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An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt—A Review

A review of An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt by Pascal Bruckner. Polity (November 2018), 204 pages.

It is embarrassingly easy to write about the collapse of the Left in the twenty-first century. The explosion in identity politics that has led to the automatic use of “white” as an ethnic insult in condemnations such as “white privilege” and “white, straight men” has made race as defining a factor in left-wing politics as it is in extreme right-wing politics. Meanwhile, the willingness to excuse antisemitsm, misogyny, tyranny, and obscurantism, as long as the antisemitic, misogynistic, tyrannical obscurantists are anti-Western, has called into question whether leftists—or at least the noisiest voices on the Left—have lost all connection to their better values.

I have said as much many times, and in his new book the French political theorist Pascal Bruckner says it again. Bruckner once struck me as the best the French intelligentsia had to offer. In 2007, he provoked an intellectual scandal with the “Racism of the Anti-Racists”, an essay for Sign and Sightin which he excoriated liberals who denied Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other Muslim dissidents the rights they took for granted. Meanwhile, I admired his  Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism enough to call it “a brilliant defence of liberalism and a deservedly contemptuous assault on all those intellectuals who have betrayed its best values.”

The title of Bruckner’s new polemic ought to have warned me that betrayal is not an exclusively left-wing vice. Far from being a principled defence of liberal and secular values, An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt is an unconscious illustration of how easily those who profess to hold enlightened ideals can slip into the ethnic favouritism and intellectual double-standards of the counter-Enlightenment.

Most liberal Muslims and ex-Muslims recoil from the word “Islamophobia.” TellMama, the main monitoring centre for violence and abuse against British Muslims, fought a doomed campaign to enshrine the use of “anti-Muslim hatred” instead. Hard won experience had taught its activists that “Islamophobia” was a weapon in the arsenal of the Islamist Right. Opposing bigotry with the language of bigots, who sought to re-define criticism of religion as racism, struck them as self-defeating to put it mildly.

TellMama keeps its office address secret. Its workers receive threats, not only from white racists, but also from Islamists. (They have taken advice from Jews who monitor antisemitic violence in Britain, and gay rights campaigners who monitor homophobia, and are thus damned in the eyes of the fanatical.) If all Bruckner wanted to do was to criticise the use of the term “Islamophobia” to incite violence against freethinkers and feminists who challenge clerical power, he would be performing a useful service—albeit one that has been performed many times before. But his book is representative of our debased times because it’s far from clear that Bruckner can extend his opposition to Islamism to cover the purveyors of anti-Muslim bigotry.

 To be sure, he says that to insult a veiled woman in the street or to set fire to a mosque is to “spit in the face of the [French] Republic.” But it is hard to shake the suspicion that these noble words are little more than back covering. Once they are out of the way, Bruckner can move on to his main purpose, which is to describe Islam as a civilisational threat to the West and European Muslims as a potential fifth column. The veil, the burqa, and the burkini are not just symbols of a patriarchal culture against which liberals should argue, but crimes that threaten the existence of the state itself. They are “tools for taking control of the public space, they are tracts calling for sedition.” Foreigners controlling the parks and boulevards of Paris like troops from an occupying power? Clothes turning into acts of sedition? This is the language of demagogues and civil war, not of a writer willing to accept the duty of building alliances with likeminded Muslims in the essential struggle against religious reaction.

Casual readers may wonder whether he believes such solidarity is even possible. Bruckner asks, “Is the difference between Islam and Islamism real?”  The simple answer is “Of course it is.” Muslims are not a monolithic bloc but hundreds of millions of extraordinarily diverse and divided people. Islamism is a minority political project to impose a theocratic state, whose supporters persecute and murder Muslims and non-Muslims alike. But Bruckner cannot say anything so straightforward. He “would like to believe,” those who say you should not conflate terrorists with ordinary believers, he tells us with the air of a sly sales rep. But, “if by some misfortune sectarian Islam were to become majority Islam, the distinction would be difficult to maintain.” The reader may be left to assume that Muslims already in the West therefore merit suspicion, for who knows when, “by some misfortune,” they might turn into Islamists? We must certainly not let the fear of an “imaginary racism” weaken our defences.

This work is as fantastical as it is dark. Bruckner imagines Europe, the US, and Russia establishing a cordon sanitaire around Muslim-majority countries. Only, Putin has announced himself as Europe’s enemy, as even French intellectuals must have noticed, and no such alliance is possible. An iron curtain around Iran would imprison liberals who urgently need our help as they seek sanctuary from the Khomeinist regime. As for the violence against Muslims in the West that TellMama and so many others report, he advises that “practising blind vengeance, making gratuitous insults and organising pogroms plays into our enemies hands.” It is as if opposition to sectarian hatred were a tactic not a principle.

Pascal Bruckner

I could go on. But what Bruckner does not say is of the most interest, for his is a silence shared by so many who think of themselves as contrarians fighting a hegemonic PC culture. At no point would the uninformed reader guess that Law and Justice controls Poland, Fidesz controls Hungary, the Northern League is in power in Italy, and Donald Trump is president of the United States. Meanwhile, if Bruckner shows his concern about Marine le Pen making it to the final round of the French presidential election I must have missed the reference. A book about Islamophobia might have been the place to reflect on the fact that le Pen and those like her use anti-Muslim bigotry as a way of mobilizing the identity politics of the Right. Fear of a foreign menace is a cover for epic corruption, in the case of the Hungarian elite, and attacks on freedom of the press and the independence of the judiciary in the cases of Poland as well as Hungary. Trump has, at the very least, hinted that he would be happy to use it to undermine America’s liberal freedoms if he thought he could get away with it.

The connection between the exploitation of prejudice and the corruption of politics by autocratic movements is in front of our eyes. “Soldier-aged men” are arriving in Europe, said Viktor Orban recently, at the invitation of pro-migration forces who purposefully did not defend the continent’s borders. They are “slowly but surely pushing European native residents into a minority.” The soldiers are Muslim refugees. The pro-migration forces are symbolised for Orban, Putin, Trump, and the increasingly violent American far-Right, by George Soros—a Jew they credit with a familiarly satanic desire to destroy the white Christian world with migrants and poison the old Europe’s morality with liberal notions of human rights.

You do not have to be much of a political theorist to want to take a hard look at how illiberalism advances with the help of anti-Muslim and antisemitic prejudice. Instead, Bruckner gushes that conservatives are “the civilising base on which modernity has been built.” That may have been true in the post-war West but it must be the most ludicrous description of right-wing politics in the 2010s to appear in print. He and so many writers like him do not have the intellectual honesty to face the world as it is because, I suspect, they know at some level the justifiable criticisms they have levelled at the Left could be as well applied to the Right.

