Some people are letting imagined Muslim youths from the other side of the world live rent-free in their heads as they take pen to paper, imagining such youths will be inspired by newspaper headlines, blog-posts, cartoons and T.V. shows from America. This is a propaganda war, they say, and we don’t want to give the jihadis recruiting material.
Naturally, they fear terrorism like all of us do to some extent, plain and simple, and they fear that any loss of innocent life will be at their hands (not at the hands of those who choose to kill). Many self-censor as a result. We’re a global village now, I’ve heard, and in a few huts in the global village huts are some really angry, irrational people, engaged in constant warfare in defense of their religion, willing to kill, die and terrorize for any scraps of glory. You don’t want to make them any angrier, do you?
Add to this an increasing raft of self-censorship in our own culture from the pc police, some aiming to absolve us the sins of slavery, and to unite the pluralistic and multi-ethnic strands of American life under the banners of multiculturalism and diversity, and you can see why some news outlets are reluctant to point out certain facts.
As I see it, there is a very small percentage of Muslims who radicalize, and nearly all other Muslims in America are not radicalizing. But, as immigrants go, Muslims pose unique problems, those few of them leaping off from the mosque into the radical night. Many Muslims, in following their faith, will put themselves at odds with many freedoms and facets of American life, including separation of church and state, and women’s freedoms. Statistically, there may be thousands more young Muslim men out there across the fruited plain, in danger of radicalization. While it’s a low probability occurrence, it only takes one to deal us the high consequences of an attack (as it does for any act of terrorism, from McVeigh to The Weather Underground).
In my view, this is partly where the logic of multiculturalism leads: Some people want you to want to self-censor. They’d rather have you be more worried about how other people are going to react to your thoughts and speech than your actual thoughts and speech, and the freedom you have to think and speak. You may be wrong of course, or have incomplete information, but some folks simply want to shut down debate. While you’re concerned about upsetting the next round of poor, impressionable terrorists on the other side of the globe, the Tsarnaevs might live down the road. This is a glaring inconsistency.
I believe we should aim for honesty in public speech, much like when there’s a robbery in the local paper. I’d like the newspaper to simply report the age, description and race of the suspect for the sake of public safety, especially if he’s still on the loose. That’s important information to know.
I’d like to see outlets simply reporting the religion, the path to radicalization, the associations and beliefs of the Tsarnaevs, which we seem to be getting from some sources.
Here’s Christopher Hitchens (nearly a free speech absolutist, railing against many of his former friends on the Left) discussing the Yale Press, which was genuinely afraid that publishing this book could lead to violence in the Muslim street:
“…Yale had consulted a range of experts before making its decision and that “[a]ll confirmed that the republication of the cartoons by the Yale University Press ran a serious risk of instigating violence.”
Food for thought.
We don’t apologize to terrorists.
Addition: But we also will maintain an open, healthy society.
1. Broad definitions of free speech don’t need to belabor the point of religion nor even seek enemy combatant status for the remaining Tsarnaev, as there are many other components to the Marathon bombing. However, I’d prefer to see his religion stated clearly as more information is made available. There are many people I don’t trust in the media to be able to do this as they roll ahead with the multiculturalist message.
3. Unlike China, Russia, and even France, we have less of a top-down State and authoritarian apparatus which can swiftly crack down on security threats, or one group of immigrants, even if it was so desired, for any reason. Such is the cost of an open, Anglo-American society, apparently.
Another Addition: Eli Lake at The Daily Beast on that NYC to Toronto bombing. Al Qaeda in Iran.
Who influenced Tamerlan?
Adam Garfinkle says to think of the event more like the D.C. sniper attacks, more lone-wolf act of domestic terrorism than foreign policy or immigration changing event-The Real Boston Story.
See Also: If you thought the cartoons were bad, more on the Fitna movie here. From The NY Times: Review Of Christopher Caldwell’s Book “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West” Libertarians love this issue: Repost-A Canadian Libertarian Making Noise: Ezra Levant