Friday, October 15, 2010

"Muslims Killed Us": Who Is Us?

A few weeks ago I watched Irshad Manji speak on a panel moderated by Christiane Amanpour about Islam in America. She said something which I've been feeling for some time, not only about Muslims, but about the left in general. She said Muslims should be prepared to rationally discuss bigoted comments; don't first assume your adversary is an evil miscreant - he may just be misinformed. No matter how "self-evident" the issue may seem to you, be patient and discuss.

So Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar failed that test. As Joan Walsh put it, O'Reilly succeeded in shutting down not only dissent, but liberal women as well, something he often excels at. Whether it was staged or not, it made the women and their ideas look weak. Before leaving, Whoopi mentioned Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber:
"What religion was Mr. McVeigh? Mr. McVeigh was an extremist too."
True, but he didn't do it in the name of Christ or the Bible. This is what confuses people - me included - because it's not an accurate comparison. Liberals like Whoopi and Joy - midday television personalities - need to do a better job at communicating why Bill O's comments are offensive, wrong and bigoted. They've been taking their assumptions too much for granted and seem to have forgotten how to explain such basic concepts as bigotry, equality and even taxes.

Manji attempts to do this and it's why her voice is so important. She's willing to criticize her faith while not shying away from proclaiming herself a devout Muslim. I'd love to hear her destroy Bill O on this topic (rationally and methodically, of course).

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