Muslim Mind

by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: These last few weeks have given us an opportunity to consider what is inside the Muslim mind. The attacks on our embassies were no doubt coordinated and not merely the result of a spontaneous reaction to the so-called film Innocence of Muslims. As some have pointed out, it isn’t even a film but a YouTube trailer that very few people have seen. And even if some of the rioters have seen it, why the lethal response?

In the modern world, religion is routinely mocked. If Muslims want to live in the modern world, they will unfortunately have to get used to it. Evangelical Christians certainly did not like the film The Last Temptation of Christ. While some may have picketed movie theaters where the film was shown, none of them tried to burn down those theaters.

Most Christians were repulsed by the photograph by Andres Serrano that had a small crucifix submerged in a glass of his urine. Some members of Congress questioned whether it should have been sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. But no one called for the killing of the artist.

The Broadway play “The Book of Mormon” is a religious satire that pokes fun of Mormons, the Mormon religion, and missionaries. I haven’t seen any fatwa issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Sadly we don’t find the same tolerance and forgiveness with the so-called “religion of peace.” Perhaps it is because Muslim countries do not have a tradition of free speech and free press. But sometimes it is because they misunderstand our world.

Nicholas Kristof in a recent New York Times column recounts his experience with a Pakistani imam who told him “that President Bill Clinton burned to death scores of Americans for criticizing Jesus.” When Kristof challenged the imam, he pulled a book off the shelf and began reading about the 1993 raid on David Koresh’s cult in Waco, Texas.

Fortunately there are Muslims who have made their peace with the modern world, and they need to be the voices that lead the radicals and reactionaries into the 21 st century. I’m Kerby Anderson, and that’s my point of view.

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