The backlash is back.
Back on the front page, that is:
Bobby Ross Jr. writes: Before dissecting today’s Houston Chronicle story, a little background: After the San Bernardino massacre, the New York Post splashed the inflammatory headline “Muslim Killers” across its tabloid cover. At that time, we noted that — ever since 9/11 — the phrase “Muslim backlash” has entered America’s lexicon.
In follow-up posts, we questioned media reporting a “surge” in anti-Muslim crime without providing hard data to back up that factual claim. Moreover, we pointed out bias by media using the term “Islamophobia” without bothering to define it.
That leads to Houston, where firefighters battled a Christmas Day blaze at a storefront mosque.Investigators called the fire “suspicious,” citing multiple points of origin.
The fire serves as the news peg for the Chronicle’s Page A1 report today on anxiety in the area’s Muslim community:
Even before investigators determined that a Christmas Day fire at a southwest Houston mosque was set deliberately, Muslims in the Houston area were on edge.
Recent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., were followed by threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere. Now, in the aftermath of the arson at the mosque, local Muslim leaders and public officials are organizing a meeting to try to calm fears and ease tensions.
M.J. Khan, the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he understands the community’s growing anxiety.
“Families and children come, and we do take precautions to make sure people are protected and feel safe,” said Khan, whose organization operates the mosque. Still, he added, “These are places of worship, and we cannot make them fortresses.”
The fire broke out at around 2:45 p.m. on Christmas Day at the small mosque inside the Savoy Plaza strip center, near Wilcrest Drive and Bellfort Avenue. About 80 firefighters helped extinguish the blaze, which significantly damaged the worship hall.
Given the fire, the Muslim community’s concerns are certainly newsworthy. I have no problem with the story angle or the report’s above-the-fold placement.
But here’s the problem with this 1,300-word piece (roughly twice as long as a typical daily newspaper story): It attacks the issue with a giant ax when what’s really needed is a surgical knife.
What I mean: On a story such as this, journalists need to take extra care to be precise, to report what they know — and no more. Readers deserve hard facts, not squishy generalizations.
Instead, the Chronicle makes the sweeping statement up high that “threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere” followed the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. OK, what threats? (Insert crickets.)
The newspaper never provides any evidence of actual threats, such as police reports. The story does provide this brief note:
Waqar Mehmood was browsing his Sugar Land neighborhood’s social media page when he saw posts from a neighbor calling for the community to cleanse itself of Muslims using pig’s blood. Read the rest of this entry »
‘When It Comes To Donald Trump, I Hate Everyone‘
Mollie Hemingway writes:
We’re now in month eight or so of Trumpmania. He has a core of support, and the media can’t get enough of him. The effect he has on people is fascinating. But it’s also remarkably annoying. Every casual utterance by Trump leads the news cycle until the subsequent outrage. And everyone flips out. Trump flips out. His fans flip out. His enemies flip out. The media flip out.
It’s enough to make you hate everyone. In fact, it does make me hate everyone. That probably includes you. Here’s a list of everyone in the Trump saga who is awful….(read more)
Donald Trump Fans
…I know many of the people who say they’re voting for Trump are probably just normal people who don’t pay a ton of attention to politics and think he’s an entertaining fellow who is funny and candid. It’s not entirely surprising that a man who has been a household name for decades would enjoy the support he has. I’m a political junkie, and once a week I have to think really hard about who all the candidates running for president even are. And another portion of his voters are probably people who are just sick to death of Washington, D.C., even if they’re not particularly ideological.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 11, 2015
A Twitter user who goes by the name Political Math said of these people, and please excuse his French, “The world makes a lot of sense when you realize that the #1 priority of Trump supporters is to tell you to go [expletive deleted] yourself.” He added, “And I don’t mean this as a slur: Trump supporters are really just *more* sick of bull[deleted] out of DC than they care about Trump.”