Left-wing identity politics dumps hundreds of millions of people into a bloc labelled “whites,” and instructs its adherents to scorn them as if they were villains in a cartoon conflict. No phrase marks the Left’s break from the working class it was founded to represent more than “white privilege.” There is something remarkably repellent about the Oxbridge or Ivy League graduates who utter it. They display a conscious failure to imagine or find out about the lives of white men and women who are anything but privileged. It’s not just class politics that is disappearing from left-wing thought, but also an interest in the individual circumstances of the damned “whites.” And when concern for individual circumstances goes, concern for individual rights soon follows.

The new Right and its fellow travellers display the same failure of imaginative sympathy. “Muslims” are as much as a bloc for the Right as “whites” are for the Left. Their circumstances, opinions, and individuality are crushed into the same false uniformity by the urge to sloganeer and besmirch. Bruckner writes as if populism never happened. He appears intellectually unable to face it. Jonathan HaidtBill Maherand more avowedly right-wing and contrarian figures have filled the gap with a suspiciously convenient explanation. If they had tried the same trick with radical Islam, Pascal Bruckner would have been the first to expose them. But as it is he has stayed silent.

Jordan Peterson gave the worst example of their special pleading when he opined, on the basis of no evidence I can see, that “if men are pushed too hard to feminize, they will become more and more interested in harsh, fascist political ideology.” Sam Harris and other secular liberals (myself included) predicted years ago that, if the liberal Left did not develop a political and moral case against Islamism, the Western Right would, and the result would be ugly. The notion that the “root cause” of the far-Right is the Left, however—that politically correct bullying, language policing, and obsession with minute faults and micro-aggressions, pushes voters into its arms—is a self-serving cop out unless laden with caveats.

It may be true in individual cases. I look with despair at the American Left, and ask why they insist on punishing tiny deviations from PC orthodoxy with such ferocity. Do they not consider how their behaviour could drive away potential converts to the anti-Trump cause? Equally, it may be true that Western foreign policy might inspire an individual Islamist to massacre diners in a Parisian restaurant. But as a general explanation for the rise of the Islamism and white nationalism, root causery fails because it ignores the appeal of belonging to a tribe that allows you to hate and punish outsiders. Why we need to learn that lesson again is beyond me. The promise that the caliphate or the kingdom of god or the proletarian paradise or the 1000-year Reich has been motivation enough for terror for centuries.

In better days, Bruckner himself made the argument that Westerners do not understand the seductive power of Islamist utopianism, and he did so with great brio. The post-Christian notion that the “eternally guilty West” is the world’s original sin has left it unable “to judge or combat other systems, other states, other religions,” he wrote in The Tyranny of Guilt. When faced with the existential question, “Who is to blame?” many intellectuals’ standard spontaneous response is: “We are.”  There is “no monstrosity in Africa, Asia or the Near East” for which, when you get down to, the West is not responsible.

Bruckner emphasised the narcissism of Western guilt: despite the loss of Empire, our crimes ensure that we are still the centre of the world’s attention. It is as important to notice its fatuity. As an explanation of why a majority of Islamists embrace radicalism, it makes no sense. Surely, the notion that liberalism is responsible for Trump, Orban, and le Pen deserves the same searching analysis. At a bare minimum, one must be willing to accept that a portion of the followers of the white Right are not pushed into the arms of demagogues by the sins of liberals but are there because of their own appreciation of racism and authoritarianism.

I would like nothing more than to devote the bulk of my time to challenging the faults of the Left. I come from the Left and I can see how far it has strayed from its better instincts. Encouraging even a few leftists to return to them, strikes me as a worthwhile task. But critics need the capacity for self-criticism. To condemn the identity politics of the Left, while accepting the identity politics of the Right—or to replace the slogan that “the West is the root cause of all evil” with “the Left is the root cause of all evil”—is worse than intellectually dishonest: it is a threat to very values “enlightened” thinkers purport to defend.

 

Nick Cohen is a writer for the Observer, the Spectator, and Standpoint, and the author of What’s Left? and You Can’t Read This Book. You can follow him on Twitter @NickCohen4

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85 Comments

  1. The writer is another “emperor with no clothes”. People have a right to self-determination. It is removed (for the receiving population) by mass migration. There is no refutation of this fact. There is only denial, and coverup or deflection by those who wish to keep, and justify the flow & dispossession continuing.

    Despite the fact that doing so results in a gigantic theft of the human rights on which it is inflicted.
    Use any label you want, “far right”, “Nazi”, “racist”. We are not the ones perpetrating and supporting such a gigantic crime.

    Unmolested self-determination & demographic safety for ALL (within the lands they call home) should be a rallying cry any decent person can stand behind. If you don’t, you’re better off seeing the bigot in the mirror than calling another names.

    • Edward says

      Utterly ridiculous comment. If you don’t want a liberal immigration system, vote for a party which will close the borders. You obviously have no understanding of the concept of self-determination. How embarrassing.

      • Victoria says

        Below Edward smugly chides “commenter[s] who lazily falls into binary,” yet above we find Edward offering a fallacious, self-serving binary between ‘closed borders’ and a “liberal immigration system.”

        This boorish lack of imagination is telling of classical liberalism’s limitations, as well as their comfort with violating the law and enabling human trafficking.

        • Ray Andrews says

          Please don’t call the above classical liberalism. It isn’t easy to hurt my feelings, but that does it.

      • Fritz Gessler says

        sorry, bullshit! in the case of USA it may not harm the right of self-determination even if all honduranians would enter the country (and gain full citizenship). if 100 millions chinese would do, then it would be, right? and if only one million of rich gringos enter honduras, buying out the country – then it would not be a blatant attack on the right of self-determination of honduranian people? think about, although it may cause head-ahe for you :))

    • Harland says

      The problem in America is that the GOP wants illegal immigrants because they work cheap, and the Democrats want them because they want to give them citizenship and put them on the plantation as new voters.

      Trump just deployed the Army to the border to keep out illegals, and oh my God the shrieking. Using a country’s army to defend the borders – what a bizarre, extreme idea that has no precedent in the annals of history!

      • “Defend” the borders against a group of unarmed, poor immigrants and their children who are seeking asylum?
        You sound very afraid, as if the troops going to the border will end up in a violent conflict rather than repair broken vehicles for Border Patrol agents and the like.

        • All of whom pass by numerous embassies (legal points of entry) and rejecting the offers of the Mexican government to offer them asylum. No, the “we need asylum” is a complete fabrication ala the SouthPark “It’s comin’ right for us!”

