"Call me Mohammed!"
In a rational response to a Briton naming the classroom Teddy Bear, Mohammed, the camel-humping, sheet-wearing, bath-eschewing Muslims of The Sudan took to the streets to protest the lenient sentence given to Gillian Gibbons, a well-meaning Briton. Sword-waving Yassin Mubarak raged: “What she did requires her life to be taken.” Others demanded an even more severe punishment.
This highlights several points.
First, what in the name of all that is holy is Yassin Mubarak doing with a sword? Last I checked, this is the twenty-first century. Civilised, rational people don't take to the streets with swords.
Second, is Islam even a real religion? These people speak in terms of a powerful and gracious god; and, yet, they do everything possible to make the outside world think of them as murderous crackpots and practitioners of some illegitimate cult that demands stupidity and violence as the ticket to Paradise.
A woman travels to a Third World backwater to try to teach children--a selfless and gracious act--and for her trouble, she is sentenced to fifteen days in prison for her faux pas. All because she insulted their precious prophet. If Mohammed were worth his salt, he'd take the fact that the Teddy Bear was named for him as a compliment; or, at the very least, an attempt at a compliment. Instead, Mohammed (who is still dead), through an angry mob, gets pissed. Would Jesus do that? Buddha? Hell, even Shiva would take this in stride. Of course, in most Muslim countries, naming a Teddy Bear for the Son of Man would probably lead to an even more severe punishment than Ms. Gibbons has received.
Third, Ms. Gibbons was dimed out by Sarah Khawad, a pissy co-worker of hers. As a result of Ms. Khawad's telephone call, Ms. Gibbons ultimately ended up in a horrific prison, with conditions that would make the Hanoi Hilton or Abu Ghraib look positively heavenly.
As an aside, it is queer that the left (e.g., the UN, the Third World, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy) derides America (and her allies) as ghastly for our treatment of terror suspects and unlawful combatants; and, yet, they do little (or nothing) to effect a change in Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, or any other anti-Western state.
We hold the UN and the Geneva Conventions up as paragons of morality, but don't complain when the Third World ignores them. The Iraq War is unlawful (some say); but, these same people are willing to look the other way at (the late) Saddam Hussein's violation of a Cease Fire (and seventeen UN Resolutions). Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, is a darling of the left even though he has destroyed the Zimbabwean economy, while creating a new form of Apartheid. The late Yasser Arafat (of PLO fame) was given billions for his people; but, no one complained too loudly when he pocketed most of the dough (and gave the rest to his cronies). And, for the record, he did pretty poorly by his constituents, given that most still languish in refugee camps.
Finally, doesn't this insanity demonstrate the fatal flaw with our approach to Radical Islam? I am not proposing a modern Crusade; but, it seems pretty clear that the practitioners of the so-called Religion of Peace can not get along with anyone, not even their co-religionists. Sunnis kill Shiites. Shiites and Sunnis kill Christians and Jews. They do this, with the imprimatur of their religious leaders, because it is good to kill the infidel (and other Muslims who don't agree with the sword-wielding dopes of a given sect).
Any religion worth anything would be tolerant. Instead, the Muslims are afraid. Very afraid. Why else would martyrdom operations (i.e., murder/suicides) be so prevalent in the Muslim world (and places where the West seeks to foster and grow democratically elected governments)? Why else would the murder of innocents be applauded? Why else would people be converted by the sword? Why else would those wishing to leave Islam be guilty of apostasy (and subject to the death penalty)? Why else would rape victims be flogged (or put to death)? What kind of religion treats women as second-class citizens? Why else would non-Muslims be barred from entering Mecca?
We, as civilised people, need to understand that we are fighting a group of poor, illiterate, unwashed morons who are more interested in 72 Virginians in Paradise than peaceful co-existence. We are battling people who saw off the heads of Westerners for shits and giggles, and who believe that flying innocent-laden jet-liners into buildings makes for good public relations.
This is why Israel fights. This is why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is why we must elect Republicans (or, at the very least, not any Democrats) here at home; and why we must support our allies abroad. Sure, President George W. Bush has made mistakes; but, a lack of concern for the disenfranchised is not one of them.
And, this is why The Lifeguard is never going to The Sudan.