Fark links this article today, which as far as I can tell is a legitimate news item:

A hard-line Pakistani parliamentarian and head of a religious political party on Wednesday demanded a “sir” title for Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, in retaliation for Britain knighting author Salman Rushdie.

“Muslims should confer the ‘sir’ title and all other awards on bin Laden and Mullah Omar in reply to Britain’s shameful decision to knight Rushdie,” Sami ul Haq, leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, said in a statement, referring also to the leader of the Taliban.

Does anyone else immediately get a mental image of an 8-year-old throwing a tantrum about a child getting a toy that he doesn’t have? This is seriously unreal. This Sami ul Haq person somehow thinks that they can just call people “sir” and it means something? I’m failing to grasp the honor involved in giving an enemy of Britain a title that can only be granted by the British monarch, and which only has meaning in Britain to British people.

Maybe it says something about the overarching influence of British culture on the world that even terrorists who have vowed to destroy them consider an honorific from that culture to be desirable. Or, perhaps it’s revealing of a basic need to be validated and respected by others. It’s already apparent that Islamist ideology is highly focused on the concept of being respected and feared. They take affronts to their masculinity pretty seriously, and bluster and swagger a great deal when making threats.

Such insecurity is at the root of a basic inferiority complex. It’s not too difficult to imagine that some Muslim countries might feel that way these days. They’re technologically backward, economically stunted, and the harder they try to please Allah by blowing up infidels, the worse it gets. Cause and effect, in the empirical sense, makes no impression on them, which I suppose is typical of religious fanaticism.

I really, really hope that Islam has its Enlightenment soon, or they will wind up as little more than large panes of glass in the Middle East and Asia.

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