The Painful Paradoxes of the Left: Stupefaction, Round 242,469 (Updated)

I just recently attended a conference in London on Anti-Semitism (see here for the talk I gave). I spoke on a panel with Bat Ye’or, and we both talked about the role of anti-Semitism in global Jihad, she in terms of its place in the Jihadi discourse, me in terms of the way that European/Western tolerance if not encouragement of it among Muslims (they drink wine while keeping an open bar of high grain alcohol for the Islamists), is actually one of the West’s greatest vulnerabilities in the Jihad against them (Anti-Zionism as the soft underbelly of the West in Jihadi cognitive warfare).

The first question was posed by a young man from the CST (who later spoke), pointing out that in Henden there are dozens (he actually ticked off specific numbers suggesting this was something of a shtick) of kosher butchers, Jewish stores, synagogues, etc., and no one is talking about Halacha zones and the Jewish take-over of London, so why talk about Sharia zones and the Muslim take-over. He more or less repeated verbatim the classic trope: “we didn’t like it when they said it about us (Protocols), so we shouldn’t say it about them,” as if it didn’t matter that we Jews had no intention of enslaving mankind, and the Islamists openly declare their desire. He also chided me and Bat-Ye’or for our “essentialising” Muslims.

I admit to a certain surprise. I didn’t expect to deal with people in such denial at such an event. But when a number of people murmured their assent to his challenge, I realized it was important to respond.

My answer to him was necessarily short, an abbreviation of the discussion here. But I’ll take advantage of this post to go farther. This is a really good example of how political correctness lands us on rekaB street. Numbers don’t matter; intent doesn’t matter; the impact on the sociability of the neighborhood (e.g., what happens to women who don’t cover their hair in Henden vs. Tower Hamlets) doesn’t matter. I’ve got my parallels, no matter how superficial, to hell with the rest of the evidence. Any undergraduate in history making such an analogy about a (non-charged topic) would fail.

But because making this point feels good, because it makes it possible to dismiss uncomfortable warnings about nefarious doings, because it permits us to close the fairy tale book with the comforting thought that the monsters in the closet are just our imagination, it satisfies its speaker and (apparently) many of his listeners.

But this exchange was only warm-up for what happened subsequently. In the second panel, Manfred Gerstenfeld, a man who has no patience for what he terms “verbal vegetarians” spoke rather bluntly about the problem of Muslims in Europe. (Apparently one of the cardinal sins that Gerstenfeld, Bat-Ye’or and I committed was referring too often to Muslims, not Islamists. This is crucial, and as one of the group objecting made clear later on, the Islamists are a “tiny minority” and “the vast majority are moderate.” So even considering the two as part of the same population — as in “anti-Semitism among Muslims” — is an insult to Muslims despite polls indicating a majority of European Muslims share these prejudices against Jews.)

In any case, while having a PPP slide up that referred to Muslim criminality (i.e. the high percentage of violent crimes and rape among Muslims in European countries), Gerstenfeld stated that, around the world today, Islamic culture is “inferior” to Western culture. At this point, about six people got up and walked out, and one of them stated loudly that they were walking out as a protest. I went outside to find out what they were thinking, and heard the following remarks: “You can’t say that!” (referring to the inferiority of Muslim culture today around the world). And, of course, “essentialising” (British spelling) came up repeatedly.

“But,” I responded, “what if the generalizations that Gerstenfeld made are true?”

“No,” I was informed, ” they’re not true, and he repeatedly said he had no evidence.” (Actually he said, “I have no time to give the evidence.” I know Gerstenfeld too well to think he’d say anything without empirical evidence.) Again: “YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!”

Now there is a depressing and pungent irony here that completely escaped those who walked out. In so doing, they illustrated Manfred’s point. As Manfred explained: by our standards, Islam is an inferior culture; were we to treat Muslims the way they treat infidels the world over, we would consider that our culture had failed to live up to its standards. Specifically on the issue of speech, these people were insisting that (even if it’s true) it’s just unacceptable to make negative generalizations about another group.

Now by that standard, the Muslim “public sphere” – newspapers, books, radio, TV, sermons in Mosques – resounds with the most horrendous demonization, not just of Jews (the subject of our symposium), but Christians, other infidels, heretics, apostates, even other Muslims. This isn’t to say that every Muslim, or even most Muslims are like this, but Gerstenfeld’s point was about culture, about the tone that’s set in a society. And while I tend to focus on the elites, the sad truth is that in matters of honor-killing and various other forms of violence designed to preserve or restore honor, current Arab culture is, by modern civic standards – a fortiori by progressive standards — woefully base.

