Political correctness raises its ugly head once more

United States
August 19, 2008 1:57pm CST
author Brigitte Gabriel is unfairly and inaccurately labeled as a "radical Islamophobe In the August 17th New York Times Magazine, the author Brigitte Gabriel is unfairly and inaccurately labeled as a "radical Islamophobe" To be a radical Islamophobe means to have an irrational fear of radical Islam/Muslims, or to be prejudiced against them.(im one !!!) (It's not clear from the Times' phrase which word "radical" is meant to describe. I presume "radical" was meant to describe the Muslims Gabriel is supposedly irrationally afraid of, rather than Gabriel herself, since Gabriel is always very clear in her speeches to differentiate between extremists and moderates.) It's interesting that the Times' editors apparently believe that opposition to Islamic totalitarianism must by definition be irrational or arising from prejudice. Since when did it become irrational or prejudiced to oppose supremacists who scorn, harass and/or murder people for not being the "right" religion? Does the New York Times similarly label as crazy or bigoted the many Americans who oppose white supremacists? * What oh-too-clever title did the Times use for this article about a Lebanese Christian activist who opposes the spread of Islamic totalitarianism? "The Crusader." While normally calling an activist a "crusader" is a compliment, in the context of a Christian opposing Islamic totalitarianism, it inappropriately juxtaposes Gabriel's legitimate criticism of Muslim extremists with the Christian Crusaders who murdered thousands of Muslims (and Jews) in the Crusades. * Furthermore, in the interview itself, reporter Deborah Solomon posed several inappropriate questions, such as: "Are you an agent of the U.S. government?" "Are you underwritten by the C.I.A.?" "But I see that R. James Woolsey, a former director of the C.I.A., serves on the board of American Congress for Truth, your educational foundation." Apparently in Deborah Solomon's world, one must be on the U.S. government payroll to want to sound the alarm about militant Muslim supremacists. Another stunningly absurd question from Solomon: "If you are worried about death threats, why would you put a glamorous photograph of yourself on the cover of your new book?" Presumably Solomon feels that Brigitte Gabriel should wear a burka, or hide altogether, to appease the Islamists who want to kill her for speaking out against them? Why does Solomon feel it is somehow questionable for Gabriel to be "glamorous"? Earlier Complaints about Solomon from Tim Russert, Ira Glass and her own editor This is not the first time that Deborah Solomon's journalistic judgement and professionalism have been called into question. Times' Public Editor Clark Hoyt and New York Times Magazine Editor Gerald Marzorati did so themselves in a long column last year about Solomon's questionable questions and quotations. Click here to read their complaints, as well as those from Tim Russert, Ira Glass, and the current "Ann Landers." Brigitte Gabriel Links For those unfamiliar with Brigitte Gabriel's compelling life story and work, click here and here. You can also see her videos on her Web site and on www.YouTube.com ACTION ITEMS Please write to the New York Times. * Write to the corrections editor and public editor. Urge the Times to publish an apology/correction regarding the inaccurate label of "radical Islamophobe" for Brigitte Gabriel. Urge the Times to also remove the inaccurate description from their Web site. Protest reporter Solomon's obvious lack of objectivity toward Gabriel and Solomon's often inappropriate questions, as well as the inflammatory title "The Crusader." corrections: nytnews@nytimes.com or call 1-888-698-6397 ombudsman or "public editor": public@nytimes.com Call NY Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati: 212-556-1234
3 responses
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
20 Aug 08
I listened to one of her YouTube videos and she is right. The Muslims are increasing because it is not a shame for them to have large families, but if we are Christians and we have a large family, we are looked down upon. Since Brigitta Gabriel is Lebanese she knows what is going on. The New York Times Magazine has no right to call this lady who suffered so much through her lifetime as radical Islamophobe because she opposes radical Islam. Why is it okay to call Christians as bigots and racists and yet deny that label to Islams who were murdering Christians.
• United States
20 Aug 08
my point exactly !thanks for the response!
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
21 Aug 08
So I wonder if it would be considered by Solomon and her NYT cronies to refer to those who speak out against hard right christian radicals as "radical christiaphobes". Well, I'm doing it here and now. If you are worried about radical Christians, then you are a radical christiaphobe. Plain and simple. If it's good enough for the times, then it's good enough for me. now I'm waiting to be attacked on this because I'm sure somehow it is different. I'm sure, somehow this is insulting and "radical Islamophobe' isn't. I have found that the more politically correct an issue becomes, the more a double standard seems to apply. Just as with racism in some people.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
20 Aug 08
You are considered a "bad Person" if you are critical a group or a minority. If the minority group responds to the criticism by violently acting out you become an evil person. Look what happened to the Danish film producer who dared to make a film that was critical of Islam. He was murdered and his killers were looked on as victims. When Israeli is showered with rockets on civilian targets and they respond by attacking the rocket launchers they are the bad people. Where is the outrage over the murder of Christian around the world for practicing their faith? Being Politically Correct has come to mean that if you are a hard working, law abiding American you can not be critical anyone except other hard working, law abiding Americans. You also have to believe that the victim is always in the right and it is your fault that they act the way they do.