Journalists reporting on the jihadist massacre at the Parisian satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and the subsequent deadly hostage-taking at a nearby kosher deli, have been insisting that the growing worldwide threat to free expression emanates from some nonspecific entity known as Violent Extremism.
The Nation’s Laila Lalami charged that Charlie’s Muslim cartoons were nothing more than “casual bigotry”; she dismissed the notion that the attacks were a result of Islamic radicalization. Her evidence? Two of the victims included a Muslim copy editor who was working at Charlie that day and a Muslim police officer who showed up on the scene.
Newsflash: Muslims don’t have qualms about killing other Muslims. I think the barbaric actions of ISIS and Boko Haram over the past year have closed the book on that argument. Also, attackers likely didn’t know there was a Muslim Charlie employee in the office that day, or that a Muslim police officer was nearby.
Many reporters’ first reaction to the Charlie killings was to fret, not that there was a surge in disaffected Muslim immigrants who were ripe for becoming radicalized, but that France’s far-right National Front party would use the tragedy for political advantage, or that Muslims would suffer a public backlash.
Usually when these attacks happen and Muslim apologists make these sorts of preemptive complaints, there’s a period of several weeks of mourning and reflection during which some segment of the public drifts into complacently accepting the argument that Muslims aren’t more violent than practitioners of other religions.
Thus, note the tragic but poetic justice in the slaughter at a Parisian kosher deli hours later, which unfolded just as the left was telling us the Charlie murders were an isolated act and reflected nothing about Islam.
Most of the images and essays political cartoonists and columnists have produced in response to the tragedy focus on the threat extremism poses to freedom of expression, even while these responses downplay any link to Islam.
But show me one journalist anywhere on Earth who would fear for his life after publishing a cartoon mocking Christianity, Judaism, Hindu, or any religion besides Islam.
Preventing future Charlie-style attacks demands honesty about the root causes of terrorism and an acknowledgement that no other religion is responsible for inspiring more acts of terrorism per capita than Islam.
Most Westerners know about only a fraction of such acts. But the Charlie attack wasn’t the only murderous Islamic attack last week. It wasn’t even the only murderous attack that day.
As Religion of Peace documents, on January 7, the day of the Parisian bloodbath, Muslims committed the following attacks:
- Boko Haram slaughtered 2,000 innocent people across 16 villages in Nigeria
- An al-Qaeda suicide bomber killed 37 and injured 67 on a bus in Yemen
- Islamists machine-gunned 9 road workers in Afghanistan, killing 6 and wounding 3
- ISIS thugs kidnapped 5 Baghdadis from their homes and shot them in the back of the head
- Islamic soldiers detonated two bombs in Baghdad, killing 4 and injuring 11
- A suicide bomber killed 4 and injured 3 in Mosul, Iraq
- Taliban soldiers murdered 2 children and injured 11 people in Afghanistan
In four other attacks the same day, Islamic terrorists killed four more people, including a police officer and a mentally disabled man.
Totally missing the larger picture, the left-wing Public Religion Research Institute trumpeted the results of a poll showing that most Americans believe that acts of terror committed by Christians are less reflective of Christianity than acts of terror committed by Muslims are of Islam. PRRI drew the ridiculous conclusion that Americans “have a double standard,” because they measure Islam according to a higher benchmark than Christianity.
But if a much higher number of terrorist acts per capita are committed by Muslims than Christians, is it illogical to assume that these acts are more representative of Islam—especially when there’s ample basis for them in the religion’s holy text? How about if the attackers scream “Allahu Akbar!” and boast about avenging the Prophet every time they slaughter infidels?
The Nation’s Lalami wrote, “When I think of that morning in Paris, I don’t doubt where my allegiance is. It is with victims, no matter whether they are believers or nonbelievers.”
How brave of Lalami to side with victims. Would General Patton have been courageous enough to take such a bold stance?
Victims are only half of the equation. Perpetrators are the other half. And it doesn’t help prevent future terrorist attacks and more victims if we refuse to identify the ideology motivating the vast majority of them: Islam.
- Why Is The Media Ignoring Boko Haram’s Deadliest Terrorist Attack in Africa? (countercurrentnews.com)
- Police Continue Hunt to Catch Charlie Hebdo Shooters, Mike Rogers Heads to CNN, Supreme Court to Meet on Gay Marriage: P.M. Links (reason.com)
-  Chris Hedges on Roots of Terrorism, Free Speech Hypocrisy & Translating #JeSuisCharlie (stage2omega.com)
- Not everyone is celebrating Charlie Hebdo’s satire (oddonion.com)
- Gunmen Storm French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Killing 12 (newsrescue.com)