I am a freelancer in the publishing industry, so words are very important to me. I'm a leftist living in a world gone mad, so politics are very important to me. I'm an environmentalist living in a degrading world, so pick up your damn trash, get rid of your gas guzzlers, and don't touch ANWR, you self-absorbed capitalists!

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14 February 2006

This is What Happens When You Don't Have a Project to Keep You Busy

So. This whole Danish cartoons thing. I haven’t blogged about it, because there are more than enough people on all sides of the issue discussing this on the radio, on TV, on blogs, in newspapers and magazines. (Plus I’ve been talking the Consort’s ear off about it here at home, so whatever I’d write, I’d feel like I had already said it and was repeating myself.) But I did hear something on NPR yesterday afternoon that surprised me. I had heard a few days before, in passing, about the peaceful protests by British Muslims. Reporters were saying that this was the way to do things: March, but with no threat of violence, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, OK, I thought, that’s right.

But it seems that during the protests, there were placards calling for the “extermination of the enemies of Islam” or for the “beheading of the enemies of Islam”. Can anyone reading this confirm the presence of these posters? Were they prevalent, or was it just a small fringe group? I’m trying to get a clear picture of these “peaceful protests”.

It’s disappointing that everywhere we see this reaction of answering any disagreement with violence. No one is immune of course (viz. US aggression in Iraq), but really, does no Muslim see the irony in this: “How dare you show the prophet, a man of peace, with a bomb in his turban!…. We will … exterminate you!!!!”—but here I am, rehashing what many others have said.

It saddens me that only 17% of Britons polled by the London Sunday Times can envision a peaceful coexistence with their Muslim communities. But I have to agree. I don’t see much positive outlook to the future. Either between different religious groups in the international arena, or between different religious/cultural groups here in the US.

Cowgirl, you may want to stop reading here.

I’ve been mulling over for a while the fact that, when I had my girls, in the mid 1990s, things were looking so positive for the future. And that definitely had something to do with my agreement to have kids at all (growing up, I figured that when The Bomb was dropped—as it surely would—I would run towards the explosion, not away from it; it took the Consort a long time to get a promise out of me that if a bomb was dropped, I would run away from the blast, with him).

If I was fast-forwarded to the present, would I still make the same decision to bring children into this world? I don’t know. I really don’t.