3.05.2010

riding on the metro

Yglesias
...it’s striking how differently the country behaves when you [sic] a non-Muslim individual attempt [sic] or succeed [sic] at killing some people based on quasi-political motivations versus when it’s a Muslim who does it. And the important thing, I think, is not merely to make a pure hypocrisy argument but to point out that the country’s response to non-Muslim killers ranging from Bedell to the IRS plane crasher to the Holocaust Museum shooter is much, much, much better and smarter. In the wake of an incident involving a non-Muslim we of course look back and try to see if there’s any reasonable preventive steps we could have taken to prevent the murders. But wild overreactions and wholesale reconfigurations of the constitution, of US foreign policy, or of daily life are considered off the table by definition. And rightly so!
This is all very true. But I think the difference in behavior happens mainly because most of this country does not see Islamic terrorism based on any sort of political motivation, quasi or not. Islamic terrorists are are irrational Muslims who act on behalf of an extreme religion. They are bogeymen. That's it. End of story. Their actual motivations don't even enter the picture. This is a mistake, of course. But it's not going to change. It's simply not. 
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