Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dangerous Things to Say in a Red State

I was reading over at the BBC about a survey conducted to see just how much westerners and muslims liked each other.

The news isn’t pretty. But it’s not entirely gloomy, either.

I had a few thoughts as I looked at the article, mostly derived from a few hotspots:

“Describing the position now, majorities on both sides said they did not believe the two sides were getting along.”

Hmmm… Who called the obvious squad to the scene, here? This is the kind of original, fresh, and insightful observations we’ve come to expect from modern journalism.

“According to WEF poll, neither the West nor the Muslim world believed the other side respected it. But while Muslims said they believed their world did respect the West, Western respondents agreed that the West did not respect the Muslim world.”

Here, in my opinion is the whole crux of the matter. We don’t respect them, and they don’t respect us (as much as they say might think they do). Neither side understands the other, and neither side is really making much of a serious attempt to. And the reason we’re in the mess we’re in right now is because it’s always been that way.

“Most respondents said they did not believe violent conflict was inevitable.”

That’s good, considering it’s already happening. I guess once the bullets are flying, the question of inevitability is kinda moot, innit?

“Most respondents said the quality of the relationship between the West and the Muslim world was important to them personally.”

Again, once bullets are flying and sons are dying on both sides, it would make a lot of sense for people to find the situation to be important to them personally. I would hope so. And I would hope that would inspire people to think of ways to bridge the gap and resolve the issues instead of throwing more bullets at each other.

But I guess that’s just a pipe dream, as long as we don’t respect each other.

Mark Hansen

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