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In Yo Face!

Sometimes, I hate to admit, I appreciate my "detractors" here more than I do my supporters. It's because of the odd way my brain works. (Well, one of the odd ways.) Often, I get my best thoughts when I'm challenged.

And hoo boy, do they challenge me.

Last week, I discussed the "Ground Zero Mosque" (or whatever they're calling it now). Well, "jim x" didn't care for what I wrote:

"It's not illegal" isn't a defense, it's a confession."

Think about it. When do you hear that phrase, or some variant?

Wow.

When do I hear that? When I hear people like:

- Gun owners

- People using free speech to discuss controversial matters.

- People wanting to assemble in a public place.

Basically, ANY TIME someone wants to do something in America that makes some other people uncomfortable.

Freedom ISN'T JUST FOR PEOPLE YOU LIKE.

Freedom is for anyone who hasn't committed a crime, because in addition to freedom of religion it's about **innocent until proven guilty**.

If you don't like it, maybe you should leave.

That hit me right between the eyes. Hard. Because I remembered once writing this piece, where I outlined what I called "the BIFFLI principle" -- a right is something that you can freely exercise with absolutely no explanation or rationale or justification whatsoever other than "Because I Frakking Felt Like It!"

Damn.

I had to think about this for a while. I firmly believe in both principles, and here's jim x attacking one by using a form of the other.

But I think I found a way to recognize it.

Most of the time, when someone is using the BIFFLI principle, they're doing it precisely to assert that right. I know I have -- I think it's useful, every now and then, to remind the Powers That Be that we, the people, have certain inalienable rights, and we know how to exercise them. It's an exercise in civil rights, in giving the PTB a mild poke to remind them just where their power ends, and ours begins.

I'm reminded of certain demonstrations, like when gun owners in New Hampshire decided to clean up certain streets in Manchster. They all got together and picked up all the trash and garbage on the streets of Manchester's inner city, all the while carrying their firearms. It was a demonstration of both the generally peaceable nature and civic-mindedness of gun owners -- and not once did one of those guns leave its holster.

And when it's not the sole motive, that's usually the first line of defense when the move is challenged.

In the case of the Mosque/not-Mosque, it was the latter case -- the "exercise of our rights" argument -- was the fallback position. The first answer was that the building was intended to promote unity and harmony and understanding and tolerance and peace.

It was only after those allegedly being "reached out to" by the building backers said "you know, we're not exactly getting the warm fuzzies from this whole project. In fact, it's having just the opposite effect. It's causing a lot of pain and anger and resentment, because of its proximity to what has become hallowed ground, among other factors." That's when the "BIFFLI" defense came up, translating the whole thing into "we're going to build this monument to unity and harmony and understanding and tolerance and peace, and ram it right down your throats, and you don't have any legal way of stopping us."

And that brings up the second point: I have never called for making this move illegal. Others have discussed using existing laws and regulations and principles to challenge the plan, as well as using other, legal means to slow or stop it -- such as calling upon contractors to refuse to do the work. The overall theme is "we can't stop you, but there's no way in hell we're going to help you."

Again, I stand by my conclusion: this mosque/not-mosque project is serving a tremendously valuable purpose: it's showing us -- all of us -- the true face of the Islamic backers: that understanding and tolerance is purely a one-way street. Those are things we owe them, not things that they have to show us.

Thanks for the lesson, folks. Many of us will be sure to remember it.


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Comments (51)

"...that understanding and ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...that understanding and tolerance is purely a one-way street."

Not to rehash it, but sorta like gays and the use of the word marriage.

That stupid mosque... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


That stupid mosque is intended as a jab in the eye to the COUNTRY--not merely New York.

It is a declaration of victory, in keeping with the Muslim tradition of erecting a mosque on or near the site of said victory.

The purported justification for it is nothing but cover. I will bet that if it does get built, within 6 months the first calls for jihad against the infidels will surface. And then, the supporters will deny reality once more.

So let it be done, then those sane ones who live in the real world can pick up the pieces after the inevitable.

Not going to post on this further,nothing more to say, really. So flame it or agree,I'm all done with it.

