WSJ Opinion Piece: Islam and American Political Correctness

Ilustration David KleinHopeTracker| We will not comment extensively on this Reuel Marc Gerecht’s opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal: Major Hasan and Holy War. 

My ongoing conversations with Muslim men and women on a variety of topics including burqas in general and the Lubna Hussein trial specifically, suggest that there’s strong merit to Gerecht’s controversial view.

Moderate Muslims abroad are as concerned about the growth of Islamic fundamentalism as we should be in America.

While I reject 110% the Dick Cheney/Donald Rumsfeld mentality around this issue, I am deeply troubled that to say anything about the creeping reality of Islamic fundamentalism is perceived as politically incorrect and an insult to all Muslims.

This will be the third place in Anne of Carversville that I’ve mentioned my personal confrontation on the street in Brooklyn this summer. I was wearing a halter dress, no cleavage showing at all, knees covered, swing skirt. The dress came from Banana Republic, hardly the bastion of American bad-girl clothing.

This 35-40 year-old man stopped us in Park Slope, telling my lover that he was taking me to the mosque for a few days, until I learned how to dress properly.

We were astonished by the confrontation, and I admit — because of all my writing on international women’s rights and especially in Muslim countries — a deep shudder went through my body. Watching this stranger judge me so openly in New York City, not Marrakesh or Cairo, is a moment I will not forget.  

I would make one correction in in Gerecht’s writing: thoughtful men should certainly not want to see a U.S. president propel a “clash of civilizations” with devout Muslims. However, clash-avoidance shouldn’t lead us into a philosophical cul-de-sac. The stakes are so enormous—jihadists would if they could let loose a weapon of mass destruction in a Western city—that we should not prevaricate out of politeness, or deceive ourselves into believing that a debate between Muslims and non-Muslims can only be counterproductive.

I prefer that it reads: “thoughtful people”. Anne