I first came upon Fr. de Souza's words of wisdom via Catholic Dialogue and the conclusion that its editor produced here:
It's the paradox of political correctness. A Muslim man kills 13 innocent people in a shooting rampage in Fort Hood (he started shouting "God is great!" in Arabic as he opened fire) and now the media are treating Muslims as victims. That's not a typo. The media seem more worried about potential violence that might be committed against Muslims in retaliation for the shooting, than about the 13 real dead people.Father de Souza had even more to say about it. His piece at National Post starts as follows:
Add Fort Hood to the list. It's getting longer: New York, Washington, Jerusalem, Bali, Madrid, London, Bombay. It's the list of places where, we are told, it is important to be vigilant about anti-Muslim activity.As Fr. de Souza rightly notes, most of the victims of fundamentalist Muslim acts of violence are Muslims themselves, you know the gentle peace loving ones who form the very large majority of all Muslims.
The phenomenon is by now well-established. An apparent jihadist visits death and destruction upon innocents, motivated in part by a violent brand of Islamic extremism, and soon the violence becomes an apt occasion to raise awareness about the danger of anti-Muslim thoughts, words and deeds. Violence by Muslims has a unique ability to spur a Canadian prime minister, British royal, or, as was the case this time, the American secretary of homeland security, to sound the alarm about violence against Muslims.
"The tragic shootings at the Fort Hood U.S. Army Base raise the spectres of hostility against Muslims within the United States, and of Islamic hostility toward the U.S.," editorialized Toronto's Globe and Mail. That's a strange symmetry. On one hand there may be a "spectre," but on the other there is the reality of 13 dead victims.
But, Father de Souza is on to the double standard that is applied to Christian crumbs, while we let Muslims off for stealing the whole loaf.
As Father de Souza comments:
On Tuesday, for example, my colleague Colby Cosh argued that we should be wary about putting too much emphasis on religion as the "evidence of the specifically Islamic nature of Hasan's mania emerges." After all, there were no doubt other factors at play. It would be "pretty stupid," he argued, to draw a straight, simple line between jihadist beliefs and the Fort Hood massacre.Mr. Cosh is just a symptom of a malaise that is not an epidemic, with no apparent man made antidote. Father highlights some other instances of the double standard, and then concludes:
But back in June, when George Tiller, America's most enthusiastic practitioner of partial-birth abortion, was murdered, Mr. Cosh took to these pages to argue that the killer was the logical extension of the pro-life movement, and that pro-life activists who denounced the abortionist's murder were no better than Pontius Pilate, washing their hands of something in which they were deeply complicit.
Mr. Cosh generally is more careful and rigorous than most, so that even he can use double standards on this issue indicates how widely they are accepted.
It's a matter of basic honesty to look at all factors, and a matter of basic justice not to attribute to the whole the actions of the one. But it would be more honest and more just if that standard were applied to all.Bravo Father.