EDITOR’S NOTE: Have a burning sensation? Consult your doctor. Have a burning question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.
Dear Matt, Since the Boston Marathon bombings, I’ve heard many commentators say that we should not let this one incident color how we feel about Islam. Has it changed how you feel about Islam? — Sharon K.
Ahhh, I see what I’m supposed to do here: rise to the bait. To slake the bloodlust of Judeo-Christian troglodytes by taking some Muslim scalp. That’s how it works, right? They send one of ours to the morgue, we send one of theirs to death row. They take three of ours with a pressure-cooker in a backpack, we take two of theirs with some highly charged words in a faux-advice column.
But if you came here to see me set flame to the Religion of Peace ®, then I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. For as Jesus Himself said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.” Wait, strike that. Got the holy books from my comparative religion class mixed up again. Turns out that was the Quran. It was Jesus who actually said, “Blessed are the cheesemakers.”
The point here is that we needn’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch. We all have some difficult patches to account for in our holy books. And religions don’t kill people – individuals do. True, if you watch the regular vanilla news, as opposed to say, reading CAIR press releases or David Sirota columns in Salon, it might not have escaped your notice that most of the extracurricular killing of innocents for its own sake seems to happen under the banner of the Religion of Peace ® . Which is not so much an Islamo-problem, as a problem of scale.
The National Counterterrorism Center’s 2011 numbers demonstrated that about 70 percent of the world’s 12,533 terrorist murders that year were committed by Sunni Muslim terrorists. There are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and there are nearly 7 billion people in the world, proper. So sure, Muslims are punching above their weight, terrorism-wise (70 percent of terrorist acts are attributable to those murdering in the name of a religion subscribed to by 23 percent of the world). It’s enough to make us ecumenically-minded types wonder when Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists are going to get off their fat asses and pitch in a little. (Islamic cultures throughout the ages are already responsible for pioneering astronomy, algebra and filicidal honor killings — do they have to do everything around here?)
But that’s the short game. The long game is that if the Islamoterrorists ever have their way — subjugating the world and bringing it under one shiny, happy Caliphate — there’ll be fewer infidels to kill, and those ratios are bound to drop precipitously. Then, without Islam to kick around anymore, those Presbyterian extremists are going to have a lot of explaining to do. While Religion of Peace ® extremists can get back to more peaceable domestic enterprises, like throwing homosexuals off tall buildings or stoning adulterous 13-year-old girls in soccer stadiums. In their idealized future, killing 8-year-old boys watching their dad run a marathon through the streets of Boston will no longer be necessary.
So to answer your original question, no, it hasn’t changed how I feel about the Religion of Peace® at all.