‘I swear to Allah, I want to live’

A suspected terrorist arrested after the Beslan school massacre, spoke on Russian state-run television:

“Of course I pitied the children, I swear to Allah. I have children myself. I didn’t shoot. I swear to Allah,” he said. “I don’t want to die. I swear to Allah, I want to live.”

The children wanted to live too, not to mention their parents and teachers. The death toll, now at 338 hostages and 10 special forces soldiers, is expected to rise; 58 survivors are in critical condition.

Mark Steyn observes that most nationalist movements, however ruthless, don’t deliberately slaughter schoolchildren.

When your asymmetrical warfare strategy depends on gunning down schoolchildren, you’re getting way more asymmetrical than you need to be. The reality is that the IRA and ETA and the ANC and any number of secessionist and nationalist movements all the way back to the American revolutionaries could have seized schoolhouses and shot all the children.

But they didn’t. Because, if they had, there would have been widespread revulsion within the perpetrators’ own communities. To put it at its most tactful, that doesn’t seem to be an issue here.

So the particular character of this “insurgency” does not derive from the requirements of “asymmetrical warfare” but from . . . well, let’s see, what was the word missing from those three analyses of the Beslan massacre? Here’s a clue: half the dead “Chechen separatists” were not Chechens at all, but Arabs. And yet, tastefully tiptoeing round the subject, The New York Times couldn’t bring itself to use the words Muslim or Islamist, for fear presumably of offending multicultural sensibilities.

Some Muslims are horrified by the Beslan killings, but Meryl Yourish observes that they’ve long justified targeting Israeli schoolchildren.

Beslan has started to bury the victims. The fifth photo in this series is especially poignant.

About Joanne


  1. “Of course I pitied the children, I swear to Allah. I have children myself. I didn’t shoot. I swear to Allah,” he said. “I don’t want to die. I swear to Allah, I want to live.”

    I don’t think they beg like that when we capture them. We need to make some policy changes.

  2. “But they didn’t. Because, if they had, there would have been widespread revulsion within the perpetrators’ own communities.”

    I always hate rationizations like this. It makes it seem that the only reason a group doesn’t slaughter children is because it would reflect badly on them. Could it perhaps be they don’t slaughter children because they find slaughtering children abhorrent? If they don’t mind killing children then maybe they don’t really care what people think of them except to terrorize them.

  3. oops, hit the post button too soon. When Reagan died I skimmed some liberal forums. There was lots of pleading to not say anything hurtful because then the conservatives could hold it against them. I remember thinking “is that the only reason you can think of not to say hurtful things about the dead?” But the pleading didn’t help. There was lots of justifications for saying hurtful things. And there were lots of hurtful things said. But I think I meandered off the point.

  4. If you ever wanted proof that this is a war of civilizations this is it. Although referering to our Islamic ‘brothers’ as civilized is a lot more generous than they deserve.

  5. The Omagh bombing did more to weaken the IRA than anything else. Even though the IRA didn’t carry it out (the “Real Irish Republican Army” did). A bombing that resulted in the deaths of 29 civilian deaths, a large part being children.
    I don’t care what their goal is. This organization, and all who support it, need to be smashed. They crossed the line into barbarism.

  6. should you wish to support the persons injured in the attack, the following appears to be a bona fide organization:


    (cut & paste) It was set up to help the victims of the Moscow Theatre hostage crisis, hence the URL.

  7. Mad Scientist says:

    This is slightly off topic, but needs to be said.

    One thing that pisses me off to no end is when the media refers to the “execution” of hostages. Reporters should know that words have context. “Execution” infers that a state-sanctioned judicial proceding of some sort was held, the person found guilty, and sentence carried out.

    What these animals do is murder, pure and simple. Using the word “execution” lends some sort of air of respectability to a dastardly. cowardly act.

  8. Walter E. Wallis says:

    If Islam is not in the lead errasing these bastards then Islam must bear the shame.

  9. Mr Wallis,

    With all respect, suicide terrorists erase themselves.

    The problem facing Islam, and the rest of us, is figuring out who the terrorists are BEFORE they commit terrorist acts – no easy job.

    The police in your community don’t know who the next bank robber will be – don’t assume that the Islamic community knows who the terrorists are.

    How many members of our local terrorist groups can you name (Ku Klux Klan members for instance)? Certainly, you haven’t forgotten the “terrorist” acts they committed or how hard it was for the FBI to dig them out?

