Imagine a political analyst in 1940 who studied the low opinion that Americans had of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, and concluded that the problem was not the genocidal anti-Semitism, the international aggression, or the vile racist ideology, but bad press. Imagine further another analyst who pointed out that the bad press that Hitler and the Nazis got was a just result of their own words and actions, and that if they wanted to improve their public image in America, they should clean their own house and stop giving decent people so much cause to oppose them.
Finally, imagine that the second analyst, the one who ascribed the public’s low image of Nazis to the actions of Nazis themselves, was derided as a “hatemonger” and “bigot” who simply had an irrational hatred of Nazis and Germans in general. Would that be absurd? Of course. Outrageous? Undoubtedly. Morally inverted? Absolutely. Yet this little thought experiment encapsulates the prevailing sentiment regarding Muslims and “Islamophobia” today.
We saw this again Saturday, when it came to light that a deranged woman in New York City, Erica Menendez, pushed a Hindu man into the path of an oncoming subway train and murdered him because she thought he was a Muslim. “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks,” she said, “because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Leftist pseudo-journalist propagandists such as Glenn Greenwald and Adam Serwer, along with Islamic supremacists such as Hussam Ayloush of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), began scratching their heads and wondering where the killer, in Greenwald’s words, “learned this level of hatred for Muslims.”
They had their answer ready, of course. The thuggish Nathan Lean, editor-in-chief of Aslan Media, answered Greenwald immediately by listing Pamela Geller and me, along with David Yerushalmi and several other counter-jihadists, as the cause of Menendez’s “hatred for Muslims.” Never mind that Menendez hadn’t mentioned any of us. Never mind that she was obviously unbalanced and irrational. The new Left fascists thought they had found another weapon they could use to try to discredit and shut down resistance to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, and they rode it for all it was worth.
But the whole episode only highlighted the larger question. The words of a clearly insane murderess can be discounted, but insofar as sane and non-murderous Americans have a dim view of Islam and Muslims, what is the cause of that? Is it the “Islamophobic” writings of people like Pamela Geller and me? Or could it be that anti-Muslim bigotry, that is, any that may really exist, is a reaction to people like Amine Mohamed El-Khalifi, the would-be jihad/martyrdom suicide bomber at the U.S. Capitol; Naser Abdo, the would-be second Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; Naveed Haq, the jihad mass murderer at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle; Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; or the many others like them who have plotted and/or committed mass murder in the name of Islam and are motivated by its texts and teachings, all in the U.S. in the last few years?
Any bigotry and victimization of innocent people is to be unequivocally condemned and opposed. The question here, however, is whether “hatred of Muslims” is really caused by bad press, and by the “hatemongers” responsible for that bad press, or whether that hatred is a reaction to the violent actions that all too many Muslims have undertaken recently in the name of Islam. The further question is what can be done to end it. Is the remedy to stop all honest reporting about jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, and the Muslim texts that jihadis use to justify both? Or is it for genuinely peaceful Muslims to take decisive action against that jihad and Islamic supremacism?
If Muslim spokesmen in the U.S. like Hamas-linked CAIR’s Ayloush and others really want to end “anti-Muslim bigotry,” rather than use it as a tool to destroy the freedom of speech and bring Sharia blasphemy laws to the West, they need to stand against Muslims like the ones I have just listed, rather than against those non-Muslims who are trying to resist them, when “anti-Muslim bigotry” breaks out. That they do not do so shows up the hypocrisy of their entire enterprise. For this is not a difficult point to grasp. That it so persistently eludes Leftist and Islamic supremacist spokesmen who otherwise seem to display a reasonable level of intelligence indicates that a very different agenda is playing out – one that bodes ill for all free people.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?.