So does anyone remember all the rioting and demonstrations in the Arab/Muslim world, in response to U.S. invasion (and liberation) of Afghanistan? To say nothing of the fits apoplexy in response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq? Have we seen anything even remotely similar in response to this massacre? Consider: these were Muslims -- Chechen and Arab -- who stormed a school, shot children in the back, and forced a mother to choose which child to save. All in the name of Islam.
So where's the outrage? If someone pulled something like this in my name, I'd be baying for their blood, and falling all over myself to offer help to the victims. Yet here we have a group of child murderers, claiming to act in the name of Islam -- "defiling" Islam, if you believe the various apologists from CAIR and the AAC -- and what is the global Muslim reaction?
Not one demonstration, anywhere. Not one peace rally. Not one candlelight vigil, not one show of solidarity, not one loud, forceful, unvarnished, and un-nuanced rejection of this, done in the name of their peaceful, tolerant, enlightened, precious, precious Islam. Not in Pakistan. Not in Ramallah. Not in Cairo. Not in Paris. Not in New Jersey or Dearborn. Not anywhere.
Have a look at the CAIR web site. Take a look at their news releases and their action alerts. What upsets them? A radio talk show host calling Islam a murderous organization. Some guy in Arizona getting his car trashed. And, of course, Israeli "war crimes" and that fiend, General Boykin. Well, that's what concerns American Muslims today -- what Jackie Mason and General Boykin say about Islam. What the wanton murder of dozens of kids says about Islam? Not their problem. A generic, months-old online petition is apparently sufficient to cover terrorism. They've got more important issues now, like the crisis with Red Lobster.
Then again, perhaps we should be happy with silence. It's better than receiving lectures on the "cycle of violence" from the very people that fund the violence. It's obnoxious enough for Arab News to reprint this squirmy little Guardian appeasement piece, which lays the blame on the Beslan massacre on (who else?) Putin and the Russian Army -- but it's a whole new level of indecency for them to actually blame the bloodshed on Putin's alleged lack of belief in "compromise, negotiations, give and take." ("Give and take." With people who are willing to die just to kill a few kids and their mothers. I don't even want to know what "compromise" position Arab News had in mind.)
So there it is. American liberation of Afghanistan, after the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden -- an outrage, an offense against Islam, a new crusade, must be opposed. American liberation of Iraq, killing a secular Stalinist dictator -- umm, an outrage, an offense against Islam, violation of international law, mass demonstrations, etc. Muslim terrorists gunning down second-graders? Shrug. "Ask yourselves why they hate you."
Update on Sept. 7, 2004: Mark Steyn puts it as only he can:
The reality is that the IRA and ETA and the ANC and any number of secessionist and nationalist movements all the way back to the American revolutionaries could have seized schoolhouses and shot all the children.
But they didn't. Because, if they had, there would have been widespread revulsion within the perpetrators' own communities. To put it at its most tactful, that doesn't seem to be an issue here.
I can't put it any better.
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