While it cannot be proven, there is little reason to doubt that many on the left are disappointed that the Times Square bomber didn’t turn out to be the “white male” he was originally thought to be. This allegation may be wrong, but it is made on the basis of compelling evidence.
There is a perfectly clear pattern on the left — the normative Left, not just the “far” Left — that denies the obvious when it comes to Islamic terrorism. Take, for example, Maj. Nidal Hasan, who murdered 13 fellow soldiers and tried to murder the 32 others whom he wounded at Fort Hood, Texas.
For days after the murders, liberal-Left commentators and mainstream-media reports attributed Hasan’s mass murders to everything but his Islamic beliefs — even though it was known that he yelled out “Allahu Akbar
” (“Allah is the greatest”) just as he began his shooting.
As Hardball’s Chris Matthews announced, “It’s unclear if religion was a factor in this shooting.” He then added, “He makes a phone call or whatever, according to Reuters right now. Apparently he tried to contact al-Qaeda. . . . That’s not a crime, to call up al-Qaeda, is it?”
The New York Times’s “Week in Review” article on the shootings was titled “When Soldiers Snap.” As I wrote at the time, “The gist of the article was that Maj. Hasan had snapped — even though he had never been in combat. He snapped in advance. Just two sentences in the article were devoted to the possibility that his motives were in any way relatable to his Muslim faith.”
NPR’s Tom Gjelten offered the novel explanation that Hasan, who had never been in combat, may have suffered from “pre-traumatic stress disorder.” Again, psychology, not religion.
On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera said, “I don’t know what motivates him. . . . He could have had a toothache and gone off because of that.”
This time, the same thing happened, with one exception: For two days, it was assumed a “white male” — shorthand for non-Muslim, non-minority American — tried to blow up passersby near Times Square in Manhattan.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said this to Katie Couric on CBS News on May 3: “If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that, somebody who’s homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health-care bill or something. It could be anything.”
It’s okay for liberals to speculate that a terrorist might be a right-wing white American opposed to Obamacare (a.k.a. a tea partier). It is the rather more likely scenario of an Islamic terrorist that liberals will not consider, let alone publicly express.
Moreover, only an individual whose politics force him to deny the obvious would deny that people like Bloomberg hoped the culprit would not be a Muslim but rather a conservative, white American.
Even after the terrorist, Faisal Shahzad, was apprehended, and even after he confessed, the liberal-Left world almost never mentioned his religion, and many tried to blame his actions on factors unrelated to his religious beliefs. As with Nidal Hasan, the culprit in Shahzad’s case was the terrorist’s psychological state. This time it was the stress he experienced over his house going into foreclosure.
Thus the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote on May 4:
You of course don’t want to speculate on why someone “really” did something. The hearts of men are opaque, and motives are complex. But it’s a reminder that foreclosures generate an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression that can tip people into all sorts of dangerous behaviors . . .
Widely ridiculed — even in the comments section of the Washington Post – for what he had written, the next day Klein tried to do undo the damage to his credibility: “In case there’s actual confusion . . . I do not believe that foreclosure leads to terrorism.”