Mark Twain coined the phrase in his autobiography, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
I agree, and interestingly enough all three get utilized when painting a portrait of an opposing group. The specific case I'm talking about is the current anti-Muslim sentiments being vomitted forth by far too many groups in the Western World.
From the suburbs of St. Louis to television networks, and who can forget the 'Ground Zero Mosque' debacle in late 2010 (it opened last September, incidentally). I'd like to say this is a uniquely American issue, and that the rest of the world is more tolerant and welcoming, but... then we have these wack-jobs, proving that the U.S. doesn't have a monopoly on crazy, right-wing, hate-mongering, fuck-tards. We do, however, boast the most public right-wing, hate-mongering, fuck-tards.
There go those crazy Americans again, with their loony bloggers organizing massive press conferences, and their ... wait... FUCKING PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS? Are you serious? Yup, that's right... Welcome your next Republican nominee. The ignorant bigot.
And I'm not just picking on Newt here either. Even the guy I pretty much gave a reach around in a couple previous posts, Ron Paul... here's what he has to say on the matter:
“The question ultimately revolves around one issue, that one demands our total support, with power, determination, and one voice, and it is this: Does Islam, or does it not, force people, by the Power of the Sword, to submit to its authority corporally, if not spiritually? The answer is Yes.”
I won't get into Sarah 'Titty McBangBang' Palin, or Michelle 'Batshit Crazy' Bachmann, but let's just look at the front runner for the GOP...
Mitt? Gimme somethin' good:
“They are peace-loving and America-loving individuals. I believe that very sincerely. I believe people of the Islamic faith do not have to subscribe to the idea of radical, violent jihadism.”
... wait... Goddamnit, Mitt... You keep being reasonable and shit, and I might have to stop imagining you being skull-fucked by a buffalo. Too bad you're still a big homophobe.
Interestingly, I couldn't find anything from any non-republican leaders that specifically cited either acceptance or rejection of Islam. The only people who are vehemently (and violently) anti-Muslim are Republicans, everyone else just doesn't take a stand either way... which, while pretty evasive, is still better than publicly decrying it as ... wait... what did you call it Mister Santorum ... The quotes reliably attributed to him are too lengthy and obscure to place here, but follow that link and take a look.
Here's the facts:
There are ~1.5 billion (that's a 1 a 5 and 8 zeros) Muslims, of some flavor or another, on Earth.
There are ~2 billion Christians, of some flavor or another.
Sweeping generalizations about either group, or focusing only on the most violent and abhorent behaviors of people who identify with EITHER faith is an ignorant fallacy.
There are crazy fuckers who are Christians and crazy fuckers who are Muslim and I'm sure there are some crazy fucking Buddhists, Hinduists, etc. The thing is, that doesn't mean all Christians/Muslims/Buddhists/etc are crazy fuckers. It means there are some crazy fuckers in the world, some of whom also HAPPEN to be Christian... Sarah Palin comes to mind, again. This is no less ignorant than the fear of Communism or Russians. The over generalization of these hateful sentiments is only adding fuel to an inferno. It's continuing the same rhetoric that charismatic, anti-American groups are using to recruit young men in the Middle East.
So, Newt, Rick, Ron, you pasty fuckers are part of the problem, not the solution. Fix your shit, or get the fuck on.