        • D-Rex says

          Hi David, this is totally OT but i was just reading the following comment from you and wished I had responded at the time;
          “So if we find a biological marker for pedophilia, will we agree that it’s just part of the human spectrum? How about bestiality? How about desire to rape, murder or hurt others? How about all people we currently claim are insane? How about the morbidly obese or drug addicts or…? Most of these are “natural” and can “be found in all cultures.”
          Important questions that I pose myself. I would say that I suspect that there probably is some form of hormonal or epigenetic marker for pedophilia which may “explain” the phenomenon but doesn’t in any way justify it’s practice. It’s the whole “if it doesn’t harm others” principle and I think it’s indisputable that pedophilia has clear victims.
          BTW, I usually read all of the comments from each article and always find yours interesting and thought provoking.

        • John Corcoran says

          The migrant caravan IS an organised invasive procession which if not checked by the military will be checked by who or what? There are 4,000 young males in the main column at least, so what should be the response, the instincts of the Left/Liberals is to wave them through and issue blankets and bus tickets, but these people are engaged in an illegal action, namely trying to “force” their way through a sovereign nations border. If you can not use troops to defend ones own territorial border, the Leftists need to explain WHEN you may use them.

    • Your first paragraph doesn’t make sense. You realize that you and the author agree about that, right? He literally said that Muslims are not a monolith and that “anti-Muslim bigotry” is a better term than “Islamophobia.” He said that fighting against Islamism is important, and that if the left won’t do it, the right will. He feels that the left has abandoned its duty in that regard.

      Seriously, it’s all right there in the piece. It doesn’t seem like you actually read it.

  2. Jay's says

    Jordan is talking from a psychological perspective as a scientist in the field. If Masculine traits keep being demonized because only the negative aspect of those traits is vilipended without recognition for the positive of the trait (that is what is called the feminization of men), then the negative aspects of those traits become desirable and the positive aspect are forgotten. By trying to make men less dangerous we risk making them more dangerous. When something is suppressed, it comes back harder.

    So, this is not “right wing identity politics” where “all men” are depicted as a group. This is a psychological warning. There is plenty of evidence of this, you have to be willfully blind not to see it (as said in a previous comment, this emperor has no clothes either). That part of the article was disingenuous.

    • Trish Jarvis says

      I hate to break it to you, but psychology is no more a science than economics, sociology or any social theoretical, methodological field.

      • What seems more clear is that when those in power are being forced out and demonized, they might fight back.
        Violence and name calling begets violence and name calling.

      • xyz and such says

        so, unless you are someone who adhere’s to a critical theory where all science is ‘relative’ and therefore useless, what is your point? Much of psychological research and observation is fairly well established. Certainly many theories aren’t proven beyond doubt, but much of what Peterson discusses has been observed and recorded over time.

  3. Nick Cohen is correct to say that it isn’t the sins of the left that have pushed voters to support the rise of the right. Voters care little for the sins, the failure of the left is simply that they don’t offer a home for most voters as they are simply ignoring the real issues that the majority of the western electorate care about leaving a free ride for the new right into power. The way that their sins are relevant is in that they make so much noise about PC violations when anyone tries to discuss the real issues that they paralyse discussion by all of the mainstream political parties leaving the field wide open for what we see happening. If you address people’s fears by telling them they are wrong then they won’t vote for you, simple really.

  4. annaerishkigal says

    Ugh! Left-wing click bait. This article made no sense. To have a “phobia” is to be afraid of something which isn’t real, a bogey-man in the dark. Islam -should- be feared. Not Muslim people, as individuals … everybody should be judged by how they ACT, not some nameless, faceless group identity … but political Islam is a grave threat to Western civilization. Anybody who cannot see that is either out to profit off of the shift in demographics, or breathtakingly naive.

    And to equate caution in the face of forced mass third-world migration with “antisemitism” is an outright lie … most Trump supporters are fiercely in favor of Israel and outraged at the UN’s actions to sanction it for protecting itself. How the heck did the author make THAT leap of logic which flies in the face of actual facts? Sheesh … the Pittsburg shooter denounced Trump for being pro-Israel and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem!

    More leftist name-calling and false labeling of the icons of free thought … Leftists never learn…

    #WalkAway

    • Edward says

      It’s interesting. Quillette is a fairly decent media outlet which publishes pieces by a wide variety of people. It’s a shame that most of its readers (or commenters) can’t handle it when a piece is published that runs counter to their views.

      Using the terms “left-wing” and “leftist”, which assume that such a homogenous group of people actually exists, is rather lazy. You evidently failed to spot the irony in railing against “leftist name-calling”. See if you can.

      Finally, you obviously completely missed the point of the article.

      • Caligula says

        I don’t see any evidence that anyone “can’t handle it.”

        I see critical comments, of varying quality. What else would you expect from a publication that facilitates minimally moderated comments on its articles?

        In any case, your “can’t handle it” comment seems to imply psychological deficits in those you disagree with. Is that what high-quality criticism looks like?

      • annaerishkigal says

        Perhaps it’s because it was so poorly written that any attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor was lost upon the audience. The article seemed to dump a disparate bunch talking points that didn’t have a lot to do with one another into one SEO click-bait laden article. It was as if somebody was given a collection of “trigger words” and awarded points for using up all the words, whether or not the arrangement of them made sense or was backed up by any kind of verifiable fact.

        At least when Rusty Cage did that, it was hilariously funny.

    • “Naive” is the word that came to my mind too. I never expected to see such breathtaking naivety from Nick Cohen.

    • Your understanding of phobia is a bit off: fear of spiders, needles, small spaces, open spaces, etc. are not fears of unreal bogey-men, just fear greater than the threat. Islamophobia suggests an irrational fear of Islam.

      • D-Rex says

        I am not afraid of Islam, therefore i am not an Islamaphobe. I am, however, very afraid of the threat of islamic ideas invading the free world as they are fundamentally incompatible with free world values and expansionist in their political theology. It is not even a secret that millions of muslims want to conquer the west and set up a global caliphate.
        Gad Saad has stated that there is no difference between islam and islamist, disagreeing with Maajid Nawaz. I greatly respect both men and prefer to hope Maajid is correct but in either case islamism is a clear and present danger that we ignore at our peril.
        Here in Australia we see mostly what the average person would regard as “moderate” muslims who are peaceful and just want to enjoy life in a lucky country. I have heard that that may be because the moderate ones wish to get away from the tyrannical rule of fundamentalist islam that dominates middle eastern countries and that while they might be in the majority here, they would be a persecuted minority in their homelands. This is anecdotal, but i believe it to be probably true.