It's not surprising the hea... (Below threshold)
914:

It's not surprising the heartless religion of peace is cramming it down New Yorker's throat's. Judging by the 12th century way they debase thier better female half's it's to be expected.

Jim x's- "Freedom is for anyone who hasn't committed a crime, because in addition to freedom of religion it's about **innocent until proven guilty**."

Struck Me as a very defensive posture. No on was accused of a crime and there was no trial Jim x. Just ordinary American's that are sick and tired of weasel like liberal's continually taking the low road.

The exercise of right is a ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The exercise of right is a fall back position because it is a weak one.

Yes they have a right to build a mosque. No they do not have an absolute right to build a mosque at any time anywhere they choose. Just as a Christian church cannot build a new facility anywhere they choose.

All rights have limits. My rights end where they infringe upon other's rights. My right to free speech ends where I am deliberately drowning out someone else's voice so they cannot be heard and violating their rights (Leftists on college campuses should learn this lesson). My rights to build any building are subject to zoning and use regulations.

The mosque is being built where it is , in a business district away from the actual residences of those who would attend it, because it is intended to be an affront. It is intended to insult and offend. It could and ought to be built elsewhere. There are more suitable locations. Their right to build it does not mean that they have a right to build it in a way calculated to cause the greatest public disturbance.

Jim x was missing the point... (Below threshold)
alanstorm:

Jim x was missing the point, as usual. The issue is not whether it's legal, it's whether it's appropriate. Things can be legal and still be inappropriate or otherwise inadvisable.

Example of the latter: walking into a biker bar and yelling "Harley Riders are fags!'. Not advisable. It's all perfectly legal, some of the other customers may well be gay; you're still going to get pummeled.

Example of the former: The GZ mosque. It's perfectly legal to build one in that spot, but it's phenomenally inappropriate. A structure belonging to the religion in whose name the twin towers were destroyed, headed by an Imam who wants to see sharia law in the US? One that is intended to open on 9/11/2011?

This isn't about "tolerance" and "understanding". Radical Islam is exploiting our own PC inanities against us. Failure to understand that is dangerous.

It strikes me that Jim x is... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It strikes me that Jim x is not for the mosque per se. It seems that he is for it because it upsets people. If this were a Christian church and a stream of libs were coming out against it he would be militating against it too. His advocacy for the mosque is not a defense of anyone's rights. It is a posture of convenience because it upsets those he doesn't like.

This whole subject of the 9... (Below threshold)
Stan:

This whole subject of the 9/11 mosque maybe moot in a few days. The reason why? Well, some enterprising person has found that the site of the mosque is not wholly owned by the developers. That is right folks, someone else owns 1/2 of the land that the developers wanted to use for the building. As sure as the sun will rise in the morning, there are a lot of people checking their hole cards and trying to figure out the best way to get this property. If the current owner, has a bit of intelligence, he or she will put a screeching halt to the construction before it even begins. http://video.foxnews.com/v/4306055/roadblock-for-ground-zero-mosque

The land owners should hold... (Below threshold)
Dane:

The land owners should hold an Auction for the land. I bet a lot of people would participate.

I neglected to mention who ... (Below threshold)
Stan:

I neglected to mention who own that 1/2 of the site. The owner in question, is none other than Consolidated Edison. Yes that ConEd, who supplies the utilities to the city of New York. I really doubt that they will sell at any price.

Yes that ConEd, wh... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Yes that ConEd, who supplies the utilities to the city of New York. I really doubt that they will sell at any price.

ConEd just made a statement that they already signed an option for the purchase of the land by the Mosque backers. It's just a matter of them coming up with the money.

Of course there's nothing to prevent future politicians from changing the zoning laws so that a strip club, or a small footprint hog farm could go in across the street from the Mosque.

a right is somethi... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:
a right is something that you can freely exercise with absolutely no explanation or rationale or justification whatsoever other than "Because I Frakking Felt Like It!"
...to a government agent. That's the thing you are forgetting.

