These whitewash pieces that excuse Islam from any responsibility for Islamic terrorism are two-a-penny. A regular culprit is Mehdi Hasan. But today we have a half-baked piece from Haroon Moghul: Double standards: The only difference between a Christian gunman and a Muslim terrorist is racism
Pastor Larry Dawson drew a weapon and pointed it at officers, according to The Daily Beast: U.S. Capitol Shooting: Gunman Is ‘Prophet’ Who Once Said God Told Him to Seduce Teen Girl.
Well, Moghul doesn’t want to call Larry a terrorist. So what does Moghul want? He wants you to stop calling Islamic terrorists Islamic terrorists. His whole piece is a thinly disguised use of Larry’s problems to make this point.
So, down to brass tacks, Moghul:
A fair definition of terrorism might be one that describes violence against civilians by a non-state actor or actors, in the service of a political cause.
But most of our media has its own definition of terrorism: A Muslim did it.
I will grant that some right wing media might be prapared to call a Muslim Islamic-terrorist an Islamic terrorist quicker than they call a Christian Christian-terrorist a Christian-terrorist. But that’s with good reason.
But before we get to that, let’s dispatch this old nonsense:
The “Not in the US” Meme
Moghul, like many others before him, has pulled this fast one here.
The thing is, the US is a gun-happy nation with violence of all sorts. So there are plenty of opportunities for a wide variety of criminals, crazies, and religious fanatics, to get hold of weapons and shoot up some stuff or blow up some stuff. It’s part of the American dream – or at least it seems so.
That little fact makes it easy to say, look, most violent deaths, shoot ups, massacres, are non-Islamic crazies or home grown terrorists.
The favouraite statistic bandied about is that more deaths in the US are caused by non-Islamic killers than by other kinds of killers.
But hold on a minute. Is it true that any one ideology or mental abnormality is out-killing Islamic killers in the US? Is the KKK killing more people than Islamic killers in the US? How about abortion clinic killers? Or alienated freaks like the Columbine killers? Do any one of these disparate classifications of killer events out-kill Islamic killers in the US?
And, of course, even if that were true, even if, say, the KKK killed more people in the US than Islamic killers, what’s the point being made here?
The point being made is that we should look at the US state of affairs, and put to the back of our minds all the Islamic terrorist activity around the world.
This “Islamic killers? Not in the US” meme is a smoke screen.
[Update: Found this gem from uberfeminist that totally destroys this stupid meme.]
So, let’s return to my earlier point, in this context:
I will grant that some right wing media might be prapared to call a Muslim Islamic-terrorist and Islamic terrorist quicker than they call a Christian Christian-terrorist a Christian-terrorist. But that’s with good reason.
The reason is that world wide Islamic terrorism is alarmingly ahead of the field.
This year, more Americans have died from gun violence in Chicago alone than in the San Bernardino or Brussels terror attacks. But the shooters aren’t Muslim, and the victims largely aren’t white.
Did the Chicago victims die in a couple of terrorist attacks? Were the victims of gun violence in Chicago shot in the name of Allah, because they are infidels? Of are we talking mostly regular crimer here?
Moghul, I’d be happy to get rid of crime, and Islam. Would that do the trick? Would you be happy then? How about reform of Islam, to stop the holly texts being used to excuse violence?
Back to Larry and Mo
Once we learned that Dawson wasn’t Muslim, reporters went out of their way to calm the American public. There was still almost no other information about the case, the suspect, or his motivations. “Don’t worry,” one outlet after another told us, “it’s not terrorism.”
The “Don’t worry” is most often a sigh of relief that the lilly liverd press release when they find they don’t have to jump through hoops to explain why it isn’t Islam.
But, with regard to Larry? Well, it is, sort of trrorism, but in a lone wolf crazy person kind of way. Have you seen Larry’s profile? The ealier “I’m the prophet of God.” … “I have been called chosen and sent unto you this day….”
Sounds crazy, right? What does Moghul think?
But if a Muhammad Dawson had rushed in and opened fire, screaming “I am a Prophet of Allah,” what then?
Well, if Larry
- had been shouting his “prophet of God” stuff at the time of this incident,
- had previously been a normal nice Pastor
- and had only recently shown interest in violent scriptures (you know, the way many ‘normal’ ISIS conscripts do)
then maybe he’d have been called a terrorist.
And remember, the press jury was out on the San Burnadino killers initially. The press have learned to be ‘balanced’ and to put off using probability for editorial guess work. If there’s a shoot up or blow up, and the culprits shout “Allahu Akbar!”, what are the odds?
