Unidirectional Interfaith Statements

It’s often subtle — and I certainly don’t mean to discourage interaction between leaders of different religions — but it does seem as if the statements of unity all follow a, well, a non-objective narrative. After an apparently religiously inspired multiple murder, an act of terrorism, to be blunt, this was the message of the an interfaith press conference in Rhode Island:

The meeting came as a quick response to the shootings at Fort Hood, which authorities have attributed to Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, 39, a Muslim psychiatrist on the Texas base.
The Rev. Dr. Donald C. Anderson, executive minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, said that the reason for this meeting was to stop placing blame on the entire Muslim community.
“It was our concern to step forward in a proactive way and make a statement about our unity together as people of faith and just let the Islamic community know that they are not standing alone,” said Rev. Anderson. “It is our prayer that in response to this tragedy we will increase our efforts to live together in peace and understanding.”

“Any reasonable conscious person,” Imam Farid Ansari assured the media, “would know that these type of unconscionable acts was not something that has anything to do whatsoever with the religion of Islam.”
Not quite a year later, a small-time Christian minister in Florida threatens to burn a Koran, and here’s the message from the same folks in Rhode Island:

The Rev. Donald C. Anderson, executive minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, said that even if the Rev. Terry Jones has cancelled the book burning, apparently on the understanding that proponents of a planned Islamic Center in New York will move the proposed facility farther away from ground zero, Mr. Anderson strongly believes that Rhode Island’s religious leaders should proceed with an anti-bigotry news conference Friday.
“While I would celebrate [the cancellation] news, it does not sound to me that he’s repented. To have even intended to burn the sacred book of another religion is wrong-headed,” Mr. Anderson said.

Imam Ansari took the proverbial podium to opine that the First Amendment doesn’t cover the burning of a Koran, because “you can’t cry ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” The person burning the book, in other words, would be sparking an almost involuntary backlash from Muslims and would therefore be responsible for “endangering many lives.”

“As Muslims, we would never dare think of burning the Bible. That would be unconscionable. It would be tantamount to burning Jesus Christ in effigy,” he said, adding that the anti-Christian laws found in such places as Saudi Arabia are a “cultural thing” and have nothing to do with true Islam.

(One wonders whether Ansari accepts any financial or other support from within that culture.)
Why is it that acts of violence done in Islam’s name require warnings against infidel backlash, while an act of offensive self-promotion threatened by a Christian requires unified condemnation? Perhaps the reportage omitted the statement, but I don’t see any mention of warnings to those who’ve made it prudent for said Christian to carry a gun.
When Muslims are the perpetrators, the statement is, “We condemn, in advance, any backlash, and of course, when Muslims behave badly, it has nothing to do with Islam.” When Christians are the prospective perpetrators, the statement is, “We condemn, in advance, this act and feel it must be made explicit that it is not a legitimate expression of our faith; any backlash would be understandable, and of course, when Muslims behave badly, it has nothing to do with Islam.”

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13 years ago

Don’t you think this is really just a corollary of the typical liberal’s “soft bigotry of low expectations?”
Any non-Muslims who burn a Koran must be “bitter clinging” bigots, but any Muslims who lash out in response with indiscriminate violence against Westerners just can’t help themselves!
And as for the liberals’ complete (and shameful) indifference regarding the (mis)treatment of women in many Muslim cultures . . . well it’s just another example of left-wing hypocrisy.
Take a second “leering” look at a provocatively clad female sports reporter on the sideline at an NFL practice and risk public scorn from the media elites . . . but not so much when a Muslim man performs an “honor killing” on his wife or daughter.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
13 years ago

I’m more concerned with the hypocrisy of the leftists media. For weeks they whined about how “the world will end” if the Koran was burned on Saturday. That clown in the White House even made it a national security issue.
Well, guess what? On Saturday at least 3 Korans were publicly burned on camera-1 in Tennessee, 1 in Kansas and one right on the site of the Obama 911 Mosque.
Not only was the reaction the biggest flop since Y2K but the leftist media stopped reporting when their “Wolf!” cries were exposed.
2 ministers burn Quran in Tennessee backyard
Inside the Real Koran-Burning Church
Man ignites Koran near Ground Zero

13 years ago

We, as Americans,on BOTH sides (liberals and right-wing-nuts) hold ourselves to standards that the rest of the world chooses to ignore;
that is what makes the USA such a great place.

13 years ago

Justin wonders “whether Ansari accepts any financial or other support from” Saudi Arabia; the implication being, “How can he deal with those people”. That would apparently soil his hands. It doesn’t seem to bother our Swarmy Swami that we have blackened ours by importing an average of 1,114 thousand barrels of oil a day from the Saudis during this calendar year alone. That fact is apparently not worth mentioning, and in fact needs to be hidden so as to fit his demonizing prejudices. This is the very definition of a small “j” jesuitical argument; a prime example of “Round up the usual suspects”.

David P.
David P.
13 years ago

I don’t think the implication is “How can he deal with these people?” in the abstract. Rather the question is “What exactly is the deal?” When we buy oil from the Saudis we pay the market price for a barrel of oil and in return we get a barrel of oil. There is balance, and no reason, absent other evidence, to suspect sinister motives on either side. However, if some Saudi nationals, particularly those who espouse an intolerant and violent version of Wahabi Islam, donate money to an American mosque, one may reasonably question what exactly the Saudis are expecting in exchange for their money.

13 years ago

David P
You are playing John Alden to Justin Katz’ Miles Standish. Let the man speak for himself.

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