Nicholas Kristof

Kristof is about as smart as a bag of hammers. Actually, I take that back, I don’t want to insult bags of hammers.

Is Islam to Blame for the Shooting at Charlie Hebdo in Paris? – New York Times

The French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo skewers people of all faiths and backgrounds. One cartoon showed rolls of toilet paper marked “Bible,” “Torah” and “Quran,” and the explanation: “In the toilet, all religions.”

Yet when masked gunmen stormed Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris on Wednesday with AK-47s, murdering 12 people in the worst terror attack on French soil in decades, many of us assumed immediately that the perpetrators weren’t Christian or Jewish fanatics but more likely Islamic extremists.

Outraged Christians, Jews or atheists might vent frustrations on Facebook or Twitter. Yet, while we don’t know exactly who is responsible, the presumption is that Islamic extremists once again have expressed their displeasure with bullets. […]

One of the things I’ve learned in journalism is to beware of perceiving the world through simple narratives, because then new information is mindlessly plugged into those story lines. In my travels from Mauritania to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan to Indonesia, extremist Muslims have shared with me their own deeply held false narratives of America as an oppressive state controlled by Zionists and determined to crush Islam. That’s an absurd caricature, and we should be wary ourselves of caricaturing a religion as diverse as Islam.

So let’s avoid religious profiling. The average Christian had nothing to apologize for when Christian fanatics in the former Yugoslavia engaged in genocide against Muslims. Critics of Islam are not to blame because an anti-Muslim fanatic murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011.

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