The Corner

Culture

Politicians Aren’t Causing Anti-Muslim Hostility — Jihadists Are

Early this morning I was reading the “Daily 202″ — a daily news rundown and analysis from the Washington Post — and I ran across this paragraph:

HATEFUL WORDS HAVE REAL-LIFE CONSEQUENCES: There here have been two dozen attacks documented against Muslims in the U.S. since the Paris attacks, including a pig’s head being thrown at a mosque, according to USA Today. Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, one of two Muslims in Congress, announced that he received a death threat. He blames politicians for “fanning the flames of bigotry.”

There is no excuse for death threats or tossing a pig’s head at a mosque, but is it really the case that people are lashing out because of “hateful words” or because they might be upset at the deaths of 120 innocent people in Paris or 14 innocent people in San Bernardino? I would say that hateful acts have far more real-life consequences than hateful words. Indeed, there is no politician’s statement that is more inflammatory than actual murder and actual terrorism — especially when murder and terror occur on a large scale.

As I’ve said before, since 9/11 Americans have suffered more than 60,000 casualties in our war against jihadists, with thousands more suffering from lingering psychological wounds from grief, loss, and difficult deployments. We’ve watched as radical Muslims burn people alive, throw them off buildings, and chop off heads. In some parts of the Muslim world, mobs of Muslims will sometimes hunt down and kill Christians in the most vicious and gruesome of ways. We’ve seen ISIS attempt genocide, Boko Haram enslave girls, and al Qaeda kill journalists at their desks in Paris. Yet Americans have responded with remarkable grace, and anti-Muslim hate crimes are rare indeed.

Yes, it’s true that many Americans dislike Islam. It’s true that many Americans want to either ban Muslim immigration or dramatically restrict entry into the United States (I’m in Andy McCarthy’s camp on the issue). But don’t blame political rhetoric for this hostility. Blame actions — actions taken in the name of Islam. 

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

Most Popular

U.S.

Men Literally Died for That Flag, You Idiots

The American flag’s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable. The symbol itself is under attack, as we’ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and ... Read More
Books

The Plot against Kavanaugh

Justice on Trial, by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino (Regnery,  256 pp., $28.99) The nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was the political event of 2018, though not for the reasons anyone expected. All High Court confirmations these days are fraught with emotion and tumult ... Read More
Politics & Policy

He Just Can’t Help Himself

By Saturday, the long-simmering fight between Nancy Pelosi and her allies on one side and the “squad” associated with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the other had risen to an angrier and more destructive level at the Netroots Nation conference. Representative Ayanna Pressley, an African-American Massachusetts ... Read More
White House

On Gratitude and Immigration

Like both Rich and David, I consider it flatly inappropriate for the president of the United States to be telling Americans -- rhetorically or otherwise -- to “go back where you came from.” In consequence, you will find no defense of the president from me, either. What Trump tweeted over the weekend was ... Read More
Education

Gender Dissenter Gets Fired

Allan M. Josephson is a distinguished psychiatrist who, since 2003, has transformed the division of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology at the University of Louisville from a struggling department to a nationally acclaimed program. In the fall of 2017 he appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation ... Read More
U.S.

The ‘Squad’ Gives a Gift to Donald Trump

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave the Democrats a gift -- comments that indicate he thinks native-born congresswomen he detests should “go back” to the countries of their ancestors. On Monday, the four congresswomen handed Trump a gift in return, managing to respond to the president’s insults in some of the most ... Read More