It is so hard to be tolerant in a world that doesn't favor tolerance. I've admitted, in the past, that I have a low tolerance for anything that attempts to incorporate itself onto me - like proselytizing religions, cigarette smoke, noise, the government, etc., etc. I am tolerant, however, of people of different races and religions living around me, as long as they don't butt into my life.
I think the West has done a relatively good job of accepting Muslims into their world. In Nashville, a whole neighborhood was taken over by Kurdish refugees and Belmont University and the surrounding neighbors did all the could to make them feel welcome, including letting the families play and have picnics on the athletic fields and track. How was Belmont repaid for their hospitality? Trash, trash, and more trash. Ah well, they are from a different culture, they have a different way of doing things. So be it. I guess Belmont got them back by buying out their cheap housing and converting it into student housing. But Belmont was growing. So be it. At any rate, Muslims from all over the world have been able to settle without much ado (until after 9/11 of course), in many Western countries all over the world. Sure, things aren't perfect, racism is rampant (even more so because of 9/11) and some Muslims aren't getting treated very well. By and large, though, they have been allowed to immigrate and make their way into new countries to improve their way of life.
There are a few problems. Some Muslims can't accept the fact that in order to live in the West, they need to behave accordingly. They are free to practice their religion, but they aren't free to beat and kill their women. They aren't free to behave exactly like they would behave in their home country. Why? Because they are in a different country, with different laws. If any of us go to a Muslim country we are expected to respect and adapt to their culture, why can't they adapt to ours? Is it really too much to ask?
As the whole Danish cartoon fiasco continues, it seems now that some Islamic groups want to rally their children. So they sent out children, ages 8 - 12, into the streets of Pakistan, burning coffins draped in Danish, Israeli and U.S. flags (wait a minute, when did the U.S. and Israel become involved in this particular debacle??) and demanding death for those who insulted the prophet. Now it is really hard to convince me now that the major concern amongst Muslims was the cartoons, this example specifically tells me that it is about having a rally cry, and the cartoons just gave them a "legitimate" excuse. I just can't accept anyone, anywhere, using their children to rally for a cause, no matter how good or bad, especially children who really can't have much of an understanding of what they are protesting about.
I take issue with parents who teach their children any sort of racism, because these behaviors surely come by example, they aren't innate in us. And these Muslim leaders are, short and to the point, simply teaching their children racism. They aren't teaching them about their religion, they aren't teaching them to respect their prophet, they aren't teaching them anything, really, except hatred. It is really difficult to see Muslims as victims when their battle cry demands victims of the West. It is amazing that a religion that springs from the same roots as Christianity, and even includes Jesus as a prophet, has so much hate at its core. Hate for hate's sake.
I do hope, someday, that those Muslims who are at heart truer to their religion, and not filled with hate, find leaders who can, in the end supercede and decry these fundamentalist leaders of their chosen faith, in the same way most Christians deplore the preachings of Fred Phelps. These demons among us have the ability to destroy us all, but we have the ability not to let them.