September 19, 2010

Muslims killed thousands, Christians didn't?!

In his column titled Message to Muslims:  I'm Sorry, Nicholas Kristof begins with an apology to Muslims for "the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you." He then notes a controversy that proves my point: The protests against the Park51 interfaith center have nothing to do with the sanctity of Ground Zero. They're all about bigotry against Muslims in particular and brown-skins in general.I’m inspired by another journalistic apology. The Portland Press Herald in Maine published an innocuous front-page article and photo a week ago about 3,000 local Muslims praying together to mark the end of Ramadan. Readers were upset, because publication coincided with the ninth anniversary of 9/11, and they deluged the paper with protests.

So the newspaper published a groveling front-page apology for being too respectful of Muslims. “We sincerely apologize,” wrote the editor and publisher, Richard Connor, and he added: “we erred by at least not offering balance to the story and its prominent position on the front page.” As a blog by James Poniewozik of Time paraphrased it: “Sorry for Portraying Muslims as Human.”

I called Mr. Connor, and he seems like a nice guy. Surely his front page isn’t reserved for stories about Bad Muslims, with articles about Good Muslims going inside. Must coverage of law-abiding Muslims be “balanced” by a discussion of Muslim terrorists?

Ah, balance—who can be against that? But should reporting of Pope Benedict’s trip to Britain be “balanced” by a discussion of Catholic terrorists in Ireland?
Hey, that's what we do here at Newspaper Rock. To balance our self-congratulatory praise of Anglo-Saxons, Christians, capitalists, Columbus, the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers, and so forth, we offer a reality check about America's bloodstained history.

Muslims bad, Christians good?

Kristof continues:And then there’s 9/11. When I recently compared today’s prejudice toward Muslims to the historical bigotry toward Catholics, Mormons, Jews and Asian-Americans, many readers protested that it was a false parallel. As one, Carla, put it on my blog: “Catholics and Jews did not come here and kill thousands of people.”

That’s true, but Japanese did attack Pearl Harbor and in the end killed far more Americans than Al Qaeda ever did. Consumed by our fears, we lumped together anyone of Japanese ancestry and rounded them up in internment camps. The threat was real, but so were the hysteria and the overreaction.
"Catholics and Jews did not come here and kill thousands of people"? Well, except for the Indians.

Maybe Kristof meant that Catholics and Jews didn't kill thousands, they killed millions? That Carla's claim was true because the number was low by a factor of a thousand? Could be, but I doubt it.

My Facebook friends had some comments on Carla's claim:WTH? Yeah...thanks for always being on top of crap like that Rob. :) I mean, duh, Catholics had a nice huge hand (and I'm not just blaming the Catholics by any means) in killing MANY MANY MORE than the 3000 people (which included Muslims) on 9-11.

Catholics have killed more people than cancer.

Catholicism in the late 1700s and early 1850s turned an estimated California Indian population of 300,000 to approximately 53,000. Durrrr.
Right. The entire history of the Americas from 1492 to the first Protestant (English) colonies was Catholics vs. Indians. That continued in Spanish America (the Southwest) until around 1850. It still continues in much of Latin America, where Euro-American Catholics battle indigenous Catholics over land, natural resources, political representation, etc.

Jews bad too?

One person asked, "Did the Jews kill Indians?" I don't know, but I can speculate.

Based on my stereotypical knowledge of history, I'd guess Jews were underrepresented among Western settlers but overrepresented among Eastern businessmen and financiers. They probably didn't kill many Indians directly. But by financing the railroads, the mining expeditions, the stockyards, etc., they contributed to the killing of Indians and the destruction of their way of life.

That was true of most Americans, of course, not just Jews. The only ones I'd give a pass to are those who spoke up and protested America's genocidal policies. Who voted against politicians who ran on an anti-Indian platform. Average Americans couldn't have done much to stop the Manifest Destiny juggernaut, but they could've tried.

For more on the subject, see:

Culture war over who's American
My visit to a mosque
Obama smeared as Luo tribesman
Bigots protest brown-skins on 9/11
Conservative bigotry against Islam
Muslim "tribes" = Indian tribes?!


Below:  We're Americans! We're civilized! We don't fly airplanes into buildings like those cowardly Muslims!


Anonymous said...

The only redeeming quality about our fundamentally bigoted and evil civilization is that the author of this blog need not live in fear of imprisonment or death for expressing these views. Try that in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.

Rob said...

Dictators have curtailed freedom of speech in many non-Muslim countries--in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. And speech is relatively free in some Muslim countries. Therefore, it's wrong to suggest the problem is unique to Islam.

Burt said...

Religion in any country that filters its belief through the public arena is bad, whether its the revived practice of stoning women in the middle east, or the push for religious practice in schools and government and preaching politics from the pulpit as Americans do.

I see Muslim and Christianity in the same light. They both hold extremist views, histories and practices.

Violent American militias such as the one Timothy McVeigh associated with in Oklahoma and the KKK were, and are all Christian based organizations.

dmarks said...

"I see Muslim and Christianity in the same light. They both hold extremist views, histories and practices."

Which is something true of most religious views, including atheism. One that comes of pretty good is Buddhism: you have to dig pretty hard to find examples of Buddhist oppression.

Burt said...

Thats a good point Dmarks!

The same can be said of the Native American Church.

There is a film called, "The Stoning of Sorayah M" which depicts the true story of a woman wrongly accused of adultery in Iran. When Muslim extremist reinstate the punishment of "stoning" people to death for crimes committed against "God" and the ruling religious majority runs the state, it reminded me of American Christian extremists shown in another film called, "Lake of Fire" regarding abortion in this country and the common parallels both faiths justify acts of violence in human behavior.

Churches should be taxed!

dmarks said...

I haven't thought it all the way through, but I have a problem with any organization that people get filthy rich off of, but it is not taxed for different reasons (charity, church, etc).

My reading of the First Amendment does not rule out taxing churches.