In response to Lily Katz's
admonition to the one billion Muslims of the world that something
is inherently wrong with their religion, I suggest Ms. Katz pay
attention to the world around her with a less prejudiced eye.
Without a doubt, the United
States of America is the greatest, most free country in the world,
and is the gold standard against which other nations should be
measured. With that in mind, Ms. Katz has dismissed all Muslim
nations as backward and barbaric. Admittedly, compared to the
U.S., Muslim nations have a way to go, especially if you're going
to focus on their most egregious failings (as Ms. Katz enjoys
doing). Let's cast a jaundiced eye toward non-Muslim newsmakers
and see how they stack up: The Catholic church -- not a Muslim
organization last I checked -- appears to be presided over by
serial pedophiles, if you are to believe the news reports (and
they would never portray anything in a distorted light, right,
Ms. Katz?). And, in other non-Muslim news, China forces its own
subjects to have abortions if they aren't authorized by the state
to reproduce, and massacres hundreds of its citizens at a time
for peacefully protesting against totalitarianism. Russia, another
non-Muslim nation (whew!), is ruled by a former KGB spy who is
quickly tearing down the nascent democracy that it had become.
The supreme court of Israel (slogan: "the only democracy
in the Middle East") ruled that torture of Palestinian detainees
is legal, and that Palestinians can be grabbed and imprisoned
for up to six months for no reason at all, a trick called "administrative
detention." Similarly, let's say you're a Palestinian and
your son is suspected (not proven, but suspected) by Israeli
authorities of being a security threat - the Israeli Army will
bulldoze your entire family's house. In India, a largely Hindu
nation, an entire class of people labeled "the untouchables"
are so reviled by their own citizens that nobody would stop to
help one if they were dying in the street.
I'll readily admit that Muslim
nations have work to do before I'll consider them progressive.
But Ms. Katz's contention is that there is something wrong with
Muslims. Unfortunately, her views -- and those of many like her
-- are based on the fact that the U.S. media pick out the worst,
most sensational problems in Muslim nations and broadcast them
worldwide. Ms. Katz's argument is idiotic. If the media reported
on the rest of the world like it does on Muslim nations, her
biases would be as obvious to everyone else as they are to me
and others who take the time to pay attention to the big picture.