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This council of clerics issued no statement calling for the arrest and prosecution of those who murdered Americans, including civilians, in rage over the Qur’an burning. Barack Obama did not demand an apology or call these killings “unforgivable,” and Hamid Karzai did not call him either to apologize or offer condolences.
The U.S. soldier’s mass murder of Afghan civilians Sunday was an enormous crime. But so was the murder of American civilians by Qur’an-Rage rioters. So also is the ongoing phenomenon of Afghan military trainees turning on the U.S. and NATO military personnel who are training them and murdering them – which in recent months has been happening with increasing frequency in Afghanistan, with no murmur of apology from Karzai or anyone else.
The double standard is glaringly obvious, and yet no one in official Washington or the mainstream media ever seems to notice it. In their refusal or inability to hold the Afghans to the same standard to which they hold Americans, they betray an unconscious racism and paternalism that belies their multiculturalist pieties. They assume that Americans will abide by the conventions of civilized warfare, and not succumb to irrational rage and murder civilians; at the same time, however, they are sanguine about Afghans calling for blood and murdering civilians over a few burned copies of the Qur’an, because they apparently think that that’s just the way those people are going to act.
Obama, the media, and the Washington establishment should show more genuine respect for Muslims than that, and hold them to the same standards of human rights and warfare to which they rightly hold the U.S. military. If they did so, however, they would quickly come into conflict with the provisions of Islamic law that justify hatred and violence; and if there is one lesson that we can take away from his reaction to the Qur’an-Rage riots in Afghanistan, it is that Barack Obama is not disposed to challenge any aspect of the Sharia, no matter how many Americans are victimized because of it.
The double standard should end. We may hope that the next American president will have enough spine to announce to the Afghan government that the United States is not a Sharia state, and therefore does not consider itself bound by Sharia rules regarding the disposal of Qur’ans. May he also have the guts to call up Hamid Karzai or his successor and tell him that certainly American soldiers who kill civilians will be prosecuted, and that he expects Karzai to hold Afghan troops and Afghan citizens to exactly the same standard.
But he probably won’t.
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