I come to defend Elizabeth Moon.
Not because she really needs help -- the lady is perfectly capable of standing on her own.
Not because I'm a fan of hers. I have a couple of her books in the stack, but haven't had time to read recreationally in years.
Not because she's a fellow vet, though that would be a good enough reason.
Not because we agree politically. As I understand, she's quite liberal, and I'm a militant anarchist.
I come to defend her because she's right.
In dumbed-down America, being right is a social crime.
Please note that the below blog is using one paragraph and a couple of odd sentences from Ms Moon's lengthy post http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/335480.html on history, culture, nation and social contract (which, from a quick reading, I agree with to a great degree, despite our political differences), to screech their outrage.
The first quote (emphasis theirs):
I know "I do not dispute" that many Muslims had nothing to do with the attacks,
This sent some people into a frenzy. I see that I must step in in my role as Speaker to Morons and break a simple statement down into simpler terms. Ergo:
"Many." An undefined number that most people would agree is "more than 25% or so." She might have said "most," normally defined as "more than 50%." However, there are scholars who claim that support for attacks on America specifically, among Muslims, exceeds 50%. They could be wrong. I hope they are. But they are legitimate researchers, so "many" is a term that covers "most" and is indisputable. This is an opinion piece, not a thesis, so the terms work in context. There, that was simple, wasn't it?
I'm sure that 90% of the people in a tizzy over this do not actually know any non-American Muslims, so their personal beliefs on what that demographic thinks are worthless. They certainly feel free to be outraged in their ignorance, though. I believe the technical term for such is "prejudice."
I do not dispute that there are moderate, even liberal, Muslims, that many Muslims have all the virtues of civilized persons
I think Ms Moon made a mistake here. She assumed the readers would be rational and able to parse English. An understandable mistake for someone who uses the language professionally. Here, therefore, is a rewrite that I hope more clearly expresses the sentiment:
I do not dispute that there are moderate, even liberal, Muslims, that many Muslims have all the virtues of civilized persons (which includes the sets of Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Jews among other faiths, as opposed to the few who don't have the virtues of civilized persons, which set also includes Hindus, Christians, Jews, etc).
I guess if a reader wants a reason to get angry, they'll find one, even if they have to read into the comment to find it.
But Muslims fail to recognize how much forbearance they've had. Schools in my area held consciousness-raising sessions for kids about not teasing children in Muslim-defined clothingΓÇªbut not about not teasing Jewish children or racial minorities.
The first part is opinion. The second is a stated fact. It appears to be true, and matches my experience in my own area. If facts offend you, you're probably not very bright. If you won't plead to not being bright, you have to admit to prejudice.
They completely ignored this comment:
The same with other points of Islam that I find appalling (especially as a free woman)
Because it's inconvenient for an egalitarian leftist to acknowledge that Islam does not treat women freely, in most of the nations in which it is the majority religion. Some have specific laws on how females may dress and travel (Saudi Arabia does not permit females to drive, travel unescorted or show their limbs or hair), some "only" culturally restrict women. Some practice genital mutilation and other atrocities, and yes, SOME do none of these things.
However, I'm not aware of ANY Hindu, Christian or Jewish nation that mandates these things, and no other religion seems to have enough clout to matter.
It would be hard for them to get upset with her if one were to acknowledge the misogyny of those cultures, though.
I feel that I personally (and many others) lean over backwards to put up with these things, to let Muslims believe stuff that unfits them for citizenship
There are American Muslims on record that Sharia law should trump the Constitution, Federal law, State law and local ordinances. Therefore, this statement is another fact. We do, in fact, allow people to believe things that, if they enact them, would unfit them for citizenship. We also allow people to believe the universe was created by a magic sky fairy 6000 years ago, that a few tons of CO2 could destroy an ecosystem the size of a planet even though geological evidence says both are utter idiocy, and to believe a whole host of other things. If it's wrong for universities to be forced to accept Creationist nutjobs into science programs (and it is, and the courts say so), why is it okay to force Americans to accept people into government leadership who believe in the destruction or subversion of that government? The "no religious test to hold office" clause of the Constitution has an unspoken corollary'that you don't get to use that religion to control others, see Amendment the1st on "respecting an establishment of religion."
Curiously, the same people perfectly willing to allow Islamic extremists to hold office are among the loudest against Fred Phelps and his "Christian" extremist ilk. I guess some religions are more equal than others.
The comments are mostly idiotic and bigoted. It's easy to spot the bigots'they're the first ones to use the word. There's talk of booting her from a feminist oriented convention (because, of course, feminists and women are all 100% in support of whatever it is the commenter is in support of, as an axiom of being feminists. Say what?), of boycotting her, of blacklisting her, well, no, we didn't really MEAN blacklist.
And of course, the charges of "Racism."
Speaker to Morons says: Islam is not a race.
Now, it's entirely possible to disagree with her opinion. I myself believe that since the people who are building the Islamic cultural center own or lease the land it is to be on, they have the right to do whatever local zoning codes allow. It's also not actually at "Ground Zero." It's a few blocks away and out of sight.
It is true that a lot of people find it a matter of contention.
Ms Moon was explaining why some people feel that way, with opinion supported by facts.
Facts are the one thing that bigots of any stripe hate, because they can't make them go away.
Ms Moon has expressed legitimate concerns, and I will stand with her should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.
For now, I will buy all her books.
The Worst Crime Of All
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
I come to defend Elizabeth Moon.