Jerry [Seinfeld]: “I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Whatley. I have a suspicion that he’s converted to Judaism just for the jokes.”
Priest: “And this offends you as a Jewish person.”
Jerry: “No, it offends me as a comedian.”
–Seinfeld, “The Dentist” episode
The New York Times has run (still another) article about how Sharia law coming to America is nothing to fear. Question: Will the New York Times ever run an op-ed opposing Sharia law in the United States? Twenty years ago I would have said: Of course, any responsible newspaper publishes one piece on each side of an issue. Today, of course, we know there is no chance of balance.
Eliyahu Stern, an assistant professor of religious studies and history at Yale, seems to be an expert on Jewish history. In fact, Stern is so ignorant of the topic on Islam that he states most Muslims in America “don’t even come from the Middle East (the majority have roots in Southeast Asia).” Really? That’s a geographical term usually applied to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Perhaps he meant Pakistan, a well-known locale of moderate Islam? If anyone on the other side said something so obviously ridiculous they would never be taken seriously.
And the fact that the Times editors left in such a glaring factual error shows professional inadequacy and ignorance. But then this is the newspaper that let Tariq Ramadan claim that the Muslim Brotherhood (then headed by his grandfather) was an anti-fascist organization when every serious historian knows that it collaborated with the Nazis in preparing to turn over Egypt to Hitler and massacre the Jews there.