Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.
In covering the killings in Las Vegas by Jerad and Amanda Miller this week, mainstream media commentators once again displayed their hypocrisy and double standard regarding Islamic terrorism and terror attacks that are supposedly “right-wing.”
CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote Tuesday the Millers “appear to have been motivated by extreme far-right views. The couple left a flag at the scene of the crime with the words ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ a Revolutionary War symbol used by some anti-government extremists.”
Bergen went on to emphasize that “countering violent extremism cannot simply be a demand placed on Muslim communities to prevent jihadist violence. In the decade since 9/11 right-wing extremists have demonstrated their ability to be just as deadly as their homegrown jihadist counterparts.”
Yet while Bergen is ready to equate “right-wing terrorists” with jihadists, he is much less ready to examine the motivating ideology of the latter. While he readily ascribed the Millers’ murders to “extreme far-right views,” when writing in 2006 about the root causes of the 9/11 jihad attack, Bergen stated:
In the many discussions of the “root causes” of Islamist terrorism, Islam itself is rarely mentioned. But if you were to ask Bin Laden, he would say that his war is about the defence of Islam. We need not believe him but we should nevertheless listen to what our enemies are saying. Bin Laden bases justification of his war on a corpus of Muslim beliefs and he finds ammunition in the Koran to give his war Islamic legitimacy. He often invokes the “sword” verses of the Koran, which urge unprovoked attacks on infidels. Of course, that is a selective reading of the Koran and does not mean Islam is an inherently violent faith, but to believers the book is the word of God.
He has demonstrated no similar anxiousness to exonerate “right-wing” beliefs from responsibility for the violence supposedly committed because of them. And at the Daily Beast, “Muslim comedian” Dean Obeidallah went even farther in a piece entitled “Home-Grown, Right-Wing Terrorism: The Hate the GOP Refuses to See.” Obeidallah was certain that conservative views led to violence, and that that was why Republicans had ridiculed the idea of “right-wing terrorism” when the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about it in 2009. “The actual reason Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists,” Obeidallah claimed, “is that it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it. Let’s be honest: In a time when establishment Republicans are concerned about getting challenged in primaries by more conservative Tea Party types, calling for hearings to investigate right-wing organizations could be political suicide.”
This is the same Dean Obeidallah who recently wrote this about the jihadists of Boko Haram, the Congregation of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad: “The Nigerian terrorist group that kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls has nothing to do with Islam, and it’s grotesquely irresponsible of the media to suggest it does.”
So an avowedly Islamic group that has repeatedly proclaimed that it is fighting in order to establish an Islamic state is not Islamic, and it’s “grotesquely irresponsible” to suggest otherwise. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, must have been “grotesquely irresponsible” when he declared: “The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels…The Koran must be supreme, we must establish Islam in this country.”
Obeidallah, who has produced and starred in a “comedy” film about “Islamophobia,” claims that the jihadists are twisting and hijacking his peaceful religion, and that only non-Muslim “Islamophobes” would dare think that anything they do has any justification in Islamic texts and teachings. But the possibility that murders such as Jerad and Amanda Miller are twisting and hijacking peaceful conservative principles that do not in any essential or legitimate way incite to violence does not cross his mind.
Bergen, Obeidallah and others like them also believe that those who sound the alarm about Islamic terrorism are motivated by “hatred” and “bigotry.” Are they, then, also motivated by hatred and bigotry when they sound the alarm about “right-wing terrorism”? Obeidallah claims that when Republicans passed anti-Sharia laws designed to protect Americans from a political system that subjugates women and non-Muslims and destroys the freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, they “intended to demonize Muslims.” So if legislation designed to protect Americans from “right-wing terrorism” were passed, could its framers and advocates be characterized as “intending to demonize conservatives”?
Why, yes, of course. That is the goal of this hysteria about “right-wing extremism” and “right-wing terrorism”: to demonize and marginalize legitimate opposition to the Obama agenda, as well as to minimize the real threat of jihad terror. Likewise, the goal of the hysteria about “Islamophobia” is to demonize and marginalize legitimate opposition to jihad terror, so that terror can advance unopposed and unimpeded. To trumpet both these hysterias, however, entangles Leftists like Bergen and Islamic supremacists like Obeidallah in a contradiction: they say that the stated beliefs and goals of Islamic terrorists are of no importance whatsoever, and it is “hateful” to point them out. Yet at the same time, they maintain that the stated beliefs and goals of “right-wing terrorists,” or even beliefs and goals that are ascribed to them by analysts and have no connection to what they actually believed, matter a great deal, and it is the nation’s duty to address them and institute remedies.
The hypocrisy is as obvious and stunning as the mainstream media’s cheerful and unapologetic eagerness to traffic in it.
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