Yesterday the Star Tribune devoted a long editorial to the threat of terrorism emanating from Minnesota’s Somali Muslim community, only not in those words. Running under the headline “Countering extremism in Minnesota: A beautiful goal, barely begun,” the editorial adopts the Obama approved indirection and approach.
The editorial pursues the line that I criticized in the Star Tribune column “Islam and Minnesota: It’s time for some straight talk for a change.” Where I addressed the regular condemnations of “Islamophobia” that are meant to stifle discussion of the issues staring us in the face, the Star Tribune editorial ratchets the disparagement back to “anti-immigrant rhetoric.”
When it comes to solutions, the Star Tribune advocates more of the same. The editorial adapts a sort of midnight basketball approach to the problem of Somali Muslim “extremism.” Now it’s time for midnight soccer. The Star Tribune is, in short, ready for Hillary — and Bill. The editors think in liberal clichés. Whatever the question, the answer is more money, preferably from taxpayers. Here the answer is more money for soccer.
Judging by the Star Tribune readers’ comments, the tolerance for the usual mush is not quite as high as usual. One comment, for example, observes: “Minnesotans are reading this [editorial] wondering why we have an immigration policy that places Americans at such great risk. Taxpayer-funded mitigation programs do too little, much too late. Stop this problem at the front end.”
The Star Tribune doesn’t think to look at a single one of the ten men who sought to leave Minnesota and join ISIS last year. These men represent the problem that the Star Tribune editorial purports to address, yet they are conspicuous by their absence. Insofar as facts belie the Star Tribune editorial, the editorial’s indirection has its uses. The ten men did not lack opportunity. They were not cut off from the community. They sought meaning in a cause they would happily die for. Soccer ain’t it. The poverty visibly on display here is poverty of thought.