Sunday, September 19, 2010

Islamophobia or Masochism?

"I think it will be found that experience, the true source and foundation of all knowledge, invariably confirms truth." - Thomas Malthus

The myth of the Islamic victim is one of the most jarring and dangerous false narratives of the early 21st Century. The whining began in 1978 with Edward Said’s Orientalism, a revisionist survey of Europe’s colonial treatment of Arab and Muslim countries and post-colonial attitudes in the West.

In 1963, Said had landed an academic sinecure as an English professor at Columbia University in New York. He was at the time, a Palestinian refugee from Jerusalem and a self-described victim. Said’s augments provided the academic gravitas for a worldview with the following tenants: imperial Europe never understood or appreciated the “Orient” or its cultures, subsequent American policies in the Middle East reflect this ignorance, and anti-Zionism (nee anti-Semitism) is a legacy of colonialism – i.e. the Israeli plantation. In short, if some or many Muslim “victims” behave badly today; Europeans, Americans, and Jews have no one to blame but themselves.

Or in barnyard logic; pigs might be peacocks if horses behaved better. These are predictable consequences when angry English majors attempt to write history books. Said’s Orientalism still sells well today on campus.

Never mind that military, political, and religious conquest was the dominant external idiom for Islam from the 7th through the 15th Centuries. Indeed, one in four worldwide today claim to be Muslims. And never mind that many Greek, Roman, Renaissance, and Enlightenment notions of reason and democracy never took permanent root in the barren soil of dar al Islam. And never mind that most historians agree that the Ottoman Empire collapsed like a rotten pomegranate because the Islamic caliphate was corrupt, autocratic, and semi-literate. Never mind that the Sunni and Shiite varieties of anti-Semitism, irredentism, and xenophobia have roots that predate European colonialism and the state of Israel by millennia. And never mind that much of the contemporary, global Wahhabi, Deobandi, and Taliban sectarian intolerance, proselytizing, megalomania, misogyny, and violence (nee jihad) are flaws, internal to contemporary Islam. Never mind any of this and remember that Islam is a “religion” of peace – the philosophical and moral equivalent of any other religion.

Never mind also that Bernard Lewis, a true scholar of Islam and the Near East, has discredited Edward Said’s self–serving assertions about imperialism, racism, and victimization while at the same time identifying “the theology of Jidad” as a “licence to kill.” Lewis also anticipated the “clash of civilizations.” Never mind that other historians like Paul Johnson have underscored Lewis’s analysis of Islamism in terms that makes Professor Lewis look too generous. And never mind that progressive philosophers of the left like Paul Berman and Christopher Hitchens have condemned Islamism as both an irredentist shield and totalitarian sword. Berman argues that Islamism is just another toxic variety of fascism – forever joining “terror and liberalism.” The Hitchens arguments speak for themselves:

“…the general apathy and surrender of the West in the face of a determined assault from a religious ideology, or an ideological religion, afflicted by no sickly doubt about what it wants or by any scruples about how to get it…demography and cultural masochism, especially in combination, are handing a bloodless victory to the forces of Islamization… liberalism has found even more convoluted means of blaming itself… in the stupid neologism “Islamophobia,” which aims to promote criticism of Islam to the gallery of special offenses associated with racism.”

Never mind that serious scholarship of the right and left, historians and philosophers, have designated militant Islam a threat to Muslims and infidels alike. Never mind that Bill Clinton, President Obama, Hilary Clinton, the ground zero imam, and religion “scholars” like Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post have internalized Edward Said’s agnotology in spite of overwhelming contrary evidence and analysis.

Never mind all those young Muslim men who think “martyr” is just another career choice; and never mind those burka bimbos who wear explosives like Allah’s bustier. Never mind Luxor, Lockerbie, 9/11, Beslan, and Mumbai. Never mind. Infidel and apostate chickens are just coming home to roost.

Never mind any of these things and reject your Islamophobia. Reject Islamophobia and embrace Islamophilia; a progressive masochism which caters to your worst religious, political, cultural, and survival instincts. Embrace Islamophilia and end your days like Daniel Pearl; headless and butchered like Ramadan lamb. And in the end remember that Pearl died for three reasons; he was a Jew, he was an American, and he was a journalist.


The author also writes at Agnotology in Journalism and G. Murphy Donovan.