Utah Killer’s Equal?

I had to do a double take when I read these opening paragraphs in Saturday’s Salt Lake Tribune:

Holocaust survivor mesmerizes students

He was just a little older than his audience when the Nazis starved him and showed him such unspeakable brutality. He’s still talking about it now.

The reaction at Fort Herriman Middle School last week was to stand and cheer his courage. Days after a teenager went on a shooting rampage in Salt Lake City, students at Jordan School District middle schools were mesmerized by David Faber, a Holocaust survivor who weighed 72 pounds when he was freed from a concentration camp at 18. He was the same age as Sulejman Talovic, the Trolley Square shooter.

What was that? Come again? Where did that line come from? What is it doing there? What is its meaning? It appears that the Salt Lake Tribune has made it official: A Muslim killer is no worse than a Jewish survivor. Said differently: a Jewish survivor is as bad as a Muslim killer. Said another way: A Jew who wasn’t killed is as bad as a Muslim who has killed.

The author doesn’t even make a bland comparison of this victim of an atrocity to the victims of the killer. No, she compares a Jew who survived death to a Muslim who caused it. She is equating a villain with a victim, with someone who actually witnessed the Holocaust and didn’t go about killing people later as a result, to someone who left an enclave — which was not a labor or death camp — before any killing of its inhabitants took place. And this is a villain who is guilty of the kind of genocidal behavior and religious persecution that the other person was a victim of.

But the dumbness doesn’t stop there. She also bases the comparison on age similarities, but there isn’t enough even for that. She compares the survivor’s age at rescue to the killer’s age at killing, which gives the whole thing even less sense, if possible, since Talovic left Srebrenica in 1993 when he was four.

Newspaper reporters are pretty clueless in general, but the smaller the pond, the dumber they (and apparently their editors) are. And here’s how dumb this one — a Julia Lyon — is: I emailed her a note asking her to clarify the sentence, and giving her a perfectly good “out” she could have seized on, upon realizing the nonsense she’d inserted. This was my note:

Dear Ms. Lyon,
I enjoyed reading your piece about the speech at the school by the Holocaust survivor. There was just one part where the point you were trying to make flew over my head. [Cited paragraph]. I’m just trying to understand the intention of the last sentence, which points out that this Holocaust survivor was the same age as Sulejman Talovic. Are you saying, “Look–this guy has seen genocide but wasn’t traumatized into killing sprees,” or are you just saying that both young men had seen horrors? Thanks so much. J. Gorin

Sure enough she wrote, “I was just trying to point out that they’d both seen/been connected with horror.”

This is even dumber than that Newsweek cover a few years ago profiling a Palestinian teenager who detonated herself in a supermarket — alongside one of her victims, a teenage Israeli. The magazine compared their looks (similar) and their ages (one year apart) and discussed how both girls are the young victims of the Middle East conflict.

And we wonder how it is that Muslims are able to trick themselves and the world into believing that the more they kill, the more persecuted they feel. Our media gave them the idea!

If being killed is as morally reprehensible as killing, if killing is as excusable as surviving being killed, maybe there really is something to the notion that Muslims are being persecuted just like the Jews of Nazi Germany, as Dr Mohammad Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, recently said.

Muslims are the new Jews,” read the headline of an October article in the London Times Online:

[Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw] said the veil was a “visible statement of separation and of difference”, and that he asks women who visit his surgery to remove it. And nuns? Does he demand to see their hair, too? It’s open season on Islam — Muslims are the new Jews…Especially since July 7, it has become acceptable to say the most ignorant, degrading things about Islam. And then we all sit around wondering why young Muslim men appear to be getting angrier and more politicised, or why “westernised” young Muslim women whose mothers go bare-headed are suddenly, defiantly, opting for the full-on niqab-style veil that leaves only a slit for the eyes.

As one comment poster responded, “Ms Knight suggests that it’s fashionable to find criticism with muslims. I’d say it is far more fashionable for certain muslims to claim it.”

If Muslims are the new Jews, then I’d like to be a new Jew too, and start killing with impunity. Of course, if Muslims are the new Jews, can they hurry up and self-detonate already?

Meanwhile, can we make up our minds? Are they the new Jews, or the new black man? Are Muslims the new black Jews?