Firstly, what the hell kind of word is “Islamist” anyway? What does it mean? Is it a person that follows Islam? We are not “Islamists”, we are “Muslims”. If it is used as a reference to the crazies that like blowing people up, call them terrorists or extremists or even fundamentalists but don’t use the word “Islam” to define them because what they do and what they are goes against the very grain of Islam.
Ok, gripe about semantics over and done with. The real reason why I’m writing this is the laughable reports about how Muslims are apparently up in arms over the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York because it is shaped like the Ka’ba. According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Apple’s store has been slammed by “an Islamic website” as a “new insult to Islam”.
What Islamic web site? Which Muslims are up in arms over it? Who is actually offended that Apple’s store is cube-shaped? Does Steve Jobs really have it in for us? The very concept is completely ridiculous. It seems that one person can make some kind of bizarre parallel between two things and just because that person happens to be Muslim, they suddenly represent the views of a wide cross-section of Muslims.
I don’t want to go on about how the media were inflammatory specifically in this case simply because the religion in question was Islam but it’s true. Would a Christian saying s/he was offended by a rectangular building because it resembles an altar have been given the same time, space and attention?
If I wrote on a web site that I am offended by a Dell computer because it is black and cube-shaped, would that view be reflected by a large number of Muslims? Of course not but it would sure as hell be projected that way. I guess I should slap myself on the wrist for getting caught up in this. I haven’t dignified Jack Straw’s comments and the veil debate by addressing them, I probably should have left this one alone too.