The Corner

Holly Fisher: Public Enemy Number 310,345,204

This image — which features an American woman named Holly Fisher and an international terrorist named Sherafiyah Lewthwaite* — has been doing the rounds on Lefty Twitter:

“Explain the difference”? With pleasure.

The woman on the left is a peaceful American citizen with a husband in the military. She has never killed anybody, and nor does she have any desire to. The reason that you know her name is that she has become a minor political celebrity for her outspoken support of a Supreme Court decision that upheld the rule of law against the intrusion of the executive branch. In her photograph, she is mocking the president for his intolerant and ignorant “cling to guns or religion” comments.

The woman on the right, by contrast, is Sherafiyah Lewthwaite*, also known as “The White Widow.” The reason that we know her name? Her husband blew himself up on a train in London on July 7, 2005, killing 26 people, and, after his death, Lewthwaite picked up where he left off, becoming in the process one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. Lewthwaite is a former British citizen who gave up her life in England to become a member of the radical Al-Qaeda-linked militant group, Al-Shabaab. She is suspected of being behind a number of deadly attacks on civilians around the world, among them a grenade attack in Mombasa. In her photograph, she is reaffirming her commitment to jihad.

Any more questions?

Michael Stone, who blogs over at Patheos under the moniker “progressivesecularhumanist,” is deeply concerned by Fisher’s photograph, suggesting that it renders her the “New Face” of the “American Taliban” and serves to expose “the striking parallels between Islamic and Christian extremists, to demonstrate “the striking similarities between Christian and Islamic extremism,” and to reveal the “romance with religious violence both types of extremists seem to share.” Oddly enough, Stone seems wholly incapable of making up his mind as to quite how Fisher presents a threat to anybody. First, he suggests rather excitably that:

Perhaps the only thing more dangerous and destructive than religious extremism, is violent religious extremism cloaked in the mask of pseudo patriotism.

But, in the very next sentence, he concedes that:

While Holly Hobby Lobby is just a social media clown out for attention, she represents a dangerous strand of Christian fundamentalism that enjoys flirting with, if not threatening, real violence.

To sum up, then: Fisher’s “dangerous strand of Christian fundamentalism” is so extraordinarily “dangerous” that it has not only failed to engender any “real violence” but it can’t even bring itself to threaten harm? Goodness, let’s bring out the national guard.

As Stone himself confirms, that “strand” about which he is so vexed seems to be remarkably peaceful. He asks:

How long until the Christian extremists stop flirting with violence and start shooting?

Not sure, Michael. Enjoy the wait, though.

*UPDATE: It’s been suggested to me that the person on the right in the attached picture is not, as Michael Stone and those distributing the photograph claim in their caption, Sherafiyah Lewthwaite. Instead, it is Reem Saleh Al-Riyashi. If this is the case, let my second paragraph read: The woman on the right, by contrast is Reem Saleh Al-Riyasha. The reason that we know her name? She’s a wealthy Palestinian who blew up herself and four Israelis at the Erez crossing in 2004, thereby fulfilling her lifelong dream of turning her “body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists.” Al-Riyashi left behind two children, observing before her death, “I always wanted to be the first woman to carry out a martyrdom operation, where parts of my body can fly all over . . . God has given me two children. I love them [with] a kind of love that only God knows, but my love to meet God is stronger still.” In her photograph, she is reaffirming her commitment to jihad.

Same point, different terrorist.

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