Saturday, July 23, 2005

On Minorities

This Telegraph story says that:
The vast majority of British Muslims condemn the London bombings but a substantial minority are clearly alienated from modern British society and some are prepared to justify terrorist acts.

The Telegraph then reports the results of a survey of London's Muslim community and finds that 6 percent "insist that the bombings were . . . fully justified" while 24 percent "have some sympathy with the feelings and motives" of the bombers.

So yes, it is technically true that the "vast majority" of Muslims in London--and no doubt elsewhere--are four-square against terrorism, but isn't this sizable minority a problem? And hasn't it been from the very beginning?

Imagine, for a second, that in the days following the Oklahoma City bombing a poll found that 24 percent of Republicans (or Democrats or Unitarians or any other American group, for that matter) "had some sympathy for Timothy McVeigh's feelings and motives." Do you think that you'd be hearing much talk about how the vast majority of that group oppsed the attack? I think not.

This is simply one more example of the West's infantilization of Islam and our eagerness to absolve them from responsibility. It began years ago with discussions of the "Arab street," it manifested itself more fully after September 11, and it continues today.

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