Is fear of Islam the new McCarthyism?

By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite Religious freedom and the right of free expression are the strongest source of power Americans have … Continued

By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite

Religious freedom and the right of free expression are the strongest source of power Americans have for combating radicals who use Islam as the excuse for their violent extremism. The struggle with such extremists will not, indeed cannot, be won with military force, but through the power of our values. If there is a “narrative” abroad in the world that justifies violence against the West because the West “hates Islam,” the way to correct that narrative is with the practice of our cherished ideals of religious freedom and tolerance for diversity of opinion.

Instead, however, conservatives such as Newt Gingrich want us to reject not only violent extremists, but also Islamic ideas, especially ideas on religious law, that is, Sharia law. Gingrich believes that Americans are “at risk” as a nation, not only from the violence of a “militant Islam,” but also from the cultural integration of Muslims in the West. The latter he calls “stealth jihadists.” A close historical parallel, Gingrich argued in a lengthy address to the American Enterprise Institute entitled America at Risk: Camus, National Security and Afghanistan, where he is now a senior fellow, is the struggle with aommunism.

Almost, but not quite. The total approach Gingrich is proposing has a better historical parallel in McCarthyism. McCarthyism has come to mean making charges of disloyalty or even subversion without regard for adequate evidence. In his address, Gingrich offered a lot of anger and fear, but very little actual evidence to support his claims about Islam and the West, or even his claims about the ineffectiveness of President Obama’s approach to National Security. Joseph McCarthy, as is well known, was a Senator from Wisconsin, who used his position as chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to launch investigations designed to document charges of Communists in government. His often unsubstantiated charges, and the so-called “blacklists” that were created, suppressed American traditions of political dissent, and cultural creativity for many years. McCarthy was censured by the Senate on December 2, 1954, for behavior that was “contrary to senatorial traditions.”

But it is not the career of McCarthy himself that provides the best historical example of the political power of anti-Communism. Historian Rick Perlstein, in his book Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, describes the way in which the “the politics of anger,” including anti-Communist fervor, were employed by Richard Nixon. Nixon, junior Congressman on the House Un-American Activities Committee, recognized how popular anti-Communism could be as a political platform
and employed it to eventually be elected president. It is, of course, more than likely that the tactics used by the HUAC were sometimes replicated by the Nixon White House and resulted in the Watergate Scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation.

Gingrich, perhaps best remembered for his ethics troubles, his resignation from his House Seat and as Speaker of the House, and his confession of an extra-marital affair, is now moving to the religious right, as well as further to the political right. Gingrich says he will “consider” a 2012 run for the Presidency, and clearly this national security address that focuses on an “Islamic threat” is an opening gambit in that effort.

Conservatives are very divided over national security, argues Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress. In light of that, an all-pervasive “Islamic threat,” it seems to me, can look like a very attractive, politically unifying strategy. This is a cardinal tenet, in fact, of the politics of anger. People divided about their own constructive approaches to an issue can become united in the face of a perceived outside threat, as was the case for Nixon and Communism.

Violent extremists are a threat. That’s not a fantasy. But why single out the idea of Sharia? I personally also disagree with adopting Sharia law in democracies such as we have in the U.S. and have said so, repeatedly.

But to make what is a debate over ideas into a dangerous threat posed by Islam to the West, instead of focusing on violent extremism, is to make Islam itself a vague and yet all-pervasive threat in very much the same way that McCarthy made even general leftist ideas into a threat to national security. What is dangerous about the McCarthyism of conservatives like Gingrich is that making ideas in Islam into the threat, they risk fueling the very narrative about the United States “hating Islam” that violent extremists use to recruit young people. The only way to combat those who would use hatred of Islam as a reason to attack the United States is to actually practice our American values of religious freedom and political inclusion.

Newt Gingrich peppered his national security address about the threat of Islam with references to famous figures who fought Nazism as well as communism, though not Nixon. He quotes Harry Truman several times, but he does not quote Truman on the dangers of targeting ideas rather than acts in regard to fighting the threat of Communism. In 1950, Truman vetoed the McCarran Internal Security Act, and wrote this about his veto: “The basic error of these sections is that they move in the direction of suppressing opinion and belief. This would be a very dangerous course to take, not because we have any sympathy for communist opinions, but because any governmental stifling of the free expression of opinion is a long step toward totalitarianism. There is no more fundamental axiom of American freedom than the familiar statement: In a free country, we punish men for the crimes they commit, but never for the opinions they have.” (Italics added)

There’s another historical figure who was not featured in the Gingrich address, but whom we who venture into the media would do well to emulate: Edward R. Murrow, the famed CBS newscaster and analyst, who took on McCarthy and his tactics. On March 9, 1954, Murrow said these words that rebuked forever those who would use fear to manipulate our political processes.

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember we are not descended from fearful men–not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.”

Let’s remember who we are as Americans who cherish religious freedom and value political dissent. It is the strongest source of our power as a nation. We should value Islam as a part of the American fabric of religious diversity, debate its many ideas in the public square, and not be afraid to do so.

About

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is Professor of Theology and immediate past President of Chicago Theological Seminary. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Her most recent books are "#OccupytheBible: What Jesus Really Said (and Did) About Money and Power" and, as contributor and editor, "Interfaith Just Peacemaking: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the New Paradigm of Peace and War."
  • TheJacob

    To say that Islam is a harmless entity is just plain, well, wrong. A book posted at thegoodguise at wordpress takes an in-depth look into Christian prophecy only to conclude that it will be from the religion of Islam that the anti-Christ will come forth from. Isn’t it obvious that public opinion and public policy only continues to strengthen Islam? The time will come when Muslims will impose Sharia law across Europe and also in the United States. As you watch the next 40 years elapse I hope you come to understand that Islam has no intentions of integrating itself into the societies it has started to take over. Read the book, get informed – today.

  • tlwinslow

    Duh, McCarthy tried to get Communists to admit what they believed, and when they took the Fifth, got them on trumped-up charges of contempt of Congress, even if they were Communists, which often they were. With Muslims, the author must be referring to making them testify to Congress whether they are radicalized and accept the clear commands of Allah in the Quran to subject all non-Muslims to Muslim superiority Sharia after conquering their territory any way they can, including by migration or invasion. Guess, what, all Muslims believe in the Quran, and the so-called radicalized ones are just those who obey the commands in it, the rest selling out to Western wealth and ease. Let’s say they all take the Fifth, then what? The author misses the key point that the Quran and the U.S. Constitution are totally at war, even more so than Das Kapital and the U.S. Constitution, but this time it’s not possible to disguise allegiance to it like Communists did, because they have to pray publicly to Allah and follow the regulations of Sharia personally even if the govt. doesn’t mandate them. So why not cut to the chase, which is the wisdom of permitting Muslim immigration to the U.S. when there’s such a cataclysmic cultural conflict and Muslims can never truly assimilate, but only bide their time until their numbers build up and begin causing ceaseless trouble, as 1400 years of history has shown they do every time? No Muslim can truly swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, and if they do, Islam provides a way out for them called Taqiyya or holy lying, a dispensation from Allah to lie to gain a tactical advantage for the spread of Islam itself, so it can never be as simple as McCarthy-style hearings with oaths anyway. Instead of pontificating on Islam while ignorant of its history, ideology, terminology, etc., why not spend a few months studying it free online with the Historyscoper and then start basing your writings on its actual track record? To get started find some study time and just click

  • jm125

    This author and its stupid article give a new meaning to the term PC jibberish. At least the communists didn’t blow communists up in commie countries. No commie flights into the WTC, no commie agents posing as US military and gunning down fellow soldiers, no Time square and numerous other terrorist incidents, etc, etc. Every day muslims blow people up, usually other muslims. The terrible things the muslims do in Europe, killing Dutch film guy, terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in the US, trying to kill cartoonists, censoring western publications under threat of death, blah, blah, blah, the list goes on and on. So useful idiots in On Faith land, it is obvious to anyone who can read and count there is no room for islam in the secular west.

  • jesseh1

    You have to be kidding me. Obviously you know nothing of Islam or the Koran. You need to study Islam before you decide that it is about freedom of religion. Islam is not only a religion but a political way of life. Islam wants total control of all aspects of everyones life. Islam teaches that the time will come when all nonbelievers will have to be killed I repeat all nonbelievers. They do it in the Philippines, Pakistan, Burma, and I could go on and on but I know Mrs. Thistlethwaite you have access to this information. I wonder have you read time magazine this month by chance. But this is not a part of the Washington Posts agenda is it. Well the time will come and people like you Mrs. Thistlethwaite will have to face the truth I hope it’s not to late. Oh and by the way I don’t like Gingrich either but this is not about him or is it.

  • diagasi

    You sure are a ding-a-ling, lady. You wrote that you “personally also disagree with adopting Sharia law in democracies.”But you’re missing the point. If you have a democracy and lots of Muslim immigration, it will eventually be implemented over your precious objections.That’s what people are getting so worried about, especially in Europe.On this issue, democracy is a liability.

  • LilannB

    Sharia is far from harmless as it mandates inequality between male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim.Go to any Islamic country and see how women and non-Muslims are treated I guarantee you would not want to live there.An example of stealth jihad is the attempt by Muslim cab drivers in Minnesota to deny service to passengers even with unopened containers of alcohol.This denial of service would impose sharia on non-Muslims while violating US law requiring equal access for all. In Nigeria Muslim cab drivers are allowed to discriminate against single women. Making it almost impossible for single women to obtain cab service.This is what tolerance for sharia can lead to, institutionalized discrimination and a lower quality of life for women and non-Muslims. Sharia is vile and a throwback to the dark ages, it should have no place in civilized societies.

