I don’t know what’s in the Koran and I don’t care to know. I do know something about the Christian Bible, which is a mishmash of wisdom, poetry, geneology, misogyny, chauvinism, homophobia, fratricide, etc. The Bible can be used to defend just about any position and the same is likely true of the Koran.
To my mind, neither the historical Jesus (if he existed) nor the mythological Jesus is above reproach and the same is true of the historical or mythological “Prophet” Mohammed. If some followers of these figures believe their faith is so fragile that it cannot stand criticism and that they must advocate violent suppression of dissent, then their faith, whether Christian or Islamic, stands condemned. But intolerance among Christians is confined to a tiny few these days whereas intolerance seems to be widespread among Muslims. Thus we see laws that outlaw criticism of Islam or the “Prophet” in many countries.
As to the video which supposedly prompted the storming of the Libyan consulate and the murder of the U.S. ambassador, I have no taste for such things and don’t plan to watch it. But I do know that my own freedom is safest when such extreme expressions of opinion are protected. That’s why in these pages I defended the late Lester Maddox’s exercise of his freedom of association in running his chicken restaurant in Georgia.
I’m still waiting for the President or the Secretary of State to say even one word about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or freedom of thought, which are the core issues here. All I heard from the President was a condemnation of the video. I don’t want him to threaten to impose free-speech rules on Libya or Egypt but simply to explain to the world that we uphold free speech in this country – period.
Back to Islam. Without knowing anything of Islamic theology, we can draw some conclusions about Islam from the status of the Muslim countries. Human rights are trampled, especially if you’re female, gay, a member of the wrong Islamic sect, or worse yet, a Christian or Jew. Virtually no scientific or technological advances have come out of Islamic countries in recent centuries. I am unaware of any significant recent Islamic artistic or literary accomplishments. A medieval view of interest is still in effect. Corrupt monarchies and corrupt theocracies rule many of the countries, notwithstanding the Arab Spring. Assad is butchering his own people in Syria.
In summary, Islam sucks. But even worse, the moral midget in the White House, the supposed leader of the free world, is silent on the essence of the conflict of Islamic versus enlightened Western values.