More than a decade after the attack on Columbine, the high school’s name remains a buzz word — and an infinitely flexible one.
Example: Public Broadcast Service talk-show host Tavis Smiley used the massacre as an example of violence done by Christians — a position that’s earned him criticism from PBS’s own ombudsman.
Tavis: I guess I’m trying to understand where the evidence is that suggests that all of us who happen to be Christians or enlightened in some other way need to take on Muslims here in the West.
Ali: The people who are engaged in terrorist activities look like you and me. They look like everybody else here. Major Nidal Hasan, the military guy who in November shot 13 of his colleagues and injured 32, he’s going to be on trial pretty soon, I think this week, the young man, Faisal Shahzad, in Times Square who tried to blow innocent people that he doesn’t know up, these guys are acting on conviction. Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.
Tavis: But Christians do that every single day in this country.
Ali: Do they blow people up (unintelligible)?
Tavis: Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is — I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians — and I happen to be a Christian. That’s back to this notion of your idealizing Christianity in my mind, to my read. There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.