Intellectual honesty will get you in trouble sometimes. Sort of like the old saw, "no good deed goes unpunished". In Washington, DC, radio host Michael Graham is off the air for now, for saying Islam is a "terrorist organization". In reality he took a pretty good analogy and went for the knockout punch when the velvet glove would have worked better. His analogy, as reported by the Washington Post, is well reasoned:
"If the Boy Scouts of America had 1,000 Scout troops, and 10 of them practiced suicide bombings, then the BSA would be considered a terrorist organization. If the BSA refused to kick out those 10 troops, that would make the case even stronger. If people defending terror repeatedly turned to the Boy Scout handbook and found language that justified and defended murder -- and the scoutmasters responded by saying 'Could be' -- the Boy Scouts would have been driven out of America long ago."
Now, if I'd have been making that point, I think I might have followed it up with something like:
So if you look at what's happening to the Islamic faith, as it has been hijacked by a relatively small group of extremists, one could make the case that Islam is a terrorist organization. The fact that far too many Muslim leaders have failed to condemn the actions of the extremists in the name of Islam goes a long way toward discrediting the claim that Islam is a "religion of peace".
Not Graham -- and that's what landed him on the beach. He, as he sometimes does, threw gasoline on a fire by following his analogy up with:
"Today, Islam has whole sects and huge mosques that preach terror. Its theology is openly used to give the murderers their motives. Millions of its members give these killers comfort. The question isn't how dare I call Islam a terrorist organization, but rather why more people do not."
Not too surprisingly, CAIR has jumped all over Michael Graham and ABC/Disney (which owns WMAL -- Graham's employer), which may have pressed the company into suspending him without pay. Ironically, though, the pounding of ABC/Disney happened on the very day CAIR itself issued a fatwa against terrorism.
Meanwhile, in the very same city, Washington Times Edtior-in-Chief, Wesley Pruden is no doubt just as excercised about Islamic extremists as Michael Graham, however, because he choses his words much more carefully, he makes a related point without the negative ramifications. Here's an exerpt:
"Many of the Muslims in Britain were put out this week when the cops in the West Midlands raided a block of apartments in Birmingham just before dawn and arrested several suspects in the latest London terror bombings.
"The raids showed "insensitivity" toward Islam, and the authorities, ever eager to improve "community relations"... invited the "moderate" chairman of the Central Birmingham Mosque to participate in a press conference to discuss the raids.
"The session had hardly begun before one Dr. Mohammed Naseem began a denunciation of the West, of Britain, of the police and other assorted infidels who had libeled Islam by suggesting that Muslims were in any way responsible for the bombing campaign in London...
" The superintendent of police said Mohammed... was probably suffering from shock brought on by "the unusual events of the last few hours."
"Remarked the London Daily Telegraph yesterday: "When senior police officers go to great lengths to make such prim and dubious politically correct statements, then it is not surprising that Muslim leaders such as [Dr. Mohammed Naseem] end up believing them, and expect to be taken seriously..."
"Public opinion in Britain, in fact, appears to be saying enough, already... The discovery that the suicide bombers of July 7 were homegrown, second-generation Englishmen, first bewildered many, then angered most. The diversity that everyone was encouraged to celebrate turns out to be fatuous, fraudulent and sometimes fatal."
Pruden goes on to make yet another interesting distinction:
"The real phenomenon of the age of terror is how the "infidels" -- the Christians, the Jews and the unbelievers -- have kept their cool and their ideals intact in the wake of a rich provocation to retaliate."
Boy, isn't that the truth!