Listen, I also hate the Republican Party and think it deserves to die in a fire (for reasons discussed here). This is a political party that has squandered majorities, favored the elite donor class over the base, and not only failed to thwart the creation and expansion of the administrative state, but in fact enabled it. It has shown disdain for conservative principles and people, even as it relied on them for victory. I’m sick of it, too.
So I get wanting to send a message. (And if you don’t get it, I commend this interview by Urbanophile’s Aaron Renn of his father, who is a Trump supporter.)
But don’t pretend that Trump has ideas, much less ideas that are good. Yes, he fights! Oh how he fights. And after years of Republican candidates sputtering and cowering in the face of stupid progressive questioning, that is an enjoyable thing to see. Although, it must be said that for someone who fights he sure does whine a hell of a lot. Just in the time I’ve written this, I’ve seen him whine about a half dozen different people. Trump’s support is based on his toughness. So why do he and his supporters cry like little babies anytime someone critiques him even slightly? I don’t get it.
In any case, there are real problems in this country and in this world, and don’t confuse message-sending support for Trump with actual support for Trump. And consider that you hate the Republican Party because of how poorly it has performed in service of the causes you care about; ask yourself whether the solution you’ve found yourself embracing is actually an improvement. Yes, it’s cathartic and you are scaring the hell out of the rest of the country, including those portions that have treated you with contempt for many years. But, again, there are serious governance issues that require a serious person who actually knows what in the hell he or she is doing. Get it together, you know?
Donald Trump Haters
OK, you people really annoy me. Ace of Spades put it well when he said you are like a divorced man who is obsessed with his ex-wife. He thinks everything she does is awful, and he can’t stop talking about her to other people to try to get them to agree. Yes, Trump is crazy and awful. Granted. But screaming about it constantly makes you seem crazy, too. Meghan Keane Graham once wrote anessay about how a crazy man on the subway picked a fight with her. After a few stops, she realized that nobody on the subway car had witnessed the original altercation and that meant that nobody on the subway knew that he was crazy and she was not. It was even odds, at that point, which one was crazy. Maybe both were. That’s what you people remind me of all the time.
TIME Magazine’s Headline Is Worse Than Ignorant — It’s Defamatory, Historically Dishonest, Anti-Human Rights PropagandaPosted: October 9, 2015
BEN CARSON IS RIGHT: YES, JEWS SHOULD HAVE HAD GUNS IN THE HOLOCAUST
Anyone who would deny such people guns because ‘it wouldn’t have mattered anyway’ ought to be cut off from the class of decent human beings.
In his new book, A More Perfect Union, Carson contends, “Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.” He defended that argument on national television, explaining, “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”
“The Nazi genocide against Jews relied on two factors: a population that, understandably, believed no sane or rational force on the planet, let alone the highly civilized Germans, would systematically murder civilians for no discernable purpose; and disarming that population before they could recognize the truth. Gun control had a long history in Germany long before the Holocaust.”
The media cynically objected to Carson’s language. Good Morning America labeled Carson’s comments “bizarre.” Politico accused Carson of “linking Hitler to gun control” – a ridiculous notion, given that Hitler is the one who linked Hitler with gun control.
“Just because the Nazis shot those who tried to resist them with armed force does not mean that Jews should not have had the ability to fight the Nazis. It is difficult to think of a more evil argument than the argument that you will undoubtedly be killed whether or not you have a gun, so we might as well remove your ability to defend your life.”
The media quickly ran to its leftist allies in the Anti-Defamation League, a longtime opponent of gun rights. “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” National Director Jonathan Greenblatt told Yahoo! News. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”
“Defending your own life is a basic human right. Jews are human beings, even if the media would hope to treat them as less than that. Ask any Holocaust survivor whether they would, in retrospect, have preferred to have a gun rather than being forced at gunpoint onto a train and then into Auschwitz, separated from their soon-to-be-gassed families, and then forced into starvation for years.”
Well, of course the “small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews” wouldn’t have prevented the Holocaust. That was the entire goal of prohibiting Jews from owning firearms over the course of years….
