By Thomas Krehbiel
· Krehbiel Commentary · Wednesday, Jan 3, 2007, 10:08 AM · 576 words · 1 comment ·
Old Dominion Blog Alliance member I'm Not Emeril recently wrote a defense of Virgil Goode's suspicions about the religion of Islam. Fellow ODBA member SWAC Girl wrote that it was a "well-researched article on the subject that needs to be read."
First of all, Mr. Not Emeril made the claim that "Virgil [Goode] has yet to condemn anyone of the Islamic faith." I can't help but recall Rep. Goode's own words from his recent USA Today article: "Let us remember that we were not attacked by a nation on 9/11; we were attacked by extremists who acted in the name of the Islamic religion."
Perhaps that is not enough of a "condemnation" to keep Goode's supporters from spinning it otherwise, but to this independent observer, he is clearly trying to draw a strong correlation between the 9/11 attackers and the religion of Islam.
More importantly, Mr. Not Emeril goes on to write:
"What has been warned about is the underlying motives behind many of the Islamic faith in their pilgrimage to the United States. We are told they are here for the freedoms afforded them by our constitution, and for some of them that may be true. But for a certain percentage it is not. I ask you to only look at the founders of CAIR to see the truth in that statement." [Emphasis mine.]
Here's what I would ask the humble reader to notice: Mr. Not Emeril has used three of what are called "weasel words." Many, some, and a certain percentage. Words that have vague, unspecific meanings, and may or may not be intentionally deceptive. Truthfully, Mr. Not Emeril probably has no clue exactly how many Muslims are peaceful and how many are not. I don't know either, actually, but given my own experience and observations of the world and human nature, I would speculate that violent, extremist Muslims represent less than 1% of the total Muslim population. Hardly a percentage for which I would use the word "many."
I highlighted one other point in Mr. Not Emeril's paragraph which actually supports my assertion more than his: He mentioned that we should look to the "founders of CAIR to see the truth" that "a certain percentage" of Muslims have suspicious motivations. Granted, he is probably right about the founders of CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations, basically an Islamic lobbying group) having suspicious motivations, but what he doesn't mention is that, according to Wikipedia at least, CAIR was founded by exactly three Muslims. Out of an estimated* 6 million American Muslims, that makes the percentage in question about 0.00005%.
Now don't misunderstand me: I personally don't care for Islam myself, and I certainly don't want to live by Sharia laws any more than I want to live by the old Jewish laws in the Old Testament. I'm just saying that America's national security threat is more from individual misguided Muslims than it is from the general religion of Islam, and nothing from Rep. Virgil Goode or I'm Not Emeril has convinced me otherwise.
* Update: I should mention that estimations of the number of Muslims in the United States vary widely, anywhere from a low of around 2 million to a high of 6-7 million. I chose a high estimate to reflect a more "frightening" number that Islmaphobic people might cite.
Thomas Krehbiel writes The Krehbiel Strikes Back, a generally centrist commentary on news, media, politics, and culture.
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