By Kyle | November 3, 2011
This response from the Paris bureau chief of Time magazine to the apparent Islamist terror-bombing of a French magazine that mocked Islamism really must be read. I can hardly believe Time would run this. The gist is that anyone who provokes someone known to react violently to rhetoric and satire should instead keep his yap shut. Because free speech is not “worth” the price you have to pay for it.
Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
And who is the writer? Bruce Crumley, who as his bio states
During his 20-year career at TIME, Crumley has covered virtually every aspect of French political, social and economic life. He has been particularly active in TIME’s coverage of al Qaeda-sponsored terrorism since September 11, 2001-an area he has followed closely since 1994, when France became the favored European target of Islamist extremists.
So this is the man through whom much of Time’s coverage of Islamist terror gets filtered.
This censor-thyself rule appears to apply only in consideration of Islamist terrorists, though. I do not believe that if the Tea Party warned it was longing to bomb satirists who offended it, then followed through by blowing up Bill Maher’s studio, that Time magazine would run a piece saying that Maher should measure his words more carefully next time. Nor do I think this rule applies to all religions; if the Catholic church, following through on its long-standing pro-life position, bombed an empty abortion clinic because that would intimidate those who would provide abortions, I do not think Time magazine would take the stance that we should be respectful of all of those who operate out of religious fervor.
The piece is, of course, a disgrace, but it’s not just that. Time, once conservative, still carries a hint of Establishment authority or at least uncontroversial conventional wisdom about it. It isn’t The Huffington Post. If any substantial number of people have already given in to Islamism as deeply as this Time writer has–if to say, “I love Big Brother” has become this acceptable–it bodes ill for Western values. I am less outraged than sickened.