      • Ray Andrews says

        It rather asserts that it is irrational, but is it? I believe my fear of mass Muslim migration is very coldly rational.

      • Thank you for the more accurate definition of the word PHOBIA – one that raise the question as to whether or not we now need an accurate antonym – to capture the head-in-sand-ness of our political leaders who act as if Islam was no threat at all. when it clearly is, and always has been, for the last 1,400 years.

  5. E. Olson says

    Leftist “logic” at work again. If certain individuals or small groups of the nation’s white citizenry demonstrate “deplorable” behaviors (i.e. criminals, terrorists, single parents, school dropouts, drug abusers, mentally ill, chronically unemployed, voting Republican, etc.) or certain segments of a nation’s tapestry of color and religious diversity demonstrate virtue and good citizenship, then the Left always uses these examples as justification for opening borders to all comers, particularly to those “virtuous” people of color/non-Christians. Thus Leftist logic says that the presence of “deplorable” whites, or “hard-working” Hispanics, or “victims of colonialism/slavery” blacks among the citizenry means a nation has “no right” to close its borders to Muslims, because 99% will almost certainly be virtuous and 1% will be no worse than those deplorable white Christians. Of course the Left also calls anyone a racist/phobic/selfish if they should point out the poor assimilation that occurs when large groups of a “failed” foreign culture are brought in over a short period of time, or that certain people of color or religious groups have disproportionately high long-term welfare dependency, or criminality, or violence/terrorism. Which is why the Left goes into violent rage and unfavorably compares Trump (and his followers, Brexit, Le Pen voters, etc.) to Hitler when they dare to suggest that immigration laws should be enforced, and that a nation has a right to be selective so that legal immigration status is based on demonstrated cultural compatibility, economically viability, and mental and physical health.

    • George G says

      Interesting article, nice to see Nick Cohen on Quileute too, his Spectator pieces are regularly very thoughtful and well worth reading.

      • Lee Floyd says

        Indeed. I’ve read a lot of Mr. Cohen and while I don’t always agree with him, he strikes a balanced and nuanced viewpoint that were we less infected by the travails of the new divisive times, we’d acknowledge as valid alternative views, and not offensive rubbish. Which is the easy way of screaming ones insecurities……

    • Edward says

      Yet another commenter who lazily falls into binary “left vs. right” thinking.

      “If the average man thinks at all, he does silly things like generalising from a single datum. He uses one-valued logics. If he is exceptionally bright, he may use two-valued, ‘either-or’ logic to arrive at his wrong answers.” — Robert Heinlein, Gulf.

      • Harland says

        Wow, that is the most sneering classist bigotry I’ve seen in this thread so far, Edward. Nice job.

        This characterization wars everything that long ago was proven to be noble, just, and correct by Vanity Fair, NPR, The New Yorker, Google, the Upper West Side, and The Daily Show. There is not even a smidgeon of a concession that policies favored by average Americans might offer tens of thousands of forgotten inner-city youth good jobs or revitalize a dead and written-off town in the Midwest, or make the petroleum of the war-torn Persian Gulf strategically irrelevant to an oil-rich United States.

        Boy, I am sick and tired of sneering upper middle class liberals scaremongering about anybody who isn’t part of the political establishment and being called racists for wanting to maintain a national sovereignty and set of values.

          • Richard Harshman says

            Robert Heinlein was not alone, see the following Steven Pinker quote

            “In the political arena itself, Americans have become increasingly polarized. Most people’s opinions are too shallow and uninformed to fit into a coherent ideology, but in a dubious form of progress, the percentage of Americans whose opinions are down-the-line liberal or down-the-line conservative doubled between 1994 and 2014, from 10 to 21 percent. The polarization has coincided with an increase in social segregation by politics: over those twenty years, the ideologues have become more likely to say that most of their close friends share their political views.”

      • I’m writing a comment to an article with a decidedly leftist slant – I disagree with the author’s logic and present my point-of-view, which is the open border promoters are at best naive to believe that the culture and capabilities of immigrants don’t matter, or evil at worst in their apparent desire to use immigration from 3rd world hell-holes to overthrow the European/white culture that made America great and helps move the world towards some fashion of civilization and prosperity. Feel free to disagree – that is what makes commentary interesting to read.

  6. “Critics need the capacity for self-criticism.” I look forward to reading Nick Cohen’s mea culpa about shilling for the second Gulf war.

  7. Big Mike says

    I sit center right near the middle of the bell curve. I am appalled by the chasm that’s appeared in our body politic; magnified by a compliant media all to willing to monetize the angst.

    As an ardent student of political philosophies and movements, however, one cannot simply blame this on the right or left. That only resorts to ‘what aboutism’, which serves no useful purpose other than to stifle discussion and dialogue.

    Yes, Newt Gingrich making a play in 1994 to remove “minority” from the GOP’s role in the US Congress changed he dynamic, but not nearly as much as the 2009 vote for ACA, which obliterated nearly 70 moderate Democrats from their jobs in the US House and Senate; replaced by more partisan Tea Partiers…and more partisan Progressives.

    This is going to require a generation to shake out. Both sides have adopted Populist rhetoric and have bunkered down into their respective camps, yet those 2 camps only represent 20% of the electorate each. It’s like watching the NY Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles. Both side rally the troops, circle the wagons and the fight is on. Live on CNN! Breaking News on Fox!

    I’m with Jordan Peterson on this. These are our genes speaking to us. Our DNA that has been passed through 300,000,000 years of hierarchial structure and nature. Good vs. Evil. Heaven vs. Hell.

    It is what it is and we are who we are. It’s programmed into our genetic code. It’s why the hair raises on the back of our necks when we’re in a strange place late at night. That’s my grandfather x15 worrying about being attacked by a grizzly bear or lion and getting out of harms way. If he survived..he got to procreate. If he chose poorly, in the jungle..the might jungle..the lion eats tonight.

    I’ve found Haidt’s work to be most illuminating. While men are from Mars and women are from Venus, Liberals are from Pluto and Conservatives are from Saturn. We speak different languages and draw our morality from different tenets of life.

    Now when I engage those who believe differently than me, I use their language of Fairness and Ending Oppression to help frame my points and they seem to be less offended and end up dropping their guard, which is a good thing. They don’t know how to speak to me..so it’s incumbent upon me to learn their language if we’re going to communicate. I still have my principles intact, but at least they’re presented in a civilized manner and nobody gets their panties in a wad.

    • It’s not easy to reconcile whether you believe individual liberty is paramount, or if you think society and cohesion are paramount.
      Do you believe in authority (God, Government) or self-determination?
      Do you think we should all live like XYZ, or “live and let live” or “let it be”?
      Do you think fair is whatever happens so long as others aren’t directly harming you, or do you think everyone somehow should have the same means and opportunities and outcomes, where “harm” is defined as not having all the advantages some other person has. Do you accept physical and material inequalities of people, or should everyone have the same?