There is no conflict between holding "'It's not illegal' isn't a defense, it's a confession" and the BIFFLI to be true at the same time. The first is a measure of morality, the second of legality. The would-be mosque builders, if they are ever stopped by the police or hauled into court over why the are building a mosque with their money on their property, better damn well be able to tell the government "Because I Frakking Felt Like it!" and have nothing happen. However, when people ask them why, "BIFFLI" is a confession that they are doing something wrong.

This Ground Zero mosque has... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This Ground Zero mosque has proven what so many of us believe. Islamic leaders do not have empathy or compassion which are to very important beliefs in most faiths, except Islam I guess.

Now they are looking into the papers the Imam submitted requesting the building permit when in fact he did not possess an open deed to one of the properties. Could be fined for that and NYC loves their fines. ww

Let's see, if we can make a... (Below threshold)
warisgreat:

Let's see, if we can make a billion enemies!

I still would be tickled to... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

I still would be tickled to see "Uncle Mo's BBQ Pork Palace" theme restaurant next door. I'd be a great demonstration about how peacefully we can all coexist (which is to say I'd expect the restaurant workers to recv death threats).

Not only would such a resta... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Not only would such a restaurant owner receive death threats, mayor Bloomberg would pull his business license so fast it would make your head spin.

Rusty at Jawa has in intere... (Below threshold)
epador:

Rusty at Jawa has in interesting take on how to deal with this kind of thing (reciprocity).

Do your own surfing, no link provided as its not my site AND I am lazy today.

"Freedom ISN'T JUST FOR PEO... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Freedom ISN'T JUST FOR PEOPLE YOU LIKE."

And he had to shout that in the hopes that it would confuse the issue. We see it all the time. Criticize what someone said and invariably someone will pop up in the comments and make damn sure we're reminded that 'THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH' (caps intended) when you never even challenged anyone's rights.

Newsflash, Sparky, I don't have to like your exercize of any rights. I merely have to tolerate it.

In addition to gun owners, ... (Below threshold)
galoob:

In addition to gun owners, you could add tobacco companies, alcohol companies, smokers, drinkers, and fatty fast-food floggers to whom your "It's not illegal" isn't a defense, it's a confession" might be applied to.

Tough shit, rights are only really exercised in the face of opposition. It's like resistance training.

It's the Muslim's property, get over it and stop whining.

Yes Galoob, and the sidewal... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes Galoob, and the sidewalk is public property and if my friends and I wanted to go down there 5 times a day at their call to prayer and eat bacon sandwiches we could do that too. I suspect they would be threatening to cut someone's head off if that were to happen. Or perhaps like occurred recently in Michigan when Christians dared mention the name of Christ in the presence of a muslim they would have them arrested.

Have at it, jim m. Nothing... (Below threshold)
galoob:

Have at it, jim m. Nothing like a BLT.

It being New York, with the street's usual carnival show, I doubt anyone will care.

My oh my Gazoo, you certain... (Below threshold)
914:

My oh my Gazoo, you certainly are a good little dhimmi aren't you. How about we set up a hot dog stand across the street with a banner stating 'Christ save's'.

Do you think the Abdullah's & Mullah's would bitch and moan about it before or after they blow it up or and behead customer's?

Yeah, 914, maybe you could ... (Below threshold)
galoob:

Yeah, 914, maybe you could team up with jim m and spend all of your time eating pork and preaching for Jesus on the sidewalk in front.

But I doubt anyone will care in NYC.

It's "Christ Saves," and "customers" BTW, not "Christ Save's" and "customer's." Learn the difference between the plural and the possessive forms. It makes you look like an illiterate if you write like that.

Galoob, I would knock off t... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Galoob, I would knock off the grammar and/or spelling grades. Many here write on the fly and do not have time to re-read what they commented. It is forgivable since I am not an uptight liberals asshole.

914 plural or possess away. ww

galoob, hasn't it occurred ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

galoob, hasn't it occurred to you that jim m and 914 don't care about the reactions of people on the streets of NYC? The audience they would be seeking to reach would be those inside the mosque/community center.

Or were you being deliberately obtuse and trying to take the discussion elsewhere?

Jay Tea, I appreciate you'r... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea, I appreciate you're having the intellectual honesty to deal with my statement on it's merits.

