A tale of two fatwas

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Fellow former evangelical now political progressive Frank Schaffer couldn’t help noticing the similarities between the recent murderous attack on novelist Salmam Rushdie by an Islamic terrorist with a knife and the attack on the on the FBI by a rightwing extremist with a nail gun and an AR-15. Both murderous attacks were engendered by fatwas, one issued by a hopelessly pig-ignorant wack-job leader of religiously intolerant morons, the other by the ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Both fatwas were evil, created to protect and nurture an evil message. That message was that no one is to criticise, disparage or call into question the legitimacy of their evil leader, upon pain of death. We have Fox News and Donald Trump to thank for the fatwa issued against the FBI.

By the way, that’s our FBI, yours and mine. We the People are the ultimate owners of the FBI. It exists through our tax dollars and the fiat with which we endow it by our elected officials. We nurture and sustain it and pay its people to uphold our laws and protect us from lawless, make-believe leaders. The attack on the FBI was an attack on us, our way of life and our right to exist in peace in a free society. In their fatwa against the FBI, Fox News and Donald Trump have implicitly put our lives in danger.

The conclusion of the writers of this fatwa is that Donald Trump is above the law, and that anyone who disagrees with the fatwa should be put to death. If that sounds extreme it’s supposed to. It’s what we are faced with today. It’s how things are done in Iran and Afghanistan and places like that.

Anyone who goes up against Donald Trump is immediately subject to a rightwing fatwa. If you doubt this, consider the recent experience of JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. She has been threatened with death many times by the Trump fatwa. It was no different when she tweeted sympathy for Salman Rushdie she received a consequential tweet, “You’re next.” They are functionally the same kind of fanaticism.

Adam Schiff has been threatened with death by Trump supporters. So has Liz Cheney. So has Pete Buttigieg. So has Nancy Pelosi, AOC, Ilan Omar and Rashida Tliab. So has virtually every politician critical of Donald Trump alive and active today.

The hatred and extremism of Islamic terrorism has dramatically shaped our lives since since 9/11. The hatred and extremism of rightwing Trump terrorism has dramatically shaped our lives since 2016. They are similar in their fundamental respects

Both come from hate. There is something decidedly ugly about this human need for hate. Hate is active in a virulent minority of humans today, a minority that is nevertheless large enough to cause problems and ruthless enough to engineer the theft of our elections. Donald Trump discovered and activated the power of hate in that minority by accident.

When he ran for the presidency in 2015 he didn’t want to win. He wanted to increase the ratings on his TV show, “The Apprentice.” This fact liberated him to say whatever he wanted without having to worry about how it would be received. He discovered what other candidates who really did want to be president didn’t dare to try. He discovered that hate sells — and it sells very, very well.

There is nothing brilliant or innovative about this. Hitler did the exact same thing. He appealed to the same ugly minority of his time. Eventually anyone in Germany who dared to speak out against him died.

   

That is the way of all fascists, and a fatwa calling for the death of a human being is nothing more than the edict of a fascist. Donald Trump’s appeal is his hatred. Certain kinds of people, the kinds who believe in the rightness of murderous fatwas are the same kind who follow Donald Trump. They are every bit as evil, irrational and fanatically murderous as the people who crashed their planes into our buildings on 9/11. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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