4 Dec '15     

San Bernardino Shooting

Two days have passed since the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. A lot of information has been released to the public regarding the two killers, a young Muslim couple, now dead. The media is full of talk about what should be done about it, some of it sound and some of it faulty.

At Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, not my favorite journalist, tells it like it is in his piece titled "More Americans Die at the Hands of Muslim extremists." He says,

So now we have another terror attack generated by Islamic fanatics -- one born here, the other a Pakistani. The damage these two have caused spreads far beyond the dead and wounded. Good American Muslims are devastated. I talked with a doctor in Chicago, a solid citizen whose family has been here for more than a century. He, his wife and his children now feel branded because of all the terror in the name of Allah.

Someone makes a bad generalization, characterizing all Islam as "a violent religious cult." Someone else complains about Muslims playing the victim and that it would be helpful " to see and hear Muslims around the world condemn jihadist radicalism and violence" – which of course many are doing, sometimes at their peril. Ayaan Hirsi Ali's call for Muslims to reform Islam is mentioned. Some others seem reluctant to acknowledge that the shooters were deeply religious Muslims, as if intense religious belief is not a part of the terror problem. Looking on, Britain's former radical Islamist Maajid Nawaz, on the Kelly File at Fox News advises Americans to look for signs of Muslims adopting fundamentalist aspects of the Islamist ideology.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin does the strawman thing. Most everybody, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, has been saying the Islamic State and the terrorists must be defeated, but Palin, on television's 700 Club, says, "You have to quit being this namby-pamby, kind of milquetoast, 'let's discuss things with them, let's reach out and try to understand them.'"

And of course, the gun debate is invigorated, with the opposing sides repeating their positions – something we will be hearing more of in the months ahead.

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