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?