Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Moderate Muslims Are Everywhere

There's an eye-opening post by RJ Eskow on Huffington's blog that makes essentially the same point I've been trying to make all along. Where are all the moderate Muslims? They're the over 1.2 billion people who aren't rioting over the cartoons.
So let's have some fun with numbers. If 30,000 Muslims have rioted (probably a high number, but if you've got a more accurate one let's hear it), that's 0.000023% of all Muslims, or one Muslim out of every 43,000 worldwide. The frequency of reported rapes in the US suggests that an American is one hundred times more likely to be a rapist than a Muslim is to be a cartoon rioter.
Eskow gives us a laundry list of things that are statistically more likely than a rioting Muslim (such as a Christian minister convicted of sexual offenses). The wheels fall off a bit when he stoops to an ugly ad hominem attack on Hitchens, saying that the percentage of rioting Muslims is less than the percentage of "alcoholic writers who are as incoherent and pompous as ... well, as Christopher Hitchens."

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm more than happy to take Hitchens or Andrew Sullivan to task when they say something stupid. Still, if you want to dismantle someone, do it to their argument, not their character. Otherwise you just end up looking bad yourself.

Overall, however, a really good article on "that phony 'where are the moderates?' jag."
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