It didn’t take the hate-Islam crowd long to start blaming the Ft. Hood shooting on Islam. Almost as soon as the media began reporting on the shooting, Jihad Watch, for instance, started highlighting Nidal Hasan’s Islamic faith, attempting to tie his act of murder to the teachings of the Qur’an.
One right-winged blogger described this as “a case of a fully coherent, Muslim man, who also happens to be a diligent practioner [sic] of his Islamic faith. This has nothing to do with ‘bullying’ or feelings of discrimination, but of a pious Muslim acting out on his beliefs.”
Click through the hate-o-sphere and you’ll find many similar comments.
So it seems that Islam is to blame. It seems that Islam is always to blame. According to the hate-Islam mindset, whenever a Muslim engages in evil—be it an honor killing or act of terrorism—Islam is to blame.
Of course, the logic here is atrocious.
For example, if Islam is to be blamed when Muslims do evil, then why isn’t it to be praised when Muslims do good? Why, for instance, don’t the Jihad Watch types give kudos to Islam when Palestinians in the West Bank village of Ni’lin engage in nonviolent protests? Why didn’t they feel that this summer’s peaceful protests in Iran in some sense validated Islam?
Personal experience has led me to believe that the world contains more—many more—good Muslims than bad Muslims. So why then does the hate-Islam crowd base their conclusions of Islam on the bad minority and not the good majority?
Moreover, if the Jihad Watch crowd blames Islam when Muslims do evil, then why don’t they blame Judaism when Jews do evil? If the Ft. Hood shooting discredits Islam, then why doesn’t Israel’s assault in Gaza or why don’t all the incidents of settler violence in the West Bank discredit Judaism?
The truth, of course, is that Islam does not promote terrorism. As Bernard Lewis (himself no Islamophile) has written: “At no point do the basic texts of Islam enjoin terrorism and murder. At no point—as far as I am aware—do they even consider the random slaughter of uninvolved bystanders.”
Christian Americans are actually more likely to justify terrorism than are those living in many predominantly Muslim countries. That’s right. One in four Americans—and remember, 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians—one in four Americans believe that “bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” are “often or sometimes justified.” The corresponding numbers in Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey are 10%, 14%, and 17%.
So Islam is not to blame. For the ten billionth time, Islam is not to blame. Just as Sergeant John Russell’s Catholic upbringing was not to blame when he gunned down five fellow soldiers in Baghdad earlier this year.
So don’t join the kooks. Don’t condemn the religion of one billion (mostly good-hearted and peace-loving) people because a small number of them commit evil actions. Don’t hate.