It is probably supremely ironic that as I sit down to write some contemplations about demands for “respect” on the behalf of Islam, I am watching the first X-Men film since 2003 that its makers should not be ashamed of. In the past, I have said that respect is something that you earn, not demand. But no part of life where dealing with other people is concerned is ever that simple.
Before I continue, if you are a curebie or a person-first-pushing nitwit, then please understand that after a fashion both the content and the title of this post apply just as much to you.
Respect is not a monolithic entity that only consists of one thing or one idea. It comes in forms. It changes, it shifts, it mutates. But it is always earned in some fashion. Let us take, for example, the respect for a person’s life. Being born is a painful process, and not just for the mother. I doubt anyone really knows whether an unborn child is self-aware before they are expelled from the uterus. We certain do not retain any memory of it unless there is something really different about our brains. Hell, my brain is, in a lot of respects, the very definition of non-standard. And the first memory I have is the world flashing into being right in front of me, and walking around in it with full speech and theoretical perception of what was around me (I was about three years old at that point). But the point here is that as difficult and painful the process of birth is, particularly for the side that does remember the process (my sister was in labour for more than a day with my nephew, and he probably has no memory at all of it), there are limits to the respect it earns.
Nearly seven hundred thousand American children were reported as victims of maltreatment in unique instances in 2010. If we take the commonly-repeated statement that for every reported case, a dozen others exist, America’s constant claims of being the best nation to ever exist look even flimsier. That adds up to 8.34 million children in the year 2010. And that is what the National Children’s Alliance calls “unique instances”. Granted, there are a number of different ways that different words can be interpreted, but if unique instances means that they took millions of reports of incidents and narrowed down their numbers by the victim (essentially, removing duplicate reports that feature the same victim), that makes it a shameful statistic.
Without reading every individual report, it is impossible to know what percentage of these children were abused by their mothers, fathers, or both. Or another relative such as a grandparent or one of their parents’ siblings. Or combinations. But if one was to talk to these victims of maltreatment and ask them if their abusers demanded respect, I am guessing we would get a very high “yes” percentage. In fact, if I wanted to find a methodology to differentiate between exercising parental authority and abuse, demands for respect would be very high on the list.
Which brings me to these ridiculous protests by individuals purporting to represent Islam that have taken place in Sydney recently. By the way, Brisbane, the reason this is not happening in your “city” is because on the world stage, nobody gives a shit about it. Let me be plain about this. There is a picture being distributed by a page on Fudgebook called An Aussie Secularist. Let me leave aside my feelings about Australia and “Aussie” culture for a second. The text on the image reads as follows (typography-phrasing errors and inappropriate use of all-caps preserved):
Imagine an Australia where violence was the acceptable response if you felt offended. Imagine the property destruction. Imagine the personal injury. Imagine the murder. Imagine the pain & suffering. Imagine the horrifying silence which would spring from the fear of speaking up.
Now picture Australia as it is. A place where being offended is no excuse for violence. A place where you are free to cause offence and be offended, without fear of violent reprisal. A place that has laws to protect us from harm.
Picture Australia as it is. Imagine Australia as the religious extremists insist we should be.
Which Australia do we want?
BLASPHEMY LAWS ARE A TERRIBLE JOKE. I NEVER WANT TO SEE THEM HERE.
The text in this image is credited to one Marina C. Now, Marina, whilst I have a very different experience of Australia to you, I am right with you on all of this. I am a mutant. I am a mutant of the kind that does not get along well in the deny problems exist, anything is good enough mentality that the mainstream of Australia is monopolised by. But the reason I have to point out all of these problems with the Australia you have today is because I would get along at least as poorly with a Muslim theocracy.
Muslim theocrats, please get this through your head. You are not accomplishing anything by trying to convince people who would rather live democratically that they cannot be critical of you. Especially when your attempts to convince people otherwise involve violence against them. Not only do you come off looking like a spoiled child, you cause your enemies to rally against you.
