Soft Bigotry

Recently we were all condemning Terry Jones for burning a Koran. Politicians and religious leaders, especially in the USA, were lining up to agree with General David Petraeus who said the action was, “hateful, intolerant, extremely disrespectful.”

General David Petraeus

We even had the extraordinary spectacle of US Senator Lindsey Graham saying that “Free speech is a great idea,” except of course when you say something your enemy might disagree with.

Despite the First Amendment to the US Constitution concerning the separation of Church and state Barak Obama can say “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” What’s wrong with the Druids and the Jedi?

Even here across the Atlantic we are aware that Obama and the previous President George W Bush were not best chums. This makes us wonder why the contender Obama did not raise his voice in 2008 when the Bush government ordered the destruction of Bibles sent to US troops in Afghanistan? Perhaps Senator Graham thinks condemnation of burning holy books is a one way street? There seem to have been no voices raised amongst the senior ranks of the US military, the body ordered to burn the Bibles, saying how “extremely disrespectful” this was.

The US government of the day decided that the presence of Bibles in Afghanistan, a “devoutly Muslim country,” might upset the natives who would react in all too predictable ways. Instead of simply returning the Bibles to the USA it was decided that it would be easier, and more pleasing to the natives, to burn them in Afghanistan.  In the military they burn trash.

The US Department of Defence is very specific, however, about how to handle the Koran. In instructions to guards at Guantanamo it says:

  1. Clean gloves will be put on in full view of the detainees prior to handling.
  2. Two hands will be used at all times when handling the Koran in manner signalling respect and reverence. Care should be used so that the right hand is the primary one used to manipulate any part of the Koran due to the cultural association with the left hand. Handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art.

These differing reactions to the Koran and the Bible emanating from the US government equate to:

  1. Don’t burn the Koran otherwise Muslims might go on a killing spree.
  2. Do burn the Bible otherwise Muslims might go on a killing spree.

What we see in the actions of two very different US governments is the entrenched progressive bigotry of soft expectations. By making allowances for predictable Muslim reaction they are saying effectually that Muslims are coffee coloured children with dangerous weapons who will throw a tantrum therefore we will appease them. Christians on the other hand can be expected to behave with restraint.

If members of the BNP came out with this we would rightly condemn it as odious bilge. Why is it not odious when it is the effect of what progressive Islamist apologists decide?

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About Campbell

Now retired but once upon a time a parish minister in Glasgow, before that the South West and initially the Black Isle. Been a prison chaplain and lecturer. Still am constantly bemused by the weird world around me.
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