Oct 23 2010

Juan Williams and the Twisted Minds of the Super-Tolerant

Posted at BigPeace.com by Dr. Marc Weisman Oct 23rd 2010 at 8:30 am

IslamIslamic extremismMedia Criticism,PoliticsTerrorismshariaComments (19)

As a few of you may already know, Juan Williams, the liberal Fox News commentator and civil rights champion, wasabruptly and rudely fired on Thursday after the Council of Arab Islamic Relations (CAIR) not-so-subtly urged NPR to cut him loose.

What egregious act caused the axe to drop on Williams? The Monday before Williams was fired the commentator appeared on The O’Reilley Factor. Responding to a question posed to him by O’Reilley, Williams said that he, too, experiences anxiety about flying in a Post- 9/11 world. “When I get on a plane ,” Williams said, “I’ve got to tell you—when I see people who are in Muslim garb, and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Williams’ statement was an attempt to demonstrate that people’s fears—fears many of us hold, regardless of how rational they may be—need to be reconciled with the rights afforded to us under the constitution. However, in the twisted minds of the super-tolerant left, the die was cast.

But let’s really examine how illogical or prejudiced William’s admission actually was. Are we to forget that there have been at least six credible attempts to blow up airplanes by Islamic extremists in the past few years alone? Should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the current administration and the “mainstream” media have never pushed the silent majority of so-called moderate Muslims to speak out against extremism?  Or that they castigate those who do?

The Williams affair comes on the heels of an episode of the view, where those oftentimes less-than-irreproachable women from ABC’s The View—Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Beyhar— literally got up and walked off their live set on October 15th. The stunt was an attempt to paint Bill O’Reilley a xenophobic bigot by feigning disgust.

As I think the entire world now knows, The View incident occurred when O’Reilley had the audacity to point out that the 9/11 terrorists were actually Muslims.

Now, we have this equally bizarre incident with Williams. I must admit that I’m both puzzled and delighted by these stories. I am puzzled because no matter how hard I try I just cannot wrap my head around the naïve, Islamist-denying drivel that is flooding America today. I am delighted because this provides yet two more indefensible, ideology-driven, and irrational examples of the political left attempting to exercise their self-appointed roles as the politically correct guardians of radical Islam.

Let’s recap: CAIR, a Muslim activist group widely acknowledged as an Islamist organization itself, calls upon NPR to discipline a liberal, black commentator and champion of civil rights for sharing his widely-held fears about Muslims in the post 9 /11 world. They demanded this in response to his candid and reasonable admission that he feels angst when boarding a plane if fellow passengers include traditionally-garbed Muslims.  Then—the unabashedly liberal (and partly federally funded) NPR—terminates Williams’ ten-year employment with a text message followed by a phone call. Being the class act they are, they declined to meet him face to face to discuss his termination.

Maybe it’s just me, but this seems odd. Especially when Williams clarified on the same program that “We have an obligation as Americans to be careful to protect the constitutional rights of everyone in our country and to make sure that we don’t have any outbreak of bigotry—but that there’s a reality. You cannot ignore what happened on 9/11 and you cannot ignore the connection to Islamic radicalism.”

What Williams’ termination proves once again is that any dissent or outrage to Islamic extremism won’t be challenged in an open forum. Instead, the debate will be limited and the entire thing will be swept under the rug. And if you don’t think it will ever happen to you, let me share a story of my own:

As some of you know, I spent two years writing a book, Re-United States, which was recently published. The entire book is dedicated to exactly this issue: divisions within America and among Americans—some of which are real and some of which are imagined—and how these divisions cripple our approach to understanding radical Islam. I just learned that Re-United States will not be endorsed by my local community’s Jewish Book Fair this fall and that I, a new local author, will not even be listed in the new local authors section. No one had the civility to notify me or explain to me why I am being excluded, so I can only speculate. Could it be that my book’s message is incongruent with the local ideology?

My situation is not unique, and Williams’ termination is only the most recent example of it to grace national headlines. Dissent, even when it applies to opinions that the left is quick to label with ugly words like “xenophobic” or “fear mongering,” lead to a more mature national dialog. The left needs to be held to the fire and forced to defend their beliefs rather than allowed to (literally) walk off the set.

In fact, this kind of discourse might lead to Americans stop appeasing and start demanding the “silent majority” of Muslims to pick a side–hopefully ours. Many believe there is no moderate majority of Muslims, but I vigorously demur. Muslims the world over may be taught far too frequently to feel superior, to promulgate Islam by hook or by crook, and even to abhor infidels, but they are not all buying into this. It is this silent majority of which I speak. I believe that if we engage them, hold them accountable and even shame them to join the battle, we can defeat Islamic extremism. If you look at the numbers, it’s the only chance we’ve got, folks.

Juan Williams spoke his mind truthfully, and as an American, and he was silenced. I am not sure if we have yet reached peak awareness on this dangerous, self-destructive, politically correct and politically motivated bullying but we must be getting close. Williams may be fired, but I’m just getting fired up. How about you?


Oct 11 2010

Half-Ass Backwards

Posted on BigPeace by Dr. Marc Weisman Oct 11th 2010 at 11:29 am in IslamIslamic extremismMedia Criticism,TerrorismshariaComments (36)

Earlier this week in New York, the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated in no uncertain terms that radical Islam has been winning several battles against the West. Blair cited that in Islamic theocracies, there exists a growing misconception that the West is attacking Islam as a whole rather than simply its extremist, more virulent strains.

Tony-Blair1

And why does this misconception exist?

According to Blair, it’s because of a total absence of any kind of rebuttal from the Western media. “Measure, over the years, the paucity of our counter-attack in the name of peaceful coexistence,” Blair said. “We have been outspent, outmaneuvered and out-strategized.”

