The NY Times delivers 'the story behind the story' on the recent David Kirkpatrick piece about Muslims and violence. There is comic gold early on, so I pressed ahead. The hook:
After the killing of 132 schoolchildren by the Pakistani Taliban last month, my editor, Michael Slackman and I started talking about the reactions among non-Muslim Americans. The world had watched the bloody rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Now horrific violence under the banner of Islam seemed to be breaking out around the world.
Michael said he heard many non-Muslims Americans wondering whether Islam was inherently violent — or simply asserting as fact that it was (Bill Maher comes to mind). We decided to report an article of some kind providing an honest, informed, head-on examination of the question. At the risk of sounding grandiose, it struck us both as a public service.
It took the Pakistani massacre to prompt some reporting on that question? Not the ISIS beheadings over the summer, or the "Bring Back Our Girls... or take more, whatever" debacle, or the Rushdie/Satanic Verses fatwa or, just thinking out loud here, the 9/11 attack on New York City, which I know did not escape the attention of the Times? Hmm, Newsweek included religion among the answers to their famous "Why Do They Hate Us?" post 9/11 cover.
Is it possible that these Timesmen are so cocooned that no one they speak to ever broaches the possibility that there is a violent strain of Islam loose in the world? I guess so.
Many Muslims find the question itself bigoted.
And if you ask it they will kill you. NO, they didn't write that, but don't be drawing or publishing any Mohammed cartoons or there will be riots.