To be sure, it’s not the least bit surprising that ESPN suspended Curt Schilling. Not just because of media attitudes toward Islam, but because the networks always take kneejerk action when controversy descends. No one at ESPN is obviously going to stake the company’s reputation on something so politically incorrect. The shareholders would have someone’s head on a platter.
Speaking of heads and platters, though, can anyone seriously take issue with what Schilling posted? “Only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?” These weren’t, notably, Schilling’s original thoughts; he was merely posting something he’d seen online.
And when you take a look at it, it’s hard to see what’s so controversial about it. He is clearly not stating that all Muslims are extremists. Isn’t that more or less the PC standard? Is it unacceptable now to condemn Islamic terrorism itself? The point seems to be that even a small minority can cause destruction of historical proportions.
No, that seems like a very reasonable point. And it’s probably not the specificity of the numbers that ESPN takes issue with. It’s hard to see them choosing to keep Schilling on if he’d provided a series of sources for his statistics. That’s not the problem.
The problem, as is extraordinarily obvious, is that ESPN is scared. And, perhaps, they aren’t wrong to feel that way. After all, we’ve seen what that tiny minority of Muslim extremists do when they get their dander up about the media. When it comes to these radicals, the stock price is the least of your worries.
And that’s what’s so dangerous about this sudden “you can’t say that about Islam” attitude we’re seeing these days. It’s not just about being politically correct. There’s an undeniably sinister undertone of fear. Media companies all across the world have clamped down hard on anything that could possibly be construed as offensive to Muslims. Not because they’re all so suddenly thoughtful and considerate. Because they don’t want to be the next Charlie Hebdo.
Let’s face it, Muslims haven’t exactly earned this new image of benevolence and peace. Somehow, though, Americans get more tolerant of this religion with each new atrocity. Is it out of fear or compassion? And if that’s a hard question to answer, that should tell you a lot about Islam.