Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
There’s a behavior you can sometimes observe if you watch a three year-old interact with a one year-old, in which the former seems perplexed at the developmental stage of the latter. The three year-old has some language now, has some sense of how they communicate and ask for their needs, while the one year-old still has little but babble and nonsense at their disposal.
And the older child might look at the younger child like “What is WRONG with you? Why aren’t you speaking language that I can understand?”
But the implication beyond that is this: “Why aren’t you speaking in language that I can understand, the same way I always did?” The older child is not necessarily cognizant that there was once a moment in their existence that they were also mired in this pre-lingual state. In their minds, they have always made sense to themselves.
Nobody is pretending that there aren’t violent extremists within the Islamic world. Plenty of people are acting like violent extremism isn’t part and parcel of any belief system, that it remains a fundamental flaw of humanity’s attempts to articulate and understand the concept of a higher power. It is an immaturity to be grown past over decades, over centuries, and like any cancer its recurrence must be vigilantly maintained against. People shouting about the inherent barbarism of Muslims forget that Northern Ireland used to routinely explode, that one of the Klan’s originally declared targets was America’s minority Catholic population, that Catholics slaughtered anywhere between 5,000 and 30,000 Huguenots and Pope Gregory XIII had commemorative frescoes of this massacre placed on the walls of the Vatican.
People who might believe that their religions have surpassed such violence now look at the Islamic world in the same way that a three year-old might look at a one year-old, and that’s a natural if unfortunate fact of who we are. What’s disturbing is when the three year-old declares that the one year-old will probably always act in this bizarre, alien manner, and that they should probably be locked in a cage and shoved in the basement if not drowned in the bathtub.