From my point of view, the foo-foo-rah about this mosque is that the Muslims involved "shouldn't do this" for one reason or another.

My point of view is that, if it's legal and isn't harming anyone, than "shouldn't" or "innappropriate" are entirely irrelevant statements. Constitutionality isn't a fallback position - it's the bottom line.

"Ordinary Americans" does also include Muslims. It really, really does. Working men and women, raising their families in America because they love it here.

One Muslim man who worked in the WTC area was suspected of being involved in 9/11, because he disappeared that day - until later it was found out that he **rushed into** the WTC to help people, and was killed when it came down.

These are your fellow Americans.

And if people were saying that a Pentecostal or Evangelist church had no right to built somewhere because many considered these religions to be a-holes, I would be saying the exact same thing: we don't have to like people in order to give them freedom. As long as they're obeying relevant laws and not hurting people, they're free to live their lives in any way they choose.

Newsflash, Sparky, I don... (Below threshold)

Newsflash, Sparky, I don't have to like your exercize of any rights. I merely have to tolerate it.

Super-duper, ace. Ditto.

By the way - tolerance generally implies not considering innocent people of another religion inherently evil plotters against all that's good in America. FYI.

I think the issue is not me... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I think the issue is not merely that they are building the mosque there. It is that there is a very thinly concealed desire to turn it into a shrine to the 19 terrorists who committed that atrocity.

I don't object to them holding jobs or having a place to worship. I object to their desire to commemorate the murder of 3000 of my countrymen. If this were not their intent it would be of no consequence what-so-ever to move the mosque. The fact that it MUST be built there belies the motivation.

By the way - tolerance g... (Below threshold)

By the way - tolerance generally implies not considering innocent people of another religion inherently evil plotters against all that's good in America. FYI.

Not in my book, jim x. To me, "tolerance" governs actions. It doesn't regulate thoughts.

Why do you want to criminalize thoughts and beliefs?

J.

JT, jim x was obviously tal... (Below threshold)
galoob:

JT, jim x was obviously talking about tolerance as a sentiment, not tolerance as a legal concept. We are not talking about state action here, as there is no question that the law tolerates expressions like the ones here trying to paint all Muslims as evil jihadis. That is your right.

He is kicking your ass on the argument from the limited government end, so quit while you're ahead.

Galoob, I don't recall maki... (Below threshold)

Galoob, I don't recall making the argument for the government to stop the mosque, so if he's "kicking my ass" on that, he must be making the argument that the government should intervene.

But I don't see that happening above...

J.

No tolerance does not have ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No tolerance does not have multiple definitions. JT is correct. You are confusing prejudice with intolerance. Not being prejudiced means that I don't group people by an inappropriate stereotype. Tolerance means I can be as prejudiced as I like yet I accept the other person's presence and allow them to think and live their life as they choose.

Tolerance does not mean that I have to accept everything they do without protest.

Tolerance does not mean that I have to accept their viewpoints as either valid or true.

Tolerance does not mean that I have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The problem with tolerance and islam is that while the left demands that we tolerate muslims, muslims do not reciprocate.

JT, you implied that jim x ... (Below threshold)
galoob:

JT, you implied that jim x was advocating criminalizing "thoughts and beliefs," which he was in no way doing. What he was saying was that you and others were intolerant in sentiment.

True, you are not calling for government to stop the mosque.

You are just whining about other people exercising their rights, like some prissy PC liberal complaining about other people exercising their rights smoking or eating McDonald's. The PC liberal usually has an agenda to ban those things, though.

Galoob,33 years ag... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Galoob,

33 years ago the NSPA (aka Nazi's) sought to march in Skokie Illinois, a largely Jewish community. Yes they had a right to march. Yes they had a right to express themselves. Yes they won their SCOTUS case.

However, they were not claiming to want to build bridges and understanding.

The march, like the mosque was meant as an affront to the public. It was meant as an insult and a deliberate abuse of legal rights.

Again, we are not claiming that they have no rights, but that they are abusing them, that they are deliberately provoking public outrage. We are also saying that they have a right to build their mosque but that they could easily have chosen a better location that will not be as insulting to a large segment of the population.