    Islam is an inclusive term that includes many people who deplore terrorism but are in no position to do anything about it. Let’s have faith that their hearts are in the right place and that they will help when and where they can.

  10. Mad Scientist says:

    noname: When was the last time you heard any person in a position of authority within the muslim community denounce any of the terrorist acts? I mean besides the kidnapping of the French journalists?

    When these people start to publically and loudly denounce their “brothers” then maybe I’ll consider them part of the solution.

    So far, the silence has been deafening.

  11. Richard Nieporent says:

    Noname, these barbaric acts are not being committed by some renegade group. Rather they are being done with the blessing of the leadership of Islam. The ultimate moral authorities of this so-called religion not only sanction these killings but even worse, they demand that their followers commit these acts by their call for Jihad. After these monsters go out and commit these atrocities they are hailed as martyrs of Islam. The following article clearly states the problem.


    Now noname, tell me again how Islam is not responsible for these heinous acts.

  12. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Christians were in the lead eliminating the KKK. To my knowledge, there was never an instance in the last century when a Baptist praised lynching and cross burning from the pulpit.
    The bastards I refered to, as anyone sensible could have figured, were the leaders who condone such operations and the congregations who accept a sermon calling for such actions.

  13. The vicious fanaticism of the muslim terrorists is something that only perhaps 10% of muslims promote. But that’s plenty of violent fanatics to set civilization back centuries, especially if they have the bomb.
    But the scary thing is that probably more than 50% of muslims are susceptible to the fanaticism under the right circumstances. Not to commit the violence, but to provide moral support for violence, and perhaps financial support.

  14. How long will it take for Michael Moore to try to make a buck from this?

  15. theAmericanist says:

    Without wasting pixels on unreconstructed bigotry, it is NOT true that “Islam” did this. Wahabis, sure — and let’s not forget Stalin’s legacy, neither.

    There are very serious observers of Islam who ask a simple question: are we actually at war with the religion of something like 2 billion people? If we are, we should say so.

    And if we’re NOT, we need to be able to say what IS the Islam with which we are not at war.

    Bigots who insist that we are at war with Islam should perhaps talk to some of the American Muslims in the United States Marines — who add a new dimension to “Semper Fidelis”.

  16. Mad Scientist says:

    If it is not true that “Islam” did this, then where are the voices of Islam decrying the act and other acts of terrorism? The silence is deafening. By their silence they are complicit.

    Unless we want a repeat of the Dark Ages, we cannot let any radical religous movement succeed in this war against Western civilization.

    I do not want to contemplate life under the supposedly “civilized” touch of the crazies.

    And, oh yeah, good old Joe was one hell of a force for religous freedom. But than again, it all has to do with slavery.

  17. Richard Nieporent says:

    Well look who has reappeared to call us bigots. There is one thing that I find to be truly amazing about Leftists like you. There is no level of savagery that can be committed by your friends that you cannot justify. So according to your warped mind, because Stalin committed atrocities (by the way isn’t he one of your heroes?) more than 50 years ago, it is perfectly okay for the Chechen and Arab Muslims to slaughter children today.

    And by the way, it is Islam that is at war with us, not the other way around. I guess 9/11 seems to have slipped your mind.

  18. To a leftist, a jihadi murderer is simply a fellow revolutionary. A fellow warrior, murdering children for the sake of the oppressed of the world. Fight the power!

  19. theAmericanist says:

    The Washington Post
    The Ban on a Muslim Scholar
    By Paul Donnelly
    Saturday, August 28, 2004; Page A25

    Tariq Ramadan, a professor at the College of Geneva and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, is the author of a book that is perhaps the most hopeful work of Muslim theology in the past thousand years. This month he was to come to America to take the position of Luce professor of religion, conflict and peacebuilding at Notre Dame’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, when suddenly his visa was revoked….

    National Review Online
    February 22, 2002
    The Theology’s the Thing

    February 19, 2002
    “The Muslim Martin Luther?” an interview with Tariq Ramadan (http://www.salon.com/people/feature/2002/02/15/ramadan/index.html)

    Anybody who wants to talk to the American Muslims in the United States Marines about how we’re at war with Islam — email me.

  20. Mad Scientist says:

    Apologies for this long response.

    Damn, you do like to stir the pot!

    So the guy was banned. Perhaps, just maybe, there is something the government knows that you don’t. Which may be why his visa was revoked.

    Now, before you correctly accuse me of not reading your (and yes, we know they are your) rants (all one has to do is check your e-mail), know that I do not register to read stuff from the Wahsington Post, Salon, or any other source. I did read the 2 1/2 year old NRO article, and again, I ask: “Big deal?”.

