The Difference

So I’ve been bad-mouthing Muslims lately – at least some could see it that way – but here’s an example of the difference between their way of doing things and ours.

The American system is not perfect, but it is a system with a logical intent – and that means a lot.  Yes, there’s politics, cronyism, discrimination, and subjectivity involved, but there’s also a central, static purpose that drives our system:  the approximation of justice via law.  Contrast that to rule by dynamic interpretation of scripture and the difference seems plain.  Whether the Koran is true or not is irrelevant – the mutable, distorted interpretations of it that serve as law in many countries make a poor foundation, one that cannot support a stable society capable of adapting to the world at large.

The Problem Demonstrated

I was saying the other day that there is a problem with the religion of Islam.  This was just demonstrated by the gruesome murders of 2 American soldiers.

As horrific as this act undoubtedly was, Americans have to accept casualties like this if we believe in this war, just as we will have to search our consciences when our troops kill bystanders and civilians.

But it’s not the naked acts of violence themselves but the value system behind them that is the fundamental problem.  A quote from the article:

“We announce the good news to our Islamic nation that we executed God’s will and slaughtered the two crusader animals we had in captivity…”

The problem isn’t that the killers believe this tripe, although they evidently do – it’s that the silent majority of Muslims in the region condone it.

The Problem with Muslims

There is a problem with the practicioners of the Islamic religion, that must be said from the start.

This problem isn’t that it’s a false religion or that its adherents are Satan worshippers or, worse yet, bad dressers – it’s that too many Muslims give both tacit and tangible approval to murderers.

This can be seen in many, many articles and essays over the past decade and throughout history.  Most recently, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, a convicted conspirator in a bombing that killed over 200 people in Bali, was released by the Muslim-run Indonesian government.

That’s reasonably equivalent to releasing Tim McVeigh out of whatever hole he’s been tossed into here in the USA, something that would be unthinkable in a society that, most of the time, is run based on logic and rule of law.

Not so in Islamic countries where it’s a badge of honor to kill people whose religious beliefs are different, who wear shorts to tennis practice, or who have a different use for their countries’ oil revenues than the clerics and mullahs.

It’s unfortuate that so many Muslims believe and act on these misguided principles.  It would be nice if, in a moment of clarity, the hooded goons driving around Bagdhad chopping the heads off policemen considered whether their actions are reasonable – but I don’t see that happening.  And I’m not sure I see that as the real problem.

The issue, it seems to me, is the silent and not-so-silent approval these brutes are given by the very people they are terrorizing.  Only when the “overwhelming majority” of Muslims realize that their value system is, in part, invalid will this change.

The question for Bush and his ilk is, how to bring that realization about?

In theory, the answer is rather simple – education.  It’s control over the minds of people that have put the mullahs and their terrorist offspring into positions of undeserved power.  That same control can ultimately be dismantled by teaching young minds how to think for themselves.  That, ultimately, is all Americans need to give the Iraqi people – an ability to examine facts and come to their own decisions, free from the taint of the mullahs’ stilted teachings.

Sadly, America is not necessarily the best country to demonstrate how an educational system should be run.  One need only look at our childrens’ recent test scores relative to the rest of the world to see we’ve failed to keep up.  But even our mediocre outcomes are far better than what Ba’asyir will be providing to his next batch of young killers when he resumes teaching as he intends to.

All of this is not lost on the murderers in Iraq – witness the beheadings of teachers in Iraqi classrooms earlier this year.  The terrorists understand that their creed will not stand up to the scrutiny of logical, thoughtful people.  They understand that fact quite clearly.  I wonder if we understand it as well.

Gay Marriage

My friend David Broussard just posted a lengthy discussion on the subject on which I left a comment.

My main point:

The issue ultimately comes down to exactly this point: should the government continue to encourage, to the extent that it has done so – a rather dubious claim in its own right – traditional nuclear families?

I believe that it should because:

  • it is the will of the “overwhelming majority” that homosexual relationships not be given the same legal protections as traditional marriages
  • homosexuality is, while hardly the worst character attribute to choose to indulge, something that American society ought to strive to minimize when possible
  • when properly implemented, the mother/father/child(ren) environment is the optimal one in which to rear and care for the next generation

Indian Mascots

This nonsensical faux controversy over the names of sports teams is one of my pet peeves – it’s ridiculous.

On another level, the fact that a handful of malcontents can keep annoying the rest of us with this nonissue is a miniature case study of America’s legal system and the country itself.


  1. A small group of people who have a grievance have the legal right to be heard (and use it, as opposed to say, shooting athletes in the streets because they wear shorts to practice).  Good.
  2. Offended parties quickly exhaust resources but are “befriended” by special interest groups who, seeing an opporunity to grandstand on the legal stage and advance their agenda of a multi-cultural, gray-faced America, lend dollars and marketing expertise to “the little people who need their help”.  Bad.
  3. Indian mascot haters, flush with cash, keep the battle alive in the legal system long after the real decision, the one that matters, is made in the court of public opinion.  The horse (in this case the right of state-run schools and privately-held sports teams to choose their own mascot) is long since dead but the losers are unable to accept defeat gracefully and continue to rub our noses in their own bile.  Bad.
  4. Florida State University, lead by men and women of no small courage, defy the NCAA and the nattering few who continue to worry the issue, saying they will not change their mascot from the Seminoles.  “Bring it on!”  They said.  Good.

The whole issue is just plain wacky.