Saturday, February 04, 2017

Cathy Young: Both The Left And The Right Get The Muslim Ban Wrong

Thanks, LC, for directing us to this in comments.
   Young is always extremely reasonable, and this piece is no exception.
   The title isn't very accurate, and I'll bet she didn't write it. What she actually argues is that elements of the right and the left are both stupid about Islam, and Trump's ban is crap. The right and the left are both commonly wrong about this stuff...and Trump's ban is wrong in the way one might expect the wrong right to be wrong about it. Though we might add, in a Young-ian spirit: a lot of the opposition to the ban on the left is undoubtedly a result of the left's wrongness about Islam, too, since the wrong left knee-jerkedly defends Islam no matter what.
   In actual fact, Islam has big problems, and it's absurd and dangerous to pretend otherwise. However, Trump's ban is a stupid way to respond to those problems.
   Obviously I don't think that everything is easy here. But usually this isn't exactly a tightrope-walk. There's often a big, wide path between brainless right-wing anti-Islamic bigotry and brainless left-wing apologism. 
   Anyway, I've been thinking something similar for awhile now. People often aren't really evaluating the actual policy at issue, they just support it or oppose it on the basis of their general position on Islam (or whatever). Think Islam is dangerous? Support! Think Islam is misunderstood? Oppose! 
   I think a lot fewer conservatives would support this thing if you said to them: you know, you can think we need to be wary of Islam and do something extra to make sure jihadists don't sneak into the country...without thinking that this is a good way to do that. In general, I think a lot of dumb things conservatives believe and do are frustrated over-reactions to leftish stupidity--just as a lot of dumb things lefties believe and do are frustrated over-reactions to rightish stupidity.


Blogger Pete Mack said...

Most left of center folks I know recognize the problems that plague Islam (but consider Saudi export of radicalism more a political problem than religious.) But they also feel the best way to deescalate is engagement, especially with Iran (though nobody wants them to build nuclear weapons.) What we dread is anything that even hints at 'crusade.'
Exchanges--student, scientific, social--are a starting point, but only that.

9:24 PM  

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