  • DAS2

    ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION! IT IS A VERY DANGEROUS, MILITANT AND BARBARIC CULT, WHOSE CORE PRINCIPLES ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED STATES. MOSQUES ARE MILITARY CENTERS AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE.ISLAM DOE S NOT ALLOW FOR:FREEDOM OF SPEECHTO READ MORE ON WHAT ISLAM TEACHES, GOOGLE: TOP TEN REASONS WHY SHARIA IS BAD FOR ALL SOCIETIES

  • Secular

    First of all, I take a strong objection to the coining of he word “Islamophobia”. That word implies that there is an unfounded fear of islam. That is dishonest. Without a shadow of doubt there is some cause to be afraid or vary of islam through out the world. There certainly is also great overplay of the same in some quarters as well. But to equate every thing under the rubric of “Islamophobia” is totally ingenuous.The next aspect of the issue is, is it ne McCarthyism. This again is also a case of taking it too far and is meant to sully people who dare question islam and an attempt to silence them. The author very well know McCarthyism was state sanctioned, albeit by the legislative branch only. In this case it is limited to private parties expressing opinion and challenging conventional wisdom and being more iconoclastic. Not a single person of islamic faith had been in anyway injured to person or reputation. Why then does the author choose to gauge her criticism in those terms?We are questioning the islamic precepts in an open forums. We are pointing out the incongruities between what muslims deem are their rights under the constitution and them pretending to be oblivious to the fact that their own countire do not afford similar rights to the non-muslims. Those things are the main source of the fear of islam.The author ought to be ashamed of herself for demagoging the issue in such a cheap and crass way.

  • rentianxiang

    Actually, so-called “Islamophobia” is not akin to McCarthyism since the latter was an attempt to threaten or punish people for supposedly holding a political ideology which was in opposition to our form of government, while the former is the expression of the incompatibility of the ideology itself with our system. Actually, communism is opposed to our system of government, and is similar to Islam in this way through the application of shariah. But, accusing people of being communists who may or may not have been communists is not the same as stating that Islam, and those who wish to impose shariah, is opposed to our social and political system. In other words, saying Islam is at odds with our democracy is the same as saying that communism is at odds with our democracy. It is a critique of the ideologies, not accusing people of subscribing to them. If it were to be like McCarthyism, the emphasis would not be on showing Islam to be bad, it would be in showing how certain people were actually practicing Muslims and trying to change our government. Muslims readily admit when they are Muslim, so there is no need to investigate that. The question is whether Islam is or isn’t compatible with western democracy and it is a legitimate area of discussion. I don’t see the Republicans accusing Democrats, or vice versa, of being Muslims when they want to threaten them to back down or attempt to marginalize them politically or professionally. What is happening is the mere pointing out of the political and social and legal tenets of shariah that are at odds with our system. Is that an “irrational” fear? Or is that a well-founded fear based on a reasonable, mainstream, and historically consistent understanding of Islamic texts and jurisprudence, that the imposition of shariah would have a detrimental effect on our legal system? Perhaps people have different interpretations but it seems that many Muslims interpret their texts in a way that does in fact make them adversarial to our democracy.

  • John991

    I’ve travelled in a few Muslim countries and everyone was always nice to me. In some places, like Malaysia and Indonesia, the countries are not entirely Muslim. Malaysia has Sharia law for Muslims, but common law for everyone else. Still, it’s not hard to find news stories of young women being stoned to death for having sex. What kind of animals would do that to a young person?

  • clearthinking1

    Communism had a dark side, and Communism eventually collapsed.Islam has a dark side (intolerance & violence), and Islam is still fighting everywhere along its metaphorical bloody borders.If people want to be naive and ignore the history of Islam and tendency towards intolerance, violence & oppression, then you are willing to take a big risk.REMEMBER: All agree that criminals should be denied their constitutional rights, until they agree to play fairly by the rules of civilized society. Are we there yet with Islam? Today, even “moderate” muslims are still supremacists who believe that others are inferior Kafirs and that Allah is the only god and superior god, etc. The goal of making the entire world Muslim is still the goal of every Muslim. Have you ever talked honestly with a true believing Muslim and asked him about this?

  • ramothomy

    If free religion is for they who practice,what about me who want´s freedom from religion?

  • chatard

    Shut up, Thistlewaite, you freaking idiot, just shut up.

  • sjag1

    Ontario was condemned by the Human Rights Tribunal of the UN for not allowing sharia law to be incorporated into our system, nor offer state funding for Muslim Schools. We have recently had 2nd generation Muslim “Canadians” convicted for trying to blow up areas of Toronto to kill as many infidel Canadian a possible, and supposedly behead the Prime Minister. When checking out the UN condemnation it was noted that the panel consisted mostly of North African and Middle East States, it was their turn under the rotating basis for membership. The media advisor for the Muslim Association in Canada has had his life put a risk and that of his family for suggesting moderation in the preaching of Imams… he quit the job. We must never forget the Ummah, whose credo being it is OK to attack caravans but not that of the Ummah, is overwhelmingly powerful and Islam’s prime raison d’etre.

  • gkam

    Thank you for a thoughtful and rational piece. You can see by the previous comment the differences between rationality and the fearful, fearsome, and irrational manifestations of frustration felt by the bigots who somehow, didn’t get rich like Reagan and Bush promised, . . . and they didn’t get rid of them feri’ners, neither! All the disgusting residue of Conservatism – the looted banks, our raped and ruined Armed Forces, our corrupted government, the disasters of Katrina, the massive frauds of Enron, Worldcom, Halliburton, and Blackwater, along with reputations as War Criminals and the World’s biggest Bad Debt – are not the fantasies they and Their Dubya envisioned, in their testosterone-induced haze of self-importance, glory and “greatness”.I don’t know who CHATARD is, but I suspect they may have hit the “CH” instead of the “B”

  • Reisrrk

    Islam is not only a “religion” which discriminates against women, Jews, Christians, and all other religions but is also and primarily a method of governance. Basic principles of Islam are that the world must be ruled by sharia; that the world government should be ruled by Muslims; and that any people who do not submit to Islam are automatically enemies. We are in a battle not of our own making, but a battle with fanatics who would kill all of us if they could. Hitler, as bad as he was, did not go as far as Muslims would have us go.A proud “infidel”

  • meowomon

    In the 19th century Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people. I’d say religion today (christianity, islam and judaism in particular) seem to be the methamphetamine of the people. Y’all need to realize that men wrote these books, not God. Oh and by the way all of you “religious” people, thanks for destroying the planet and perpetuating hate and destruction and fear. If THAT is God,then count me as one of the unfaithful, antireligion heathens who love mother earth and all Her glorious creations. And I will do my part to bring peace and love to Mother Earth before it is too late and all these self righteous followers of a male god destroy Her beautiful worl

  • phvr38

    The West (not just the US, but Europe & Latin America as well), having discarded giddily its own religion (respected in the Koran; ours seems not to have returned the favor), has been busy pushing its former religion’s abominations (abortion, homosexuality etc.) upon the Muslim world, which can’t understand how we’d throw away our religion so blithely, making us no longer People of the Book but rather pagans (not a good idea to be one at sharia). Our constant endorsement of the abominations makes Muslims think we’re out to wipe them out, and they won’t let that go unanswered. The West and its churches must recover their values … for which I’m not holding my breath. This idiotic Islam-bashing certainly doesn’t help; those engaged in it should sue their schools.

  • Montedoro

    Good grief! Has Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite ever bothered to learn anything about sharia law? It is really dishonest, though hardly uncommon, for a journalist to write on a topic she knows nothing about. The most popular manual of Sharia law, approved by the highest Islamic religious authorities of Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, is “Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.” Anyone can order it from Amazon. There are many nasty things in there. Here is just one: “Jihad means to make war on non-Muslims.” Is that clear enough for you?

  • [email protected]

    It is rare to find so much ignorance posted in such a small space. First, please read a book by Karen Armstrong, almost any one, but The History of God or Islam: A short history or Muhammed are the ones that come to mind. Second, while I can’t comment on Canada as it is a different situation than the US, the first amendment both guarantees the right to respect Sharia for practicing Muslims and prohibits government recognition or institutionalization of any canon law, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, whatever. If Islamic practice comes into conflict with civil law, then any action contrary to that law can be prosecuted, and should be. For most Muslims it will not be a problem, just as most Christians don’t feel a need to blow up abortion clinics. And, lastly Newt Gingrich is the last person in the world to be giving anyone lessons on morality, public or private. His life is an example of what we should all avoid–leaving his wife in a sick bed for another woman, being convicted of ethics violations in office, etc. He shows by his actions that he is amoral and will trash Muslims, Jews, Christians or whoever is available and vulnerable in order to regain power. Uhhh, I’m not Christian, but didn’t I just describe the anti-Christ? Well, I’m sure he isn’t that bad, but amoral about sums it up.

  • nolib1

    Unlike Obama, McCarthy loved this country and tried to save it from our enemies. It is unfortunate that Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite was given a forum to display her ignorance and lefty, America-hating views. Obama is bent on destroying this country, hopefully he will be neutered in November.

  • veerle1

    The “Anti-Christ”???Too funny. Seriously, tax the hell out of all religions until they are driven out of business.

  • 12thgenamerican

    the islamists will make it clear to you again susan, who they are.

  • SukieTawdry

    Is it that you don’t recognize the inherent threats in both the word and practice of Sharia, Ms. Thistlethwaite, or won’t recognize them? Because they surely exist.Not to put a fine point on defending Joe McCarthy, but there actually were communist subversives in the federal government and neither McCarthy’s Senate committee nor HUAC were responsible for creating the black lists.

  • Buckstop

    All would be well if the undemocratic Arab Islamic nations (that’s 21 out of 22 of them) would be the ones to “practice our cherished ideals of religious freedom.” The source of the tension, Ms. Thistlethwaite, is not the Right’s fear of Sharia or anything else. It is the Left that is so afraid of snarling, rioting, angry Muslims that they cannot begin to carry out your last phrase and “debate its many ideas in the public place.” It is the gutlessness of the religious and political left (with whom I am very close in fact) that forbids me to even gently mention parts of Islam that seem like childish supersition, on the way to having a mutual understanding. Even at Harvard, young Muslims unfailingly come to a religious forum waving and, yes, thumping their Koran while their every word adds to an uncompromising screed of absolutism.

  • cpameetingbook

    Here is another comparison, Ms. Thistlethwaite. I think your writing is very much like that of Joseph Goebbels.