…In 1933, upon Hitler’s assumption of power, “non-Nazis throughout Germany were disarmed as ‘Communists,’” according to legal scholar Stephen Halbrook; simultaneously, Nazis were armed. The Nazis banned ownership of any “military” firearms by non-Nazi civilians, but naturally put special emphasis on seizing any guns from Jews. Handgun importation was banned.
“The argument against Carson has serious real-world consequences that extend beyond the argument against domestic gun seizures.”
Finally, in 1938, the Nazis enacted the Weapons Law, which banned weapons ownership without a license, just like the 1928 law; the law itself did not explicitly deny licenses to Jews. But the law did ban Jews from firearms businesses, and further required full government-available records of all gun sales. After Kristallnacht, the Nazis utilized the law to ban guns from all Jews after utilizing the media to blame “armed Jews” for unrest…
…German Jewish leadership said that any failure to comply would only drive more brutality. This strategy, needless to say, led to catastrophe.
Nonetheless, the media continue to lay out arguments that Carson was wrong, and that presumably, the Jews should have avoided guns even as the Germans came for their children. Read the rest of this entry »
Adam Kredo reports: The New York Times has come under fire from Jewish organizations for launching a website aimed at tracking how Jewish lawmakers are voting on the Iran nuclear agreement.
“’Though more Jewish members of Congress support the deal than oppose it, the Democrats against the deal are more likely to be Jewish or represent Jewish constituencies,’ the Times writes on the site.”
The online chart, which tracks whether lawmakers who opposes the accord are Jewish, is being criticized as anti-Semitic in nature and an attempt to publicly count where Jews fall on the issue, which some have sought to turn into a debate about dual loyalty to Israel.
“I guess we should be grateful the New York Times chose not to illustrate its Jew tracker by awarding a six-pointed yellow badge to every Jewish opponent of this catastrophic sellout.”
The feature, titled “Lawmakers Against the Iran Nuclear Deal,” includes a list of legislators currently opposing the deal.
Critics say the chart feeds into a larger narrative promulgated by the Obama administration that Jewish Americans oppose the deal because they feel that it would endanger Israel. The issue of dual loyalty—or claims that lawmakers are more loyal to Israel than America—has become a trademark criticism of administration supporters seeking to discredit opponents of the Iran deal. Read the rest of this entry »
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police at Northwestern University were investigating after someone scrawled racist and anti-Semitic graffiti in the school library.
“University police said a swastika and disparaging remarks about African Americans were scrawled in pencil in a men’s restroom at the library, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.”
University police said a swastika and disparaging remarks about African Americans were scrawled in pencil in a men’s restroom at the library, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus, and the incident prompted a campus-wide e-mail alert from university President Morton Schapiro, issued Tuesday.
While the alert said University Police see no immediate danger to the campus or any specific person, Schapiro called the graffiti “offensive to the entire Northwestern community” and said it will not be tolerated.
He wrote that “Northwestern seeks to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff of all races and religious beliefs.” Read the rest of this entry »
A tourist attraction geared at families and children in Birmingham, England has drawn flak for its “Railways in Wartime” Auschwitz display, depicting model trains shepherding Holocaust victims to their death in Nazi concentration camps…(read more)
Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, violence and hatred against Jews is on the rise, especially in the Middle East and among Muslims in Europe
Jonathan Sacks writes: Last Tuesday, a group of Holocaust survivors, by now gaunt and frail, made their way back to Auschwitz, the West’s symbol of evil—back to the slave-labor side of the vast complex, with its mocking inscription Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work makes you free”), and back to the death camp, where a million and a quarter human beings, most of them Jews, were gassed, burned and turned to ash. They were there to commemorate the day, 70 years ago, when Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz and saw, for the first time, the true dimensions of the greatest crime since human beings first set foot on Earth.
“Today Christian communities are being ravaged, terrorized and decimated throughout the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia, and scores of Muslims are killed every day by their brothers, with Sunnis arrayed against Shiites, radicals against moderates, the religious against the secular. The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews.”
