Scott Walker is reaching out to try to garner the Muslim voting bloc as only a Republican can. While speaking in New Hampshire Friday, the former candidate du jour before the Teflon Don cannon-balled into the already packed clown car claimed that there were a “handful” of “reasonable, moderate” followers of Islam.
The rest, however, are apparently at war with the United States.
There’s very little that connects terrorists. They don’t have the same motivation and they’re not bearded lunatics who want to blow up white American babies, because they hate our Jesus Freedom™. Republicans may want a world where international politics boil down to the moral complexity of a Saturday morning cartoon, but over here in reality, the story is very different.
The one unifying trend for all terrorists, whether they’re Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, anti-abortion activists, or radical Muslims, is anger. It’s not mental illness, it’s not poverty and it’s not even social alienation, although those may factor in for certain individuals.
A radical Christian isn’t motivated by God when they gun down a doctor who performs abortion. They’re motivated by their anger towards the doctor, their anger that abortion exists and their anger towards the system for not fixing the “problem.” “God” is the thing that gets used to justify the violent expression anger.
Similarly, when a radical Muslim blows up a cafe, God and Islam are window dressing. They’re motivated by their anger towards the West and for its crimes, both real and perceived.
This is why the problem isn’t a religious one and treating it like a religious one overlooks the reality. If God weren’t used to justify acts of terrorism, it’d be something else — say, ethnic nationalism.
Anger — and we can throw in indignation, too — is a social as well as physical problem. If you want to address terrorism, you figure out some way to address anger and treat the way we express it, since that’s the problem.
No solution, no problem
Walker isn’t interested in finding accurate solutions to the problem of terrorism, though. His statement says that much; while on the campaign trail, Walker told potential voters, “it’s a war against even the handful of reasonable, moderate followers of Islam who don’t share the radical beliefs that these radical Islamic terrorists have.”
Walker would go on in to claim that these terrorists are at war with American, Israel, Christianity, and Judaism as well.
The Council of American-Islamic Relations wasn’t pleased by the remark:
These types of inaccurate statements reflect a lack of understanding of Islam and Muslims that is, frankly, not presidential,” said Council on American–Islamic Relations spokesman Robert McCaw in a statement. “If Mr. Walker believes only a ‘handful’ of Muslims are moderate or reasonable, then he is ignoring the very clear reality that violent extremists murder more Muslims than they do people of any other faith.
However, when asked to clarify Walker’s statement, his spokeswomen, AshLee Strong, claimed:
The governor knows that the majority of ISIS’s victims are Muslims.
Muslims who want to live in peace – the majority of Muslims – are the first target of radical Islamic terrorists.
There’s a difference between “majority of” and “handful of,” but who needs such fine distinctions when they’re trying to garner the support of their rabid base?
Feature image via Flickr