Mike Plaisted says that I am in my mode of defending the indefensible. As he well knows, that is what we are trained to do so here's my final word on Bumpergate.
I think that those who are criticizing the parody are weakening their point by making an argument that it somehow offends Jews by placing a swastika where the Star of David was in the original. That's just silly. No one could reasonably interpret the parody to be conflating the two.
Obviously, the parody can be understood as an attack on Islam. I read it as a criticism of the type of naive liberalism that will stand up for nothing if it can be interpreted as an attack on the "other," but reasonable people might have a different interpretation and that's why I would never put the parody on my car either. (Actually, I don't do bumper stickers but that's another story.)
So why talk about the Star of David? Do the critics think that is a more sympathetic argument? Maybe it helps avoid an uncomfortable conversation.
The point of the parody is that there are some preconditions to coexistence. There are people with whom we cannot get along - at least not unless they change. The Interfaith Council knows that. John McAdams links to the program of a conference that they sponsor called Common Ground. My own reaction to the program is that it sounds like the type of divisive racial scapegoating that makes actually finding a common ground so difficult. It seems to me to be aimed at opening wounds rather than healing them.
But I suppose the IC folks involved with the conference would tell me that they believe that reconciliation is possible only after we confront what they see as the truth and bring about change that they believe to be needed. I don't see the conference as accomplishing that, but I see the point that coexistence is not simply a matter of tolerance. There are values that must be shared like not hanging nooses in my front yard or not blowing yourself up on the bus.
Of course not all Muslims are jihadis or believe in Sharia law. From what I can tell, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the United States are not and do not. we have Saudi Arabia and Iran but we also have Turkey and Indonesia. Still, the sad fact is that, around the world, there are enough jihadis and adherents to Sharia that it's become rather a huge problem. It's not clear that this problem can be countered by the expression of even a noble sentiment.
Responding to the threat of Islamic terror is difficult. European countries who must reckon with the presence of large populations within their borders who do not share many of the values of the majority face some very hard questions. The desire to coexist is the right instinct, but it alone won't get us very far.