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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The anti-jihad meltdown

I have been watching with increasing concern the blog war between Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs and Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch.

It is alarming because when two powerful players fight each other, the only loss is to the cause itself.

The details aren't important. Both sides and their supporters have already spent countless hours trying to dig up tenuous connections between the opposition and, absurdly, Nazis and Islamists. As so often happens in situations like these, eventually the hard-core get caught up in minutiae that casual fans quickly lose interest in, to the detriment of both blogs.

I have a simple rule to determine what people believe: read what they write and say. Don't make leaps of logic based on who they associate with. No two human beings agree on everything; that doesn't mean that they cannot talk to each other or link to each other in cyberspace or even say nice things about each other. If someone writes something that is bigoted or racist, call them on it; but don't start making assumptions based on their connections or their commenters.

I have read enough of Robert Spencer's and Charles Johnson's writings to say that they are both against bigotry and they are not racist. The accusations to the contrary are absurd and divisive.

I have also read enough of their writings to say that they are both right about the Islamist threat, period. That is the issue and everything else is a distraction. And today especially, we cannot afford distractions.

The silly game of accusations and counter-accusations has to stop. Disagreements can and should occur, but without the stupid baggage that turns them into wars. There is enough real scary stuff going on out there that wasting time on blog wars ends up hurting everybody.