So when the delegation of indignant liberals stormed out of the room and audibly sought to humiliate the speaker, they illustrated the speaker’s point. They have a very high standard. And it’s not something with much of a footprint in the culture whose honor they were protecting from the speaker’s blunt assessment of reality.

What’s interesting here is a further issue. Surely these folks have been to meetings with Muslim, even Islamists. Did they storm out when they heard others being maligned, as did Tony Avella from the podium of the Muslim Day parade in NYC? Or do they only speak truth to power when it’s fellow Jews? Do they tell Muslims (or Islamists), “YOU CAN’T SAY THAT! You can’t essentialise Jews, or even Zionists? Are Islamic activists exposed to (much less dominated by) the “variegated” argument, in which (actually true) Jews are a very complex population with widely divergent views? Or are they another version of the Human Rights Complex, loudly indignant when white people behave badly, but when people of color do so, they are embarrassed into silence?

In any case, they’re very aggressive about their beliefs with Jews. My guess is they’re considerably less so with “Others.”

When one of the protestors summed up his objections with the comment, “A minority of speakers said things about Britain, Europe and Muslims that we found to be incorrect, unacceptable and self-defeating,” he was confusing political correctness (“unacceptable”) and therapeutic truth (“self-defeating”) with empirical truth (“incorrect”).

Welcome to rekaB street, the place where you check your critical intelligence at the road block.

UPDATE: Manfred Gerstenfeld sends the following comments:

As I pointed out in my lecture in London, Western media largely avoid investigating the issue of the disproportionately high anti-Semitism among Muslim immigrants and their descendants. I also said that it is not politically correct to tell the truth. Furthermore, I said, “So we have only a few data on hatred of Jews of among European Muslims. They all point in the same direction. Anti-Semitism is more widely spread among Muslim immigrants than among the authochtonous population.”

I also said, “Shouts of ‘Death to the Jews’ have returned to European streets. They are often complemented by shouts of ‘Hamas Hamas, Jews to the Gas.’ Those who shout it during demonstrations are mainly Muslims. Anecdotal evidence of the disproportionate importance of Muslim anti-Semitism is huge.”

Still, there are some studies – one example is here:

In 2011, a detailed study on youth in Brussels edited by Nicole Vettenburg, Mark Elchardus, and Johan Put was published: Nicole Vettenburg, Mark Elchardus, and Johan Put, eds., Jong in Brussel (Leuven, The Hague: Acco, 2011) [Dutch]. It devotes a chapter by Elchardus to anti-Semitism in Dutch-language schools in Brussels. It was based on the attitudes of second- and third-grade students. (Note a similar study by Emmanuel Brenner (pseudonym) for French schools with high Arab immigrant populations: Les territoires perdus de la République (Paris: Mille et une nuits, 2003 – rl.)

The author concluded that about 50% of the Muslim pupils could be considered anti-Semites, and about 10% of the others. He also concluded that practicing and believing Christians are more anti-Semitic than nonbelievers (Jong in Brussel, p. 278).

Among non-Muslims, the main stereotype of the Jew is an arrogant, clever, and not very honest businessman. Among Muslims, the main stereotype is that of the warmongering, dominating Jew. Elchardus concluded that this was secondary, however, compared to the large difference in anti-Semitism between Muslims and non-Muslims (ibid.)

On another matter, I referred to Muslim ideological criminality. I said that Jewish communities should decide “to what extent they wish to expose the widespread anti-Semitic ideological criminality of Muslims in the Islamic world? There is no other religion out of part of which so much crime and violence comes, as from segments of Islamic society. Their main victims are other Muslims.”

As I mentioned, I was only giving headlines, having not more than 20 minutes. The issues touched upon will have to be elaborated in much more detail.

Finally, for one reason or the other, some seem to think that I was embarrassed or humiliated by the walk-out of some people. I just went on with my lecture and was gratified by the major applause and the tens of people who came over who said it was finally time that these things were said in the U.K. Some of them expressed regret that it had to be done by a foreigner.

The next issue will probably have to be the exposure of the racists in the Anti-Racism community. These are racists of a little-known type – humanitarian racists. They deny the responsibility for their crimes of the weak and people of color. By that they de-humanize them (who else is not responsible for his own acts besides children: retarded people and animals.) Once the notion “humanitarian racism” becomes more popular, the mask of these racists in the Anti-Racism community, will eventually slip off.

