The American Left: Don't believe those guys, they aren't really Muslims

The amazing thing about the American left is the way that any action by itself or its pet groups is the action of deranged individuals and any action by someone vaguely connected with conservatism is an indictment of everyone who holds a political ideology. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to the actions of muslim extremists.

In the wake of the attack on the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the airwaves have been crowded by American leftists claiming the perpetrators were not actually muslim. For instance Howard Dean on Morning Joe (h/t to Newsbusters which comprises 50% of Joe Scarborough’s audience)

DEAN:  You know, this is a chronic problem. I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am. I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life, that’s not what the Koran says. Europe has an enormous radical problem. I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it’s a cult.

BRZEZINSKI: Interesting, yeah.

DEAN:[…] So, this is really complicated stuff, and I think you have to treat these people as basically mass murderers. But I do not think we should accord them any particular religious respect, because I don’t think, whatever they’re claiming their motivation is, is clearly a twisted, cultish mind.

At Vox.com

Vox Credibility 622

Dunderkind Ezra Klein takes it a step further. These people are just nuts.

What happened on Wednesday, according to current reports, is that two men went on a killing spree. Their killing spree, like most killing sprees, will have some thin rationale. Even the worst villains believe themselves to be heroes. But in truth, it was unprovoked slaughter. The fault lies with no one but them and their accomplices. Their crime isn’t explained by cartoons or religion. Plenty of people read Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons and managed to avoid responding with mass murder. Plenty of people follow all sorts of religions and somehow get through the day without racking up a body count. The answers to what happened today won’t be found in Charlie Hebdo’s pages. They can only be found in the murderers’ sick minds.

What both Dean and Klein have done have used tautology to explain away the obvious motivator. Dean takes the more theological approach. He declares that muslim extremists don’t exist because, well, there are no muslim extremists because he (an Episcoplian that backslid into Unitarianism) says these people aren’t muslims. Klein uses the Chris Rock approach and proclaims them deranged. Never mind that truly deranged people rarely harm anyone but themselves.

It seems that the only people who agree that the shooters were muslims are, well, muslims. For instance a genuine muslim imam named Anjem Choudary took to the pages of USA Today:

Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires.

Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, “Whoever insults a Prophet kill him.”

Anyone who has played sports knows the value of scouting the competition. This is why NFL teams spend hours watch game films. Because if you don’t understand who you are facing you are going to be in for some unpleasant surprises. This is what we’ve been laboring under since before 9/11. For various cultural reasons, primarily the inability to believe that a lot of the 1 billion muslims in the world actually want us dead, we’ve refused to acknowledge that while we aren’t at war with Islam, most adherents of Islam are at war with us. By refusing to use this pretty obvious factor as a screen criteria we find colostomy patients denied the ability to fly and toddlers strip searched while we studiously ignore the one criteria most likely to indicate a terrorist.

At some level this queasiness about grouping people together is understandable (and perhaps one day the left will pretend that conservatives are muslims and stop ascribing the same beliefs to all of us) but the sight of people, like Dean, like Klein, proclaiming that they, white, upscale, educated, secular Americans, understand the true nature of Islam and that people born in that culture and carry out acts motivated by that religion are not muslims is simply demeaning to anyone who happens to hear it.