Hardball host Chris Matthews is no rightie, but when it comes to Islamist terrorism like today's deadly attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, he takes a decidedly more conservative posture than others on his network. Witness the MSNBC host's opening tease to his January 7 program:
Islamists kill 12 in Paris. Liberty, equality, fraternity, they hate it all. Let's play Hardball.
Later in the program, in a segment featuring reformist Muslim Irshad Manji of the Moral Courage project, Matthews railed against Islamic radical immigrants to France who reject the country's Western values and dismissed the hand-wringing of liberals who would lay some of the blame for the violence on cultural alienation among the nation's young Islamic immigrants:
MATTHEWS: What do you make of what happened today? You think it's an odd occurrence or is this the start of something we're goign to have to live with for decades? This whole thing about being disaffected. Tough luck, you're disaffected. You're living in France, the country's called France. It's French. Liberty, equality, fraternity. Get with it. If you don't like living there, move!
MATTHEWS: This idea that somehow France has to adjust to your thinking about what constitutes blasphemy is outrageous! Your thoughts?
MANJI: Agree 100 percent. You asked do I think that this is going to go on for decades. Yes, and I'll tell you why. And this is where my optimism comes from. These folks, the criminals behind these acts today, know that they are on the losing side of history. I firmly believe that they know this because again I'm seeing around me young people, who are now, young Muslims who are having children, writing openly that we are going to be raising our children with the pluralistic values that reformist Islam stands for.
When these criminals understand that they're soon going to be outnumbered, when I say soon, I mean perhaps in two generations, this is the kind of backlash that they are going to be engaging in. So weirdly, and I realize that this is a hard sell, and time will tell, but I'm making the prediction that what we saw today is not an act of the future, it is an act that bemoans the future. It is an act of backlash against a much more pluralistic and progressive future.
MATTHEWS: Well, losing sides can be very dangerous.