The NYT continues to blame Islamic terrorism on France

November 2, 2020 • 11:15 am

I still look in vain for an article in the New York Times—or any of the liberal media—explaining why Islam, among all religions, consistently inspires terrorism, including the two incidents that just occurred in France. But there are plenty of articles explaining why France is to blame. (One of the readers analogized this to blaming a rape victim for having too many drinks.)

I believe the recent NYT article below fits into the second genre; it explains why the French attitudes towards the Charlie Hebdo Islam-mocking cartoons could promote Muslim offense and terrorism. I again emphasize that I don’t for a minute think that all French Muslims are terrorists or approve of terrorism, nor that many haven’t integrated into French society.

Still, there’s something about Islam that promotes terrorism, and isn’t present in the other Abrahamic faiths to nearly as strong a degree. The media ignores that, because, after all, it could be seen as Islamophobic, and also expose other newspapers to attack. It’s left up to people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who then gets demonized as an “Islamophobe”) to explain why Islam inspires offense and murder, and to work out ways that the religion could be “defanged.” (Her latest book, Heretic, is a game try at this, but, I think, a futile one.)

Read for yourself by clicking on the screenshot.

To be fair, the article does mention French reactions that are a) extreme and b) truly “Islamophobic”—reactions that are bigoted and unnecessary. One is the French far right, most notably the National Rally political party headed by Marine Le Pen. It’s clear that the party isn’t just against Islam, but is xenophobic and would be happy if there were no Muslims in France. Another example that unnecessarily stirs up hatred is this:

But French officials have not only defended the right to republish the cartoons, some have gone further — including regional leaders who announced that a booklet including those images would be handed out to high school students as a commitment “to defend the values of the Republic.”

This seems unnecessary to me, as you can simply state what is considered offensive by some groups (though legal) without showing the images. And if the booklet has images only of Muhammad, well, that’s sheer bigotry: a singling out of Muslims for disapprobation.

While the French are strongly tied (rightly so) to their principle of laïcité (secularism; separation of church and state), there’s nothing wrong with the government announcing, after the killings, that it deplores the killers, that Charlie Hebdo has the right to publish what it wants, and yet add that it holds all Muslim citizens as French, equal under the law to anyone else. It needn’t say that it deplores “Islamophobic” cartoons, for that’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed if the French want to preserve secularism (the government would then have to say it deplores all cartoons that mock religion or anything else held “sacred”).

Now the piece above is a news piece, but there are several statements in it that seem muddled or even critical of the French free-speech policy. Here are a few:

In the tortured 14-year history of the cartoons in France, the response to the images there has undergone a profound transformation. Once denounced by the head of state for provoking and disrespecting Muslims, and later held at a cautious distance by other officials, the same drawings are today fully embraced across the political establishment — often conflated with France’s commitment to freedom of expression.

The caricatures have put France at a dangerous impasse, widening its divide with Muslim nations and leaving many French Muslims feeling alienated. To Muslims outside France, and some inside, the cartoons are simply provocative and gratuitous insults leveled at their faith. One drawing depicts the Prophet Muhammad carrying a bomb in his turban.

I disagree that the head of state should denounce the cartoons for disrespecting Muslims—not if that head refrains from similar denunciations about mockery of other faiths. You simply can’t single out Muslims as the one religion to be defended. That gives them a special “victim” status, hence violating laïcité.  I’m not sure what the article means by “fully embraced across the political establishment”, but I doubt that it’s true. Surely not all French politicians embrace the Charlie Hebdo cartoons! But they should all defend to the death the right of the magazine to publish them. As for exactly how this faux “embrace” gets conflated with “commitment to freedom of expression”, this is unclear.

But the second paragraph above is telling. Yes, some Muslims feel the cartoons are insulting. But in fact the cartoon showing Muhammad with a bomb in his turban was not a Charlie Hebdo cartoon, as implied in the article, but was in fact a Danish cartoon—one of the ones published by the Jyllands-Posten in 2005. This is an unforgivable error on the part of the NYT.

