Alright, I made this headline up, but given the propensity of so many followers of Islam for getting their keffiyehs into fiery bunches over perceived slights to their faith, my fictional header may be a trifle less far-fetched than appears at first blush.
If someone, somewhere in the world, deliberately or not, ignites, merely threatens to ignite, or otherwise desecrates or threatens to desecrate, a copy of the Qur’an, embassies go up in flames and people die.
If someone produces content deemed insulting to Islam, such as—the Exceedingly Merciful forbid!—a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet, once again people lose their lives at the hands of frenzied mobs running wild, or must go into hiding for decades in order to escape some silly fatwa that calls for their noggins on a stick.
(Come to think of it, I suppose I had better repair to an undisclosed location upon hitting the Publish key on this post.)
Hell, it seems, hath no fury than a fervent Muslim scorned.
Yet when two malcontented muggles, allegedly in the name of Allah, besmirch their religion and set off yet another global PR disaster for Islam by detonating explosives-laden pressure cookers among a crowd of spectators at a sporting event, where are the impassioned street riots denouncing that deed?
Shouldn’t at least a hundred times more Muslim rioting be happening now in reaction to what the Tsernaev brothers did than had gone down last September in reaction to an imbecilic anti-Islam short film posted on YouTube that no one would ever have watched or even heard of had it not been for the wave of ferocious protests it unleashed?
The casual observer cannot help the impression that Islamic condemnation of Islamist-inspired acts of terrorism like the Boston bombings tends to sound a bit, let’s say, academic by comparison, i.e., not as visceral and gut-felt as would be the case if, instead of two Muslims blowing up random bystanders at a marathon, someone would have tweeted a picture of The Messenger wearing a tutu and a funny hat.
Could it be that, unlike atrocities along the lines of producing offensive cartoons, killing and maiming innocent people in the name of Islam fails to rise to the level of spitting Allah in the eye and hence falls short of warranting a passionate response beyond rote denunciation?
Sure, perhaps the hardcore rioters are patiently waiting in the wings until it has been established beyond a reasonable doubt that the Tsarnaev brothers weren’t just two secular loons but indeed considered themselves to be acting in accordance with Qur’anic decree. But with all due respect to the standard-issue participants in such public protestations of Muslim outrage, these folks come across as rarin’ to rampage rather than as overly interested in spending any amount of time and energy on surveying the evidence.
Or maybe those riots are happening as we speak, but the Western media choose not to cover them, as they run counter to the Islamophobic narrative our media wishes to present—who knows?
Whatever the origins of our—potentially mistaken—impression, it just seems to many of us Western infidels that, generally speaking, gratuitous bloodshed under the banner of Islam doesn’t infuriate the Muslim world as much as do a variety of non-violent freedom-of-expression-type affronts to that religion; in other words, that throwing a bomb into a crowd of civilians isn’t considered quite as bad as is drawing a cartoon or burning a page from a book.
I could be wrong. But that’s what it looks like.