Why So Thin Skinned?

Why So Thin Skinned?

Tibor R. Machan

I really don’t get why so many Muslims are so thin skinned. Nearly everyone has experienced ridicule, verbal abuse, what have you, yet in my experience hardly anyone who has strikes out at the abusive people with violence and brutality.

My own viewpoints on innumerable topics have been put down both verbally, to my face, and in print–as a columnist in several newspapers, magazines and on numerous Websites I have received insults galore–yet it would never occur to me to burn down the critics’ homes or automobiles or such. I have lived all around the Western World and in hardly any country is it deemed right and proper to react to verbal or written criticism, or even abuse and ridicule, in any other way but peacefully!

Ordinarily I uphold the idea that people are people, first and foremost–capable of rationality and civility–and are due, in turn, civilized treatment but with all this barbarian conduct in the Middle East and elsewhere I am beginning to suspect that some of these people are seriously afflicted with mental aberrations. Maybe entire cultures suffer from such afflictions. I don’t know but it makes sense to me.

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2 Responses to Why So Thin Skinned?

  1. John Kannarr says:

    It all just seems like an argument from intimidation to me. If everyone can be cowed into never saying anything against Islam, then it must be right, just as they claim.

  2. Marshall M says:

    No barbarian conduct in the Western world? Have you not heard of soccer hooligans? Neo-Nazis beating up racial minorities? I beg to differ with that claim, Mr. Machan. Whereas barbarism is often chaotic and theatrical in the Muslim world, it is highly organized and mechanized in Western societies (the Holocaust, nuclear bombing of Japan, the Iraq war, Anders Breivik’s murderous rampage etc.)
    I agree that many Muslims suffer from an over-sensitive honor code, and sadly, human life is less important than maintaining honor (and avoiding shame) for many. However, to paint very diverse Muslim societies from North Africa to Southeast Asia as suffering from a civilizational mental aberration is painting with much too wide a brush. The extremist jihadis and shouting young men on the streets represent a minority in these societies, just as the Neo-Nazis and organized racists in Europe represent a minority. While the majority in Muslim societies may sympathize with some grievances of the jihadis, and the majority of Europeans may sympathize with some grievances of the racists, neither majority shares the same ‘mental aberrations’ of the extremist minority that leads it to acts of violent barbarism. Extremism, in whatever garb it clothes itself, is the real threat to individual rights and prosperity, not one particular civilization or another.

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