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Media Bias Against Muslims? May 25, 2007

Posted by Michael in Politics.
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I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. I think the fear of Muslims in America is unfounded, and racist.

America has a genius for assimilating minorities, and Muslims are no exception. The fear inspired by a mosque, like the big one recently built near my house, is just ignorant. A mosque is, first and foremost, a place of worship. It should not automatically be libeled as a hotbed for terrorist intrigue.

May 24, 2007 – According to a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this week, Muslim-Americans are “largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.” The poll showed the majority surveyed have close non-Muslim friends, believe in a strong American work ethic and feel there is little conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society. Overall, an encouraging picture, right?

No, not if you are determined to parse the data for bad news.

Not according to a cavalcade of major media outlets. On Tuesday and Wednesday, coverage of the poll was downright foreboding. “Supporting Terror?” read the CNN crawl at the bottom of the screen as John Roberts interviewed a group of young moderate Muslims about the poll. On CBS News online, the headline incorrectly stated that 26% OF YOUNG U.S. MUSLIMS OK BOMBS. And in USA Today, more misinformation and scare tactics: POLL: 1 IN 4 YOUNGER U.S. MUSLIMS SUPPORT SUICIDE BOMBINGS.

What’s behind this? Well, basically, it’s like global warming. Fear sells. Almost as well as sex.

The fear-inducing reports were based on the responses to a couple of questions in the Pew survey: is suicide bombing justified? The outcome: “Very few Muslim Americans—just 1%—say that suicide bombings against civilian targets are often justified to defend Islam; an additional 7% say suicide bombings are sometimes justified in these circumstances,” according to the Pew poll. As for U.S. Muslims under 30, Pew reported that 15 percent believe suicide bombings can be often or sometimes justified. The numbers were tucked inside a 108-page report that also found a large majority of U.S. Muslims rejected the idea of violence against civilians, had very unfavorable views of Al Qaeda and were concerned about the rise of Muslim extremism in the United States.

I can imagine, by the way, someone getting kinda crazy and thinking that a bombing might be justified to defend Lutheranism. Someone like Dietrich Boenhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor, and a theologian who is renowned in Lutheran circles to this day. He participated in a plot to bomb a civilian (Adolph Hitler), and was executed.

Just sayin’. Muslims who say the bombing of civilians “might” be justified is not necessarily all that scary.

Let’s take a look at some scary American Muslims.

Looks to me like they are shouting “Death to America!” and they are about to burn an American flag, which they are holding upside-down to show their contempt. Those bastards!

Actually, that picture was taken in Dearborn, Michigan, where we have one of our largest Muslim communities.

Those people are celebrating the death of Saddam Hussein.

Media Coverage of Muslims Bombs

Here’s another interesting Newsweek article, an interview with a young British man who converted to radical Islam, and then rejected it.

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Comments»

1. daveintexas - May 25, 2007

Perhaps someone helpful could show them how to hold the US flag.

2. Michael - May 25, 2007

Hah! While you wrote that comment, Dave, I was editing the post to mention that.

3. BrewFan - May 25, 2007

I don’t get the point of this post. Am I supposed to feel good that 15% of American Muslim utes is ok with suicide bombing? I have to tell you I’m not getting the warm-fuzzy…

4. BrewFan - May 25, 2007

Wait. I know. I’m supposed to like the fact that just 8% of U.S. Muslims think suicide bombings are often/sometimes justified. Given 5 million U.S. Muslims, why thats a mere 400,000 potential splodey dopes. Nice.

5. madmouser - May 25, 2007

You speak as if everyone tells the truth in these surveys, especially people with something to hide. I am from Cali and we rely more on aura’s and vibrations. Why not? My instincts are better than some survey.

6. Muslihoon - May 25, 2007

Michael: I am composing a post in response to your thought-provoking comment-post.

Although I must admit that for the first I find myself disagreeing with you slightly. But this may be because of my personal biases.

7. Muslihoon - May 25, 2007

BTW: say and think what one may, I appreciate Michael raising this issue. It will undoubtedly be a good educational experience for both sides. And it is important to be aware of such discourses.

Michael: could I make a request for a link to the article you quote? Thank you. (Most likely you did include it and, in my usual denseness, I cannot find it.)

8. BrewFan - May 25, 2007

Don’t make nice-nice Musli. Let him have it with both barrels. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, like maybe he’s had one too many shots of Jack Daniels but in any event he needs a spanking for posting this.

9. Michael - May 25, 2007

Michael: could I make a request for a link to the article you quote? Thank you.

Sorry, the link to a Newsweek article was in the original post, but I accidentally deleted it in the course of about eight edits. I’ll put it back. Give me a minute.

10. ace - May 25, 2007

I like it when he posts Chick Corea videos better.

I grow weary of the you’re-just-fearful crap. A quarter of terrorist-aged men thinking there’s justification for terrorism is just bad, Michael.

11. Michael - May 25, 2007

A quarter of terrorist-aged men thinking there’s justification for terrorism is just bad, Michael.

I’m 55. I think there are circumstances where Lutheran terrorism is justified. If a pollster asked me that abstract question, I would say yes.

12. Michael - May 25, 2007

BTW, I never posted Chick Corea at AOSHQ.

I would have, but I just did not think of it.

13. Michael - May 25, 2007

I did post Tommy James and the Shondells at AOSHQ, and I am ashamed of myself for doing so.

14. dr4 - May 25, 2007

You should just move to a Muslim country Michael. Like Iran or Syria. Im sure that you would live a long and happy life telling all your neighbors how kickass being a Lutheran is. From Hot air:

Crisis averted: Saudis arrest Christian on the loose in Mecca

Nirosh Kamanda, a Sri Lankan Christian, was detained by the Saudi Expatriates Monitoring Committee last week after he started to sell goods outside Mecca’s Great Mosque.

After running his fingerprints through a new security system, Saudi police discovered that he was a Christian who had arrived in the country six months earlier to take a job as a truck driver in the city of Dammam. Kamanda had subsequently left his place of work and moved to Mecca.

We are at war with Islam. Thats the bottom line.

White guilt is going to destroy this country.

15. Amish - May 25, 2007

Every time a Muslim blows something up its the first thing you here from the media and our leaders. We need to understand the “root cause of why they hate us.”

Religion of Peace Religion of Peace Religion of Peace Religion of Peace Religion of Peace Religion of Peace Religion of Peace Religion of Peace

Just keep repeating that as Muslims support Jihad across the globe – Religion of Peace. As they persecute Christians and Jews – Religion of Peace. As they use their own children as human bombs – Religion of Peace. As they burn our flag and chant death to America in the streets – Religion of Peace. As they stone girls for having the audacity to be raped – Religion of Peace. As they murder 3000 Americans – Religion of Peace.

We are to blame. Its because White America is racist and imperialistic. Look what we did to Africans. Look what we did the Indians. We have it coming. We deserve it. Its racist to profile. It’s immoral to resist. We deserve extinction. Submit. It’s the Religion of Peace.

16. Michael - May 25, 2007

White guilt is going to destroy this country.

Nah. No white guilt on my part. For me, profiling Muslim minorities at the airport for an extra-close look at their luggage is just common sense.

I just think the fear of Muslims in America is exaggerated. They are, for the most part, simply Americans. Sure, some of them might be dangerous, but so were Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski.

Also, note that my post relates entirely to the risk posed by domestic Muslim populations, who have been exposed to the culture of assimilation that is uniquely American.

The rants by Amish relate to foreigners. We really have no disagreement about the threat that they pose.

17. harrison - May 25, 2007

Dangerous Muslims number in the thousands, not the one or two.

18. Amish - May 25, 2007

Those people are celebrating the death of Saddam Hussein.

These people are celebrating the death of three thousand americans:

http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=4030

Muslims who say the bombing of civilians “might” be justified is not necessarily all that scary.

