No religion in the world seems to lend itself to organized mob psychopathy more than the "religion of peace." When they aren't flogging women for being impure enough to allow themselves to be gang-raped, they're doing even crazier shit. The latest tempest in a teapot has erupted over a British schoolteacher in the Sudan letting her students name a teddy bear Mohammed. I was under the impression that, in addition to being Islam's "prophet," Mohammed was a fairly common Arab name. When I lived in Dubai, at least two of our houseboys were named Mohammed. So why this should be a big deal is a mystery to those of us with rationally functioning brains. But it appears a lot of Sudanese Muslims don't possess those. For her "crime" of "blasphemy," 54-year-old Gillian Gibbons in currently in jail facing a possible punishment of six months behind bars or even a public lashing. It gets even more insane.
"We tried to reason with them but we felt they were coming under strong pressure from Islamic courts," said [school director Robert] Boulus. "There were men with big beards asking where she was and saying they wanted to kill her."
Kill her. Over a fucking teddy bear!? What the fuck is wrong with these maniacs? They're quite simply mentally ill — there's no other word for it. And you can't reason with people whose brains have been short-circuited by a religious scourge as omnidestructive as Islamic extremism. I'm starting to wonder if Hitchens has got the right idea about these people. And I speak as someone who's lived in the Middle East, and knew many moderate Muslims and Arabs back in the day when America had no greater friends in the world. Moderate Muslims are among the finest people I've ever met. But the sanity gulf between Islam's moderates and their radicals is so much wider than that you find in any other religion, that I'm wondering if the only way to pacify these people is just to make them stop breathing before they do it to you (which they'll do if they can, rest assured). But then, as we're seeing now in Iraq, follow that course and you just end up radicalizing more and more of them. There's just no easy way to deal with such faith-based barbarism, especially that which takes such excessively violent forms as Islam.