Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Have They No Shame?

Brigitte Gabriel is the pseudonym for an anti-Islamist activist and author who's touring the country saying things like this, according to the New York Times:
America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department. They are being radicalized in radical mosques in our cities and communities within the United States.
Of course that's exactly the way Sen. Joe McCarthy talked about his little list of secret communists who'd infiltrated the the government. Asked about Gabriel's rhetoric, sober think-tankers recoil:
Brian Fishman, a research fellow at both the New America Foundation in Washington, and the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point, said, “When you’ve got folks who are looking for the worst in Islam and are promoting that as the entire religion of 1.5 or 1.6 billion people, then you only empower the real extremists.”
You also expose all followers of one of the three great Abrahamic religions to harassment or worse. It happened in Yorba Linda on Feb. 13, when a rally (shown here) that was ostensibly called to protest a non-profit organization's invitation to two radical speakers turned into a broad denunciation of Mohammad, Islam, and the U.S. citizens arriving at the event who happened to be Muslims. If anyone was carrying a sign saying, "Islam is a religion of love which these speakers misrepresent," I didn't see it. If anyone was chanting it, their voices were drowned out -- here in the self-described "land of gracious living" -- by people screaming "Go home!" and "Mohammad was a child molester." Thus did Richard Nixon's birthplace town earn the international reputation of being a hate zone.

After Sept. 11, people used to ask why Muslim moderates seemed to temper their criticism of terrorists. I'm wondering when legitimate critics of Islamic terrorism will convincingly denounce those who insist on lumping in all Muslims.

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