Remember when conservatives were blamed for the massive shooting in Arizona in January? Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin were among the scapegoats. And while the U.S. media hasn't yet pointed the finger at popular American conservatives, one outlet has just published an op-ed piece doing just that. Which outlet? The White House's favorite foreign news source, Al Jazeera.
The op-ed, posted on Al Jazeera's website on Sunday, is the work of Ahmed Moor. The outlet calls him "a Palestinian-American freelance journalist based in Cairo" who "was born in the Gaza Strip, Palestine." What it doesn't say, but what is clear in the piece, is that he's not a fan of Glenn Beck.
He opens his article by decrying "right-wing propaganda" and "reactionary bigotry:"
The Norwegian terrorist who murdered more than ninety innocent civilians - many of whom were teenagers - did not act alone. Or rather, he acted within a cultural and political context that legitimises his fearful and hate-infested worldview. It is now clear that Anders Behring Breivik was exposed to large amounts of right-wing propaganda. This tragedy underlines the urgency with which normal people around the world must combat fundamentalist nationalists and chauvinists wherever they may be. But it also demonstrates the extent to which reactionary bigotry has infected mainstream thought.
What kind of "right-wing propaganda?" How about "right-wing zealots" like Glenn Beck who, according to Moor, is comparable to American-born Al Qaeda operative Anwar Al-Awlaki:
[...] But the combatants are not Islam and the West. Instead, the war is between the normal, sane people of the world and the right-wing zealots who see doom, destruction, hellfire and God's Will at every turn.
Anders Behring Breivik, Mohammed Atta and Baruch Goldstein are all cut from the same rotten cloth. Anwar Al-Awlaki and Glenn Beck - the peddlers of the faith - all share the same core afflictions.
These men are insecure, violently inclined, and illiberal. The outside world scares them. They hate homosexuals and strong women. For them, difference is a source of insecurity. Their values are militarism, conformism, chauvinism and jingoism. Worst of all they seek to pressure us into compliance while they work frantically to destroy themselves - and the rest of us with them.
The accusation that Beck is somehow responsible for the Norway attacks is laughable. Beck has never expressed a hate toward homosexuals or women, and certainly doesn't advocate violence (one of his greatest heros is Ghandi). He regularly calls for peace and even held a non-political event in Washington, D.C. last year to encourage people to find God.
So how absurd is the charge? Well, even Al Jazeera made sure to keep some distance from the claim. At the bottom of its op-ed (as with all its op-eds), the outlet posted the following message:
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
But could this be a veiled attack on Beck for his support for Israel? Beck has been an ardent support of Israel's right to exist in the face of pressure from Palestinians who accuse the country of "occupation." That has made him a regular target.
Considering Moor is originally from the Gaza Strip -- one of the hotly-contested territories in Israel -- is this a chance to demonize Beck ahead of his upcoming Restoring Courage event in the Holy Land?
In 2010, Moor regularly penned anti-Israel op-eds for the Huffington Post, including "Israel Cannot be Both Jewish and Democratic" and "Zionism Is Not Judaism."
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)