  8. Rather than assimilate, 2nd generation muslims tend to be more radical than their parents. Why? They realize their culture is in no way compatible with ours. We need to realize same, call it a day and work out some kind of divorce. Irreconcilable differences.

    • Edward says

      Incorrect. As time goes on, the proportion of Muslims in the West holding secular liberal viewpoints tends to rise. Muslim-Americans and atheists/agnostics are the least likely groups in the United States to believe that it is ever justifiable for an individual, or a group, or a government, to target civilians.

      Or, take the issue of homosexuality. In 2007, only 27% of Muslims in the US believed that homosexuality should be accepted by society. A decade later, in 2017, that proportion had risen to 52%. Among US-born Muslims, the figure was even higher, at 57%. For millennial US Muslims, the figure was 60%. As a comparison, 63% of the US public believed that homosexuality should be accepted in society, but for white Evangelical Christians, the figure was only 34%.

      http://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/political-and-social-views/pf_2017-06-26_muslimamericans-04new-06/

      • Thomas Maigret says

        In terms of ‘the West’, the US and Europe are very different places. Do you have any European data sets that suggest similar assimilation rates?

        Assimilation can be haphazard, too. In NYS there are large communities of Haredim who immigrated 6-8 generations ago, but are Yiddish monoglots and have essentially identical views as their ancestors in Russia circa 1700. Same for the Amish, who are growing at 3-5% annually and have not assimilated at all. So while Jews and Germans, have assimilated generally, significant subgroups have not even after many generations.

        • They only need to assimilate to the point where they believe in individual liberty and equal protection under the law, rather than the far right and far left notions that authority can dictate social conformity by law.
          The Amish may not have assimilated, but they never force others to be like them. That’s all-American.

      • I wonder how many Muslims, when polled with the homosexuality question, answered the way they felt “should” be answered versus real belief? We saw polling in 2016 be horribly inaccurate because the truthful answer for many would see them labeled as deplorable. As a result, they did not answer truthfully but answered for acceptance. I wonder how many Muslims do the same? If a random person came to me saying “I’m taking a poll, how do you feel about homosexuals?” — would you answer “I think they should be stoned to death” and risk the current Doxing/firing/ruining of one’s life and one’s family life? Many Muslims are small business owners — their businesses would be targeted, their mosques, etc. After all, it was in the news a couple weeks ago that Antifa clowns created an eCommerce site for “pro-Trump” collateral for the fraudulent purpose of collecting names/mailing information that they could then publish far and wide as “here’s a list of Racists Nazi Rapists!”

      • Grant says

        Meanwhile, in England, 52% of Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal. (http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/c4-survey-and-documentary-reveals-what-british-muslims-really-think)
        Clearly Bruckner is concerned with the rate of Muslim immigration into Europe and the toll it is taking on cultures there. Muslims comprise a very small minority in the US as most of our illegal immigrants come from Latin America and Aisia.
        You are an example of such a person who supports the notion of mass Muslim immigration into Europe but wants to ignore the very illiberal mores of Islamic culture.

  9. A.Cavalcanti says

    The sad decline of Nick Cohen.
    What a crock. When Christopher Hitchens was around Nick was singing a different tune, leeching bravado. Now he turns on former colleagues, throwing them to the PC mob and praising the diversity of totalitarian ideologies. A coward. He can’t quite bring himself to lay the boot into Hirsi Ali… yet.
    “How far the termites have spread, and how long and well they’ve dined.”

  10. Reading this article, it is as if the political does not exist.

    What is the political? The sense that “those people” might kill me if they were given the chance and the opportunity.

    What drives politics is the sense of the political (look at the West Bank).

    This gets to the kind of Weimer liberalism that imagines a politics without a political, it capsizes when it ventures into the rapids of the political. If you look at Weimer Germany, you had these nice fellows wanting to guarantee fair play for all, next to two political groups who were ready, willing and able to gas each other if they got the power. Surprise, surprise, one of the extremists took over and gassed the other side.

    Liberalism is not an answer to the problem of the political, it is an answer to the lack of a problem of the political. The political questions of the early 20th century were settled by concentration camps, bullets, bombs, resulting in the subjugation of the weak by the strong, after the destruction of about 1/3 of the population of fighting age men in Europe, and countless civilians and ethnic minorities.

    Post-war liberalism was not the solution to the political problems of the early 20th Century, it was a symptom of the total exhaustion of peoples wracked by a generation of war and economic depression. The writing is on the wall that the age of post-war liberalism is over, and we must begin to steel ourselves for the grim future that is surely to come.

  11. Islamist extremism just seems like a mirror image of Western fascism.

    Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, since Muslim majority nations are suffering the dislocating and disruptive effects of global turmoil even more than the European and American nations are.

  12. Sarka says

    “Sam Harris and other secular liberals (myself included) predicted years ago that, if the liberal Left did not develop a political and moral case against Islamism, the Western Right would, and the result would be ugly. The notion that the “root cause” of the far-Right is the Left, however—that politically correct bullying, language policing, and obsession with minute faults and micro-aggressions, pushes voters into its arms—is a self-serving cop out unless laden with caveats.”

    For many years I was a big fan of Nick Cohen – for his brave and detailed critiques of the betrayal of universal human values by the modern “anti-imperialist” left, and attempt to stiffen what came to be known as the “decent left.” As a lifelong leftist and a feminist, horrified by the Left’s tolerance of Islamism, embrace of the most regressive forms of identitarian politics and so on, I was naturally a hundred percent with Nick.
    But in the last years – basically since Brexit seemed somewhat to unhinge him – I have been less impressed, and this essentially rather weak attack on Bruckner is more confirmation. As the quote above shows, there is a serious lack of clarity. This quote is at the centre of the argument and there are all kinds of problem with it…

    So – yes indeed, Harris, Cohen and many many others have warned that the failure to develop a case against Islamism would play to the Western right (perhaps it would be best to say far-right here, though, because there is little real reason to act alarmist about the whole spectrum of the right, much of which is reasonably liberal). But Cohen then wants to shift the argument using a “however” …to say that the first warning notwithstanding, the rise of the far-right is actually not a response to the excesses of the left. Or rather, that if you wanted to say that you should stick in a load of (unspecified) caveats. After this he abandons the issue of causation altogether and concentrates just on the ethical issue of stones and glasshouses…although to be honest a little more consistency about chickens and eggs would have helped. Is the Left – parts of it – or Lib/left responsible for the rise of “far right” (even with “caveats”) or isn’t it?

