General Boykin and the vast left-wing muslim conspiracy

Yourish has a report from her breakfast with Daniel Pipes up, and the part that caught my interest was Pipes' interpretation of the General Boykin flap.

Boykin, a Christian evangelical, made comments to a Christian group that described the battle agains Islam and a clash with the devil. Boykin has apologized for these remarks, but says he was taken out of context (the similarity to Easterbrook's apology is quite striking). The Pentagon initially defended Boykin and is now investigating whether he violated regs by making the comments whil on duty in uniform. He will not be asked to resign.

(my opinion on Boykin: much like Easterbrook, he made a valid point in a truly reprehensible way. As with Easterbrook, his apology speaks volumes more than the original comment. Whether he is guilty of violating regs is another matter but I'm simply not interested in that issue).

What is more interesting is Pipes' analysis:

Pipes said that he is being silenced because Boykin criticized Islam. "There is an attempt by Muslim organizations to silence criticism of Islam." Pipes spoke briefly about American Muslim organizations trying to prevent his appointment as another example of silencing criticism. Pipes was also very clear about where he stands on Islam. He said the problem isn't Islam, it is Islamic fascists. He said that the war isn't really a war on terror, it's a war on the ideology behind the terrorists.

I don't disagree with Pipes' main point, in fact it's one of my themes as well. I can't believe that Pipes has the same enmity for Islam as the LGF commentors do, for example, or that many muslims have against Judaism.

But I think it does take a certain animus towards American Muslims as a group to paint the reaction to Boykin's poorly-phrased comments as the work of a concerted conspiratorial attempt by muslims to silence "criticism of Islam". Boykin did not make the distinction between Islam and fanatics in his comments, and until his apology it was not clear that he even understood that distinction. Pipes betrays his own attitude that any defense of Islam is objectively pro-terrorist, and imself fails to understand that sometimes Islam itself does indeed come under attack.

It's a trivial excercise to replace "Islam" with Judaism" in Boykin's statements and speculate about the reaction. It would have been much the same if not greater, with good reason. Islam is not a valid target either.

I find the argument that muslims are silencing criticism to be ironic, given the fact that he precedes topse comments by muslim animus towards Judaism. There are certainly parallels galore here.

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