Now, I'm not for repression and oppression and regression and the rest of the essions that mean people can't freely speak up about injustice. But my idea of tolerance has always been a society where we maintain a common respect for principles protecting property, safety, and ambition. And as for the rest of the crazy quilt of human experiences and opinions... we could just try not to take things too personally.
Well here's the pretty pass we've come to in accepting hurt feelings as the trump to law and even logic. A female doctoral student bought a Koran which turned out to have defamatory markings from a used bookseller whose transactions are brokered through Amazon. Here are accounts from CNET and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette .
1) She's a graduate student in Women's Studies and a Muslim who's decrying her shock and trauma, although (after hiding in her apartment for 3 weeks post September 11th?) no attack against her personhood has been stronger than random comments on the street. She should try being obese or ugly for a day. The fact we consider her distress as important is because America actually values women, providing equal protection under the law and access to education. Consider the implausibility of her Women's Studies doctoral program existing in the vast reaches of the planet where women are not only disenfrachised but routinely mutilated and murdered.
As a refresher, here's what real persecution looks like:
- You can get beheaded in Saudi Arabia for owning a Bible.
- The forgotten genocide of over a million Armenian Christians.
- I don't have room for all the links, but perhaps you can think of another outnumbered religious group living somewhere the Middle East facing near-universal hostility and violence?
- Lastly, can't forget the destruction of Buddhas in Afghanistan. Let the Buddhists worship freely, and before you know it, their forces will overtake Tibet in storms of misery and bloodshed. Oh, I forgot, that's what happened to them.
It strikes me as one of the glories and misfortunes of life in America that people who come to live here can so quickly adapt from understanding true threat to acting like princesses who backsides are bruised by peas.
2) People have made countless inconsiderate, even cruel, judgments of me. I have never yet called a press conference to complain or beg for redress. I didn't used to think of this as a virtue, but apparently we're a vanishing breed who clear our systems of emotional toxin by muttering to sympathetic friends. Perhaps I need a more fashionable special interest affiliation. I debated whether to draw more attention to this non-story by commenting on it, but I really am disheartened by the media who covered it. But believe me, it's getting harder and harder for the MSM to disappoint.
3) The victim (since when did thin-skinned melodrama-queens become victims rather than loudmouth cranks?) and her equally-ruffled pals at the Muslim Public Action Council have an inspired solution to the oversight: destroy a small business that employs six people. Never mind that the owner responded promptly, apologized, offered replacement then refund, and also instituted improvements to his quality checks. Never mind that he employs people who have to work to survive. Dare I ask if our injured party gets any public funding or loans for her education and whether she understands it's the devlish working stiff who pays taxes to make that possible?
4) My last and final point. IT'S A USED BOOK! I check out books from the NY Public Library with crap written in the margins. My used college textbooks were always graffitoed. By definition, someone got rid of this Koran because he or she didn't value it enough to keep. Buying used means valuing price and remaining usability over the shrink-wrapped pristineness of new. People say that the Koran has to be understood as even more sacred in its physical integrity than the Bible is to Christians. All I can say is if the Koran represents to her the precious mainfestation of Allah himself, she already devalued Him when she tried to purchase God in the bargain basement.