For more than a week now our newspapers and television sets have been filled with images of a hostile and rioting Muslim World, reacting to a Newsweek article that a Koran had been flushed down a toilet by interegators at Guantanimo Bay's detention facility. Newsweek has now retracted the story stating that it was an "unfortunate" error, (Unfortunate error, are you kidding me?) but the Muslim street is not buying it and now feels that Newsweek is succumbing to White House pressure and covering for them.
There are enough angles in this story to launch a thousand blog sites. We have already seen and heard, and I am sure that we will be seeing alot more stories on the Newsweek angle. But I want to deal with this from another angle. That is the angle of the selective outrage. Why is it big news that Muslims are outraged at the flushing of a Koran? What would the story be if a Bible or Torah, were flushed, burned or desecrated by Muslims I wonder? Would it even be a story or would we even hear about it? I doubt it !
Palestinians Used Bible Toilet Paper
The article states that: "While Muslims have responded with deadly outrage to the now-retracted report by Newsweek of alleged Quran desecration by U.S. interrogators, there was little outcry three years ago when Islamic terrorists holed up in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity reportedly used the Bible as toilet paper."
On a more personal note, in 1981 I was in Morocco on a missions outreach. We had been there for several weeks when we stopped for gas one evening. A young station attendant came to our van and after finding that we were Americans told us of how he loved America and that we were his American friends. Feeling that this was a warm and friendly young man, one of the ladies with us handed him a Christian tract, in Arabic, telling of the Father love of God. After reading just a bit of it he became very agitated and threw it back into her face and began cursing and ranting. So much for our being "his American friends." We were told by another attendant to leave before the police came, and we did so. We did not stop until we were across the border in Ceuta, Spain.
A year later several of our friends went there again but were not as fortunate as us, they were arrested and imprisoned for a few months for having Christian literature, in Arabic, in their possession. They were only released after there was a threat of a major media push to expose the arrests in the wake of a UN meeting, in Rabat, the capital city.
Since then things have not only not gotten better, they have gotten worse, and the general reaction to this is only that Christians should respect those cultures. There are countless stories of Christian persecution in the Muslim, and Hindu world as well, but the media remains silent.
Why are we supposed to respect those cultures and they not respect ours? We not only allow but invite Arab Muslims and other nationalities and faiths to come and freely worship and express their faith here, and would be castigated for anything less. Yet, Christians are attacked for any attempt to express a faith that has liberated billions and given a message of hope for all mankind.
I do not expect things to change, but I do expect recognition of the selective outrage.