Is this some twisted version of Godwins law? Do you seriously think that these Muslims mean HITLER when they say murdering civilians is justified? Do you think – just possibly – they could be talking about killing Americans? or Israelis? Or Hindus? Or Muslims who dont believe they exact way they they do? I know its a stretch considering Muslims would never actually slaughter any of those people and drag their burned bodies through the streets.

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/fallujah_31mar04/

How many wars conflicts are going on in the world right now? How many involve Muslims? How many DONT?

Are Muslim countries historically peaceful? Or do they have “bloody borders” as someone once said?

I hope this post is a joke Michael. As Ace has already pointed out – how stupid does someone have to be to be comforted that 26% of a group is all in favor of wiping out their fellow citizens? And thats the percentage that would admit to ADVOCATING MURDER TO A COMPLETE STRANGER via a poll. How high would the percentage be if they answered honestly?

19. Michael - May 25, 2007

Dangerous Muslims number in the thousands, not the one or two.

That’s true of Americans generally. There is always a cohort of psychos lurking amongst us.

So, name an American Muslim who has done as much damage as Timothy McVeigh.

Yeah, thought so. My point being: fear sells. Ace is selling it, just as much as the MSM.

20. Amish - May 25, 2007

Fucking Spam Bucket has one of my comments.

Also, note that my post relates entirely to the risk posed by domestic Muslim populations, who have been exposed to the culture of assimilation that is uniquely American.

yeah thats working out great. Only 26% of that group will openly admit to wanting us dead. Fantastic news.

The reason that they arent acting the same way here as they do in France is because they arent here in the same type of numbers. Right now we only have small groups of Muslims killing us.

The DC Snipers – who were Muslims – but by god that doesnt have a damn thing to do with why they killed all those people/ At least according to the MSM.

Or that Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar who drove his suv over those people.

Or Michael Ford who shot up his workplace because “people were teasing him for being a Muslim.”

Or Patrick Gott who walked into that airport in New Orleans with a Koran in one hand and a shotgun in the other. Just a coincidence that he happened to have the Islamic Holy book in his murdering hands.

Or Joel Hinrichs who accidentally blew himself up before he could kill his classmates after converting to Islam.

Or Naveed Alzal Haq, who killed six women at the Jewish Federation Center in Seattle. Even though he said “I am a Muslim American angry at Israel.” the Media made sure that we all knew that his being a muslim had nothing to do with why he did it.

What about those nice young gentlemen who were planning on attacking Fort Dix?

Yep Muslims are a peaceful lot.

21. Muslihoon - May 25, 2007

Amish: while what you say, at a certain level, is correct, it is separate from the issue of Muslims in America. One article is asserting that based on polled information, Muslims in America are not so ill-disposed towards America as perhaps other Muslims might be. That is a valid point. But what needs to be discussed are whether this point is true and whether it is relevant.

22. Michael - May 25, 2007

Fucking Spam Bucket has one of my comments.

I pulled it out. It’s now #18. I’m also going to close that italics tag you left open. You’re welcome.

23. Amish - May 25, 2007

So, name an American Muslim who has done as much damage as Timothy McVeigh.

Show me a Nazi that killed more people than Stalin.

How short is your memory? How did the media treat McVeigh? Am i the only one who remembers countless hours of programming exposing how dangerous militias are to the safety of America? People were blaming Rush Limbaugh for causing McVeigh for going off. The media pounded the right on this. They blamed talk radio. They blamed the NRA. It was a constant drumbeat.

Do you see the media EVER really criticizing Islam? No you dont. At most they criticize the “radical” fringe of the religion all the while assuring us that there are millions of “moderate” muslims out there who just never get around to criticizing terrorism in large numbers.

p.s. And as im sure most of you know – McVeigh was an agnostic and a big admirer of Muslims. He liked the people he fought against in the Gulf War more than his own country.

24. daveintexas - May 25, 2007

The poll briefly describes the rationales for and against “suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets” and then asks, “Do you personally feel that this kind of violence is often justified to defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?”

It is not an abstract question. You are being retarded.

25. Amish - May 25, 2007

Muslims in America are not so ill-disposed towards America as perhaps other Muslims might be.

Every one of those names i listed were of Muslims living in America.

Muslims dont have the power to go batshit crazy yet in this country. They didnt burn cars in Paris in the 1980s either.

“not so ill – disposed” translates into: “we dont want to admit that we want you living under Sharia law because we dont want our asses kicked in”

But thanks to people like Michael they “can be brought out of the shadows” in a few years.

26. Michael - May 25, 2007

Do you see the media EVER really criticizing Islam? No you dont.

No, you are right, I don’t. The version of Islam that exists in many parts of the world is backwards, racist, misogynistic, intolerant, and altogether contemptible. Amish, you and I don’t really disagree about this. Nor do we disagree about the fact that this abominable “Religion of Peace” receives deference and respect from the MSM that it does not deserve.

I’m just saying that Islam as it is actually practiced in America, by loyal and assimilated American citizens, does not deserve to be tarred with the same brush.

27. geoff - May 25, 2007

I think there are circumstances where Lutheran terrorism is justified. If a pollster asked me that abstract question, I would say yes.

This is specious claptrap. The question asked if you would use terrorism, i.e., the prosecution of violence against random civilians, to defend Islam. So, Michael, how many civilians are you willing to kill at random to defend Lutheranism?

The answer had better be that in defending using those methods, you have destroyed everything it ever stood for.

28. geoff - May 25, 2007

Should be an “it” between “defending” and “using.”

29. Amish - May 25, 2007

I think there are circumstances where Lutheran terrorism is justified. If a pollster asked me that abstract question, I would say yes.

WWJD?

Im pretty sure that when Jesus went to heaven in a cloud of glory it wasnt actually a plume of smoke from his suicide belt detonating.

30. geoff - May 25, 2007

Since his actions involved the directed killing of a political target, Dietrich Boenhoeffer was an assassin, not a terrorist.

31. Michael - May 25, 2007

It is not an abstract question. You are being retarded.

Yes, Dave, it is exactly an abstract question. And hypothetical. It is precisely the question that was agonizing for Dietrich Boenhoeffer, for whom it was not at all hypothetical. He was confronted with the issue of whether, as a vicar of Christ, he could commit murder.

You should give yourself a ten-count before you call me retarded, because normally when you do that, you need to stop and think.

32. daveintexas - May 25, 2007

No it’s not Michael. “Civilian targets”.

Calling Hitler a civilian is even more retarded.

33. Amish - May 25, 2007

He was confronted with the issue of whether, as a vicar of Christ, he could commit murder.

Killing a mass murdering dictator bent on conquering the world and committing genocide isnt exactly the same thing as sending a child strapped with explosives onto an Israeli school bus is it?

You do see the difference between stopping a murderer and killing innocent civilians to foment chaos, right?

34. Michael - May 25, 2007

Since his actions involved the directed killing of a political target, Dietrich Boenhoeffer was an assassin, not a terrorist.

That’s a fair distinction, Geoff. But still, in any event, we’re talking about murder.

I might add that, in the minds of the 9/11 conspirators, the World Trade Center was, in fact, a “political target.”

35. Amish - May 25, 2007

damn. by the time i get something typed up someone has already beaten me to the punch.

36. geoff - May 25, 2007

He was confronted with the issue of whether, as a vicar of Christ, he could commit murder.

And yet he never confronted the issue of terrorism. Assassination is nasty but comprehensible. Terrorism is incomprehensible – the point being to inflict misery without meaning in order to heighten a population’s fear. No sane person would condone that.

37. Don Carne - May 25, 2007

So, name an American Muslim who has done as much damage as Timothy McVeigh.

John Walker Lindh. He may not have killed as many but what he did (treason) is as bad as mass murder. And don’t forget Mike Spann, who was killed by JWL in Afganistan.

So a peace offering to ace and to break the C.C. taboo:

38. daveintexas - May 25, 2007

Oh no, Boenhoeffer and Atta, peas in a pod.

39. Amish - May 25, 2007

in the minds of the 9/11 conspirators?

