Friday, March 11, 2016

No, Islam Doesn't Hate the West

The Grammar Dance could make a daily go of diagramming Donald Trump’s fractured syntax, but it would make me literally ill to spend that much time with the Tyrannosaurus Rump. This past week he aimed his bile again at Islam, but in such a way that compels me to straighten out a rudimentary usage gaffe that he has since repeated numerous times.

“Islam hates the West,” he says. That’s like saying Christianity loves Lima beans or Judaism is curious about the company you keep. Islam is a religion, not an individual or group of individuals. It is a set of beliefs rather than a description of the individuals who subscribe to those beliefs.

He might permissibly have said, “Muslims hate the West” or “Islam preaches hatred toward the West,” but he may not say, “Islam hates the West.” This usage is an anthropomorphization of a religion, an ascription of human attributes to a non-human entity. He sounds stupid when he says it. He is stupid when he says it.