On Avoiding Stereotypes…

Manchester police have apologised after a fake suicide bomber taking part in a training exercise shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he made his “attack”. Activists denounced this as an unacceptable display of rank stereotyping. Somehow omitted from media reports was the fact that “Allahu Akbar” was shouted by the killers of the hostage Nick Berg, the Fort Hood gunman, the perpetrator of the Montauban shootings, the murderers of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, the terrorists who attacked the Bataclan concert hall and, allegedly, a man who stabbed four people at a train station in Germany on the very same day as the offending exercise. One might draw from these events the grim conclusion that if “Allahu Akbar” is shouted at random in a public place it is a sign that one should flee. But if one is to avoid “stereotyping” one must learn to ignore such relevant facts.

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