Two days ago, we had an editorial called “After Boston.” (When I say “we,” I mean National Review.) It began,
The terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in many ways played out along predictable lines: The bombers were foreign-born Islamic militants with an affinity for jihad, our law-enforcement and emergency medical personnel responded with the awesome speed and skill that we too often take for granted, Bostonians behaved with prudence and restraint while the manhunt unfolded, the media performed in the opposite fashion, and, rather than turn into the “Islamophobic” lynch mob of the Left’s fevered fantasies, the American public took a few days to raise millions of dollars to help care for victims of the attack.
On this last point: Last year, I attended a dinner party on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. All liberals, of course, and then me. A lady said, “After 9/11, we were all united. And then Bush divided us.” I know you’ve never heard this before.
Another lady said, “Yeah — we were ‘all united’ beating up Muslims!”
I don’t remember it that way, actually. Do you? Do certain people . . . want it to have been that way?
I’m reminded of something else — and I’ll now quote from a piece I wrote in 2002, about the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI):
Consider the case of Sheikh Muhammad al-Gamei’a, as “mainstream” a Muslim as one could have hoped for. He was head of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque on New York’s Upper East Side, the very symbol of Muslim splendor in America. Al-Gamei’a was the kind who participated in interreligious services and offered soothing words about peace, healing, and brotherhood. This is the sort of role he played — speaking in English — immediately after September 11.
But then he went home to Egypt and, on October 4, gave an eye-opening interview to a prominent Islamic website. The sheikh told his audience that, after September 11, Arabs in America could not go to hospitals, because Jewish doctors were making them sick; that Americans were firing on mosques and murdering Arabs in the street, with impunity; that Americans knew that the Jews — not radical Arabs — were responsible for the attacks, but were afraid to speak up about it, for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.
One more thing: For the last two years, I’ve been harping on something the Obama State Department did. In “human-rights talks” with China, our guys essentially expressed guilt over the Arizona immigration law. And also over our “treatment of Muslim Americans.” (I most recently wrote about this episode on Monday, here.)
Honestly, there is nothing to apologize for. America is just about the most tolerant, most forgiving, least racist nation on earth. We may be taught the opposite in our schools, and by our culture at large — the movies, the news media, and so on. But if you grow up and find out a little about the world, you know it’s true.
Some people keep waiting for the United States to heave with retribution against innocent Muslims. I think they’ll wait a long, long time . . .
Mitt Romney attended the interfaith service in Boston. He said this about Barack Obama: “I thought the president gave a superb address to the people of this city and the state and the nation.”
If the American people had made the other choice in November, Romney would be in the third month of his presidency. I think that sensible government would be taking hold, and that a touch of grace would be emanating from the White House. As it is, we have nastiness, petulance, and narrowness.
I think the American people made a lousy choice. (I realize I’ve never said that before.)