December 03, 2015
(3) It seems as though it’s become the reflexive response of people left-of-center, whenever confronted by those who claim that there’s a pathology (for lack of a better word) in the Muslim community today, to respond, “Yeah, but people of other religions can be violent too.” I”m sincerely confused as to how that kind of deflection helps the situation. Perhaps you and I can both agree that white supremacy is and was a terrible pathology among European and North American whites, manifesting in (among other things) European colonialism and American slavery. Now imagine if you were trying to talk to a Southern slave-master, circa 1830, and you were trying to explain that his support for slavery was fueled by white supremacy. And he responded, “Quit blaming my race. Africans have slaves too. Lots of slaves. So it’s got nothing to do with my race.” Strictly speaking, he”d be correct (slavery did exist in Africa as well as the Americas). But couldn”t his response be justifiably seen as a deflection? A desire to avoid confronting the pathology in his race/religion/culture by blowing it off with “Others do it too”? My opinion is, that’s what journalists do when they blow off any critique of Islamic extremism with a deflection of “Well, lots of races and religions produce violent people.” Technically, yes, that’s true. But isn”t it also a way of avoiding any discussion of genuine issues regarding those who, today, use Islam to support and encourage violence?
Five days later, a far-less-enthusiastic Sundeen replied that he”d have to forgo any response because he’s “just not up for it at the moment.” In an instant, by virtue of a few simple questions, all the smugness was drained from his body, all the arrogance extinguished.
The left’s deflection of any discussion of Islamic pathology must be seen in context: This is how the left deals with all issues it doesn”t want to discuss. For example, if anyone”conservative or merely concerned”attempts to discuss pathologies within the black community (the high crime rate, absentee fathers), Salonites will always give the same cookie-cutter response: “There’s violence in the white community, too! There are absentee white dads, too!” As I wrote in a previous column, the battle cry of “Why won”t the white media discuss the ills facing urban blacks?” has now become “Why must the white media discuss the ills facing urban blacks?” Just as with Islamic terrorism, the left deflects from something it has decided must not be acknowledged as existing.
The deflection tactic of Sundeen and his ilk deserves a name. It’s being employed with such frequency, it’s gone beyond being merely a clichÃ©; it’s now a full-fledged strategy. “Stalin’s Moustache” is the name of a talking point used by atheists like Richard Dawkins in an attempt to sever Stalin’s atheism from his mass murder. The argument goes that Stalin’s atheism was as irrelevant to his crimes as his moustache. This fallacy is illustrated perfectly in this cartoon from the popular site The Oatmeal. As leftists often do, Oatmeal writer Matthew Inman displays a complete lack of understanding of his subject. Stalin suppressed religious institutions and killed and imprisoned religious individuals in the name of an ideology that enforced atheism as official state policy. His atheism is completely inseparable from his ideology and crimes.
Leftists have now taken “Stalin’s Moustache” and created something even more idiotic (and that’s no small feat). They have created a fallacy that I”ll call “Jihadi’s Koran,” which essentially argues that the Korans carried by, quoted from, and adhered to by Islamic extremists are completely irrelevant to their crimes. Purely coincidental. As insignificant and unrelated to their actions as Stalin’s moustache was to his. A jihadi gunning down a hundred concertgoers while shouting, “Allahu Akbar!” is every bit as ideologically neutral and religiously indifferent as a white schizophrenic who shoots up a theater because he thinks he’s the Joker.
Leftists have dedicated their time and efforts to spreading this message far and wide. Their enthusiasm for, and dedication to, enforcing this fantasy is almost as frightening as the terrorists they claim don”t exist.