On July 28, 2006, a Muslim entered the building of the Seattle Jewish Federation and shot every Jew he saw, murdering one woman and wounding five others.
On the same day, Mel Gibson was arrested on DUI charges and while intoxicated let loose with anti-Semitic invective at the Jewish police officer who arrested him.
Question: Which story has most troubled the Left?
The answer is known to any American who can hear or read.
So, the real question is: Why? Why has the shooting and murder of Jews elicited less angst from the Left than the anti-Semitic statements made by Mel Gibson when drunk?
The answers are very troubling. As Time magazine said about global warming (but never about Islamic terror), "Be worried, very worried."
We should be worried about this: The liberal world fears -- and much of it loathes -- fundamentalist Christians considerably more than it does fundamentalist Muslims.
This is as true of most Jewish liberals -- even though conservative Christians are Israel's and the Jews' most loyal supporters and even though Nazi-like anti-Semitism permeates much of the Muslim world -- as it is of most other liberals, certainly including the mainstream media.
That is why Jewish writer Zev Chafets wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "On the same day Gibson got into trouble in Malibu, a fellow named Naveed Afzal Haq brought a pistol to the Jewish Federation office in Seattle and shot six women, killing one. Two days later, this personal jihad -- one of the most gory anti-Jewish crimes in American history -- got second billing on the ADL website, under "Mel Gibson's Apology for Tirade 'Insufficient.' " (For the record, the ADL later announced it had accepted Mel Gibson's apology.)
This is one more example of the greatest flaw of contemporary liberalism -- its inability to recognize and confront the greatest evils. Since the 1960s, when liberalism became indistinguishable from the Left -- e.g., when New York Times positions became indistinguishable from those of The Nation -- liberals tended to attack opponents of evil far more than those who actually committed evil. The Left (around the world) was far more antagonistic to Ronald Reagan than to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, and far more disturbed by anti-Communism than by Communism.
So, too, today. For example, with few exceptions (the liberal columnist Thomas Friedman being one of the most notable) one only hears conservatives use the term "Islamo-fascism." Nearly the entire academic world that discusses the issue is far more concerned with the threat of "Islamophobia" than of Islamo-fascism. Liberal and left-wing anger is largely reserved for conservatives and especially conservative Christians, while analogous antipathy about Islamic groups with genocidal designs on Israel or America is largely to be found on the Right.
The liberal doctrine on fundamentalist American Christians is that they are the moral equivalent of fundamentalist Muslims and constitute a similar threat to our republic. As bestselling author Karen Armstrong said to Bill Moyers on PBS, "Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy. And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States."
Regarded by the liberal media as perhaps the greatest living historian and commentator on religion, Karen Armstrong does not even see the Muslim fundamentalist support for murder of innocents as a distinguishing feature. According to Armstrong, "Christian fundamentalists in the United States have committed fewer acts of terror than the others for two main reasons: they live in a more peaceful society . . . [and they] believe that the democratic federal government of the United States will collapse without their needing to take action: God will see to it" [beliefnet.com].
The antipathy toward Christian fundamentalists and conservatives is why Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic statements trouble the Left more than Naveed Haq and the genocidal anti-Semitism permeating the Muslim world. And what is it about those Christians that most disturbs the Left? That they talk in terms of good and evil and believe the former must fight the latter, precisely the area of the Left's greatest weakness.