Monday, September 12, 2005

Religion of Peace and Tolerance

The world is watching to see what the Palestinians make of Gaza. One of the first things they did was to burn the remaining synagogues. How did Israeli religious leaders respond?
Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar said Monday evening that he would considering [sic] ostracizing any Jew that damages mosques in retaliation.
What would have happened if the roles were reversed? Would a Muslim cleric make a similar comment? Right.

The Jerusalem Post editorializes about the synagogue burning:
The unwritten script here is that nothing more can be expected from the Palestinians because, after all, they are enraged by 38 years of Israeli presence in Gaza. This ignores both the questions of why Israel was there in the first place, and why Israel was targeted for destruction before it set foot in Gaza. But it also papers over the real source of Muslim rage: the reigning intolerant interpretation of Islam.

Despite attempts to explain it away as a benign form of striving, the Arab-Islamic notion of jihad remains essentially unchanged since Ibn Khaldun described it in 1406: "holy war is a religious duty ... to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or force." Only Islam, he added, "is under obligation to gain power over other nations."

This has been reflected in a "what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine" approach that we see dominates Palestinian thinking. It goes without saying that no Jew, building, or grave must remain in Gaza, as much as it does that Israel must treat its own million-strong Arab minority with utmost respect.

Yet if there is ever going to be peace between Arabs and Israelis, not to mention an end to the wider jihad against America, such attitudes must be broken.
UPDATE: Alt.Muslim comments:
Imagine if Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip destroyed two dozen mosques. There would be mass rallies in front of Israeli embassies around the world, and in America organizations like CAIR and MPAC would issue righteous condemnations calling on the American government to restrain Israel. However, as we've seen today, when Palestinians streaming into liberated Gaza set fire to synagogues there is deafening silence from most Muslims and certainly from the leadership of the American Muslim community.