Phi Beta Cons

Islam’s Ignorant Defenders

In my Patheos column this week, I deal with an issue that’s been bothering me for some time — the fierce defense of Islam from a liberal elite that knows almost nothing about it. Islam is defined by Muslims, not by its western, multiculturalist defenders. Think you know something about Islam from perhaps a college class, a teach-in from members of the Middle Eastern-studies department, or a book or two you read in grad school? Spend a year in Iraq, walking through villages, talking to sheikhs, and examining intelligence reports about the viral growth of jihad, and you’ll see a very different side of Islamic life. For Islam’s leftist defenders, I present them with a hypothetical:

Let’s flip the script for a moment. Let’s imagine that in the United States our Christian population was producing thousands of suicide bombers, recruiting tens of thousands of Jihadists, financing hundreds of millions of dollars of arms and ammunition, and distributing literature proclaiming Jews and others as worthy of death. Would Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walk of the set at criticism of Christians? Would Time magazine decry “Christophobia”? Of course not. They would argue that Christianity was in crisis, and they would be right.

Read the whole thing. And while you’re over there, take a look at the rest of the Patheos evangelical portal. It’s chock-full of excellent, thoughtful writing from many different points on the Christian spectrum, including a tremendous blog by one of my favorite thinkers, Baylor professor Francis Beckwith.

My own column is called The French Revolution (I know, not a conservative name — and corny — bonus points to any reader who can help me improve it), and it may not be the best column on the site, but I do promise that I shall lead all writers in links to lightsaber battles — including this ugly classroom incident at George Wythe College.

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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