In the stomach of Jeffrey Dahmer he was hungry.

I dont get what youre saying. If you think its ok to kill people, it automatically is ok to kill them? “I think im going to blow up a busload of kids – therefore i am going to blow up a bus load of kids.”

So as long as you can rationalize your twisted world view to your own satisfaction murder is hunky-dory.

40. Michael - May 25, 2007

You do see the difference between stopping a murderer and killing innocent civilians to foment chaos, right?

Yeah. So let’s get back to my basic point. Where is the evidence that naturalized American Muslims are a bigger threat than right-wing survivalist whackos in Montana, Haitian gangs in Miami, scary-brown Hindus like Tushar, Mormons with their weird temple rituals, lutefisk-serving Lutherans, or anyone else.

We need to cut through the bullshit and focus on the real risk to our national security and the American Way Of Life.

Spudders.

41. harrison - May 25, 2007

We need to cut through the bullshit and focus on the real risk to our national security and the American Way Of Life.

Illegal Immigration.

42. Amish - May 25, 2007

Im tired of arguing. Its ridiculous that i would even have to.

Im an atheist. Fuck Islam. Fuck Muhammad.

43. Michael - May 25, 2007

The answer had better be that in defending using those methods, you have destroyed everything it ever stood for.

Not really. There is a whole theological construct about the Kingdom of the Left Hand (or, the Kingdom of the Sword) as opposed to the Kingdom of the Right Hand, or the Kingdom of Grace (the realm of the Church). So, like Catholics, we have a theology of a “just war,” an explanation for why Jesus said “render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s,” and an explanation for why Jesus instructed a runaway slave to return to his master.

44. Muslihoon - May 25, 2007

Fuck Muhammad.

I didn’t know you swung that way, Amish. But what with his harem of perpetual virgins and of boys like pearls, I don’t foresee him taking up your offer.

45. geoff - May 26, 2007

So, like Catholics, we have a theology of a “just war,”

War is not terrorism. How many buses of schoolchildren would you blow up to protect Lutheranism? How many restaurants would you blow up? How many schools would you take over and blow up? How many people would you shoot at random?

When you have taken the path of killing innocents to protect innocents, you are violating the percepts of your religion.

46. geoff - May 26, 2007

Where is the evidence that naturalized American Muslims are a bigger threat than…

The evidence: many Muslim institutions in the US have been caught funneling funds to terrorist groups.

The “right-wing whackos” have been completely rejected by US conservatives, unlike the tepid response by US Muslims.

As I recall, neither Lutherans nor Mormons have advocated expansion via violent means. One only has to read Ahmadinejad’s latest rant to see an example of a state leader advocating the worldwide expansion of Islam via nuclear weapons.

Lots of apples and oranges here.

47. skinbad - May 26, 2007

Michael, Even if your faith in assimilation is correct, when do we get ahead of the curve? Immigrants keep coming and in a liberal society the literalists Muslims will find conflicts with the society they live in and the religion they are trying to adhere to. Charismatic leaders in some mosques and prisons are feeding their alientation and recruiting them. Weren’t the Muslims in the big terror plot in London mostly homegrown? Assimilation certainly works for most, but a planned 9-11 scale attack (or worse) every few years cannot be tolerated.

48. Are we too afraid of Muslims? « Muslihoon - May 26, 2007

[...] wrote a thought-provoking comment-post (technically, no one there posts: they all comment): Media Bias Against Muslims? In it, he quotes “Media Coverage of Muslims Bombs” by Lorraine Ali of [...]

49. Muslihoon - May 26, 2007

I don’t blame Michael for how he sees things, even though I see things in quite a different way.

From my response: Are we too afraid of Muslims?”

50. Michael - May 26, 2007

The evidence: many Muslim institutions in the US have been caught funneling funds to terrorist groups.

Many Irish in the U.S. have been caught funneling funds to the I.R.A.

What’s your point?

percepts of your religion.

What’s a “percept”?

Sorry, sometimes I just can’t control my spelling-Nazi instincts.

Your point is valid. Killing innocents is not the same as killing Hitler.

My point remains valid. Where is the evidence that naturalized American Muslim citizens are a greater risk than anyone else?

51. Muslihoon - May 26, 2007

Michael: what I will take great opposition to is referring to fear of Muslims as racist. Why, you almost sound PC.

52. Muslihoon - May 26, 2007

Invoking the IRA does not compute. Unlike Islamist terrorist groups, the IRA did not target American interests. Just British ones.

My point remains valid. Where is the evidence that naturalized American Muslim citizens are a greater risk than anyone else?

Because they support organizations that directly and indirectly harm the domestic and foreign interests of America and its allies.

53. geoff - May 26, 2007

Sorry, sometimes I just can’t control my spelling-Nazi instincts.

Actually percept is a word. Just the wrong word.

Many Irish in the U.S. have been caught funneling funds to the I.R.A.

Which is a problem, but not so much our problem. What’s your point?

Where is the evidence that naturalized American Muslim citizens are a greater risk than anyone else?

Go back to the survey question. If you read it strictly, which the respondents may not have done, I think you’ll find the answer.

54. geoff - May 26, 2007

Your point is valid. Killing innocents is not the same as killing Hitler.

I should probably restate my point above: deliberately targeting innocents to promote a political or religious cause goes against all decency. Yet the respondents to the poll claim that it is permissible in the defense of Islam. That may not be a threat to the US, but it is a threat to humanity.

55. Millie - May 26, 2007

Yo Amish dude, stop pulling random numbers out of your ass.. Name a Nazi who killed as many people as Stalin? hmm…tough one…Hitler?
The article I saw in the paper states 13% but then headlines with 1 in 4 in reference to the article about American muslims. Someone sucked at math in the editorial department!

Let me pose a question…do any of you personally know a muslim…or an American Muslim? And if you do, are they violent or spouting vitriole about evil America?

56. Millie - May 26, 2007

Geoff, have you ever heard of the Crusades? If you look into the background of the Crusades and the rationale for such you may notice that it was to promote a plitical and religious cause…not to mention to line the coffers of the Vatican. Look at the Spanish Inquisition or the many progroms in Europe against the Jews. Heck, look at the treatment of the Irish in Ireland and in England in the 1800’s, I do believe Eteraz.org has some articles paralleling the attitudes toward Muslims in Britain with the attitudes towards the Irish just a century or two ago.

57. Millie - May 26, 2007

Here’s the link from eteraz.org about the parallels I mention

http://eteraz.org/story/2007/3/13/32829/3247

58. eddiebear - May 26, 2007

Geoff:

And what is scary is that the Muslims who feel they must “defend Islam” by violent means consider anybody who isn’t them and breathing to be an affront to their religion and deserving of a visit for Ali al Kaboom

59. eddiebear - May 26, 2007

I meant from Ali al Kaboom

60. steve_in_hb - May 26, 2007

Millie –

1) Stop being insulting with your “have you ever heard of the Crusades?” Yes, we have and were sick of hearing about them. The same way as a Polack I would be tiresome if I walked around bitching about the Teutonic knights massacring and conquering my people.

2) Get that Crusade shit out of here. Western Europe 800 years ago had more than its fair share of adolescent, violent motherfuckers that were facilitated by religious haters and exploiters of religious differences. So what. That’s not true anymore. Instead we are dealing with a religion that is popular in the shitholes of the world that encourages the killing and subjection of those who think differently. I feel the same way about Islamists that I would if there were Spanish Inquisition mother fuckers running around trying to force their faith on me – beat them down til I can politely ignore them the way I do other religions.

The Crusade angle is such bullshit. Can I bring up Muslim conquest of Spain as a reason to be pissed off or justify violent acts? The Muslim pirates from the Barbary coast that attacked an enslaved American sailors? How about complaining about the execution and forced conversion of Middle Eastern Christians when the Arab nomads burst forth? I wont, and I dont, because that shit happened deep in the past. Every ethnic/religious group has at some point been wronged by everybody. Justifying violence based on a wrong from centuries ago holds no weight with me.