More important, those cartoons, as well as the ones published by Charlie Hebdo, have always been mockery of Islam, not Muslims. And their publication is legal in France. So long as they convey the malfeasance of religion, Islam in particular, I don’t find them beyond the pale. The one with the bomb in Muhammad’s turban is a perfect expression of the violence and oppression inherent in Islam.

But some do find these cartoons beyond the pale:

In 2015, the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the killing of a dozen people — including cartoonists and columnists — led to mass mobilization in Paris under the banner of “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie.”

Representatives from Muslim countries like Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan and Qatar joined that march against terrorism and for freedom of speech. But all of these countries have in recent days criticized the republication of the caricatures, arguing that they offended Muslims.

The editors at Charlie Hebdo republished the same cartoons to mark the start of a long-awaited trial of alleged accomplices in the 2015 attack, saying they were affirming France’s democracy.

. . . . “The publication and the republication are not the same thing,” said Anne Giudicelli, a French expert on the Arab world who has worked for the French foreign ministry. “The republication by Charlie Hebdo is seen as an obstinate will to continue humiliating. That’s what is different from 2015. Now there is the sense that France has a problem with Islam whereas, in 2015, France was the victim of terrorists.”

Humiliating what, exactly? The republication is Charlie Hebdo standing by its right to satirize religion, even as the attackers who killed 12 people—9 of them employees of Charlie Hebdo—go on trial after a five-year wait. And, in fact, France has had a problem with Islam since at least 1982, when Muslim terrorists shot up a Jewish restaurant in the Marais, killing 6. Ms. Giudicelli is muddled here.

A few more NYT statements that seem to justify Islamic terroism:

French secularism holds dear the right to criticize all religions — though not believers. The line is often difficult to draw, and has left many Muslims feeling personally insulted with the publication of caricatures of Muhammad.

Maybe the line is difficult to draw, but not in the case of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. The fact is that many Muslims don’t want there to be a line—they want attacks on their faith to be seen as attacks on Muslims themselves. One of these is quoted in the Times article:

Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith, said that there should be limits to offensive satire when it comes to religious beliefs. Limiting the publication of cartoons of Muhammad avoids fueling extremism, he said.

“I don’t think this is the right way to explain freedom of expression to children,” Mr. Moussaoui said of the caricatures in an interview with France Info. “The duty of brotherhood imposes on all to renounce some rights.”

In a subsequent statement, Mr. Moussaoui said that his suggestion to “renounce some rights” had been clumsy. But he added: “If freedom of expression gives the right to be satirical or humorous, we can understand that cartoons putting a prophet who is fundamental to millions of believers in suggestive and degrading postures cannot fall within this right.”

Excuse me? Moussaoui is trying to carve out here an exception for Islam, exactly what many Muslims want. And he’s badly muddled as well: if you have a right to be satirical or humorous, how does mocking a beloved prophet violate that right, Mr. Moussaoui?

I’ve talked before about the difficulty we sometimes encounter separating a believer from their belief: of mocking Islam while not demonizing those who embrace some of its most odious tenets. But all you need do is keep criticizing bad ideas, not people, and ensuring that Muslims in France are treated the same as everyone else. Above all, you cannot out of cowardice exempt Islam from mockery while allowing satire towards everything else. In one of the few sensible statements in the article, a professor defends freedom of speech:

Pierre-Henri Tavoillot, a philosopher and expert on laïcité at the Sorbonne University, said that the conflict over the caricatures has led France into “a trap.”

“In fact, they have become symbols and that turns the situation into a conflict,’’ he said. “But it’s a conflict that in my opinion is inevitable: if French laïcité gives up on this point, it will have to give up on all the others.”

He added, “If we abandon caricatures, for a French person, we’re abandoning freedom of expression, the possibility of criticizing religions.”

