In my previous commentary, “The Oslo Factor: Blame Free Speech” I noted half-way through that The Washington Post was leading the way to government regulation or suppression of speech by hammering its nail in the coffin of “Islamaphobia,” and added:
There will be a chorus of hammering by the Main Stream Media (MSM), and calls for “responsible” speech. Which is not the same thing as free speech.
“Responsible” speech is not freedom of speech. Enforcement means force, with concomitant penalties, fines, and jail time. Only the government can define and enforce “responsible” speech. One is either free to speak, or one is not. Denmark, Britain, and other countries have already broken ground with overt or covert censorship, and have penalized individuals who have “irresponsibly” spoken out against Islam and against the “Camps of the Muslims” who are immigrating into their countries at government invitation in the names of multiculturalism, indiscriminate tolerance, and moral equivalence.
I noted that:
You see, he [Breivik] was “Islamaphobic.” He was also crazed and insensitive and insulting and perhaps even saw his country being stealthily taken over by the enemy in the guise of Muslims and Marxists. So, anyone who criticizes Islam or Muslim behavior in Western countries – or even in Muslim countries – will be branded by association with Breivik. Well-reasoned arguments, evidence of stealth jihad, connections between multiculturalism, Islamic hubris, and the Islamification of the West, impeccable scholarship, reputations for truth-telling and fact-finding, will be dismissed as “Islamaphobic,” intolerant, bigoted, and hateful.
To my knowledge, my warning was one of the earliest in the current avalanche of commentaries about the unintended consequences of Anders Behring Breivik’s act of terrorism in Norway. Critics of Islam, anti-jihadist and counter-jihadist writers and thinkers are all now the liberal-left’s “fall-guy,” having been the “inspiration” of Anders Behring Breivik to do what he did.
Now we know, courtesy of Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto, “2083,” that he was not in essence a “Christian fundamentalist,” but an alienated, nihilist lone wolf who seized upon virtually any anti- or counter-jihadist thought to buttress his psychological disorder and sanction his admitted criminality. Imagine an alleged advocate of capitalism concocting a Brunswick stew of the economics John Law, John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith, and Frédéric Bastiat and calling it “capitalism,” and then car-bombing the General Motors tower in Detroit.
Sultan Knish has a brilliant and revealing analysis of Breivik is and is not.
But, like The Washington Post, The New York Times has also fashioned its own Thuggee ambush. It began on July 25th with an innocuous unsigned but very subtly-worded article reporting the arrest of Breivik and his background.
Toward the end of high school, he joined the youth wing of the Progress Party, drawn to its anti-immigrant platform and market capitalist bent. But those who knew him from those days said that he failed to leave much of a mark.
And at the end of high school, was Breivik already being “enabled” by Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and the English Defense League? Assuming he graduated from high school in 1995 or 1996, did Spencer’s Jihad Watch, Geller’s Atlas Shrugs, and the EDL even exist? Or the Gates of Vienna? Or any other “right-wing,” anti-Islamic or counter-jihadist blog? As he grew older, Breivik may have matured physically, but not mentally.
With the 1,500-page manifesto, which he said took three years to complete, Mr. Breivik endeavored to find common cause with xenophobic right-wing groups around the world, particularly in the United States. He quoted extensively from the anti-Islam writings of American bloggers, and cut and pasted a whole section of the manifesto written by Theodore J. Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, into his own, replacing “leftism” with “multiculturalism” as the object of aspehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifrsion.
Yes, “leftism” and “multiculturalism” are deserving of aspersions, considering the demonstrable and incalculable destruction they have caused. But that is no reason to suggest, as the Times article implies, that Breivik’s evaluation of those phenomena is evidence of a pandemic of unsound minds that ought to be shunned or put into the straightjacket of “responsible” speech.
That article was preceded on July 24th by the first overt attack on anti-Islamic and anti-jihadist writers, “Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.,” by Scott Shane. It would be up to lawyers and the courts to determine whether or not the article is slanderous in nature. What the article is not, however, is a news article. Its sneering tone and borderline allegations disqualify it from being treated as a sterling instance of objective reporting. Key suggestive or slanderous terms are highlighted in this sampling of Shane’s style of insisting on guilt by association:
In the document he posted online, [Breivik], who is accused of bombing government buildings and killing scores of young people at a Labor Party camp, showed that he had closely followed the acrimonious American debate over Islam.
“Acrimonious”? Say, rather, a principled opposition that documented the violence and stealth jihad of Islamic activists? If any acrimony was present in that opposition, it was reserved for policymakers who have allowed Islam to advance unopposed to eradicate Western civilization.
