Roger L. Simon

Are Republicans Crazy Xenophobes? Answering Fareed Zakaria

Non-practicing Muslim Fareed Zakaria took to the op-ed pages of the Washington Post last week  — “I am a Muslim. But Trump’s views appall me because I am an American” — to lacerate Donald Trump and other unspecified Republican candidates, whom he called “Trump-Lite,” for bigotry against his faith.  After the usual bashing, Zarkaria concludes on what he assumes to be a positive note:

I remain an optimist. Trump has taken the country by surprise. People don’t quite know how to respond to the vague, unworkable proposals (“We have to do something!”), the phony statistics, the dark insinuations of conspiracies (“There’s something we don’t know,” he says, about President Obama) and the naked appeals to peoples’ prejudices.

But this is not the 1930s. People from all sides of the spectrum are condemning Trump — though there are several Trump-Lites among the Republican candidates. The country will not stay terrified. Even after San Bernardino, the number of Americans killed by Islamist terrorists on U.S. soil in the 14 years since 9/11 is 45 — an average of about three people a year. The number killed in gun homicides this year alone will be about 11,000.

Well,  yes, but the real problem is global, not local —’s report on just the last three days for which they have record as of this writing, December 10-12:

2015.12.12 (Homs, Syria) – Sixteen ‘infidels’ are pulled limb from limb by two ISIS suicide blasts at a hospital.

2015.12.11 (Kolofata, Cameroon) – Islamists strap a 13-year-old girl with explosives and send her into a house, killing at least eleven inside.

2015.12.11 (Kabul, Afghanistan) – Two Spanish guards are among seven killed when a Taliban suicide bomber detonates at their embassy.

2015.12.10 (Kamuya, Nigeria) – Religion of Peace activists bicycle into a village and massacre fourteen civilians, some by decapitation.

2015.12.10 (Mosul, Iraq) – A female teacher is dragged before a caliphate firing squad and executed.

2015.12.10 (Tal Tamr, Syria) – Three suicide car bombers take out scores bystanders at a hospital and market square.

Unknown to almost everyone as the above may be, that makes 55 deaths in those last three days, by rough count, not including the “scores bystanders” at the Tal Tamyr event.  (A score is twenty, if I remember my Lincoln.) The website also reports 169 jihad attacks in 30 countries, netting 1455 deaths and 1706 seriously wounded for November 2015 alone. They record 27422 jihadist attacks since 9/11.

Zakaria thinks that the USA is somehow absented from this global mayhem, but the world is tiny and it is not just because of Paris and San Bernardino that the jihadist onslaught is moving inexorably here. It has been predicted — and attempted — for a long time. Caliphates do not wish or to intend recognize international borders.  All humanity is under Allah — or supposed to be. Beyond that, there’s the little matter of the rumors the Islamic State is close to obtaining or has obtained WMDs.  Rumor or not for now, in the long run it would seem almost inevitable, unless something serious is done.

Trump’s uniform banning of Muslims is not the answer, but neither is Zakaria’s tendentious palaver about the innocence of Muslims in the U.S., citing, as he does, one or two anecdotal instances to demonstrate the Islamic community seeks to assimilate in our society when almost all of us know that in far too many instances the reverse is true.  Militant anti-assimilationism is built into the doctrine of the religion itself, which separates the world into Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb.  Even a semi-apostate like Zakaria must know that, although he clearly does not want to acknowledge or deal with it.

Trump is a symptom, not the problem.  And the problem is the cancer in Islam itself which people like Zakaria (and Obama) refuse to accept or even name, deflecting the issue to Trump’s pronouncements, which are self-admittedly meant to provoke and almost always backtracked on anyway. In the final analysis, the one doing the bloviating is Zakaria, not Trump.

I am a Jew and relatively as secular in my faith as Zakaria is in his, yet I hope if there were an explosion of Jewish violence and terrorism toward innocent civilians across the globe on anything approaching the Islamic level, I would be doing everything I could to oppose it vehemently and publicly, demanding a deep and abiding reformation of my religion as immediately as possible.

With rare and cherished exceptions, few Muslims are doing that.  I’ll start worrying about Donald Trump the minute I see Fareed Zakaria using his bully pulpit at CNN to insist on a through reformation of Islam, instead of endless blathering about Islamophobia. Until then, I am, to say the least, unimpressed.

And, by the way, Fareed may not think this is the 1930s, but speaking as one of many of whose ancestors disappeared in that and the subsequent decade, except to the willfully blind, the similarities grow more evident by the day.