What irks me most of all is that there are other articles in the NYT criticizing the French government for exacerbating Muslim anger (here’s another, a exercise in op-ed apologetics), but none—not one—either explaining to readers why Islam prompts this kind of offense and consequent violent reactions, and not a single editorial—not one—condemning the Islamist killings and explaining why the excesses of Islam need to be reined in. Now I may have missed these pieces, but a Google search hasn’t revealed them. And if the Times has indeed failed to produce an editor-wide op-ed condemning the killings and laying them at the feet of religion, then the paper’s behavior is more shameful than ever.

67 thoughts on “The NYT continues to blame Islamic terrorism on France

  1. Still, there’s something about Islam that promotes terrorism…

    Just my opinion, but I think it has more to do with ‘honor culture(s)’ than any particular religion. We see Hindu nationalists in India killing people over religious slights, too. And of course killing someone for an insult via duel was a thing in the Christian west, back in the days when we had an ‘honor culture’.

    In any society or culture where ones’ reputation has a high practical (not just symbolic) value – helps you get bank loans, jobs, etc. – you’re likely to see people take insults to their honor as a crime equivalent to theft or assault, and possibly worse.

    1. If only the Islamist terrorists who commit these acts would agree. For some reason they keep yelling “Allahu Akbar” as they do the deeds.

      1. It’s fairly easy to understand that someone might take a generalized insult to their religion personally.

        And to GB James, the honor culture notion is perfectly consistent with someone committing terrorism in a perceived need to defend their religion. The honor culture gives them the need to act, their religious belief tells them what insults to act on.

        I should add that I think the ‘honor culture’ hypothesis is better supported by the evidence than the ‘it’s specific to Islam’ hypothesis. Again looking at India, such violence seems to be consistent with honor cultures of different religions, not just unique to Islam. Moreover where we see modern, westernized Muslims that didn’t grow up in an honor culture, we don’t see such behavior (or at least we don’t see it in them more than in any other group). Dave Chappelle and Rashida Tlaib are not terrorist threats. Is this because they are ‘no true Muslims’? No – they’re Muslim in every meaningful sense of the word. It’s because if you want to guess how Rashida Tlaib will act, you’re better off generalizing from ‘grew up in Detroit’ than ‘grew up Muslim.’

        1. “someone might take a generalized insult to their religion personally”

          So what? There are an infinite number of things that someone “might” take as an insult.

          Islam grants, time and again, legitimacy to the idea that killing people is OK if they offend the faith. The fact that there are other bad ideas on the planet that also operate similarly does not absolve this particular set of very bad ideas. Christianity also offers justification for bad behavior. Do you absolve Christians who murder abortion doctors on this sort of logic? Aren’t they just being provoked by people who refuse to honor their beliefs about what god demands?

          1. I should have just left GBJames comment stand by itself as all I did was repeat it without having read it first. Sorry.

          2. Alternatively, one might conclude that there is a particular toxicity of the combination:
            honor culture + religious intolerance +
            a religion based on submission to a uniquely
            arbitrary and capricious Higher Power. The latter is the core of the anti-philosophical Ash’ari school of Islam, dominant for the last ~ 800 years. This attitude used to be called medieval, but in modern terminology it could properly be called fascist—which, I submit, is why the term “Islamo-fascism” is redundant.

            The absence of this kind of thinking from other modern religious dispositions is shown nowhere better than in the response to the popular TV cartoon series “The Simpsons”. Many of its episodes feature mocking images of church, of a pastor, of God, and of Jesus. No Christian has yet attempted to decapitate Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, or Al Jean.

        2. One thing that should be noted here- the most commonly cited issues with honor culture is violence directed at a specific individuals, usually a female relative well known to the perpetrators. The kind of violence many Islamists engage in is directed at classes – groups of people- who the killers do not know.

          That’s not to say that there is no comparisons to some of the nastiness of honor cultures; like many religions, Islam doesn’t just approve of violence, sometimes it makes it a moral imperative.