    Here I felt the beginnings of a headache. I tracked that down to Nick’s shift from reference to “liberal” inability to develop a robust moral and political critique of Islamism (hence some possible causal responsibility for development of far-right) to reference to the minutiae of leftist “pc” policing of language and all the irritating snowflakery in academe and sometimes the media (which Nick now insists is as relatively unrelated to development of far-right). This was all so muddled. Above all it suddenly defined the problems of the left and lib-left (that might have led to the rise of the “far-right”) absurdly narrowly so as to discount them as causes. For of course, if it is developments on the left and even lib-left that do much to explain the rise of the “far right”, populist right or whatever term you like, it absolutely ain’t just a matter of campus or Hollywood pc but its larger context – for example the aggressively “post-national” turn of the left and a lot of the lib-left establishment in recent years, with the resulting disastrous inflation of the category of person and attitude defined as deplorable, “bigoted” by some even “fascist”. And what about the input of the left and even mainstream lib-left in the continued failure to develop the robust moral and political critique of Islamism? That’s not the same as irritating stuff about transgender pronouns. In short, Nick has really not succeeded in countering the theory that the “far rightism” he counters is not in many ways a reaction to dynamic developments on the left…i.e. reactive rather than pro-active. He just takes a declarative approach to the issue.

    It’s evident to me, though, that all these slippages in argumentation have a certain emotional logic if not an intellectual one. And I’ve seen it in many people as well as Nick who were for many years valiant internal critics of the slide of the left into moral relativism. That valiant criticism exacted its emotional price. It was depressing, it was tiring, it garnered horrible accusations, and – yes – it induced guilt because of the inevitable lining up with persons actually, or allegedly, horribly right-wing. I remember that with Cohen it went so far that in one article he furiously announced that he had broken with “the left” altogether, and no longer wished to be regarded as part of it. I didn’t believe him then, and I certainly don’t believe him now…He’s a leftist through and through and I admire it in a way (I’ve always been more slippery).

    And anyway, as I see it, this terrible strain of being the voice of leftist conscience took its toll, until, with Brexit, with the election of Trump, with other “populist” triumphs in Europe (though sorry – East Europe is a different kettle of fish – the equation of e.g. Orban and Trump is much less interesting than it sounds to leftists)…suddenly – oh Hosanna – the dissidents like Nick saw the chance to renew their leftist passions in a struggle against the traditional antagonists and dragons of the right…and – thought they would not be willing to entirely desist from criticism of the leftist comrades, at least they could at some level feel again the enthusiasm of putting up a common fight against a common terrible enemy. One level of that has been gleefully turning on the ancient enemy the critique of “identity” politics honed against former erring comrades on the left side…though obviously, that leaves unresolved the causal sort of question about whether the left’s intense racialisation of politics especially in the US has not summoned into reality the spectre of “white”
    identity politics that it constantly invoked earlier as bogeyman.

    • Daniel says

      Sarka,
      Interesting comment. Thanks for it, because if what you’re saying is correct, it explains much of the — let’s charitably term it — tension in Cohen’s argument.
      I suspect there are many similar people who formerly were square on the Left, who are upset at the excesses they see manifest on the Left today, but are unwilling to confront the ideologies and institutions that they may hold dear, and are the causal roots of said excesses.

      An illustration (trigger warning! I’m about to commit Enlightened blasphemy, so make sure to have your coloring books, and sustainably-produced-bamboo-fiber-filled stuffed Pandas nearby, folks!) The notion of tolerance is woefully inadequate at best, and completely misdirected at worst. People think that if we are all just more tolerant, we will see that the world is like a street of diverse ethnic restaurants. So much difference! So delightful! There is an element of truth to this, because there is so much value in other people that we will never know unless we give them the change.
      But the world is also a place of tragedy and deliberate destruction. Successful coexistence with others requires us to acknowledge that people from Group A might have been horribly hurt by people from Group B. To simply exhort Group A to “be more tolerant” is preposterous. Realistically, the deliberate destroying needs to be stopped. This can be done at an institutional level. Then the individuals of Group A need to forgive. That is arguably slower and more difficult. But it is the only possible path (that exists in this universe, at this time) that works. Certainly wringing our hands about tolerance does jack squat.

      Back to Cohen. I see his criticism of the Left, but it is unaccompanied by the necessary shift in his thinking, should he truly want to solve the problem. Some of your liberal-turned-Left values brought us here, Mr. Cohen. Allow us to refrain from joining you in hand-wringing about wanting Leftist wackos to just go back to being liberal. They need to be stopped. Then we need to avoid the temptation to retaliate, but realistically find a way for them to participate meaningfully without being able to continue their destruction.

  13. Martti O. Suomivuori says

    How in the Heaven’s name can the ‘intellectuals’, the chattering elite be so blind to the fact that Islamism is actually something that is being actively marketed to all the countries where there is a Muslim population. There is a world wide effort that has been going on for decades. The rise of Islamism is as organic as the rise of the Nazi party in Germany or the Baathist movement in Iraq.

    It might seem rational in the ivory towers to see some subliminal winds of philosophical ideas appearing out of nowhere or by some mysterious connection to some forgotten theorists scritptures. The men on the street see the propaganda machines churning material, bearded preachers with Saudi diplomas, ready-made mosques and burqa-clad women appear in numbers never seen before.

    They are puzzled and afraid as the elites have decided that the indigenous population has to accept child marriages, FGM and blasphemy laws. If you raise your voices, who knows what will happen, is the message. Danish cartoons and Charlie Hebdo have taught lessons about plumes and swords and what happens when they bring in Kalashnikovs.

    This is the real reason for the movements like Afd, FN or EDL.
    Hungarians have seen the fall of Paris, the slums of Belgium and Germany and the way Britain has changed color during the last couple of decades. Only recently they got the Bolsheviks off their backs, now Juncker wants to bring in Shariah. They don’t want it.

    Poland has been reconstructed after the fall of the Soviet Union. They have unresolved tensions dating from the WWII and the days of the Communism. True, the political atmosphere is sick. Could EU fix it for them or should they settle it among themselves? Seems that they want to make their own mistakes for a change.

    Putin is right in saying that everywhere in the Middle East where the West have been ‘helping’ the results have bee horrific. But how exactly is he an enemy of Europe? Whose game is it?

    Is this the same Cohen?