More broadly, the mass killings in Norway, with their echo of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by an antigovernment militant, have focused new attention around the world on the subculture of anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists and renewed a debate over the focus of counterterrorism efforts.
So, to belong to a handful of outspoken individuals who have done their best to warn Americans of the very real peril of Islamic supremacism and the inroads it has made in this country (not to mention Iran’s inching closer to acquiring nuclear weapons with which to vaporize Israel and the West) presumably is to belong to a “subculture” of loons and hash-smoking drop-outs who regularly consult Ouija boards for their wisdom. Note that Mr. Shane does not even honor us with the term “counter-culture.” We are members of a “subculture,” untouchables or pariahs from whom to keep children away lest we infect them with a disease.
And there is nothing wrong with being “anti-government” when your government is thoroughly reaming you and your country with astronomical debt and the expansion of federal power over your diet, lighting fixtures, and speech. But the insinuation here is that to be “anti-government” is to be a bomb-throwing anarchist whose first and sole style of argument is violence, assassination, and machine-gunning a camp full of defenseless teenagers and young adults.
The revelations about Mr. Breivik’s American influences exploded on the blogs over the weekend, putting Mr. Spencer and other self-described “counterjihad” activists on the defensive, as their critics suggested that their portrayal of Islam as a threat to the West indirectly fostered the crimes in Norway.
“Self-described”? Mr. Shane should check Mr. Spencer’s credentials. What Mr. Spencer and his fellow counter-jihad activists know about Islam would fill a Pentagon warehouse. What Mr. Shane knows about Islam would fill a thimble. Would he accuse Barack Obama of being a “self-described president”? Or Harry Reid of being a “self-described” senator?
Mr. Spencer wrote on his Web site jihadwatch.org, that “the blame game” had begun, “as if killing a lot of children aids the defense against the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, or has anything remotely to do with anything we have ever advocated.” He did not mention Mr. Breivik’s voluminous quotations from his writings.
“Voluminous quotations”? That should be more a credit to Mr. Spencer’s persuasive writing than an insinuated indictment of his alleged culpability Breivik’s crime.
Marc Sageman, a former C.I.A. officer and a consultant on terrorism, said it would be unfair to attribute Mr. Breivik’s violence to the writers who helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”
“Emerge”? Here it is suggested that the literature of anti-jihadist writing is a polluted “infrastructure” from which the Creature from the Black Lagoon emerges to cause havoc and death.
Mr. Breivik frequently cited another blog, Atlas Shrugs, and recommended the Gates of Vienna among Web sites. Pamela Geller, an outspoken critic of Islam who runs Atlas Shrugs, wrote on her blog Sunday that any assertion that she or other antijihad writers bore any responsibility for Mr. Breivik’s actions was “ridiculous.” “If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists,” she wrote.
Atlas Shrugs is just “another blog” whose owner is supposedly just as suspect and culpable as Robert Spencer, because Breivik often visited the site and posted comments on it. To be cited by a psychotic killer is presumably prima facie evidence of one’s own psychosis.
Finally, Roger Cohen’s New York Times editorial, “Breivik and His Enablers” of July 25th takes off the gloves. It is such a scurrilous and venomous screed that it bears a full reading. However, here are some highlights:
No doubt, that is how Islamophobic right-wingers in Europe and the United States who share his views but not his methods will seek to portray Breivik.
Translation: Don’t pay attention to anything these people say. They deny responsibility and are in denial. Anyone who criticizes Islam or Muslims is a bigoted, paranoid fruitcake, just like Breivik.
We’ve seen the movie. When Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords this year in Tucson, Arizona — after Sarah Palin placed rifle sights over Giffords’ constituency and Giffords herself predicted that “there are consequences to that” — the right went into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner whose crazed universe owed nothing to those fanning hatred under the slogan of “Take America Back.” (That non-specific taking-back would of course be from Muslims and the likes of the liberal and Jewish Giffords.)
No, Mr. Cohen, what we have seen before is the MSM in action to discredit legitimate and articulate opposition to Obama’s domestic policies, and also and also anyone who opposes Islamic jihad. If any organization was in overdrive then, it was the MSM. As it is now.
Breivik is no loner. His violence was brewed in a specific European environment that shares characteristics with the specific American environment of Loughner: relative economic decline, a jobless recovery, middle-class anxiety and high levels of immigration serving as the backdrop for racist Islamophobia and use of the spurious specter of a “Muslim takeover” as a wedge political issue to channel frustrations rightward.
