–important update below–
Michelle Malkin is shrill. Her conclusion reveals the ignorance that permeates the Right: “Political correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism.” The “handmaiden of terrorism” are statements like what Bill O’Reilly, Juan Williams, as well as Pamela Geller make, because it sends a message to moderates that it doesn’t matter what they do, because they’re part of the problem too simply because they’re Muslim.
This all began with Bill O’Reilly’s “The View” squeal, “because Muslims killed us on 9/11.” Juan Williams evidently thought it was brave to join in. On Bill-O’s heels, the Fox News weasel yelped that boarding a plane while viewing Muslims freaked him out.
Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”
Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.
He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.
The last moderate Muslim just locked her door.
For Mr. O’Reilly to state that jihad is “abetted by some Muslim nations” is the broadest brush possible to use. However, the Pamela Geller contingent has won out on this argument, with the Cordoba House now coloring all things many in America see about Muslims, which through the prism of 9/11 has brought back the fury on the wings of a movement whose goal is to take down Pres. Obama.
I remember well traveling after 9/11, the second airplanes started flying again I was on my way to a family wedding, which because planes had been grounded until that day, I was very likely to miss. There were less than a dozen people on each of the four planes I took, which made a circuitous route from Los Angeles to Memphis that took almost a day to travel. It was a very weird ride, starting with a security check that was intrusive, frightening, but which I totally understood.
The American Right needs a boogieman, always has. They see the world as a dangerous, unfriendly place where America has enemies everywhere. Maybe it’s something about fundamentalist Christianity that does it, but it makes a mockery of what true faith is supposed to be about. That’s always been the irony for me with the sleeve wearing religiosity of right-wingers.
The Cordoba House fury has made it okay for the ignorant to let it all hang out against Muslims. The moderates have lost.
Juan Williams is a jackass. He’ll likely get his own show on Fox.
…but let me add that doesn’t mean NPR should have fired him. Even a jackass has First Amendment rights.