Austin Plane Attack Highlights Double Standards
By Seema Ahmad
A week ago, Joseph Stack flew his plane into an IRS building in Austin. It is shocking that there wasn’t non-stop news coverage of the tragic event. After all, the image of shattered buildings and a smoke-filled sky is forever ingrained in the minds of Americans after the attacks of 9/11.
Instead, the news of the day was dominated by the Conservative Political Action Conference and Tiger Woods’ impending apology.
And although some reporters discussed the incident, it quickly became apparent that the intentional flying of an airplane into a government building would not dominate the news. Stack was not Muslim which meant there would be no hysteria and inflammatory rhetoric about the Austin attack.
This act wouldn’t be politicized to marginalize certain groups as “soft on terror.” It wouldn’t result in draconian policy measures to expand government surveillance or to use racial profiling.
There wouldn’t be a round-up of all middle-aged men who had expressed outrage at this country’s tax regime. There would be no expectation for tax protesters to condemn Joseph Stack or risk the questioning of their patriotism. In fact, newly elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) discussed Stack’s actions in terms of popular frustration with government and a desire for “transparency” and “accountability.”
Yet when violence is perpetuated by Muslim extremists, the results are completely different. Fear is fanned by those who stand to benefit from it pressuring some Muslim organizations dedicated to American pluralism to defend their integrity by repeatedly explaining that the world’s 2 billion Muslims are not represented by one individual’s act of violence.
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