Thursday, December 17, 2015

Is Nobel Winner Malala Yousafzai Implying Muslims Are More Prone to Violence?

You don't need to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner to know Donald Trump is a f**king moron. But what Malala Yousafzai said after condemning his "no Muslims allowed" plan gave me pause:
On Tuesday, Ms. Yousafzai warned that anti-Muslim speech would only incite more terrorism. “The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create,” she told Britain’s Channel 4. “So it’s important that whatever politicians say, whatever the media say, they should be really, really careful about it. If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism.”
I don't get it -- is this a tacit admission that Muslims are more prone to violence? Black people were enslaved and continue to be discriminated against all the time, and have had to listen to people say "all black are ____." Jews were persecuted by the millions and still face anti-Semitism, and have had to listen to people say "all Jews are ____." My fellow LGBT comrades and I have been harassed and demeaned and (still) have laws on the books against us to stop us from having equality. And many of us were bashed or murdered throughout the years, and we've had to listen to people say "all fags are ____." And hell, what about people from Jersey?! But I don't remember any of these groups ever threatening to become what it is they are being accused by small-minded bigots of being as a result of it,. Am I missing something here?


KevinG MO said...

I think you may be missing something. Within each of the groups that you mention, except those from Jersey (LOL), there have been factions that have organized, advocated and carried out violent acts. Within Israel there is the Jewish Underground, a group of extremist, mostly ultra-conservative and ultra-nationalist Jews who have terrorized not only Palestinians, but other Jews. One of these, Yigal Amir, murdered Yitzak Rabin in 1995. We've all heard of the Black Panther Party, which committed acts of terrorism in the late 1960's, and a splinter group called the Black Liberation Army, which killed 13 police officers and was involved in over 60 incidents of violence between 1970 and 1980. And while I wouldn't ever call it organized terrorism, there were splinter groups of small numbers of gays who committed vandalism and violence in the 1980's, mostly in response to the AIDs crisis. I think what Malala is expressing is that any time a group of people feels they are being "shat" upon by others, there will be some of them that react violently. Not a Muslim thing at all.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

I think you're bending over backward to clean up what's really going on in the same way I am being deliberately obtuse :-)

KevinG MO said...

Sorry, I usually get your obtuse and ironical posts, one of the reasons I love the blog :-)

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Ha! Thanks. Your points are well-taken, but the carnage seems infinitesimal by comparison with what we're seeing by Islamic extremists -- and I'm also talking about killing fellow Muslims.

KevinG MO said...

I think their are many factors, and I am certainly no expert and don't have a judgement on this! Could be the shear number who practice a religion (Islam is practiced by almost 20% of the world, Judaism by 0.2%) Also the wealth of those that practice, with Middle Eastern countries being some of the poorest on Earth ( And while there are Islamic countries that are rich, that wealth is distributed to only a small fraction of the populace. Foreign interventions need to also be considered, I mean, who wants their country to be invaded, and how much resentment results? And if we consider the carnage of Africans against Africans, with tribal, but without religious affiliation, just remember Rwanda ( ), with 500K to 1M people slaughtered - in a non-Muslim country ( Scale of atrocity is not peculiar to Islam.

das buut said...

Let's wash our hands of all of them. Let them kill themselves or save themselves. I am tired of pussy footing around religions. These special snowflakes want us to respect their rites, yet want to use those same rites to terrorize or discriminate against us. Islam is only the most vocal outside the U.S. right now. Get rid of them all. No good can come from religion since no one can claim to have the right one as it is all unprovable bullshit.

Damian said...

I've certainly been a Malala fan all along, and admire how she rebounded from a horrific attack to become such an eloquent voice, but I agree this particular piece of rhetoric -- although to be clear, my critique here isn't personalized as against the talking point itself-- leaves a lot to be desired. Obviously collective guilt is counterproductive and wrongheaded, and yet the proffered rationalizations for "radicalization" seem to be a moving target. It used to be about the Palestinian cause, which is still regrettably festering but seems to have receded in profile among jihadist rants; then it was American/Western occupation (except IS actually filled the vacuum of complete withdrawal from Iraq!); and now it's stigmatizing bad-mouthing? Plenty of marginalized, impoverished and stigmatized communities -- and to be clear, their plights should be highlighted and causes championed -- such as the Roma in the otherwise "tolerant" EU and indigenous communities through the Americas have it rougher, in my opinion, yet nobody walks on eggshells around them. The squeaky (explosive) wheel certainly does get the grease.

Until recent years (unfortunately) American foreign policy had a much more devastating impact on Central America and Southeast Asia throughout the Cold War, yet I haven't heard of a Guatemalan or Laotian al-Qaeda. I don't profess to know the answers, but we need to accept that the Wahhabism/Salafism strains of Islam (the former was and remains bankrolled by our Saudi "allies") pose a hugely virulent ideology contaminating the wider religion. In fact, this NYT piece just from today examines how moderate Muslims are a vanishing breed in Pakistan -- kind of like vanishing moderate Republicans in the US. ;) Yes, economic opportunities and individual rights need to be expanded, but this is true throughout the developing world; we need to address why violent extremism has found such fertile ground in particular (yes, majority-Muslim) regions/countries. Nigeria, and most of sub-Saharan Africa, faces huge challenges in which the colonialist hangover is complicit, but the plethora of examples where civilians have been terrorized (Boko Haram, operating from the north of Nigeria, hence my mention; AQ in NA/Mali extremists; al-Shabab) again point to a particular creed/commonality. Reaching back to the genocide of Rwanda decades ago isn't a counterweight, as well as wandering into apples and oranges of human atrocities.

Again, this isn't to point fingers needlessly, or to feed into the corrosive, objectionable antics of Trump and other demagogues, but for the sake of candid, hopefully illuminating discussion.

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