And yes Jim xj was saying that tolerance was about how someone thought (he used the word "consider" which is entirely about thought). In as much as the argument was that we must tolerate the muslims on account of the constitution, the argument was that to think ill of them was to violate their constitutional rights. I would advise you to 'consider' your phrasing better if you are trying o make a different case.

from the Merriam Webster de... (Below threshold)
galoob:

from the Merriam Webster definition:

2 a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own b : the act of allowing something

http://mw4.m-w.com/dictionary/tolerance

jim x was talking about "sympathy or indulgence" not "the act of allowing something."

Also, jim m, it seems to me that Muslims in America have been "tolerating" a lot of booze, indecent dressing and pork eating for years. You can even see that "tolerance" in Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Dubai and Amman, for that matter.

Jeffrey Goldberg had an interesting piece about the Muslim worship every Friday in the Pentagon chapel. It's kind of perverse to complain about a mosque within a huge area in NYC when there are Muslims working and praying in the Pentagon.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/08/muslims-infiltrate-pentagon-judeo-christian-civilization-collapses/61135/

I think it was Daniel Patrick Moynihan who described this kind of controversy as "boob bait for bubbas." He did not mean the nice kind of "boob."

Galob #22-"It m... (Below threshold)
914:

Galob #22-

"It makes you look like an illiterate if you write like that."


Good for me your not grading my mid-term papers then.


jim x was talking about ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jim x was talking about "sympathy or indulgence" not "the act of allowing something." - Galoob

By the way - tolerance generally implies not considering innocent people of another religion inherently evil plotters against all that's good in America - jim xj

I'm sorry, I didn't realize that sympathy or indulgence meant that you had to think well of someone. Galoob, you are being dishonest about what jim xj said. If he meant otherwise then he can come back and correct his comment.

And again you are mistaking an argument that the people behind the mosque are being dishonest about their intent and that they are being grossly insensitive to the people they are claiming to be trying to reach out to, for an argument against their right to practice their religion. They have the right to practice their religion, we are protesting the insensitive and repugnant way they are doing so.

In essence we are not trying to violate their right to practice their religion, any more than you are trying to stifle our freedom of speech to protest against it. Or would you stifle our freedom of speech if you had that option?

Or would you stifle our ... (Below threshold)
galoob:

Or would you stifle our freedom of speech if you had that option?

No, have at it, and have a ham sandwich on the sidewalk in front of the mosque if you wish.

I just don't see the point of whining about the mosque if the Muslims own the property and it's their right to build it.

But of course, this is just political BS, "boob bait for the Bubbas" to turn out the evangelical Republican base on election day and keep Sarah Palin in the news (ka-ching!).

galoob, I "tolerate" neo-Na... (Below threshold)

galoob, I "tolerate" neo-Nazis. That means that I respect their rights to believe as they do, and express their beliefs. I accept that they have the Constitutional rights everyone else does.

But that doesn't mean I respect their beliefs, or think highly of them. In fact, I can freely loathe them -- but still tolerate them.

I have never called once for any kind of government intervention over the Ground Zero mosque, and quite frankly I'm getting irritated with being accused of doing so. On the contrary -- I find myself welcoming it, in one sense. It's a constant reminder that, to the Muslim world, "tolerance" and "understanding" and "respect" and "sensitivity" and the like are strictly one-way streets -- those are things the unbelievers owe Islam, not things Islam owes the rest of us.

Which I've said countless times.

Nice little game you got going on here, galoob. When you get to define my position for me, it's really easy to refute it.

Pity it's based on making up my actual beliefs. And it's getting annoying.

J.

Greg Gutfield is trying to ... (Below threshold)
MunDane68:

Greg Gutfield is trying to open a gay bar next door.

http://www.dailygut.com/?i=4696

They gonna serve BBQ also?<... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

They gonna serve BBQ also?

I tolerate plenty of people... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I tolerate plenty of people I disagree with...
GaLeeb, Jim X(J), scientologists...
But they have their right to speek out, and so do I. A group of muslims may want to stick their thumb in our collective eye, but that doesn't mean it has to be easy and without consequence.

