Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pseudo-tolerance and violent Jihad


Whenever Middle East issues pop up here in Progressive Land, it's instructive to observe the behavior of well-intentioned progressives. Mostly they were just silent---though the Chronicle at least had a lame editorial on the issue---on the successful attempt by Islamic fanatics to intimidate the western media during the synthetic crisis over the Danish Mohammed cartoons. The leftist Bay Guardian was particularly lame in its response to the cartoon controversy.

(See the cartoons here.) 

Then Fog City was conned by the anti-Israel propaganda about the "peace flotilla," when Turkish thugs attacked Israeli commandos with iron bars and broken bottles. And when the Jihadists successfully bullied Comedy Central over a South Park episode, there was again nothing but silence from the local media.

This kind of pseudo-tolerance gives multiculturalism a bad name. Surely violence and threats of violence should be opposed by everyone.

The latest folly of pseudo-tolerance: the anti-Jihad ads now appearing on Muni buses. Note the actual wording of the ad in the picture above. No mention of Islam, just a call to defend Israel and condemn terrorism by Jihadists. Of course an ad condemning Israel for expanding the settlements and the treatment of Palestinians would also make a valid political point, but that would be someone else's ad. And just because some of your enemies are demonstrably savages doesn't necessarily mean you are "civilized."

"Muni Bus Ads Call Israel's Enemies 'Savages'" is the head on a KQED blog post. Well, not exactly. Instead it calls jihadists "savages," which is nothing but the simple truth, unless you think suicide bombers and market-place bombers shouldn't be called that. I can't think of a better term. The ad could---and maybe should---have made the distinction between violent jihadists and non-violent jihadists, but there are only so many distinctions you can put in an ad like this---or on a bumper sticker. And that distinction is fuzzy in the Middle East, where violent jihad is encouraged by clerics and others who aren't directly involved in violence.

The Jewish Community Relations Council issued a rather clueless, inaccurate account of the controversy, since the ad doesn't libel all Moslems or indulge in "anti-Muslim stereotypes." It condemns only jihadists, presumably a minority in the faith, though surely a substantial minority in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

And it's a violent minority that continues to threaten Israel, the United States, and Western Europe.

The question now is, Will Muni roll over and take the ads down?

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