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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 10, 2006 / 12 Shevat, 5766

Mob theology

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Christians have long wondered how to get due regard for their religious sensibilities from the arbiters of our culture. Now they know the answer: mayhem.


The riots and protests around the Islamic world and in Muslim communities in the West regarding a dozen cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper have fostered a newfound sensitivity to religious offense in the more secular precincts of the West. The New York Times — the most important liberal organ in the country — chastised the Danish cartoonists and refused to reproduce the cartoons, instead bizarrely illustrating the controversy with a photo of a painting of the Virgin Mary festooned with elephant dung from a long-ago dispute at a Brooklyn museum.


The Times' disdain for the cartoons is a departure. What happened to art for art's sake? When was the last time the Times criticized any piece of art, no matter how jejune, outrageous or stupid? And what happened to shocking the bourgeoisie? Well, they are much more enjoyable to shock than Islamists because, once duly shocked, the bourgeoisie pack the kids into a minivan and head to a soccer game, rather than issue death threats and burn down embassies.


Fear stalks the cartoon debate. Understandably. Few editors want to potentially endanger their employees by reprinting the cartoons. The comedian Sarah Silverman has a riff in her offensively titled concert movie, "Jesus Is Magic," in which she explains that she feels freest to insult groups that she's not afraid of. So she lets loose on Asian-Americans, assuming they won't threaten her. This logic is also why she would never title her film "Muhammad Is Magic," and is clearly at play in the cartoon debate.


It helps account for the bend-over-backward attitude toward Islam from people who would never adopt the same posture toward Christianity. In this, they do no favors to Islam. The cartoon riots are a power play. They are an attempt to set limits on free speech in the West, and to give an advantage to those forces of backwardness — both religious and secular — that are resisting the modernization of the Middle East. It is notable that Ayatollah Sistani, the pro-democracy cleric in Iraq, denounced the cartoons, but reserved his harshest language for the Islamist provocateurs who are opportunistically fomenting violence over them.


Thuggish intimidation has often been a weapon in the battle of ideas. Christian bishops were known to use rampaging crowds of monks to buttress their doctrinal positions in what historian Paul Johnson calls "mob theology." He writes, "A fanatical religious mob could be used to blackmail a council of frightened ecclesiastics or even to overturn an imperial decision which impinged on Church affairs." Of course, that was 1,500 years ago.


A millennia and a half later, mob theology is still with us, and the question is whether it will be resisted. The old saw is that a liberal is someone who doesn't take his own side in a fight. That, in fact, might be the entire basis of the ideology of multiculturalism. Its defenders say multiculturalism means taking many disparate cultural strands and treating them all equally. The truth is that it is a mask for a hostility to the foundations of Western culture, which plainly can be seen when the same people who defend forcing taxpayers to fund art that dips a Crucifix in urine, deplore privately published cartoons of Muhammad. True liberals should be appalled at the illiberalism of the rioters, but the old habit of finding moral equivalence between the West and its enemies is difficult to shake, so both cartoonists and people who commit criminal acts over cartoons are considered equally at fault.


No one has reason to fear organized mayhem from Christians anymore, thank G-d. The clash between civilizations and, more importantly, within Islamic civilization exemplified by the cartoon controversy is over whether the day will come when we don't have to fear it from Muslims either.

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© 2006 King Features Syndicate

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