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Hypocritical Responses to the Shooting of Steve Scalise and the Vehicular Killing of a Muslim

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

In the last week, America and the UK have been rocked by two violent attacks, one targeting a conservative Republican in the States and the other targeting religious Muslims in England. In almost every way, these two horrific events are completely unrelated, and yet the liberal community has found a way of joining them together: the right-wing is dangerous!

At first blush, this seems like an impossible conclusion to draw. After all, in the shooting here in America, it was a conservative politician (with his colleagues) who was the victim. In the van-ramming in the UK, it was a Muslim-hating man who was the aggressor. Yet a narrative is emerging that blames the right for both.

With regard to Rep. Scalise, whose condition has been upgraded from critical to serious, MSNBC’s Joy Reid said, “[I]t’s a delicate thing because everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping that he recovers, but Steve Scalise has a history that we’ve all been forced to sort of ignore on race.”

But of course. How could we forget that? I guess he kind of deserved to be shot after all.

Reid continued: “He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event, which he says he didn’t know what it was. He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He voted for the House healthcare bill, which as you said would gut health care for millions of people, including three million children, and he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semi-automatic weapons.”

Oh, the wickedness of this man! He unknowingly attended a white nationalist event. You should certainly be shot for that. Worse still, he said that marriage should be what it’s always been (and what God designed it to be), namely, the marriage of one man and one woman. He probably deserved two bullets for that. And, monster that he is, he didn’t agree with Obamacare, which already hurt multiplied millions of Americans, not to mention many health care providers. And he opposed gun-control legislation. This is beyond the scope of wicked.

As Reid concluded, “Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside at the moment?”

Can you imagine what the response would be had the victim been, say, a black congresswoman with a left-leaning record? Can you imagine if a TV commentator said, “Yes, we’re all pulling for her, but hey, look at her voting record. We can’t ignore that, can we? I mean, it’s not like some saint just got shot.”

The outrage would be enormous and unrelenting, and rightly so. But when it comes to a conservative, well, you know, getting shot is kind of their own fault. Or, in the words of CBS’s Scott Pelley, “It’s time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress, yesterday, was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted.”

Self-inflicted? And this from a long-time CBS news anchor man? To call this shameful would be to over-dignify it.

In England, J. K. Rowling has asked how the killer was “radicalized” – meaning, by right-wing rhetoric – while many on Twitter affirmed comments like this: “Hate preachers like Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins need to be held accountable for this also.” (To listen to Katie Hopkins for yourself, go here. The voice of Tommy Robinson is more extreme.)

Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a major statement in response to the attack, renewing her government’s determination to fight against “extremism of any kind, including Islamophobia.”

Of course, what the van driver did was horrific and inexcusable, as he reportedly shouted out, “I want to kill Muslims.” And the fact that he attacked men leaving their mosque after prayer makes his crime even uglier. His actions should be condemned in the clearest possible terms, and there is no excuse for his actions.

But why is that the same liberal voices that tell us after every Islamic terror attack, “This is not Islam!” will immediately label an attack against Muslims as Islamophobic? And why point the first finger towards conservative (or extreme right-wing) commentators? Why not suggest that, without all the Islamic terrorist attacks on Brits and Europeans in the last few years, this demented killer would never have driven his van into the crowd?

To the extent that extreme, anti-Islamic rhetoric is spreading through England (or elsewhere), it needs to be confronted and exposed. But to think that this rhetoric arose in a vacuum is to forget the multiple bombings of July 7, 2005, in London, along with the UK, Islamic terrorist attacks of June 30, 2007; May 22, 2008; May 22, 2013; December 5, 2013; March 22, 2017; May 22, 2017; and June 3, 2017, resulting in more than 90 fatalities and over 1,000 injured. Could this have played a role in the killer’s motives?

This is not to justify this murderous act or mitigate the killer’s guilt. God forbid. It is merely to contextualize it and ask if Islamic terrorism rather than right-wing rhetoric helped fuel the murderer’s fire. Unfortunately, according to the current narrative, Islam is never the suspect but Islamophobia always is.

This, then, brings us back to the States, where I can hear a sharp-eyed reader raising an objection to my article. “With all respect, sir, you’re doing the exact same thing that Joy Reid and Scott Pelley did. You’re blaming the Muslims for being attacked, just as they suggested that Rep. Scalise’s shooting was his own fault, to some degree.”

Yes, I saw this objection coming, but it actually proves my point, since it underscores how conservatives are being demonized. Specifically, to compare a conservative Congressman with healthy moral values to a Muslim terrorist is to compare Ronald Reagan with Osama bin Laden, and yet that is the comparison that must be made to sustain the argument.

Of course, it is absolutely wrong to take the law into one’s own hands. And, to repeat again, the van driver’s actions were heinous, murderous, and inexcusable. And the Muslims who were attacked did not deserve to be attacked.

Yet, it is striking to see how liberals in America and England can somehow blame the right for both crimes. Yes, a conservative political leader was almost asking for a bullet while the van-driving Muslim killer was provoked to action by conservative voices.

If you think I’m stretching things here, just wait and see. It will get worse before it gets better. Conservatives are the enemy, and the demonization will only increase. Be ready.

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