This isn’t as clear cut ‘racism’ that Moghul wants it to be. Oh, and he really does want it to be.
I’m not arguing that Dawson was in fact a terrorist. I’m pointing, once again, to the double standard in how we treat Muslims.
That may actually be the case, sometimes, but it’s far less often than Moghul wants it to be. The presumption that there are links to Islamic terrorist has become such a safe bet, when the killers are declaring “Allahu Akbar!” and ramble off stuff about avenging the prophet, declaring the Caliphate is on its way and other scripturally based Islamic stuff. Not guaranteed, or course. I’m sure plenty of people jumped to the conclusion that the Air Egypt incident with the fake bomb was Islamic terrorism – and to be fair the culprit made it look that way. But I know the UK news broadcast outlets played it very cagey and were open minded as to the nature of the event as it unfolded.
So Moghul is off base here. Or rather he’s on agenda.
That we collectively breathed a sigh of relief when we found out there was no material connection to terrorism because the shooter was just a crazy guy screaming about God says a lot. More Americans die from this kind of violence than from terrorism. But so long as gun violence is not terrorism, the public is urged to go about business as usual.
Yep, got that meme message, Moghul. Not buying it.
Muslims in America are Muslims first, everything else second. Therefore if a Muslim commits a violent action, it must be because of Islam. After all, when was the last time you heard of a Muslim suffering mental illness?
Couple of things here, Moghul.
Yes, many Muslims do define themselves in terms of Islam first. That’s part of the problem. Their allegience is to Islam, Mohammed, Allah, not to a liberal democracy and fair shake for all. Of course many Christians are like this too. That doesn’t excuse such fundamentalist commitment on behalf of Muslims. What you are re-affirming here. Moghul, is that if any of these Muslims think Allah wants them to kill in his name, their prior alegiance to Allah trumps their interest in their fellow Americans. We get that. You seem not ot or you wouldn’t think this point was helping your case.
But then, can Muslims be crazy (beyond normal relsigious craziness)? Sure. But that too isn’t excusing Islam.
Look, if we have a devout Muslim; and he becomes a little mentally unstable; and he becomes convinced that what the Islamic texts are demanding, with respect to killing infidelas and stuff, are really the things Allah wants, then what does this say about the holy texts?
This is a clear sign that the holy texts are just as dangerous as a gun in the wrong hands. Placing the Quran in the hands of Muslims not educated in the fine Islamic scholarship (LOL) is like placing a loaded gun in a child’s hands. Qurans are dangerous, like a hand gun. The Hadith are like assualt rifles.
Have you seen the Humanist manifesto, Moghul? See any divine command to do bad shit to people in that? No. How about the Quran. It alone provides plenty of opportunity to find commands to kill people in the name of Islam. Add the Hadith and you have a terrorists manual, tempered only by the humanity of its readers.
Different Types of Islamic Terrorism
We also fail to distinguish between different kinds of Islamic terrorism. See this tweet after Sunday’s Lahore Blast, by Subramanian Swamy, a member of India’s right-wing, ruling BJP. … Let’s stop for a moment and think about this.
I’m with you so far … Islamic terrorism all round, just with different details …
A Muslim in Pakistan, allegedly affiliated with a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban (Jama’at al-Ahrar), blew himself up inside a Lahore park, while earlier ISIL claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels. This tweet assumes that the motivations of these different attackers, who come from different continents and cultures, must be the same.
Not entirely and exactly. For pitties sake, Moghul, every member of every political and religious group has a slightly different angle on their understanding of their group’s motives, so yes, different groups have different motivations.
But they can and do have a common thread.
That’s like saying that because Ho Chi Minh and Tito were Communists, the Vietcong and Tito’s partisans all had the same motivations.
What? You think this is helping your case? The common thead is that communist ideology is so important to these diverse parties that violent oppresion is the tool of choice – “Communism is good, how can it not be, the ‘unbelievers’ are evil, kill them!” The same applies for Islamic terrorist groups – except their common binding ideology, complete with instructions for terrorising, is Islam.
I’m not claiming that alienation is the only, primary or even a relevant cause in the Paris or Brussels attacks. I’m saying that just because the attackers share a religion doesn’t make their motivations the same, especially when they’re from wholly different contexts.
Not exactly the same, in every detail. But what makes a Pakistani Muslim join an Arab Islamic State? Islam.
What makes it so common that many Muslims denounce ISIS as un-Islamic, while ISIS do the same for other Muslims? Takfir. The Islamic mechanism for letting other Muslims know they aren’t Muslim enough.
