M.G. Oprea doesn’t like the way you talk. Or, to be more specific, she doesn’t like the way some of you choose to pronounce Islamic words, but not other words:
Pronouncing ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ in an authentic manner is especially important to the Left because Islam is their pet project. The reactions after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino paint a clear picture of the Left’s bias toward Islam even in the face of plain facts.
They don’t do this with other foreign words or place-names. No, the Left reserves this little linguistic condescension for its favorite liberal minority causes. You didn’t hear anyone pronouncing ‘Paris’ as ‘Pah-ree,’ as the French do, after the terror attacks in November in order to show solidarity. There wasn’t any effort to sound culturally authentic when discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But talk about Islam, and their tune—and pronunciation—changes.
I have mixed feelings about this article. I am sharing it because it’s intriguing.
A “pet project” is very definitely what Islam is to many on the Left, although maybe not in the way the author imagines. I think the American Left often believes that it can and will enlighten Islam. Unaided, which is cute. And totally hopeless: Islam has to enlighten itself. If it doesn’t, nothing else will. Certainly Islam will not be enlightened by a pack of religious liberals-to-atheists whose last great crusade was gay marriage, and whose crusade before that was abortion. Sorry, folks. Islam can’t be your pet project, and not just because it’s condescending to make a pet project of one of the world’s major religions.
But the linguistic choice is what intrigues me the most: I recall once at the Smithsonian there was an exhibit about Jim Crow. The path of the exhibit required all who viewed it to make a choice between two doors: They were labeled “white” and “colored.” The exhibit thus forced individuals to make a choice, but not between white and colored per se: Rather, the choice lay between conformity and defiance.
This article is attempting to make a move a lot like that one, I think: Do you conform to Islam? Or do you deny it? Or perhaps it is asserting that liberals have set up that choice themselves, and that conservatives are refusing to submit. I find it hard to tell.