Thought I’d share this inspired quip from Freedom Rider (emphasis added):
The right wing are going nuts because of a poll that showed 8% of American Muslims approving of suicide bombing in some cases. So, a majority of Muslims are opposed to terrorism. They certainly aren’t like Christians. A majority of them are in favor of torture and a majority of them are in favor of deliberately targeting civilians in warfare.
Thank God for Muslims. Hopefully they will keep those crazy Christians in check.
She’s commenting on the irony of recent polls that seem to show Americans to be more comfortable with the use of violence against civilians (including torture) than the typical Muslim. Take a wild guess which polls will be cited for all eternity by Islamophobes and which will go down the Orwellian Memory Hole. (Do read both his links above, as they are extremely eye-opening.)
Her observation appears in a discussion of the bizarre case of a recently apprehended would-be bomber and Christian fundemantalist. The gentleman–who’s so ideologically extreme that he appears to have planned to bomb another group of Christian fundamentalists–is, fittingly, a student at the very dearly departed Jerry Falwell’s own madrassa, Liberty University. (How about a look at their curriculum? I’d be interested in seeing how tolerantly they discuss Jews, Catholics, and gays.)
Stop pretending Islamicists [...] are the only imminent terrorist threats to our nation. [...] How many times has the nation potentially come within a hair’s breadth of suffering a right-wing terrorist attack this spring? As of today, three, or possibly six times—at least that we know about.
Among such incidents named by Perlstein is the April 26 confiscation of "truckloads of explosives and weapons" from militia members in Alabama—after which he "set up a Google News alert to learn more about the "Alabama Free Militia."… But there was no followup coverage that I could discover. None."
Where are the screaming headlines? Timothy McVeigh kindly demonstrated in 1995 with the Oklahoma City bombing that Christian nutcases can be just as deranged and dangerous as their Muslim brethren, and several concrete, proven threats from Christian extremists have been uncovered just this year, yet the MSM continues to focus on Muslims to the exclusion of all sorts of demonstrably greater threats to Americans.
Meanwhile, the LittleGreenFootballs-type yahoos improbably charge that Muslims are getting special treatment in the media. Yes, it’s a politically-correct paradise for Muslims in the MSM. That’s why a Muslim’s sneeze makes the front page while documented terror threats by non-Muslims barely even get reported.
Seems to me that the people who benefit most from some kind of "special treatment" are those who share the LGFers’ neuroses, bigotries and doublestandards about Islam. Compare the grilling awaiting any Muslim leader who dares to appear on a TV talkshow these days to how easy Islam-bashing pundits have it. Their lazy, tenditious assumptions are rarely subjected to anything near the same withering scrutiny facing Muslim perspectives.
On the first page of its founding manifesto, the massively funded Department of Homeland Security intones, "Today’s terrorists can strike at any place, at any time, and with virtually any weapon."
But if it is so easy to pull off an attack and if terrorists are so demonically competent, why have they not done it? Why have they not been sniping at people in shopping centers, collapsing tunnels, poisoning the food supply, cutting electrical lines, derailing trains, blowing up oil pipelines, causing massive traffic jams, or exploiting the countless other vulnerabilities that, according to security experts, could so easily be exploited?
One reasonable explanation is that almost no terrorists exist in the United States and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad. But this explanation is rarely offered.
Imagine if pundits peddling sensationalism were actually required to justify why they talk day and night about the Muslim Bogeyman (who has been responsible for exactly zero attacks on American shores since 9/11) while ignoring far more immediate and pressing threats, such as radon poisoning (which kills over 20,000 Americans every year) or drunk driving (16,000+ dead in 2005). Imagine if they were required to explain why they think it is so beyond the pale that poor Muslim youths in France might riot and burn cars after a deadly police incident given that poor Americans periodically riot for similar reasons (e.g., in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict in 1992, or the Cincinnati Race Riots in 2001). Or how it is that if France’s Muslim youth are so self-evidently savage for behaving thus that American college students could be known for torching parked cars over things as trivial as basketball championships (and sometimes to celebrate a victory) that police departments in college towns prepare for riots as a matter of course?
The list goes on and on. While Islamophobes may occasionally get a rap on the knuckles for being too openly bigoted, they are rarely forced to defend their ideas about Islam. While Muslims and their few defenders must contend with a profoundly hostile media climate of prejudices and "Are you still beating your wife?"-type questions about terrorism, Islamophobes generally have a free hand to argue for their geopolitically motivated double standards, cartoonish perceptions of Muslims and utter indifference to basic questions of sociology or historical context where Muslims are concerned.
Any rubbish or bile is made intellectually respectable through the addition of the magic words "Islamofascist" and "jihad".
Comparable news from across the Atlantic.
figures from Europol, the European police agency, reveal that Islamist
terror attacks in Europe constituted 0.2% or all ‘terrorism’ throughout
the continent in 2006.* Unsurprisingly, there has been little in the
media about this interesting figure in the month since it was published.
Don’t forget to read Mueller’s powerful essay debunking War on Terror hysteria.