  14. codadmin says

    Yes, we’ve heard it all before from Cohen: Mass, unfettered immigration is a myth…there’s nothing wrong with mass Islamic immigration…native Europeans are not being displaced except they are and only right wing racists would disagree…Leftists must not be opposed because that would be worse than leftism itself…do nothing and say nothing…blah

    • codadmin says

      …but, fair play to Cohen. At least he admits that anti-white racism drives leftism. His mistake is thinking the left can be transformed into something liberal. It’s like expecting ISIS to suddenly enbrace democracy and religious freedom.

      Cohen is either a dishonest leftist or a deluded liberal. I hope it’s the latter.

  15. D.B. Cooper says

    Speaking of an “illustration of how easily those who profess to hold enlightened ideals can slip into the… intellectual double-standards of the counter-Enlightenment,” Mr. Cohen’s orphaned treatment of An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt has a natural taste for sophistry. A compelling, well-reasoned, erudite argument his is not. I suppose, one should provide evidence for their assertions. Fine.

    Consider the following:

    ’Muslims’ are as much as a bloc for the Right as ‘whites’ are for the Left. Their circumstances, opinions, and individuality are crushed into the same false uniformity by the urge to sloganeer and besmirch.

    I’m concerned Mr. Cohen has assumed a position, which he is not necessarily able – or at times, bothered – to defend. His argument, careful readers will note, is grounded on a false equivalency. Namely, criticism of an immutable trait (white skin) vs. criticism of a belief system/world-view (Islam).

    Now, I’m certainly not an authoritative figure on the Enlightenment, but I’m fairly confident that criticizing ideas (without reservation) is well within the bounds of Enlightenment ideals. With that in mind, I’m not entirely sure what intellectual double-standards of the counter-Enlightenment Mr. Cohen is referring to. Islam is a world-view defined by a set of ideas, isn’t it? When did criticizing ideas become anathema to the Enlightenment? Or, journalism for that matter? Moreover, when did ideas garner a moral valence equivalent to one’s immutable traits? That seems troubling, no?

    If you’re still tempted to find Cohen’s argument persuasive, try exchanging the current set of ideals (Islam) for another set of ideals (Nazism). If Buckner wrote a book castigating the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party), what’s the chances Cohen would describe that book as an “illustration of how easily those who profess to hold enlightened ideals can slip into the ethnic favouritism and intellectual double-standards of the counter-Enlightenment?” I say 0%.

    No one would dare claim that criticizing the pernicious ideals of Nazism was tantamount to anti-Enlightenment ideals. So, why does Cohen do exactly that, when Buckner criticizes Islam? And, why does he conflate criticism of ideas with the criticism of immutable traits? There is simply no moral equivalency.

    I sense a fragility about him that worries me. If Cohen was simply ignorant of his own indifference to coherent thought, that would be one thing; but rejecting propositions through clever rhetorical mechanisms – in order to protect “privileged” ideas – is to engage in denialist tactics. Of course, Cohen knows this, or he should.

  16. augustine says

    “Muslims” are as much as a bloc for the Right as “whites” are for the Left.

    The “threat” of whites for the Left is a manufactured one, and ironic considering that most of its proponents are white themselves. It is a political device. Muslims, on the other hand, are too often a known quantity of real, physical menace, even to each other. The author’s comparison is false.

    [I] predicted years ago that, if the liberal Left did not develop a political and moral case against Islamism, the Western Right would, and the result would be ugly.

    This is a preposterous statement. Liberalism, in its modern expression, preaches tolerance and inclusiveness and diversity with no end in sight. How likely is it that liberals could make a case against “Islamism”, with all the parsing from Islam proper it would entail? As if such cleaving away is even possible? They would also have to decide that the case of “Islamists” is socio-politically unjust. Such a development would require them abandoning their bedrock principles of non-judgmentalism and experiential openness.

    One commenter used “sophistry” to describe this piece. That seems about right.

  17. martti_s says

    Even such a simple and basic fact as the origin of the term ‘islamophobia’ seems to reside in the blind spot of the Progressive eye. How is it possible that the ‘Intellectuals’ are 100% ignorant of the proceedings of the OIC, the Islamic UN? They have the Islamic human rights defined according to the Sharia law. What’s left for women and non-believers is “you have the right to remain silent”and that’s about it.

    The infiltration has been going on and it is going in a greater and greater scale.
    The useful idiots have been helpful in removing critical people from administration and advising the media to impose self-censorship on itself. Word meaning have been reshaped in a manner to make anybody opposing the Islamic principles a ‘racist’. What should worry the chattering classes is that this milestone is actually defined in the roadmap of the OIC.

    Do I sound like a parano?
    It has to do with having spent four years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
    A sobering experience as such, I can tell you.

    • Jeff Ray says

      Thanks for the mention of “OIC”. I was ignorant and looked it up: “Organization of Islamic Cooperation”. Interesting reading. I’d like to see someone make a detailed comparison between OIC political/value positions and those of Western societies. Maybe someone already has?

  18. Solomon says

    Thank you so much for the review. For sure I will buy and read the book. It follows from your review, that the book’s author is much cleverer, that the reviewer.

  19. James says

    Far out, the paragraph that starts ‘Left-wing identity politics…’ is brilliant. The best description of the Left abandoning class we have ever read.

  20. Ray Andrews says

    We can engage in no end of theoretical discussions on whether or not Islam and Islamism are the same thing and whether jihadis are Muslims or NRMs (Not Really Muslims) and so on and so forth. As for me, I simply look at the Islamic world and I conclude that I do not want my country to be more like that. Or I look at the Muslim ghettos that now exist in most European cities and I conclude that I do not want them to be any bigger. The Warriors and the Virtuous can label-bomb that any way they want to, I don’t really care. I’m pro-choice — I do not chose to see my country more like Egypt or Algeria or Pakistan. If someone else chooses to see their country more Islamic — eg. Sweden or Germany — that’s fine too, but I do not make that choice.

    • aljones909 says

      Well said.
      “As for me, I simply look at the Islamic world and I conclude that I do not want my country to be more like that. Or I look at the Muslim ghettos that now exist in most European cities and I conclude that I do not want them to be any bigger”
      The truth is that if you asked Cohen and other “progressives” if they care about European population replacement they’d probably say “NO”. They’d mutter some lie about constant immigration over the centuries. What we see now is unprecedented.
      The demographics for 2050 look scary.
      By 2100 it will be terrifying.
      By 2200 we’ll be gone.
      Amazingly, many Europeans are hoping (or indifferent) to this outcome. A tribe has never before willingly colluded in it’s own destruction.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @aljones
        Yeah, we’re the first culture in history to suicide. Now, if our progressives all decided to kill *themselves* I’d not shed too many tears, perhaps they are correct that the world would be better without them, but why do they have to drag the rest of us over the precipice with them and try to convince us that we like it? But is seems that the Eastern Europeans have decided to survive. Rotten Hungary! Rotten Poland! Rotten Czechs! And maybe rotten Sweden soon too! Austria might go rotten and decide to live as well. Can the bloodbath be averted? Not in Britain and Belgium but other nations are savable.

