Two contrasting events of the past week explain the deep ideological divide between Islamic values and Judeo-Christian ones better than a convention full of sociologists ever could.
A sweet-faced, 14-year-old Pakistani girl was shot in the head and neck by same-faith Taliban thugs for the “obscenity” of championing education in her hopeless village — with a promise to finish the gutless job if she continues — while 7,000 miles away in Manhattan, a Muslim double amputee facing trial on terrorism charges learned that his new prosthetics will be funded by the American taxpayers he allegedly plotted to kill.
Rudyard Kipling had the right idea when he wrote, “East is east and west is west, and never the twain shall meet,” although he might be turning in his grave over the corruption of his refrain, “But there is neither east nor west, border, nor breed, nor birth, when two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth.”
Pakistani outrage following Malala Yousafzai’s shooting has been flimsy, and limited to useless calls for more security in addition to the usual chants for peace. Yawn.
Muslims here have been more vocal about a constitutionally protected anti-Islam subway ad than they have about America’s meticulous preoccupation with protecting the civil rights of even sub-humans like hooked hate preacher Abu Hamas al-Masri, whose fiery sermons inspired “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and 9-11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui.
Al-Masri was extradited from the U.K. for allegedly conspiring to establish a terror camp in Oregon, and helping to kidnap 16 hostages, including two Americans, in Yemen in 1998.
His metal hook prostheses were removed for fear they would be used as weapons in the same way that a terrorist convicted of bombing American embassies in East Africa did back in 2000, when he pierced the eye of a prison guard with a sharpened comb, leaving him permanently brain damaged.
Muslims can no longer hide behind the shroud of indecent behavior that has plunged Islam to a startling low. Yet their silence over terror acts committed by their fellows in faith — against themselves and others — remains deafening, compared to their roar over crucial American counter-terrorism efforts.
They have not been passionate at all about rooting out Muslim radicals, as if they are culturally married to them — for better or for worse. The free world, which has provided better lives for Muslims than their ancestral lands, deserves far, far, far better.
Decades of western diplomacy and endless supplies of its hard-earned cash have traveled down a blind road to nowhere — and largely to no avail.
Now, our dilemma defies comprehension, and raises the baffling question: how do we begin to confront a mentality so set against everything we cherish? Quite simply, we can’t, until we find the moral courage to go eyeball to eyeball with a belief system that lives to abase ideals foreign to it.
That means convening a global conference on Islam’s human timebombs — forthwith, please.
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Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2529.