  • mini2

    “Gingrich, perhaps best remembered for his ethics troubles, his resignation from his House Seat and as Speaker of the House, and his confession of an extra-marital affair. . . .” This is, of course, unfair; Newt the Eft, politically, is remembered for “The Contract with America” and the resurgence of a Republican Congress in 1994. The rest is merely indicative of his sad decline.While “Islamophobia” is not a new McCarthyism, there are parallels. For one thing, the attitude plays on the basest fears of the US citizenry. Since 1989, the US has been thrashing around, looking fot a replacement for the Cold War enemy, to justify its colossal “defense” budget. One suspects that the creation of the mujhadeen in Afghanistan in the last stages of that “struggle” has evolved into the necessary antagonist to keep the military-industrial (+intelligence[?]) community prospering.

  • watchmaker

    As a service to On Faith here is a verbatim translation of DAS2′s interesting post from the original Islamophobia:ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION! IT IS A VERY DANGEROUS, MILITANT AND BARBARIC CULT, WHOSE CORE PRINCIPLES ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED STATES. MOSQUES ARE MILITARY CENTERS AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE.Evangelical Christianity is not a religion! it is a very dangerous, militant and barbaric cult, whose core principles are in direct conflict with the principles of the united states. Churches are military centers and should not be allowed anywhere. Christian Terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Rush Limbaugh are routinely celebrated by these so-called “Churches” which are really terrorist training camps. ISLAM DOE S NOT ALLOW FOR:FREEDOM OF SPEECHEvangelical Christianity doe s not allow for:Freedom of speechCONVERT OR DIE, INFIDEL JEWS, HINDUS, BUDDHISTS, CATHOLICS, MORMONS AND ALL OTHER NON-CHRISTIAN CULTS!

  • hakam1

    To better understand why there is opposition to this affront to decency and the United States read the books of the muslim doing this, there will be no mistake, his books his words. Go to Borders, Waldenbooks, Amazon etcImam Faisal Abdul Rauf’s 2004 book had two different titles – one in English and the second in Arabic. In the U.S., his book was called, ‘What’s right with America is what’s right with Islam.”The same book, published in Arabic, bore the name, “The Call from the WTC Rubble: Islamic Da’wah from the Heart of America Post-9/11.”

  • jm125

    Some bozo “[email protected]” did not like the posts critical of islam. Mentioned Karen Amstrong as an enlightening scource on the wonders of islam. Some of historian Amstrongs idiotic and PC observations are; the Franks circa 720 AD were intolerant bigots for crushing the muslim invasion near Tours. Amstrong claimed the muslim moors just strayed across the border into Frankish territory. Idiotic, Tours is much closer to the English channel than Spain and the records (muslim too) tell of mass slaughter and carnage carried out by the muslim invaders on their way to Tours.

  • devluddite

    There is one major similarity between communism and Islamism, both ideologies have plenty of useful idiots and apologists in the USA. See above article for a recent example.

  • ceflynline

    Without reading the article I can respond a definite no, no matter what form Islamophobia takes.McCarthyism was pure unadulterated Right Wing Politics and pure Right Wing power grabbing. That McCarthy invariably tried to link anyone who disagreed with him to the Communists was pure Joe McCarthy fabrication. He DID, of course, accidentally get the names of some Democrats who could vaguely be related to communists somewhere, but the six degrees of separation that McCarthy was willing to accept as proof was sufficient to link McCarthy himself to Communism.Where Islamophobia fits on the spectrum of US vs THEM is immaterial.

  • garcia2

    Is the fear of Islam the new McCarthyism?

  • ThisIsReality

    Thistlethwaite’s column is too stupid to analyze.

  • joshmw

    Wow, it takes a PHD in political science to find someone in the GOP to attack, meanwhile getting sensitive in defending Sharia Law, I guess it’s PC to throw women’s rights straight into the toilet now too?At least there is evidence of bloggers beginning to throw out their own opinions, particularly when it means attacking everything in sight, I’m sick and tired of knee jerk defend everything liberal or conservative at all costs no matter what. Who is paying you guys, and if not why do you do this for free??

  • mgbgt95

    It is extraordinary that I live in a country where the free expression of ideas & discourse have plumbed to such unenlightened depths. Give the People the opportunity to express themselves & it just seems that the Founding Fathers were right afterall : We cannot allow the People to vote directly for President because they are either too stupid, too lazy or too dogmatic to make any sense at all.Thank you Ms Thistlethwaite for a wonderful article.

  • aandfv

    Is it no wonder outsiders fear American expansion (while not fearing or loathing the American people and their true ideals) Its comments posted like these to an excellent article using history as a warning. Why don’t you read the message?I once heard a expert predict the next time there are concentration camps in Europe, there will be Muslims in those camps. That is what happened in the former Yugoslavia.If this anti muslim sentiment reaches a frenzy, and actions like burn the Quran day are allowed to happen (muslims are not allowed to damage the bible, it is considered a sacred text) then it won’t be long before I and my wife and seven year old son, as muslims could end up in future camps.Learn from history, show balance, keep an open mind, and Peace to all.

  • arkns

    This is quite a stupid article. To be on your toes about Islam is no McCarthyism. This is a pretty violent prone anti-Democratic and anti-secular cult. It is not a religion, if religion means fostering greater understanding among diverse peoples of the world. This is a fanatic and intolerant cult. That fellow Muhammed did an irreparable harm to human relations, to fostering greater understanding among people of all faiths. If Allah is a God, He is a strange God indeed if he talks about infidels and asking the faithful to conquer, convert, or kill them. What kind of God is this? So Islam indeed is a dangerous faith as it is professed, as it is written.

  • areyousaying

    An intolerant “Christian” theocracy coming to Gringrinch’s Jesuslandia soon.

  • AskgharZa

    Gingrich is right on this one (only this issue). Islam can not and should not be called a religion. Its human rights records and violence are worse than Nazis. Here is a sample from newspapers in past 8 hours: civilians targeted and blown up in Afghanistan and Iraq; 20 killed in ethnic violence in Pakistan; 2 Muslim men from Guyana (of all places) convicted of a terror plot bigger than 9/11; Muslims in Kashmir, India involved in terror and violence….

  • areyousaying

    Gringrinch, Atwater, Rove, McCarthy and Hitler all used the same playbook:Rally the hapless masses against a common enemy by demonizing them and creating fear, uncertainty and doubt. Only this time, Limbaugh hate radio and RNC Fox News piles on.Stupid, stupid American lemming teabaggers and their inbred white-supremacist cousins, the Huckabee “Christians”

  • AskgharZa

    Read the lastest edition of TIME magazine to understand how Muslims treat women or today;s NY Times to know about how maids are treated by Arabs.

  • carlbatey

    Do we really want to encourage a group who worships a baby raping mass murderer as their prophet and demand the conversion or subjugation of every other faith? Everything about Islam is anathema to the western principles of personal freedom. There is no middle ground.

  • areyousaying

    …Communists and Muslims and Negroes – oh my!

  • cadam72

    The hatred here is repugnant. The 2.57 billion Muslims in the world, not the 2 million in the US attacked the US. We were attacked by 20 terrorists by plane, with the backing of Bin Laden, who turned against mainstream Islam, and perhaps 500 backers. We are not at war with Islam, and certainly not with moderate American muslims. Over the past 9 years, there have perhaps been 30 “radical” muslims in the US, hardly an “uprising”. Sharia law for moderate muslims is not so differant from the Jewish courts found here or conservati ve bible principles. If you are to look at our own biblbe and cherry pick verses, you will surely find slavery, killing non believers, stoning adulterers, etc. Hardly what you would want others to say christianity is about. Meet your muslim neighbors and learn what you have in common.

  • hofbrauhausde

    The hatred here is repugnant. The 2.57 billion Muslims in the world, not the 2 million in the US attacked the US. We were attacked by 20 terrorists by plane, with the backing of Bin Laden, who turned against mainstream Islam, and perhaps 500 backers. Quick: how many of those 2.57 billion stepped forward and unequivocably stated that this was a perversion of their religion? Answer: fewer than the 500 backers. The only thing that lame front groups like CAIR could do was say something with thunderclap stupidity like, “Now, don’t judge all Muslims because of this.” OK, how about the beheadings, and the use of the disabled as suicide bombers, and murdering people for watching the World Cup, and honor killings, and Fort Hood, and shoe bombers, and Times Square, and the USS Cole, and the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the Mali bombings, and the bombings in Uganda. Who are you to criticize “hatred”? Instead of “hatred” on a message board, where’s your phony outrage over real acts of hatred?

  • hofbrauhausde

    Meet your muslim neighbors and learn what you have in common. =========================I can think of a few things: praying to a God that is “most merciful” and then handing out a death penalty to anyone who converts otherwise. My next-door neighbor is a Muslim who converted to Christianity years ago, and she lives in fear to this day of her father’s relatives that may physically harm her – or worse. Seems like Allah can be merciful, but his followers? Naaaaah. Here’s another difference: we neither worship nor follow a child molester. Mohammed married a six-year-old girl, but because he such a swell guy, didn’t consummate the marriage until she was nine. Yesirree, these days, the SOB would be thrown in jail, but in Islam? Kill everyone who disagrees.

  • hofbrauhausde

    The hatred here is repugnant.One more thing, since you’re such an expert. We’ll have a conversation about building a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center when Muslims agree to having churches built in Mecca. Or at least agree to people openly carrying Bibles in Saudi Arabia.

  • rashomon

    The comments here certainly indicate that the paranoid, xenophobic right will always give opportunists and grifters like Gingrich and McCarthy plenty to work with.

  • msmithnv

    Not all Muslims are terrorists although a huge percentage of Muslims in majority Muslim nations condone terrorist attacks. However almost all terrorist attacks in the world today are conducted by Muslims in the name of Allah. Why? Mohammed spoke of the need to purge all non Muslims from Muslim lands and to conquer and convert or enslave or kill those unwilling to convert in other nations Muslims are encouraged to conquer. Lebanon is a multicultural paradise conquered by Islamists who multiplied thorough multiple wives. The children then became of age got the vote and then changed the laws to favor their own ascension and hunted down and drove out or killed those who invited them into their country. Lebanon is now destroyed a viper state of Hezbollah

  • DesiHungama

    There are currently 5-6 countries in the Middle East that are operating under the Sharia Law and there are over 55 Muslim countries. Even the ones running sharia at this time are engaged in politicall reforms and people at large debating to do away with it. So, where is Gingrich coming from the we don’t want Sharia in US. Of course, we don’t. The Muslims don’t even want Sharia in their own countries for pete’s sake. Speaking of Sharia, has anyone ever even read it? It says “an eye for an eye”. Sounds very biblical to me.