  21. W2class says

    I feel exactly the same. As a gay man enjoying a society in which I can increasingly just live my life in safety and dignity, my fear of mass Muslim migration is perfectly rational. My sexuality is illegal in all majority Muslim countries, often occasioning brutal punishment. I don’t want my country to be influenced by such medievalism.

    • Grant says

      As soon as ISIS got their chance they gleefully drop Gay men headfirst off of buildings and distributed videos of their deeds.
      52% of Muslins in England admitted to a Channel 4 poll that homosexuality in England should be illegal.
      A woman from Pakistan has just been released from 10 years in prison for professing her belief in Christ. Meanwhile all the people who acted to free her are in danger of losing their lives.
      The left continues to call us irrational for being nervous about it.

      • Daniel says

        Grant,
        A nitpicking correction, if I may: the woman in Pakistan was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the prophet. The appeals made their way through the court system there over the past 10 years, and the Supreme Court of Pakistan just overturned the verdict. A profession of belief in Christ was never actually part of any charge.
        The disgrace of this particular case was the lack of corroborating evidence, and the fact that the original verdict hinged so strongly on a “confession” that was coerced (read, beat) out of her.
        My own opinion is this is a step in the right direction for Pakistan. I remain optimistic that the justice shown by the Supreme Court will filter down and begin affecting lower courts. But that country faces an uphill battle, to be sure.

  22. Peter from Oz says

    Anyone who uses the term “islamophobia” without irony is suffering from oikophobia, and should be driven from the public square with extreme prejudice. Let theses left wing twits go and bathe in their own self loathing and ignorance somewhere in the heart of an Islamic country and see how they get on.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @peter
      We could encourage a sort of ‘crusade of the apologizers’: all the lefties would process to, say, Iran (ISIS territory would be better, but there’s not much left), apologize for all their sins, and beg to receive Islamic justice as fit for kafirs such as themselves.

  23. The real Islamophobia, literally “fear of Islam,” is coming from liberal types (and others) who are afraid to criticize Islam for fear of being attacked by angry, berserk Muslims because of it. Seems to me that those who call out the barbarism of traditional Islam are less phobic than those who remain silent out of fear.

    • augustine says

      An excellent insight. “Islamophobia” is fear of criticizing Islam…

      “Fear” can be read or misread too easily into many notions. We need a different word for aversion to or rejection of Islam. A good German word.

  24. Daniel says

    Mr. Cohen,
    You say, “to replace the slogan that “the West is the root cause of all evil” with “the Left is the root cause of all evil”—is worse than intellectually dishonest: it is a threat to very values “enlightened” thinkers purport to defend.”
    This is a spurious comparison. To decry the demonization of the West is to expose a falsehood. To decry the demonization of the Left is to obscure a truth. The Left is in fact dangerous. It destroys all it touches, including its devotees. The West, while imperfect, is not characterized by destroying all it touches.
    You call Mr. Bruckner to task, which is your prerogative. But perhaps you should consider what sort of realities must he regularly face in order for him to change in this way? Is his reality, perhaps, grimmer than you acknowledge it to be?
    I conclude with a question: In your opinion, what is the effect of Islam on a pluralistic society?

  25. Shaka, when the walls fell says

    “An iron curtain around Iran would imprison liberals who urgently need our help as they seek sanctuary from the Khomeinist regime.”

    There is no way to allow in the “good muslims” without allowing in many more bad ones. The price you have to pay for “helping” these people is catastrophic. It also happens to be the case that you end up making reforms in these countries harder if you continuously extract all their reform-minded people. A “prime directive” approach (yes, Star Trek reference) of total non-interference is what we need. They need to figure out on their own how to build societies that people will actually want to live in.

    The Author seems to be blissfully unaware of the scale of the islamization problem in Europe. The truth is that significant majorities of muslims in every European country deeply reject and resent the European way of life. They don’t come to Europe to be become Europeans. That’s the last thing they want. They actually really do want to take over the continent – and they’re working on it. They will tell you that straight to your face, smiling – followed by something like “Why? You got a problem with that?”. They’re not trying to hide their “imperialist” ambitions at all. In their minds, getting stopped at Vienna in the 16th century was just a minor setback, and Europe was always supposed to be muslim. To them, it absolutely goes without saying that it’s just a matter of time before the whole world will be muslim. The idea that at least some parts of the world will always remain non-muslim – and that that’s OK – does not compute and is totally unacceptable.

    If you think these are the insane ramblings of a lying anti-muslim bigot it’s probably because you live in North America and you don’t have any idea how different things are in Europe.

    Why am I saying all this? I’m terrified that at some point during my lifetime, Europeans will revert to our bad old habits and we will slaughter the European muslim populations. I’m talking about another holocaust. If that happens, I will have lost my home, since I won’t be part of any bloodthirsty mob. I would like to avoid that scenario, and the only way I can see to do that, is to stop all muslim migration into Europe as soon as possible.

    • Somewhere I read that 20 thousand muslims convert to christianity each year in the US. I can’t believe it actually, and wonder how much it would be in European countries. Not more than a few hundreds, I guess. And those conversions, I fear, have very little to do with spiritual convictions, but everything with relations or group affiliation. Conversions to Islam are more common, for the same reasons.

    • harrync says

      Shaka, when the walls fell – too bad your comment is at the bottom [at least as I write]; probably won’t get much attention. But it is the best comment I have seen online this week.

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  28. Novski says

    I disagree with the attempt to differentiate between Isalm and Islamism (whatever that is). Of course not all Muslims are terrorists but Islam is clearly based on terror. Don’t believe me, read the Quran and the Hadith. If you consciously and freely (please note those two key terms, it excludes children for example) subscribe to an ideology based on terror, hate and bigotry, whose prophet (shame be upon him) was a slave-owning, woman-hating paedophilic war criminal, then you are part of the problem. And you go on about Trump, lmfao. Not all Germans were Nazis, but look how that ended. It’s also not equatable with identity politics because being white (whatever that means) is not a choice, being Muslim is – at least in western societies. So who’s the bigot? You claim that Muslims are a diverse group, maybe (depends on what you mean by diverse), but name me one Muslim country you’d like to live in as a woman, gay, liberal, atheist, etc. And don’t get me started on your ‘poor refugee ‘ nonsense. Do you have any idea how much they pay for a crossing to Europe? The poor refugees are still in their homeland.

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