Indian Christians have called for a ban on the movie, and one enterprising Roman Catholic has placed a $25,000 country for Dan Brown's head.http://rawstory.com/showoutarticle.php?src=http%3A//www.eni.ch/articles/display.shtml?06-0391
Citing the movie/book as "sheer blasphemy" and saying it has "deeply upset Christian sentiments, one Christian offered this reasoning:
' "In a country like ours where vicious propaganda is used against Christian minorities by Hindu bigots, the movie will be handy for them to tarnish our image," Arnold James, a Church of North India member and Christian representative in the Commission, told Ecumenical News International.'
I CAN understand where Arnold James is coming from. When movies like "Passion of the Christ" or, on the extreme side, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", come out, then its my
turn to scream bloody murder. When any kind of medium comes out that is purposely trying to tarnish the image of a religion or any kind of group, outrage is 100% legitimate and to be expected.
Here is the part where I should say, "But I don't condone the method of violence or a call for someone's death as a reaction to a book, movie, or other avenues of mass communication that aim to portray a group in a negative light...."
But I'm not going to. It has gone far past that. We're living in a time no one ever foresaw, and there are no precedents to dealing with the level of mass communication we currently have. Propaganda is a very
short step from pop culture, and those who own the means of production are pretty much the ones who define what their medium is.
So I'm not going to be a hypocrite. Personally, I
call for the destruction of Iran's leadership, and the leadership of Islam as a whole. I don't see how the nature of Islam can peacefully coincide with any other religion or way of life. Their Koran calls on them to wage Jihad until the world is Islamic. Their Imam's preach hatred and death to young children, and they force their women into subservience at a very young age, going so far as genital mutilation to make sure it sticks.
Yes, I know there are moderate muslims, whom I have met, but they are NOT in control of their religion's destiny.
So, I view the Da Vinci code as a historical marker, with the movie as the definitive touch. Now, just about every player has been attacked with something, in what I'm calling the opening shots to WWIII. Christians have been attacked with Da Vinci, Jews/Israel have been attacked by Iran and Islam, and Islam has been attacked by Danish cartoonists.
What will the next step be in escalation? My guess: a violent altercation/battle with Iran. And that will only be the start....