The Corner

No, Pointing Out Muslims Have Been Beheading People for Centuries Isn’t Islamophobic

“Leave it to ‘journalists,’” quips Twitchy, “to make a Fox News personality the villain in a story about Islamic terrorists beheading people.”

But that is exactly what the Asian American Journalists Association has done, calling on Fox News to apologize for Andrea Tantaros’s August 20 comments on the channel’s roundtable show, Outnumbered.

Discussing the beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State, Tantaros said: “And they’ve been doing this for hundreds and hundreds of years, if you study the history of Islam. . . . This isn’t a surprise. You can’t solve it with a dialogue. You can’t solve it with a summit,” she said. “You solve it with a bullet to the head. It’s the only thing these people understand.”

In a statement on its website, AAJA condemned the “blanket comments that serve to perpetuate hate and Islamophobia.”

Here’s the video of the segment:

Beheading, as I wrote last week, is not an exclusively Islamic phenomenon — the Romans did it, the English, the French — but Muslims are particularly zealous practitioners. It is no surprise that today’s jihadists have revived the practice, since it has a long and august tradition in Islam, dating back to the Prophet Mohammed himself.

On the historical question, Tantaros is obviously correct. The larger question is whether Islam qua Islam sanctions beheading — or if jihadists pervert a religion that, in its orthodox form, is peaceful.

That debate can be left to religious scholars. What is evident is that, as Tantaros observes, the masked men in our age who delight in chopping off heads are typically Muslim, and they believe that they have the sanction of their religion. Furthermore, that religious fervor has made them less than amenable to reasoned, dispassionate negotiation.

No doubt AAJA is interested in saving the necks of the innocent men, women, and children who are targets of the Islamic State and their ilk. Then perhaps they can find something more constructive to do than call for journalists’ metaphorical decapitation.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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