In this post of mine about Peretz’s article on the attitude of the Presbyterian and Episcopalian church leaderships towards Israel and the Palestinians, I found this interesting comment from one of my many anonymous readers:
“the most murderous people on the planet”
Just a few gems of some of the most over the top anti-Arab propaganda I’ve seen lately! I find it ironic that, in your attempt to point out Anti-Semitism, you let loose with anti-Arab vitriol.
The first two phrases are quotes from me, the second is from another commenter. In fact, I find it ironic that my post was most decidedly not an attempt to point out anti-Semitism, which makes me question whether “anonymous” even read the post itself with any care. But that’s a side issue.
I call the comment “interesting” because it demonstrates a trend I’ve noticed over and over again among the left and others who disagree with those criticizing Islamofascists: the playing of, not the race card, but the racist card. When in doubt, when all argument and all logic fails, when it’s not possible or when it’s merely difficult to attack an argument on the merits, the preferred approach is to call the writer a racist.
Is it racism to speak truth about a general trend among a group? If someone were to say, for example, that Ethiopians and Kenyans are overrespresented among distance runners–in fact, are probably the best runners, as a group, in the world–is that racist? It’s just a fact. Does it mean that all Ethiopians and Kenyans are good runners? No. Does it mean that the running propensities of Ethiopians and Kenyans are innate and hardwired? Not necessarily. It’s simply an observation borne out by facts–these groups are overrepresented among distance runners.
So it is for the Palestinians. There is a nihilistic strain among Palestinians, and in many other Arab cultures, that is quite powerful. Are nihilists overrepresented in Arab culture? Yes. Are all Arabs nihilists? Of course not. Are all nihilists Arabs? Absolutely not. But to call the Palestinians the “nihilistic darlings” of the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches is simply a statement of fact, and one that, in the original context in which I wrote it, was directed towards critiquing the leadership of those churches (not towards rank and file Episcopalians and Presbyterians, by the way–and would it be racist if it had been? Are all groups races? For that matter, are the Palestinians even a race? Of course not).
In addition, note that commenter “anonymous” is not particularly careful with his/her quotes and their interpretation. Yes indeed, I did write “nihilistic darlings” about the Palestinians whom the Church leadership favors–meaning, of course, the widespread support of Palestinians in general for the numerous nihilists among them. But here is the context for the quote “murderous ideologies”:
Although some in these particular churches have a history of fellow-traveling with other murderous ideologies such as Communism, Peretz rightly points out that…
To call such a comment “over the top anti-Arab propoganda” and “vitriol” is, quite simply, an absurdity. By “murderous ideologies” I think it’s quite clear that I am referring to terrorism and Islamofascism, not to Arabs or to Islam as a whole, and in this quote I’m especially applying the phrase to Communism. Hardly a race, and certainly not Arabs.
As for the final quote, “the most murderous people on the planet,” the actual quote is from this comment, and it goes like this:
Hoping to be spared the hatred of the most murderous peoples on the planet, they are ready to feed the Jews to the crocodile in the hopes they will be eaten last.
I’m not sure whether it’s important that the word is actually “peoples” and not “people.” But, once again, it’s simply a fact. As Samuel Huntington put it “Islam has bloody borders.”
Why deny it? Is it racist to say anything critical about a group, however true, however obvious, however important it is to know? If the “anonymouses” of the world had their way back in WWII, would we have had to have kept mum about the murderous ideology of Nazism, and its support among the German people?
How do I truly feel about Islam? Well, along with Dr. Sanity, I don’t much care one way or the other about it. I never really noticed it until recently. I only care about it when it’s used by murderers as an excuse to kill me and other innocent people, and to glory in such murders. And Arabs? They’re fine, never had a moment’s problem with them, until I realized that so many of them were celebrating and advocating the death of Americans, Israelis, Jews, and other westerners, and that there is something about the culture that seems to foster and support this sort of thing. It is simply an empirical fact, and if we ignore it or cover it up, we do so, quite literally, at our own peril.