Despite what you hear about Islam, this diversity shows that it is, in fact, an open and inviting faith. Many types of violent people can make their home in it.
No other faith can claim this type of diversity. Judaism only has people like Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir. Christian violence is almost unknown, with minor figures like Adolf Hitler, David Koresh, and Jim Jones. The Reverend Moon is inconsequential, and people like Rev. Falwell, Dr. Dobson, or Rev. Hagee clearly brook no hateful rhetoric, or intimate violent action against those who do not fit in their vision of the world. Hinduism, of course, is the perfect example of a religion that does not kill in the name of God.
Jackson’s conversion to Islam really does highlight that Islam is a violent religion, where only those who are outside the pale of what is normal find a home. Terrorist organizations, otherwise known as any group with a Muslim, are rejoicing that they now have a dated, washed-up recluse who can write new battle anthems for them as they get ready to blow themselves up. The chorus will always be “I’m a Muslim, I blow things up. I’m a Muslim, I blow things up. I’m looking for my 72, can’t you get a clue!.”
We need to get the Muslims before they get us. [/sarcasm]
OK, now that I’ve got the Islamophobe’s rant out of the way, here’s my real take on Jackson’s conversion: Who cares? He’s a dated, washed-up recluse who is no longer musically important and is culturally relevant only amongst comics. What he chooses as his faith is his business. Global Voices does a good round-up, as always, of what the world is saying on the topic, and to be honest, all the good stuff was taken. Read them.
And I have to say, the world is burning, and people are worried about MJ’s faith? We are more jacked up than I thought. The Pope is right, we don’t need interfaith dialogue, we need cultural counseling.