On last nights Colbert Report the guest was Reza Aslan. On the show he refered to a veague nebulous group of people as bigots. I wonder who he meant? No. No I don't.
I am sure Mr. Aslan's book is very good and I am sure he is not a nefarious character and does not himself have any spooky kooky intentions to take over the world or even to floridate our drinking water. But I do think he should learn more about people before calling them bigots on national television. Am I crazy or is applying an epithet to an entire group of people the sort of thing a bigot does?
I just saw Mr. Aslan refer to the whole group of anti jihad activists as anti muslim bigots on last nights show. I have never heard or read a bigoted statement against muslim people in general from any public anti jihad activist. The group of people Mr Aslan refers to as bigots get their information thru the study of Islamic texts, from statements made by islamic supremicists themselves and from documents that are in the public record. The few I know about have never been successfully sued for spreading falsehoods.
These "islamophobic bigots" aren't fat ignorant southern sherifs who dance around in sheets burning crosses on the weekend. Nor are they proffesional tin hat conspiracy theorists. They are highly educated people who have spent their lives in study and public service. They have studied religious texts, history and foreign media, have lived in islamic states, worked in anti terror, been district attorneys in high profile anti terror cases etc. They are experts in their fields and not merely talking heads or PR flaks.
These "bigots" are concerned about the political activities of a small but influential group of people affiliated with a group that has stated outright that they want to damage our country. That group advocates non lethal methods such as currying influence in high places, manipulating public opinion and the manipulation of our own systems of laws and governance. Sounds tin hatty I know but it was in documents siezed and presented during in a trial involving a group called the Holy Land Foundation in 2008.
We have one side of the debate using verifiable facts and statements and the other side using the veague emotionally charged epithets of "bigot" and "islamophobe" to manipulate public opinion in an attempt to ostracize and intimidate. Who would you believe?
Notice that Mr. Aslan caught himself and did not name anyone specifially. Perhaps that was because he knew his description of these academics, lawyers and public servants as bigots was pure 100% certified grade A bullshit.