MSNBC will readily use the words “Sharia” and “jihad” to refer negatively to conservative policies in the U.S.: opposing abortion is imposing Sharia, and cutting food stamp programs is a jihad. But MSNBC would never dream of using Sharia or jihad in a negative way in connection with Muslims, even though that is their actual context, when Muslims themselves are carrying out stonings and amputations in the name of Sharia or blowing up innocent people in the name of jihad. In those instances they work to obscure the motives and even the identity of the perpetrators, and bring in smooth Western Muslim spokesmen to assure us that the Islamic Republic of Iran or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or whoever committed the latest atrocity represents only a tiny minority, and that the overwhelming majority of Muslims understand Sharia and jihad in an entirely benign way.
But their analogous use of these terms to criticize Republicans and conservatives betrays the fact that they actually know full well what they mean. “MSNBC’s Joy Reid: GOP Abortion Restrictions Are Like Muslim ‘Shariah Law,'” by Brad Wilmouth for Newsbusters, July 8:
On the Wednesday, July 3, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid compared abortion restrictions to “Shariah law” as she blasted North Carolina state senate Republicans for the “sneak attack” of including the restrictions in a bill banning Islamic law in the state. Reid:…
You know, I’m sure these legislators couldn’t tell you what Sharia law is, but what they think it is, is exactly what they’re doing in these bills, imposing a religious dictate on women.
“MSNBC’s Hayes: ‘GOP’s Jihad on Those in Need Gets Uglier Every Single Day,'” by Brad Wilmouth for Newsbusters, June 20:
On Wednesday’s All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes again claimed that House Republicans are waging a “jihad” in trying to cut the food stamp program, asserting that “the GOP’s jihad on those in need gets uglier every single day.”…
Hayes included a plug for the segments on food stamps during the show’s opening teaser: “Plus, yes, right wingers, people are going hungry in America. And the GOP’s jihad on those in need gets uglier every single day.”
At about 8:38 p.m., he again used the word “jihad” as he plugged: “There’s a Republican jihad on food stamps, of all things, and it affects millions of people.”