I was appalled to hear an American general abjectly apologize for the burning of some “religious materials” at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. He apologized to President Karzai, and then to the “noble people of Afghanistan” (when do we ever say something like “noble people”), painfully in regret over the “unintended” offense.
If the general thought that this apology might protect American and NATO servicemen from attack, he was sadly misinformed. They are being attacked anyway, and the most outrageous demand from the Afghan government is that the NATO personnel responsible for the “outrage” should be put on trial.
President Obama followed up in an apology to President Karzai, restating that the offense was unintended. But it was not unintended. It was a rational action taken to destroy materials that had been used within the prison for inter-prisoner communications, much of it highly provocative, promoting religious violence. The problem was that Afghan workers within the prison found out and notified the “rent-a-mobs,” those men always willing to throw tantrums and threaten death to the enemy of the day. Afghan workers within US bases are a fifth column, and every western trainer must look over his shoulder at Afghan trainees. One never knows who will turn on them.
To date, an Afghan soldier in uniform (both the training and the uniform paid for by us) shot and killed two American coalition soldiers. Members of Parliament (a parliament that would never have existed but for the American “democracy project”) urged Afghans to take up arms against the Americans. Now two more Americans have been murdered right in an Afghan ministry building.
These “noble people” rioted when Salman Rushdie dared publish a novel that the Ayatollah Khomeini found objectionable. They not only threw a violent tantrum, they managed to murder a translator of the novel in Tokyo. They rioted and murdered when rumors (untrue) swept Pakistan that some Korans had been flushed down the toilet-a riot that led to the death of the American Ambassador at that time. The Koran flushing was totally made up, but who cares about that in a region where rumor and conspiracy theories are more readily believed than truth?
Nobody abjectly apologizes in the Muslim world when thugs torch Christian churches (Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria), kidnap and forcibly convert Christian girls (Egypt), and beat and murder even Muslims practicing the “wrong” kind of Islam (Pakistan). A busload of Shiites were hijacked and murdered by Sunni thugs in Pakistan just this week. No apologies offered.
We are so worried about their “religious sensibilities” that we ignore their own offensive bigotry against every one else's religions. One need only watch Egyptian or Iranian television to see the most outrageous attacks on Judaism, within children's textbooks and even comic books, full of this sort of inflammatory propaganda. Nobody jumps up and down then.
Our fear of hurting Muslim feelings is unfolding in another arena today, with Muslim groups and their surprisingly obliging liberal friends condemning the New York police for “going too far” in protecting their city from a third attack. The police (and Homeland Security) are quite rightly keeping watch on web sites, on mosques, and most particularly on the Muslim Students Association, a group that intimidates other students in universities across the country. University administrators have protested watching these students, despite the open knowledge that they are financed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a group with a long, ugly history.
If our security agencies were not keeping an eye on wanabe terrorists, they would be facing the outrage of American citizens who would want to know why they had not protected them. We owe it to these police that they have arrested scores of terrorists before they could carry out their planed mayhem. We owe this to the diligence of the police and FBI and the stupidity of the “lone wolf” terrorists.
Do we need another successful terror attack on this country to remind everybody that we are at war, a war declared on us by militant Islam? And do we owe them an apology? I would think not!
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of How Do You Know That? You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.