The cry of what they refer to as “Islamaphobia” does not help their case any, either. When we profess objections to little girls being held down and people mutilating their genitals in such a manner that leaves them with lifelong problems of physical nature, that is not Islamaphobia. It is being a decent person. When we object to laws that tell us we cannot say what comes to mind about a given subject because it might make you question your perception of it, that is not Islamaphobia. It is the same adaptation that has ensured the survival and progress of the Human race. When I ask why Muslim countries have virtually no science or scientific progress in them after they thrived on it in the past (Arabian countries knew to cut open boils whilst people were dying in droves of bubonic plague in Europe), it is not Islamaphobia. It is genuine concern at people trying to arrest or even reverse the progress without which the majority of people alive today would not live to puberty. When I express anger that some people genuinely think the so-called honour of an alleged prophet who died in the seventh century is more important to someone than the freedom and lives of intellectuals and creative artists, that is not Islamaphobia. It is having the grown-upness and balls to be able to live in a world where people might not see things exactly as I do.
That last point is a critically important one. Whilst I fear curebies for their desire to rid the world of me and my kind, I am afraid of Muslims and Islam being given absolute power over me and mine for precisely the same reason. That is not phobia. That is a genuine survival adaptation.
Muslims of all stripes should therefore be watching the struggle between the autistic and the curebies. This is why I find it ironic that I am typing this article whilst watching X-Men: First Class (Fox finally quit trying to make me buy a DVD with it). Because if the mutants win, and Muslim normies decide they want rid of us, we mutants will waste no time in ridding ourselves of them. As I have very recently told a friend in Fudgebook chat, if I had discovered that I could bend metal by will alone when I was twelve years old, this world would be a very different place today. The autistic would not have to beg normies to respect their right to exist. It would be the other way around.
And this is a critical point in what I am trying to tell you. If the Muslim or Islam community wishes to integrate with the rest of society, then they need to do a few things. First, they must denounce the behaviour of the extremists who went calling for violence and assaulting people in Sydney recently. Apologising to the people who were hurt and the society they represent is not enough. Publically denouncing them and excommunicating them from Islam will go a long, long way to rectifying the anger that they have brought upon Islam in general from more ignorant sorts amongst the rest of the world. Refraining from trying to compare Muslim sins to the sins of extremist Christians would go a long way, too. Whilst the rest of the Christian empire does not openly separate themselves from extremists like Pat Robertson et al, some have made it abundantly clear on multiple occasions that they feel ashamed to be thought of as the same kind of people as they. Muslims, you need to be savvy of the fact that when you mention Islam to people who know little to nothing about it, what comes up in the person’s mind looks worse than a mob of drunken football thugs. And in places like Europe, that is a pretty bad image.
John Lydon has also stated that one of the reasons he had no compunction about playing in Israel… let’s look it at from his quote. I am semi-paraphrasing here, but he said that when someone shows him an Islamic country that is democratic, only then will he cry about the offenses of Israel against the Palestinians. Obnoxious and out-there as this statement sounds, it is one that I happen to agree with.
In one of his essays about the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazi party, Steve Kangas stated that to the extent that democracies fail, the relationship between the failure of a democratic government and the lack of actual democracy within is absolute. Not in those words, but that was likely his intended meaning. Presently, Islam and Muslims have put this image into my head that they believe that when a society does not bend over backwards to accommodate their every whim, it is not a democracy. But that is not how it works. Democracy is not about rights on their own. Democracy is about promoting the best harmony between every persons’ rights. A stupid, violently-inclined man (as opposed to an intelligent and violently-inclined one like myself) will tell you he has the right to swing his fists. He does, but a person in the public place who has done nothing to even slightly bother him has the right to not have his fist connecting with their face. Hence, we have laws restricting the former’s right to swing his fists to cases of him being in a boxing ring (or similar place), or where someone is trying to put their fist into his face.
Muslim folk, if you feel offended when I say that at times like this, you look in a general way more like that overly aggressive individual than the one who puts them down in self-defense, you need to do something about it. And that something is to go to these people who blacken your name and tell them to knock it off already.
So in closing, I want to say one thing to the rejects who went assaulting police officers and rioting in Sydney streets. I hesitate to call them representatives of Islam or Muslims because I respect the right of those who fit those groups and desire integration rather than violence to not be associated with them. They have partly earned that right. They can fully earn it, by the way, by means of making use of that right. The next time you feel inclined to start moaning as the government of this nation starts to decide that maybe it should not be welcoming you with open arms, remember this moment. Because as people decide they do not want you in their country, moaning that those people are not being democratic, or being Islamaphobic, will avail you nothing.
That is because you have brought it on entirely yourselves. Whether it be through your actions or lack of same, you have brought it on entirely yourselves.