Current Events Ramblings, 9/11

As I write this, it's only 9/10 where most of my readers live, but it will be 9/11 by the time they read it.  September 11, 2001 is a date that will long be remembered in American history, but I do wonder how many more years will pass before it is largely forgotten.  How many Americans have no idea what December 7, 1941 means?  Incredible as it may sound, I had students in my history classes who didn't know what July 4, 1776 was all about (they did when I finished with them).  When one learns how ignorant our people are of our own history, it's not terribly surprising that they can be so easily demogogued by liar, tyrants, and other politicians--if there are other politicians than lying tyrants.

Perhaps the biggest "9/11" story concerns the "pastor" in Florida who planned to burn the Quran in protest of the Trade Center bombings.  As I write this, he's still deciding whether he's going to do it or not, although his son has said  it's not going to happen.  The man, of course, has the right to burn the book if he wants to, but often times a legal "right" to do something is not the wisest course of action.  And I believe such is the case here.  I have been at pains in this blog to argue that there are two major "factions" within the Muslim world--a "radical Islamic" faction, headed by people such as Osama bin Laden, who are at war with the west (hence 9/11) and, as they see it, are trying to protect their civilization and way of life from western decadence.  And, frankly, I don't blame them.  I'm trying to keep western decadence out of my life, too.

But that "faction" of the Muslim world is a small one; I don't know the percentage, but probably way under 25%.  It matters very little what the West does, as long as we continue on our course of moral debauchery, that wing of the Muslim religion is going to fight--literally.  But I do believe that the majority of Muslim people are more reasonable and tolerant.  They do not wish to be infiltrated with Western/American immorality, but matters such as democracy are appealing to them.  The problem is, the Muslim world has never had democracy and it's going to take them a while to be able to be successful at it--if they ever are.  However, these Muslims do not want Western moral values rammed down their throat, either, and if we continue to try to do so, we will probably make more radicals.  And if Terry Jones goes ahead with his Quran-burning, he is simply going to antagonize more of this element of the Islamic world and create greater animosity among them.  We don't need that.

Burning the Quran will accomplish nothing--except anger Muslim people.  It's wholly a symbolic act with no substance to it.  And, usually, such acts are worthless, or produce more harm than good.  There are too many people in America who think that every Muslim is a radical who is out to kill anybody they cannot convert to Islam.  That's just not the case.  Islam is certainly an evangelistic religion, but then so is Christianity.  But as long as this myth continues of a 100% radical Islam, then people like Terry Jones will feed off of it.  And we will create more enemies in the Middle East.

I would like to see the conversion to Christianity of every Muslim in the world.  But it's not going to happen; we must deal in reality here.  And since it's not going to happen, we do need to make some effort to get along with those people, while obviously defending what we believe to be the correct course of life.  We can teach, and we should.  We can defend, and we should.  But one thing we should not do is try to cram our way of life down the throats of people who do not want it, or antagonize them with useless acts of symbolism--like burning something they hold to be sacred and dear.  We Christians wouldn't like it if Muslims burned the Bible.  We should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  That's what makes Christianity superior to every other religion in the world.