President Obama recently urged the nation not to “jump to any conclusions” about a mass murderer with an Arabic name who shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before mowing down over a dozen U.S. soldiers at a military base.
Today, the DC sniper, a Muslim extremist and sympathizer with al Qaeda, is being put to death. I remember vividly that it was weeks after the man was caught before the press was willing to acknowledge the man’s religion and the role it played in his murderous rampage. Apparently, we weren’t supposed to jump to any conclusions then, either.
But when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Oklahama in 1995, it was clearly Rush Limbaugh’s fault. At least, that’s what President Clinton suggested when he decried the “angry voices” on talk radio that created a “climate of violence” leading to the Oklahoma City bombing.
It was about a year later when I remember having a conversation with an actress in Jackson Hole about Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber who killed people in order to get his left-wing manifesto published in the New York Times. We were referencing the Oklahoma City incident, and she was complaining that right-wingers were inherently violent. I pointed out that extremism in any ideology was equally dangerous, citing the aforementioned Mr. K as an example. She refused to concede that Mr. K was even a left-winger, or that one could assign any ideological motivation to his actions.
Anyone see a pattern here?
It would be nice to live in a world where Muslims and left-wingers and abortion activists were never violent. Heck, it would be nice to live in a world where NO ONE was violent, including right-wingers like McVeigh.
But we don’t live in that world. And we don’t make that world by ignoring facts that we find embarrassing or unpleasant. And the fact, brought home by the shooting this past week, is that some Muslims are violent.
Now this Muslim doesn’t represent all Muslims any more than Glenn Beck represents all Mormons – and thank heaven he doesn’t. But if a man at a military base had started shouting, “All hail Joseph Smith!” as he gunned down his fellow soldiers, do you think the media would be so circumspect about avoiding mention of his faith?
How do we do anyone a service by ignoring facts?
The thing that is so confusing about this is that even non-violent Islam holds tenets that are antithetical to the American Left. The subjugation of women; the shunning of homosexuals, and intolerance of other faiths are all inherent to Sharia law. I can understand left-wingers who are reluctant to acknowledge the extremist tendencies of their own ideological brethren, but why the reluctance to stand up and acknowledge the failings of a religion that runs counter to much of what they believe?
And please don’t try to tell me it’s because they “respect all faiths” or some such nonsense. They don’t. Leftists despise my faith, and they say so publicly. When a Mormon apostle recently described the oppression the LDS Church has encountered since Proposition 8, he was greeted with howls of derision from the Left. Nobody was worried about hurting our feelings.
Maybe it’s fear, then. Maybe the Left just doesn’t want to poke an angry tiger with a stick. They can beat up on Mormons all they want with no repercussions, but they know if they draw cartoons with Muhammed in them, they’ll start a riot, so they wear kid gloves and “avoid jumping to conclusions.”
I can understand that, I guess, even if I don’t respect it.
This over-sensitivity and/or fear leads us to really strange places. Again, on Facebook, I posted a link to an article about a movie being made by faithful Muslims about the life of Muhammed. The problem is that Muslims believe the prophet is too sacred to depict in person – no likeness, either visual or auditory – of Muhammed will appear in the film. My comment was that it seemed strange to make a movie about someone if that someone can’t be in it.
To which another of my Facebook friends replied that I was “narrow-minded” and “hateful.” He de-friended me as a result.
If a Mormon tried to make a movie all about the Mormon temple ceremony but, true to his faith, refused to include any footage or excerpts of that ceremony, I would consider that a very odd and difficult thing to do. And I would say so. Would that make me a Mormon hater? And can’t I respect Islam’s insistence that Muhammed not be portrayed on screen and note that making a movie about someone who can’t be in your movie is problematic at best?
As for me, I’m sick of walking on eggshells. The world doesn’t fit into anyone’s neat little preconceptions, and wearing blinders makes it all worse, not better.