Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Media is Demonizing the Targets of the Attack in Garland

The dust has barely settled over Garland, Texas, and already the liberal media is going into overdrive to demonize not the two shooters who died trying to barge their way into the center where they would have killed possibly scores of people, but the organizers of the Draw Mohammad cartoon event. The number one target is Pam Geller. The below article by NPR is typical:

We should also note that the media is largely using the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source of attack. The SPLC has done some good work in the past in identifying truly hateful people and organizations. The problem is that they have a liberal bent and have singled out some people and organizations erroneously. I think Geller and her organization is one example.

First of all, there has to be a distinction made between criticizing Islam, sharia law, and the jihadists who seek to do us harm and Muslims as people. Thus, I think it is off the mark to charge the American Freedom Defense Initiative as being, "anti-Muslim".

Furthermore, instead of blaming the targets of the attack because their cartoon contest was offensive to Muslims, these critics should be saying, "It's only a cartoon". In other words, how does drawing cartoons justify deadly violence?

"Because it is blasphemous," say the critics.

Yes, it is, but so is showing an "art" exhibit with Christ on a crucifix dunked in a jar of urine or showing the Virgin Mary encased in elephant dung. Christians are highly insulted by that. Mormons are insulted by a play called, "The Book of Mormon" that insults the Mormon religion. Yet that is all called art, and we were reminded that it falls under freedom of expression. Christians and Mormons were told to get over it. And we did. Nobody got killed, and there were no riots. No museums or theaters were burned down.

But political correctness dictates that Geller, Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders and the other near-victims in Garland be criticized because they mocked the Prophet Mohammad. Yet it must be pointed out that this was a reaction to the fact that Islamic organizations had recently held a "Stand by Our Prophet Day" at the same site in Garland as a reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

Maybe that was offensive too.

Let us be honest. Even the liberal left knows there is a fundamental difference between how Christians, Mormons and other religions react to being insulted or mocked and the way Muslims do *(not all Muslims, of course). We know that insulting Islam results in some Muslims becoming very violent-murderously violent. Does that mean that we must all become silent and not discuss what is happening around the world? Must we remain silent when Christians are the object of genocide in the Middle East? Must we remain silent as we witness the beheadings? Can we not freely discuss the problem and the causes, to say nothing about the threats we face? If we decide that cartoons are off-limits, what's next-pointing out that there are violent verses in the Koran?

Here is how I have handled the Mohammad cartoon question on this site: On the one hand, I have not shown Mohammad cartoons, nor have I reproduced Charlie Hebdo's cartoons. What I have done is show cartoons that have come out as a response to the Paris massacres. Below is an example.

That cartoon does not insult anybody but the violent jihadists, and I am perfectly comfortable with it. No apologies are warranted or forthcoming.

Reasonable people can disagree on the wisdom of showing Mohammad cartoons. The right to do so in America is not negotiable. But there can be no tolerance for anyone thinking they can conduct murder and mayhem in this country over the issue. This is America. We have the First Amendment. Once we give that up, America is gone.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

The event was childish, bordered on "fighting words," and worthy of criticism. If I had been in the area, I would have submitted a blank sheet of paper as my entry.

On the other hand, nothing about it justifies violence. This, after all, a majority Christian country, and nothing happened to the artist who did the photo of a crucifix in urine except that a lot of people who were offended made loud and anguished remarks about it (which was their First Amendment right).

Pam Geller is a phobe. I wouldn't specifically say Islamaphobe, that's just the most conveniently available target of opportunity. Geller thrives on whipping up fears, real, imagined, or lies wrapped around a kernel of truth, because she can make a good living off of it -- not unlike the old time frontier con artists selling snake oil and "patent medicines."

elwood p suggins said...

Or not unlike the modern snake oil/patent medicine salesmen and politicians who are getting rich/pimping for votes off the quackery of medicinal pot (at least the herbal variety) and many other miracle cures??

Siarlys Jenkins said...

elwood, I often criticize the culture vultures who flatter themselves that they are "left" despite their evident class advantages, for committing the Fallacy of Analogy, e.g., claiming that "same sex marriage" is "the civil rights issue of our time." (Which merits Gary's favorite graphic of a bull backing up to a toilet).

Sad to say, you here commit the Fallacy of Analogy yourself. These are distinct issues, which must rise and fall on their own unique merits. There is at least some medical evidence that some good is done for some conditions by some component of the cannabis biochemistry. Of course when marijuana is prescribed routinely in California to east menstrual cramps, we are well beyond reasonable medical use.

(As I've said before, analogies can illustrate, but they are never, in themselves, proof of anything).