It’s difficult to comment on the events of last Thursday without being suspected of terrorism yourself. After all, this country’s media (and perhaps its tribunals) run on a premise of “innocent until proven Muslim.” That said, I offer condolences to the victims of the Fort Hood shootings and wish for swift, fair, and strong punishment against Major Hasan once he has recovered from injuries. I also, as it should go without saying, condemn Major Hasan’s actions, which are indefensible by any means.
Nevertheless, I find the actions of the media from Thursday onward extremely troubling. From Fox News’s Shepard Smith’s first question (“The name tells us a lot, does it not, senator?“) to the mainstream media’s drawing at straws for links to Al-Qaeda (see the Telegraph for some of the most egregious examples) to the rabid neocons on Twitter blaming the whole thing on the Muslim community at large, one thing is quite clear to me: anti-Islamic sentiment, not obesity as it is often claimed, is the last acceptable form of discrimination.
Daryl Cagle’s cartoon, to me, epitomizes the problem with the media. While those who terrorize in the name of Christianity (George Tiller’s murderer, for example) or Judaism (Baruch Goldstein, or more recently Yaakov Teitel, who is accused of “hate crimes” not terrorism) are not held up as examples of their religions’ more radical sides, every time a Muslim commits a crime, Islam is immediately put on trial.
The mosque in which Major Hasan prayed at happens to be where the 9/11 hijackers prayed. Nevermind the fact that the Al Hijrah happens to be one of the largest and most influential (not to mention centralized) mosques in the United States, where many Muslims stop through during visits to the area; of course there’s a link, right? Allegedly Major Hasan yelled “Allah Akbar” before committing his murderous acts. Of course, that must mean that he was doing it in the name of Islam, right? Nevermind the fact that Muslims say that at least 5 times per day, each time they pray. Nevermind that.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of my favorite columnists, had this to say in the Atlantic, in response to Zionist Jeff Goldberg’s extremely weak argument that the media holds Christians to the same standard:
I could be wrong, but I don’t recall a lot of “media elites” trying to divine what Tiller’s death said about Christianity, itself. Again, beyond the fact that some wacko interpreted Christianity to mean he had the right to shoot people, what else would there be to say?
Coates is absolutely spot-on in his assessment. Hating Muslims is the last acceptable form of racism, apparently. And have no doubt – in full awareness that Muslims do not constitute a race, it has all the characteristics of racism, just like the anti-Jewish sentiment of the last century did.
I have no doubt that the media will continue its witch hunt against Islam; for in America, you are innocent until proven guilty, unless of course you’re Muslim.