Dumbass Quote of the Day

Dumbass Quote of the Day July 28, 2011

From Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post:

Moreover, there is a specific jihadist connection here: “Just nine days ago, Norwegian authorities filed charges against Mullah Krekar, an infamous al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist who, with help from Osama bin Laden, founded Ansar al Islam – a branch of al Qaeda in northern Iraq – in late 2001.”

This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.

The “specific jihadist connection” was nothing more than a presumption on her part that government action A led to violent reaction B. I don’t think she knows what “specific” means. Funny that when she thought it was perpetrated by Muslim terrorists, it was all about connecting ideology with action. Once she learned that it was committed by a right wing nativist, it was all about evil itself:

Undiluted evil. The dark side of humanity. Whatever you call it, that is what wreaked havoc in Norway.

Right wingers like Erick Erickson are claiming a double standard on the part of the left, arguing that liberals are quick to disconnect ideology from action when it comes to Muslims but eager to claim that conservative Christian ideology is to blame for the Norway attack. But this is a straw man.

No serious person of any political persuasion would deny that reactionary Islamic ideology results directly in terrorist acts. That isn’t the issue at all. The issue is whether all Muslims should be considered adherents of such an ideology and held collectively responsible, which is what the anti-jihadist right constantly claims. We should absolutely connect ideology with action.

But the fact is that the extreme Christian right (and I’m not just talking about your average run of the mill conservative Christian here but the really hardcore wingnut brigade, which might be described as Christian conservatism combined with hyper-nationalism and nativism) shares a very similar ideology with the reactionary Muslims. The arguments are nearly identical; only the target changes — and sometimes, but not always, the tactics.

As Eric Hoffer has written:

Though there are obvious differences between the fanatical Christian, the fanatical Mohammedan, the fanatical nationalists, the fanatical Communist and the fanatical Nazi, it is yet true that the fanaticism which animates them may be viewed and treated as one… However different the holy causes people die for, they perhaps die basically for the same thing.

Precisely. It is fanaticism that is dangerous; what the fanatic happens to be fanatical about is irrelevant.

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