  • kanishka1

    To know the other side of Islam just visit the following website with an open mind: FAITHFREEDOM.ORG or ISLAMEXPOSED.BLOGSPOT.COMor WIKIISLAM.COM

  • garrafa10

    “To establish the conclusion the US is at war with Islam would require evidence that al qeada or groups affiliated with them have large scale support across the Islamic world, that they have received large scale aid, approve of and would participate in such attacks. The fact that al qeada seems incapable of operating in any country other then failed nation states seems to belie this conclusion. Memebers of al qeada have been arrested and executed in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Indonesia. The only gov’t on the planet who have openly supported them is the Taliban and the US is at war with the Taliban for this very reason.POSTED BY: KCHSES1″You are a mongoloid. Al-Qaeda is but one Salafist group around the world. Do you even know that term? Furthermore, some of us are not all afraid of Islam but instead, want to speak to Islam, Muslims, and people like you in their own language, forthrightly and uncompromisingly. You are beyond being a useful idiot.

  • albertasaurusrex

    Before 9/11, I had little opinion and little knowledge of Islam. After 9/11, some Muslim comentators, probably making lemonade out of lemons, said that at least the event and coverage of Islam would educate non-Muslims about their fine religion. Instead, after nearly a decade of education, I can only conclude that Islam is a form of social cancer and is very frightful indeed. I am still looking for a reason to think otherwise.

  • JamesCurrin

    This is a remarkably shallow and poorly reasoned piece by one whom I understand to be expert in the field of comparative religion. Sharia law, which was the central topic of Newt Gingrich’s remarks. is integral to Islam. Ms. Thistlewaite, other than being against it, has nothing to say about it. All the blather about McCarthyism is quite beside the point. Two questions need to be asked: Is Sharia law compatible with any form of liberal democracy, and do Muslims attempt to impose it upon those societies where they are sufficiently numerous to do so? The answer to the first question is definitely no. There is a great deal of evidence that the answer to the second may be yes. I would remind her that the word “Islam” means submission, so it is all important that we know who it is that must submit.

  • fishcrow

    Huh. I thought Christophobia, and all of the ugly assaults on Christianity in popular TV, movies, stage shows, political columns, art museums… I thought that was the new McCarthyism?

  • Louis117

    What the heck is “cultural creativity”? Sounds like a bunch of hogwash to me, pardon my lack of vocabulary. For reals though, this article is ridiculous. The author apparently knows very little about Islam or Communism for that matter and to her own demise I might add.

  • garrafa10

    The author is an idiot and has absolutely no idea about the ideology of the Salafists. Indeed, we are not even allowed to openly name the Islamist enemy in our mass media, and therefore most Americans have no idea what and who the term Salafist and Salafism refers to specifically. Yet this useful idiot fears we are being too harsh to her precious Muslim friends. Furthermore, some of us are not at all afraid of Islam or its followers but would actually like to speak to them forthrightly in their own language. No doubt she still believes in the innocence of the Rosenbergs.

  • termiteavenger

    Again this author uses her political beliefs as her guide and hides behind her religious beliefs. How can anyone in a western world say that shariah law has any substance. Remember, this is the law that is used to stone people to death, it cuts off hands, it says that a woman can’t even allege she was raped unless 4 men confirm the fact. How could anyone in a western culture even imply that shariah law is in any way compatible with western beliefs.

  • street1776

    Who says money doesn’t buy good publicity, suddenly all these articles supporting the “ground zero” mosque are on the front page. It’s the Saudi money hard at work, and why not, after all they’re funding the mosque.

  • garrafa10

    “During most of the time that Islamic governments ruled North Africa, the Mideast and the Iberian peninsula, other religions were permitted and respected. Indeed, in the present time Islam is not a religion of extemism. However, tghe extremists get the press and they are useful for the likes of Gingrich, Boykin and all the crazies of the far religious right,who would be all too happy to impose Fundamentalist Christian “Sharia” on the rest of us.POSTED BY: GRATIANUS” Christians and Jews were forced to pay a humiliating tax to practice their religion in their own lands in the Iberian peninsula. The Muslims were neither welcomed nor invited to invade Spain. Not for nothing is the patron saint of Spain know as “Saint James the Muslim-Killer”. This fictional multi-cultural fantasy world of toleration is an invention by precious academics and people like yourself.

  • shewholives

    More useful idiots.

  • JamesCurrin

    An afterthought: Allow me to apologize for having misspelled Ms. Thistlethwaite’s name. What a jawbreaker though. I can’t say it without spitting on myself.

  • LadyChurchillUSA

    Too bad you didn’t get the real news Susan, McCarthy was right and the KGB files proved it. The fact is that a so called religion that proposes homosexuals should be beheaded and women should be stoned for adultery and blamed if they are raped is no religion at all but a fanatical belief in something very far from God.

  • drjcarlucci

    Take a look at the cover of Time Magazine this week.That’s Sharia in action.I guess I’m a bigot because I think that cutting off the nose and ears of disobedient women is barbaric.

  • Observer20

    What an ignorant dumb writer. So she personally does not like Sharia. Personal opinions, constitutional law, history, et al do not matter if Muslim zealots gain power. Their motto is more like “Off with your head”.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    The horror on Time Magazine is illegal under Sharia law, as are honor killings in nearly all cases. Those are all cases of illegal actions, no system allows random vigilante actions. Nothing in Islam suggests that women who are raped are guilty, the penalty for rape is death. The legal rules of Sharia do make it very hard for a women to convict a man, and the rule that a women’s testimony is worth 1/4 as much as mans is a horror, but its not because they are trying to punish woman for rape.

  • CalP

    How does someone who believes in democracy and the freedoms that go along with it, including the equality provisions be supportive of the establishment of Sharia Law in the U.S.? Is it because the Constitution has been breached and is “de facto” non existant anymore?If one considers the site of the twin towers to be a sacred site, should building codes be the deciding factor of what is appropriate and what is not?There is some confusion of the separation of church and state. To argue that protection of a sacred site is bringing state politics to bear to hinder a religious right, should also lead one to believe and argue that government’s use of religious organizations and their leaders to push their political ideas is the unhealthy mixing of church and state.

  • Nymous

    Christians & Muslims worship the same God. Neither of them offer much more than proof of human evil with their hatred & intolerance. Those acts, and that hate, argue against their theology holding any truth.

  • wantingbalance

    McCarthy tried to link innocent people to a communist belief. No one question his link of known communist organizations to other communist organizations. It can be argued that communism was and remains an enemy of capitalism although now the battle is waged without guns. Comparing the battle for one’s mind to the battle for one’s soul (implied, life) is a bit different. A simple comparison of Marx’ The Communist Manifesto with the Koran will show that as bad as the communist agenda was, it pales in comparison to the Koran. Another difference is that many individuals who were linked to communist organizations denied the link and their beliefs. I’ve not heard one Muslim deny they are Muslim nor that the Koran in Surah 9:5 demands that Muslims kill non Muslims. As for death of a woman who was raped…not a year goes by without the report of at least one woman who is put to death by the state or as an honor killing for simply being in the wrong place or causing her own rape by dressing suggestively. It is one thing to defend the truth and another to defend a lie. Bless the Muslim that denies his/her faith and openly denies Surah 9:5. But I won’t hold my breath until that happens.

  • Robert2008

    Gingrich is right. Sharia is the greatest threat because Sharia for all is the end-game of the Islamist movement. The author’s invocation of McCarthism is a red-herring.

  • mischipotles

    i wonder how an article on the tenets of the sanhedrin or pedophilia among the haredim would be received by the readers. after all, according to the sanhedrin, there is no death penalty for the killing of a gentile, no need to return the stolen property of a gentile and o.k. to engage in sex with a minor under 3y.o., since, like tears in a poked eye, her virginity will return.

  • rhwest

    “If there is a “narrative” abroad in the world that justifies violence against the West because the West “hates Islam,”Really?Last time I checked the West welcomed all religions. Isn’t there a massive mosque in Rome? Why isn’t there a single chruch or even a Christian bible allowed in Mecca? So, who is it that’s doing the hating?No, my dear Susan, it is Islam that hates the West.

  • jfv123

    A partial list of countries where Muslims are fighting or pesecuting Bhudists, Hindus, various Christian religions, Animists, Zoroastians, Baha’i Zoroastrians and Athiests in approximate geographic order from East Asia to West. My apologies, if I omitted any persecuted group – its a big club.Oops, I almost forgot. Muslim countries are the only place in the world its apparently an acceptable form of debate acceptable to bomb a Mosque when you have a religious disagreement with someone down the street. When there aren’t any people of any other religion left alive, devotees the religion of peace turns on its own.Muslims have the ability to change their reputation by changing their behavior. Christians used to do a lot of the same things. We changed. Until Muslims change, forgive the rest of the world for being a little cautious about our Muslim brothers. “God is Great” is often the last thing non-Muslims hear before they are killed.

  • bethg1841

    Gringrinch, Atwater, Rove, McCarthy and Hitler all used the same playbook:Back to the actual subject at hand. There is no hatred for Islam, the fear and hatred is directed toward the extremists who commit murder in the name of Islam.

  • davsthoughts

    I am very pleased to inform you that Islamophobia is well established in many other parts of the world and it is interesting to see America entering the discussion so late. Islamophobia is based on the fact that Islam is, in its essence, entirely the antithesis of democracy. It does not believe in free speech, religious freedom, music, comparative religion… the list goes on and on.

  • detoqueville

    To say that Christianity is a harmless entity is just plain, well, wrong. It’s doing what is has always done: divide societies into us and them and work to destroy “them.” It is what happens when Under God is placed between the words One Nation and Indivisible.

