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This Splinter In My Finger? Probably Muslim

By Jesse Taylor
Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:35 EDT
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I find it touching that conservatives are willing to apply a deftness of perception and distinction between themselves and James von Brunn that they aren’t willing to apply to the billion Muslims around the world.

With the second such right wing terrorist attack in as many weeks, conservatives are scrambling to figure out how none of this has anything to do with them. The first tack is to declare that conservatism/extreme right-wing politics only come in one flavor – the not-shooting-people flavor. It’s yummy!

The second tack is to double down on the claim that the DHS report warning of this exact danger is still wrong, and to presume that this means anything – anything! – is to basically criminalize being a veteran.

Alternately, you could go the Debbie Schlussel route and claim that Neo-Nazis and Muslims (not fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, but just flat out Muslims) are the same thing, if you want to be a total fuckface about the whole thing.

This is a bizarro version of the exact conversation Muslims have been having since 2001, which conservatives will never, ever recognize. Those who commit terrorist acts in the name of Allah do not act or speak for the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world. Your average Muslim walking down the street shouldn’t have to explain the acts of murderers half a world away, yet they’re asked to. The words of their holy text are taken grossly out of context – first by terrorists, then by the people assuming that they are themselves terrorists – and then those out of context words are put back into their mouths by critics.

When Bill O’Reilly calls George Tiller a genocidal monster for providing legal services to women in need, or when Glenn Beck theorizes that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, or elected representatives legitimize the belief that the President of the United States is a secret Kenyan Muslim intruder, doesn’t that speak far more directly to a crazy, violent, deadly element in modern society than a shared 1400-year-old text with 1400 years worth of interpretation across a variety of social, cultural and political perspectives? Or does it not, because of this made-up distinction that I just pulled out of my ass?

UPDATE: Did you know that Nazis were a non-violent group before Muslims came along? Does this count as Holocaust denialism? Because I think it does.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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