    Perhaps the way the world views this individual has changed:

    10 October 2003

    An intellectual and militant Muslim living in Geneva, Tariq Ramadan holds considerable sway with young Muslims, especially through the Collective of Muslims of France and the Union of Young Muslims (UJM) in Lyon. For a year, the points of contact between the anti-globalization movement and the Ramadan network have grown in number. The anti-globalization movement seeks to expand its social base among the growing immigrant population, be it with the Suburban Immigrant Movement (MIB) at the secular end of the spectrum or with the Collective of Muslims of France for the faithful. Militant Muslims are helping prepare the European Social Forum, which will be held from 12 to 15 November in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis. But differences among its members emerged this summer through essays published in the weekly Politis: Tariq Ramadan denounced what he called a “lack of openness” in the anti-globalization movement to “the world of Islam”; while Bernard Cassen, honorary president of Attac, called the Muslim leader “a very subtle rhetorician” who used “purely opportunistic, if not totally demagogic arguments.”


    Sounds a bit like you, eh?

    Or this, from 27 August 2004:

    What’s up? The DHS knows much more than I do, but it is not talking. A review of the press, however, gives an idea of what the problem is. Here are some reasons why Ramadan might have been kept out:

    — He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Turabi in turn called Ramadan the “future of Islam.”

    — Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.

    — Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had “routine contacts” with Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garz’f3n) in 1999.

    — Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the U.S. embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Ramadan.

    — Along with nearly all Islamists, Ramadan has denied that there is “any certain proof” that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.

    — He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as “interventions,” minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.


    So be sure to at least try to tell both sides of the story. I don’t expect it from you. but at least try.

  21. theAmericanist says:

    (shaking head) I was dumb to even bother.

    For the ephemeral record: it was Dan Pipes who introduced me to Ramadan, so to speak; Pipes (to his credit) gave me that article before it was published; and I challenged Ramadan point for point; both with me and on his own, Ramadan refuted each of ’em — there ain’t nthing there (for example, his father didn’t teach OBL, but one of his 50+ half siblings; some dumbass reporter figured one is as good as another, and sold more papers), all of which seriously erodes the notion that there is anything public to warrant revoking his visa.

    And if this is the best the redoubtable Dan Pipes can do with public sources, that strongly suggests there ain’t much to the secret stuff. This guy is mre of a rock star than a secret agent, after all.

    It’s possible, mind — just sorta unlikely. And given the enormous potential of this guy’s THEOLOGY, ya gotta wonder just what they got, and who they got it from, that none of it is public.

    (smile) After all, his principal MUSLIM enemies… are the Saudis. The Bush administration principal Muslim allies.

    And the guys who actually DID 9-11 … were Saudis. And, oddly enough — they’re also the foreign Muslims in Chechnya.

    Besides — the point was simple: IF we are at war with Islam (as several posters take for granted), we oughta know that. They obviously don’t know much — note the American Muslims in the U.S. Marines, who (shall we say) take a different view.

    And if we’re not (as those Marines seem to think), then we oughta be able to say what the Islam IS, with which we are not at war.

    This thread?

    ‘Nuff said.

  22. Very sad, Joanne.
    And so sad that some people feel compelled to post their non sequiturs here. Perhaps if they had their own blog, they would always be on topic. And at least they themselves would be faithful readers of their drivel.

  23. Mad Scientist says:

    It appears your opinions are so loud, you are unable to hear any opposing views.

    You simply continue to defend the indefensible. Probably because he just wants to “kill whitey”. Or whatever.

    I have no use for any religous zealot, and that is what this guy is. Better we should keep enemies of our way of life outside our boarders.

  24. Steve LaBonne says:

    “I have no use for any religous zealot…” Then I assume you’re not voting Republican these days. 😉

    I agree with Americanist. (So does Instapundit, not exactly a flaming liberal. 😉 ) The exclusion of Ramadan was stupid and counterproductive.

  25. Mad Scientist says:

    Actually, since I live in a state that Bush won’t carry, I am voting Libertarian.

    Perhaps you are right. We should let him in. When he starts spewing his Islamist crap, arrest him under the Patriot Act and let him rot in jail.

  26. Steve LaBonne says:

    I’m tempted to do the same myself despite living in a “battlegound” state (Ohio). I’m pretty close to givng up on trying to decide which of the two evils is the lesser.

