MSNBC’s Joy Reid is not your typical empty-headed liberal news anchor adept at Newspeak and other Orwellian forms of communication. Reid is a bona fide provocateur — a cattle prod for the right whose utterances rarely fail to astonish and amaze.
This one even raised eyebrows on the left.
The cable news host and conspiracy theory enthusiast remarked this week, amid a larger discussion on President Trump and radicalization, that leaders in “the Muslim world” often “encourage their supporters” to commit acts of violence against their enemies.
“When leaders, let’s say in the Muslim world, talk a lot of violent talk and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence, including on their own bodies, in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy,” Reid said Monday evening, “we in the U.S. media describe that as, ‘They are radicalizing those people,’ particularly when they’re radicalizing young people.”
Actually, that’s a load of hogswallow. People susceptible to a violent message are already “radicalized.” What Reid is confusing with radicalization is just plain old incitement to violence. The radicalization bus left the station long ago.
Reid has a childish view of the clash of civilization and a profound ignorance of Islamic extremism.
This is weirdly reminiscent of when Reid promoted what she called a “salient” blog post in 2006 that stated: “My feeling is that the only reason that a world war between civilizations has not already broken out is that the vast majority of Muslims living in the world today are so desperately poor that they have the time, energy and resources for only the occasional burst of AK-47 fire into the air from the garbage and sewage laden streets outside of their mud huts.”
The post added, “Give them resources and I fear that they will come after us everywhere that they can find us, which is to say everywhere.”
Well, they can’t all be “desperately poor” or many of them wouldn’t have cell phones. And the idea that Muslim terrorists lack ammunition in any instance is too absurd to be criticized.
Some on the left might have agreed with her about Trump “radicalizing” his supporters, but were appalled at her use of Muslims as an example.
“PSA for all the journalists and talk show hosts out there proposing that Muslims are inherently violent or that they encourage violence: STOP. This false and inaccurate narrative encourages #Islamophobia, which is life threatening for Muslims,” said activist Wardah Khalid.
HuffPost’s Rowaida Abdelaziz said, “What a terrible, dangerous, & completely inaccurate analogy to make.”
You're perpetuating Islamophobia here. Your equating terrorism/radicalization with Muslims is not only bigoted & untrue but endangers actual or perceived Muslims, including Sikhs and South Asians. Please recant and apologize. https://t.co/WacecWja6r
— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) September 1, 2020
The funniest thing about it is that if Reid is made to apologize for her comments this week about Muslims, it will not be because she compared Trump supporters to Islamic extremists but because she compared Islamic extremists to Trump supporters.
To the extent that Trump “radicalizes” anyone there is absolutely no example that Reid could give of Trump exhorting his supporters to commit violent acts. Leftist nightmares aside, Barack Obama “radicalized” a lot more Democrats than Trump has “radicalized” Republicans. It’s a stupid, ignorant argument to make and bears no relationship to facts or the truth.