Wednesday, June 17, 2009

False equivalence

Jonathan Gurwitz is trying to deflect criticism away from conservatives over the recent spate of right-wing violence in the U.S. by making a bogus argument about false equivalency.
Even though there have been no recent instances of left-wing violence in the U.S., Gurwitz claims that both sides are equally responsible.
Last week, he argued that right-wing anti-abortion groups are not responsible for the death of Dr. George Tiller because they are “pro-life”. However, anyone who was critical of the war in Iraq is somehow responsible for the actions of an Islamic fundamentalist who shot and killed an Army recruiter in Arkansas last week.

This week, Gurwitz takes it a step further and tries to put Islamic fundamentalism squarely on the left side of the political spectrum for purposes of equivalency:

...politics is a horseshoe — the further you go from the middle, the more the extremes converge. That explains why the words of von Brunn and Wright are so similar, why the language of the Christian Identity movement is often identical to that of Islamic extremists, why David Duke was a featured speaker at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial conference...

How convenient that Gurwitz can assign Islamic extremists and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Left side of the spectrum so that he has something to balance against the likes of the Christian Identity movement and David Duke. The only problem is that it is total nonsense. Islamic fundamentalists, like Christian fundamentalists, occupy the far-right side of the spectrum. Their attitudes and views with respect to women’s liberation, gay rights, abortion and civil liberties are almost indistinguishable. It is the same rightwing ideology just dressed up in different cultural and religious trappings.

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