    On topic: we need to support moderate voices in the Islamic world in any way that we can do so effectively. Excluding Ramadan, granted that he’s no saint, just sends exactly the wrong message.

  27. Richard Nieporent says:

    On topic: we need to support moderate voices in the Islamic world in any way that we can do so effectively.

    Oh, do you mean the ones that use a sharper knife so that the execution of their hostages is less painful?

    I cannot believe that we are having such a conversation. If we really have to encourage Muslims to be civilized, then the situation is even worse than I thought.

  28. Steve LaBonne says:

    Yes, the situation is very bad indeed. There has been, for a long time now, a civil war of ideas (and often of blood) within the Islamic world. If we’re all very, very lucky, one possible- and still _very_ eventual at this point- outcome is for most Islamic countries to evolve in the direction of the progressive, democratic Islamic regime that now exists in Turkey. In that world, civilization will be safe. On the other hand, if the extremists win control of more powerful Islamic states (Iran potentially soon with nukes is already bad enough), 9/11 and the subsequent US reactions in Afghanistan and Iraq will look like a walk in the park. And you don’t see why we have a rather strong interest in doing whatever we can to encourage the former outcome? (I suggest you look up the number of Muslims in the world if you imagine that military power alone can be any sort of answer. George Bush certainly doesn’t think so- for all his many missteps at least he understands that the spreading of democracy is the crucial goal.)

  29. theAmericanist says:

    To be a bit more precise (and steer away from the sheer bigotry): I wouldn’t say we want “moderates”, exactly, excepting that cant often requires talking the way people talk. But a ‘moderate’ Nazi is not an improvement.

    Ramadan, Khalid abou el-Fadl, W. Deen Muhammed, Jamil Diab and others read the Koran and the hadith and preach a secular, civic vision for Islam’s future. But they’re not “moderate” any more than somebody would describe, say, Mormons as “moderate” Christians or a pro-life Democrat as a “moderate”. The last would be even less accurate f the pro-life Democrat was a doctrinaire liberal on taxes and spending.

    They’re DIFFERENT — and the distinction is important.

    It’s not simply the bigotry, it’s the sheer stupidity of insisting the only difference within Islam is how sharp the murder weapon is, that threatens us.

    Trying to win the war on Islamic fascism without theology would have been like trying to win the war against Communism without an ideology.


  30. Mad Scientist says:

    Then why do you insist in essentially calling it a religous war?

    The battle against Communism was a battle of ideologies.

    A battle against Islamic fascism as you cast it is a religous war. If not Christianity or Judiasm against Islam, then a reformation within Islam?

    Considering that such a move is nearly impossible because there is no strong voice against the radicalism, and no central authority against which to rebel. The problem appears to be one of education that supplements the study of Islam. The only thing the radical schools are good at is educating radicals.

    Until the majority of people who practice Islam become enlightened in how to think independently, we will continue to see nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia stuck in the Dark Ages, except that they will have WMD.

    However, the likes of the person who was denied a visa is not the sort of agent of change I want here. Except to lock up in a very safe place.

  31. theAmericanist says:

    Since you don’t know a thing about him: why?

  32. Mad Scientist says:


  33. Richard Nieporent says:


    It’s not simply the bigotry, it’s the sheer stupidity

    Don’t you think it is about time you stopped your childish ad hominem attacks on the people on this website. Just who appointed you as the supreme judge of bigotry? Unfortunately, this is the level of discourse that one has come to expect from you.

    I thought such personal attacks were not to be tolerated on this website. I would suggest that you go post on DU. Such immature and disrespectful behavior that you have displayed is the norm there. Maybe you can convince them of your superior intellect. Given the type of people who post on that website, you may have a fighting chance to do so.

  34. theAmericanist says:

    RN doesn’t seem to know what bigotry is. So, a definition and example: the word is generally used to denote that habit of (not) thinking characterized by prejudice, of refusing to consider or even recognize facts which contradict a cherished error. It often includes outrageous slurs, e.g., “Stalin committed atrocities (by the way isn’t he one of your heroes?)”, which also characterize not only the method, but the motivation.

    Example: When somebody notes that there is huge dispute within Islam in which the United States has a significant stake, that it is important (if we are not at war with the faith of 2 billion people) for us to know what the Islam IS, with which are not at war, and that we should communicate that to Muslims, a bigot is one who makes a response like: “you mean the ones that use a sharper knife so that the execution of their hostages is less painful?”

    Clear now, RN?

    But I don’t think it is exactly accurate to characterize it as a ‘religious war’. Europe has a long history with religious wars, against which the United States was most deliberately founded. This isn’t like that, exactly.

