The test of a first-rate intelligence, as the man once famously said, is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in one’s mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. In case you needed any more proof that there’s very little by way of first-rate intelligence at the New York Times these days, the paper of record’s latest editorial about Paris should do the trick.
“Perhaps the greatest danger in the wake of the massacres is that more Europeans will come to the conclusion that all Muslim immigrants on the Continent are carriers of a great and mortal threat,” it reads. “Anti-immigrant sentiments were already at a dangerous level, making it essential for national and pan-European leaders in coming days to underscore that extremism is not inherent to the Muslim faith, and that the Islamists themselves are hardly a single entity.”
Elsewhere in the same newspaper, in the sections that still, presumably, concern themselves with facts, we learn that there may be another danger at hand, and that it may be even greater than unkind sentiments towards Muslims: the danger of Jews being murdered by radical Islamists. To counteract this threat—which is manifested in reality, not the preening sentiments of newspaper editors desperate to seem sensitive—the French authorities had assigned 4,700 police officers to guard the country’s 700 Jewish schools and institutions. It is yet unclear how many armed guards were posted in the streets of Paris and Marseille and Lyon to protect feelings from being hurt.
Most intelligent, educated people have long realized that while the murderous ideology of ISIS and al Qaeda does not represent the entirety of the world’s Muslim population or the true core of the Muslim religion—only zealots and morons would make such a thwarted argument—it does represent a group of people possessing sufficient motivation, training, and ammunition to inflict considerable damage in their war against our civilization and all that we hold dear. Most intelligent, educated people, then, have no problem identifying the events unfolding in Paris as the doing of crazed Islamists bent on holy war while still harboring no grudge for the religion at large or the many hundreds of millions of Muslims who are shocked and offended by the murders as anyone else the world over. It’s not that complicated, and it shouldn’t be above the moral and intellectual capacity of a fearless and secure newspaper. Would that there were one around.
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