  • shewholives

    Muslims have demanded the building of the Islamic Supremacist Ground Zero mosque against the wishes of the majority of people in this country. Now they are concerned about Islamophobia? What did they think was going to happen? Muslims are their own worst enemy.

  • patmatthews

    “an in-depth look into Christian prophecy only to conclude that it will be from the religion of Islam that the anti-Christ will come forth from.”This is what is wrong with modern American thinking. Using your religion to say the other religion is EVIL is just wrong. I am a Buddhist and I find this type of dialog offensive and ineffective to leading to any undewrstanding, whatsoever.Perhaps the Anti-Christ will come from Christianity. Buddhism teaches that Buddhism can ONLY be destroyed from within and not without. Perhaps Christians should start taking responsibility for ehtir own religion and STOP blaming ISLAM for Christianity’s failings.

  • mini2

    AGAPN9 wrote:”I never read that the Hindus attacked the muslims either.”In fact the Hindus have been remarkably patience with the muslims over the last 500 years and what has it gotten them?”You haven’t read much; go back to early 20th-century Indian history and the after-effects of partition in 1947. The blood-letting continues.

  • patmatthews

    “There is one argument used, that says any criticism of Islam means that you ‘hate all Muslims’”The Jewish community says the same thning regarding anti-semitism. hmmmFundamentalism is dangerous no matter what your religios beliefs are.

  • upgp46

    not surprising to see such a sophomoric piece of writting from the Post. They obviously agree with the Wimp In Charge that we should all just sit down and play nice with Islamic nations and their religion. It is an insidious, evil form of “faith”, founded on the principle that anyone other than a “true believer” is to be converted or destroyed. And our WIC is perfectly willing to sell us out, just so he can be seen as one of the “nice guys”. Can hardly waiting to see Mrs. WIC in appropriate Muslim dress.

  • agapn9

    I will never forget how catholics in Saudia Arabia had to bribe the janitor so they could use a high school gym to have mass by candle light at 3:00 am in the morning so that they wouldn’t be discovered and killed.Did they hate the Saudis – no – they were aware of Saudi irrational fear, bias, and hatred of christianity and accepted it. It was their country but this is our country.

  • kchses1

    You are a mongoloid. Al-Qaeda is but one Salafist group around the world. Do you even know that term? Furthermore, some of us are not all afraid of Islam but instead, want to speak to Islam, Muslims, and people like you in their own language, forthrightly and uncompromisingly. You are beyond being a useful idiot.___________________________________________Yes I do know what the word Salfist means and mongoloid. Not sure how you would determine that about my background from my remarks but my grandparents were Irish. The expression is often used in racist circles and propaganda. May I assume your a racist? Since you didn’t address my argument I can assume your not capable. Clearly my argument was beyond your education level. However it is still correct even though you don’t understand it. Al qeada does not equal Islam in spite of what you may think (or not think I would say is more accurate). I’ll assume your not afraid but your words belie that assumption. They are filled with hate and anger. The cause of that is usually fear.

  • shewholives

    Proud to be kafir.

  • ksilton

    All US Citizens should be allowed to freely express their views and practice their religion within our laws. But that does not mean we should let any more Muslims be US citizens. IF they are allowed into the US for some reason, they should be made to leave at the end of their visa. No extensions, no citizenship for them or their children. Maybe they can go to Europe, or better yet, go home and make whatever country they came from better from whatever was learned here.

  • whocares666

    The religious right hates the religious right.

  • areyousaying

    All US Citizens should be allowed to freely express their views and practice their religion within our laws. But that does not mean we should let any more Irish Catholics be US citizens. IF they are allowed into the US for some reason, they should be made to leave at the end of their visa. No extensions, no citizenship for them or their children. Maybe they can go to Europe, or better yet, go home and make whatever country they came from better from whatever was learned here.

  • kchses1

    I have find the mind set of many of the posts on here….dissapointing. They display a tremendous amount of ignorance, stereotyping and plan old fashion hate. I would ask everyone to consider the following;If this conversation was happening on 9/10/01 it would have been inconceivable. No one would have profferd the opinion that Islam was trying to take over the world. No one would have been warning us to look at medieval history and projecting Islamic plans for conquest and infiltration of our society. It would have been treated as nonsense and rightfully so. Why are so many willing to give so much power and influence over 1.5 billion people to such a small group of psychopaths? One of al qeada’s stated objectives was to start a war between Islam and the US. Why does anyone wish to give these barbarians exactly what they want when no reason for it existed before these barbarians managed to kill 3000 of us?

  • collegekid1

    I must ask, how many people commenting on this post have actually met a Muslim? I never did until college, but having met a devout Muslim, I doubt very highly that she poses a threat to national security. Yes, she wears a headscarf. Yes, she attends prayers every Friday. Yes, she can quote the Koran. But she is perfectly capable of engaging in day-to-day life in the United States and interacting with people of other faiths or no faith. Had I reacted towards all Muslims with fear or mistrust, I would have missed several friends. Indeed, the Bible itself warns against blanket generalizations; did not Abraham ask that God spare Sodom and Gemorrah should even ten rightous people be found in the cities? “Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer,” according to Blackstone, but fear tactics tend to invert this ratio.

  • mischipotles

    collegekid1, excellent response.“There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”– Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, The King’s Torah

  • dingle999

    Jesus I am amazed by the comments posted here how many loopheads read the “Washington Post”. As an Irish person living in the South of Ireland by experience I have seen what ‘one church’ (the Catholic Church) can do to a country. I have also seen in relation to Northern Ireland when the irrationally of religion is allowed to go rampant thus leading to conflict and voilence. So people get some reality all religion incl Christainity , Islam and yes Judaism in their extreme form i.e. when everything taken from their Bibles is the literal truth – yes they can all be dangerous.In relation to S D Rodrian posting and reading some of your poems – I sense diversity of culture is not your thingAnd to the “rational” person who said “Everything about Islam is anathema to the western principles of personal freedom. There is no middle ground”

  • judithclaire1939

    The Ugly American, written in l955, is even more alive today! Holy Cow!

  • Chippewa

    If America becomes Islamic, and Ms. Thistlethwaite were to be convicted of adultery, she would be buried up to her neck in a public place and men would bash her skull with stones until she died. When are we going to face the fact that many Islamic facilities are providing cover for radicals who wish to kill all non-believers who don’t convert. We’re committing suicide with our political correctness.

  • fcs25

    This article is written by someone that either hasn’t a clue about Islam or they know and they are lying or they are to afraid to speak the truth. Islam is a religion of violence and hate.History proves this fact beyond all doubt.Mohammad was a pedophile and a cold blooded murderer.

  • Vennicone

    When I worked in Saudi Arabia in the early 90s, I found my liberal values severely challenged by the absolute dogma of what I came to see as a totalitarian state. The nearest analogy I could come up with was the perceived fear of the old Soviet Union. (Which now seems laughably benign compared to what I’ve experienced). Radical Muslims do not recognise national boundaries but simply feel that the planet needs ‘cleansed’ of all other humanity that does not subscribe to their views. Some on this forum have commented about the idea that our values will defeat this malignancy. I once dearly hoped so too. But it is our values that they hate. They abhor ‘free speech’ and ‘democracy’ and ‘individual freedom’ etc. I would very much like to live in a world where decency, love, integrity and personal choice convey their own virtue,but this is chillingly different. If you can remember the fear that many had for communism, it perhaps now seems quaint – the Islamists are the real thing, they truly DO want to kill you.

  • EvilOverlord

    @TheJacob – Well, certainly Christian prophecy is the first place I’d look for a reasonable answer about Islam. Islam is no more frightening than any other religion (they’re all a bit scary). It’s the adherents and their dangerous philosophies that you have to watch out for, not the religions themselves.

  • wireman65

    Posted by: TheJacob | August 1, 2010 5:57 PM

  • Kingofkings1

    The professor is close to target, but judging from many of the responses, it seems like people like to have history repeat itself, even in this enlightened age. Having an enemy that you can hate and against whom you can arouse the masses, especially the least educated ones, has been used throughout ages for the benefit of the worst degenerates of society reaching the pinnacles of power, including Hitler, Milosevic, Stalin, Lieberman (of Israel) etc; I wouldn’t be surprised if Gingrich joins that club before Glenn Beck does. If standing up to tyranny at this time is not what America can do, it is finished as an ideal, and may end up as any extremist ideology failed state ( as a counter-response to its its perceived enemy in Islam)

  • dgw1091

    It seems there is a great deal of sympathizers with this column, unafraid to cite xenophobia, bigotry, hatred, etc. for the opinions of the anti-Islamist. This column was created to claim that anti-Islamism is the new McCarthyism. Maybe. I choose to see the other side, those that practice sharia, those that claim to be devout muslims. It is plain on prima facia evidence that they also practice McCarthyism that is very politically expedient- anti-Semitism and anti-secularism. There may be dissenting voices in the Islamic world, but if that were the case sympathizers here would repeat them. Additionally, not only is their form of McCarthyism unrepentant, it is more violent. McCarthy’s actions never caused a public execution for beliefs.Several sympathetic commentors have claimed that sharia isn’t all bad, and that there are many examples of it working in places. I’ll accept that if they are willing to accept that there is a cultural conflict going on within Islam where the most, and most vocal, people in the debate desire nothing less than the subjugation of non-muslims and domination of sharia- which leads rational people to believe that Islam really desires to be world dominant. This message have literally been the same since at least 1979 in the modern context, and since the 7th century at its heart.There are also many apologists for the Islamic community who are trotting out the labels of the PC ’90s to attempt to shame their opponents into what they see as more civilized behavior. The weird thing is that the same speeches of tolerance and diversity that they would give to all those “filled with hate” are one of the main reasons the radical muslims hate America and the secular west in the first place. Or do we need to be reminded that “there are no homosexuals in Iran?”Yes, our rabid war-like “christians” are similar to the rabid, war-like “muslims.” That’s not a stretch, and is obvious. Too obvious. If Islam was so peaceful and tolerant of other religions, why wouldn’t they openly side with our radical right? If our radical right truly hated a diverse and tolerant America, why wouldn’t they side with Islam?I don’t hate muslims. I listen to them and to their leaders. And I believe them both. I reject their leaders’ ideas, and choose to protect myself from their bigotry, hatred, and fear. That is not fear or hate, it is prudence.