    I think it’s more like an evolution within Islam itself — which, on its own terms, isn’t exactly a religion in the same way Christianity or Judaism are, on their own terms.

    Judaism was never a proselytizing religion. Christianity always was — and remains, for the most part. But even the largest Christian faiths (notably the Catholics, and quite recently) have gradually accepted (grudgingly) the Judaic principle that ALL the righteous please God. (Part f the promise to Noah.) Islam is wrestling with that — which is worth respect.

    But what’s more important is how Muslims themselves are trying to get a grip on the moral value of civics. It’s important that bin Laden harks back to Mustafa Kemal abolishing the Caliphate. (It’s also important, for knuckleheads who brag about their bigotry against Islam, to remember that we have a NATO ally that is a Muslim people — the Turks; and of course I like to mention the Muslims in the U.S. military. Folks who brag about dissing allies AND members of our own soldiers, sailors, air force and Marines on religious grounds have a credibility problem, don’t ya think?)

    Sorting out the theology of how Islam is compatible with civics (which the Palestinian refugee Jamil Diab defied the FBI to teach Malcolm X and W. Deen Muhammed, long ago), is something within Islam in which the United States has an enormous stake.

    Bigots don’t help us.

  35. Richard Brandshaft says:

    A) “…Certainly, you haven’t forgotten the “terrorist” acts they [the KKK] committed or how hard it was for the FBI to dig them out?”

    Hard because they had a lot of support from the local population. Saying no one officially called a clergyman publicly supported them is a meaningless quibble. Did Southern whites of the time NOT call themselves Christian?

    B) “If it is not true that “Islam” did this, then where are the voices of Islam decrying the act and other acts of terrorism? The silence is deafening. By their silence they are complicit.”

    We have a high government official who:
    1) Makes a hobby out of prolonging the suffering of the terminally ill. (In his attempt to interfere with Oregon’s assisted suicide law.)
    2) Makes a hobby out of withholding anti-nausea medicine from people in chemotherapy. (In sabotaging state medical marijuana laws.)
    3) Is grossly incompetent in an office vital to the war effort. (The FBI obviously isn’t getting the adult supervision it needs.)

    Have conservatives denounced him? Even if conservatives have no morals except for their sex police, (3) would still be a good reason. No, conservatives are not complicit in anything as monstrous as the school massacre. They are just complicit by silence in far lesser atrocities. (I am ethnically Jewish, but I see a comparison between the Nazis and the Tuskegee study. Smaller scale does not excuse evil.)

    C) Strangely enough, there is an argument about whether intelligence is “multi-dimensional”. Translated from the technobabble, that means people can be smart about some things and dumb about others. Once translated from the technobabble, the whole argument seems dumb. But for those who still need it, we have unusually clear evidence:

    “There is one thing that I find to be truly amazing about Leftists like you. There is no level of savagery that can be committed by your friends that you cannot justify.”

    “To a leftist, a jihadi murderer is simply a fellow revolutionary.”

    The logic — typical conservative logic — goes like this:

    1) All who do not agree with conservatives are leftists.

    2) Conservatives are against Muslim terrorists.

    3) From (1) and (2) Muslim terrorists and their apologists are leftists.

    4) From (3) and a logical fallacy, all leftists are terrorist sympathizers.

    5) From (1), (4), and the same fallacy, all who do not agree with conservatives are terrorist sympathizers.

    Here we see the conservative world view in all it’s mind-boggling simplicity. The fallacy that derives (4) from (3) is common enough to have a name (which I’ve forgotten). The kicker is this: people who hold to this logic can actually function in everyday life, often even at an adult level. Intelligence is multi-dimensional.

    D) “And yet, tastefully tiptoeing round the subject, The New York Times couldn’t bring itself to use the words Muslim or Islamist…”

    The Bush administration is just as “tasteful.” This is related to the question of whether we are at war with “Islam.” Yes and no. Would attempts to stop the Crusaders, the Inquisitions, the Catholic-Protestant wars [insert long bloody list] have been war against Christianity? Yes and no. Islam is in the same state of maturity as Christianity when they gave the world the Crusades, the Catholic-Protestant Wars [repeat long list]. The Christians did quite enough damage with nothing more than gun powder, edged weapons and whatever. With nukes and biological weapons, we can’t just wait 1000 years for Islam to grow up. And again, getting the nation to face facts is the responsibility of the President, not the New York Times.

