In Sydney, a 16-hour standoff with an Islamic terrorist ended with police officials storming the Lindt Chocolate Cafe, killing the Iranian refugee responsible for the hostage situation, Man Haron Monis. Barrister Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old mom of three and Tori Johnson, the 34-year-old manager of the cafe were both killed in the ordeal. The rest of the hostages – 17 in all – were rescued by authorities.
In the wake of such a disgusting and horrifying event, it was only natural for commentators in the media to implore readers and viewers to see for themselves the dangerous ideology at the heart of the terrorism.
Or…wait…no…that’s not what happened.
Instead, liberals like Ruby Hamad of the Australia Broadcasting Corporation, rushed to their typewriters to address the important issue: anti-Islam backlash. “It will be telling,” Hamad wrote, “how the community reacts to the Sydney siege and the Muslim population.” She went on to criticize the world media for their early speculation on the hostage situation. She insisted that “the police didn’t call it a ‘terrorist attack,'” apparently blind to the idea that a thing can be a thing even when it isn’t called a thing. If there was any lesson to be learned from the event, Hamad says, it was that “we have a problem with widespread male violence and an unwillingness to even recognize, let alone confront it.”
Perhaps nothing more can be expected from a woman who has written such articles as “Why Is Australian TV Still So White?” and “You’re Probably More Racist Than You Think,” but she wasn’t alone in her ability to instantly forget the real victims.
Tasty Liberal Tears
Over at the liberal wasteland known as Vox, Max Fisher lectured his readership to “stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism. It’s bigoted and Islamophobic.” In the article, he decried the “ritual” the Muslim world is expected to endure following Islamic violence. That ritual, says Fisher, involves having to repudiate the terrorism for the benefit of Western audiences. “The implication,” Fisher says, “is that every Muslim is under suspicion of being sympathetic to terrorism unless he or she explicitly says otherwise.”
Whether Fisher’s concerns are even based in reality – I sincerely doubt Americans pace the streets after every Islamic terrorist attack, asking Muslims what they think (after all, with so many such attacks, when would there be time?) – the fact that he finds this the most important priority following such an event is, as Australia’s Ruby Hamad might put it, telling.
Before the cyber-ink was even dry on Fisher’s screed, a Pakistani terrorist group with some relation to Afghanistan’s Taliban stormed a school in Peshawar. They killed 141 people, including 132 children. Such is the case in today’s world that we can’t even get the details straight on one Islamic terrorist attack before another one pushes it off the front page.
There is room for quelling anti-Islamic sentiment; a billion followers should not be held responsible for the deeds of a few. But in an era where nearly every headline-dominating incident of violence winds up circling back to Islam, this idea that the religion itself is in no way the problem is losing merit fast.