The recent tumult across the Muslim world burning European flags, death threats, burning embassies, and general calls for Jihad were not caused by cartoons. The cartoons are a pretext for a larger agenda of leaders in Islamic Totalitarian regimes to further their control, deflect criticism of their regimes, prepare their minions for global jihad, and use fear to win concessions from the West. The pretext, Dutch depictions of Mohammed in cartoons, is a replay of the Salman Rushdie affair, which so offended these same religious leaders.
That anti-Semitic cartoons fill the Muslim press didn’t seem to be a problem to sensitive leaders. Depictions of Jewish atrocities against the world are the meat and potatoes of many muslim newspapers.
Tim Rutten has another brilliant essay about this in today’s LA Times, and his analysis is well worth reading. He traces the problem back one thousand years, and discusses the Rambam:
But while Maimonides and, later, Aquinas — who also read and admired the philosopher rabbi — held that there exists a single truth and that faith, properly understood, never can conflict with reason, Averroes took the other fork. He held that there were two truths — that of revelation and that of the natural world. There was no need to reconcile them because they were separate and distinct.
And he concludes:
The decent respect for the opinions of others that life in modern, pluralistic societies requires is not a form of relativism. It will not do, as Isaiah Berlin once put it, to say, “I believe in kindness and you believe in concentration camps” and let’s leave it at that.