NYT report on Benghazi should be a wakeup call to liberals too

Many are understandably gloating over the way this report rebuts many of the feverish paranoiac claims from the right. But that is only because it is now clear that much of the violence really did stem from rioting in response to a YouTube video. This after previous riots in many Muslim countries in response to a Danish cartoon.

Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins get it. The late Christopher Hitchens got it. When will the rest of the secular progressive community wake up to the fact that Muslims are not our allies just because they are the bogeymen of our domestic political adversaries?

Who exactly claims that Muslims are our allies because Republicans are paranoid of them? As brilliant a man as Hitchens was, he was quite bigoted when it came to Muslims. The only thing he “got” was an irrational fear and hatred.

Could you please provide where “the rest of the secular progressive community” has claimed that “Muslims are our allies because they are the bogeymen etc. etc.”

Also, are you suggesting that all members of an identified group share the same exact viewpoint and behaviors? (see:Generalizations - I thought we covered that already?)

Indeed. For whatever reason, the batshit crazy fringe of Islam is batshit crazy in particularly violent ways. (I was going to say they were batshit crazier then the batshit crazy fringe of other religions, but I think that’s not necessarily right.) There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world–almost 25% of the world’s population. If all, or even a significant minority of Muslims were like this, we’d be in some seriously deep shit.

What kind of Pollyanna-esque nonsense have you been reading?

Indeed indeed. If I were in a distant land reading about America, I would hear about a young man shooting up an elementary school. I mean, what is it about all those crazy Americans!

And we probably lost a significant amount of UK/ANZ tourism because of that one robbery/murder in Georgia (Alabama? Somewhere.)

I don’t know many liberals who consider islamic theocrats allies. Liberals tend to value human rights, secularism, minority rights, women’s rights, science, etc. Islamic theocrats are arguably just a fascist movement, fascism is not a branch or ally of liberalism. There are some who take ‘multiculturalism’ too far but by and large I don’t think there is any kind of support there.

I’m Catholic. And a liberal Democrat (much like Kerry, Biden, Pelosi, etc). But there’s a number of Catholics out there fighting for things like not covering contraceptives, fighting against abortion rights and opposing SSM rights.

So I just thought I should come clean and let everyone know that I’m not an “ally” to the secular progressive community (whatever that means) since some people I share a faith with see things differently than the secular progressive community does.

I think it was Thomas Friedman who described the radical Islamic sects as “death cults,” and ever since then that’s how I’ve thought of them: as almost comic-book villains motivated by a nasty worship of an evil deity. There’s precious little evidence that most Muslims are members of the death cult, but the death cult is so ridiculously outre in their behavior that some folks get confused.

The OP can relax. Secular progressives are way ahead of the curve in recognizing the dangers presented by religious fanatics.

Ask Mr. Republican Man.

Count me in with the people who want to know who thinks Muslims are our allies. And those who want to know what possible useful purpose it serves to pigeonhole all Muslims.

As a liberal atheist, I can assure the OP that I like Muslims just as much as I like Christians… or any other religious adherent.

Right. Kill 'em all and let their gods sort them out. :stuck_out_tongue:

No. What enraged them was what they were told about those things by rabble rousers, descriptions which had little if any resemblance to reality.

As others have said, who thinks that?

They don’t admit that’s their main reason. Actually, you could also add the fact that most Muslims are not Caucasian and tend to be poorer than the average person in an industrialised country, and that they have historically been subject to Western imperialism and colonialism.

I guess those scoffing at my thesis will say that Harris is battling a strawman here. But as a long time member of the Daily Kos community, as well as someone who spends lots of time with progressive friends IRL and on Facebook, his complaints match up with my observations.

I would also note the characterisation in the media of that Dutch politician who was murdered a few years back as being on the “far right”. I lived in the Netherlands for a short period and have several Dutch friends. Through them I came to understand that he was a gay atheist and a strong supporter of secularism, feminism, and gay rights, which were the key to his opposition to Muslim immigration. Yet from all of the media reporting I saw, one would think he was kinfolk with the likes of Pat Buchanan.

Among other things, yes.

And, as a lifelong liberal in one of the most liberal areas in the US, it’s diametrically opposed to my own observations of my friends, family, and my experience of prominent liberal writers and activists.

So, why should I give more credence to your observations than my own?

No need to mention Muslim imperialism and colonialism then?

I hear they so obsessed with death that they even kill doctors and blow up buildings full of innocent people.

Wait, McVeigh is a Muslim name, isn’t it?