Curt Schilling and the Death of Free Speech
He told the truth. He apologized. It still wasn’t enough.
“Curt Schilling’s tweet comparing Muslims to Nazis is even worse than it sounds,” howled Max Fisher in Vox – one of the many voices this week screaming for Schilling’s head for transgressing against America’s new and unwritten, but nonetheless frightfully draconian, speech codes.
Fisher professes ignorance of the perp’s illustrious career, semaphoring that he is a good Leftist elitist, ignorant of Schilling’s brutish, bourgeois athletic achievements: “Curt Schilling, whom Wikipedia informs me is a former baseball star and current ESPN commentator, sent a tweet on Tuesday that seems to have emerged straight from the internet nether-void of racist email forwards.”
“Racist”? Schilling tweeted a graphic that read, “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?” So where is the “racism”? What race are “extremist Muslims”? What race are Muslims in the aggregate? What race is Islam? Or did Fisher mean that Schilling’s tweet was racist against Germans?
Fisher compounds this muddled thinking by doubling down on the false claim in his headline, that Schilling likened Muslims to Nazis: “The argument here is pretty clear, even if the numbers are pure nonsense, but just so it’s not lost: Schilling is saying that the religion of Islam is akin to Nazi Germany, and that the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are responsible for the actions of a tiny minority of extremists in the same way that Nazi-era Germans were complicit in Nazi crimes.”
Actually, Schilling’s tweet does neither of those things. It likens not the religion of Islam, but “extremist Muslims,” to Nazis, and it doesn’t say a thing about all Muslims being responsible for the crimes of Islamic jihadists. And Fisher’s woolly logic is typical of the firestorm that has engulfed Schilling, as he has been removed from ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series and is being pilloried everywhere. Schilling himself is repentant and apologetic, but it may do no good: he may be facing more punishment, and is taking a beating in the mainstream media for being “insensitive.”
But what exactly is so offensive about his tweet? Is it that he compared “extremist Muslims” to Nazis? Surely that can’t be it. The Islamic State hasn’t murdered six million Jews, but surely would if it could, and meanwhile its gleeful bloodlust, sex slavery, terrorizing of non-Muslims and all the rest of it make the comparison reasonable.
Or was Schilling “insensitive” for daring to suggest that peaceful Muslims aren’t doing much to rein in their violent coreligionists? Well, let’s see. Last month, Muslims in Ireland held a demonstration against the Islamic State. How many Muslims showed up? Fewer than fifty. And in October 2014 in Houston, a rally against the Islamic State organized by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) drew the grand total of ten people. In August 2013 in Boston, about 25 Muslims rallied against “misperceptions” that Islam was violent. About the same number showed up in June 2013 at a progressive Muslim rally in Toronto to claim that their religion had been “hijacked.”
And back in 2005, a group called the Free Muslims Coalition held what it dubbed a “Free Muslims March Against Terror,” intending to “send a message to the terrorists and extremists that their days are numbered … and to send a message to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world and all people who seek freedom, democracy and peaceful coexistence that we support them.” In the run-up to the event it got enthusiastic national and international publicity, but it ended up drawing about twenty-five people.
Contrast those paltry showings to the thousands of Muslims who have turned out for rallies against cartoons of Muhammad or against Israel. Here are some headlines from the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre of Muhammad cartoonists in January 2015:
But given a chance to show how Muslims overwhelmingly reject “extremism,” only a handful show up.
So Fisher and the other Leftists gleefully stomping on Schilling’s professional corpse today should explain how exactly he was offensive or insensitive (aside from having been a member of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks and 2004 Boston Red Sox). ESPN should restore him to active duty immediately, but it is much more likely that they will force him to issue a groveling apology first, or just fire him outright.
The savaging of Curt Schilling is disquieting proof of what I’ve pointed out many times over the years: that anyone and everyone who dares to speak a word against jihad terror will inevitably be mauled in the public square, and charged with “racism,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia” – despite the fact that everyone, including the leading Muslim groups in the U.S., are supposed to be against jihad terror. Schilling, unprepared for the onslaught, backed down immediately, thereby reinforcing the usefulness of this firestorm as a tactic.
The ultimate goal is to inhibit all criticism of jihad terror, so that the jihad imperative can advance unimpeded. We’re well on the way there.