          Both impulses should be pulled up, stem and root, from humanity. It will be a long time before that happens though.

        1. No, it isn’t. Burning people at the stake has nothing to do with feeling dishonored. Nor does being a suicide bomber.

          1. No – it is not what I mean – they – the men concerned (usually relatives) – do the dishonour, by killing a daughter etc who has been the subject of abuse or a crime herself, so the victim is victimised. Those men are dishonourable.

            Empower & educate women & the world will be a kinder & more pacific place.

    1. I think they know it perfectly well. They are torn between two opposing forces; the truth of the matter and their wokist religion. They take a rhetorical path which avoids a conflict with a central tenet of their religion; Muslims are PoC and are therefore victims of oppression (by the usual suspects) and cannot be criticized.

    2. Accusations of “victim blaming” are a tactic used by leftists to shut down discourse.
      It is not like a moral code, that would apply to everyone. They don’t really have special empathy for victims.
      I certainly had trouble understanding them at first, because I assumed that they were sincere about the things they claimed to care about.
      But there is really no moral contradiction about a White BLM protester calling a Black person who they suspect of holding unacceptable political views a coon or the N-word, or when a young leftist feminist tells a cop “I hope ALL of your children get raped and killed”.
      I guess they probably don’t actually approve of racism or child rape in general terms, but their primary interest in those subjects seems to be their use as political tactics.

      But pointing out their doing what they accuse you of doing is not going to be an effective argument. Even that, their accusing you of what they do, is a common tactic.

  2. This seems unnecessary to me, as you can simply state what is considered offensive by some groups (though legal) without showing the images.

    I suggest that it is indeed necessary. If we really mean it when we say that we want a society in which people can publish Mohammed cartoons, then we need to publish Mohammed cartoons.

    A notional declaration of support, followed by self-censoring to avoid giving “offence”, just doesn’t cut it, and actually implies that the right thing to do is not publish them.

    I suggest that every newspaper and TV station in the Western world should show Mohammed cartoons. #JeSuisCharlie

    And if the booklet has images only of Muhammad, well, that’s sheer bigotry: a singling out of Muslims for disapprobation.

    Again, I disagree. It could show only images of Muhammad because it is only images of Muhammed that many want to disallow.

    Though having said that, a selection of other cartoons satirising everyone from Macron to Trump (in order to illustrate what is normal) could well be a good tactic.

    1. “If we really mean it when we say that we want a society in which people can publish Mohammed cartoons, then we need to publish Mohammed cartoons.”


    2. I’m not sure about that idea. Having the government go out of its way to shove the Mohammed cartoons in the faces of French Muslims would sound like religious discrimination/persecution to many people. Charlie Hebdo is free to publish its cartoons and Muslims are free not to look at them.

      The late Mr. Paty gave his Muslim students the chance to leave the room if they didn’t want to see the cartoons, and in a better world that would have ensured no repercussions.

    3. While they are at it, they could in the same issue publish anti-Xian and anti-Jewish cartoons. I have never seen anti-Hindu cartoons in Charlie, but maybe they can make some.

  3. “Still, there’s something about Islam that promotes terrorism . . . .”

    I think Sam Harris made the same point in one of his books. He noted that African Americans and Native Americans have a list of grievances AT LEAST as noteworthy as any the Muslims might have, and yet they don’t fly planes into office buildings, decapitate school teachers or blow up little girls at an Arianna Grande concert (

  4. Personally, I don’t understand why people need to mock any religion regardless of which. I’m sure the Christians would be up in arms and shouting loudly if a magazine satirised Christ or God sitting in underwear with alcohol in hand and lifting the dress of a Nun. Try telling a Christian that Hod doesn’t exist and they practically jump down your throat. I agree satirical articles shouldn’t promote violence, but why do they even need to go down that road. Freedom of speech is one thing, mocking a religious figure is another….

