One of the most important tools humanity needs right now is frank speech about Islam. Unfortunately, in journalism, on campuses, and in politics, politically-correct speech codes demonize any analysis of Islam as “Islamophobia.” Speech taboos are obeyed across a wide spectrum. In September, 2001, after the 9-11 attacks, President George Bush stated, “Islam is peace.” In 2007, his fellow officers declined to take effective action against U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, even after he exhibited to them a PowerPoint presentation that cited the Koran to predict and support his subsequent, 2009 shooting of soldiers at Fort Hood. As the Christian Science Monitor put it, the Army may have chosen to “ignore red flags out of political correctness.” Hollywood is also wary. The 2014 Liam Neeson film Non-Stop depicts an attempt to hijack an airplane. A Muslim is suspected. In fact he is kindly. The real villain is a 9-11 family member and a member of the U.S. military.
The avoidance of analysis of Islam contrasts sharply with the excoriation accorded Christianity, Israel, and Western Civilization. The Catholic Church sex abuse crisis has received saturation coverage. Distinguished history professor Philip Jenkins, in a book published by Oxford University Press, claims that media coverage distorts the crisis and contributes to anti-Catholic bigotry. Israel’s very right to exist is questioned and, in high profile media, at times denied. Western Civilization is depicted as imperialist, racist, and Orientalist. This politically-correct selective outrage that lambastes the Judeo-Christian tradition and Western Civilization while emphasizing positive images of Muslims only serves further to inoculate Islam from critique.
Selective outrage does not stand alone. Politically-correct speech codes consistently deploy three more tactics: cultural relativism, postmodern denial of objective definitions of terms, and the threat of mass hysteria.