Fear of a Muslim planet

After reading that "a majority [of Americans] now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence," Iranian-born, secular Muslim Ogged, believes that liberals should stop crying Timothy McVeigh every time someone associates Middle-eastern looking Muslims with terrorism:


The fact is that most of the recent terrorist attacks that you might care to name--9-11, the London bombings, the Cole, the African embassies--were carried out by Muslims, and Muslims who look pretty much like you expect Muslims to look, at that... even those of you who are so far left that your right ventricles don't even beat will admit that in your heart of hearts, whatever vanishingly small worries you have about terrorism involve a guy on a bus who doesn't look like Tim McVeigh.
Ogged suggests the Pie Strategy wherein liberals admit to their fear of the Other (Muslims) and go to mosques with pies to share over conversation: "Instead of the 'vast majority of Muslims are law-abiding...' crap that we hear from liberals, let's hear 'We're all scared of each other, let's have pie!'"

A nice idea, of course, and I'm absolutely in favor of validating the fact of people's fears (even if the rationale isn't supported by the data), but here's what gives me pause. It's only a short step from admitting that it's brown people we fear to racial profiling, which is both ethically wrong and, as Malcolm Gladwell points out in his excellent article Troublemakers: What Pit Bulls Can Teach us About Racial Profiling, woefully ineffective.

So while we're sharing our sweet potato pie (no whip for Gonzales, thanks), let's be sure to separate our fears from our policies... (PoliticalAnimal)

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