Tuesday 5 May 2015

The ignorant and incoherent versus the poisonous and lethal?

I have been following the Harry’s Place thread on the ‘US Prophet cartoon attack” with interest because I know that some of the H.P. regulars, commenters and mods alike, think Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are, as they put it ‘Nutters”.

Spencer and Geller’s views on Islamic Jihad and the Islamic religion are uncompromising it’s true, but I’d suggest necessarily so. The enormity of the opposition, be it from both the Muslim and non Muslim majority/world view, means they must be emphatic in order to get their voices heard above the cacophony of unlimited, self-destructive ultra-tolerance and political correctness.

The ‘Draw Mohammed contest’ is viewed by many (specially the BBC) as provocative, controversial, and deliberately inciteful, and the subsequent attempted terror attack for which IS is now somewhat opportunistically claiming responsibility, is viewed as quid pro quo.  You asked for it, and you got it.

Geller and Spencer’s claims that the aim of the event was purely to take a stand for freedom of expression and to protest against special treatment being gifted to the Islamic religion are being greeted with cynicism by people who  judge the incident solely by their own negative opinions of the organisers. 

I imagine that if they were to watch the live-stream video (on YouTube) of the actual event they would be hard-pressed to find anything that gives the lie to those claims. I didn’t spot anything in the speeches beyond a great deal of self congratulatory waffle, expressions of gratitude to the supporters, and reiteration of the issues of freedom of speech and the right to offend without being murdered.

Personally I don’t particularly follow Pamela Geller or Robert Spencer, but I’m roughly on their side and I’m not prepared to denounce either of them. I don’t want to start being one of those people who have to add a caveat to everything they say. Nor do I want to turn into someone who always has to be careful to qualify an extreme view I might wish to express, in case I alienate someone I desperately want to be liked by.

People say “I’m no fan of Katie Hopkins, but she does have a point when she says....” Or, “I don’t think much of Tommy Robinson, but...” Or Geert Wilders, or Ukip or, for that matter, anything to do with Israel.  They’re scared to simply agree with, or to be thought a fan of, or be seen as an outright supporter of whatever it is. But they really do, and they really are, and they just can’t face admitting it because they don’t like being called racist, or being accused of the crime of being right-wing.

Some criticism of the cartoon competition cites the argument that neither the location of the event nor the actual venue were especially associated with this issue, therefore both the attackers and the intended targets had to be bussed in from other areas, which means the whole thing must have simply been a gratuitous honey-trap and nothing more. However, something that wasn’t disseminated very clearly was that (according to Geller) that particular venue had hosted a defiantly pro-Islam event in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo incident. 

The issue of Islamic extremism is a topic I wanted addressed in the election debates, a topic that, with the help of the media, was ignored by all parties. In todays Times, (£) Ayaan Hirsi Ali has an article entitled “Only one party will tackle the Islamist threat” 

Here’s an excerpt:
“Most western leaders have been thrown into moral confusion by the rise of radical Islam within their own societies. Mr Cameron is an exception. He has been vocal in his call for the acceptance of Muslims as fellow Britons. He has gone out of his way to include Muslims in his cabinet and in other positions of leadership. He has been meticulous in his choice of language, always stressing the point that British Muslims are a part of the fabric of Britain.
But he has also been one of the first western leaders to admit that multiculturalism has failed as a philosophy. Britain is a place of many ethnicities and religions, he has argued, but there is one dominant culture and that is British.”
I am a big fan of Ayaan, but although it’s one of the most persuasive arguments in favour of voting Conservative that I’ve heard so, far I’m not completely convinced that they'd take more decisive action against Islamic extremism than they already have.

