The story goes a child worried his parents when, by age 10, he had yet to utter a word. One day the boy sits down to breakfast, takes a spoonful of oatmeal and suddenly yells out, "This oatmeal is cold." Ecstatic her son is speaking, the mother asks why he kept silent so long. "Until now," he responds, "everything was fine."
Bill Cosby , 75 -- an entertainment icon -- has sometimes ventured outside the realm of comedy to comment on America's social ills. No social scientist, Cosby, nonetheless, has made a lot of sense. Until June 8, "everything was fine."
Often when entertainers endeavor to share opinions outside their profession, they know not of what they speak. Cosby fell victim to this in his recent New York Post comments.
He addressed topics such as unhealthy families, crime and unproductive people. He criticized those who "tend to think that we are all victims."
His solution was to be more like Muslims who are misunderstood by Islamaphobics, stating, in part:
"I'm a Christian. But Muslims are misunderstood. Intentionally misunderstood. We should all be more like them. They make sense, especially with their children. There is no other group like the Black Muslims, who put so much effort into teaching children the right things, they don't smoke, they don't drink or overindulge in alcohol, they protect their women, they command respect.
"And what do these other people do? They complain about them, they criticize them. We'd be a better world if we emulated them."
Agreeably, the vast majority of Muslims today aren't represented by the actions of the small violent minority making headlines. Therefore, one must weigh Cosby's comments against the realities of the Muslim majority's performance.
Cosby's insinuation Muslims are productive is unsupported by the facts -- with an inferior educational system at fault.
Several years ago, China identified the top 500 universities in the world. Not a single Arab university was listed. Seven Israeli universities were. With Arab universities focusing more on the Koran's teachings and less on essentials like math and science, the 22 Arab League member states exhibit little creativity. Unsurprisingly, removing oil from the equation, the league boasts fewer exports than Finland.
Interestingly, the International Monetary Fund noted by 2004 -- one year after the U.S. invasion -- Iraq's economic performance was better than any of its neighbors. Western freedoms had triggered Iraqi creativity.
A good barometer of a nation's creativity is the number of industrial patents issued. Patents granted from 1980-2000 to Arab League members were compared to those granted South Korea -- the former with a population 6.2 times greater than the latter. The league had only 400 patents compared to South Korea's 15,000. The entire League membership could only generate 50 patents more than Alfred Nobel did during his lifetime! Meanwhile, outnumbered 25-to-1 by Muslims, Jewish Nobel Prize recipients outnumber Muslims 50-to-1.
As to children, Cosby fails to focus on the fact suicide bombers claiming the lives of thousands of innocent people, primarily in the Middle East, were children influenced by Islamist preaching of such sacrifice. Today in Iran, young children watch animated films glorifying suicide bombings and teaching hatred toward all non-Muslims.
It is no wonder the former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said, "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate (the Jews)."
Cosby claims Muslims "protect" their women. Burqas protect them from male observation but little else. Muslim women are second-class citizens under Islam. The husband has full control over the wife who must submit to his sexual desires or risk being beaten. Under Shariah, her testimony carries only half the weight of a man's.
Even punishment favors the man. Where stoning is involved, Shariah provides, once buried and the stoning begins, one escaping must go free. However, while men are only buried up to the waist, women get buried up to the neck.
Ironically, six days after Cosby's statement, Islamic states rejected as un-Islamic U.N. legislation seeking to outlaw all violence against women.
Cosby criticizes those playing the victim card, ignoring it has become an Islamic cottage industry in the West. Muslim Brotherhood front organizations play it whenever concerns are expressed about Islam. Just recently, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., was criticized by one such group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, simply for encouraging moderate Muslims to be more vocal about Muslim-on-non-Muslim terrorist acts.
(CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-financing trial in U.S. history.)
As to Muslims being misunderstood, Cosby has not read the Koran -- almost one-third of which is unintelligible even to Arab scholars. Many later verses contradict earlier ones.
As no Islamic "pope" exists to resolve these contradictions, Islamic religious leaders and scholars each give their own interpretations, leaving a confused Muslim flock.
Cosby's claim Muslims are "intentionally misunderstood" misses the point. With so many Koranic verse interpretations floating around, Muslims are unable to understand their own religion -- enabling a small violent Muslim group, unrepresentative of all, to put their stamp of violence upon the entire religion.
Popular early 20th century baseball player "Shoeless Joe" Jackson was drummed out of the sport after alleged involvement in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal to fix the World Series. Admitting guilt, Jackson was allegedly approached by a young fan beseeching him, "It ain't true, is it, Joe?" When the baseball legend responded, "Yes, kid I'm afraid it is," the boy sighed as his hero departed, "Well, I'd never have thought it."
Hearing Cosby's assertions about Muslims, fans must wonder, "It ain't so, is it, Bill?" But Cosby still adheres to a position contrary to the facts. I'd never have thought it."
(A retired Marine, Lt. Colonel Zumwalt served in the Vietnam War, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf War. He has written "Bare Feet, Iron Will -- Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran -- The Clock is Ticking.")
(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)
By JAMES ZUMWALT