Monday, May 16, 2005

More deaths at the hand of religious fanaticism

I would like to echo the thoughts of Richard Bradley (on The Huffington Post) about the Newsweek article about Guantanomo Bay and the outsized reaction in Afghanistan and other parts of the Arab world. Whether or not interrogators desecrated the Koran (it isn't hard to believe, is it?), the response has been totally incomprohensible. To blame Newsweek for the deaths from rioting, as the administration and its apologists are doing, misses two points. First, it is the administration's own fault that a story like this is so believable. And second, it signals wrongly that the reaction was understandable--but perhaps it was understandable to the religious fundamentalists in the White House. This is like blaming soccer referrees for murders by soccer hooligans: the call may have been wrong, but the proper response is to boo loudly, not stab a fellow hooligan and throw him from the bleachers.

We sure aren't winning the hearts and minds of conservative Muslims around the world, but violent riots in response to alleged symbolic attacks aren't going to win many hearts and minds over here, either.

I frankly don't understand--and don't support--religious fanaticism and infantilism.


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