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Equivocation

Reader comment on item: Anti-Muslim Racism?

Submitted by JFP (United States), Nov 23, 2005 at 08:51

The fallacy in question here is called "equivocation." Here is how it would work:

1. Dr. Pipes bashes Islamists.
2. Anyone who bashes Islamists is racist (new sense).
3. Being racist (old sense) is evil.
4. Therefore, Dr. Pipes is evil.

Every logician will tell you that this is a fallacious argument.

In addition, extending the meaning of "racism" to cover cultures and not just races will make many American leftists racists. After all, other cultures are different from ours not just in their religion, but also in their sports. The main sport of the Muslim world is soccer, and cricket is very big in the Muslim nation of Pakistan. Not many leftists in this country follow or even respect these sports. And if one considers only those leftists who (like me) were brought up on baseball, football, and basketball only, the number who could be said to be non-racist dwindles to less than one percent.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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