  36. Mad Scientist says:


    Your point “B” is a total non-sequitor. To wit:

    1) What you call “Assisted Suicide”, other people of conscious call murder. The Federal law that is being negated by the state of Oregon has to do with the misuse of a controlled substance. There are also ethical considerations which I suppose do not concern you.

    2) The power to regulate drugs is held by the FDA, not the states. Marijuana is listed as an illegal substance by the FDA. Ashcroft is enforcing the Federal law which he is sworn to uphold.

    3) Incompetence is in the eye of the beholder.

    Contrary to what you may wish to believe, not all conservatives are fans of Ashcroft (I am not, for example). However, he is a far better AG than Reno, whose main job it seems was to keep the heat off of Clinton.

  37. Mad Scientist says:

    Now on to your point “C”. The lapse in logic is stunning in it’s sheer magnitude. To wit:

    1) All who do not agree with conservatives are leftists.

    Not true. People who do not agree with conservatives are not all leftists. Leftists believe in things like assisted suicide and the ststes legalizing marijuana.

    2) Conservatives are against Muslim terrorists.

    Not true. Being against terrorism is neither Conservative or Liberal. Any rational human being is against all terrorists regardless of what crazy religion/philosophy they expouse.

    3) From (1) and (2) Muslim terrorists and their apologists are leftists.

    Wrong again. Muslim terrorists and their apologists are not rational human beings. While this is a prerequisite for being liberal, it is not sufficient. There are plenty of irrational conservatives (just look at Jerry Falwell)

    4) From (3) and a logical fallacy, all leftists are terrorist sympathizers.

    This makes no sense. See my response to (3) above.

    5) From (1), (4), and the same fallacy, all who do not agree with conservatives are terrorist sympathizers.

    Again, a non-sequitor.

    You have managed to make a number of false premises. I suggest you try to trim that broad brush down a bit.

  38. It is true that leftists seem to sympathize with muslim violence. This is probably only temporary, as long as a republican occupies the White House. With a democrat president, at least some of the sympathizers will probably change sides.

    Did you read the leftist email to Reynolds, calling for a party to celebrate the 1000th american soldier to die in Iraq? Typical.

  39. Richard Nieporent says:


    You are right. We shouldn’t be so judgmental with respect to Muslims. Just because they go about murdering Americans, Israelis, Italians, Nepalese, Spaniards, Australians, Indians, Sudanese Blacks and Russian men, women and children, who are we to say that it is wrong. Certainly you don’t think that. After all, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, right? In fact you don’t seem to see anything wrong with their Jihad against the West. After all, they have grievances, right?

    But what’s more important is how Muslims themselves are trying to get a grip on the moral value of civics.

    Sorting out the theology of how Islam is compatible with civics

    Besides the fact that these phrases don’t actually make any sense, just what are you trying to tell us? Is it that Muslims are having a debate among themselves on whether or not they should be civilized? I guess we can always give them another 1300 years to figure it out.

  40. theAmericanist says:

    If you don’t want to be a bigot — or, somewhat less mportantly, if you don’t want to be called on it: don’t act and talk like it.

    It is perfectly legit to describe somebody by an otherwise non-essential characteristic when that distinction is important, e.g., “the alleged killer was a tall bucktoothed white guy who looked like he’d been raised on tequila and heavy metal”. The important characteristic is that the guy is an alleged killer. That he is tall, and bucktoothed, and white, etc., are merely descriptions. Those characteristics didn’t make him a suspect. Almost 90 years ago, a guy who looked exactly like that won the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    But describing him that way, the APB folks wouldn’t bring in Mike Tyson. (One hopes.) This is true even though in other circumstances references to a non-essential characteristic are proof of prejudice, e.g., “three Americans and a Muslim were walking along…”

    You’re doing the latter, not the former. Again, just to be clear:

    Turkey is an ally, and something like 80% of its population are Muslims. You slime them.

    There are thousands of American Muslims serving in our armed forces. You slime them.

    The sad thing is, having been called on it, you’re proud of it.

    Fr the rest, the stuff you don’t get, well: bigots aren’t known for brains.

    It is NOT a non-essential characteristic of much (not all) terrorism that the terrorists are Muslims — of a sort.

    That makes the distinction between the good guys and the bad guys all the more important.

    LOL — not THAT complicated, is it?

  41. Richard Brandshaft says:

    Mad Scientist,
    Ouch. Apparently I was unclear. I was not endorsing the logic I outlined. I was saying that it was implicit in conservative commentary.


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