Over at Big Lizards, Dafyyd ab Hugh has an interesting post about an incident in India. Apparently, a rising tennis star has incited some controversy. First, she was threatened with death when she wore a sleeveless top and mini-skirt to play in. Next, she backed down from playing doubles with an Israeli tennis-star due to threatened riots. Additionally, she was accused of corrupting the women because of talk of the importance of safe sex.
Hugh discusses some of the sociological implications of this better than I can handle, so you should read it from him. Suffice it to say, he finds it very interesting that some of this is coming from Muslims in India. India has never had any conflict with Israel, so the problem must be with the tennis-star being Jewish, not Israeli.
All thoughts of deeply-rooted anti-semitism aside, I find the whole "mini-skirt" thing more indicative. Do these people believe that wearing a mini-skirt warrants death? Or just that murder is a lesser crime than skimpy clothing? This, to me, is a sign of a culture with a severe sickness. Especially in light of the "protests" over cartoons we've been seeing, it seems more and more that most of the Muslim world has a culture that is just absolutely insane when compared against western values and standards. Is this because the media, both ours and theirs, showcase the insanity too much? Or is it because the moderate, reasonable people are intimidated into silence? It's hard to say, but this worries me.
Jim Gerraghty over at TKS has written before about this fear: That the west, after experiencing another (hypothetical) major terrorist attack and seeing so many of these antics play out in the news, will simply write off the Muslim nations, and Islam as a whole, as irredeemable.
Theology aside, I'm beginning to feel sympathy (not support) for such a position. This cultural sickness is deeply rooted in the radicalism; how does Western culture reach out to people who think that showing bare arms and legs is worse than death?
In a "beaten to the punch" kind of moment, I just noticed that Jim wrote two very similar posts to this one over at his blog.