Yes, Mr. Cohen, Breivik was a loner. And his violence was not “brewed” by any external causes, but in his own mind. And, “Islamaphobia” is neither racist nor unhealthy; if one objects to Islamic beheadings, stonings, rapes, murders, car bombs, suicide bombers, and terrorism – all repeatedly committed by Muslims who have their own brand of racism – Islamophobia is a life-saving mindset. And “Muslim takeovers” of Western cities – say, of Luton, of Bradford, of Malmo, of Dearborn, even of Oslo, where a day before the Oslo bombing, a Norwegian woman was raped in broad daylight on the steps of the Norwegian parliament by a Somali immigrant – are hardly “spurious.” Or perhaps Mr. Cohen would consider moving Tower Hamlets in London, which is more or less a successful Muslim secession from London and the U.K.
Further into his editorial, Cohen manages to implicate Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, and without naming her, Angela Merkel of Germany, who stated that Muslim integration into Western societies, is a dismal and dangerous failure. In short, Cohen’s editorial is instructive only in the sense that one can see just how vile, nihilist, and hateful the left can be.
Finally, the employment of the term anti-Muslim is a package-deal, one that includes by implication any thoughtful and considered opposition to Islamic ideology. One can be faultlessly “anti-Muslim” if one knows, among other things, that Muslims regularly bow East in homage to a gussied-up meteorite, treat women as chattel, revere a murderous brigand and pedophile, and more or less surrender their minds and souls to the authority of grotty-looking imams and mullahs. In practice, the Islamic creed, whatever its sect, is so grotesque that one has difficulty satirizing it.
But the usage of the term “anti-Muslim” is wrong. Spencer, Emerson, Geller, Horowitz and other regular writers on Islam, are not “anti-Muslim,” but anti-totalitarian. Islamists themselves admit that Islam is totalitarian, and not just a Wontonka-worshipping creed.
Now, for the longest time, I had never understood what a right-winger was. Aside from the caricature of a right-winger as a gun-toting, Bible-quoting, goose-stepping, Storm-Trooperish goon wielding a night-stick, the term, I eventually realized, is an emotive one that connotes the absolute power of fascism. But fascism is simply socialism with a gun, or King Kong astride the Empire State Building beating the breast of collectivism and national “unity.”
It is Nazism, or corporatist socialism, with all businesses, industries, and all citizens working for the greater glory of the collective and taking orders from on high. It is Mussolini, and Tojo, and Nasser, and Saddam Hussein, and the Perons. Fascism can be embroidered in many different cultural and ethnic colors, but they all boil down to the surrender and sacrifice of the individual to the state or the race or the collective.
And in the context of today’s peril, aside from fascist tendencies in this country, it is the Islamic Ummah, or Muslim “community,” which will not find “peace” until it embraces the whole globe, when believers and unbelievers alike are in thrall to http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifit. In essence, a “right-winger” is not a champion of individual rights, private property, freedom of speech and other liberties. There are secular “right-wingers” and religious ones and they are all enemies of freedom. The term is a misleading misnomer, measured on a scale whose origin dates back to Revolutionary France and the Reign of Terror. But on its own terms, a “right-winger” is simply a “left-winger” in disguise, seeking the same repressive, totalitarian ends.
So, the standard spectrum of political ideology has for decades been established and perpetuated by an invalid premise. The whole yardstick is leftist. Please, people, stop being fooled by it. Reality beckons. “Right-wingers” are simply “Left-wingers” in drag.
Conservative writers, such as Ron Radosh and David Horowitz, perpetuate the fallacy by defending “conservatives” against charges of nascent “right-wing” terrorism.
Perhaps more importantly than diverting attention away from the legitimate concern with Islamic jihad and the stealthy introduction and imposition of Sharia law in Western nations, is the blank check the MSM is handing our government to monitor and perhaps repress legitimate criticism of Islam. Many of these “Islamaphobic” websites are sponsored, edited and written for by Christians. Because Breivik was initially alleged to be a “fundamentalist Christian,” ergo, goes the illogic, all Christian and other critics of Islam are potential mass murderers and must be reined in. And if not actual mass murderers, then they are ideological “enablers” of them who must be taught to be “responsible.”
If censorship comes to this country, it will be by the invitation of the MSM and the left-liberal political and intellectual establishment. Then we shall see the true “right-wingers” at work.
In the meantime, I shall continue blowing my bugle, and be thankful that I number among the “blackfaced crew” of “bhistis” who carry the water of reason. We oppose the Thuggees of Islam and their enablers on the Marxist-liberal-left, who carry the strangling cloths of multiculturalism and the burial picks of political correctness.
And, should someone object to my use of the term “Thuggee,” I recommend going here for the etymology and history of the term. He will see that not only would Breivik have fit into the mindless fanaticism of the cult of Kali – he was willing, after all, to ally himself with Islamic “extremists” and inaugurate a reign of violence – but that the Hindu cult had Islamic origins.
What a coincidence!