As most of y’all know, I’m Filipino. My folks hail from the northern part of the Philippines and have been Catholic Christian for as long as Ferdinand Magellan has been dead (since the 16th century), and the southern-most part of the Philippines has been historically (at least since 11th century) Muslim. Yes, my parents’ home country is experiencing Muslim terrorist attacks — bombs, kidnappings, killings, etc. — from the extreme wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, who have been fighting for a political separation from the Philippines (that is, wanting a Muslim Filipino state). When they visit the Philippines, they know it’s good policy not to go south of Manila.
Also, as most of y’all know, I’m also an American — naturalized since I was 14, but a Navy brat all of my life (I still am, since my dad still works for the Navy, but as a civilian since his retirement from active duty after the first Gulf War). I’m also a Jeffersonian libertarian, on top of everything else, have lived in Texas for over 20 years, own a gun, will protect my private property with it if I have to, and get all weep-eyed around Independence Day, the American flag, John Souza marches, Veterans’ Day, and anybody — in *any* US military branch — in uniform.
So, you’d think I’d go “boo-yah!” over *any* American dessicrating the Koran out of American patriotism and righteous anger against Muslim extremists who want me dead.
But I don’t. Instead it PISSES ME OFF, to see well-meaning folk see the extremists of a religion and, with a broad brush, paint all members of that religion as therefore extremist. Sure, both extremists and non-extremist Muslims share the same holy book — the Koran. So do fundamentalist Ku Klux Klansmen and liberal Catholics — the Bible. Generalizing whole peoples like that from a member of my own country PISSES ME OFF because that’s EXACTLY what these fundamentalist, Muslim asshats are doing to US — kidnap and behead an innocent civilian contractor who’s there to, oh say, help rebuild Iraq’s water treatment plant because OBVIOUSLY he’s part of the American military pigdog oppressors.
It’s not about improving American public relations in the Middle East. It’s about respect and charity and just being damn consistent with one’s beliefs for a change. Of course, if your beliefs say that Islam is EVIL, then you don’t WORK for them, you don’t EAT with them, you work to have all members of that religion KILLED (men, women, and children) — you see what I mean?
We need all the non-extremist Muslims, just like the non-bigoted white folk in the 1960s South, we can get in order to fight back Muslim extremism who WANT US DEAD. Together we stand, divided we fall, right? So dessicrating a Muslim holy book not only pisses off the extremists but those very Muslims that we’re trying to get on our side. Good God, talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
We should use our resources to fight back murderous extremism — in ALL FORMS — and build bridges with those who were hurt by those fundamentalists who supposedly share their religion — in Iraq, the Shi’ites, the Kurds; in Afghanistan, the non-Taliban, etc. — all Muslims, but none extremists. How in the hell can we extend one friendly hand to them while simultaneously pissing/shooting/destroying their holy book and still tell them we respect them without lying? Without proving the extremists’ claim that all Westerners are hypocritical liars who only want THEM — extremist and non-extremist alike — dead because this ain’t about political freedom and justice but a Christian Holy War, a 21st Century Crusade? Sure, the exremists think that — shall we play into the extremists’ world view?
Okay, then. Here’s a Koran. Be my guest…