Sharks and Islamists: Equally Misunderstood?

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


Great_white_shark_south_africaI recently spent some time watching Shark Week on television.  Being fascinated with large predatory fish, I’ve watched many shark programs throughout the years.  And I’ve reached one conclusion: the “liberal” response one is accustomed to when the topic of Islam and Islamists come up—that they are misunderstood, that we need to respect their ways and be tolerant, that it’s our fault we get attacked—has become so embedded in the Western psyche that it now colors our understanding of the animal world as well.

Almost every shark program follows the same pattern: the large predators are portrayed in all their grandeur, roaming the seas; then we hear of several anecdotes of shark attacks on humans, often with the survivors recounting their experience.

The prevalent theme is this: it’s not the shark’s fault that it attacked and maimed this or that surfer, swimmier, or kayaker.  Rather, humans are responsible for entering the shark’s domain, the ocean.  If anything, then, it’s the human’s fault for getting attacked.  Even great whites, so we are assured, only attack humans by mistake, never intentionally. Finally we get the speech about how sharks are in fact the one’s being mistreated by humans, etc.

To those familiar with the way liberal talking heads constantly whitewash the violence and intolerance of Islam, does this not all sound familiar?  From the notion that “it’s our fault” we got attacked, and we “had it coming,” to the idea that we need to be more “understanding and respectful,” the “progressive” memes are all there.

Similarly, two types of survivors often recount their experiences.  Most explain how they do not at all blame the shark that attacked them; more magnanimously, others say that, since they lost this or that appendage, they have dedicated their lives to protecting sharks.

The second, more atypical kind of survivors openly demonize sharks and come off less “enlightened.”  Such was this one Australian survivor I watched, who seemed the quintessential “hillbilly”—missing teeth and all.  He appeared on one of the programs emphatically declaring that all sharks are “evil.”  In other words, he was something of an ignorant, bigoted “sharkaphobe.”

One important caveat: I am not “hating on” sharks, suggesting they are “evil,” or siding with this or that perspective.  But as a rational person, I know that sharks—especially great whites, bulls, and tigers—are dangerous creatures.  As animals of instinct, I do not believe they have the capacity to act “good” or “evil,” but I do not doubt that, given the chance and especially if hungry, they will attack and eat humans.  (See this atypical article, for example, which suggests that “thousands of missing drowning victims actually die of shark attacks.”)

Rather, the point here is that this business of always apologizing for Islamic violence, insisting that it is some sort of misunderstanding, which “enlightened” Western persons should be patient of if not completely overlook, has so penetrated society that it has metastasized to almost anything and everything that is potentially dangerous, including ravenous sharks.

Nor does the analogy end here.  When Western liberals hold Muslims to a lower standard than the rest of humanity—ignoring the beheadings, massacres, rapes, enslavements, and church burnings habitually committed by the likes of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, et al.—are they not, in essence, placing such Muslims on a “subhuman” level?  Are they not placing them on the level of wild animals—sharks for instance—that are not responsible for their actions?

In the end, however, the shark analogy fails.  After all, sharks attack and kill for survival—like the rest of us carnivores—whereas the Islamists intentionally attack, torture, rape, massacre, mutilate, and incinerate humans simply for not being Muslim.

That is the definition of evil.

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  • The Vilest of Creatures

    Maybe it’s time we hold Western Liberals to the same standards of low expectations and NOT elect them to high office or allow them to be prominent in the media. They are as sub-human as the Muslims they protect.

    • the old skeptic

      Would you kindly stop diluting the important issue with your partisan bleating? Just give out Rush’s AM radio broadcast frequency and let it lay.

  • the old skeptic

    Become a bigot, like me. I’m not an Islama-phobe, I’m an Islama-foe.
    Support Islamic expulsion.

  • Sharps Rifle

    Excellent analogy!

  • Pepe Turcon

    At least with the shark fins you can make a great soup, the Islamists are useless even as fertilizer I have heard…

    • mollysdad

      If you cremate them at the right temperature, they do fine as fertilizer.

  • pennant8

    Some time ago I started referring to street thugs, gang bangers and drive-by shooters as land sharks. They come along, take a bite out of you, maybe kill you, and then move on, no conscience, no looking back. I have added jihadists to the category of land sharks.

  • http://JudeoChristianAmerica.org Alexander Gofen

    This is a very profound article. I too have noticed the idiotic (and suicidal) liberal apologetic about sharks (and also about crocodiles in a few states) in their movies on nature. Just a few additions.

    1) Islam and moslems may be compared with sharks and piranhas. Their acts of terror are akin to shark attacks, and the “peaceful” muslim migration to the West is akin to emergence of piranhas.

    2) Unlike oceans for sharks, America and the West ARE NOT “MUSLIM TERRITORY”. It was made such by the traitors of the West! The West will have no peace until every last islamic piranha is expelled, and every mosque razed, whichever it takes – and now, alas, it will take a lot: http://JudeoChristianAmerica.org/Imminent.htm

  • Nogods

    I was only noting with this morning’s news something akin to your discussion.
    David Cameron, UK PM, on hearing that the headchopper had an english accent, was suddenly out raged and shocked. And it wasn’t the headchopping he was shocked at, it was that it was done by an englishman.
    It occurred to me that this was a racist reaction. Cameron wasn’t as shocked if he thought a middle eastern mooseslum did the chopping. This shows discrimination.
    And along with the thoughts of this article, is demonstrates an expectation/acceptance that mozzies with be barbaric. But when an englishman is barbaric, then that’s shocking… WTF?
    I also note how often the word barbaric comes up these days.
    I would tend to think barbaric comes from ‘Barbary Coast’, where mooseslums would pirate western ships centuries ago.
    islam and barbarism have been hand in hand for centuries. It’s not about the oil. It’s not about the bombing.. it’s just a never ending war of islam versus the world.
    there will always be an excuse for the barbarians.

  • Michael Copeland

    The broad brush approach is wrongful to sharks.
    You have to distinguish the militant and extremist ones.