Chuck Sykes: A Line in the Sand

Now unless you’ve been living under a rock lately like I have, undoubtedly you’ve heard about the controversy surrounding Chuck Sykes’ comments in defense of a spoof of the “Coexist” bumper stickers that can be seen on bumpers across southeastern Wisconsin. Said spoof, which was contrived by Tom McMahon, involves replacing, among other things, the Star of David on the bumper sticker with a Swastika.

In case you haven’t heard about it, Jay Bullock over at folkbum is talking about it, as are the folks over at Whallah! Anne Quimby Mathias over at Pundit Nation has something to say as well, so feel free to check any of those fine blogs out if you’d like to read a little more about the situation.

After making it clear he supported Tom McMahon’s spoof, Chuck Sykes came under fire from the folks at the Interfaith Conference – and rightfully so in my opinion – but after briefly removing a letter he wrote defending his support for Muslim-bashing, the letter found its way back onto Sykes’ website at 620WTMJ. Apparently Chuck Sykes is sticking to his guns in comparing Muslims to Nazis and Communists, going so far as to say,

Mr. McMahon believes, and I agree, that we are now engaged in a struggle with Islamic fascism. We cannot coexist with terrorists who blow up buses filled with children, cut off the heads of hostages, and slaughter innocent civilians. We need to resist and fight them.

What seems to be escaping Chuck Sykes is the fact that “Islamic fascism” and Islam do not go hand in hand. Sure, there are extremists within Islam who are willing to go to any lengths – including perverting their religion – in order to serve their own ends, but the same could be said for Christians. Apparently Tom McMahon and Chuck Sykes buy into the thinking that all Muslims are terrorists, and that’s really an unfortunate way of thinking, because it’s simply not true.

Now I certainly understand Chuck Sykes’ argument that this is a free speech issue, and in that respect he’s right. No matter how distasteful – or downright disgusting – we may think Tom McMahons’s parody is, he’s still allowed his freedom of speech. What I take issue with is Chuck Sykes’ ignorance in defense of Tom McMahon, because the kind of ignorant and misinformed opinions that Chuck Sykes is spreading are dangerous.

EDIT: Michael Plaisted over at Plaisted Writes sums up this whole situation about as well as anyone….read more here.


Related Articles