A Crash Course on the Notion of the Caliphate for Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh takes issue with Donald Rumsfeld’s suggestion that radical Islamists seek to establish a caliphate.

I understand why Limbaugh and Beck peddle the caliphate notion; they make money on fear. But Rumsfeld joining the charge is remarkable. That a former defense secretary would express such ignorance about Islam — generalizing about a global religion that’s divided Sunni from Shia, radical from reformer, al-Qaida vs. the vast majority, and in so many more ways — is stunning.

No, what’s stunning is that anyone would have the nerve to proclaim herself knowledgeable in any way, shape or form about Islam without recognizing that the notion of the caliphate is at the center of Islamist thought. It requires never once having read anything written by an Islamist to think Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck dreamt up the “caliphate notion” as a money-making swindle.

Such willful stupidity is not often to be found in nature, I must say.