It's a constant reminder... (Below threshold)
galoob:

It's a constant reminder that, to the Muslim world, "tolerance" and "understanding" and "respect" and "sensitivity" and the like are strictly one-way streets -- those are things the unbelievers owe Islam, not things Islam owes the rest of us.

Which I've said countless times.

JT, you can say it countless times, that does not make it true. It's only a signifier of your inexperience in the world and the Muslim part of it. Have you ever visited a Muslim country? You seem to be defining "the Muslim World" by its extremists. One could do the same thing by making Fred Phelps or Pat Robertson "the Christian World."

I think all religions are pretty much superstitious BS to enable men to buffalo and exercise power over others. If you take the long course of history into account, Islam is no worse than the others.

But carry on, continue to offer "boob bait for the bubbas."

JT, re: # 28 - <block... (Below threshold)

JT, re: # 28 -

Why do you want to criminalize thoughts and beliefs?

Where in Whatevah's name did that come from?

I did not, have not ever and will not ever advocate criminalization of thoughts or beliefs.

How are you interpreting this statement:

tolerance generally implies not considering innocent people of another religion inherently evil plotters against all that's good in America.

...as being for criminalization of thought?

I'm sorry, I didn't real... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry, I didn't realize that sympathy or indulgence meant that you had to think well of someone.

What arguments are you guys responding to? Because it literally is not anywhere in what I'm saying.

I'm not saying you have to think well of someone. But I am saying to think evil of someone who has **done or said no wrong**, is intolerant.

I think that's a fair statement to make.

If you disagree, please explain how it can still be **tolerant** to consider a complete stranger evil, when they have said or done no wrong.

And to be completely clear,... (Below threshold)

And to be completely clear, it is 100% your legal, constitutional and even moral right to be intolerant, as long as you break no laws and do no one any harm.

I'm just here to tell you that to think ill of others who are innocent and have said and done nothing wrong, is intolerant.

Let them build the Mosque. ... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

Let them build the Mosque. Then use eminent domain to take it and turn it into a museum of Islamic terrorism. Win/win.

You seem to be defining ... (Below threshold)

You seem to be defining "the Muslim World" by its extremists.

Well, galoob, that's because the extremists have done such a grand job of doing the defining. Ably assisted by the "non-extremists" who react to the extremists by saying "you cannot judge us all by what they do, but you really had it coming, and we fear a backlash" and then paint efforts to fight the extremists as a war against all Islam. And raising money for Muslim "charities" that end up funding terrorism. And in general act like their only objection to the extremists is that they give Islam bad PR.

jim x: if you get out that handy-dandy dictionary you love so much and look up "consider," it's a form of THOUGHT, not ACTION. And you're trying to dictate the way people THINK, not act, when you demand they be tolerant in the way you want them to.

We don't need no thought control...

J.

Jay Tea, I am not at all in... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea, I am not at all in any trying to control the way you think. Think whatever the heck you want. **DO** whatever the heck you want, as long as it breaks no serious law and causes no physical or financial harm.

I am merely saying that to think your opinion of towards American Muslims is **tolerant**, is *incorrect*. The stance shown by you and others here is literally prejudicial - **pre-judging** their guilt before there are deeds or even words to indicate it, solely on the basis of their religion.

Again, this is your right. You are free to think and express yourself in any way you want. It is your right to be intolerant and prejudicial in an emotional sense.

And I am free to say what I think about what you seem to think, according to your own statements. Which is what I am doing.

Maybe what you're interpreting as "attempting to control your thoughts", is me telling you that I think you're wrong, and trying to prove it to you via forceful argument.

Jim x(j),Your defini... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Jim x(j),
Your definition of tolerance is a lot closer to Jay's definition of acceptance or endorsement, IMO.

To re-hash it: "No... (Below threshold)

To re-hash it:

"Not to rehash it, but sorta like "gays" and the (mis)use of the word marriage.

1. Posted by GarandFan"

.... You seem to be definin... (Below threshold)

.... You seem to be defining "the Muslim World" by its extremists ....

You mean, just as "we" ("they" having nothing whatsoever to do with their being so defined) once defined the "nice" descendents of Mozart by his countryman, Hitler?




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