Comparing Islamophobia to Homophobia at the NYT

I’m beginning to get a good sense of the requirements for a writing gig at the New York Times.  Their editorial and employment departments carefully cull all comers for two main traits:  an IQ that doesn’t exceed the double digits, and a complete lack of common sense and logic.  Walk into the door with those, and the ability to type, and you’re in.

The most recent cause of my renewed insight about the lunatics in charge of the Times asylum is an opinion piece trying to draw an equivalence between homophobia and Islamophobia — and then urging Americans to stop fearing Islam, just as they’ve learned to stop fearing gays.  The piece is stupid on so many levels, it’s almost hard to know where to begin.  Let me start with the fact that I always get a good belly laugh out of gays aggressively defending Islamists.  You know, these Islamists:

Gays hanged in Iran

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Gays systematically gunned down in Iraq

A word of advice to those gays who reflexively make common cause with Islamists, simply because gays hate conservatives and conservatives are wary of Islamists:  Maybe the conservatives are on to something.

Having disposed, I hope, of the foolish underpinnings of the whole “I am gay, therefore I stand with Islamists” attitude, let me examine the ridiculous moral equivalence the Times opinion piece tries to draw between people who dislike gays versus people who are scared of Islamists.

A combination of fair use laws, and a desire not to have my blog serve as a forum for stupidity, means that I’ll quote just a snippet of the Times piece, just enough to give you an idea of the direction in which its heading:

As if we needed more evidence of America’s political polarization, last week Juan Williams gave the nation a Rorschach test. Williams said he gets scared when people in “Muslim garb” board a plane he’s on, and he promptly got (a) fired by NPR and (b) rewarded by Fox News with a big contract.

Suppose Williams had said something hurtful to gay people instead of to Muslims. Suppose he had said gay men give him the creeps because he fears they’ll make sexual advances. NPR might well have fired him, but would Fox News have chosen that moment to give him a $2-million pat on the back?

[snip]

When we move from homophobia to Islamophobia, the trendline seems to be pointing in the opposite direction. This isn’t shocking, given 9/11 and the human tendency to magnify certain kinds of risk. (Note to Juan Williams: Over the past nine years about 90 million flights have taken off from American airports, and not one has been brought down by a Muslim terrorist. Even in 2001, no flights were brought down by people in “Muslim garb.”)

You can read the rest here, if you’re interested.

In deference to the last paragraph quoted, which says it’s silly to fear Muslims, because there are so many of them and most aren’t violent), let me counter with a few numbers of my own:

*Number of airplanes that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of airplanes that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  6 (with a death toll in excess of 3,000)

*Number of trains or subways that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of trains or subways that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  2 (with a death toll in excess of 2o0)

*Number of military barracks that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of military barracks that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 (killing 299 people)

*Number of schools that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of schools that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 big one (that would be Beslan, killing more than 300, most of them children), plus countless attacks on schools all over Indonesia and the Philippines

*Number of naval ships that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of naval ships that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 (killing 17 people)

*Number of embassies that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of embassies that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  3 (two in Africa, one in Iran, with the former resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries, and the latter creating modern Iran)

I won’t belabor my point any further.  I’ll just note the stupidity driving the opinion piece’s snide implication that it’s irrational to fear Islam because a only small percentage of its practitioners do bad things.  That manages to obscure the real fact, which is that a large percentage of the carnage around the world — indeed, the greatest percentage of the carnage around the world — is committed by Muslims.  That therefore makes it reasonable to eye them askance in certain situations, and makes it idiotic to worry about gays in those same situations.

It’s an insult to anyone whose IQ hovers even near the 3 digits, or who exhibits logic skills greater than a small child’s, for a writer at a prestigious paper (although God alone knows why it is still held in such high esteem) to argue that American’s diminishing concerns about an individual’s sexuality should be used as a template to become less worried about Muslim violence.

I’ll tell you one thing that would go a long way to diminishing my fear of Muslims:  To hear them say, loud and clear, “I do not want sharia law in America; I condemn all acts of violence committed in the name of Islam and will do whatever I can to counter that trend amongst Muslims; I support Israel’s right to exist; and I have no intention of imposing my religious views or practices on the people in my community or country.”  This sounds remarkably simply, but you’ll find few Muslims who are willing to say that.  Instead, what you get are generic statements about love for country, but an assiduous avoidance of specific disavowals of the most ugly aspects of Islam.

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Comments

  1. Tonestaple says

    Of course Islamophobia and homophobia are exactly alike:  they rhyme, don’t they?  They wouldn’t if we would simply adopt my term for the way we really feel about Islam:  Islamonausea.

  2. johnfromcolumbus says

    Bookworm,
    If the NY Times accepts responses to their articles for the editorial page please send them this blog entry!
    Keep up the stellar work,
    John

  3. jhstuart says

    The advancement of the ‘Religion of Peace’ since the seventh century has resulted in an estimated 270,000,000 deaths of those who oppose its expansive tendencies. Clearly more than gays are at risk and the threat is existential.

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