I admit it — I didn’t read the whole thing, because the obscene relativism permeating Nicholas Kristof’s first couple of paragraphs so disgusted me, my brain shut down. Anyway, because of fair use concerns, I don’t want to quote more than the first two paragraphs, which more than adequately make my point:
Many Americans have suggested that more moderate Muslims should stand up to extremists, speak out for tolerance, and apologize for sins committed by their brethren.
That’s reasonable advice, and as a moderate myself, I’m going to take it. (Throat clearing.) I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you. The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you. Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly, and I apologize for the slurs.
You understand that Kristoff just equated extreme Muslim conduct with what he perceives to be extreme American conduct, right?
It’s useful to list the conduct he’s speaking about. First, extreme Muslim conduct against Americans and other Westerners:
1. The first World Trade Center attack, in 1993 = 6 dead; 1,042 injured.
2. The USS Cole attack = 17 dead, 39 injured.
3. The Fort Hood attack =13 dead, 30 injured.
4. The 9/11 attack = 2,996 dead.
5. The Beslan massacre = 334 dead, mostly children.
6. The Madrid train bombing = 191 dead; 1,800 injured.
7. The Mumbai massacre = at least 173 people dead; at least 308 injured.
8. The U.S. Embassy bombing in Africa = 230 or so people dead; approximately 4,100 injured.
9. The attack on the U.S. Marines in Beirut = 299 dead.
10. The Bali night club bombing = 202 dead; 240 injured.
And that’s just the short list of Islamic attacks against civilians. The long list is here. Since 9/11, the total number if attacks exceeds 16,000. That’s not dead bodies; that’s just attacks — against Americans, Europeans, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and even fellow Muslims.
And now for extreme American conduct against Muslims:
1. Many Americans complained that it was inappropriate for a mosque to be raised at Ground Zero, considering that it was practitioners of Islam that brought down the Twin Towers killing 2,996 people. These same Americans pointed out that the Imam’s ostensibly reconciliatory rhetoric was belied by (a) his past words dreaming of a destroyed Israel and a sharia-controlled America and (b) his threats that, if Americans didn’t comply with his peaceful mosque plan, Muslims would get violent. Finally, these aggressive Americans suggested that the mosque would be a fine thing if it was moved a few blocks away. Dastardly Americans!
2. Two Americans threatened to burn the Koran, sparking national outrage . . . against the ones threatening to burn the Koran.
I don’t know about you, but my feeling is that you’d have to have an IQ in the single digits to agree with Kristof that those Americans who failed to object to the Koran burning (about 50 Americans) or side with media about the GWM’s location (about 70% of Americans), are precisely the same as those Muslims who are utterly silent, nay, complacent, in the face of two decades of blood-saturated Muslim atrocities.
UPDATE: This Austin Hill article is nicely on point.