Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sir Salman Rushdie & muslim pedagogy



Salman Rushdie Controversy
It must be sophistication and careful deliberation that delayed Pakistan's response to Sir Rushdie's award of a knighthood. How else to explain that it took a few days, and preceding negative comments by that other leading light of islamic civilization, Iran, for Pakistan to condemn Rushdie's new title ?

The fury is outrageous. Rushdie's knighthood presumably tells of the west's deliberate confrontation with islam; and of course it demonstrates a total lack of respect for islam's sacred values; and justifies suicide bombings. Iran and Pakistan have meanwhile been joined by Malaysian islamic hardliners, and Afghan Taliban, adding further appeals to "destroy Rushdie", "destroy Britain" and other such highly nuanced demands.

The matter is reminiscent of the cartoon crisis of last year, only this time the hardliners seem to have learned a thing or two about timing and tactics. Their response comes much quicker, and it involves diplomatic convocations and press play, first denouncing the role of western governments, then qualifying earlier comments, all the while working themselves into the center of world attention yet again.

While the hardliners are getting all worked up over the west's presumed lack of respect, and again maintain to feel victimized, illtreated and colonized by infidels, I can't help but wonder how these harliners' mothers have raised their sons. Someone should have told them that being loud and obnoxious does not hide the wimp. Obviously, that's a lesson that was never learned ! This current crisis, perhaps clearer than the cartoon affair, reveals the petulance of fundamentalist muslims today. Give me what I want, and do nothing what I don't want, or I throw a fit to such degree it will get scary. That's much like the boy who can't get the lollipop he thinks is his natural right; it's the kid who terrorizes his family crying, kicking and thrashing about, until they give in. And it's always someone else's fault and responsability.

Of course, one might think such tactics are really about deflecting attention away from more serious (domestic) issues, like let's say, uhm, the economy, or education, or godforbid, social reform and the emancipation of women ... ? I'm beginning to believe that resisting the west is the main and only agenda remaining. Nothing deflective about it. And that is where the true tragedy lies. Anti-western sentiment has become so embedded in the multitude of illiterate, backward, tribal folk that populate the centers of islam civilization today, that it's easy to kindle and easy to exploit. We are at the point of blank rage, mouths foaming and temples throbbing.

The muslim world's current behavior surrounding Rushdie plainly exposes the gaping inferiority complex and the need for extreme compensatory behavior that rules the minds of muslim radicals. Funny that they keep blaming everybody but themselves. The first step in the intercultural dialogue between the west and islam then, should be to launch a new and revised pedagogical project.

Muslim mothers, it's time to slap your sons and cut the candy.

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