  • yameenzusnet

    Islam has a potent ideology and the fear of its domination is genuine. For example it requires that you give away in charity to poor 2.5 percent of your savings every year. Taxes do not count. It requires that you cannot hoard or speculate in the trading of commodities. It forbids priesthood- no paid priests or Imams ( this is why most of (rogue )Imams work for intelligence in this country and support dictatorships ). There are many others values including a lot that are common with the ideology of Christians and Jews. The rogue elements of all these religions including Islam ( Hitlers, Stalins, Czars, Henry the VIIIs, Milosovics, Talibans etc. )want to keep the ideology of Islam and the genuine ideology of Jesus and Moses embroil into controversies, colonialism, kingdoms, dictatorships etc. ( mostly arranged by the West ) for their selfish interests. Why else would we kill millions of innocent people in World Wars and colonial/neocolonial wars, some in the name of religion?

  • areyousaying

    The real issue with this and immigration is that the white Founding Fathers never dreamed of a scenario where they would be in the minority. We now look to the possible religious, ethnic and cultural nightmare of others in the majority dictating their theocracy upon us. Whites are now terrified by the democracy they invented.

  • Garak

    The problem with Islam is simple. Islam is a religion. Religion is inherently irrational, and makes its dupes do irrational acts. We need only look to Israel to see this, with its religiously-based apartheid system. And Christianity has endless examples, such as Europe’s religious wars during the Reformation and its institutionalized anti-semitism. Islam is no better, and no worse, than any other primitive system of irrational beliefs.

  • woodstock-41

    Did Mr. MUHAMMAD Koresh-tribe Called US, (None Ishmali’s), “Kafir”s? Or was it the ANGEL Mr. or Ms. Gabriel that spaketh it as written in any or ALL Quran/Koran(s)?

  • DAS2

    ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION! IT IS A VERY DANGEROUS, MILITANT AND BARBARIC CULT, WHOSE CORE PRINCIPLES ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED STATES. MOSQUES ARE MILITARY CENTERS AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE.ISLAM DOE S NOT ALLOW FOR:FREEDOM OF SPEECH (REQUIRES THE DEATH OF ANYONE DRAWING CARTOONS OF MOHAMMAD)TO READ MORE ON WHAT ISLAM TEACHES, GOOGLE: TOP TEN REASONS WHY SHARIA IS BAD FOR ALL SOCIETIES

  • vincent27

    Contrary to what the author of the article contends, the debate over the distance of a mosque from ground zero is not absurd. The problem comes with those who categorize opponents to the mosque as Islamophobes. The logic used is the following: Letting a community practice its religion is ensconced in the U.S. constitution and values. Sounds good on the surface. However, a closer look reveals that supporting the construction of a mosque, Coranic school, etc. anywhere in the U.S. would be, well, un-American. Why? Because the Muslim community makes a mockery of two of the country’s important founding principles: the equality of all individuals and the freedom to practice religion (including the religion of one’s choice). Regarding equality: Women are not considered equal to men and suffer greatly because of this. Their manner of dress is not a question of religion or personal choice. It is an outward sign of submission imposed by the Imams and hence the community. Daughters of Muslim parents living in the West who do not conform to the dress code are punished or killed, as seen recently in Canada with supposed honor killings by parents of their own children. Muslim countries are not comfortable with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights precisely because of the status it recognizes for women. They consequently came up with their own watered down version (The Cairo Declaration oh Human Rights in Islam). Concerning freedom of religion: Muslims are not free to choose their religion. Depending on the country where they are located, the punishment for apostasy ranges from bullying and violence to imprisonment and death. If you naively believe that either lack of equality or violent punishment for apostasy are not inherent to the Muslim culture (because perhaps a Muslim or two told you so), then you need to learn about taqiyya. Supporting the building of mosques (and by extension the spread of this totalitarian ideology) contributes to the undermining of American values and Western values in general. An excellent read in relation to this growing problem is the 2006 piece by Paul Marek at

  • DAS2

    …BY THE WAY, TIM MCVEIGH AND CO-HORTS DID NOT COMMIT THEIR ACT OF TERROR IN THE NAME OF CHRISTIANITY. THEY DID IT FOR POLITICAL/MILITANT REASONS…

  • vincent27

    Contrary to what the author of the article contends, the debate over the distance of a mosque from ground zero is not absurd. The problem comes with those who categorize opponents to the mosque as Islamophobes. The logic used is the following: Letting a community practice its religion is ensconced in the U.S. constitution and values. Sounds good on the surface. However, a closer look reveals that supporting the construction of a mosque, Coranic school, etc. anywhere in the U.S. would be, well, un-American. Why? Because the Muslim community makes a mockery of two of the country’s important founding principles: the equality of all individuals and the freedom to practice religion (including the religion of one’s choice). Regarding equality: Women are not considered equal to men and suffer greatly because of this. Their manner of dress is not a question of religion or personal choice. It is an outward sign of submission imposed by the Imams and hence the community. Daughters of Muslim parents living in the West who do not conform to the dress code are punished or killed, as seen recently in Canada with supposed honor killings by parents of their own children. Muslim countries are not comfortable with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights precisely because of the status it recognizes for women. They consequently came up with their own watered down version (The Cairo Declaration oh Human Rights in Islam). Concerning freedom of religion: Muslims are not free to choose their religion. Depending on the country where they are located, the punishment for apostasy ranges from bullying and violence to imprisonment and death. If you naively believe that either lack of equality or violent punishment for apostasy are not inherent to the Muslim culture (because perhaps a Muslim or two told you so), then you need to learn about taqiyya. Supporting the building of mosques (and by extension the spread of this totalitarian ideology) contributes to the undermining of American values and Western values in general. An excellent read in relation to this growing problem is the 2006 piece by Paul Marek at

  • LeeH1

    What if the Moslems won in Israel? Suppose the Arab armies won and killed all the Israeli soldiers, leaving only the women, old men and boys?I would love to read some good fiction on what would happen in Palestine afterwards? Would they kill or enslave the women? Kille hte men and boys? Impose Sharia law? How would they distribute the land in Palestine, as well as the booty and loot?Would they be virtuous winners, or rage inspired conquerers, determined to revenge on the Jews all that they can?Why is there no fiction out there about what would happen the day after the Arabs won? Or is this topic about establishing a new Moselm state too controversial?Writers? Where are you when we need you?

  • Keesvan

    Unlike Obama, McCarthy loved this country and tried to save it from our enemies. /// Sorry, but this bit of nonsense shouldn’t go unchallenged. Joe McCarthy was a blot on America and her history. He was antisemitic and ruined the lives of many people for no other reason. He saw a communist under every bed. Now we hear that there’s a ‘socialist’ in the White House. It’s the same ugly demos – same fear mongering hatred. It was a shameful time in American history. Unfortunately, history often repeats itself.

  • bryangalt1

    It looks like the verdict is in by the comments here today:1. The Muslim religion is a cult.Does this sound about right? Make no mistake about it, these rules can apply to either side of the argument. Let’s not forget that the conquest of the America’s always had the military and the Church side by side during its wholesale slaughter.Even today there are radical Christian churches that have come out and stated that people who don’t believe in Christ should be killed, right here in the USA! Are we going to persecute and eject these maniacs too?The real bottom line comes to this:1. Is the position of our constitution so weak that society would capitulate to the Muslim faith simply because the religion exists here?Frankly, this is proof positive of why religion should never be allowed to have any influence on government, ANY RELIGION. We are tempting fate, and risking the loss of the very freedoms that allow this discussion. Is that going to be worth it in the end?

  • quiet1

    Our banks in league with the drug cartels and former special forces personnel are more dangerous to our nation than any religion.

  • WmarkW

    Did any Soldiers of Marx shoot up an army base?Did any Communist husbands behead their wives for not supporting their endeavors?Did any Leninist families “honor kill” their female relatives for dating outside the dialectic?Did newspapers refuse to run anti-communist articles for fear of violence from them?”McCarthyism” means to aggrandize oneself by creating enemies to battle. Muslim violence is not a figment of imagination.

  • CarmanK

    After 9/11 the president told us to go shopping and not let the terrorists win by frightening US into disrupting our regular lives. For all those who claim religious belief and US patriotism, how can they possibly FEAR that muslims threaten our society and our freedoms. It is the extreme islam that fears the US freedoms guaranteed under our constitution. The US is the leader of the western world, our standard of living is the envy of the world and a perceived goal for developing nations. There are extreme “bigots” in all races and all countries. But the Americans who practice Islam are guaranteed their freedom to worship as they wish. They are the ones sticking it to AlQaeda. They are americans, they can practice their faith in America, better than any where else in the world. They are not tyrannized by the Taliban, AlQaeda,Sharia Law. No one in this country will have their hand cut off as a punishment, nor will their rapist go free while the victim is punished. I say the Islam Community Center should be built with gusto and celebration of what real freedom is all about.

  • gotahc

    WOW! it truly saddens me how ignorant some ppl can be. Islam IS a peaceful religion but that in itself is not synonoumus with that all muslims are peaceful, and whether they are following the teachings of its founder. A lot of other factors play in such as economics, politics. Take a look at the “muslim world” and examine how many are illiterate+ poor. in these times even a layman can become a mullah. Stuff like black magic, hokus pokus and fairytales have entered the teachings of mullahs.(mind you, we have been through the same path here in the west) Islam cannot be said to reflect what it was before. However, it would be wrong to dismiss the religion itslef as you ppl. are doing.

  • twforg

    Fear has paralyzed Muslim leaders — Why else are they not using their trump card?

  • leilaash

    Of course Islamophobia is the new McCarthyism just like McCarthyism was the new Puritan Witchhunting. Do we really change? I think not.

