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Steyn does it (yet) again

October 30th, 2002

Responding to my post on Philip Adams, Bernard Slattery mentions my personal jihad/crusade (the two words are exact synonyms) against Mark Steyn, and encourages me further by linking approvingly to Steyn’s latest. Can I, as promised previously, find a glaring factual error or misappropriated quote? Well let’s see.
Steyn denounces the press for mentioning John Muhammad’s Gulf War record and military training rather than focusing exclusively on his conversion to Islam. Then he goes on to attack Frank Rich for suggesting that Christian as well as Muslim fundamentalists should be subject to anti-terrorism policies. Here’s Steyn:

You get the picture: sure, Muslim fundamentalists can be pretty extreme, but what about all our Christian fundamentalists? Unfortunately, for the old moral equivalence to hold up, the Christians really need to get off their fundamentalist butts and start killing more people. At the moment, the brilliantly versatile Muslim fundamentalists are gunning down Maryland schoolkids and bus drivers, hijacking Moscow theatres, self-detonating in Israeli pizza parlours, blowing up French oil tankers in Yemen, and slaughtering nightclubbers in Bali, while Christian fundamentalists are, er, sounding extremely strident in their calls for the return of prayer in school.

Apparently, the words “Oklahoma City”* and “Operation Rescue” have disappeared down the Steyn memory hole, even though he mentions, and sneeringly dismisses, Rich’s allusion to terrorist attacks on abortion clinics.

Just to make Steyn’s day, another Gulf war veteran, disappointed with his grades, went out to the University of Arizona yesterday and shot three lecturers before killing himself. While Steyn couldn’t have known this when he wrote the article, it suggests that this aspect of Muhammad’s background is not as irrelevant as Steyn vociferously asserted.

Steyn is a shameless liar, as well as being a bigot and a hatemonger. As long as Australian newspapers keep running his pieces, and Australian bloggers keep citing him with approval, I’m going to keep pointing this fact out.

* There is some dispute about McVeigh’s personal religious views. But there is no doubt that his terrorist acts were motivated by the extremist views associated with fundamentalist Christian militias.

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