Don’t Do al-Qaeda’s Work for It
Adam Serwer has an absolutely sterling post about the dangers of assigning collective guilt to American Muslims for the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan:
In the past few months, we’ve seen a number of shootings performed by white men with right-wing fringe beliefs–but while an attempt to assign the responsibility for the murder of George Tiller, or the killing of police in Pittsburgh, or the assault on the Holocaust Museum to white men as a whole would rightfully be seen as idiotic, there are those who sit poised and prepared assign the alleged actions of one man to an entire people. This is, quite frankly, the best reaction groups like Al Qaeda could hope for–the strength of their narrative of a war between Islam and the West ultimately rests on our own actions. We should not indulge them or those that share a similar worldview.
I wrote a very long piece about Serwer’s last point way back in 2005.