Religions shouldn’t be considered responsible for the misdeeds of their followers, right? That has been the consistent establishment media line on Islam since 9/11, and before that, and it has been enshrined in public policy on both sides of the Atlantic and become axiomatic in the West’s approach to terrorism.
But wait. Issac Bailey is a columnist and a professor of Public Policy at Davidson College in North Carolina. He writes in Newsweek: “If Christianity can convince so many to follow a man like Trump almost worshipfully—or couldn’t at least help millions discern the unique threat Trump represented—what good is it really?” So now apparently the followers of a religion do reflect on the religion itself – if the religion is Christianity, and the evil follower is Donald Trump.
Bailey explains: “I’m struggling to hold fast to my Christianity—because of Donald Trump. Not exactly Trump himself, though, but the undying support of the self-professed Christian pro-life movement that he enjoyed. My faith is in tatters because of that alliance. And I am constantly wondering if I am indirectly complicit because I dedicated my life to the same Jesus the insurrectionists prayed to in the Capitol building after ransacking it and promising to kill those who didn’t do their bidding.”
Faith in tatters! Heavens to Betsy! Yet this poor lost soul Issac Bailey is manifesting confused thinking in all sorts of ways. Trump is not and never claimed to be the leader of a Christian sect. Millions of people didn’t support Trump because of Christianity, but because of the policies he stood for and implemented.
He is an academic, after all, and so it’s no surprise that Bailey’s thinking gets even more confused than that. On December 6, 2020, he tweeted: “In the aftermath of 9/11, some Americans warned politicians would use that horrific event to pass laws that stifled freedom and targeted Muslims. They were right. That’s what’s being referred to here. Beheadings should not be used to target Muslims and excuse racism.”
He is setting up a straw man here, as no decent person wants to “target Muslims” or “excuse racism.” Anyway, his point is that jihad terror should not have been considered to reflect poorly on Islam and thereby lead to this alleged “targeting” of Muslims. But if he can say that Trump is so evil that he is struggling with his Christianity because many Christians support Trump, why doesn’t the same reasoning go for Islam? Issac Bailey does not write and likely never would dream of writing something like this: “If Islam can convince so many to follow a man like Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi almost worshipfully—or couldn’t at least help millions discern the unique threat they and others like them represented—what good is it really?”
To say such a thing would be “Islamophobic,” and it is easy to get the impression from his published writings that Issac Bailey, like the overwhelming majority of his professorial colleagues, would assiduously avoid any appearance of “Islamophobia.”
Bailey’s confusion on these issues goes back years. In 2015, he wrote:
For awhile now, I’ve been asking people a simple question.
If the terrorist organization ISIL is Islamic, and represents something profound about that faith, does the same standard apply to Christianity and the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan?
I haven’t gotten many good answers, or any direct ones, actually.
I’ve usually posed the question to people who most adamantly believe that because ISIL said it is adhering to its faith, the group’s members must be true Muslims.
“Islam is right there, in their name!” they shout.
That clarity of conviction disappears when talk turns to the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a group that had long operated in South Carolina, inflicting terror on black residents, those who supported them and others deemed undesirables.
All right. But it is unclear which point of view Bailey himself favors. Does he think the KKK is un-Christian, or does he think that the Islamic State is un-Islamic? It seems likely that he wants to shame Christians by making them admit that the Klan is Christian, yet here again, it is virtually certain that he would never dare to ask “what good is it really” about Islam under any circumstances.
The academic environment all over the country today, and in Europe as well, is anti-Christian and pro-Islam. Most academics are all too willing to make the leaps of logic necessary to sustain this perspective. And when we see the recent graduates of American colleges and universities out rioting for socialism and increasing racial polarization, the effect that deep-thinking professors such as Issac Bailey have on their hapless charges is all too obvious.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.