Simon: Where have you read those? Or are you taking people's valid criticism of bad practices by some Muslims as applying to all?
Like claiming that all Chinese are bad if some children are abused working in factories.
Can we criticize mistreatment of Chinese children? Why not Muslim girls and women?
I started thinking about this problem late last week. This was the incident that made me think.
A family group of Indonesians tourists were walking in the city. An apparently Australian woman walks past the group and spits (very deliberately) on the ground in front of them. The Indonesians exchange a few words with each other and walk calmly on. Quite a few people noticed, but only a Chinese guy spoke up. He said to the woman, 'What did you do that for? They didn't harm you, did they?' The woman didn't have the guts to own up to her attitude, and claimed she just happened to spit at that particular moment. I caught up to the Chinese guy and asked why he bothered to speak up. He explained he came from Singapore, that there were a lot of Muslims there (16% actually) and that there were very strict laws about abusing anybody, and he felt that what the woman did was wrong.
It so happened that a few days before that, the new Australian PM had been in Indonesia. The President took him to visit a local market (and, I acknowledge it could've been carefully planned), and here's a pik of them both being greeted by Indonesians in the market :
Here's the caption from the Jakarta Post: Market day: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (right) and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull greet people at Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta on Thursday. Jokowi took Turnbull to the market to show him the largest textile center in Southeast Asia and demonstrate the close ties between the two countries. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja) -
( See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/11/12/jokowi-takes-australian-pm-tanah-abang-display-affection.html#sthash.DdNXL9rO.dpuf )
The Australian woman (mentioned above) is certainly not typical of Australians, Indonesia is a favourite holiday destination of Australians (although, I will agree many Aussies behave badly and that some Indonesians are also badly behaved - not talking about religious behaviour) and albeit that Bali, the most popular holiday resort, is far more Hindu than Muslim.
Also, there are some extremist Indonesians that have committed atrocities. Here's a list complied by someone on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_Indonesia
The worst attack, on a nightclub in Bali killed 88 Australians and over 100 Indonesians. Three of the convicted terrorists responsible were sentenced to death.
No-one wants to die (unless your basic instincts are perverted by religious dogma).**
As humans we have to find a way through this difficult time. I'm not pretending that I know a way to do that. I don't! But I also think that (and this answers part of Simon's question to me) talking and some respect is likely to achieve more toward the changes that are needed. Nor am I suggesting that the west is without fault. Does anyone recall the war that France waged against Algerians seeking Independence from France in the period roughly 1954-1962? Lots of Algerians were terrorised. Did that matter?
And another past experience. It occurred after WW1 when Britain and France took over Mesopotamia (now called Iraq) and Syria respectively. The Brits were after cheap oil, the locals wanted to be an Independent state.
The 1920s British air bombing campaign in Iraq
By Marek PruszewiczBBC News - 7 October 2014"An uprising in Iraq in May 1920 united Sunni and Shia briefly against the British. It was put down, but required the deployment of more than 100,000 British and Indian troops. Thousands of Arabs were killed. Hundreds of British and Indian soldiers died. The military campaign cost Britain tens of millions of pounds - money it could not afford after the Great War. ... A new way of controlling Iraq was needed, and the man who needed it most was Winston Churchill. As war secretary in Lloyd George's coalition government, Churchill had to square huge military budget cuts with British determination to maintain a grip on its mandate in Iraq.The result became known as "aerial policing". It was a policy Churchill had first mused on in the House of Commons in March 1920, before the Iraqi uprising had even begun. ...
... More than 90 years after the RAF's first bombing campaign in Iraq, and 70 years since it flattened German cities in World War Two, does the legacy of "aerial policing" still persist? For some modern historians the answer is an unequivocal yes. They see the US strategy in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan as the direct descendant of that original British campaign."
So if you need to ask who started this? Its not hard to find an answer. How pertinent is the past to the present? Whatever conclusion people come to may affect how long this problem persists.
** I never had to face the blood issue personally or for my family. But I would've found it hard to accept death when there was a cure. I mention that as a reminder that we have all belonged to a fanatical religious group, at least in principle).