John on February 5, 2006 at 10:54 pm
Hugh has been blogging on the Cartoon Conflict all weekend. After decrying some of the irresponsible calls for war on Islam, Hugh summarizes his view this way:
Many commentators want to define the debate as an either/or choice between the cartoonists and the jihadists. That’s not the debate at all, and suggests an inability to grasp the real complexity here. It is not only consistent but compelling to both demand that the jihadists who threaten the press or who burn embassies be defeated and to also conclude that the cartoon fiasco was an unnecessary and expensive diversion from the central confrontation with the jihadists.
Kudos to Hugh for not joining the crowd on this one. He is right that this is not an either or issue. As I suggested earlier, there is a third way and it’s the American way.
The only thing missing from his analysis is the fact that the cartoon fiasco, which he rightly calls an expensive diversion, did not arise out of thin air. It arose from a secular humanist mindset which views the bashing of religion as de rigueur. That’s the missing piece that makes sense of this “complex picture.”
Stopping this before it escalates is going to require both sides to restrain themselves. The jihadists must stop the threats and arson. The secularist provacateurs, who’ve grown to used to Christians turning the other cheek when they lash out, now need to do likewise. They might benefit from a little humility.