Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why the Blogosphere is More Full of Shit Than Pace's Koran

My last Shmulevich post was reasonable. This one will be very emotional. You should stop reading now if that offends you.

Anyway, here’s why I think the coverage of Shmulevich and the Chicken Little ranting of the blogosphere is waaaaaaay out of hand. I’ll number it because I’m just not in the mood for a coherent, well-constructed argument at the moment.

1.)The blogo-phonies are comparing the Shmulevich case to a whole lot of completely unrelated situations in some weird attempt to bolster their arguments that Sharia law is somehow being imported into the U.S. or that thought-crimes will be prosecuted here. It’s all complete BULLSHIT!

Shmulevich’s actions (if indeed it was Mr. Shmulevich) must be taken in context. They are not equivalent to “Piss Christ” as Mr. Shmulevich didn’t create an art installation out of materials he himself owned in order to express an opinion. They are not equivalent to carrying an anti-Muslim sign in a legitimate, legal protest or writing a paper critical of Islam and turning it in for a class assignment since neither of the underlying acts is illegal and neither is necessarily intended as a threatening or intimidating message, nor should they be taken as such. They are not equivalent to Mr. Shmulevich desecrating a Koran that he himself owned on his own property or as part of a public protest against Islam, as neither of these would be related to an underlying crime. Making these comparisons is just plain STUPID and dishonest.

2.)Muslims are not being protected above and beyond anyone else. Laws that protect people from religious discrimination and hate crimes based on religion cover EVERYBODY. If a Muslim student had stolen a Bible from a University’s Christian center and desecrated it in the same way to send a threatening message to Christians, it would be a hate crime! Especially if, as in this case, it took place amongst a rash of other hate crimes.

3.)The New York Police are not trying to protect Muslims from merely being offended. The laws as they exist and as they’re being applied are meant to punish religious-based threats, harassment and intimidation. We have no freedom from offense. We do have the right not to be harassed, threatened and intimidated. We also have a right not to be harassed, threatened and intimidated because some jackass doesn’t like our religious beliefs.

4.)This is not a blasphemy charge! This is not about protecting the Koran (as a book or symbol) anymore than prosecutions of cross-burnings are meant to protect the cross (as a wooden artifact or symbol). Note that many of the people responding to this incident have insulted and demeaned Muslims and blasphemed the Koran, all without fearing that they’re going to be arrested.

Why? Because they damned well know that it isn’t a blasphemy charge, but it bolsters their victimhood mythology, allowing them to conveniently pretend that protecting a religious minority from threats and intimidation is somehow a violation of their right to freedom of speech. These sniveling keyboard jockeys wouldn’t know “freedom of speech” if it jumped up and bit them in their well-used asses. (Unfortunately, all these whiny nincompoops crying “freedom of speech” every damned time someone sneezes at them impedes the struggle of those who have real “freedom of speech” issues.)

5.)These people also have obviously no freaking idea what it is to be on the receiving end of hate crime. Well, you know what, I’ve been there. So, let me give you and them a little piece of my mind.

Not long after I came out, I was brutally attacked by a large group of guys who decided that my existence as a gay person bothered them. If it weren’t for a split-second reflex, I may very well be dead now. Instead, the softball-sized hunk of concrete they’d thrown directly at my fucking head scraped the side of my head as it flew past. This was only the first of many incidents.

Yes, that’s a far cry from what Mr. Shmulevich did, BUT I can tell you for damned sure that if someone had broken into the LGBT center, stolen the pride flag and left it floating in the toilet beneath a pile of shit, I would have considered that message received. You can damn well be sure that you wouldn’t have found me out alone on campus! You can also be damned sure that I would have watched my back every damned second I was in public!

But let’s move past the hypothetical. Do you want to know the lasting effects of the harassment, threats and intimidation I’ve received just for being gay? In my entire adult life, I’ve NEVER walked down the street holding hands. EVER! I’ve even learned to walk with my hands behind my back any time I’m walking with a date or girlfriend, because my NATURAL response would be to hold her hand! You try spending half of a date trying to make it look like you’re not on a date because you just really don’t want to take any crap from the passing rednecks!

6.)Based on the above experience, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever believing that the Koran in the toilet (TWICE by the way) was a message to the Muslim students of Pace that they should watch their backs. I have no problem believing that there are probably a lot of very scared young Muslim kids at that university right now.

And THAT’S why I have no problem believing that what Mr. Shmulevich did was a hate crime!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:08 PM  
Blogger Melinda Barton said...

Just so you know. I've never deleted comments based on content. The above was spam.

2:52 PM  
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9:00 AM  

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