News organizations are claiming a major spike in anti-Islamic attacks in the wake of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder, but investigations offer few details. Here’s a headline from The Guardian:
The article claims that ten mosques have been attacked, but only offers one story in which two men were arrested for firebombing a mosque. Interestingly, The Guardian pads a large portion of the story with an incident in which three Muslim prisoners attacked two guards at Full Sutton prison. It also spends a good deal of space discussing a protest in London by the English Defence League and a counter-protest by United Against Fascism where thirteen people were arrested, but makes no mention of which protestors were arrested.
Here’s the headline from Raw Story:
The actual story is about a YouGov poll showing a rise discomfort toward Muslims. There is no mention of violence against Muslims aside from a handful of arrests of people for making nasty comments on social media.
Both articles claim that reports of anti-Islamic attacks are on the rise, but these are reports made to a hotline, not police reports. I’m not saying that these things aren’t happening, but these are sensationalistic headlines that offer little in the way of substantial evidence.
These outlets appear to be doing one of two things here. The first thing, which I hinted at, is sensationalism. There isn’t much of a story, but the headlines will grab readers for a couple of paragraphs. The second thing, related to the first, is an attempt at moral equivalence. Non-Muslims can’t complain when a pair of Islamist losers run over, stab and behead a British soldier, because look, some people made some rude posts on Facebook. Either way, these articles do a disservice to future Muslims who might be attacked because of their religion.
If there was a documented wave of hate crime across the United Kingdom, where Muslims were being violently attacked on a routine basis by non-Muslims on the basis of faith, it would be a story. I would write about it. For now, though, I’m just not seeing it.
I posted a few days ago on the trend of disgraced public figures becoming adjunct professors (known in universities as indentured servants,) and what this meant for the academic market for Ph.D. candidates in Tupac Shakur Studies. After all, if Eliot Spitzer and Jim McGreevey are filling those positions, your dissertation on lesbianism in medieval England from 1234 to 1236 just isn’t worth what your professors are telling you.
Well, it’s worse than I thought. Because no matter how politically correct your every word and gesture may be, you do not have the bona fides of the penultimate PC hero: the left wing domestic terrorist.
Ryan James Girdusky writes at ViralRead and The Other McCain that “At least a dozen former members of domestic terrorist organizations are now college professors.” These include “Kathy Boudin, former member of the Weather Underground who was convicted in 1984 of felony murder,” “Howard Machtinger, who was charged with conspiring to bomb the Detroit Police Officers Association Building and was on the run from the law for five years from 1973 to 1978[,]” and of course Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. Joining this list is a motley hodgepodge of former Black Panthers, radical environmentalists and general malcontents, all of whom now have the jobs five hundred Transgendered Inuit Studies Majors are vying for.
Honestly, I knew that the situation was bad, but not this bad. If disgraced public figures are filling adjunct professorships, clearly the solution is to become a disgraced public figure and then apply for your dream job at the university. However, in good conscience I can’t recommend that current grad students become domestic terrorists. I mean, I have morals.
On the other hand, how else would you compete with these people? Your average professor, with his subscription to Harper’s and tattered copy of Das Kapital, has long harbored an alternate version of himself as a violent class warrior. How are you going to stack up when the man or woman that he has always wanted to be is at the faculty party?
The only answer? Become the ultimate PC hero, the Islamic terrorist.
Update: Tweeted by Mike G, who always plugs this blog after I’ve gone to bed. .
I tried re-blogging this post yesterday, but apparently I don’t know WordPress very well. Luckily I know how to link, so it should be a lot less painful on the second go.
Musings, Rants & Ramblings has a thorough post detailing recent acts of terrorism and other headline-grabbing violent acts, and how every time the media have attacked conservatives and the Tea Party as being the obvious culprits, until the actual culprit turns out to be a lefty, a lunatic or a Jihadist.
Hell, I had forgotten about Amy Bishop:
Amy Bishop opened fire on her colleagues in Alabama – It didn’t take long before we heard the same ole, same ole from the left. Reuters Foundation Fellow Jonathan Curiel wondered aloud “Does racism explain the tenure shooting and the Tea Party movement? Amy Bishop was a liberal to the core. She was described as being a “far left political extremist obsessed with President Obama”.
So check out Musings, Rants & Ramblings. It’s linked on the sidebar as well.
Bombings make me sad
But sadness makes me sadder
Please read my website
Empathy is cool
My motto is coexist
Bush equals Hitler
Racism is bad
Most of all against Muslims
HOW COULD THEY BE WHITE?
I was in a band
Maybe you have heard of them
I forgot the name
Part of me didn’t want to write about this story anymore. After all, the whole point of this blog was to write about politics in Los Angeles and, more broadly, California. Then one day a couple of loser terrorists bombed the Boston Marathon, and the media establishment blew a collective gasket. I hate to say it, but it was more interesting than the actual story.
