Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Muslim Rage
September 17, 2012 — Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Muslim rage.
(via Sam Harris)
I think that it is a mistake to try to appease those who would use violence to suppress dissenting opinions, under the guise that those opinions are offensive. You’re offended? I don’t care. I think we should jack up the offensive offending to (figurative) carpet bombing levels until rage-fatigue sets in and such “offenses” as insulting the so-called prophet Mohammed are greeted with only yawns. The Muslim world needs to be conditioned to enduring offense without resorting to violence. In the west, we have a saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Muslims might be seen as having taken this idea to be an endorsement of the efficacy of violence and the inefficacy of (as Sam Harris might say), discourse, instead of the opposite.
I heard on NPR this morning a caller claiming (or at least it is my take on it that he was claiming) that the violence was not so much a reaction to the youtube film trailer, but to the idea that this is just one more insult hurled by the west at the Middle East, on top of the wars and various other indignities, and goddamnit, they’ve had enough of it. Maybe so, I can’t say I find it totally implausible. But, this notion that members of a religion — any religion — have a right to forbid other people not of that religion (or, hell, even other people of that religion) from saying certain things, and that preventing or punishing transgressors by threats or acts of violence is acceptable — well, no it fucking hell is not acceptable, and on this no compromise is possible. You fucking will learn to take an insult in a civilized manner, and no mistake. You don’t have to like an insult, or agree with it, or refrain from returning in kind, but violence is not an acceptable retort to a mere insult.