    1. Because religion poisons everything, and mocking it is one way of both defanging it and reducing its influence in the world. They need to go down that road because religion is a malign force in this world.

      1. I totally agree that religion poisons everything and I’d like to see it banished completely, but by mocking something that people hold dear doesn’t seem like a good idea and its having the opposite effect….ultimately.

        1. You have no evidence that mockery has the opposite effect; in fact, there are tons of people on the fence who left religion because other people pointed out its problems, sometimes through satire (e.g., Hitchens).

          If you have data to the contrary supporting your claim, put it here. I know of no such data, so you seem to just be presenting your opinion as fact.

            1. If I had proper pc interweb I would do a proper search with more terms. The trouble is it is a social ‘science’ question, & I would say that is not a science so it is hard to get past anecdote to get any quantifiable data… what do othees think?

        2. Anything dependent on authority is most vulnerable to mockery and satire. Rational arguments won’t work, that just gets you banned as an infidel. Empirical evidence won’t work, your studies will just be dismissed as biased and you will be accused of having a political agenda.

          Mockery, however, cuts below the level of the rational mind and serves up the absurdity of the authoritative pronouncement most effectively. Perhaps arguments and evidence are ultimately necessary to make the sale, but mockery softens up the earth so the seeds may be planted.

        3. I suspect it will depend on the person.
          Some may become more entrenched.
          In some it may spark some thought.
          I suspect it will wash over most.

    2. Up in arms metaphorically and shouting loudly, perhaps. But not putting people to death. That sort of disgusting behavior ended centuries ago. Christianity learned to carry on in the face of blasphemy. It’s high time Islam did as well.

    3. I realise this is not your main point, but the difference between practically jumping down your throat and literally slitting your throat is one reason why Islam should continue to be mocked and criticised.

      1. Everyone needs to watch Life of Brian regularly. Or be observed watching it. If the person watching does not find it “risible” when Pilate says the name “Biggus…….Dickus”, and is instead just filled with rage, then they need some sort of intervention or therapy.

        He has a wife, you know..

    4. “Freedom of speech is one thing, mocking a religious figure is another…”

      No. If mocking religious figures is forbidden, there is no freedom of speech.

      Nobody has a right to not be offended.

    5. To its credit, Charlie Hebdo published equally blasphemous and naughty cartoons involving Jesus, God, and Moses. Mockery is a way of taking away idea of religion as something scared that must be respectfully addressed or criticized. Mockery says bad ideas should be treated badly.

    6. “I’m sure the Christians would be up in arms and shouting loudly if a magazine satirised (sic) Christ or God sitting in underwear with alcohol in hand and lifting the dress of a Nun.”

      Take a good look at Charlie Hebdo over the years, notjustagranny, and you will find evidence for exactly the opposite to what you claim here. I’m interpreting your example as implying any strong satire of Xianity by them would result in something reasonably comparable to the viciously immoral reaction by many Muslims.

      If you dispute the factuality this, let’s each send Jerry $100 for safekeeping, and I’ll be happy to do the spade work and collect the $200 minus Jerry’s well deserved fiduciary fee. I’m joking here, and not implying he is, is willing to be, or ever has been doing that kind of business. So really we can just have a bet where we trust each other, but let Jerry decide whether my evidence of the Hebdo satire on Xtians and your attempt to show how strong the reaction of the Jesus-botherers is will suffice for me to win the bet and you to send me the $s!

  5. I also submit that there is indeed something about Islam that promotes terrorism. In this connection, I’m thinking of Joseph Campbell, of all people, who categorized Islam as a mythology of war, saying, in his book Myths to Live By, that from Mohammed–“who was a considerable warrior himself–they [Muslims] have derived their fanatic mythology of unrelenting war in God’s name.” Campbell goes on to quote the Koran, Sura 2, verse 216, viz., “Fighting is prescribed for you. True, you have an antipathy to it: however, it is possible that your antipathy is to something that is nevertheless good for you. God knows, and you know not.” I take from this and from other verses in the Koran as well as from sayings in the Hadith that the true believers in Islam are ever at the ready to go to battle not only to defend their faith but also to spread their faith.