  • jkk1943

    If you want to immerse yourself it what it means to be an Independent Muslim Woman who has the courage to challenge the left’s conceit that Islam is a peaceful religion please read “Nomad” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali is from Somali and settled in Holland where she was part of the Dutch Government. Because she spoke out agains the abuse of Women in Muslim Cultures a Fatwah was issued calling for her death. She know lives in the US and her book is a well documented warning to Western Nations to wake up to the threat of radical Islam. The author is highly critical about the moral and cultural relativism of the left in America and Europe. She believes that the West needs to stand up and support the dissidents in Muslim Countries and call out the Islamic Countries that abuse women and restrict the civil rights of their citizens. Only by understanding the threat of Sharia Law and the impulse of Islam to dominate the West can we hope to counteract its spread and hold on the majority of Muslims who want to live in peace. For the left to call Americans who hold similar views to Hirsi Ali bigots is like the lefts frequent use of the perjorative term racism designed to shut people up rather than engage them in debate.

  • WmarkW

    Of course Islamophobia is the new McCarthyism just like McCarthyism was the new Puritan Witchhunting. Do we really change? I think not.Yes we do change — Faisal Shahzad and Nidal Hasan ADMITTED they acted as “soldiers of Allah” (without the Inquisition torturing them). We’re not projecting societal failures onto innocent people here.

  • agapn9

    Muslims do already misbehave in Europe – all you have to do is travel to France, Britian, or even Italy and you will see plenty of it.

  • gotahc

    @AGAPN9 yeah right- and we are and always have behaved as saints in their countries. grow up!

  • JamesChristian

    I love it. Liberals have a label for every opponent of the Liberal philosophy. If you don’t buy global warming, “denier”, argument over. “Birther” for a legitimate concern. “Racist” for any argument involving policy, the Constitution, or any controversy involving crooked Black politicians. I LOVE the “phobia” label.Liberals drop that one to protect every other ridiculous notion as if the person discussing the issue is afraid of it. It’s actually the Liberals that are afraid for their positions. They cannot be argued in real terms. THAT is why Liberals generate labels. Liberals are intellectually lazy. No discussion of facts, just labels, as if that ends the discussion and gets them off the hook having to arguing their irrational, childish points. Well, Libbs, even though the press grants you a pass, the voters this year will not.

  • lahhtims

    I don’t seem to remember admirers of Senator McCarthy going around the world killing innocent victims.

  • agapn9

    Everyone who knows history well – knows that if not for the Battle of Tours, the battle of Lepanto, and the Battle of Malta all Europe would have been conquered by the Islamic forces of the Berbers or the Turks.The Franks killed the Berbers 15 to 1 and that night the Berber army marched back to Spain taking its loot with it. The fleet at Lepanto was outnumbered 10 to 1 and yet destroyed the huge Turkish fleet. The battle of Malta killed half of the Turkish army of 65,000 and the Turkish general with a force of 2500 men. Historically, unless the muslims forces are slaughtered and humiliated they continue to fight. Islam has killed 270 million people and counting. 80 million Hindus alone. The Ottoman empire attacked Croatia for 100 years, Serbia for 40 years, and fought with Europe for 200 years altogether.The minister of India recently stated on PBS that radical Islam has become so entranced in India that groups of fundamentalist Hindus are now forming and a civil war could be the result. It would be wonderful if all religions recognized the 10 commandments and the basic human freedoms of self determination and freedom of religion.However, Islam is set up to conquer the world and plays into some of mankind’s worse instincts: greed and the will to power.

  • katie6

    Islam’s core intent is to take over the world. They do not recognize any other religion. Obama’s prostration at the foot of the Muslim’s and begging for forgiveness for our great sins is still with us as well as the great and still fresh memory of 911 and the terrorists screaming”Allah Akbar” as they murdered 3.000. Liberals and now the PC morons want to build a memorial to their God on the site. Sure is not a big stretch to make this connection.

  • agapn9

    Gothac – I don’t remember the west attacking the Berbers or the Turks. I never read that the Hindus attacked the muslims either.Infiltration by radical Pakistani Sunnis and Saudis funded by Saudi money from oil sales from the US and Europe.I don’t think that you justify Islamic aggression and their attempts to enslave other peoples no matter what you do.

  • svengerald

    With all due respect, this article is rubbish. The writer has no understanding of what islam teaches. The writer would do well to educate herself on islam and its’ violent, imperialist, racist, sexist, intolerant history. But to do so would require critical thinking, something lacking our main street media, along with courage.

  • NO-bama

    America, get informed before it’s too late!Islam’s objective in America is to replace our Constitution with Sharia law.When they defeated the nomadic tribes in Mecca, they built a mosque at the most holy site. The message was one of triumph, that Islam has now defeated you and Islam reigns supreme. They did the same thing at Córdoba [Spain]. They did it in Jerusalem. Same in Constantinople. The message was always one of conquest and victory.Now, ‘ground zero’ is not holy, but it is sacred because of the lives lost. They want to build a mosque there to proclaim that Islam reigns supreme. Do you know what that is going to mean to Muslims all over the world? The recruiting to the Jihadist cause will be exponentially increased as a result of the very symbol — the very message — associated with that mosque there. This is incomprehensible and was supported by Christian pastors and Jewish rabbis in this thing they call an interfaith dialogue. It shows such an extraordinary lack of understanding for what Islam is doing and will do to our great nation if we allow it. Get educated and do something!

  • goexplode

    Apparently, from the comments here, the answer to the title question is “yes.”

  • gotahc

    @agapn9 Please don’t say that. Hindu attacks on muslims and mulism attacks on hindus are SO COMMON.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    Most commentators are missing the key point about McCarthy sins. The key point was there was absolutely no reason to investigate, or any offense involved in being a COMMUNIST. It has always been legal to be a Communist, a fascist or a Republican. What business is it of the government? None, and McCarthy went far beyond investigation, and forced people out of their jobs solely because of their beliefs. What McCarthy utterly failed to provide any evidence of was a Soviet Controlled group in the government who chose to expose themselves by being open or semi-hidden communists. All his investigations outside the government were absolutely abuses of power at its most extreme. If Reagan had turned out to be a directly Soviet controlled agent, instead of just the head of one of the most public Communist leaning organizations, the most he could have been charged with was being an unregistered agent of a foreign government, and that would have required proof of payment and actions, not beliefs. Of course Reagan was nothing of the kind, and the only offense he committed was betraying his friends for their common beliefs to cover his own behind. BTW Christianity still has the record for the number of people killed at least nominally in the name of religion.

  • gotahc

    well No-Bama, we have done all what you have said for the past many centuries by forcefully putting our views on others as well. HOw do yo feel about that? Read our American history and how we have behaved to central American, soutehrn American, African and middle eastern countries, then come back here and make your case.

  • linlin789682

    Wonderful.

  • kchses1

    I’ve made this point before and will try again. The argument profferd by Mr. Gingrich and others is a false argument. It runs as follows:The argument is a non-sequiter. The conclusion does not follow from the premise. The only thing that follows from the premise is that al qeada is at war with the US and they are Islamic. To establish the conclusion the US is at war with Islam would require evidence that al qeada or groups affiliated with them have large scale support across the Islamic world, that they have received large scale aid, approve of and would participate in such attacks. The fact that al qeada seems incapable of operating in any country other then failed nation states seems to belie this conclusion. Memebers of al qeada have been arrested and executed in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Indonesia. The only gov’t on the planet who have openly supported them is the Taliban and the US is at war with the Taliban for this very reason. To proffe proof by quoting from the Koran is also meaningless. You must demonstrate that such phrases as profferd are used on a large scale basis across the Islamic world to attack the US. The fact that much of Islamic practice in the world is incapatible with US culture and laws and in some cases down right aborhint is not sufficient to make the link that the US is or should be at war with Islam. The fact that the vast majority of practicioners of Islam in our country integrate very well into our laws and customs again belies the contention that there is something inherint in Islam we should fear. You people need to stop paying council to your fears and rememebr your Americans. We don’t do things like this and we don’t behave like this. We’re better then this.

  • Maddogg

    The Christian Crusades were violent. What comes around goes around.It was Bush’s intent to stir up islamicphobia in order for him to prosecute his disasterous and unnecessary wars.The problem with the US is it wants to conquer the world and place all inhabitants under its rule.

  • mono1

    power of values and power of money.communism and western capitalism share the same back ground,SURPRISE,the background of both camps is juchristianity,communism says,western capitalism says ,people can examine the last 100 years of their stinking bloody impact not only in their heart lands but all over the world.both camps tryied to be king of the hill for humanity ,it took communism less than 100 years to colaps and rot in her own mess and delusion not because the western big MAC,arthur.western capitaliosm carry the same rot and same mess.power of values is not about kings,nothing fail nations like delusional power of kings.

  • JoeDBrown

    The silly nimrod that authored this nonsense forgot a few things.Joe McCarthy was right. History and facts released after the fall of the Soviet Union make it clear that many on the left, in government and out were communists and aiding the Soviet Union. Sorry, but Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs and many others were spies. Many were just useful idiots. Who coined that phrase? Was it Lenin? There still at it today with their slavish adoration of Islam.Nixon’s sin was to defeat a communist congress woman and to nail Alger Hiss and call a communist a communist. For that he could never be forgiven. Even if his crimes were kid stuff compared to JFK and LBJ.The nimrod author, like most on the left, are unfamiliar with the teachings of Islam. Despite all of the obfustication by Islamic shills and left wing zealots it is clear that nowhere in the world is Islam at peace with any other religion. Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Zorostians (?) etc. are all persecuted and targets of Islamic terror. At best, if you are willing to except second class citizenship (Kafirs, cattle), pay extra taxes and except random pogroms you may be able to live in a Moslem country temporarily. In what free Islamic state do the peace loving, prosperous Moslems reside? It isn’t Newt or the right who are wrong it is the left in the USA who always wish to kiss the hand that slaps them and who are always on the wrong side of history. Delusions define the left. Remember their love affairs with Hitler (National Socialism), Uncle Joe Stalin, Mussolini(The most prominent European Socialist of the early 20th Century), Mao and Castro. Isn’t Anita Dunn, Obama’s former White House Communications Director, favorite political philosopher Mao? The left loves to “understand” genocidal madmen, cop killers and tyrants of all kinds.Facts are such inconvenient things. The nimrod with the crayon and the rest of her ilk should remeber we did not all go to their dumbed down public schools.Liberalism IS a dangerous mental illness. The sooner the nation wakes up to that fact the safer we will be and the sooner the healing can begin.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    If Communism and Western Capitalism are so inferior to the glory of the past system of kings and dictators how come the population of the world has increase 6 fold or so since they took power over much of the world?This is true of both systems, I support Western Style Democratic Systems with regulated Capitalism as clearly better, but its very hard to argue that either secular system is not far better than the alternatives. The West has done better, but Communist China and the USSR cut hunger and ignorance by huge margins, and at a huge cost. The horrible excesses in Communists Countries came because of their lack of Democracy, not lack of Capitalism. Seriously, How is the world not better than it was 100, or 200 years ago?

