US must learn to respect other cultures

Source:Global Times Published: 2012-9-14 0:15:06

Two US combat ships are approaching Libya with the intention of avenging the death of the US ambassador to the country. But the target is not a country or a well-known group.

Libyans are greatly offended by a movie made in the US that is regarded as insulting to the Prophet Mohammed. With the attackers long since having disappeared, it is difficult to find a specific place or people to carry out this act of revenge against.

The swift deployment of combat ships demonstrates US military power. If military measures could solve everything, Washington would probably be free of problems.

But in reality, military means are not a panacea. Against the wave of anti-US sentiment in the Arab world, US warships are more like a decoration.

Arabs demand the US respect their culture. But the cannon-loaded warships will not serve that purpose. Even if Washington can catch and punish the assailants, the cultural clashes still remain. US warships can only generate more hatred from the Islamic world.

The US has the most advanced civilization in the world, but Americans hold a deep sense of cultural superiority. They see many other cultures as being marginal with an exotic value. If other cultures stand against the West, they would be labeled as bizarre and harmful.

Islamic culture is sensitive due to its relatively disadvantageous position in the world. The world should respect their sentiments.

However, this is far from being recognized in the West. Provocations against the Islamic faith have occurred repeatedly in the West.

Public opinion in the West is quite lenient against such provocations, and even defends them using freedom of speech as an excuse.

Many Islamic countries are struggling with poverty. Anti-Western sentiment can easily be sparked. If a movie insulting the Prophet Mohammed and incidents of desecrating the Koran continue to emerge, and Western governments insist they are not involved, more hatred will be triggered.

Americans must sincerely learn about other cultures. They should be able to find the merits of other cultures, which have helped many emerging countries develop rapidly. Desecrating other religions can only be prevented if you treat other people's feelings as you would your own.

We hope the US warships and Marine Corps think twice before firing. Revenge by killing is not necessarily good for the US.

Many people in the world are restraining their discontent toward the US. Washington also needs to exercise restraint to better communicate with other parts of the world.

Posted in: Editorial

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