At Discover I pointed out that a reporter at The New York Times who wrote an analytic piece on Libya which Überblogger Matt Yglesias deemed “excellent” doesn’t know what Sufism is. Not a big deal if he was simply reporting basic facts, but the point of the analytic piece was to provide “perspective” for the ignorant readership. The blind leading the blind?
Here’s another funny example, Mullah in Debate of Tradition vs. Modern Schooling:
Many members of the Taliban call themselves Deobandis, even though the Indian leaders of Darul Uloom have strongly condemned them, rejected extremism and organized meetings of Islamic teachers to denounce terrorism. During India’s independence movement, Deobandis supported Gandhi and later rejected joining a partitioned Pakistan.
Without context the Deobandi rejection of partition makes them seem like religious pluralists who believe in coexistence to the average American. But Zach alludes to one major assumed reason, the conservative Muslims of British India rejected the de facto secular nationalism of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s movement, and held out the hope for an Islamicization of the whole Indian subcontinent. If the author knew that I think he should have omitted the point about partition, and if he didn’t, he’s ignorant.