By lex, on November 10th, 2009
Marc Ambinder is getting those leg chills about the president’s speech at the memorial service in Fort Hood, calling it his “best speech ever,” and saying that “sometimes the man, the moment and the words come together and meet the challenge.”
Having missed the speech in person, my leg remains obdurately unchilled.
Possibly because of this line in the president’s speech:
It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know – no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor.
Which has the disadvantage of being not technically true, as Hasan the Risible himself pointed out in this rambling diatribe “medical discussion” written at perhaps the 7th grade level to colleagues at Walter Reed Medical Center back in June, 2007.
There are, in fact, Koranic injunctions that positively require the kind of action Hasan the Angrily Impotent took last week in Killeen, Texas. The fact that the vast majority of Muslims live peaceable lives focused on the “inner struggle” of the greater jihad, does not obliterate the fact that a sizable minority feel strongly – and are scripturally supported in those feelings – that the “lesser jihad’ obligates them to slit the throats of those infidels who cannot be compelled to pay the jizya tax and submit to Muslim domination.
There must be a way for our separate cultures to get along on a mutually respectful basis. But I cannot believe that deliberately obscuring the nature of those who commit these acts will bring us all safely to that harbor.
More than anything else, this sort of talk insults the intelligence of its Western audiences. After all, the devout Muslim knows that Hasan did the “right thing” by placing his faith above his countrymen, and doesn’t need the president’s obfuscations to tell him how to interpret his sacred texts.
None of this is intended to forgive or worse provoke uncharitable acts of anti-Muslim bigotry – we remain far too good for such things, we have no need to burn markets *, we will engage in no riots *, nor indulge in any death threats *. Any kooks or cranks that do can be assured not only blanket condemnation but swift justice.
Our laws, unlike those of others, make no room for the mass murder of other people because of their faith. Before we can move through these trying times, it would be nice to recognize that distinction, rather than attempt to obscure it with wishful, airy language.
While we are it, could we at least once treat the American people as the kind of adults they have proven themselves to be over the course of the last eight years?
Because that would be nice too.
* 09-20-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.