Only thirteen years after 9/11, the Bill Maher/Ben Affleck kerfuffle has broken the media logjam preventing open discussion of whether Islam is a uniquely violent religion, and finally brought that question into the mainstream of the public discourse. The mainstream media and Leftist intelligentsia, badly rattled by Maher's defection, is circling the wagons with a series of articles about how Maher is wrong, ignorant, bigoted, and after all just a comedian anyway – including a New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof (a bit player in the Maher/Affleck brawl), predictably entitled "The Diversity of Islam."
Islam's glorious diversity, of course, is something that we are all supposed to acknowledge and celebrate, on pain of charges of "Islamophobia" and "bigotry." For Leftists and Islamic supremacists, it is a cardinal sin to essentialize Islam – that is, to dare to suggest that it actually teaches and stands for anything in particular. It is even worse to say anything that might give anyone the impression that Islam is a monolith. The political and media elites insist that we must see Islam as a marvelously diverse, multifaceted thing – as long as we don't whisper anything to the effect that its diversity includes mass murderers and rapists acting in accord with mainstream understandings of its texts and teachings.