I’m sorry I haven’t been able to Slog at all today—I was out of town for two days, and had a lot of catching up to do, and a feature to edit.
I did want to respond to a guy who is currently ranting up a storm in our comments and forums. Paul writes…
Wake up Seattle. This Islam is not Kind Its a new Mein Kampf a new third reich and instead of Brown Shirts they where Veils and Turbons and even got their Kids doing the mohammed goosestep.
I’ve used the term “Islamo-fascist,” and I’ve been called a racist for doing so. I don’t think it’s racist—and it’s not a term applies to all Muslims. I do, however, think it applies to Muslims who want to force everyone else on earth to live by the strictures of their faith. Read Osama bin Laden’s letters to America—he’s a fascist. Thankfully, however, the term can only be applied to a small percentage of Muslims. You paint with too broad rush, Paul, and I would describe your rants as racist.
By way of evidence, I would point to the reaction of Seattle’s Muslim community to the Stranger’s decision to publish some of the allegedly “blasphemous” Mohammed cartoons. Their reaction? Well, so far as I can tell, it consisted of a giving a few quotes to a Seattle Times reporter. We’ve received no death threats, there have been no demonstrations outside our offices, and my head is still firmly attached to my shoulders.
American Muslims, Seattle’s Muslims—they get it, Paul. While the editors of other papers pussy around, worrying about giving offense, Seattle’s Muslims reacted to our decision to print the `toons in much the same way that Seattle’s Catholics reacted to our dying Pope cover: they shrugged it off. Sucking up the occasional dig, even the occasional blasphemous outrage, is part of the price of admission in our culture, and Muslims are no less capable of paying that price.
So it’s hardly fair to insist that all of Islam, or all Muslims, are fascist. Islam has a problem—a mosque was bombed today in Iraq by Muslims. But Islam, like Catholicism before it (which has a long history of coddling fascists), can right itself. The West can help Islam right itself by refusing to enact a double standard, i.e. to carve out an exception for Islam, when it comes to free speech, thought, expression, etc.