 

44 Responses to The Painful Paradoxes of the Left: Stupefaction, Round 242,469 (Updated)

  1. sshender says:

    A dozen hands won’t suffice to count the times I had to sigh while reading this, lamenting how it could be that such intelligent people can make such egregious judgement mistakes when it comes to assessing reality.

    What’s even more disheartening, is that Richard seems to be among the very few (if not the only person) who dare tackle this “sensitive” issue head on without the customary platitudes.

    More people of good will need to be made aware of the psychological underpinnings of the current attitude towards Islam among the West’s liberals.

  2. CBinTH says:

    I hope that I would have the courage to walk out of an event if I considered what was said to be racist.

    Three cheers for the six men of conscience!

    I think the excerpts I’ve been informed of were objectionable for two reasons. Firstly, they speak of ‘Muslims’ as a problem, therefore indeed essentialising everyone who’s a Muslim as a threat. Secondly, the propositions put forwards were factually incorrect, based on stereotypes and racial tropes which don’t stand up to scrutiny. In other words, the speakers were either delusional or liars, or had the poor judgement to listen to people who were liars.

    For the record, Muslims (or Islamists, or whatever,) ARE exposed to the ‘essentialising’ objection, regularly, in the form of the word, ‘racist!’ and they adapt their speech accordingly. Eg. Anti-Zionists will insist that not ALL Jews are bad, just the ones supporting Israel. Pious Muslims will declare that not ALL christians are bad people or alcoholics or whatever.

    • Richard Landes says:

      for the record, have you ever walked out on a Muslim speaker, announcing that you objected to his racist remarks?

  3. CBinTH says:

    Okay, let us discuss empirical truth.

    You cite as evidence of your case what happens to women in Tower Hamlets who show their hair. Now I moved to Tower Hamlets in 2006, and I know that, actually, NOTHING happens to women who uncover their hair in Tower Hamlets (nor in Walthamstow, which the link in this article pertains to).

    There ARE no Sharia patrols.

    I’ve never been abused as a non-Muslim, although I have been abused as a fatty, and although a bearded Muslim chap once told me a story of being abused by local pub goers, after he adopted his beard and Arabian-robe kit.
    So: what you say is factually, empirically incorrect.

    Furthermore, as proof, you have embedded a link to an article about Islamist activity in another London borough (to be fair to you, they tried a similar trick in Tower Hamlets, but the article doesn’t mention this borough)

    The article is about a sticker intimidation campaign by Anjem Choudary and his group (which has since been banned by decree). It misrepresents the situation by implying that Anjem’s claims of imminent takeover by himself are credible, which they are not. Most people in the borough did not even notice his sticker campaign; it mainly made an impact on the web, amongst the counter-jihad subculture.

    The famous Shariah-Zone sticker campaign was just a few little stickers amongst many others, advertising all sorts of events, wacky ideologies and other stuff, plastered around public transportation.

    Most Muslims (including the bearded mosque going ones) condemn Chaudary, whose organisation is very small. Even Muslims whom I consider are Islamists or who I consider to be anti-British condemn him!! Most Muslims, when they want to complain about the EDL, will happily put him forwards as the Muslim equivalent (of course, he’s much worse, but that’s by-the-by)

    This is why the Glorious Six were right to walk out of the conference, because when people deny reality, or propogate anti-Muslim tropes, that is bigotry.

    There is; I reiterate, no shariah police. If you go to the Mosque in Layton – the one that used to be a cinema – on an Open Day then they will show you around and chat pleasantly and give you a nice cup of strong tea, with buscuits, and lots of leaflets, and a free translation of the Quran.

    One of the leaflets will be by Zakir Naik, and it will compare Americans to pigs (and it lies about how disgusting pigs are, too,) say that most Swedish children do not know the identity of their father, and generally be an example of sectarian trash.

    THAT is the true reality of Tower Hamlets, and East London. To simply declare a lie about shariah-free zones and Muslim thugs and women forced to wear burkha’s is unacceptable, a distortion of truth. To conflate every Muslim with Anjem Choudary is just bigotry (much like that propogated by Zakir Naik).

    You fail to accurately convey the reality of the situation to your audience, instead, you tell them a dark fairy tale, which won’t prepare them for dealing with reality at all.

    *BTW, my previous comment the second section should have begun with: “The excerpts OF WHICH I have been informed”. I apogise for this and other instances of atrocious grammer.

