Politics & Policy

ESPN Owes Curt Schilling, and America, an Apology

(Getty Images)

Yesterday, ESPN suspended Curt Schilling for telling the truth. He tweeted — then deleted — the following meme:

ESPN’s response was immediate, and just as mindlessly politically correct as you’d expect. “Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective,” ESPN said. “We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration.”

But what’s offensive about the truth? If anything, Schilling understated the extent of Islamic radicalism. While more than a million Muslims actually belong to radical militias, terrorist organizations, and the military forces of radical Islamic states, the number of Muslims with terrorist sympathies and radical beliefs number in the hundreds of millions. The number of Muslims expressing “confidence in Osama bin Laden” remained stubbornly high even as his power and influence waned:

Staggering numbers of Muslims support the death penalty for apostasy:

In fact, according to the 2013 Pew Research Center report, 88 percent of Muslims in Egypt and 62 percent of Muslims in Pakistan favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion. This is also the majority view among Muslims in Malaysia, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

While that view is mainstream in the Islamic world, it is certainly “extremist” in the United States. Where’s the apology, ESPN?

But what about Schilling’s Nazi analogy? Was it too offensive to ISIS and other terrorists for ESPN’s tastes? The comparison is more apt than ESPN realizes. Let’s not forget that Palestinian leaders backed Hitler in World War II. The Palestinian grand mufti met with Hitler and assured him that Germany and the Arabs had common enemies, including the English and — you guessed it — the Jews.

The difference between a jihadist army like ISIS and Hitler’s SS is one of power, not morality.

The difference between a jihadist army like ISIS and Hitler’s SS is one of power, not morality. ISIS is explicitly genocidal, and no sentient person believes that, if ISIS ever gained the military strength to threaten Tel Aviv, it would treat the Jews of Israel any more kindly than the SS did. If ISIS had a nuclear weapon, would it hesitate to use it against the U.S. or Israel? Already it’s using chemical weapons. Already it has reintroduced mass-scale sex slavery to the world. Its main creative energy is expended concocting ever-more-brutal methods of public execution.

But even though jihadists (let us be thankful) aren’t as powerful as the Wehrmacht, they’ve still killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. The Syrian civil war has claimed more than 200,000 lives, jihadists have killed similar numbers in Iraq, jihadist campaigns have claimed tens of thousands of Afghan and Nigerian lives, and those death tolls don’t include jihadist violence in the rest of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Moreover, since 9/11, Muslim terrorists have carried out more than 26,000 terror attacks, a rate of roughly five per day.

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But if ESPN reads news sites like the Huffington Post, it won’t know any of these facts. The far Left is simply determined to deny jihadist violence and minimize Islam’s cultural and religious crisis. Here’s Huffpo trying to shame Schilling:

The Nazis killed 6 million Jews during the Holocaust and posed an existential threat to the Jewish population under their control.

While most Muslims don’t engage in politically inspired violence, those who do are responsible for a very small percentage of terror attacks in the West.

And, yes, according to the Huffpo, the minimal violence that exists is our fault:

When Muslims do commit acts of terror in the United States, they often list violence perpetrated by the nation’s government as the reason for their actions. 

A 2004 Pentagon report confirmed this, noting that “Muslims do not “hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies,” including “American direct intervention in the Muslim world.”

News flash: Genocidal militias and militaries always claim that their actions are justified. What did America do to cause ISIS to want to enslave Yazidis? How is it America’s fault that Boko Haram engages in mass murder and mass kidnappings? And nowhere does the Huffpo mention the inconvenient fact that on 9/11 al-Qaeda hit our cities harder than Hitler ever did.

ESPN and its far-Left allies are worse than politically correct. They’re dangerous. And that’s why ESPN owes all of us an apology. By treating the truth as toxic, it misleads America about the true extent of the threat. I look to ESPN for information about Kevin Durant’s health, analysis of Tim Tebow’s throwing motion, and the latest breaking news on Kentucky’s next great recruiting class. If I wanted my television networks to whitewash extremism, I’d tune into Al Jazeera.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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