Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Conservatves come to defense of gays so he can bash them.

A conservative writer at Breitbart's Big Journalism site, Bruce Carroll, has come to the defense of gays, sort of, in order to bash them along with liberals for hypocrisy. Carroll blogs about three men who went to San Francisco in order to assault gay men. The three cousins were Shafiq Hashemi, Sayed Bassam and Mohammad Habibzada.

The trio of budding bigots took a BB gun in to the city and picked a man they assumed was gay. They shot him in the face and were proud enough of their assault that they video taped the incident. Police were called and found the men a short time after the incident and confiscated the tape. As far as I know the police, when they arrest individuals, do not ask them their religion. And the news media reported on the incident based on information given out by the police.

But Big Journalism is livid because the the media, gays and liberals report neither "the identity group, nor the motives...." By identity group Carrol means Muslim. There is a decent chance these bigots were Muslim, based on the name. But I can't find anything to confirm that to be the case. It is an assumption. It may be a good assumption, but until we have confirmation, it is only an assumption. Journalists shouldn't make assumptions in news stories. To do so does bias the report according to the journalist's personal opinions. Normally conservatives would condemn journalists if they did make assumptions not in evidence.

Carrol, of course, is not concerned about gays. He just wants to bash journalists, liberals and gays in general. He went looking to see if gay media sites reported that the men were Muslim, because he assumes they are—and they may well be, I assume they are, but don't have proof. Most of Carrol's attack on various gay sites is entirely based on their refusal to brand the assailants as Muslims. This is a "head-in-the-sand approach in the reporting of this Muslim-on-gay violence in America's homo mecca" says Carroll. He specifically condemns various web sites for this alleged approach.

The sites in question don't have journalists stationed in San Francisco who could possible ferret out the religion of the assailants, in light of the police not identifying suspects by their faiths. What these sites apparently did was report on the story, based on the news stories on the wire from San Francisco. Is it hypocrisy? Is that head-in-the-sand, or is that actually good reporting based on only the facts in evidence and not on personal assumptions?

Carroll claims:
Folks who aren’t in tune with the American gay community need to understand something fundamental. The gay liberal activists and thought leaders that make policy and advocacy decisions have long ignored the existential threat to gays and lesbians by Islamic extremism. Liberal “gay rights” groups such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Gill Foundation, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are far more concerned about attacking American Christians on a daily basis than facing the real threat to gays around the world.
Carroll mentions the barbaric penalties imposed on gays by Muslim nations. All that is true. All that has been widely reported in the very sites and media outlets that Carroll is targeting in his tirade. But Carroll, in typical hysterical conservative mode, pretends that gays are "too concerned about court-forced marriage, educational indoctrination of kids and Federal funding to worry about such trivial matters as systematic killing of gays by Islamic regimes. Or the looming threat to American gays and lesbians on our shores." Wow! And you thought only the Greens got hysterical!

Carroll seems pretty silly to me. There is no "court-forced marriage" as far as I know. Allowing gays to marry is not forcing marriage. What a bizarre definition of force! And all the gay media has routinely reported on the killing of gays by Islamic regimes, including the very sites that Carroll bashes.

As someone who has condemned religious extremism, be it Islamic or Christian, I have to say that Carroll is going overboard. Muslims are not a "looming threat to American gays and lesbians on our shores." Yes, some individual Muslims in America will commit crimes of hate against gay people. But they are a small percentage of the population. There are more fundamentalists Christians in America who think gays need to be put to death, than there are Muslims in America holding that view. Yes, there are more fundamentalist Muslims in the world, who take that position, than there are Christians who take that position. But in America the odds are reversed.

And it is fundamentalist Christians who have the Republican Party by the balls, not Islamic fundamentalists. On a world-wide basis, Islamic fundamentalism is the bigger threat. Within the United States it is Christian fundamentalism that is a threat. This blog has reported on Christian fundamentalist clerics who have publicly called for executing gays under Biblical law. And the Bible does say that gay men should be killed, not that Carroll would admit it does.

If there is evidence, besides their names, that these three men were Muslims engaged in a religious attack on gay people, then it should be reported. Carroll unfortunately doesn't offer any.

What about the conservative head-in-the-sand approach to the extremism of their fundamentalist Christian allies and their antigay agenda? Fundamentalist Muslims and Christians both stand guilty of bigotry. Carroll blasts the purported hypocrisy of gays, liberals and the media in not reporting antigay animus among Muslims, but what about the conservative media ignoring antigay animus among Christians? Carroll's accusations are hollow. The groups he condemns have reported on verified Islamic attacks on gays. They didn't report that the three assailants were Muslims in this case, because so far no one has offered any real evidence that they are. But certainly commentators on the various sites have made the same assumptions that Carroll made.

I actually make the same assumption, but I wouldn't report it as fact without actually knowing it is a fact. Carroll doesn't know it is a fact, he just assumes it is, and no doubt hopes it is.

I did notice that Carroll left off one gay media site that I found in my search of stories on the case. On March 5th the Edge reported on the case and said that various conservative sites said the "three attackers are Muslim." Edge then discusses Islamic views toward gay people including calls for death. That was five days before Carroll wrote his piece. That article reported what it knew, that some people think it was a religiously-motivated attack, but it didn't offer it as if it were proven. Carroll's whole attack on gays, journalism and liberals relies on no one mentioning that the attackers might be Muslim so he has to ignore gay sites that did mention that very thing.

I have to say, as someone unhappy with both modern liberals and modern conservatives, that conservatives are the most hypocritical bunch in this debate. Conservatives like Carroll don't routinely report the wide-spread hatred against gay people within Christian fundamentalist circles. They ignore it. The groups Carroll attacks do report on that and they also report on Islamic assaults on the rights of gay people. Conservatives only discuss Islamic assaults on gays in order to bash Muslims, not because they actually care about the victims of those assaults. In Carroll's case he reports on Islamic gay bashing specifically so he can verbally bash gay people himself. His motivation is hardly pure, or honest, in my opinion.

By the way, to bolster his case, Carroll has a video of an antigay remark by a Muslim scholar, telling a black Muslim group in the US that gays ought to be killed. That video appeared at the Edge five days prior to Carroll's reporting it. Carroll never mentions that Christian fundamentalist have said precisely the same thing. But don't hold your breath waiting for Carroll to mention it.

Photo: I sincerely doubt that the holder of the sign is Muslim. I assume he is Christian and conservative, what does Carroll have to say?

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