Why did Real Clear Politics link article about M. Bashir to anti-Islam site?
Yesterday, Real Clear Politics published an article titled “Bashir Uses Book Of Mormon To Sentence Romney To Damnation”.1 It was clear that the author, Ian Schwartz, felt Mr. Bashir was out of line. No problem, Mr. Schwartz is certainly entitled to his opinion.
What struck me as strange however, was the last sentence:
One wonders why Bashir dragged Mormonism into his condemnation of Romney when all religions, such as Islam, forbid the practice of lying.
Why would the author would bring up Islam as an example when it had nothing whatsoever to do with the story?2 I didn’t bother clicking the link at the time as I was busy multi-tasking, therefore I quickly forgot about it. It wasn’t until this morning, when Mr. Bashir’s comments came up in a discussion here at LGF, that I remembered it.
Upon returning to RCP to revisit the article, I made a point of following the link. I found myself at a site called Islam Review, which at first glance appeared to be an Islamic site. The title of the article, “Lying in Islam”, stuck me as odd and set off my Islamophobia radar, but I decided not to jump to any conclusions since the author posted it under a Muslim name.
Unfortunately, my suspicions were confirmed by the third paragraph. I realized it wasn’t an Islamic site at all, and was in fact propagating a great deal of misinformation, perhaps even disinformation. What the article covers, in large part and incorrectly, is the concept of taqiyyah, a subject I wrote about here at LGF almost two years ago.
As it turns out, the site is run by a Christian ministry that calls itself “The Pen vs. The Sword”. It has a clearly anti-Islam agenda and uses a broad brush to paint all “Muslim activists” as deliberately duplicitous:
Muslim activists, in their attempt to spread their religion in the West, have been deliberately hiding a certain side of their religion. They carefully avoid, obscure and omit any negative teachings of Islam in order to lure converts. Our mission is to expose these teachings that are withheld from seekers in order to help people gain a more realistic insight of what it is like to live under Islam.
Again, no problem. There are numerous of anti-Muslim, anti-Islam web sites out there, many with much higher traffic than this one.The people running this site that purports to be all about “love” and “Christian ethics” are entitled to their opinion, however misinformed or ignorant.
What is a problem is a widely read site like Real Clear Politics—which claims to be a “non-partisan media company” and “trusted source” news—linking to a clearly anti-Islam site. Not only linking to it, but linking to it for no discernible reason while saying that Islam, like other religions, forbids the practice of lying. What gives?
Either the author of the article didn’t pay sufficient attention to the type of site he was linking to, or he did know and linked to it anyway. In either case, it’s troubling.