Now National Interest editor Jacob Heilbrunn picks up where Beutler left off in Politico. Although Heilbrunn primarily recycles the tired old liberal critique of the GOP being insufficiently diverse, he also devotes a sufficient portion of his piece to what he purports to be Republican attitudes of Muslims. Heilbrunn claims “the GOP is now mired in its ugliest intra-party debate yet — about whether Muslims living in the United States constitute a potential Fifth Column.” He also writes of “the GOP’s persistent anti-Islam strain” and adds that yours truly is part of that strain:
And, egged on by the attacks in Paris, all this that was once on the fringes is now beginning to get wider circulation in the GOP. Today, mainstream conservative magazines and politicians are raising similar doubts about Islam and Muslims. Writing in the American Spectator, for instance, Aaron Goldstein observed, “Let me sum up the term radical Islam this way. Not all Muslims are members of ISIS, but all members of ISIS are Muslim.”
So let me put these two questions to Heilbrunn. What have I written in those two sentences that is so objectionable? What doubts have I raised about Islam and Muslims? In sentence number one, I sum up radical Islam, not Islam. In sentence number two, I state the obvious. The vast majority of Muslims are not members of ISIS and don’t want to be. But it is equally obvious that in order to be a member of ISIS, you need to be a Muslim. O.K., you need to be a Sunni Salafist Muslim, but a Muslim nevertheless. I don’t think ISIS is going to accept Methodists in their ranks anytime soon. That is unless they convert to Islam.
None of this is anti-Islam. But the Left cannot distinguish between Islam and radical Islam and doesn’t want to distinguish between Islam and radical Islam. Hillary Clinton couldn’t and wouldn’t at the Democrat debate a weekago. We can’t expect any different of Heilbrunn or any other liberal writer.
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