Of skewed priorities and selective criticism

The Angry Arab observes pointedly:

This is something that always bothered me about many Muslims: their sense of outrage is so odd, to me at least. They get more upset over cartoons in a Danish newspaper than about American or Israeli occupations, or about poverty and oppression. “Kuwait strongly condemns insult of Holy Prophet in Danish papers.”

This is a long-standing frustration of mine as well, and the huge (and sometimes criminal) overreactions by Muslims that we’ve seen over the last few days have only heightened that feeling.

My priority in this situation, though, is to get a few words in over the din of soundbytes that puncture the complacency of those whose actions set the stage, over and over again, for confrontations like this, but whose role is invariably whitewashed by the mainstream media.  While the exact distribution of blame is messy and complex, I think the lion’s share of responsability belongs on the shoulders of outsiders, often in Washington but this time partly in Copenhagen.  Hence my focus.

In that respect, I’m just trying to do what the Angry Arab did with great flair in his excellent The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power, which hammered home the direct responsability of outsiders (especially American policymakers) in creating all the dangerous problems and ugly qualities in a Muslim society about which everyone frets constantly today.  Just as Saudi didn’t get the way it is on its own, the Muslim world didn’t just spontaneously lash out in this case.

There isn’t much danger of the faults or wrongs of Muslims escaping exhaustive commentary and analysis in the modern media.

Having said all that, it is indeed depressing how little so many Muslims seem to care about the real problems and injustices facing them and the rest of the world. 

I doubt Muslims are any different from other people in this regard, though.  You could easily comparable examples from American life, for example.


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