In a fury over Nikolas Cruz’s shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore joined the chorus of voices on the Left blaming the NRA for the murders. He tweeted Friday: “The NRA is a terrorist organization. The media should speak of the NRA in the same way they do ISIS.”
Piling on the implausibility, he added: “Total ISIS-inspired deaths in US = 79. Thanks to the NRA & the politicians they buy, we’ve had 1.2 MILLION American gun deaths since John Lennon was shot dead in NYC #NRAKillsKids.”
Moore’s figures — 79 deaths “inspired” by ISIS, 1.2 million “thanks to the NRA,” — are a breathtakingly tendentious oversimplification. But even taking them at face value, his equivalence is absurd. Michael Moore demonstrates that he knows nothing about either the NRA or the Islamic State (ISIS).
After all, you remember when the NRA conquered all that territory and collected the jizya from non-NRA members. You remember when the NRA forced all those female non-NRA members into sex slavery. You remember the NRA’s series of grisly public beheadings. You remember when the NRA called upon its members to murder civilians in the U.S. and Europe by shooting them, or knifing them, or running over them with cars.
Does Michael Moore really not know about all this? Did he pay no attention to the news of ISIS’s atrocities when the group was at its zenith? It is much more likely that he simply doesn’t care about those atrocities — or more precisely, that he blames the United States for them.
Moore has made clear in a number of his works (notably Canadian Bacon, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Dude, Where’s My Country?) that he subscribes to a view common among Leftists: that the defense against the global jihad is merely an expression of American populism and economic imperialism (as well as of the Bush family’s ties with Saudi Arabia), and that if the big bad white Americans would just leave the jihadis alone, they would return the favor.
Moore’s likening of the NRA to ISIS is just the latest manifestation of the unconscious paternalism and ethnocentrism that mars so much of the West’s response to Islamic jihad. They assume that Muslims are passive, helpless people who can do nothing but react to what the West does or does not do.
The idea that Muslims may have ideas of their own — that some of them may hate us for reasons of their own that are derived from Islamic texts and teachings, and that such hatred cannot be dislodged by any amount of “respect” from non-Muslims — never seems to enter their minds. Oddly enough, those same paternalist and ethnocentrist assumptions have driven much of the U.S. foreign policy that Moore so disdains.
For years after 9/11, the U.S. showered billions of dollars on Afghanistan and Iraq, building schools and hospitals and roads and more. The U.S. did this because of the mistaken assumption that good will would be met with good will, and that we could essentially buy hearts and minds in the Islamic world with our munificence.
The South African Mufti Ebrahim Desai, the imam of an “Ask the Imam” feature at a Muslim question and answer site, was once asked this question (spelling and grammar as in the original):
The west is often criticised by Muslims for many reasons, such as allowing women go to work. But shouldnt the west also recieve praise because its always them who intervene when muslims r being tortured, they stopped Milosovic kiling muslims and sent their own troops to the country, they r usually the first to send aid when theres a flood, they r also intervening in Isreal and condeming them killing Muslims, so should we appreciate their efforts or not?
Desai’s answer was brief:
In simple the Kuffaar [unbelievers] can never be trusted for any possible good they do. They have their own interest at heart.
One man’s opinion? Sure. But it is an opinion with deep roots in Islamic tradition, and it would therefore be naïve to dismiss it as simply Desai’s own mean-spiritedness. The Qur’an tells Muslims:
[N]ever will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion. (2:120)
Michael Moore doesn’t know or care about that. He is certain that any anger jihadis feel toward the U.S. is George Bush’s fault, and now Donald Trump’s. And anyway, the NRA is far more of a threat.
This is the Left’s fantasy world. No amount of reality is likely to be enough to break through.