It’s not that these disparate Islamic groups are so different that it can’t be the fault of Islam. It’s that they are so similar in their Islamic methods, including their Islamic method of telling each other that they are not Muslims, that makes it so blindlingly obvious that they are all very Islamic indeed.
Here Comes Moghul’s Racism
Islamophobia is racism because it treats Muslims as a race in which all members can be reduced to the same motivations.
Calling criticism of these Islamic groups Islamophobia is an attempt to make this about racism. That in itself is a racist agenda. You, Moghul, are treating Muslims as a race, in order to find racism in the critics of Islam. Those ‘white’ non-Muslims, criticising Islam are the ones that are supposed to be racists.
But a ‘non-white’ critic of Islam is then what? What is a ‘non-white’ ex-Muslim? Well, according to racist Murtaza Hussain, they are ‘porch monkeys’, ‘uncle Toms’.
Most critics of Islam know Islam is not a race.
Most critics of Islam specifically target Islam. Many critics of Islamic terrorism find it easy to see how Islamic terrorists get their justification for their terrorism from Islam.
The only sense in which we target Muslims with our criticism is the way in which they take Islam and use if to justify their violence.
Moghul On Firmer Ground
In December, a Trump supporter stood outside a mosque, threatened to kill everyone, and posted a picture of a bomb on his Facebook page. When police went to his home, they found a homemade explosive and detonated it. His punishment? Maybe 90 days in jail, at most. … Ninety days in jail for threatening to blow up a mosque? It’s not just that the hopeful anti-Muslim terrorist was white, but that his intended victims were Muslims.
This would be a fair criticism, if Moghul was being more specific. For the bomb stuff, yeah, that needs dealing with. But the Facebook picture of a bomb? The threats? Should we prosecute every Muslim that threatens hell fire to the un-believers, but only those Muslims think that shit is real – that’s a lot of Muslims.
If it’s Muslims attacking, we are willing to discuss banning an entire religious group from the country (violating our secular politics) or carpet-bombing another country (that’s a war crime).
Good call again. But the reason numpties like Trump are doing well is two-fold:
- Non-Islamist non-violent Muslims around the world are trying to distance Islam from the violence that the texts inspire, and too many ordinary people see right through it.
- Regressive leftsists are so busy supporting dodgy organisations like CAIR with it’s Islamist tendencies that too many ordinary people see right through that too.
They feel they have only a few outspoken liberals and the entire righ wing nutters like Trump on their side. The few honest liberals calling out Islam on what it is aren’t winning against the Muslim and Regressive Left rhetoric – so for many ordinary Americans that either don’t give a shit about religion or are Christian, Trump is the only one they can turn to. That’s how bad the situation is being made by the dishonesty on the left.
But keeping Americans safe from gun violence? We can summon almost no political will to do anything about this, even though it’s more dangerous, under our immediate circumstances, than terrorism.
Well, if you were honest, you would admit that this greater danger from gun-obsession only applies in the US. World-wide, Islam is the problem. It touches more countries than any other single issue.
Final Moghul Nonsense
When you say that some kinds of violence matter more than other kinds of violence, you’re also saying that some victims matter more than other victims.
No you are not. That’s just dumb. Global Islamic Jihad, assisted by Islamist agenda that opposes any criticism of Islam, and the subdued oppressed Muslims around the world, that’s the biggest danger. Trump can be run out of office at the ballot box. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi can’t.
American gun violence is an internal problem – a big one. It’s not American gun violence blowing up Paris and Brussels.
So Islamophobia isn’t just unfair to Muslims.
Well, you got that right. It’s unfair to Muslims because it’s a misrepresentation of the critics of Islam, including Muslim critics, and ex-Muslim critics. And it’s unfair to the non-Muslim western critics of Islam. We even have Muslims telling us ‘Islamophobia’ is a stupid term when used in its common context.
…fear of many other people from many other backgrounds, all of whom have the misfortune of being born the wrong color …
Bollocks. Colour has little to do with it. There are elements of the US white population that are racists. But many Arab Muslims are racist towards far eastern Muslim immigrants into Arrab countries. Various sects of Muslims are racist towards each other where older ethnic boundaries operate.
… or into the wrong religion.
Well, you got that right. It is the wrong religion, for most of those with the misfortune to be in it, and for the rest of us too.
My Final Thoughts
If we want to stop calling Islamic terrorists Islamic terrorists, can we stop calling Muslim victims Muslim victims? Hint: Chapel Hill.
And, to help Haroon Moghul with all this, here’s a guide: A Guide To Terrorists For Idiots