Posted by | September 7, 2010 17:41 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, has been justifiably accused of racism before but he recently sunk to a new low. According to Peretz this past Saturday:

Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

Unfortunately for Martin Peretz and thankfully for the majority of decent people living in this country, his hateful, xenophobic, racist ideology does not dictate public policy in this country. Ironically, his ravings against his Muslim-American brothers and sisters could inspire some to argue that First Amendment rights should be stripped away from some people. However, unlike (insert profanity laced tirade here) like Martin Peretz, I actually believe in the First Amendment.

Peretz, unsurprisingly, has some facts wrong, because Imam Rauf has, in fact, “raised a fuss” about the bloodshed committed by radical Islam, as Jason Linkins writes, saying: “Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam. … There are always people who will do peculiar things, and think that they are doing things in the name of their religion … God says in the Koran that they think that they are doing right, but they are doing wrong.”

What people like Martin Peretz fail to understand is that the Bill of Rights (not the Bill of “Privileges”) applies to all Americans, including Muslim-Americans, who are every bit as American as their right-wing critics. Mr. Peretz has no right to judge the worthiness of Muslim-Americans receiving First Amendment rights anymore than Muslim-Americans have the right to judge whether his reprehensible opinions should be silenced. It is times like this where I wonder how the 4000 Muslim-Americans defending this country feel about risking their lives so that race-baiters on the Right can slander their religion and their character.

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