    1. Addendum: Perhaps for the title of Campbell’s book to have been truly comprehensive of its contents, he should have called it Myths to Live By, Myths to Die By.

  6. “The republication by Charlie Hebdo is seen as an obstinate will to continue humiliating. That’s what is different from 2015. Now there is the sense that France has a problem with Islam whereas, in 2015, France was the victim of terrorists.”

    And guess what? Now it is again! And as long as this continues to happen, the defiant publication and republication of such offensive cartoons and other material must continue. If these cartoons can be republished and nobody gets shot or decapitated, then it’s no longer necessary.

  7. There is an empirical question here as far as managing terrorism from ethnic minorities, as to whether hardline legal repression of terrorists or making concessions is more effective at reducing terrorism. My guess is that if you reward something, you get more of it, but it could be wrong.

    But you can compare a place like India which has zero tolerance for Muslim terrorists to somewhere where they are more concerned about banning cartoons than beheadings, and get some kind of answer.

  8. My own wish, which is mine (and will never be fulfilled), is that every paper, every website, every news show, shows the damn cartoons! Desensitise the issue, diffuse the threat, stand up for free speech against murderous fanaticism. But, no, it’ll never happen.

    1. Certainly don’t blame all religion for terroristic violence. But don’t absolve peaceful religions of the poison of teaching that they know things about the universe that they don’t and for spreading acceptance of the idea that belief without evidence is legitimate. Those all fail in that regard, except perhaps for forms of Buddhism that amount to philosophical statements about accepting the universe for what it is.

    2. I agree the Mennonites belong in that more benevolent class.

      However, if I’m not mistaken (I do live in the midst of the ‘Old Order’, horse-and-buggy, farms near Waterloo Ontario), they can be quite theologically disputatious with each other on the fine points of literal truth of scripture (Bible) when it seems ambiguous. So a few km. down the road from one meeting house (AKA church), the next one might be enough different that there are occasional decisions of a household to switch which they trot down to Sunday morning (for a gruelling 3 hours when it’s 90 and humid in those black clothes). Whether engined tractors are allowed at all, or allowed but not on a road except from one field to the next is also a point of dispute between different theological flavours.

      I think for funerals they are all together. But even a decision on ‘mixed’ marriage could get a bit ‘unpleasant’. There are plenty of non-Mennonites who know much more than me on these things. We two do have fairly close (non-religious) relations with several such families but don’t discuss religion.

      My wife has many times done a Xmas season reading, brought stuff to share, baked a ginger bread house etc. over the years for the 5 to 14 year olds at the 1-room schoolhouse. (You’re full time sweeping floors or driving a tractor by 15.) But she must be careful about what is the reading. This is not the obvious of, say, not reading from Richard Dawkins. It is that they seem to worry about anything ‘silly’, that’s too fictional, such as a story about, say, ice cream cones suddenly raining down gently from the clouds onto happy children. To me this is almost raucously humorous (though I’d never say so to them), given that their entire lives are supposedly governed entirely by an almost entirely fictional Bible.

      1. Yes, I am aware of those difficulties and points of absurdity.
        On the other hand, just how are we to uphold and pass on the values we cherish in contrast to those of the wider society without some kind of personal and community discipline?
        In light of America’s political situation today, this is not a speculative question.

      1. There are those who argue that Hinduism cannot be understood anywhere but in India. It’s further complicated by the realities of the lingering caste system. But it does include the concept of Ahimsa in its teachings.
        I suspect that even if religion were removed from the situation, the violent conflicts would continue, based on more brazen arguments like economics, tribal or ethnic identities, history and tradition, past injuries, and so on.

  9. I deplore the use of the word ‘Islamophobia’ as it has been invented to establish a fear of ‘Islam’ that barely exists.

