OMID SAFI'S EXQUISITE ART OF MORAL EQUIVALENCY
By Winfield Myers
Rather than proving his claim, however, Safi highlights what he attempts to deny -- that the double standard in Americans' treatment of Muslims leads Americans to turn a blind eye toward Islamic radicals while condemning non-Muslims harshly. Willful blindness, not bigotry, is the hallmark of the contemporary West's treatment of Islamic radicalism.
Hasan, a psychiatrist who slaughtered thirteen fellow soldiers while shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great"), psychologically abused his patients -- weary, sometimes mentally fragile Iraq War veterans seeking medical treatment. He condemned their service to their country, attempted to convert some to Islam, and told an Army captain that she was an infidel who would be "ripped to shreds" and would "burn in hell" because she was not a Muslim. His file reveals years of unprofessional, highly aggressive behavior toward Army personnel driven by his desire to carry out jihad -- holy war -- against Americans. Private business cards found in his apartment after his arrest stated that he was an "SoA (SWT)," an acronym found on jihadist websites that stands for "Soldier of Allah" and "Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala," or "Glory to God."
Yet, in spite of a mountain of evidence against Hasan, official government reactions to his murderous rampage and to other actions by radical Islamists reveal anything but bigotry against Muslims:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to state that radical Islam played any role in the Fort Hood shooting or the attempted bombing of Times Square in New York City in 2009.
Federal officials regularly resort to euphemisms, including "overseas contingency operation," "a campaign against extremists who wish to do us harm," and "countering violent extremism" to describe America's wars against radical Islamists and terror-sponsoring nations.
That Hasan got away with his actions without being expelled from the Army, if not prosecuted, is testimony to the West's pusillanimity in the face of radical Islam and its apologists, not its bigotry against them.
Hasan is entirely representative of jihadists who infiltrate Western institutions and kill in the name of Islam. Bales, who gunned down sixteen innocent Afghan civilians, is undeniably unrepresentative of U.S. military personnel, whether in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Countless Americans have given their lives to protect Muslims from those same Muslims' brethren, including Americans lost through the implementation of military tactics that place U.S. personnel in increased danger of death in order to spare civilians from casualties.
Safi's analogy fails also because Hasan was, in fact, in contact with radical Islamists and jihadist websites around the world (although Safi claims he acted as a "lone person"), including the late Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni cleric with whom Hasan exchanged ten to twenty e-mails and at whose mosque he worshipped in Virginia. In the wake of Hasan's actions, al-Awlaki called him a "hero" and wrote:
There is utterly no evidence that Bales acted from any religious motivation, or that he was part of a larger network. Moreover, where is any praise of Bales, from anyone? Both President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called Afghan president Karzai to apologize for Bales's act. Bales is under arrest, held in solitary confinement, and faces charges that could lead to the death penalty. Safi, desperate to link two disparate killers, is grasping at straws.
Safi has a long history of defending radical Islamists and smearing his critics, all while posing as a progressive Muslim fighting for justice. From classroom assignments in which scholars with whom he disagrees are labeled "Islamophobes" to charging falsely that Robert Spencer threatened to kill him, Safi lashes out at those who would expose his efforts to shill for Islamists. In his latest apologia for terrorists, he insults the professionalism of the American military, the decency of the American people, and the truth.
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
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Winfield Myers, an American journalist and public intellectual, is Director of Campus Watch and Academic Affairs at the Middle East Forum, He is a graduate of Young Harris College and the University of Georgia and studied History in Graduate School at Tulane University and the University of Michigan. Myers taught Great Books in the Honors College at the University of Michigan, European History at the Universities of Michigan and Georgia and at Tulane University and Xavier University of Louisiana. Previously, Myers was Managing Editor of American Enterprise, a monthly magazine formerly published by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Earlier, Myers helped found the Democracy Project and served as its Chief Executive Officer.
Myers is principal author and Editor of a Conservative college guide, Choosing the Right College, which has an introduction written by former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett. Having served as Senior Editor and Communications Director at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Myers is now founding Editor of the ISI Study Guides to the Liberal Arts.
Myers's writings have appeared in National Review Online, the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Examiner, American Outlook, the American Thinker, Front Page Magazine, the Providence Journal, Insight, and the Texas Education Review, as well as in other periodicals. Myers has been a guest on many radio shows, including BBC and Radio New Zealand, and has appeared as an education expert on Fox News, CBN, Australian SBS TV, and PAX TV.
Republished with Permission of Winfield Myers
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