As an attempt at some kind of counterpoint to the current coverage of the Bali bombings here's a link to the Global Voices round-up
of initial responses.
It includes this post by The Religious Policeman
:'It's very difficult being a moderate Muslim these days. The vast majority of Muslims are moderate, wouldn't hurt a fly, want to do nothing more than live in peace, earn a living, bring up their families. Yet they constantly have to apologize for their religion because the whole Islamic PR effort is being driven by the crazies.
I used to feel sorry for the Christians in Northern Ireland, because they had terrorists killing in their name. But that's all over. And the chilling fact is that these days, wherever there is any trouble in the world, Muslims are tied up in it.'
I'm not so sure that the problems with religious fanaticism are over in NI. The recent rioting during the marching season
suggests that violence may still be bubbling somewhere just beneath the surface. (And why, anyway, do people feel the need to join an 'Order' which stages a parade through an 'opposing' religion's 'territory' unless they want to intimidate others and prove that they are somehow right or superior? Doesn't that speak of fundamentalism? And doesn't that kind of behavior count as incitement - thus, one would imagine, attracting the attention of those who wish to curtail such expressions of free speech as part of the new anti-terror legislation?)
But the parallels between supposedly-Christian and supposedly-Islamic brands of terrorism are interesting. It's certainly true that the recent rioting in Belfast didn't result in a global 'War on Terror' against Christian fundamentalists... Because most people would probably accept that most Christians are not potential terrorists.
And it does seem a bit late for us to be worrying about 'harming relations between Christian and Muslim nations'
. Maybe we should have thought of that before we illegally invaded Iraq. Hmmmmm...