Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The context of Coulter's "Camel" comment

Gotta LOVE the media spin, eh? Oh, the heartless right-winger insults a Muslim girl. Anyone care for some context?

Several friends of mine were at the London event, and I had a chance to talk to one of them this evening. And he shed some very interesting light on what really went down that night.

First of all, there's the "UNCUT" version of what actually happened... see it for yourself. Notes follow:

First observation... looks like this girl is reading her question off a Blackberry. Was perhaps she "fed" the question, I wonder?

Second of all, just listen to her tone... she wasn't looking for an answer, she was looking for an argument. The fact of which is backed up thanks to my friend's eye witness account. Apparently this young Muslim girl only showed up for the Q&A session, and didn't even listen to what Ann had to say. Futhermore, I'm told she left immediately after her "camel" comment, and made a bee-line for the cameras. Yea, I'm thinking it was a setup from the get-go... to which of course, Ann was happy to oblige.

Thirdly, it would appear that the "camel" comment wasn't so much directed at her, as it was directed at the rude hecklers who were trying taunt her by shouting "ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!" Interestingly, she in fact WAS taking the time to answer the questions asked by this young woman, but she was doing so in her own particular manner... deconstructing them bit by bit, and dealing with the incorrect root issues underlying the questions.

For example, the first question was in regards to her comment "we should convert them to Christianity", made shortly after 9/11. She began her answer by correcting the questioner, and giving the full and exact quote, which was "We should bomb their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity". She then methodically detailed her rational for that answer, using the examples of American intervention in Japan at the end of WWII, and in South Korea after the Korean War. She detailed how during the reconstruction phases, a call was made to the Christian church for missionaries, who are well known the world over for our humaitarian work. In fact, many well known and respected aid organizations in the world are in fact Christian founded organizations, who's original (and for some, still is) goal was to spread the Gospel of the love of God for mankind, as expressed in our Lord Jesus Christ.

She then made the second and vitally important statement that defines "genuine" Christian faith... we don't "force" conversions. (and those who do, I submit to you, don't know the Lord whom they claim to profess) This is an important detail to remember in the context of her quote... we OFFER Christianity, we don't "enforce" it. So when she said we should "convert them to Christianity", she wasn't talking about forced conversions. For the record, and to answer a comment from a reader earlier today, I submit to you that THAT is one of the best ways to tell the genuineness of someone's supposed "Christian" faith... we do the preaching and aid part, not the bombing and killing part.

I'll interject here and correct a misconception that many have... the USA and Christianity are NOT synomymous. No matter how much "America" thinks of itself as a "Christian" nation, I've got a news flash for ya... IT'S NOT. So, for the likes of far left readers like Jerry, DON'T go assuming that I link the two together. (I'm actually rather sick and tired of that incorrect linkage, thank you very much... but that's Liberal "hidden agenda" fear and smear for ya, I guess)

Anyway, back to the main point of what she was talking about... she was attempting to tell the audience of the incredible success stories that are today's Japan and Korea. Which were accomplished, in both cases, when the United States "bombed their countries, killed their leaders, and converted (some of) them to Christianity".

Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot... I'm not saying I agree with her premise. I don't, when viewed through the lens of my faith. However, from a strictly "secular" perspective, I can see why some people might agree with it. (now aren't you GLAD that I'm a Christian? LOL...)

While she was continuing to "answer the question", or at least the first part of it, several of the "left" who were in attendance, who only wanted the sound byte I assume, got tired of the history lesson and started shouting "ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!" After about a dozen similarly ideologically aligned detractors in the audience chimed in as well, rudely demanding that she hurry up and fit her answer into a single soundbyte that would fit into their obviously limited attention span, (funny, I thought they were all for logical and reasoned answers... my mistake I guess) she decided to honour their request... she skipped the rest of her answer to the first question, and crafted a witty response directed instead at the hecklers in lieu of a second answer... "What mode of transportation? TAKE A CAMEL."

And of course, at that point, that's the ONLY thing that any of the already ideologically entrenched detractors heard that evening. Who, of course, were more than happy to plead their "offendedness" to the waiting cameras. You know, "Offendedness"... it's a lot like "Truthiness". Whereas Colbert's "Truthiness" is for the Right, likewise "Offendedness" is the bastion of the Left.

So you see? It's all about the context. If it wasn't for the rude appearence of the ever present and easily offended species of "Interruptist Protestest Professionalis", that poor Muslim girl might of gotten an actual answer from the right-wing "hater". Oh well... too bad for them.

