Saturday, December 29, 2007

"They're all Muslims" - This Does Not Help

The attitude that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian"1 hasn't gone away. It's just gotten a makeover.

An ex-co-chairman in Giuliani's New Hampshire Veterans for Rudy told a British newspaper, "The Guardian (video)," that Giuliani was best suited to deal with "one of the most difficult problems in current history" — "the rise of the Muslims." John Deady isn't co-chair any more. He's handed in his resignation.

That "rise of the Muslims" remark started a brouhaha that kept getting better. Or worse.

Politicos and their helpers get foot-in-mouth disease regularly, but this was a two-footer. Deady told
  1. The Guardian: "We need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat or chase them back to their caves or, in other words, get rid of them."
  2. Talking Points Memo Web site: "I don't subscribe to the principle that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims. They're all Muslims."
"They're all Muslims"?!! GIVE ME A BREAK! Muslims We are not looking at a monolithic group here.

I'm very concerned at the way that Islam has worked its way into the American presidential campaigns: from the Clinton worker writing that Obama might be a dangerous Muslim to a Giuliani co-chair's "They're all Muslims" exercise in bigotry.

One of the last things America needs right now is to confirm the terrorists' claims that the War on Terror is a war on Islam. "They're all Muslims" is a line that belongs in a B movie, not in a presidential campaign.
The Talking Points memo posts referenced are: "Rudy Campaign Might Ask Surrogate To Resign Over Anti-Muslim Comments" and " Rudy Surrogate: 'I Don't Subscribe To The Principle That There Are Good Muslims And Bad Muslims'"
1 Union General Philip Sheridan didn't actually say that.

At a conference, General Sheridan was introduced to another leader, chief Toch-a-way of the Comanche nation. The chief said, "Me Toch-a-way, me good Indian." The general replied, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead." Over time, Sheridan's crack wore down to "the only good Indian is a dead Indian."

(About Toch-a-way's syntax: Don't knock it. Few Euro-American people knew the languages Indians spoke - and gestured. Compare Toch-a-way's grasp of English to what an American Senator might do, trying to speak conversational Urdu.)

Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.