If Muslims are responsible for Islamic terrorism, are Muslim-bashers responsible for the massacre in Norway?
Read Slate's complete coverage of the tragedy in Norway.
And the hypocrisy doesn't end with Geller. It permeates the Republican presidential field. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich agree with Geller that no mosque should be built near Ground Zero. Herman Cain, in the style of George Wallace, just went to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to support local bigots who want to stop the construction of a mosque there. Rick Santorum told a Christian school audience: "The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical." And Michele Bachmann defended a congressional inquiry into Muslim violence by pointing out that recently,
Two of our soldiers were gunned down in Germany, and the fellow who shot them shouted "Allah Akhbar" before he did that. And just the week before that, we had a 20-year-old from Saudi Arabia, here on a student visa in Dallas, who had accumulated all of the chemicals necessary to create a bomb on the order of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing. … If we don't understand that there are Sharia-compliant terrorists in our midst … we will make ourselves more vulnerable.
Well, now we have a Crusade-compliant terrorist who has accumulated explosive chemicals, blown up a federal building with a bomb on the order of Oklahoma City, and gunned down scores of civilians. Don't hold your breath waiting for Bachmann or anyone else in Congress to investigate the Christian angle.
The vindictive part of me wants to blame Geller and her ilk for what happened in Oslo. But then I remember something Abdul Rauf said: "The Quran explicitly states that no soul shall be responsible for the sins of another. Terrorism, which targets innocents who had no part in a crime, fundamentally violates this Quranic commandment." That principle—that no one should be held responsible for another person's sins—is the moral core of the struggle against terrorism. It's the reason I can't pin the slaughter in Norway on bloggers who never advocated sectarian violence. I just wish those bloggers, and the politicians who echo them, would show Muslims the same courtesy.
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
Image of blogger Pamela Geller cropped from photo with former IDF chief of staff Moshe Yaalon courtesy Pamela Geller.