Polemics & Exchanges

On Covering Islam

As a paleoconservative and traditional Catholic, I greatly enjoy Chronicles and look forward to every issue.  I am, however, increasingly disturbed by the consistent and growing demonization of Muslims in the magazine.  I think it is quite reasonable to accept that Islam has some extremely rough edges.  It has bloody borders, most terrorists are Muslims, Islam is only occasionally a “religion of peace,” and the expression “moderate Islamists” is pretty much an oxymoron.  In addition, the Islamic Third World is a demographic threat to our Christian culture.

But what is true of some Muslims is not true of most.  Terrorists are only a tiny percentage of Muslims, and few believe in the forcible conversion of infidels.  Also, the repeated groupthink characterization of Muslims as inimical to the values that we hold dear ignores the cultural, national, and intellectual diversity of what constitutes Islam.  The evils that Chronicles warns against are largely externalized and really amount to blaming the wrong party.  It should be acknowledged that we in the West are often the problem, because of our failure to value the Christian and Western culture that we have all but discarded.

As a former CIA operations officer who has lived and worked in both Europe and the Middle East, I have known and worked with literally hundreds of Muslims, undoubtedly including some referred to as...

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