Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Muslim Question

What worries me most about things like the recent Danish cartoon controversy is that they lump the whole of Islamic civilization under one Muslim Question, somewhat like all of Jewry was once lumped under the Jewish Question -- and we know how well that turned out. The two are not exactly analogous. For instance, Muslims are not, and never will be, as vulnerable as Jews were and in some places still are. But the two are often similar: suspicion of Muslims as a whole, refusal to believe that Muslims can really participate in Western civilization, doubts about whether Muslims can be loyal Americans or Frenchmen or what-have-you, fear-mongering about how much Muslims control, etc. It's not healthy, in any way, and it is bound to make things horrible at some point. God save us from that.

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