Saturday, May 16, 2015

Carmen Harlan Is Dangerous?

Who could possibly find fault with Carmen Harlan?Carmen-Haraln-new-jpg

Lonnie Scott of Progress Michigan, that’s who, when he accused Harlan of “racial profiling at its worst.” And Nadia Tonova of the National Network for Arab American Communities, that’s who, when she said Harlan’s comments were “appalling, offensive, and dangerous.” ('I Apologize,' Carmen Harlan Says About Remark Blasted as 'Dangerous').

And what were the appalling comments? Simply her common-sense observation, at the conclusion of reporter Kimberly Gill’s story on an ISIS threat that they have soldiers in Michigan, that “given the fact that we have the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East, I guess this should not come as a real surprise.” See for yourself here.

Never mind that ISIS are the ones who assume Dearborn is fertile ground for recruiting. And never mind that the FBI boss had just said in Gill’s report that the biggest issue they’re facing is “the ability of terrorists and terrorist organizations, around the world, to reach out, and to radicalize individuals toward violence and to recruit individuals to become terrorists or join terrorist organizations.” Possibly recruit them in Dearborn, you see, or else it wouldn’t have been a story. So why not go after Feeb boss Paul Abate?

And never mind that as soon as Harlan finished uttering her appalling and dangerous remarks reporter Kimberly Gill said, “You are exactly right.” So why not go after Gill?

Because Carmen Harlan is a much better target, as she is an institution in Detroit media. Her public image is as harmless as can be. And the point of all this is to reinforce speech discipline along lines set down by the Ikhwan: thou shalt not equate Islamic jihad with the Muslim community. If you can make Detroit’s favorite news anchor jump, you can do it to almost anybody.

And remember, the object of this was not the attack on Harlan, but getting her to apologize – proof of control.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Harlan disgusted in my life until that last, fleeting purse of her lips after she utters the words “I apologize.”

Clearly she felt she was being forced. And so she was.


Saturday, May 09, 2015

Poking the Bunny

How is it that after all these years since 9/11, and all these thousands of instances of Islamic violence, that so many people still believe that Islam is a religion of peace?

The answer is, they don’t. They know the same thing the rest of us know, but feel obliged to tell a white lie when it comes to this subject.

A handful may be trying to be polite, but the majority are simply trying to spare themselves an unpleasant reaction to the truth. That’s what’s behind every white lie. You tell your sister her new hairstyle makes her look younger when it actually makes her look ridiculous, because it’s better than six months of the silent treatment if you tell her the truth. And hundreds of millions of Westerners tell each other that Islam is a religion of peace because to criticize Islam as a religion of violence will incite Islamic violence. Maybe it’s harmless to tell a little fib to your sister about a little thing. I doubt it. But I can see that when an entire civilization is repeating the same white lie about the same black fact for years on end, it brings on a new Dark Age. Society can’t respond rationally to a threat it is forbidden to speak openly about.

No one who really believes that Islam is a peaceful religion will interpret Islamic violence as a logical outcome of criticism of that religion. As David French points out at NRO:

the fury against Pamela Geller is motivated mostly by fear — by the understanding that there are indeed many, many Muslims who believe that blasphemy should be punished with death, and who put that belief into practice. It’s motivated by the fear that our alliances with even “friendly” Muslim states and “allied” Muslim militias are so fragile that something so insignificant as a cartoon would drive them either to neutrality or straight into the arms of ISIS. (“Pamela Geller’s Critics Are Proving Her Point ”) .

It’s not the fear I’m criticizing. I share it. It’s the self-deception that’s causing the problem.

Anyway, maybe you have this fear, and it makes sense to you that people like Pam Geller and Robert Spencer and Terry Jones should be silenced because the things they say and do are poking the bear.  Then at least be consistent and admit that the animal they’re poking is a ferocious and easily-enraged carnivore, and not a harmless bunny.

It would be something.  It would be a start.