Should we look in the mirror?
According to a Boston Globe columnist, Nicholas D. Kristof ignored some of the facts last week when he said that America must look at itself before claiming Islam is spreading religious bigotry.

Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, argues that the U.S. cannot "scold Arabs for acquiescing in religious hatred unless we try vigorously to uproot our own religious bigotry." He sees a double standard in criticism of Islam for anti-Semitism when anti-Islam feelings are prevalent in the U.S. Writes Kristof: "If we want Saudi princes to confront their society's hate-mongers, our own leaders should confront ours."

Cathy Young, columnist for The Boston Globe, writes that what Kristof did not mention was that three of his examples of supposed religious bigotry—comments by Ann Coulter, Franklin Graham, and Jerry Vines—were all widely condemned.

"Coulter was fired from the National Review … due to her inflammatory comments about Muslims and Arabs," Young writes. "Graham's anti-Islamic slur caused a huge outcry [and] he issued something of a retraction in the Wall Street Journal. Likewise, Vines's rhetoric was quickly denounced by mainline Protestant and Jewish leaders."

She also finds fault with Kristof's assertion that President Bush actually condoned bigotry by speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention after that denomination's Vines called Muhammad a pedophile. Young points out that the White House responded to Vines's comment by restating Bush's respect for all faiths.

"Perhaps it wasn't a strong enough statement," Young writes. "But is there really a parallel here to Saudi Arabia, where a preacher in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs declared in February that Jews were 'the worms of the entire world?'" ...

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