As the Benghazi hearings continue and the government cover-up becomes all the more clear, it’s important that we ask ourselves how America developed this phobia of appearing Islamophobic. Why are we so unwilling to connect the dots?
As Conservatives, we know we’re in trouble when we find ourselves quoting Bill Maher for support, but that’s exactly what happened on April 19th when Maher called out his guest Brian Levy, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, regarding the Islamic, faith-based motivation of the Boston Marathon bombers.
Levy claimed that, “It's not like people who are Muslim who do wacky things have a monopoly on it. We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian who say they're out for God and end up doing not so nice things.”
In reply, Maher called this “liberal b-s,” explaining that “there's only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam. So, you know, I’m just saying, let's keep it real.”
Maher’s comments were so strong that C. Edmund Wright, writing in the
Wright’s article indirectly reminded me of a “press conference” held by the Taliban in Afghanistan not long after 9/11 in which they rebuked President Bush for explaining that the Quran did not sanction such violence, basically saying, “So, this Westerner Bush is going to tell us how to understand our holy book?”
Perhaps Maher trumped Bush after all.
Things have now gotten to the point that Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, founder of the so-called Military Religious Freedom Foundation (talk about doublespeak), is consulted as an expert by the Pentagon while making clear that the real enemy is evangelical Christianity, beginning with the alleged stench of “viral misogyny,” specifically, “The fact that women should be consigned to selecting food, preparing food, cleaning up after meals, spreading their legs, getting pregnant and raising children. The next [stench] is virulent anti-Semitism. The next is virulent Islamophobia.”
Yes, according to Weinstein, “we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation's armed forces.” (These are actual quotes, not some parody mocking Weinstein.)
He writes with no sense of restraint, announcing, “Ladies and Gentlemen, let me tell you of monsters and monstrous wrongs. And let me tell you what these bloody monsters thrive on.” It is those evangelical Christians who are bloody monsters! And Weinstein is being consulted as an expert on religious freedom by the Pentagon? Is this really happening? (As for the folly of Weinstein’s dependence on the Southern Poverty Law Center, see here and here and here and here and here.)
The tragic irony of all this was not missed by Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), who wrote, “Imagine for a moment if Mr. Weinstein had said these things about Islam—even about militant Islam. A military that won’t even attribute Nidal Hassan’s Fort Hood shooting to his jihadist faith would not allow Mr. Weinstein to come within a mile of the Pentagon.”
How in the world did we get to this point? How do we find ourselves in a situation where our government leaders seem completely unwilling to connect the dots of radical Islam worldwide, from Benghazi to the Boston Marathon to Fort Hood, and from Egypt to Iran to Pakistan, instead wanting to be sure that we are not Islamophobic?
And while we daintily dance around the dangerous realities of a rapidly spreading jihadist faith, reports like this are posted on the JihadWatch.org website (obviously a totally Islamophobic site!): “From modern, moderate Morocco comes yet another example of why we don't see more sincere Muslim reformers. Ahmed Assid said: ‘To call [upon people] to follow Islam by the use of violence and constraint is an act of terrorism.’ For that, he has been condemned, declared a non-Muslim, and threatened with death.”
It is high time that we overcome our fear of Islamophobia. A healthy fear of radical Islam – which represents a healthy portion of the whole – might just save many innocent lives.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, including Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message, and he hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.