“Afghan mob kills at least 12 UN workers in protest over Terry Jones’s Koran-burning,” Allahpundit writes. Click over for the details; here’s how denouement is shaking out in America:
And so now we move to the inevitable next phase whenever there’s some cycle of revenge in the Muslim world in response to western speech, a la the Mohammed cartoons. Among the public, lots of second thoughts about staying put in Afghanistan, wondering how you build a nation on a foundation that’s capable of this. Among the administration, lots of angst about how to politically navigate the fallout, with free speech rights, AfPak diplomacy, and the outcome of the “Arab Spring” all in the mix. And for the media, lots of effort to hold Terry Jones morally responsible for the dead UN workers even though the only thing he burned was a book. An exit question for them via the Daily Caller’s Mike Riggs: “What are you willing to stop doing to avoid offending violent religious zealots?”
I certainly think Jones can be criticized for desiring the spotlight a bit too much, but those who argue that he is responsible for these murders only prove his point. Yes, he certainly knew what would happen if he “kicked the hornets nest” in this way, but Muslims aren’t hornets. They are human beings who are responsible for their own actions. We expect members of other beliefs to accept the reality that not everyone in the world agrees with them, why not Muslims?
Imagine that an atheist were to put the Bible on mock trial, find it guilty and then burn it and post the video to You Tube. Then imagine that there was a riot in Colorado Springs or Vatican City where a dozen people are murdered by a mob. How do you think the coverage would play out? Would Sky News or the BBC be asking Richard Dawkins if he feels responsible? Maybe they would ask, but would anyone seriously suggest that he was? I don’t think so. In fact, Dawkins has more or less done that in his books and TV specials and, to my knowledge, no one has died as a result.
Funny how back when Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon, J. D. Salinger and Lennon himself weren’t blamed for Chapman’s actions. Nor were the Beatles blamed for Charles Manson. Why the double-standard for Jones (he asked rhetorically)?
The incident in Afghanistan also brings to mind the insane and anti-free speech rhetoric of the left in the wake of the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords and the successful murder of Federal Judge John M. Roll in January. As one of Ann Althouse’s commenters noted at the time, during the left’s modified limited hangout of attacking Sarah Palin and clip art (though not their own identical campaign rhetoric) back then, is apparently “How will [my rhetoric] affect the behavior of an obviously crazy person who may or may not hear it?”
Finally, don’t miss Ace on “Another Day, Another Muslim Massacre.”
Related: Presumably if Christians ever riot when their imagery is mocked, going forward, the legacy media will blame the artist for inciting them, right…?