Frankly, I have no idea what’s going on. Was it desperation as a deadline approached that caused Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times to write that some of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Tweets “suggest a more Holden Caulfield-like adolescent alienation”? Or was it something more sinister? Perhaps schizophrenia or amphetamine psychosis? (Off-topic – The New York Times is supposed to be my cultural superior, and that’s the best literary reference they can find? If you want to find a loser pothead in literature who becomes an Islamic radical, look to Millat Iqbal in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. I can’t believe none of these supposed intellectuals has noticed that.)
Not to be outdone, Boston Globe columnist Joanna Weiss asks if we (which I assume to mean non-terrorists) can feel empathy for Tsarnaev. The silliness here is that major news outlets are no longer content to just look to the creeps at Media Matters or Think Progress for source material, and have begun cribbing ideas from a D List celebrity like Amanda Palmer. Who at the editorial desk went off his Thorazine and thought that that was a good idea?
Here’s what I think happened: In the media’s mind, there are two types of terrorists – Tea Party (white) and Muslim (not white.) They really really wanted the perpetrator(s) to be the former, but probably realized the possibility that they could be the latter. Thus, when it turned out that the suspects were white (not Tea Party) and Islamic, the collective media mind could not process such a seeming contradiction. They couldn’t blame the Tea Party for obvious reasons, and they couldn’t bleat about racism, so their entire reason for being disintegrated. The disconnect in the media’s racism cortex caused a psychotic break, and unleashed a torrent of “What Does It Mean?” that the average reporter or journalist’s mind was ill-equipped to handle.
Pray for them. Or laugh.
Once again, we are being played by someone looking to revive his or her career. In this case it’s a her.
Remember the recent Jim Carrey thing? The guy hadn’t been in a decent movie in years, his most recent movie was tanking with critics, and the last memorable thing he did was fall for the quackery about vaccinations and Autism, so he did the last thing that a soon-to-be D Lister can do and sent out a Bat Signal that liberals would love and which would surely start a Twitter war with conservatives. And it worked. Who knows if it will benefit his career in the long run, but for a brief moment Jim Carrey had a huge dose of the celebrity heroin that we call attention.
Now a real D List celebrity gloms onto the Boston bombing by writing a ridiculous free verse poem to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and we fall for the trap again. And I do mean “we,” because I couldn’t help indulging a bit of the old poesy on Twitter myself.
The point is, though, that I hadn’t heard about this person in years. And I used to listen to the Dresden Dolls, so my ears would have perked up if she had come across my radar. But now, because she wrote this narcissistic bit of hipster trolling, this singer is part of the conversation again.
My recommendation is that if we’re going to write bad poetry on Twitter as a means of mockery, we intentionally misspell the singer’s name, because not only does it deny her the traffic, but it shows that we really don’t care.
Source: Hot Air (because I’m a traffic whore too.)
Via Hot Air.
Full Headline: Islam might have had secondary role in Boston attacks
In light of all of the irresponsible speculation preceding the identification of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as the Boston bombing suspects, I actually welcome this kind of careful headline. The truth is that until the facts have been gathered and analyzed, we really don’t know for sure what motivated these two. Radical Islamism may indeed have been second to these guys being violent sociopaths. Stranger things have happened.
What bothered me about this story was the lack of imagination exercised by the reporter, embodied in two paragraphs. When discussing what is believed to be Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s YouTube page, Lisa Wangsness writes,
[T]he page also includes music videos featuring Timur Mutsuraev, a singer who is a hero in the Chechen fight for independence, sympathizing with the insurgents seeking independence from Russia.
Fundamentalist Wahhabis see music as “the work of the devil,” said Monica Duffy Toft, a professor at the University of Oxford.
Wangsness seems to see this as a contradiction, that a terrorist who is inspired by radical Islamism would naturally shun music because of what Wahhabis believe. This misses something pretty obvious: There isn’t only one strain of Islamism; it’s a broad tent that stretches over multiple continents. That means that what works in one region might not work in another, and what attracts one person will repel another.
In other words, it’s not a top-down movement. A man in his twenties living in Boston and brought up in a mostly secular family is not going to respond to the same influences that the same man in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan will. And having been a man in his twenties once, I know that what attracted me at the time was what was cool, what set me apart from others and, perhaps ironically, what helped me to fit in. Like music that a select group of people listened to.
I don’t think that this is a bad piece at the Boston Globe. I just don’t think that it was necessary. And it kind of shows that reporters are either desperate to publish something by their deadlines (totally understandable) or that some can’t read between the lines.