JE Tabler

Chris Matthews Thinks Like a Terrorist

Posted on November 13 2009 1:00 pm
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jasser heartbreak

Heartbreak in action

Editor’s Note, for Rhonda Robinson’s commentary on a different aspect of this stunning Chris Matthews segment click here.

MSNBC has a nasty habit of giving Muslim Brotherhood front CAIR a forum to apologize for extremism and deflect attention from the issue at hand whenever jihad makes the news. Not only is CAIR’s authority as a mouthpiece for American Muslims never questioned, let alone its background and history, but MSNBC’s commentators rarely take issue with a single point made by CAIR’s representatives.

Nonetheless, MSNBC’s moral vacuity may never have been more apparent than when Chris Matthews interviewed Zuhdi Jasser, an American Muslim who works to combat the violent political ideology promoted by CAIR and its affiliates.

Jasser encourages Muslims to “stop complaining and stop beinging victims,” i.e., to stop committing acts of violence and oppressing others, then citing American foreign policy as a justification.  He explains, plainly and succinctly, that jihad’s ideological underpinnings lie in political Islam.  He even cites the Muslim Brotherhood, due to its status as America’s foremost promoter and incubator of Sharia, as one of the root causes of domestic violent extremism.  Finally, he points out the reddest flag in Nidal Hasan’s background, the clearest indication that he might commit an act of violence: his unconcealed hatred for America.

Matthews briefly pays lip service to the notion that perhaps ideology may have motivated Nidal Hasan to shoot over 50 people before he jaunts off on a diatribe in which he excuses acts of terrorism by blaming American foreign policy, particularly with regard to Israel. Instead of simply agreeing with Jasser’s self-evident point that American foreign policy does not justify acts of terrorism, Matthews reflexively tries to see things from the most extreme point of view — that of the terrorists.

Matthews poses an interesting question in good faith: that of when we should start taking freedoms away from people in order to defend national security.  How about when they pose a threat to the rest us, thereby infringing on our most basic rights?  The answer seems pretty simple to Jasser.  We should stop tolerating intolerance, as Rhonda addressed previously.

Then Matthews actually tries to defend telephoning Al-Qaeda, which is just about the height of extremism, shy of actually committing acts of terrorism — I would like to believe that he was playing Devil’s Advocate. Jasser explains how Americans need to start combating the extremism which has become quite normalized, in large part due to leftists who, say, defend calling al-Qaeda and state that the US’s foreign policy toward Israel “triggered” RFK’s assassination. Did it “trigger” 9/11, too?

Matthews demonstrated less understanding when Sarah Palin won an award from the NRA than when discussing the assassination of an American leader.

Matthews clearly feels more at home with those who rationalize violent jihad using a hatred of American liberty cloaked in political grievances than he does with those who fight for American liberty by confronting the ugly truth about Sharia, about political Islam’s fifth column, and about jihad.  Furthermore, he seems to be more concerned with Hasan’s imagined grievances than with those of the families of the soldiers and first responders who were brutally slain in an act of violent jihad. Just watch him with Nihad Awad, trying to explain away Hasan’s actions with moral equivalence and deflection.

Jasser, instead, whitewashes nothing by identifying Sharia and politically correct willful ignorance of political Islam’s American fifth column for acts of terrorism committed on American soil. He  argues that terrorism is not a reaction to (“triggered” by) American foreign policy, but that a hatred for America and the liberties which make it great are key components of the ideology which motivates Islamic terrorists, and that this hatred is not be dismissed. In fact, Jasser may have given the single clearest, most concise crash course ever on the dangers of political Islam right there on Hardball. It’s the political Islam that’s the problem, and it’s not America’s fault.

“Political Islam has made huge advances while the West had been asleep against the spread of the quote, unquote ‘Islamic state movement’ and I think that, clearly, there are parts of the ideology of hate of the West, of America, of conspiracy theories, that this guy started to follow that were warning signs.”

One can actually watch Jasser’s heart sink as Matthews waves away everything he had said by again justifying terrorism with American foreign policy.

“Maybe this guy should have just been given CO status the minute he decided … he didn’t do anything wrong until he realized he was going to Afghanistan.  Then he acted.“

Hasan, like his political cohorts at CAIR, is “a Muslim first and an American second.” Jasser is an American above all else. Matthews is an apologist for evil first, an American second. MSNBC does Americans, Muslims included, a disservice by running through the Muslim Brotherhood playbook – putting CAIR on TV, throwing softball questions at their representatives, and either trying to explain away extremism or blaming American foreign policy for violence, or both – as a matter of procedure.  Sadly, in Matthews’ case, this pattern seems to be more of a knee-jerk reflex than an orchestrated decision. In fact, he is a better defender of terrorism than those who promote the ideology which underlies it. Maybe CAIR is taking notes from Matthews and not the other way around.

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