Friday, November 13, 2009

Do we apply a double standard to acts of violence committed by Muslims?

Why is it that we refuse to apply the same standards to acts of violence committed by Muslims than those committed by almost any other group? So asks Father Raymond J. de Souza in his commentary in yesterday’s National Post entitled The Fort Hood double standard.

Add Fort Hood to the list. It's getting longer: New York, Washington, Jerusalem, Bali, Madrid, London, Bombay. It's the list of places where, we are told, it is important to be vigilant about anti-Muslim activity.

The phenomenon is by now well-established. An apparent jihadist visits death and destruction upon innocents, motivated in part by a violent brand of Islamic extremism, and soon the violence becomes an apt occasion to raise awareness about the danger of anti-Muslim thoughts, words and deeds. Violence by Muslims has a unique ability to spur a Canadian prime minister, British royal, or, as was the case this time, the American secretary of homeland security, to sound the alarm about violence against Muslims.

"The tragic shootings at the Fort Hood U.S. Army Base raise the spectres of hostility against Muslims within the United States, and of Islamic hostility toward the U.S.," editorialized Toronto's Globe and Mail. That's a strange symmetry. On one hand there may be a "spectre," but on the other there is the reality of 13 dead victims.

Denying at the outset the Islamist motivations of men such as Major Nidal Malik Hasan does no favour to Muslims who, after all, bear the largest share of the global death toll caused by Islamist extremism. But we're getting pretty used to the routine: Islamist violence, followed by pundits getting upset when anyone mentions the link between extreme Islamism and violence.

Click here to read the rest of this excellent article and then feel free to add your views to our comments section. Let’s discuss this. Do we treat crimes committed by Muslims differently than those of others? Do the media and our political leaders tend to downplay the role that Islam may play in these acts of violence such as we witnessed in Fort Hood?  Should they?  Why or why not?


Matthew said...

As those who routinely publicize and seek to oppose reprisal violence against Christians in places like Nigeria, Indonesia, etc., shouldn't we be sensitive to the fact that we must be careful to prevent one man's violent acts from becoming a bloodbath as people take out their frustration and anger on those who share the affiliation (but maybe not the ideas/motivations) of that one man?

Glenn Penner said...

Perhaps. But in my 12 years I have never seen Christians in the developing world attack Muslims for attacks like this made in the West. For example, Christians in Nigeria did not retaliate for 9/11 or attacks like this one in Fort Hood. They usually involve local incidents.

The same cannot be said for responses of Muslims who respond in retaliation for incidents in the West.

Matthew said...

I think I had in mind more of the "local feedback loops"-- that is, Muslims in the West who might fear reprisal after an attack by Muslims in the West vs. Christians in Nigeria who might fear reprisal after an attack by Christians (or a perceived attack by Christians.) As nations that seek to uphold the rights of their citizens and protect them more vigorously than other nations, we simply have a higher standard to live by.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said that the sin of the world is that they don't believe in Him.Jesus warns us many times that the world will hate us,believers,because we do not belong to the world.
Muslim,Hinduism,Buddhism,Animism,Materialism have no belief in Jesus Christ,Behind all this is Satan,the enemy of God from the beginning.
So why are we surprised?Are we surprised when a volcano erupts at unexpected times?
Should we then condone the actions of people caught in the frenzy of totaliarism of these movements and commit heinous crimes against those who hate the followers of Jesus?Who by their very lives and teaching expose the lies of Satan?
We certainly should not but expose them as crimes against God and man!
What weapons should we use?
Let us follow Jesus example of HONESTY in LOVE.
Realising that such"weapons"will undoubtedly cause increased hatred against The King of kings and Lord of lords and us his servants.
And only in the Strength of the Holy Spirit will we,frail human beings have the COURAGE !!
Suzanna Meyer

Anonymous said...

The double standard exists *because* the majority of religious violence is performed by Muslims. If Christians turned to violence in this way, within a few years there would be calls throughout the world to 'respect Christian beliefs' and to 'avoid punishing the innocent Christians'. Worse, if the majority of Muslims ever renounce violence, they will *then* have the centuries of violence of their co-religionists flung in their faces - because it will be safe to do so.
Basically, our typical loudmouth is a coward and won't abuse anyone he fears - but will happily abuse anyone who is different but not dangerous.