Those who fear the wrath of Islam are busily spinning the story of Mohammed Merah.
Having executed three French soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi, the al Qaeda terrorist just died in a hail of bullets while jumping out of his apartment window. Coward that he was he died in flight.
To me it’s obvious that the label Islamphobia—meaning dread of Islam—applies perfectly to those who are attempting to explain away or excuse the horrifying deeds of Mohammed Merah.
For reasons I still do not understand, and despite my best efforts, the appeasement wing of the international media still misuses the term.
Serious thinkers in the media have been trying to reassure everyone that Merah’s actions have nothing to do with terrorism and have nothing to do with Islam.
This morning Mark Steyn laid out the steps that the media takes when it wants to turn an Islamic terrorist into a member of an aggrieved community.
First, when the identity of the killer was unknown, the media started floating stories about how he must be a right-wing extremist. Another version of the Norwegian Anders Breivik, they were saying.
The tactic was used when Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson. Even though Jared Loughner was manifestly psychotic, with no relationship to any group, organization, or cause, the mainstream media used the occasion to peddle the idea that violence is caused by right wing hate speech.
Once the media can make the ideas plausible it will demand that conservative talk radio be censored.
By this formula conservative opinions amount to what Justice Holmes once called: “shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theater.” Meaning that it is not covered by first amendment protections.
Then, in a second stage, the world discovered that the killer was a Muslim terrorist named Mohammed and that as a proud member of al Qaeda he was happy to have Jewish children and French soldiers. Thus, the media shifted gears and started calling him a “lone wolf.”
Think Major Nidal Hasan and Faisal Shahzad.
If that's your tactic you need to ignore the fact that Merah had been trained in terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To do so you need to follow the propagandist’s first principle: never let facts get in the way of a good story.
Once Merah is considered to be a lone wolf his actions cannot be placed on the account of any organized Islamic terrorist group.
This makes Mohammed Merah look like he was mentally ill, deranged, schizophrenic, bipolar, or whatever psychiatric classification will eventually be trotted out to explain away his behavior.
In a third stage, as a corollary of the second, the media and community leaders, in France and elsewhere, fell all over themselves declaring that Merah’s actions should not in any way reflect on Islam or on any community he belonged to.
If you are not persuaded, repeat to yourself: Islam is a religion of peace.
Jewish children and French soldiers were targets of opportunity.. Right?
Fourth, as soon as everyone was persuaded that Mohammed Merah was an isolated individual whose actions had nothing to do with Islam the media started ginning up stories about how the poor Muslim community feels threatened by a backlash.
Now Muslims fear that prejudice and discrimination will be directed against them. Thus, that they will be held accountable for the actions of a lone wolf terrorist, who, by the way, trained with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
So a Muslim committed acts of unspeakable violence against the French Jewish community and the French Muslim community is now whining that it feels victimized.
Thereby it disassociates itself from the horrifying behavior of members of its community. Not only do Muslim leaders refuse to take any responsibility for the behavior of the members of their own community, they present themselves as victims.
Remember Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia. Last summer when gangs of marauding black youths were assaulting people and property in his city he got up and gave a speech declaring straightforwardly that the behavior of these gangs reflected badly on the rest of his community.
When was the last time a leader in the Muslim community showed the same level of moral courage?
When was the last time a leader in the Muslim community showed outrage over the murder of Jewish children?
When was the last time a leader in any Muslim community apologized for the behavior of an individual who had been born and bred in his community and who was acting in the name of Islam?
We know that French counterterrorism police had Mohammed Merah on their radar screen. We also know that they failed to keep a close enough watch on him.
But, what about the members of his own community? How many of them knew that something was wrong? How many of them informed the police before the fact? Or, how many of them were just too afraid and too cowardly to police their own?
After all, many of the Parisian suburbs inhabited primarily by Muslims are too dangerous even for the police.
Let’s state the point clearly. If a member of your community commits a heinous act it reflects on you. You may not have known the person. You may not have had anything to do with the person. But his actions detract from your community's reputation.
If you say nothing, if you blame other people, you are contributing to the diminished repute of all members of your community.
Mark Steyn states clearly that the real problem in Europe has nothing to do with a backlash against Muslims. These backlashes have often been predicted but have rarely materialized.
The real problem is the persistent acts of anti-Semitic violence committed by Muslims. By now they threaten to destroy Jewish life and culture in major parts of Europe.
In Steyn’s words
Most times in today’s Europe, the guys beating, burning and killing Jews will be Muslims. Once in a while, it will be somebody else killing the schoolkids. But is it so hard to acknowledge that rapid, transformative, mass Muslim immigration might not be the most obvious aid to social tranquility? That it might possibly pose challenges that would otherwise not have existed — for uncovered women in Oslo, for gays in Amsterdam, for Jews everywhere? Is it so difficult to wonder if, for these and other groups living in a long-shot social experiment devised by their rulers, the price of putting an Islamic crescent in the diversity quilt might be too high? What’s left of Jewish life in Europe is being extinguished remorselessly, one vandalized cemetery, one subway attack at a time.