Glenn Reynolds defends the Little Green Footballs site against charges of bigotry. (See, for example, Max Sawicky’s outburst.)

My first exposure to the site was through this controversy, so I’m not an expert. The first interesting thing I saw on the site was the Prague story (see below), which gave me a favorable impression, reinforced by the site’s high literacy level and generally sober tone.

My second, and stronger, impression was that one of the site’s purposes seems to be convincing its readers that al-Islam, and Muslims generally, are in favor of politico-religious murder. (One of its regular features has the sneering heading “Peaceful Religion Watch.”) That isn’t a nice asssertion; I only wish there were less evidence that seems to support it. A degree of hatred for other religions, and approval of those who act violently on that hatred, that would qualify a Jew or a Christian as an extremist, appears to be well within the Islamic mainstream, both with respect to what religious leaders say and with respect to what politicians, journalists, and schoolteachers say. [That sharia prescribes the death penalty for apostasy doesn’t even seem to be controversial; Torah does the same, of course, but no one even thinks of acting on that commandment.] And the absence of prominent Muslims, and especially of prominent Islamic religious leaders, prepared to loudly and rudely denounce the extremists, is really depressing. (As is the willingness of the international community, including the United States, to treat Saudi Arabia as a partner and not as a rogue state.)

Nonetheless, given how explosive religious bigotry is, it can only be called unfortunate that LGF doesn’t work harder to make a distinction between the murderous strains of political Islam and the Islamic tradition generally, or the hundreds of millions of people who follow the words of the Prophet peacefully. (Yes, the same can be said about those who denounce the excesses of other religions.)

But in light of Glenn Reynold’s forthright denunciation of the gay-baiting of Andrew Sullivan, I wonder how he feels about LGF’s reference to a Jewish apologist for al-Fatah as “Yassir Arafat’s boyfriend”? Do I sniff a double standard?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com