Oh, and while we're on that topic... did you know she hates Israel? Not Ann... I mean the other girl.

Yea... I'm thinking it was a set up.

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  • At Fri Mar 26, 10:11:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Ardvark said…

    That is a relief. It thought Coulter was encouraging the young lady to take up smoking American cigarettes.

  • At Fri Mar 26, 11:32:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Anon1152 said…

    This is great. Thank you for posting this, and for the commentary. My two [or more] cents follow.


    Quote: "Second of all, just listen to her tone... she wasn't looking for an answer, she was looking for an argument"

    - Not looking for an answer, only an argument? If I were to read that line out of context, not knowing what else you wrote, or who you were (and even after watching the video), I would think that you were probably referring to Coulter.

    I'm surprised that I'm saying this but... I thought the tone throughout the entire clip was fine. Good, in fact. (Though perhaps I shouldn't be surprised given that earlier I was saying that Universities are places were, as a rule, a lot of reasoned debate goes on).

    The student was allowed to ask her question. There were interruptions--of both the questioner and the speaker--but they were not extended, and not aimed at silencing anyone. The cheering and jeering suggests that there is a good ideological mix in the room. It was raucous. But good debates often are.

    You're absolutely right about the importance of context. These exchanges should be seen in their entirety [as much as possible]. The news reports that I saw aren't helpful. They're limited to "she said this", "she said that". "Can you believe that ____ said that?". (And I don't understand the attention it got from the media. "Ann Coulter says something offensive." As new stories go, that's rather dog-bites-man, isn't it?

    I learned more about the incident here than from watching the news. (Though these sorts of stories, and the way they are portrayed on the evening news, are things I tune out, due to lack of interest).

    But.... I disagree with your characterization of Coulter's answer. The response Coulter was giving up to that point wasn't really answering the questions. The question wasn't a general question about "her comment 'we should convert them to Christianity'". It was more specific. She said that she was a Muslim, and asked: "as a 17 year old student at this University, [a] Muslim, should I be converted to Christianity?"

    She didn't address that question. And insofar as she addressed the second question with the "camel" comment, she more or less said [again] that she [the questioner] should not be allowed on a plane.


    I would also like to point out that Coulter's first comment after the question was to add something to the quote: the student left out the part about "killing their leaders"... which the questioner didn't ask about. Right afterwards she said: "by the way, I thought it was just american public schools that produced ignorant people" (~1:20-1:29).

    I don't see what "ignorance" Coulter was referring to. And the questioner didn't say anything like that in this clip. That is, didn't say anything about Ann Coulter being a stupid/evil person. She merely repeated some things that Coulter had said, and asked about how they applied to her [the questioner] personally, since those statements clearly do apply to her (as a Muslim).

    The question could have been more pointed. Rather than focusing on religious conversion and air travel, the questioner could have asked about her calls for indiscriminate bombing.

    Oh. Speaking of bombing (and segues): For the record, the quote referred to was actually "invade their countries", not "bomb".:

  • At Sat Mar 27, 10:01:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Brian Busby said…

    An interesting post, CC. I find myself agreeing with Anon1152's "two [or more] cents". I offer a couple of my own regarding your second observation.

    The day after the event, CTV quoted "this young Muslim girl", Ms. Al-Dhaher: "...I wrote on my phone because I was afraid I'd get nervous up there and forget my question." I think it perfectly understandable that a 17-year-old, with no apparent experience in public speaking, would do so... especially when addressing an old pro like Ann Coulter.

    The assertion that Ms. Al-Dhaher "only showed up for the Q&A session" is one I haven't seen elsewhere. I question the validity of your source and point out that fellow Blogging Tory Natasha over at writes that she was sitting beside Ms. Al-Dhaher during the speech.

  • At Sat Mar 27, 12:30:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger metasyntactic variable said…

    Coulter spoke about this on O'Reilly Factor at the 4 minute mark.

  • At Sat Mar 27, 02:46:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Piper2012 said…

    So freedom of speech is only to the extent if I already agree with what you are saying. Thanks for clearing that up University of Zero.

  • At Mon Mar 29, 11:06:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Rob said…

    As much as I take issue with Coulter's opinions, it is more the way she says things. They are inflammatory and distract from her message (although they get her air time). Consider the statement:
    "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity" vs. "We should remove the oppressive and anti-democratic regimes and allow aid organizations to enter and help change the quality of life of people there".

    Either she is trying to gain attention or she is unaware there is a more effective way of presenting her message (effective in the sense of winning people to her opinion). I fear that she may be taking the former route which I would consider rather underhanded.


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