one of the classic blunders

A while back I quoted Amna Khalid’s thoughtful response to the Hamline University kerfuffle; now we have a strong statement from the Muslim Public Affairs Council. It’s not often that you get a big public dispute in which every party on one side of the issue is thoughtful, measured, and well-informed, while every party on the other side gives every indication of being an ignoramus. But here we are. 

The Hamline administration has committed one of the classic blunders — right up there with getting involved in a land war in Asia and going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line — and the mistake is not deciding that certain groups on campus are to be protected from perceived insult while others are left to fend for themselves. No, that’s bad academic practice, but it’s not one of the classic blunders. The classic blunder here is assuming that the protected group is intellectually unanimous. The leaders of Hamline obviously believed that if one Muslim is offended by something then that thing is ipso facto “offensive to Muslims.” It’s the kind of error you make when you’re a well-meaning lefty who doesn’t know anyone who isn’t also a well-meaning lefty.