One of the (American) nation chief Valium dispensers, whose main drive on CNN and elsewhere is to lull his followers into a zombified state of well being, Fareed Zakaria is not totally unknown on these here pages. Just three years ago he appeared in a special burlesque called "Iran is weak and getting weaker" (no, it is not a joke).
Recently Mr Zakaria decided to stick his unerring GPS into the issue of Islamophobia, timing this move to follow the San Bernardino massacre. Here he is dispensing his soporific version of wisdom.
I was watching this and, as usual in case of Mr Zakaria speeches, gradually nodding off and also nodding, in a positive sense of this word, at some true statements, such as:
- Islamophobia is not nice
- And so is Anti-Muslim rhetoric
- We shouldn't demand that Muslims as a whole condemn publicly the barbarian acts by a few terrorists (what is the use, besides, it is not as if the said terrorists consult with the said Muslims as a whole?)
- We should be... whatever, I think it was about somehow or other being politically correct
I am still unsure about the generously offered by the author number of 50 "planners". But I sincerely hope that by "planners" he doesn't mean people (some call them "activists", some use a more down to earth "terrorists") who are ready to use firearms and other implements of murder. Let's be less generous and agree on a smaller number.
Numbers, however, are not on the side of Mr Zakaria, who tries to impress on his listeners that there is an infinitesimally small bunch of these "planners", generally shunned by other Muslims. To use a sample, recognized by people who are generally in tune with what Mr Zakaria is claiming, this is an "optimistic" estimate of Daesh supporters' demography:
Even if we generously use only 5% as a percentage of Daesh supporters in Arab world, the result will be quite serious 18 millions. While 95% of the non-supporters is indeed an overwhelming majority, 18 million of supporters are not to be taken lightly by any sane measure.
And this estimate of 5% is being challenged, for instance by this Pew poll that says that more than 60 million Muslims in 11 countries support Daesh. And this is only for 760 million of Muslims, less than half of total Muslim population of the world! So much for the infinitesimal minority...
The number 60 million echoed another number in my memory. The population of Germany, which numbered a tad more in 1930 (about 63 millions), produced two millions of Nazi party members by 1933 (or about 5% of self). This same population produced a bit more than 18 million soldiers of all kinds that served in the Nazi military during the life of the Third Reich.
Yeah, Mr Zakaria, just keep up with the Valium. Sterling work that...