Witless moral equivalence and hysteria from the estimable Juan Cole. Note, first, the sleight of hand that Cole tries to pull off by claiming that "on censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God's will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts." Palin disagrees with Cole on these issues, to be sure, but does she really oppose "democratic precepts" on them? Does she want to dismantle the American Republic and impose a totalitarian order, a la Sharia?
I doubt it. But of course that is not the only difference, besides lipstick, between Palin and Osama. It is strange to have to spell this out, like explaining how to boil water to a particularly slow-witted chef. Palin, you see, does not advocate, pace Cole, the replacement of U. S. Constitutional law with religious law. She does not advocate, and does not plot, the mass murder of workers in office buildings. She does not promise people that they will be rewarded with unlimited sex in Paradise if they murder unbelievers. She does not teach that those who steal should have their hands amputated, that those who commit adultery should be stoned to death, or that those who leave her religion should be murdered. She does not advocate the consignment of women to veils, burqas, and confinement to the inner chambers of the home.
Need I go on? Isn't this obvious?
Comparisons like this also obscure the real nature and goals of Islamic jihadists -- which of course allows them to operate without scrutiny.
Yet this is what passes for thought in the public square these days, while the commensensical retort to it is consigned to "Islamophobic" oblivion.
"What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick," by Juan Cole in Salon, September 9 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Sept. 9, 2008 | John McCain announced that he was running for president to confront the "transcendent challenge" of the 21st century, "radical Islamic extremism," contrasting it with "stability, tolerance and democracy." But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God's will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.