Tolerance Of Intolerance


IN AN ARTICLE IN THE LA TIMES, Tim Rutten points out the difference between intelligent tolerance and blind tolerance. A knee-jerk tolerance fanatic can be as dangerous as any other kind of fanatic, especially if the tolerance fanatic is a writer and helping to form public opinion.

Religious tolerance has a long history in the West and almost everyone believes in it implicitly. But even it can go too far. When religious tolerance interferes with something even more basic, like say, self-preservation, then it is religious-tolerance extremism and it's got to go.

Rutten's article is called: Where Is The West's Outcry? Salmon Rushdie has a new price on his head by Muslim extremists. Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses years ago. Some Muslim clerics took offense to what Rushdie wrote about Mohammad, so they declared he must be killed. This is, of course, extreme intolerance, and because Rushdie has recently been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, a new round of calls for his death has issued from the Islamist's corner.

Where is the outrage in the editorials? Nonexistent. Why? Because of "soft bigotry," which means hesitating to disapprove of someone's religious customs (such as beheading infidel fiction writers or stoning outspoken women to death) because doing so would mark you as insensitive or intolerant.

You would think writers, of all people, would be intolerant of this kind of religious intolerance against a writer. But all we get is silence on the issue. A silence, as Rutten puts it, "in which the only permissible sounds are the prayers of the killers and the cries of their victims."


Citizen Warrior 3:51 PM  

Damien, I think you've struck an important source: They don't appreciate their freedom enough. I know people who just want to give peace a chance who are so against violence, so against the United States military, and so against anything that seem aggressive that they have never looked at the other side: That Islam is, in fact, a dangerous ideology, and that the peace-lovers themselves take it for granted that they have the freedom to speak up and that they live in a safe world because they have never lived in an unsafe world and never visited one. As the poem Horace Mann says,

No man survives when freedom fails;
The best men rot in filthy jails.
And those who cry "Appease, Appease!"
Are hanged by those they tried to please.

Damien 4:51 PM  

Citizen Warrior,

I agree, however there are two problems. How do you get them to appreciate freedom, and how do get them to overcome their fear?

Citizen Warrior 5:07 PM  

Good question, Damien. How do you help someone appreciate their freedom?

I suppose you could describe the lack of freedoms in Islamic states.

But maybe we shouldn't waste too much time on these people. There are plenty of people who don't know what to think, who are undecided on the issue, and who are open to new and convincing information. These are the people who we should concentrate on. Our efforts could really make a difference with them.

And to help people express more courage, I think we can promote and applaud those who ARE being brave like we do on Citizen Warrior Heroes. We can share with others that there are brave people all over the world doing something and they are still alive.

Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.


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