Ben Affleck has a case — a bad case — of Islamophilia. By now the exchange on Bill Maher’s show is everywhere, as well it should be. Maher and Sam Harris argued that much more than just a tiny fraction of the Muslim world holds extreme views, such as the death penalty for apostates. Affleck retorted that calling out Islamic radicalism in this way was “so gross” and “racist,” like calling someone a “shifty Jew.” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof essentially agreed, saying that the position held by Maher and Harris “does have the tinge a little bit of the way white racists talk about African-Americans.”
Let’s stop right there. Since Messrs. Affleck and Kristof brought up the subject of race, let’s go back in time to the Civil Rights era. By the 1950s and 1960s, with the arrival of television and mass media, the gruesome world of lynching, murder, and general brutality to black Americans was finally being protested in a way that attracted the attention of the nation at large. There were, to their credit, liberals who finally decided to do something about this. In fact, as Ben Affleck himself has noted elsewhere (here in the Hollywood Reporter ): “His mother…had been one of the original freedom riders who went into the Deep South during the 1960s to fight for civil rights.”
And what were those freedom riders and other civil rights leaders of the day asking for? They demanded what we now call “boots on the ground.” Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy responded to various crises in places like Little Rock, Arkansas, and Oxford, Mississippi, by sending in those boots — the National Guard. Various segregation hot beds targeted by civil rights protesters were flooded with federal marshals. When dogs and fire hoses were loosed on peaceful demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, or a church was bombed killing four little girls, or when the Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, occurred — with demonstrators being beaten to a pulp in full view of the cameras — the demand from Americans for action rose even higher. When three civil rights workers were yanked from their cars, murdered and their bodies stuffed in an earthen dam? When a Detroit housewife named Viola Liuzzo was shot to death as she drove a black fellow-civil rights worker to their next stop? As with the reaction today to the videotaped beheadings of American journalists, American public opinion angrily rallied for action. That action came to fruition in terms of the passage of two major civil rights bills in 1964 and 1965.
In other words? Forty-nine years ago, there were in fact liberals who showed not the slightest hesitation in finally putting an end to a world that had promoted and facilitated the most vicious of treatment towards fellow human beings solely because they were black. They saw injustice — and were determined to put an end to the injustice of segregation once and for all.
What is the difference between all those Klan lynchings and the horrendous murders of “non-believers” in Islam committed by jihadists? One group committed its crimes in the name of racial superiority, and the other today commits its savage acts in the name of religious superiority.
The American Left today has succumbed to appeasement and political correctness. Fifty years ago, unwilling any longer to tolerate the brutality their own progressive movement had nourished and encouraged for the sake of political power, finally — finally — people like Hubert Humphrey, JFK, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy would abide it no longer. Today liberals like Ben Affleck have become Islamophiles. We know that when a jihadist in Oklahoma beheads a colleague, or a major in the United States Army commits mass murder in the name of Allah, the U.S. government that once rallied to the side of black Americans will simply shrug off the attacks on non-Muslims as “work place violence.” In fact, President Obama sent an emissary to Oklahoma — not to see the family of the jihadist victims but to the Mosque the killer attended. A Mosque revealed by a whistle blower to be teaching jihad behind close doors when only the faithful were present.
Let’s recall the case of Emmett Till. The young African-American teenager who was visiting relatives in 1955 Mississippi and made the “mistake” of speaking to a married white woman. Resulting in the woman’s husband and one of his relatives kidnapping the 14 year old, brutally beating him, gouging out an eye, shooting him and dumping his body in the local river. Can you imagine the outcry if the authorities then or today — classified or re-classified the murder of Emmett Till as simply a case of “domestic violence”? A young man who got caught in a triangle between husband and wife? The fury would be — justifiably — ear splitting.
Or the case of Viola Liuzzo, who, as mentioned, was shot to death by a car full of Klansmen on a highway as she drove a car shuttling civil rights protesters to motels or a local airport. What if the Liuzzo case were re-opened and declared to be a simple case of “road rage”?
This would be absurd. These murders had ideological motivation. Both incidents — and others as mentioned — contributed to the idea that action had to be taken by the federal government to protect American citizens. In some cases that action was boots on the ground, and in other cases to this day it involves lawyers from the Justice Department or enforcement of civil rights statutes through this or that federal agency. Only a couple months ago Attorney General Eric Holder personally appeared with a small fleet of Justice Department lawyers to bring the weight of the federal government’s civil rights apparatus on the Ferguson, Missouri, police department.
Where is the will to do the same in both America and elsewhere to take on Islamic jihadists?
Ben Affleck, who as Bill O’Reilly pointed out the other night would be beheaded in a heartbeat by these jihadists, has signed up for the world of liberal Islamophilia Appalling.