  • HarGru

    Look it’s very clear. When very many people of the Islam faith, and their leaders, across the world overtly and in mass denounce all Islamic atrocities against men, women, and children in open public venues, then one can say that the religion is not a violent one. However, the quiet is deafening!But the political,social and nationalistic content and aspect of the religion may still kill the innocent to make things happen. Christianity is not a violent religion but Christian pooh-paws throughout history killed the innocent for it. The national aspect of Islam of today is the same as the national aspect of Christianity of yore. Will they need five hundred years to fix it?

  • gratianus

    You folks who consider Islam to be a totalitarian, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish monolith seem to think that Wahabi/Jihadi Islam is all there is. During most of the time that Islamic governments ruled North Africa, the Mideast and the Iberian peninsula, other religions were permitted and respected. Indeed, in the present time Islam is not a religion of extemism. However, tghe extremists get the press and they are useful for the likes of Gingrich, Boykin and all the crazies of the far religious right,who would be all too happy to impose Fundamentalist Christian “Sharia” on the rest of us.

  • DnMn

    It is quite possible, Ms. Thistlethwaite, that you are just plain wrong when you assert that “the struggle with such extremists will … be won … through the power of our values.” How quaint to believe that “religious freedom and tolerance for diversity of opinion” will save the day. Suppose we’re tolerant til we’re blue in the face–and the power of radical Islam just happens to be mightier than our tolerance? Really, you need to study some history–including events that occurred WAY before McCarthy: Spain used weapons, not tolerance to, force the retreat of the Arab Empire. Austria fought the Ottomans and saved Europe with weapons, not “values.” Had they adopted your “strategy” (“let’s all hold hands and be tolerant”) we would now be living in a dark, certainly unenlightened era. WAKE UP.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    It was a Polish Army which saved Austria BTW.In the USA however, tolerance is key. First it makes it many times more likely that someone will turn in a terrorist, hurts the terrorists recruiting, and does not end the existence of a free America like intolerance does.

  • lorenzo2121

    Please, enough with your excuses and pseudo-intellectual garbage. Face the truth. Islam is a sick cult, which brainwashes people to committ murder and horrible crimes such as beheading, and its belief that as an eternal reward for accomplishing these things one will be blessed with 26 virgin women is just another indication of its uncivilized and bestial reality. Do you hear any portion of their faith speaking loudly against such garbage? No. Islam is not a faith, it is a method for men with no self confidence to keep women as modern day slaves, and to control the mind as to what followers eat, drink, wear, and think. Are there any democracies in the Islamic Middle East? No. Get over it. McCarthyism was against an economic system that was contrary to capitalism, Islam is a faith that is only goaled toward destruction. People like the writer have no connectin with real life, and you probably sit at a desk and never get past your computer screen to see real life. Why would the Post even publish such a piece of garbage?

  • Fletch834

    Where does the WaPo find these idiot writers?

  • ANTILIB

    McCarthy was correct. It’s called the Venona Papers… Try to do some real research.

  • info53

    It’s not McCarthyism. It’s simple vicious racism. It’s the lowest of the lowbrows who need to demonize Islam. Stupid people require simplistic black-or-white concepts, and they adore the idea of an Enemy, a clearly delineated opponent to focus their bigotry upon. A religious opponent is even better, since saying “my God’s better than YOUR God” started when we were still squatting in caves and bashing each other with thighbones.Evolution is not a steady progression. We’re still saddled with a large segment of the population that would fit right into a Neanderthal settlement.

  • abrahamhab1

    It is fairly obvious that the author of this article knows nothing about the ideology of Islam.

  • DebChatterjee

    All the bloggers have shown enough prudence to respond to Ms. Thistlethwaite.Newt Gingrich, despite his double standards on ethics issues, is right on the money. The doctrine of Islam is most barbaric. And, saying that one cannot target ideas (Harry Truman citation) is purely a misplaced sense of respect for others.Muslim scholars such as Sayyid Qutb, Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi have written monograpohs where they both have opined that Western civilization (particularly regarding freedom of speech and expression) is a threat to the existence of Islam. Islam does not allow any dissent to its stated goals and principles. Quran [005:033] makes this very clear. I would request Ms. Thistlethwaite to read the English translation (from Abdullah Yusuf Ali) of that very verse before jumping to embrace Newt Gingrich’s opponents.Free speech in USA *includes* offensive speech. That is, one can draw Mohammed cartoons in USA even if it appears offensive to Muslims. Same goes with making films (Martin Scorcese) and writing fictional novels (Dan Brown) that degrade Christianity. Such expressions of free speech would have been met with extreme bloodshed and brutal assassination of the authors and film makers as required by laws of blasphemy and apostacy in Islam.No, Gingrich is right. The more USA allows Muslims to immigrate, the increased chances of Sharia being replacing the US Constitution one day, and high possibility of home-grown Islamic terrorism.

  • RolandMartel

    I believe that Islam’s founding texts are contrary to human rights and secular democracy.

  • mharper111

    It’s heartening to see the overwhelming rationality of MOST of the comments here. That is except for those posters who equate concern with the Islamic juggernaut — with right wing conservatism. As a bona fide lefty I find Islam to be utterly appalling because it’s a religion which at its core is supremely intolerant. Does it make me a bigot if I feel contempt towards a group which is itself profoundly bigoted? I think not. There are so many sickening elements of Islam: 1. Adherents are not permitted to question their faith or their “prophet”, to do so can be life threatening. 2.The sacred Quran is worshipped as a text for all people for all time – it simply cannot be challenged. 3. Islam has no internal mechanism by which it can allow the kind of reform that delivered MOST of the Christian world from one of forced conversion and mass murder, to something far more benign. Why pick on Islam? Because of what is happening today IN THE 21ST CENTURY: tens of thousands of Muslims are either partaking in violence or silently applauding as infidels are murdered. But doesn’t Christianity also have a bloody past? Yes, the key word being “PAST.” Very few murders happen THESE DAYS in the name of Christ. Even Timothy McVeigh, often cited by Islamic apologists as being representative of violent Christians, didn’t blow up the Murrah Building in the name of Jesus — in fact, he was an agnostic who was also a right wing paramilitary kook! Islam is one of the most dangerous belief systems ever devised — worse than Nazism or Communism. If that sounds like a hateful rant — read the Quran, as much of it as you can stomach, and decide for yourself.

  • ThomasBaum

    Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite Part IYou wrote, “Instead, however, conservatives such as Newt Gingrich want us to reject not only violent extremists, but also Islamic ideas, especially ideas on religious law, that is, Sharia law.”It is not just “conservatives such as Newt Gingrich” but also the FOUNDING FATHERS of the USA who very specifically rejected “Sharia Law”.You then wrote, “Violent extremists are a threat. That’s not a fantasy. But why single out the idea of Sharia?”"Violent extremists” come in all shapes and forms, religious and otherwise, and yes, their reality is no fantasy but to use “violent extremists” in islam as a cop out or smokescreen to not look at the “reality of sharia law” and it’s utter contempt for anything or anyone “unislamic” is “burying one’s head in the sand”.You then wrote, ” I personally also disagree with adopting Sharia law in democracies such as we have in the U.S. and have said so, repeatedly. Making a “comparison”, such as you have, is not only meaningless but it does help to point out the “blindness” that you seem to have imposed on yourself, in turning a “blind eye” toward “sharia law” and “focusing” only on “extremism”.You then wrote, “they risk fueling the very narrative about the United States “hating Islam” that violent extremists use to recruit young people.”First off, you seem to think that everyone looks at “islam” and Muslims” in the same light, so to speak.I suppose people could use the “freedoms” in this country or just throw them away because the use of these “freedoms” might upset others, seems as if the “freedoms”, that so many in this country enjoy will not be lost but will be thrown away or left to “wither on the vine”.

  • ThomasBaum

    Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite Part IIYou then wrote, “The only way to combat those who would use hatred of Islam as a reason to attack the United States is to actually practice our American values of religious freedom and political inclusion.”Considering that “sharia law” is very much a “part of islam”, don’t you think that if America rejects “sharia law” in it’s entirety, that this will just be another “excuse” to “attack the United States”?Whether you like it or not and whether or not you are blind to the obvious, islam is about “world domination” using all “tools” available, (terrorism, ballot boxes, lies), just to name a few.You then wrote, “but he does not quote Truman on the dangers of targeting ideas rather than acts in regard to fighting the threat of Communism.”Seems as if this country, the USA, was founded on “ideas”, was it not?Making a “comparison”, does absolutely nothing about looking at the “situational reality” of today, all it does is give someone a “lot of words” to say “nothing” about something.You then wrote, ” There is no more fundamental axiom of American freedom than the familiar statement: In a free country, we punish men for the crimes they commit, but never for the opinions they have.” (Italics added)”And this “fundamental axiom of American freedom” is in total opposition to “sharia law”, is it not?Then you wrote, “We should value Islam as a part of the American fabric of religious diversity, debate its many ideas in the public square, and not be afraid to do so.”The question is, “Will islam?”.Something to remember, in islam, lying for the cause of allah is not only allowed but is, as far as I know, looked upon as a very, very good thing to do.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • km46

    Thank you Thomas Paul Moses Baum. I hope Ms. Thistlethwaite will educate herself to understand Islamic law is not about allowing freedom of speech and thought as we have in the USA, but rather strict obedience to Islamic law, which is completely opposed to the fundamental dignity and respect of the individual in Judeo-Christian law which the USA is founded on. Look at how they treat women for instance in Moslem countries. Would Ms. Thistlewhaite be happy living in Saudi Arabia or Iran?

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.