There’s “Not Such a Thing” as Radical Islam?

Earlier this week, the always-slimy Alan Colmes was in rare form trying to defend Attorney General Eric Holder’s surreal inability to utter the phrase “radical Islam” (emphasis added):

COLMES: Because there’s not such a thing as radical Islam.

KELLY: What?

COLMES: It is not Islam. It is not part of the religion. People are not doing this in the name of true Islam.

KELLY: Nobody’s saying they’re doing it in the name of true Islam.

COLMES: Why don’t we say that when somebody bombs an abortion clinic, or Scott Roeder, who kills an abortion doctor, is radical Christianity? Why isn’t there a great movement to say, ‘you gotta call it radical Christianity’?

[…]

KELLY: It’s not Islam. No one’s condemning Islam. It’s radical Islam.

COLMES: Then don’t use the word…to attach the words of those religions to that act is wrong…they’re not Islamic; they’re not acting according to Islamic doctrine […] It’s religious bigotry! […] This is a political ideology, not a religious ideology. They are attacking us on political grounds, not religious grounds.  They are misusing Islam, and to use the word ‘Islam’ to try to apply to them because it satisfies our need to demonize a religion, is absolutely wrong, and bigoted…why are we so hung up on words?

Why are we so hung up on words?  I don’t know, Alan—go ask the guy you voted for.

Good gravy, where to begin?  First, let’s tackle the nonsense about how attaching “radical” to something is a smear.  Actually, Alan, it turns out that lots of people use the phrase “radical Christianity.” And y’know what?  I don’t blame ‘em!  It’s not anti-Christian to say there are radical versions of, or strains in, Christianity; it’s anti-Christian to say that “radical Christianity” IS “normal” or “true” Christianity.  I suspect most people with an above-toaster IQ would recognize that saying “radical” before a religion’s name is meant to distinguish what you’re talking about from the religion as a whole.  That Colmes needs something so elementary explained to him is clearly an indication that either he’s getting paid way too much, or I’m getting paid way too little. (Of course, Colmes’ blog is chock-full of whining about people using the word “radical,” but he has no qualms about identifying “radical tea partiers”…)

Second, Colmes and Holder are awfully certain that the jihadists can’t possibly be operating from an even remotely valid interpretation of the Qur’an.  Unfortunately, anyone who’s actually studied Islam in any depth can tell you, that’s not such a safe bet to make.  I think I may be forgiven for suspecting neither Alan Colmes nor Eric Holder has studied the matter as carefully as, say, John Quincy Adams and Winston Churchill.  Of course we should acknowledge that there are lots of moral, peace-loving Muslims, but it needs to be acknowledged that, at the very least, it’s not at all obvious that the jihadists are the ones on flimsy theological ground.

At the risk of again stating the obvious, it’s important to accurately identify your enemy so you understand his goals, motivations, and level of rationality, and you can respond accordingly.  But I guess hoping the United States Attorney General would understand that sort of thing is too much to ask.

Advertisements

Bold Fresh Piece of Hypocrisy

Bill O’Reilly is looking out for you.  He’s above the petty fray of the ideologues on both sides, and immeasurably more reliable and responsible than mere “entertainers” like Rush Limbaugh—or so he says.  As part of his never-ending centrist-populist shtick, during a recent segment he lectured the conservative blogosphere for incivility toward Barack Obama and Judge Sonia Sotomayor, using as evidence some ugly “blog posts” from Free Republic and Hot Air.

Hot Air founder Michelle Malkin and HA bloggers Allahpundit and Ed Morrissey were not amused.  And for good reason—these are not “blog posts” at all, but comments on articles left by readers.  Anybody who’s ever spent five minutes on the Internet knows that any comment-allowing website with a significant amount of traffic is going to have its fair share of sleaze.  O’Reilly later admitted “I should have been more precise,” yet proceeded to chastise Hot Air for not editing their comments—“as we do on BillOReilly.com” As Allahpundit explained, this is insane:

Between Ed’s and my 20-25 posts plus the 40 or so Headline items, Hot Air must get, let’s say, 2,700 comments a day. To put that in perspective, if I worked 15 hours a day doing nothing but moderating them, in order to read and rule on each one I’d have to work at a clip of three comments per minute without taking a single break. That is to say, we’d need not one but two full-time moderators to do the job right, the cost of which would bankrupt nearly any blog given the realities of online ad revenue, especially in a recession. Add to that the endless headaches involved in deciding whether a given comment’s over the line and the inevitable haphazard, arbitrary standards we’d end up imposing on readers and it’s simply not worth it. Frequently we’ll get tips alerting us to really nasty stuff, like racist cracks or death threats, which we promptly clean up, but by and large, if other readers are willing to let a comment pass without mention — stupid and/or distasteful though they may find it — we’re willing too. There’s just too much else to do.

Meanwhile, conservative blogger Patterico decided to put O’Reilly’s words to the test.  He signed up for BillOReilly.com Premium Membership and posted the screen caption of the website’s disclaimer: “BillOReilly.com does not control or pre-screen the files, information, or messages (referred to collectively as ‘Information’) delivered to or displayed in the Message Boards, unless otherwise noted therein, and BillOReilly.com assumes no duty to, and does not monitor or endorse Information within the Message Boards.Accordingly, it didn’t take long to find similarly unflattering comments there, or on Fox News Channel’s Fox Nation site.  So now we can add “dishonesty” and “hypocrisy” to O’Reilly’s bold freshness.

AND, as if that weren’t enough, today Patterico found his BillOReilly.com account terminated, citing an unspecified Terms of Use violation.  It appears somebody at the Factor has a problem with flagrant acts of journalism (to steal a phrase from Charlie Sykes).