Melanie Phillips in the Jpost is addressing a related topic. She describes Cameron’s party as decent but ignorant and incoherent. That is certainly true of William Hague, but he’s history.  
“The UK’s election alternatives on Israel would seem to be between decent but ignorant and thus incoherent on the one hand, and poisonous, existentially agonized and lethal on the other.”
 Melanie thinks a Labour government would be disastrous. If I understand her correctly, she believes a Conservative government would perhaps be less so. Faint praise.
“Of course it is also possible that David Cameron may stitch together another coalition. In recent weeks, he has expressed his shock and concern that some British Jews are now wondering aloud whether their families have a future in Britain. Doubtless Cameron’s shock is genuine. He’s a decent enough guy.
But it is the demonization of Israel, unchallenged by British politicians and now running at epidemic levels throughout the British political and educated classes – and fed by the Foreign Office, with its false claims that Israel’s occupation and settlements are “illegal” – that is behind this anti-Jew atmosphere.
In short, the UK’s election alternatives on Israel would seem to be between decent but ignorant and thus incoherent on the one hand, and poisonous, existentially agonized and lethal on the other. A no-brainer, you might think – but in a country where reason itself seems to have taken an extended vacation.”

If only the media would allow these things to be debated openly and thoroughly, up front and naked, we might have a clue what we’re letting ourselves in for. Foreign policy, mass Muslim immigration, Trojan Horse, (still not dealt with) grooming and child sex exploitation. (ditto) 
What’s to do?


  1. 'Nutters' is a wonderfully imprecise, yet effective all-purpose epithet, especially when casually lobbed about by the great and good, MSM doubleplusgood.

    It seems to be used mostly when the establishment is up against folk saying stuff they really wish wasn't heard, but inconveniently continue to say things rather than making threats and kicking off and stuff, which means you can either bend over and touch toes or ban anyone they threaten to kick off about.

    I see the same domestically with such as UKIP.

    'Colourful' many are, and often to an embarrassing degree, but from what I see and hear no more than any other bunch of twerps prepared to face the music to get a small taste of power. And few quite as outright deranged, crooked or outright evil as many from parties the BBC give passes to.

    It's a shame, because it can and does skew democratic process. Walking the dogs today my wife noted how there were zero UKIP boards up anywhere.

    I offered this was probably not so much because there were no potential voters, but they were smart enough to know what overt displays can attract.

    From actual nutters created and wound up by such as the BBC.

    'To do' for me is to get rid of a serious malign influence on the conduct of free speech and democratic discourse, that holds all political parties in its all too unique thrall.

  2. I do follow Robert Spencer - on Jihad Watch. Although I don't agree with his politics in many regards he is incredibly knowledgeable about Islam and its doctrines, legal system and history. You can learn a lot there.

    As for the people attending the conference, I didn't see the speakers but saw interviews with ordinary people attending - who all seemed remarkably brave, sane and likeable. I think they are genuine free speech acitivists rather than racists. I really like the Rasta-haired patriot George who spoke very well about why the event was important.

    Pamela Geller is brave but her pugilistic NYC style won't be to everyone's liking.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is brilliant .I am reading her new book Heretic which is an excellent introduction to Islam and the scope for reformation. Her pro-Tory
    views are risible in this context but perhaps she is influenced by her husband - Niall Ferguson.

    Melanie Phillips I find unconvincing. She spent years pretending there was a "real Islam" that was a personal religion, just like other religions with no negative implications for the rest of humanity. Basically she just seem to follow Israeli policy on these things.

    The BBC use words like "controversial", "right wing", "far right", "conservative" as dog whistle/code words for things they don't like and feel it is right to attack. Equally they use words like "diverse", "challenging", "vibrant", "fresh" etc for things they like.

  3. David Preiser6 May 2015 at 00:20

    I guess Ms. Ali didn't catch Theresa May lecturing the public about how to interpret the Koran, insisting that Islam is peaceful, full stop, and anyone who commits violence isn't a real Muslim. Cameron may have made the right noise once or twice, but what May has said - more than once - is the true position of Tory leadership. Geller and Spencer were barred from entering the UK with his approval.

    Other people have noticed, which is why UKIP is on the rise.

  4. I don’t blame Melanie Philips for once wanting to believe that a religion, even Islam, might be a private affair for an individual. I think many of us once wanted to believe that. It is, after all, a very civilised point of view - almost a defining component of a modern liberal democracy. If Melanie Philips has been forced to re-evaluate her position on Islam and recognise the increasing threat it now represents to our way of life, she would hardly be alone.

    1. Fair comment. But she is a commentator in the media, not an ordinary person. It wasn't that difficult to educate yourself about Islam.

  5. Melanie Philips "following Israeli policy on these things" sounds weird . She is not an Israeli so even if there was a definite policy to speak of she wouldn't follow it . .


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