TPM has looked at the various conservative reactions to the murders at Ft. Hood. Suffice righty Christians want all Muslims out of the military. And other paranoid conspiracy types want to take action against any and all Muslims in the country. We really have grown so much since the first Gulf War, huh?
Now I have been willing to be critical of Islam, and some Muslims. And I will be still. But this can be too easily about hating the other.
The book about the Muslim Mafia was just nutty and the follow up press conferences about the secret plan to subvert Congress is just tin foil americana.
We do have troubles even in the US, but there are those that criticize that want to protect their beliefs (rightly or wrongly), those who want to ensure a secular society, and those that just fear and hate. And as an atheist and skeptic it is important to know where to draw lines and where to stand. Do we work with conservatives in the US? Are the righties in the Netherlands who we want to stand with? These are questions we should address. We need to find out balance. The Dutch politicians have common cause with us in the area of Free Speech (and with the pressures in the UN these days we need to defend speech fervently), but beyond that...I am not comfortable.
As the story of Ft Hood continues there is some ties to more radical elements of Islam and periphery touch to terrorist. It may prove to be a solid connection, or a coincidence. But to drive so quickly to alienate all of Islam in this country, people who have so far proven to be as loyal to the nation as Christians or Jews as a whole, is simply illogical. And worse the conservatives (like Joe Lieberman) are taking focus off the ever present stressors that are hurting those in the armed forces. Suicide is way up, the destruction of families and well being continues to too often be a C or D story on the news. Is it not big enough?
Why go to war" with ourselves (fellow citizens)? That is such a conservative thing to do. We need to criticize and challenge the radical, hold to the importance of secularism and the rights of the people, and also protect the right to speak out.