    Now ‘Islamistophobia’ (or Christianistophobia’ for that matter) – fear of terrorist activity – is another matter.

    1. Except that a “phobia” is an irrational fear, not a justified fear.

      We should drop “phobia” talk entirely, its purpose is an attempt to shut down and disallow debate.

    2. My fear, if indeed I can call it that, is not so much of Muslims or Islam, but more of the everyday consequences … education, law, society in general. No different to that of say evangelicalism

  10. Some have accused the New York Times of practicing cultural imperialism. Perhaps, but I think it is really guilty of American Self-Absorption: the assumption that the rest of the world must be like America and that what applies to America must apply elsewhere.

    In this case, the NYT is applying to France the same framework it applies to America. It views French Muslims the exact same way it views African Americans: a persecuted non-white minority suffering systemic racism at the hands of a hands of an oppressive white majority. France thus must follow the American model and arrive at a national reckoning of woke masochism and breast-beating. Free speech is viewed as “violence” against the oppressed, the vehicle of repression.

    Many French commentators have rightfully decried the “Anglo-Saxon” criticism of France. I used to think the French were over-reacting to the increased influence of America on their country. I have changed their mind. France’s problems are different those of America and will not be solved by aping the Anglos.

    1. That‘s an excellent point and is one feature of allegedly left wing woke culture. It came into plain view when American journalists complained about the lack of “people of colour” in a hugely successful “Witcher 3” video game.

      What makes this spicy, is that entertainment of that type is overwhelmingly American, and the people who made that game were a polish studio, telling a story by a polish author, based off a central European medieval setting and local folklore. This becomes even more bizarre given that Poland was under occupation for much of its history and having mainstream success in entertainment of anything non-American is already rare. And yet, that tiny little bit also had to be Americanized (this done for Netflix) and found problematic.

      1. Like when black Americans were offended by the singer Adele when she posted photos of herself wearing a Jamaican flag bikini with her hair in bantu knots to celebrate the (cancelled) Notting Hill Festival. She was accused of cultural appropriation by people who knew nothing about the context and didn’t even stop to think that they were projecting their own cultural expectations onto another culture (as Americans typically do). British Jamaicans voiced their support for Adele because they got it. Black Americans were having absolutely none of it.

  11. It’s simple, really. If Muslims can’t abide by French law, they should go to some other country where they’ll feel more comfortable. I’d recommend Mauritania.

  12. The number of terrorist attacks in open societies almost turns the accusations of “islamophobia” into a darker Monty Python skit. A murderer is going through town offing people in the background, while a modest Michael Palin is beleaguered by a group of angry people complaining about his negativity towards the situation.

    Cleese: “oh come on! won’t you stop nagging about this!”
    “aarrgh!” (as someone is being knifed down in the background)
    Jones, dressed as a woman: “You are a nasty, hateful, individual. He’s such a lovely man.” (waves to the man with the knife, who waves back, then continues to kill)
    Idle: “I’ve noticed this, you’re always negative about our new neighbour!”
    Palin: “well… I think my concerns are …” — “aaaaaaaaarhghhh” — “… somewhat justified, if I may say so myself”

  13. In an attempt to appear as understanding and inclusive, the message is that Muslims need to be infantilised because they simply cannot be treated as any other belief is.

    400 years ago, these same quisling writers would be saying “in defence of the inquisition – why Catholicism needs to stay beyond question”.

  14. Last night five persons were killed in a terrorist attack against some restaurants near a synagogue in Vienna. According to what I read in Swiss and Austrian newspapers, at least one of the terrorists was a sympathizer of ISIS. Let’s see whether the NYT blames this attack on Austria.

    1. “Recep Gültekin and Mikail Özen risked their lives to help a woman and a shot policeman in a hail of bullets. Now they are being celebrated on the net as heroes of Vienna. ”

      “We simply could not stand by and watch. We ran over and carried him to the ambulance,” said Özen. “Muslims abhor any kind of terror”.

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