Back at my solo-blog, I asked "What does it mean to be a religion of peace?" My two examples were Islam and Buddhism, and just seeing them named side-by-side makes it clear what a religion of peace actually looks like. The context is, of course, the erstwhile Koran-burning nut in Florida (where most nuts are found, but not grown), and that damned "Ground Zero Mosque" that's been on our lips for weeks now. But what we're really talking about is a narrative about Islam. Just what kind of religion is it? I quote my post:
Am I the only one confused by the current narrative coming mostly (though not exclusively) from the left on Islam? Islam is a religion of peace, in fact "[it] is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace." As long as you don't make a Muslim angry: "You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities." Both quotes were from President Obama.I think there's an over-accommodation on the left for the nutty beliefs and practices of Islam that you don't find when the topic is Judaism or Christianity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending those two. But why the double-standard?
A thought experiment: I announce that I'm planning on burning a pile of Tipitakas, to show how intolerant I am of Buddhism. Let's imagine the reaction. How likely would this be seen as the opening act of holy war? How would the worldwide Buddhist community react? Would my stunt garner reactions from General Petraeus and President Obama? Would it even be national news?
I'll leave you with this spot-on anecdote that a friend of mine posted on Facebook:
A reporter once asked an Aussie Buddhist monk what he'd do if someone flushed his holy books down a toilet. He answered, "I'd call a plumber. Those are thick books"Thoughts?
(PS -- I'll try to be more Tyra next time around....)