The moment would have been emotional at the best of times, but this year brought an especially disturbing undercurrent. The Book of Genesis says that, when God told Abraham what would happen to his descendants, a “fear of great darkness” fell over him. Something of that fear haunted the survivors this week, who have witnessed the return of anti-Semitism to Europe after 70 years of political leaders constant avowals of “Never again.” As they finished saying Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for mourners, one man cried out, “I don’t want to come here again.” Everyone knew what he meant. For once, the fear was not only about the past but also about the future.
The murder of Jewish shoppers at a Parisian kosher supermarket three weeks ago, after the killing of 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, sent shivers down the spines of many Jews, not because it was the first such event but because it has become part of a pattern. In 2014, four were killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. In 2012, a rabbi and three young children were murdered at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
“In 2008 in Mumbai, four terrorists separated themselves from a larger group killing people in the city’s cafes and hotels and made their way to a small Orthodox Jewish center, where they murdered its young rabbi and his pregnant wife after torturing and mutilating them.”
In 2008 in Mumbai, four terrorists separated themselves from a larger group killing people in the city’s cafes and hotels and made their way to a small Orthodox Jewish center, where they murdered its young rabbi and his pregnant wife after torturing and mutilating them. As the Sunday Times of London reported about the attack, “the terrorists would be told by their handlers in Pakistan that the lives of Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews.”
An ancient hatred has been reborn.
Some politicians around the world deny that what is happening in Europe is anti-Semitism. It is, they say, merely a reaction to the actions of the state of Israel, to the continuing conflict with the Palestinians. But the policies of the state of Israel are not made in kosher supermarkets in Paris or in Jewish cultural institutions in Brussels and Mumbai. The targets in these cities were not Israeli. They were Jewish.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, an Egyptian cleric, Muhammad Hussein Yaqub, speaking in January 2009 on Al Rahma, a popular religious TV station in Egypt, made the contours of the new hate impeccably clear: “If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them…They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing…You must believe that we will fight, defeat and annihilate them until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth…You will not survive as long as a single one of us remains.”
“Anti-Semitism has existed for a very long time. One critical moment came around the end of the 1st century C.E., when the Gospel of John attributed to Jesus these words about the Jews: ‘You belong to your father, the Devil.’ From being the children of Abraham, Jews had been transformed into the children of Satan.”
Not everyone would put it so forcefully, but this is the hate in which much of the Middle East and the Muslim world has been awash for decades, and it is now seeping back into Europe. For Jews, “never again” has become “ever again.”
“If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them…They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing…You must believe that we will fight, defeat and annihilate them until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth…You will not survive as long as a single one of us remains.”
— Egyptian cleric, Muhammad Hussein Yaqub, speaking in January 2009
The scope of the problem is, of course, difficult to gauge precisely. But recent polling is suggestive—and alarming. An Anti-Defamation League study released last May found “persistent and pervasive” anti-Jewish attitudes after surveying 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories world-wide. The ADL found that 74% of those surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa held anti-Semitic attitudes; the number was 24% in Western Europe, 34% in Eastern Europe and 19% in the Americas. Read the rest of this entry »
Ben Shapiro reports: According to a survey from the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union, almost one in three Jews in Europe has considered emigration thanks to rising anti-Semitism on the continent. The symptoms of that anti-Semitism range from local laws around Europe cracking down on sale of products from Israeli territory in Judea and Samaria to restrictions on kosher slaughter and circumcision. Throwback Nazi-associated parties have also been on the rise in the countries of Eastern Europe as well as Greece.
According to the agency, “while member states have made sustained efforts to combat anti-Semitism, the problem is still widespread.” The countries surveyed included France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, Britain, and Latvia. The increase immigration to Europe of radicalized Muslim populations from the Middle East and Northern Africa has also contributed to the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Overall, two thirds of respondents said they think anti-Semitism remains a big problem in their countries, and over three in four said the situation had worsened over the last five years. Read the rest of this entry »