I have not been shy about ridiculing the Christian Apologist, Religious Right figure, and “documentary” maker (and now, convicted felon) Dinesh D’Souza. He is undoubtedly among those having done the world a worse place for a secularist like me, and I won’t be missing him. Hence, I find it absolutely embarrassing when I find him the voice of reason, specifically on the issue of Islam, and the liberal Arianna Huffington resorting to a straw man fallacy.
“It is ridiculous, it is like saying all Muslims are guilty”, is the straw man Huffington knocks down, in the face of the statement that “Islam is the problem”. The two statements are not equal, but to liberals they often sound the same.
Here is another liberal defense of Islam: a second video on the same interview, made by a YouTube user named “LiberalViewer”, who accuses Bill Maher of being “anti-Muslim”, and takes issue with the statement that “most terrorist attacks are related to Islam”:
He cites data showing most terrorist attacks in the US and Europe do not involve Muslims, concedes that Muslims have carried out “a few” high profile attacks, and then asks his viewers why Muslims are “perceived” to be behind most acts of terrorism.
Well, to start with, it is because it is true. That is, if you don’t just look at Europe and the Americas where Muslims are a minority, but worldwide. And that has been the case for quite some (I have no objection to pointing out the fact that a lot of terrorism in the 20th century was related to various stripes of fascism and communism, however, it still remains the fact that Islamic violence was a problem long before anyone had heard of communism and fascism, and will remain so longer after they have faded away).
But that is not the only objection to this analysis. Acts of terrorism carried out by Muslims cost the most lives-and that is by design, hence the “impression” is given to us by the attackers themselves. As an example, while the producer of the video cites attacks by Basque separatists in Spain outnumbering those by Muslims (by far), the total number of causalities left by the Basque terrorists during their several decades of violence against Spain was 829. Now, compare this to a single attack in Spain by Muslims on March 11, 2004, that killed 191.
And the problem is not limited to Huffington or a single self-described liberal on YouTube. Democrats, as a whole, are more likely to be naive about Islam, compared to Republicans and Independents:
More than 6-in-10 (63%) Republicans and nearly 7-in-10 (69%) members of the Tea Party agree that the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life, compared to roughly one-third (36%) of Democrats. A majority (54%) of Democrats disagree, saying that the values of Islam are not at odds with American values and way of life. Independents are nearly evenly divided (46% agree, 45% disagree).
It is really a shame that those who claim to support equal rights for women, gays, and religious minorities, displaying favorite views of a religion that treats them all as (at best) second class citizens, either through a straw man fallacy (as above), the fallacy of false equivalency (“all religions are the same”), or downright dishonesty.
You can watch more of the interview below.