IN THE FASCINATING book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (which has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam) the author, Jared Diamond writes:
On the Chatham Islands, 500 miles east of New Zealand, centuries of independence came to a brutal end for the Moriori people in December 1835. On November 19 of that year, a ship carrying 500 Maori armed with guns, clubs, and axes arrived, followed on December 5 by a shipload of 400 more Maori. Groups of Maori began to walk through Moriori settlements, announcing that the Moriori were now their slaves, and killing those who objected. An organized resistance by the Moriori could still then have defeated the Maori, who were outnumbered two to one. However, the Moriori had a tradition of resolving disputes peacefully. They decided in a council meeting not to fight back but to offer peace, friendship, and a division of resources.
Before the Moriori could deliver that offer, the Maori attacked en masse. Over the course of the next few days, they killed hundreds of Moriori, cooked and ate many of the bodies, and enslaved all the others, killing most of them too over the next few years as it suited their whim. A Moriori survivor recalled, "[The Maori] commenced to kill us like sheep...[We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed — men, women, and children indiscriminately." A Maori conqueror explained, "We took possession...in accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped. Some ran away from us, these we killed, and others we killed — but what of that? It was in accordance with our custom."
The moral to this story? It doesn't matter how tolerant you are when you're the target of someone with different values. You and your culture's tolerance and cooperativeness will not win over someone who sees those as merely weakness.
What is the best response to an aggressive culture with intolerant, uncooperative values? Find out here: Does Niceness Work With Everybody?