I base that on the two recent events that have again pitted Americans against the Religion of Peace. The Ground Zero Mosque controversy where this week the Imam makes the not so subtle hint that if this mosque is not built the US could "have national security issues". The second of course is the Florida pastor who feels the need to torch a few Korans. While I don’t necessarily condone his actions I support his right to voice his opinion in any manner that he sees fit.
Both cases illustrate the fact that while we are all endowed in this country with certain inalienable rights it sometimes takes more courage not to exercise them than to plow ahead at the expense of others. But more to the point however is that nine years later we have not come to grips with an ideology that has intrinsic anger management issues.
For all the dispositions one might find in any group or individual the one that has the potential be the most devastating, as we were to discover to our horror nine years ago, is one of an uncontrolled temper. Henry Drummond once wrote:
No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unchristianize society than an evil temper. For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom of childhood, in short, for sheer gratuitous misery-producing power this influence stands alone…The Muslim disposition is one that reacts to any insult, real or imagined, with a self flagellating flag burning hate fest. In the past we just shrugged at such antics. When Islamic religious leaders issued death warrants on writers, cartoonists, or Americans in general we reacted with the same indifference we might show the outbursts of a crazy uncle.
This indifference was a mistake in the past and it is a mistake that was compounded this week by the fear of upsetting an obviously ill tempered people. Kowtowing cannot change an evil disposition it only reinforces it.
We all have our moments when our temper bubbles to the surface of course but as a people the western tradition is centered on love and toleration and if we are ever to change the relationship between our two cultures, if Islam is ever to become compatable to modernity if you will, we have a moral obligation to stand up and scream "enough", just like we would scold a petulant child. This week we missed that opportunity.
Cf: Henry Drummond, "The Greatest Thing in the World"