When people only focus on that which stirs their ire, they close themselves off to the rest of the real world and thus make poor choices.
Take a look at the cartoon image above by ultra-conservative cartoonist Michel Ramirez. You have to appreciate Ramirez’s gift of saying a lot with mere images. But what is says a lot of is how the religious right around the world narrowly view Islam. A view that sees only how Westerners have been tortured by the a small extremists element within the 2nd largest religion in the world.
It is said that for every action there is a reaction and for all the murderous rampage that Muslim radicals have inflicted on Western civilization they were likely responding to some murderous event inflicted on Muslim cultures by Westerners. Cruelties and deprivations that don’t always get publicized in the main stream media and most certainly won’t be reflected in Ramirez’s political cartoons.
Islam has made great contributions to civilization but in the eyes of the radical right and their fundamentalist religious views they are little more than a threat to the world at large. It is this limited and unjust view that perpetuates the destructive force that kills thousands in Palestinian refugee camps as well as innocent civilians in Western urban areas.
Juan Cole, who’s an authority on the Middle East, has taken this notion to task and pointed out the hypocrisy of those who believe that Islam as a religion is different and decidedly worse than all other religions, including Bill Maher. It’s a relatively short read and packed full of insightful information that will broaden your understanding of something many Westerners, especially Americans, have a poor grasp of.