Kristof takes relativism to its logical and utterly stupid extreme *UPDATED*

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.

UPDATEThis Austin Hill article is nicely on point.

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  • Charles Martel

    Kristof is an example of just how far Goody-Two-Shoesism has gone among liberals.

    I used to work with a Goody Two Shoes woman whose delight in life was the moral superiority she perceived herself having over her workmates. The only problem was that all of her so-called moral acts involved discomforting or inconveniencing others, all the better to show how willing she was to undergo the suffering she herself had brought on.

    For example, when we’d take the elevator with her, she would make the elevator stop at all seven floors on the way up or down so that she could ostentatiously stick her head into the corridor and scan for people who might  possibly, conceivably, distantly, just maybe be heading toward the elevator. She would make the rest of us wait until that person finally arrived. Once that person boarded, she would close the door and repeat the process.

    Occasionally somebody would point out how rude and self-centered she was being. But to her such admonishments clearly illustrated the other person’s lack of empathy or virtue. We all learned her patterns and simply avoided as much as possible taking an elevator with her.

    Kristof’s apology is the same sort of cheap-shot, cheap grace gesture that all Goody Two Shoes excel at making. Note how he assumes a position of authority that allows him apologize on everybody’s behalf even though nobody gave or ceded him that authroity. Notice the undercurrent of sneering moral superiority. You can imagine how plagued I was by visions of an elevator from Hell as I trudged through his preening slop.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I will take issue with one more point in Kristoff’s self-preening piece:
    “Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly”.

    Oh no, Kristoff, there are many others: religious Christians and Jews; Scots-Irish mountain people from Appalachia; people who don’t believe in evolution; rural Southerners; farmers; NRA members; Pro-Lifers; people without college educations….and the list goes on.

  • Charles Martel

    Good call, Danny.

  • Tonestaple

    “Cheap grace” is indeed it.  Bonhoeffer defined “cheap grace” as “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline.  Communion without confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

    Kristof’s version is to appear to be virtuous without actually having to bother.  Apologizing for another person is one of the silliest thing a person can do.  It makes no sense and conveys no real sorrow for the act that gave offense.  All it does do is make the apologizer feel superior to those who he thinks should have apologized.

    I “liked” Kristof on Facebook a while back because I mixed him up with someone else.  Now the comments he gets give me a regular glimpse into the liberal mind, always ready to accept unearned guilt that has no price tag, and never able to recognize the guilt they do bear because they can’t really seem to see sin.

    One silly girl says, “It was a beautiful column and it brought tears to my eyes. How do we create a groundswell of human kindness and fairness in the current climate of hate and fear? Your words are a good start, Nick. Thank you.”  Someone else with an Arab name says, “Nice article. I like it so much. We need such a moderate language to put an end for bloodsheds and massacres” without any hint of an idea of who is creating the bloodshed and massacres.

  • Gringo

    “Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly”.

    From FBI 2008 Hate Crime Statistics :

    There were 1,606 hate crime offenses motivated by religious bias in 2008. A breakdown of these offenses shows:
    • 65.7 percent were anti-Jewish. • 13.2 percent were anti-other religion.
    • 7.7 percent were anti-Islamic.
    • 4.7 percent were anti-Catholic.
    • 4.2 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
    • 3.7 percent were anti-Protestant.
    • 0.9 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism

    Danny, better add the Joos to your list. Of hate crimes related to religious bias, for every hate crime directed at Muslims, 8.5 hate crimes were directed as Jews.

    Disclaimer: WASP am I.

  • Tonestaple

    Almost, Danny.  It’s not just rural southerners, it’s any southerner.

  • David Foster

    Tonestaple–“Apologizing for another person is one of the silliest thing a person can do” C S Lewis makes this point eloquently in an important essay which I excerpt here: Is “liberal guilt” a myth?

  • gpc31

    Match, meet kerosene…Need I point out that Kristoff is a Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar?