Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Lipstick and Callous and Fishnets and Malice
Those who approve of killing in the name of Islam are here among us. They are your neighbors, your co-workers, and your children's classmates. They may be your doctors, your cabdrivers and your friends.
The new Pew poll found that, while 80 percent of U.S. Muslims believe suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam cannot be justified, fully 13 percent said they can be justified, at least rarely.
Worse, one in four younger American Muslims - those under 30 - find suicide bombings in defense of Islam "acceptable, at least in some circumstances."
They must have missed out on the "religion of peace" lessons.
One might want to consider that every religion, culture and population produces a certain segment that believes in the moral righteousness of violence committed under certain circumstances ("at least rarely"). Christianity is certainly no exception. And sometimes, the "at least rarely" standard is not as rigorously applied as it should.
As a matter of fact, those who approve of killing in the name of Christianity are here among us now. They are your neighbors, your co-workers, and your children's classmates. They may be your doctors, your cabdrivers and your friends.
A small group of protesters gathered near the funeral services to criticize the man who mobilized Christian evangelicals and made them a major force in American politics -- often by playing on social prejudices.
A group of students from Falwell's Liberty University staged a counterprotest. And Campbell County authorities arrested a Liberty University student for having several homemade bombs in his car.
The student, 19-year-old Mark D. Uhl of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service. The devices were made of a combination of gasoline and detergent, a law enforcement official told ABC News' Pierre Thomas. They were "slow burn," according to the official, and would not have been very destructive.
There are other examples of Christian-inspired terrorism in the United States, of course. This type of extremism is, unfortunately, ubiquitous - as it has been throughout thousands of years of human history.
But pundits like Malkin don't want to discuss these attitudes and beliefs in a holistic way, such that the associated problems can be addressed objectively, absent the cheap demonization of an entire religion. Then again, what do you expect from someone who wrote an entire book in defense of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
What amazes me is that the Washington Post would sing the praises of a pundit with such an agenda. Maybe "amaze" is the wrong word...[UPDATE: Also, Glenn Greenwald.]