Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mark Steyn is back . . .

Writing from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars conference in Baltimore, which is a wonderful gathering. I caught a glimpse of Mark Steyn this a.m. Here's what he had to say:
Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn’t burn any buildings or women and children. He didn’t even burn a book. He hadn’t actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in. . . .

When someone destroys a bible, US government officials don’t line up to attack him. President Obama bowed lower than a fawning maitre d’ before the King of Saudi Arabia, a man whose regime destroys bibles as a matter of state policy, and a man whose depraved religious police forces schoolgirls fleeing from a burning building back into the flames to die because they’d committed the sin of trying to escape without wearing their head scarves. If you show a representation of Mohammed, European commissioners and foreign ministers line up to denounce you. If you show a representation of Jesus Christ immersed in your own urine, you get a government grant for producing a widely admired work of art. Likewise, if you write a play about Jesus having gay sex with Judas Iscariot.

So just to clarify the ground rules, if you insult Christ, the media report the issue as freedom of expression: A healthy society has to have bold, brave, transgressive artists willing to question and challenge our assumptions, etc. But, if it’s Mohammed, the issue is no longer freedom of expression but the need for "respect" and "sensitivity" toward Islam, and all those bold brave transgressive artists don’t have a thing to say about it.
Steyn's anti-sentimentalizing is at its best here, not all as quotable in public as the above.


Kevin said...

How loudly did you denounce W for holding hands with a crown prince of the House of Saud? Did Mr. Steyn denounce him? If not may I ask why now you raise the issue?
Ad Astra Per Aspera,

Mike O'Malley said...

So Kevin, are you equating those staged GWOT propaganda photos of Pres. Bush holding hands with Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation of Saudi Arabia) with Pres. Obama’s ominous failure to criticize honor killings of Muslim women? ... Or feminist Secretary Clinton’s enduring failure to criticize Islamic female genital mutilation? Do you equate that one staged instance between a defense minister and a Commander and Chief with General Petraeus’ daily failure to criticize rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar?

Or do you ignore the murder, mutilation and rape to object to critique of Pres. Obama’s bowing like a subservient black slave before the King of Saudi Arabia, the reign monarch on a reactionary throne which participated in the modern genocidal East African slave trade which on occasion denuded the coast of East Africa for a hundred or two miles inland of non-Muslim Black Africans with a wartime propaganda photo op?