Friday, December 04, 2015

How The Daily News Misses the Point With Its Lauded Cover

The Daily News is right. But since these other lone-wolf gun nuts don't have a worldwide network recruiting legions of others to do the same thing, what really is their point? Fine, they're ALL terrorists, in the general sense of the word. Someone who shoots up a movie theater or schoolhouse doesn't have a political agenda -- the true definition of terrorism -- but I'd agree they are inflicting terror. But it still reeks of false equivalency to me, with people wanting to label all these Americans "Christian" terrorists when their Christianity almost never has anything to do with their motives. American's problem is gun worship, not fundamentalism. I keep trying to say Muslims are not the problem -- Islamism is -- but misguided liberals say it's still a dressed-up way of pointing the finger at Islam, which makes me [insert horrible word(s) here]. (Ouch! It was the first time I understood why the right calls liberals "bullies.") (See also: Afflecking.) Well, here's the thing. Every religion has its bad apples. And they've all been particularly horrible to minorities, women, LGBT people and so on. But there's no denying that Islam is the one major religion that hasn't progressed as far into the 21st century. One of my friends is from Yemen and spent his childhood moving from country to country, watching his mother and sisters go from being treated as people to treated like dirt depending on which type of government was in power. Girls in "modern" Indonesia are given "virginity tests" to enter the military. Saudi Arabia cuts criminals' hands off as punishment. And you can be KILLED IN THE STREET for holding hands with your same-sex partner in many Muslim nations. I don't know about your level of "religious tolerance," but this is UNACCEPTABLE to me. Secular and secularish members are, obviously, not the problem. But there ARE way more people who follow Islam more by the book -- what I'm describing is being done by government institutions, not extremists -- and it's obviously having an effect on large groups of people, making the Islamist movement possible. If we don't acknowledge this, how can we address it? We talked openly about not wanting the religious right telling us we couldn't get married, so I don't understand why we aren't allowed to talk openly about this.

Hard to tell our "ally" apart from our enemy, isn't it?


northalabama said...

i keep trying to say religion isn’t the problem, either.

but, with each gop presidential candidate video released showing rallies joined by religious supporters advocating horrific actions, beginning with reparative therapy and denying basic civil rights, all the way to the religious stonings and killing of gays, without a resounding backlash from supposed “moderate” religious followers, i’m quickly losing what little faith i have remaining...

Matthew Rettenmund said...

I don't think mentally ill people are terrorists, but comparing these Islamists to Dear is not a false equivalency—the anti-abortion religious right is preaching hatred and advocating violence and insurrection on a daily basis. I don't think it is as threatening to us because it doesn't come off as being foreign and mysterious to us in the U.S., and because we think that the # of Christians who would give a thumbs-up to the Planned Parenthood shooting is lower than the # of Muslims who would give a thumbs-up to Paris or San Bernardino. Also, I do not accept the thesis that the left won't acknowledge that Islamist terrorism is a problem; the left just seems to draw the line at saint Islam is intrinsically to blame.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@Matt: Good points. But Dear is very much the exception to the rule here, and the only one that works on this cover, if he works at all.

We need to talk about ISLAM.

das buut said...

How about we stop giving any of these assholes power and label them what they are. Murderers. No more 'terrorist', the government has become terrorists themselves with all their scare tactics bullshit. The word has lost it's meaning.

As for Islam, ban it. Ban all religion. There can be nothing good to come of it. We've given it 239 years to prove that this form of delusion is rational and beneficial, that's far more than enough.

Bob K said...

How can we say "a large part of Religion X is wrong and on a dangerous path"?
Especially when the dominant religion in the USA is open to similar charges?

It is very hard to call out the bad muslims without fear that the peaceful muslims in the US will be attacked.
But no dominant figures in the muslim world are taking a strong public stand against the 13th Century guys.

And can we mention the favoritism for many decades toward Israel, as well as our continually attacking muslim countries "to improve them", or to get their oil?

It is a fucked up mess.

Robert Marez said...

Please tell me you are trolling here.

Yes, I subscribe to the Maher way of thinking about Islam. But I also subscribe to the dangers of, should I even dare say it, all religions.

This cover is not about any false equivalency. It is pointing out that the millions of Americans who live in fear of terrorist always think of brown people.

I have friends, people who I consider intelligent reasonable people on both ends of the political spectrum, who, as Texans, better understand the need for undocumented workers better than any one in the northeast. They quote the words on the statue of liberty and say, "fuck you and your deportation talk. Undocumented workers give us cheap labor, and because Texas doesn't have an income tax, they pay their taxes just like the rest of us do."

And yet, when we talk about the Syrians, they all clam up tighter than a virgin on prom night.

When I ask them where's their belief in the American experiment, where's there understanding that every group of immigrants faces this sort of criticism and 2 generations later, their grandkids are disappointingly American to their grandparents into our way of life?

They said the same thing about the Vietnamese. Anecdotally, I work with one of those girls who we were told would strap bombs to their chest and kill us all. She has kids she's struggling to appreciate their heritage, and her father's 10 children all gave him (her mother has passed, I'm not ignoring her) mixed race grandchildren.

The point of the cover is that we always win in our assimilation...except when we don't...because some of us think their America is better than the rest of ours. You can't see that ignorant gun laws and a "let's return to a better time (like when Din Draper was a king)" narrative to lost white boys is fueling the larger portion of domestic terrorism?

Muslims aren't the problem...Islam isn't the problem...the west's arrogance that their terrorist are less problematic us the problem...the west's nationalist movements where they have lost faith in the absolute power of their inclusive way of life is the problem.

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