So simply put – fuck you and your Crusades bullshit.

61. steve_in_hb - May 26, 2007

Millie –

As for your question about do I know personally know an American Muslim – yes I do. A number of them, but I tend to fixate on a beautiful, warm, funny Persian girl who I wish thought of me as something besides a friend. Of course she’s completely secular and is only nominally Muslim, the same way I’m nominally Catholic and Jewish. And I’m also quite familiar with some enthusiastic free speech suppressing Muslims at UCI.

62. sandy burger - May 26, 2007

The poll itself can be found here (there’s a link to the PDF file).

Only 40% of American muslims believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attack. (28% said it was not, and 32% either didn’t know or refused to answer.) The less religious muslims tend to believe it was Arabs, and the highly religious muslims tend to believe it was not.

5% have a favorable view of al-Qaeda, while 27% wouldn’t answer that question. (10% have a somewhat unfavorable view, and 58% have a very unfavorable view.)

There are many questions I wish were asked, but weren’t.

As to the suicide bombing question, here’s the exact wording they used:
“Some people think that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Other people believe that, no matter what the reason, this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that this kind of violence is often justified to defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?”

This question is terrible. It’s phrased as an abstract question, but in my opinion most people are not going to treat it that way; it’s really asking for an opinion on the Palestinian suicide bombers in particular.

63. sandy burger - May 26, 2007

As to the suicide bombing question, note that if you’re answering it as Michael’s hypothetical Lutheran would, your answer would be “rarely justified”, the answer chosen by 5% of all American muslims (and 11% of the 18-29 year olds).

But 8% of all US muslims (and 15% of the 18-29 years olds) chose “often justified” or “sometimes justified”, instead of “rarely justified”. These folks choose something more frequent than “rarely justified” for a reason, and I think the most common reason is probably sympathy for the Palestinian intifada.

I agree with your overall point, Michael, that American muslims don’t pose a particularly big threat, since most are pretty normal folks who just want to live and let live. But I disagree with the notion that there’s media bias against Islam. I just don’t see it.

64. lauraw - May 26, 2007

I just think the fear of Muslims in America is exaggerated. They are, for the most part, simply Americans. Sure, some of them might be dangerous, but so were Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski.

Michael, that’s so retarded.
The left trots out McVeigh as some kind of evidence of something every fucking time anybody makes a frowny-face at American Muslims. ‘Oh, well HE killed civvies too!’

That’s a great comparison, Moonbeam. Now find me five churches in this country where they speak of him as a martyr for some cause, or distribute pamphlets which promote killing in the name of whatever crazy beliefs he had.

I don’t even know how Kaczynski is useful to you as an example here at all. You may as well throw in Jack the Ripper. We’re talking about a religion, here. A religious movement.

Michael, after 9/11, investigations at numerous American mosques found Wahhabist pamphlets that promoted not only hatred of and separation from American society, but also of other sects of Islam. I read about this years ago.
U.S. Mosques have been infiltrated and sermons listened to.
What they’re saying puts the lie to your pretty fantasy of coexistence.

These people smile in your face but what’s going on inside their head is a different story.
And even years after, it is still going on.

http://www.nysun.com/article/8445

Please to be pulling your head out of your ass.
I’m not going to chase down more stories for you. Remember that several top members of CAIR have been convicted of supporting terrorism.
Remember the Imam in Lodi, CA?
The Lackawanna six.

I think we can safely assume that there have been others that we don’t know about yet.

65. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

A person who considers Hitler responsible for as many deaths as Stalin is not looking very hard.

It’s not a question of degrees of evil. Just efficiency and results.

66. lauraw - May 26, 2007
67. lauraw - May 26, 2007

http://www.hatefreeamerica.com/031103.htm

That one is fucking scary. Guess what is happening to moderates we had here?

68. BrewFan - May 26, 2007

Name a Nazi who killed as many people as Stalin? hmm…tough one…Hitler?

Millie, I hate to burst your condescending bubble but Stalin’s body count is estimated to be over 20 million. He made Hitler look like a piker in comparison.

69. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

Not to mention a truly beautiful human being, Imam Yusuf Kavakci, leader of a Dallas mosque whom that moron Florence Shapiro invited to lead an opening prayer in the Texas Senate earlier this year.
One of the mosques distributing Wahhabist literature that Laura mentions.

Declaring “racism” in the absence of any hard evidence to the contrary is intellectually lazy.

70. lauraw - May 26, 2007
71. lauraw - May 26, 2007

I’m not even trying very hard, Michael.
Look; I’m not saying we should start freaking out or anything. I’m just saying let’s not be making foolish assumptions.

Plenty of American minorities ‘hate’ this country for political or social reasons.

But they don’t go on hate-junkets or go to murder-school as part of their religious worship.

72. lauraw - May 26, 2007

If a lot of Americans think that Muslims are different somehow from other estranged minorities, you’re really showing your ass by assuming that those Americans are necessarily racist.

Yeah, we’re biased. But we think we have a case for it.

73. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

Interesting how the MSNBC article ignores the predominate next day MSM coverage which completely downplays the results of the “abstract question” as Michael phrased it,

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/227473.php

Rather they declare the media spin overtly negative, then ask Hussein Ibish “golly why ya think that is”? and without one damn fact other than his opinion he says “gotta be racism”.

Of course. What else could it be?

I don’t know anything about Harriet Myers and I don’t like the call? I’m a misogynist. I’m a little troubled that even 7% of US Muslims could answer this question in the affirmative, and I’m sick of our porous borders, I’m a racist.

That kind of argument is so damned irrefutable I think I may faint now.

74. lauraw - May 26, 2007

Geez, there is a wealth of information out there. Unfounded and racist, my ass.

Google it Michael, Google it!

75. geoff - May 26, 2007

I think Steve_in_HB has pretty much covered what I would have said with respect to Millie’s trip in the Way-Back Machine. One additional point: the Geneva Conventions were meant to express humanity’s horror at targeting civilians, even when the entire population was part of the war machine. Citing pre-Geneva instances of religious or political attacks on civilians ignores the conscious effort by civilized nations to outlaw those acts. Also, saying that “they did it then” doesn’t excuse people trying to do it now.

Another point regarding Michael’s original claim that the assimilative powers of the US were working on the Muslim community: 47% of US Muslims consider themselves Muslims first and Americans second. Christians are at 42%, but it doesn’t carry the same political implications. Only 43% of Muslims believe that they should adopt American customs.

An interesting aside for conservatives: 70% of Muslims believe that the government should be larger and that it should do more for the poor. Only 19% of Muslims identify themselves as conservative.

The most telling poll result: About 3/4 of Muslims are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism in the world. I wish that they had asked the question about the US as well.

76. lauraw - May 26, 2007

70% of Muslims believe that the government should be larger and that it should do more for the poor.

Muslim extremists in the UK refer to this as ‘bleeding the beast.’

77. Michael - May 26, 2007

One more time.

I’m not suggesting that Islamic extremism is not a real threat, even right here in the United States. I am suggesting that it is an exaggerated threat, and that domestic Muslims are often unfairly lumped together with foreign whackjobs. You’re pointing to the Lackawanna Six, fer cryin’ out loud, a bunch of morons who did not get close to actually doing any damage. If that represents the biggest domestic conspiracy so far, I rest my case.

Sandy makes a good point — the poll results may be biased by sympathy for the Palestinian cause in general and a reluctance to criticize the intifada, and thus may overstate the respondents’ actual endorsement of terrorist tactics.

78. geoff - May 26, 2007

Michael’s post reminds me of a comedian at the comedy club in Hermosa Beach who told this joke shortly after Salman Rushdie received his fatwa for insulting Islam:

“I hear Salman Rushdie is working on a new book about religion. Yeah, it’s called “Buddha, You Fat Fuck.”

Which still cracks me up. Since Michael has put up contrarian posts on immigration and terror in America, let me suggest a topic for him:

“The Alternative Minimum Tax: Extracting Their Rightful Due From Corporate Lawyers.”

79. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

Michael, their ineptitude isn’t the point, is it? That kid at OU fucked up too, but all he had to do was press the plunger at the gate instead of running off.

Overstated? Well thank God, they just meant the innocent JEW.

Really. Do 1% of Lutherans hold that view?

Honestly. You’re just arguing degrees now, which is a pointless waste of time.

80. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

I think the fear of Muslims in America is unfounded, and racist.

In the interests of being clear, this was where we started.

81. Michael - May 26, 2007

BTW, Laura, I read your article about the strife within mosques between fundamentalists and moderates. That happens in Lutheran churches all the time. It’s not exactly the same, I know, but doctrinal disputes have a tendency to get nasty regardless of the religion involved, and often tend to revolve around the title to church property.

82. BrewFan - May 26, 2007

First we have:

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. I think the fear of Muslims in America is unfounded, and racist.

Then we have:

I’m not suggesting that Islamic extremism is not a real threat, even right here in the United States.

I think you were suggesting that. Thats why everybody is jumping into your shit. We still love you, we just think you’re wrong about this.

83. Michael - May 26, 2007

“The Alternative Minimum Tax: Extracting Their Rightful Due From Corporate Lawyers.”

That’s cold, Geoff. That’s really hitting below the belt.

84. harrison - May 26, 2007

That happens in Lutheran churches all the time. It’s not exactly the same, I know, but doctrinal disputes have a tendency to get nasty regardless of the religion involved, and often tend to revolve around the title to church property.

I doubt one Lutheran has to worry about another killing him over the dispute.

85. geoff - May 26, 2007

I doubt one Lutheran has to worry about another killing him over the dispute.

…or blowing up a restaurant of unrelated people to make his point.

86. geoff - May 26, 2007

Hmmm.

Nobody ever laughs at that joke the way I tell it. I think I’m missing an essential line: something to the effect of “Rushdie claims that he didn’t mean to insult Islam.”

I really suck at telling jokes.

87. Michael - May 26, 2007

I think the fear of Muslims in America is unfounded, and racist.

That is exactly where we started. I’m not trying to be obtuse — the fear is, IMHO, unfounded precisely because the threat of domestic Islamic terrorism is exaggerated. The exaggeration occurs because American Muslims get lumped together with foreign extremists with whom they have little in common, other than the way they look and their Islamic-sounding names. That’s what I mean by “racist.”

88. Michael - May 26, 2007

…or blowing up a restaurant of unrelated people to make his point.

What restaurant? I missed the news about American Muslims blowing up a restaurant.

Which illustrates my point. You are attributing atrocities abroad to theological disputes in American mosques.

89. geoff - May 26, 2007

But the lumping occurs because American Muslims have been so passive about ostracizing the extremists. That’s what we mean by “tepid response.” Were they more aggressive and proactive in dealing with extremism, we wouldn’t have a problem.

90. Michael - May 26, 2007

BTW, Geoff, I thought your joke was funny.

91. geoff - May 26, 2007

You are attributing atrocities abroad to theological disputes in American mosques.

Nyoop, I am referencing the approval of terrorist methods by a significant percentage of American Muslims.

92. lauraw - May 26, 2007

The fear is unfounded?

Do this, Michael. Pick some Suras from their book and criticize Mohammed’s indecent proclivities openly so that ‘moderate’ Muslims can see you and know who you are.

93. Michael - May 26, 2007

It’s fair to criticize Muslim moderates for their “tepid” response to the extremists. I’m not sure what cultural norms are behind this, but I doubt they are unique to Muslim ethnic minorities. Not so long ago, you could also point to the “tepid” response of the American Irish community to the terrorism perpetrated by the IRA. IIRC, a lot of the IRA’s funding came from Irish in America.

94. Michael - May 26, 2007

Do this, Michael. Pick some Suras from their book and criticize Mohammed’s indecent proclivities openly so that ‘moderate’ Muslims can see you and know who you are.

Heck, I don’t have to waste time picking Suras. The entire Koran is Satanic, in my opinion.

Yo, Muslims, am I making myself clear? My theological position is that your entire religion is Satanic.

That doesn’t mean I don’t like you. :)

95. geoff - May 26, 2007

…I doubt they are unique to Muslim ethnic minorities.

Who cares? Saying that they are would, in fact, be racist. But the bottom line is that the American people are unsure where their loyalties lie, and US authorities are having a tough time separating out the extremists from the moderates and liberals. A little help would be nice.

96. geoff - May 26, 2007

On a more uplifting note, check out this little essay by Fred Thompson, which starts with:

I remember when I was a kid; one thing was clear to me. The more I learned about the rest of the world, the luckier I felt just having been born in America. The more I learned about America, the more I appreciated what those who came before us built; and how exceptional they were.

97. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

I doubt one Lutheran has to worry about another killing him over the dispute.

Mynd you, A Lutherite bite kan be quite nasti.

98. geoff - May 26, 2007

Mynd you, A Lutherite bite kan be quite nasti.

It’s the bacteria in their mouths.

99. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

I’ll use 10% as the figure in my argument here, just for convenience. Is it a problem when 10% of a group expresses thoughts like this? Sure, they’re outnumbered 9:1 by those who don’t hold those views, right? Maybe not.

Didn’t 30% or so refuse to answer the question? That’s not an insignificant percentage. Why would they refuse to answer the question? Some of them could have been insulted by the nature of the question, but it’s not unreasonable to assume that an additional 10-15% of the survey participants held the same views as the bold 10% but were unwilling to reveal their views to the general public. It’s also reasonable to assume that another 10% or so of those responding unfavorably to suicide bombings were lying to prevent further scrutiny on their community.

I think that instead of thinking that “it’s not a problem, since only 10% of the group endorses violent behavior”, the focus should be “we’ve got a problem, since 10% of the group feels confident in expressing their views in public, even when those views could stigmatize their minority community”.

I see those who endorse violent acts as the tip of the iceberg. They’re just willing to say publicly what a larger percentage of their group feels. For every one who stands up & shouts it loudly, there are probably 3 others sitting down thinking “You go Girl!”.

Even if I’m wrong, and the idiots in this community are limited to 10%, where are the “reasonable” members of the group castigating the idiots for their idiocy? It’s not the violent ones who worry me, since every group has their share of f*^ktards. What worries me is that nobody from their group is standing up to them & shouting “Hey, you don’t speak for me!”. There was an incident in Tulsa less than a year ago, where a reasonable Muslim spoke up publicly against terrorism in his community. Was he congratulated as a representative of “all good Muslims” for standing up to the splodey dopes? No, he was asked to leave his mosque and bombarded with death threats.

If Islam wants to be seen as something other than a 7th century death cult, maybe they should address the violence in their midst. Until they do that, the only reasonable way to view American Muslims is with some degree of suspicion.

100. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

You know, now that I see that on the screen, I should have gone ahead & thrown in a couple of reference to “breakin’ bitches” or my adventures in Okinawa or even some details on electrical wiring to get the full “wickedruss” effect.

101. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

http://www.batesline.com/archives/002906.html

As long as I’m going to cite a specific incident, I should provide a link. So here you go.

102. lauraw - May 26, 2007

If Islam wants to be seen as something other than a 7th century death cult, maybe they should address the violence in their midst. Until they do that, the only reasonable way to view American Muslims is with some degree of suspicion.

Well put.

You racist bastard.

103. geoff - May 26, 2007

Russ, here’s an example from Australia of radicals taking over a mosque and kicking out the moderates. The numbers of the radicals may be relatively small, but their influence is significant.

104. BrewFan - May 26, 2007

The numbers of the radicals may be relatively small, but their influence is significant.

As are their resources. The Wahabis aren’t funding the moderates dontchya know.

105. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

I’m not saying that we should put Muslims in camps or anything like that. At least not the kind of camps FDR used for the Japanese Americans in the 40’s.

Summer camps? That could be fun. Camping, canoeing, arts & crafts, female genital mutilation, honor killings & JOOOOOOO bashing. Sounds like fun to me.

106. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

Dammit, skinny, now I got Jehovah’s witnesses. Are you guys coordinating databases or what?

Michael: I get what you’re trying to say, but unfortunately, I find it a little difficult to trust a group that is openly bent on my destruction and the destruction about everything else good in the West. Am I overreacting, or overstating the case? Maybe a little, but speaking as a piece of uncovered meat, I think I’m justified in feeling uncomfortable around Muslims.

107. Michael - May 26, 2007

Just based on the body count, I think it’s safe to say that Mexican (or Jamaican, or whatever) drug gangs present an exponentially greater risk to innocent civilians than Islamic extremists. I don’t really have any data, but I’m pretty sure that the annual carnage caused by stray bullets in San Antonio alone would make my case.

We can also easily wag our fingers at the Mexican-American community for being “tepid” about reporting gang activity to the police, ostracizing gang members, and otherwise cleaning their own house.

So, my question is: are we justified in viewing all Mexican Americans with “suspicion”?

108. geoff - May 26, 2007

So, my question is: are we justified in viewing all Mexican Americans with suspicion?

…or perhaps opposing the immigration bill?

109. Michael - May 26, 2007

See there, Geoff, I just knew you were gonna be racist about the Mexicans too. :)

110. Dave in Texas - May 26, 2007

uhm, what geoff said.

111. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

Suspicion that they’re the ones doing all the killing? No, that would be wrong.

Suspicion that they don’t view themselves as a part of our community because they choose to associate with gangbanging vatos instead of normal non-Mexican citizens (with whom they have more in common with than the vatos)? Yeah, that’s justified.

Any group that finds itself saying “Yeah, they’re evil, but I won’t call the cops on them because we can’t divide the community” is opening itself up to LEGITIMATE critism. It’s the same as black communities closing ranks around their gangs, and it’s also a valid comparison to the communities in the Southeast who helped Eric Rudolph during his run from the Feds.

LEGITIMATE, Michael. LEGITIMATE.

Besides, your analogy is fucked. It would work better if Telemundo or another one of the Spanish language channels kept running specials on how Mexican drug gangs were standing up for the honor of the Mexican people against all the Anglos, and that the community’s efforts to stop drug violence were racist. Then maybe Mexican social groups could start organizing violence against whites & collecting money so that MS13 could upgrade from semi-auto guns to full auto assault rifles, all while they presented a smiling face to the rest of the community.

So, are you really this stupid, or is this some sort of game? Did you thumb through the dictionary the other day & pick out “racist” as the word you were going to use as frequently as possible in the upcoming week’s posts?

112. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

I think my reply just got shunted off to spam purgatory.

I blame the Mexicans. AND the muslims.

113. geoff - May 26, 2007

But again, it’s apples and oranges.

This got circular about 50 comments ago. The real question you posed was: “How concerned should we be about the Pew poll results when other people might answer the same way?” I think most of us are convinced that other people would not have answered the same way, that the Muslim responses stand out as especially objectionable, and that there is significant cause for concern.

114. Dave in Texas - May 26, 2007

duh

115. Dave in Texas - May 26, 2007

no slight intended geoff

116. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

To quote Jessie Jackson from that great old SNL sketch: “The question is moot”.

There is a significant portion of the population of Mulsims in America who are violent fucktards. How significant? Significant enough that moderates within the American Muslim community are afraid to speak out because of ……… violent fucktards.

So let me get this straight. There’s enough violent fucktards within the American Islamic community that moderates within their ranks are afraid to speak out lest they be ostracized or, God forbid, killed in retribution…..BUT non-Muslim Americans who are concerned about this group of violent fucktards (the minority of Muslims, not the majority who are mostly secular anyway) should be called racists for their well-founded concerns?

Fucking lawyers. What did they replace your brains with at law school? Wet newspaper?

117. Michael - May 26, 2007

I think my reply just got shunted off to spam purgatory.

I found it, Russ. It’s #111 now.

118. Michael - May 26, 2007

Besides, your analogy is fucked. It would work better if Telemundo or another one of the Spanish language channels kept running specials on how Mexican drug gangs . . .

Is there an American Islamic media outlet that says anything like that about suicide bombers?

119. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

Thanks for that Michael.

As far as the “wet newspaper” crack goes, that was over the line. I don’t really believe that you had your brains sucked out & replaced with wet newspaper.

Now lime jello? That’s a definite possibility. Especially for a Lutheran.

120. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

Michael, there really is no “American Islamic media outlet” that I know of, so what’s your point?

121. Michael - May 26, 2007

My point is that we should not be attributing the vitriol on Iranian TV to American Muslims.

122. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

I’d take comfort in that statement if the person saying it was a Muslim, but since you’re a Lutheran please forgive me if I don’t get too excited.

I don’t think that a Muslim in Dearborn has a whole lot of say in what goes on TV channels in Iran or Palestine. What he DOES have some input into is his response to that slimy crap. Until American Muslims feel the need to distance themselves from the fucktard wing of their faith, they will remain tainted in my eyes and the eyes of most Americans.

123. Michael - May 26, 2007

So, are you really this stupid, or is this some sort of game?

By the way, in case there is any doubt, yes, this is some kind of game, and yes, I am certainly guilty of posting inflammatory opinions for their entertainment value. I thought that was obvious. I may be stupid, but I like to argue anyway. :)

That said, I’m perfectly serious about my original point — American Muslims are subjected to unfair stereotyping and suspicion because the attitudes and activities of their whackjob coreligionists in faraway places are attributed to them. As the Pew survey illustrates, America has been pretty successful at assimilating Muslims so far. I’m not saying the job is done, just that they shouldn’t be indiscriminately tarred with the same brush as the fanatics.

124. Michael - May 26, 2007

And, by the way, I’m not backing away from the assertion that the stereotyping occurs along racial lines. I don’t think many people regard black American Muslims, for example, or Muslims originally hailing from Malaysia, as likely suicide bombers. It’s the American Muslims who look Middle Eastern that make people nervous.

I’ve got zero data to support that. It’s just my impression.

125. amish - May 26, 2007

I don’t think many people regard black American Muslims as likely suicide bombers.

Not bombers. Snipers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks

I trust the Nation of Islam about as much as i trust the PLO.

Again, i would be willing to bet that everyone else here is equally disdainful of Louis Farakan and his racist anti semitic muslim organization.

Look at teh stuff that Frakan says. I turned on the tv the other night while flipping through the stations i landed on an infomercial/ religious program featuring Farakan on BET. the first words out of his mouth were “America must be burned down.”

Im sure he meant White America though so its ok.

I know the nation of Islam is criticized by the media in the USA but compare the way it is treated to the way Jerry Falwell was treated. Falwell received ten times the criticism even though he never said anything 1% as inflammatory as what the Nation of Islam preaches every day.

Why is that?

126. amish - May 26, 2007

stuck in the filter again

[You're unstuck now.]

127. BrewFan - May 26, 2007

That said, I’m perfectly serious about my original point — American Muslims are subjected to unfair stereotyping and suspicion because the attitudes and activities of their whackjob coreligionists in faraway places are attributed to them.

Um, I think your original point was:

I think the fear of Muslims in America is unfounded, and racist.

I think its been amply demonstrated in this thread that the fear is not unfounded. To attribute this ‘fear’ to racism and not to the actions of the group ‘feared’ is a superficial analysis that ignores roughtly 1400 years of history.

128. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

Guys, Michael’s deliberately trying to push your buttons. Just ignore him, and he’ll go off to sit on the swings and sulk.

Mmmm, my chocolate cake is smelling good!

ok, back to cleaning. I’m fixing to get the canister vacuum out and do the baseboards and windowsills. My mom bettah recognize (this is a late Mother’s Day present).

129. geoff - May 26, 2007

As the Pew survey illustrates, America has been pretty successful at assimilating Muslims so far.

I think the survey shows the opposite, as I pointed out above.

130. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

crawfish

131. Michael - May 26, 2007

I’d love to see what the data would show if it differentiated between native born Muslims, long-time residents, and recent immigrants.

132. See-Dubya - May 26, 2007

Michael, I don’t have the data in front of me, but I seem to recall that it did. IIRC, It’s not long-time immigrants who are working toward the American dream who are radical; it’s their spoiled brat kids. I know it’s that way in England and I remember thinking that the pattern was repeated here as well.

Sorry no links; I’m already violating the Ace rule about arguing on others’ blogs.

133. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

Crawfish are gross, but occasionally useful. Many years ago, when I was hiding Easter eggs outside for my sister’s benefit, I came across a dead crawfish. With a little help from my dad, I concealed the crawfish corpse inside one of the large plastic eggs, then arranged it carefully so that when my sister picked it up, she would lift off the top of the egg to reveal the crawfish. All went as planned, culminating with an ear-splitting shriek of terror and a wave of hearty laughter.

Ah, those were the days.

mmm, chocolate cake.

134. geoff - May 26, 2007

All went as planned, culminating with an ear-splitting shriek of terror and a wave of hearty laughter.

Must be where you got the idea for you Helen Thomas post.

135. harrison - May 26, 2007

Crawfish are gross…

Crawdads are tasty. Pinch off the heads, suck out the juice and eat the tails.

136. Michael - May 26, 2007

Pinch off the heads, suck out the juice and eat the tails.

I think you were supposed to cook them first, Harrison.

137. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

Man, I just had to kill a spider. He was too stupid to get on the napkin so I could take him outside to freedom. We may have to exterminate again…this house is full of spiders. I had one try to get in the bath with me last night. I managed to coax him onto the corner of the book I was reading and transport him to the relative safety of the floor. Hope he made it back outside.

“Go on, little guy. Go find your friends!”

138. Michael - May 26, 2007

Sorry no links; I’m already violating the Ace rule about arguing on others’ blogs.

Ace already broke his own rule by dissing me above at #10.

I was thrilled and honored.

139. Muslim Spider - May 26, 2007

Infidel!

140. kevlarchick - May 26, 2007

Up in these parts we calls em crayfish.

141. Michael - May 26, 2007

A final thought — the firebombing of Dresden and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both overtly intended to terrorize civilian populations in order to achieve the surrender of military foes.

Was our tactic of using terror against civilians necessarily immoral, or was the tactic justified by our laudable objectives?

Uh huh. So then, we got some Muslims who say that terror might be justified in certain circumstances.

142. kevlarchick - May 26, 2007

Up in these parts we calls em crayfish.

*offers Michael a steaming bucket o’ crayfish to keep him occupied*

143. Michael - May 26, 2007

Mmmm, crayfish. I’ll shut up now.

144. See-Dubya - May 26, 2007

[Posted about an hour ago and rescued from filter]

Michael, no offense, but I think you’re really off the rails here.

I would sum up the difference this way: there might be, somewhere, churches where you can get away with praising Timothy McVeigh publicly.

Here’s a mosque in Tulsa where they kicked a guy out for criticizing Al Qaeda: http://www.batesline.com/archives/002932.html

Is that the median view of mosques in America? Absolutely not. But is it unique in its radicalism? Hardly.

You might also consider the Portland Seven and Mike Hawash, a comfortably Americanized engineer at Intel who trained to help the Taliban: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Hawash.

Or American citizen Abdul Yasin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Rahman_Yasin And his WTC-93 co-conspirator Nidal Ayyad (http://www.tkb.org/KeyLeader.jsp?memID=5625).

Or “Flying Imam” Omar Yassin, who presided over a mosque in Tucson where 9-11 hijacker Hani Hanjour was radicalized: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/016154.php

I could go on, but look: the belief that most Muslims in America are loyal, decent and peaceful is not at all inconsistent with the idea that there is a radical and violent fringe–and a much less fringe group that enables, encourages, and excuses them. It’s not racist to point that out. That there are people who refuse to acknowledge the distinction doesn’t invalidate the distinction.

145. steve_in_hb - May 26, 2007

Congratulations Michael. You’ve hit every item on the “Argue Like An Undergraduate” checklist. Oops. Actually you haven’t brought in the treatment of Native Americans.

146. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

Did I tell you guys I finally got my budget balanced, so the bank and I are in agreement? It’s the first time we’ve been in agreement since I don’t even know how long. I went back through all my old statements and found a couple things I’d forgotten to put in my budget, then found a couple calculation errors in my excel spreadsheet. Finally, I ended up being off by exactly $15. While going through my budget spreadsheet, I’d found a reference to a $15 check that I didn’t spot in my paper statements, so I decided I probably just didn’t see the check (my statement is hard to look at because it shows all 4 accounts and I’m frequently moving money between them, cluttering the columns with transfers) and made an “equalizing” line on my budget spreadsheet. So now the bank and I agree.

I felt a great sense of accomplishment from that.

*reviewing spreadsheet* Goodness, I certainly have a lot of money. Living at home really helps you save.

(If I weren’t starting grad school in the fall, I would be house-shopping right now…)

KC, I actually call them crawdads, but Dave said crawfish, so I took my cue from him.

147. kevlarchick - May 26, 2007

Mrs Peel, the bank is always right.

Michael, isn’t that so?

148. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

When I’m off by ~$5, I don’t worry, but when I’m off by over $600…

149. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

Off topic (trust me, this train wreck needs a few O/T posts to salvage it):

I just got back from parking cars at the County Fairgrounds. Today is the 100th anniversary of John Wayne’s birthday (he was born here in Winterset, did I ever mention that fact?), and we’re having a big wing-ding to celebrate. They’re building a museum addition to the birthplace complex, and they had his son Ethan (who played his grandson in the movie “Big Jake”) hop up in the backhoe & knock off a chunk of the old building currently sitting where the museum will be located.

Anyway, to get to my point, I saw a guy wearing a WWJWD? t-shirt out at the fairgrounds, and it made me giggle for some weird reason?

What Would John Wayne Do? Punch Michael for arguing like a, well I guess you’d have to say…Lawyer, and then go out for a steak dinner & an all-night drinking spree. That’s my guess.

150. Michael - May 26, 2007

Congratulations Michael. You’ve hit every item on the “Argue Like An Undergraduate” checklist. Oops. Actually you haven’t brought in the treatment of Native Americans.

Steve, I actually hit that item early with the Dietrich Bonhoeffer example in the post. The Dresden analogy is just a variation of the same point — the survey asked an abstract question that involves complex moral issues, and the answers could mean damn near anything. Nevertheless, many seem to be hyperventilating about the threat posed by a minority group that, so far as their deeds are concerned, has shown almost no inclination towards religiously motivated domestic violence of any kind.

Yes, KC, the bank is always right. :)

Say, have a shared my thoughts on the Terri Shchiavo controversy lately?

151. steve_in_hb - May 26, 2007

I guess you can come to that conclusion when you opt to categorize the various incidents detailed in these comments as either 1) not religiously motivated even though the person in question considered it religiously motivated 2) so laughably inept that it is ignorable 3) merely the same internal politicing that happens in any local place of worship.

Your whole example of Lutherans is absurd. The ones I’ve met get nervous if you speak above a whisper while in public. They are too busy apologizing and trying not to disturb others to have time to blow shit up.

152. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

This one time, in math nerd camp, I was a junior in high school and totally got hit on by a guy who was an undergraduate in college. His reaction when he realized I wasn’t an incoming college freshman was highly amusing. Needless to say, I gently deflected his hitting-on attempts and declined his suggestion of going out for a coffee (it was like 11 pm). (Had he been cute, I suppose the outcome might have been different, but I’d like to think that even at 16, I had more sense than to go somewhere alone with a total stranger late at night.)

Anyway, in the “small world” department, I ran into my roommate from said math nerd camp at a shindig put on by a friend of mine from college. Turns out we’d been in the same major for several years and didn’t know it. Funny, huh?

153. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

Michael’s typical Lutheran church board meeting:

Elder #1: OK now we’ve covered all the agenda items. Anyone else have old business to discuss?

Elder #2: Yes, I’d like to discuss the upcoming “Death to the Infidels” carnival. Are we going to behead the catholics we’ve kept in the torture room in the basement before the bingo game or afterwards?

Elder #1: Does it matter?

Elder #2: Well, if you look at the Lutheran Surra #27, Martin Luther stated that “it is better to behead papists before lunch”, and since the bingo game starts at 1 pm, we should start the ball rolling at 11 or so. Of course that’s just what I think. If you disagree, I’ll just have to kill your whole family.

Elder #1: HAHAHAHAHA. That’s a good one.

Elder #2: I’m sorry. Did I say I was joking? I don’t think so.

154. Russ from Winterset - May 26, 2007

“Nevertheless, many seem to be hyperventilating about the threat posed by a minority group that, so far as their deeds are concerned, has shown almost no inclination towards religiously motivated domestic violence of any kind.”

So we’re supposed to wait for them to kill some of us before we take the talk seriously? And regarding the “minority group” part of the puzzle, how many fucktard muslims does it take to knock a multi-billion dollar hole in America’s economy and fill 3,000 body bags?

Last time I checked, the number was nineteen.

155. Michael - May 26, 2007

Your whole example of Lutherans is absurd.

Apparently you have never had lutefisk, or you would not lightly dismiss our dangerous proclivities. I dare say that lutefisk alone has done more to disturb the peace and tranquility of the United States than all the inflammatory rhetoric spouted by American Muslims.

156. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

When my parents and I went to Palo Duro Canyon many years ago, we made up a song about our travails. It went like this:

Sand in mah socks
Sand in mah shoes
Sweat runnin’ down mah ba-ack
Ah got those Palo Duro bluuues!

157. Pupster - May 26, 2007

I think Mrs. Peel has been huffing cleaning solvents.

158. Michael - May 26, 2007

I thought Mrs. Peel was making a not-too-subtle commentary on the quality of this thread.

159. Pupster - May 26, 2007

That too.

160. Michael - May 26, 2007

For dinner tonight: standing beef rib roast, slow barbecued to medium rare by Michael with hickory wood in Mr. Lamm’s Personally Designed Heavy Metal Genuine Texas Barbecue™.

I bet I’ve got the only one of those babies in the State of Ohio. You can only get them by going to Mr. Lamm’s ranch in Bexar County, Texas, where he and his son weld them up in the barn. They are genuine works of art.

According to the meat thermometer, we will be approaching rare in the next twenty minutes.

Mrs. Michael says the ETA on the sides is 40 minutes. Daughter Michael has already made the salad. Daughter Michael’s BF is looking hungry. The Spurs-Jazz game is at 8:30 E.T.

This could work out just right.

161. Pupster - May 26, 2007
162. See-Dubya - May 26, 2007

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was Native American?

163. Michael - May 26, 2007

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was Native American?

Yes, he was. Not many people realize that “Dietrich Boenhoeffer” means means “Mangy Coyote” when translated into Lakota.

164. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

Actually, I was just trying to deny Michael his fun. Imagine if you guys had joined me, and instead of giving him the fight you wanted, you had told random stories about your past. We could have had such a blast.

165. Mrs. Peel - May 26, 2007

(instead of just me having a blast, that is.)

166. See-Dubya - May 26, 2007

i feel like a big nerd for staying on topic here, but I’m used to it:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,275700,00.html

Also

http://junkyardblog.net/archives/2007/05/four-us-alqaeda.php

167. Michael - May 26, 2007

See-Dubya, if you would like your own Mr. Lamm’s Genuine Texas Heavy Metal Barbecue™, you can contact:

Lamm Enterprises
6462 New Sulphur Springs Rd
San Antonio, TX 78222
(210) 648-2452

The shipping charges will be a bitch, cuz this thing is heavy. Still, you’ll thank me once you try it out. Mine is the basic model that is 3 feet wide, which is fine for home use. It will easily accommodate a really big turkey, for example. You can buy some that get hauled as trailers and can BBQ an entire pig, but I’m guessing that is a bit much for most of you.

And thanks for staying on-topic, See-Dubya.

168. geoff - May 26, 2007

Don’t be a tease, Michael – show us a picture.

169. BrewFan - May 26, 2007

Pupster that was excellent! You’ve got some mad PhotoShop skilz!

170. kevlarchick - May 26, 2007
171. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

Was Rosie vacationing?

172. Agent 86 - May 26, 2007

That was the second biggest hog i have ever seen.

173. daveintexas - May 26, 2007

Media Bias Against Muslims?

From the Pew research center.

And by nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.

Roughly two-thirds (65%) of adult Muslims in the U.S. were born elsewhere. A relatively large proportion of Muslim immigrants are from Arab countries, but many also come from Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Among native-born Muslims, roughly half are African American (20% of U.S. Muslims overall), many of whom are converts to Islam.

the Pew Research Center estimates the total population of Muslims in the United States at 2.35 million.

In addition, younger Muslims in the U.S. are much more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defense of Islam can be at least sometimes justified

Relatively few Muslim Americans believe the U.S.-led war on terror is a sincere effort to reduce terrorism, and many doubt that Arabs were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Just 40% of Muslim Americans say groups of Arabs carried out those attacks.

emphasis added.

174. Michael - May 26, 2007

Don’t be a tease, Michael – show us a picture.

OK, Geoff. Just for you I’ll put up a pic.

Spurs and Jazz are in a dogfight, by the way.

175. geoff - May 27, 2007

Thanks for the pic, Michael. Back on topic, our Australian friends are coming right out and saying it:

MUSLIMS are refusing to give national security authorities counter-terrorism tip-offs, fearing they may implicate themselves or be labelled traitors by fellow community members.

And why is this?:

Sydney-based Muslim leader Fadi Rahman said there was a lack of trust in national security agencies, stopping people from offering sensitive information and considering counter-terrorism careers.

“At the moment they (ASIO) are marketed as an organisation that if (any Muslim) was to go near it you’re basically going to get arrested,” the Independent Centre for Research Australia president said.

A founding member of the Muslim Doctors Against Violence, Jamal Rifi, said police and spy agencies were often perceived to be anti-Islam. He said Muslims who dealt with the authorities were considered “traitors” and “non-believers”.

The fear of authority factor speaks to poor assimilation, while the tattletale factor is symptomatic of putting Islam and the Muslim community before the interests of the country. The former is something that can be remedied by the government, but the latter is not.

And it is the latter factor that makes us suspect the motives of even moderate Muslims.

176. mesablue - May 27, 2007

Someone has been sniffing the Lutefisk, again.

177. daveintexas - May 27, 2007

WTF is wrong with the wordpress spam filt?

178. daveintexas - May 27, 2007

Testing, one two… mic check.

Ok, crazy weekend. Which is why I’m behind on my Memorial Day stuff. The movie just blew up… dangit.

This morning youngest’s best pal was in a wreck on I-35 in the rain, she’s ok. She now understands what hydroplaning is.

Friday night my kid’s piano teacher’s and our church pianist’s youngest son (is that constructed properly) was in a wreck on I-35 in Waco… hit in the windshield by an airborne pickup, that hit 3 more cars after flying over his car. The son is ok, but the driver of that truck is as dead as Julius Caesar.

So naturally I’m concerned about the treadwear on eldest’s tires.

Later. Be careful out there, my fakey internet friends.

179. dr4 - April 16, 2008

This was a good thread. I actually used the word “foment.”

And lauraw spelled the word “Jeez” like “Geez.”

So i blame her for my recent misspelling of that word.

180. Anonymous - November 15, 2008

these fuckin dirtbags need to go the fuck back to wherever they came from, if ur gunna sit there and disrespect my country the get the fuck out of the us. this jus shows you that pieces of shit lke those spicks need to get their fuckin asses kicked


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