Senator Rand Paul's controversial speech about "the worldwide war on Christianity" at the Value Voters Summit has earned him quite a few enemies.
He began his speech with references to two terrorist attacks in Boston and Zanzibar, which critics were quick to point out had only four Muslims involved between them. Others have pointed out that incidents like the Boston Marathon attack and incidents abroad overwhelmingly have secular or - almost always - Muslim targets rather than Christian.
Yet one critic took the rhetoric against Senator Paul to a whole new level. Dean Obeidallah at The Daily Beast characterized Paul's words as "fear-mongering" and said the senator's acknowledgements of moderate Muslims and the need for peaceful coexistence were overshadowed by his language of violence. Most shockingly, Obeidallah compared Senator Paul to an al-Qaeda recruiter:
Paul’s speech is likely a mirror image of one that would be given by an al Qaeda recruiter. The difference being that an al Qaeda leader would cite isolated bad actions committed by the West and claim these incidents were proof that the West was waging an all out war on Islam.
It seems Obeidallah himself is willing to push the bounds of political correctness to classify Paul's speech as beyond "politically incorrect" - in addition to an al-Qaeda leader, the senator is likened to an anti-Semite:
Let’s be brutally honest: If Rand Paul had given a 19 minute speech listing every bad act committed by Jews anywhere in the world under the guise of “warning” people about Jews, he would rightfully be dubbed an Anti-Semite. Or if Paul had given a similar speech setting forth a litany of crimes committed by African-Americans in the US as defining that race, he would be deemed a racist.
But when a speech is given like this about Muslims- it’s somehow seen as simply being “politically incorrect.” No, it's not. It’s hate-just as if it would be if it was directed at Jews, Blacks, gays or any minority group.
Many were not expecting the fiery "war on Christianity' speech from the same legislator who passionately argued against drones. However, one thing is certain: if anyone has proven willing to take the political risk that the speech's delivery required, it is Rand Paul.