Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Threat from Muslim Terrorists at Home

Over at the painfully "moderate" Washington Monthly, guest blogger "Ogged" had this to say,
"The fact is that most of the recent terrorist attacks that you might care to name--9-11, the London bombings, the Cole, the African embassies--were carried out by Muslims, and Muslims who look pretty much like you expect Muslims to look, at that. Yes, Timothy McVeigh was a regular American white boy, but even those of you who are so far left that your right ventricles don't even beat will admit that in your heart of hearts, whatever vanishingly small worries you have about terrorism involve a guy on a bus who doesn't look like Tim McVeigh.

We lose credibility when we don't admit what's obvious to everyone: insofar as we're worried, it's about Muslims..."
I guess the qualifiers that give this any validity are "whatever vanishingly small worries about terrorism" and "insofar as we're worried." Frankly, I just don't worry about terrorism. Right after 9/11, driving across the Golden Gate bridge to work every day, some worry. When a few weeks after 9/11 a piece of construction material fell from the upper deck of the bay bridge, killing a driver, the first reaction was that it was somehow terrorism related. Similarly when a jet crashed in Queens a couple months after 9/11. Since then, though, not so much. I give far more thought to the possibility of being hit by a drunken driver while cycling in Anderson Valley, or of my daughter being harmed in any way by any number of things that can harm teenage girls. High on that list is teenage boys. So my worries about terrorism are, indeed, vanishingly small.

However, to the extent that they do exist, they do not center on Muslims or swarthy people. Yes, the people behind 9/11 and London and Barcelona were Muslims. They were also religious extremists, though, and I suspect that ties them more closely to our very own abortion clinic bombers and assassins, synagogue burners, and the Olympic bomber more closely than it ties them to most Muslims.

The recent cartoon riots were a reminder that followers of Islam have different values and traditions than we do. The recent conviction of David Irving and passage of a new speech-restricting "anti-terrorism" law in Britain remind us that Europeans have different values and traditions as well.

Should we be aware of and alert to the possibility that Muslims in our midst might be plotting against us? Absolutely. But we shouldn't let that blind us to the fact that only a "vanishingly small" percentage of them might be doing so, or that historically white "Christian" extremists have presented a greater threat to us here at home.
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