Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Annoyance

Saturday morning I saw the world's most annoying bumper sticker for about the one hundred millionth time. I am talking about that blue sticker that says "coexist" in white lettering, with the letter "C" portrayed by an Islamic crescent, the "X" by a Star of David, and the "T" by a cross. It was plastered on a minivan turning into an outlet mall in Vero Beach, FL, and I was finally moved to say just how much I detest it.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with the idea of different people coexisting in peace and harmony. The problem is that coexistence is not possible unless all sides are willing -- and of all the sides highlighted in the sticker, the one whose symbol appears first has no intention of peacefully coexisting with anyone. Thus, at best the sticker is a brainless banner for Pollyanna suckers; or at worst, a snide swipe against those who actually do want coexistence.

Judaism and Christianity are represented by the Star of David and cross, respectively, and as a rule their adherents believe in peace and tolerance among all faiths. Whenever a fellow Jew preaches intolerance or practices violence, masses of Jews join their voices together by the millions to condemn such preaching and practice. The same happens among Christians when the offender is a fellow Christian.

On the other hand, when a Muslim commits murder in the name of Islam (a not-uncommon occurrence) we hear no mass outcry from his co-religionists. If anything, we hear them criticize Jews and Christians for supposedly committing slights that drove the killer to kill -- even though the alleged slights are usually nothing more than Jews and Christians not being Muslims.

Every now and then Muslims will specifically identify a perceived slight. And almost every time, it is nothing more than the propensity of some Jews and Christians to support the state of Israel's right to exist without its citizens being murdered in cold blood for the dastardly sin of not being Muslim. Interestingly, none of the liberals who paste coexist stickers on their cars bother to realize, much less appreciate, the fact that Israel is the only country in the Middle East which actually does practice coexistence.

After all, it is the only nation in the Muslim world which permits religious freedom. It is the only practicing democracy in that part of the world, other than the vulnerable, fledgling governments in Iraq and Afghanistan which were established thanks to an American president who was a practicing Christian. Though widely thought of as a "Jewish nation," Israel has had Muslims elected to office.

It is dangerously incorrect and patently offensive for the makers and purchasers of the coexist sticker to presume what they obviously presume; namely, that your average Jew or Christian needs just as much reminding as your average Muslim when it comes to the concepts of human dignity and mutual respect. What else can explain giving the crescent equal billing with the star and cross?

(Actually, cowardly groveling also explains the decision to give them equal billing, but since when has a cowardly groveling mindset been less likely to result in bondage than a mindset which is willfully blind?)

No comments: