Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"And after all, we're only ordinary men"

The street vendor who first alerted the police to the Times Square Bomb is a Muslim immigrant from Senegal.

From Wikipedia: "In philosophy, essentialism is the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must possess."

Contra the likes of Erick "I called a sitting Supreme Court justice a 'goat-f___ing child molester' and all I got was this lousy job on CNN" Erickson* and Rush Limbaugh, a desire to commit acts of terror upon the United States is not an essential characteristic of Muslims. Nor is Islamic faith an essential characteristic of terrorists.

I say this not to suggest that there is not a dangerous form of violent Muslim extremism that should be opposed and stopped. Rather, when you conflate that goal with a clash of civilizations, you're drawing the Us vs Them line in a way that excludes a lot of people on your team.

* underscores not original to the quote

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Fred!