Ryan Grim is the Washington Bureau Chief for the left leaning The Huffington Post.
He has a piece out today titled “Dear Islamophobes: Your Racism Is Putting Us All In Danger.”
Several times in Grim’s article he charged Islamophobes for being racists:
The challenge for the U.S., which Obama attempted to address in his speech on Sunday, will be how to put the racist genie back in the bottle.
Even if deep in your gut you harbor deep fear or suspicion of people you think might be Muslim, do the rest of us this favor: Keep it to yourself. Don’t spread that fear and discrimination in the name of patriotism, if only because it is guaranteed to backfire. Your racism is putting all of us in danger.
I agree with the writer that we should not lash out violently against Muslims and we must be responsible for unnecessary heated rhetorics. But if you are looking for careful nuance thought in the whole piece from Ryan Grim, chances of that is rather grim.
- First off there’s an equivocation fallacy: being against Islam is not the same thing as being racists. So beginning with the title Grim is wrong. Islam is a religion with adherents from many backgrounds and ethnic identities. Racism is a term we often refer to being hateful towards a certain ethnic group. But Muslims can be white. And most Muslims are from the Far East in places like Indonesia and Malaysia. Furthermore you have Arabs who are not Muslims. Some are Christians or of other faiths.
- According to Grim’s narrative the reason why “Muslim-Americans already here” (his own words) self-radicalized into terrorists is because of the “bigotry and scapegoating” against Muslim Syrian immigration, and “a few become furious; fewer still combine that fury with some mental instability or vulnerability. And from there, it’s not hard to get an assault rifle.” This doesn’t square with reality. It doesn’t account for Islamic terrorism before the Syrian refugee crisis (9/11, Boston Marathon bombings, Fort Hood, etc). Nor does this explain the recent shooting in California in which investigators now are probing the wife’s radicalization between 2007-2014 before people’s concern for the Muslim Syrian immigration policies. Nor does it make sense as to what the violence would accomplish if the goal is to combat the stereotype, as the violence will reinforce the alleged stereotype and the terrorist activity make people more open to consider more restrictions and scrutiny of Syrian Muslim refugees. Grim’s “blame the West first” narrative also fail in that it is inadequate in explaining the larger violence against non-Muslims in heavily Islamic population; violence of Islamic terrorists that has been ongoing before it was even exported to the Modern West. At this time I don’t know of any actual terrorism that is done in the name of Syrian refugees in America as Grim’s narrative seem to be a rant with no substance or example.
- Grim probably hasn’t gone out of his way to hear the narratives that radicals themselves present as to their motivation and goal. Often radicals are disenchanted with the West but not necessarily in the way Grim thinks. Among their grievances they are disenchanted with the moral decadence of the West. Decadences that many in the Left consider their fundamental “freedom.” Using Grim’s twisted logic should those who are Leftists keep their views to themselves instead of promoting things like gay marriage, abortion as civil liberties for the sake of not radicalizing and offending Muslims?
- I’m always amaze at how articles who argue against stereotypes and bigotry often engage in simplistic generalizations and broad brushing the other sides as well. The labels he gives for Iowa and Republicans as a whole is revealing.