Blair said that the West’s tendency to “sympathize” with extremism was not only dangerous, but disempowering for moderate Muslims; the failure to differentiate between the two builds mistrust towards all Muslims as extremists. Siding with Blair, I would add that the only way the West can triumph over radical Islam is by encouraging the silent majority of moderate Muslims to speak out against Islamic extremism wherever it occurs.

By not holding extremists accountable—and make no mistake, we do this every time we apologize for and rationalize their heinous behavior—we absolve them of their wrongdoing. By the same token, when we do not hold moderate Muslims accountable for their apathy and indolence, we squander an opportunity to encourage them to join a fight that is in both of our interests. Without this urging, such moderates will continue to watch from the sidelines.

President Obama’s unprecedented levels of appeasement have removed any and all pressure on these non-extremists, which leaves us to do all the heavy lifting alone. This of course provides more fodder to the spin doctors, who brand us as anti-Muslim hate mongers—which in turn cause the ranks of Jihadists to swell with fresh recruits.

We’re not really anti-Islamic here in the West, but the left-leaning, apologist media is inadvertently feeding that image when we are left to combat Islamism without any significant assistance from so-called moderate Muslims. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!

It bears mentioning I had to cross the pond to the UK’s online version of the Daily Telegraph to even find an article on Blair’s speech. The only media source that covered the speech was ABC online of Australia, which saw fit to cover the speech with a negative angle; author Amin Saikal criticized Blair’s comments, stating that “many extreme elements in the Muslim world could take heart from Blair’s condemnation of ‘radical Islam’, enabling them to sharpen their argument that the West is against not only Muslim extremists but the religion of Islam itself, and thus widen their circles of recruitment and sympathy in the Muslim world.”

To recap: we cannot fight the extremists directly, we cannot condemn their actions, and we cannot condemn our own liberal press when they fail to provide coverage to those who do speak out —to do any of this is evidence, apparently, of Islamophobia. I think Mr. Blair is right: if these are the constraints of the world we live in, we have clearly been out-strategized. Fighting a war on terror under these circumstances is destined to be both half-assed and ass-backwards unless we change the rules.


Oct 10 2010

We Need to Stop Apologizing for Our Anti-Terror Efforts

Posted at BigPeace.com by Dr. Marc Weisman Sep 28th 2010 at 3:39 am as Featured StoryIslamIslamic extremismMedia CriticismObamaTerrorismshariaComments (58)

I am struck by the glut of recent examples of how incredibly biased our mainstream media remains vis a vis radical Islam. To be frank, an ideologically driven obsession with not appearing intolerant has crippled our nation’s ability to report anti-Islamist activities.

Few Americans realize how dangerous this is. Consider the following: the press is given broad legal protections in order to protect us by performing investigative functions. It would be bad enough if their misguided sentiment simply prevented their diligent scrutiny of all things Islamist in America, but such is the least of our nation’s worries. Currently, we are finding that the media is overreacting and vehemently attacking those who dare speak out against radical Islam, branding them xenophobic, far-right bigots!

Granted, political partisanship is nothing new, but it is heightened in today’s climate for two reasons. First, PresidentObama is widely seen as inappropriately placatory to Islam. Second, the Ground Zero Mosque debate—which also includes a component of presidential appeasement—has lit a fire under the entire issue of non-violent Islam in America and the West. The press is absolutely horrified that the apparent majority of Americans seem to understand and sympathize with those who are openly resisting stealth Jihad. As a case in point, nearly 70% of Americans oppose the GZM. There exists a large, vocal, and increasing minority of us who oppose “special privileges” for Muslims in America; as a group, we’re simply calling it as we see it: a slow, Jihadist strategy to undermine our secular but Christian-founded society. Meanwhile, the elitists within American media find themselves wondering how they have lost control of this national discussion to these “Right Wing nuts.”

Consider these three media examples, each of which relates to the story of two men who were detained in Amsterdam earlier this month on a flight from Chicago on suspicion of a trial run for a terrorist attack. The two men were apparently allowed to board an Amsterdam-bound plane from O’Hare airport despite “security concerns.” What were those concerns? Both men are Muslims whose original flight path routed through Yemen (a known haven for Islamist airline terror), both were wearing suspiciously  bulky clothing, they were carrying $7,000 in cash and—get this—between the two men, authorities found a cell phone duct taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, box cutters, and at least one knife.

Seems pretty reasonable to check these guys out a little more closely, no? They were, however, eventually released due to a lack of evidence and no apparent ties to terrorists. I have little problem with the circumstances of their release—after all, we’re innocent until proven guilty—but here is where I get incredulous: the following week’s Sunday edition of the New York Times included two editorials; the first was titled “My Nine Years as a Middle Eastern American,” in which the author lamented the Islamophobia of America. The second ran under the headline, “Is This America,” wherein the author lambasted the extremists in our midst—and not the Islamist ones—the anti-Islamist ones. The recent Detroit Free Press’ article on this case showcased not the angle of terrorism, but the horror of profiling and the damage done because of it.

Does any American actually believe that we should apologize for detaining these two men? I mean, really: I’m to believe that detaining Middle Eastern men with Yemeni ties, box cutters, and sham radio-activated liquid-based bombs from boarding a commercial airplane was a bad thing?

I have stated before that the mainstream media in America is the unwitting abettor and mercenary army of radical Islam, and here again my point is proven. Am I alone in recognizing the desperate attempt by the media to derail the progress made by those who shine a light on the shadowy and well-defended world of slow Jihad? What we are witnessing is a battle in which reason and logic are struggling to break free from the iron grip of the mainstream media’s toxic ideology of concilliation.