Whenever you need to see just how badly the human brain can malfunction when contemplating an issue in the news, BBC Talking Point is a fine place to scout out examples. In the most recent, regarding the death of Nick Berg, we quickly learn that Abdul Average is apparently a lot brighter than Joe Average. To wit:
I am a Muslim and I am shocked at the killing of an innocent civilian. This is a very ugly murder and these people should be punished. The atrocities of some American soldiers in Iraqi jails doesn't give anybody an excuse to murder civilians. - Riad El Fadel Raad, Tripoli, LebanonCompared to:
Is it possible that these men consider Mr Berg's death sacrificial and if so then honourable even if we see it as murder. Do they see what was done to prisoners by US troops as worse than death? Is this a matter of perspective? - Matthew Iles, Naples, FL, USAUh, no, Matthew, it's a matter of a cruel murder. You see, when you take a civilian and kill them against their will, that is what civilized people call "murder." Did you also look at the people jumping from the top floors of the World Trade Center and think "Gosh, maybe this is all just a matter of how we look at things?" The only perspective I have is that you need a brain exchange - and fast!
Anyway, back to our pal, Abdul:
Can these criminals really be Arabs and Muslims? Do they pray in our mosques and speak our language and suffer like we do? Their hearts have turned into stone. What we need is tolerance and wisdom, not blind revenge. Blood cannot be washed off with more blood. - Mohamed Bin Bandar, Mecca, Saudi ArabiaAnd then Joe:
Frankly, I see no difference in this brutality compared with the brutality of some of the troops, just a rather different way of doing it. Yes, it's tragic, but what on earth do we expect when we cannot behave in a civilised way ourselves? This won't be the first. - Jean, Devon, UKHmmm, having a woman point at your pee pee or having your head slowly removed with a knife - yes, I see the similarity. Just a rather different way of doing it, indeed. Please take a moment to explain your rather different way of thinking to the rest of us, because you sound like a damned imbecile.
P.S. pumpkin, it's "this won't be the last." At least not so long as the gods of moral equivalency are pulling the strings, huh?
There's more, and naturally the sentiments pro- and con- can be found on both sides. I expect to see MORE of the anti-Americanism from the Middle Easterners, what with their having been raised to hate the West, having never tasted the fruits of democracy, having never known freedom as we do. What I don't understand is how absolutely, positively, completely, beyond comprehension many of the Westerners are in their assessments - where did they learn to hate the West? How do they continue to live in a magical world where everything is puppies and bunnies and no one wants to kill us just because we love our civilization? In short, how can they be so patently stupid?
The mind boggles.