    • CBinTH says:
      “To simply declare a lie about shariah-free zones and Muslim thugs and women forced to wear burkha’s is unacceptable, a distortion of truth”.

      Ok, how about the POSSIBILITY that in the future, when Muslims become even more numerous in the West, they will declare territories as sharia-free zones?

      Am i distorting truth by saying that this is a real danger, especially on the face of the West’s assumption that appeasement of the honor-shame guys of Islam is the best response?

      When they handed you that free translation of the Quaran, did it bode well for you? I do get annoyed when Christians hand me leaflets (i am an atheist) but, at least, Christian culture does not intend to send to jail my friends because of their sexual orientation, nor does it threaten the female population even remotely as much as Muslim culture.

    • CBinTH says:
      “You fail to accurately convey the reality of the situation to your audience, instead, you tell them a dark fairy tale, which won’t prepare them for dealing with reality at all”.

      Shame to Dr Landes for not preparing us to deal with reality.

      I take it you have some suggestions to make concerning the best way to deal with the reality of the sexism and homophobia of the increasingly influential in the West Muslim religion?

      Why don’t you share them with us?

    • CBinTH says:
      “This is why the Glorious Six were right to walk out of the conference, because when people deny reality, or propogate anti-Muslim tropes, that is bigotry”.

      This why the Glorious Six were wrong (and very morally smug) to walk out of the conference, because when people warn us about the impending reality, or warn us about Muslim culture, that is cognitive resistance for the sake of freedom.

    • CBinTH says:

      “Okay, let us discuss empirical truth”.

      I agree.

      Here is what i found in my first attempt at researching the Tower Hamlets area: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2011433/Islamic-extremists-set-independent-states-UK-fall-Shariah-law.html#

      I am quoting: “The notorious Muslims Against the Crusades (MAC) group have named Yorkshire towns Bradford and Dewsbury and Tower Hamlets in East London as testbeds for blanket sharia rule”.

      “”Under the heading ‘Muslims should set up Islamic emirates in the UK’, MAC says: ‘We suggest it is time that areas with large Muslim populations declare an emirate delineating that Muslims trying to live within this area are trying to live by the sharia as much as possible with their own courts and community watch and schools and even self sufficient trade””.

      What was the response of the officials of Tower Hamlets? We would expect them to say something along the lines “Hey, most of our Muslim population is moderate, they renounce such Islamic visions”.

      But, instead, the MailOnline informs us “Tower Hamlets and Kirklees Council, the local authority for Dewsbury, refused to comment”.

      Is it possible that the silence of the Western apparatchik lambs of Tower hamlets is due to increasing penetration of the area’s administrative authorities by radicals, as the following Daily Telegraph link seems to suggest?

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8068839/Tower-Hamlets-extremist-vote-poses-Eds-first-big-election-test.html

      “In the secret filming, the IFE [Islamic Forum of Europe] activist, Mr Miah, told the undercover reporter: “We’ve consolidated ourselves now. We’ve got a lot of influence and power in the council – councillors, politicians.””

      If there are no sharia zones in London YET, this does not mean that there are no Muslim forces “oiling” their way towards this end. And it is this threat, i would urge, that should be of concern to us, to the extent that we care for our gay and female friends.

    • CBinTH says:

      “NOTHING happens to women who uncover their hair in Tower Hamlets”

      It seems that SOMETHING happened to a woman, according to the MailOnline:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377780/London-Taliban-targeting-women-gays-bid-impose-sharia-law.html

      I quote:

      “It is believed Muslim extremists are behind a spate of attacks being investigated by police, according to the Sunday Times.
      An Asian woman who works in a pharmacy in east London was told to dress more modestly and wear a veil or the shop would be boycotted.
      When she went to the media to talk about the abuse she suffered, a man later entered the pharmacy and told her: ‘If you keep doing these things, we are going to kill you’.
      The 31-year-old, who is not a practising Muslim, said she has since been told to take holiday by the pharmacy owners and now fears she may lose her job.
      She said: ‘Why should I wear a hijab (headscarf) or burqa?”.

      How many women would have the courage to speak to the Press, considering that they would be threatened with violence, like the one in the Daily Mail’s article?

      I suggest that this is the reason that we don’t hear more of such incidents.

    • CBinTH says:
      “NOTHING happens to women who uncover their hair in Tower Hamlets”

      Well, it seems that SOMETHING happened to one woman who uncovered her hair in Tower Hamlets:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377780/London-Taliban-targeting-women-gays-bid-impose-sharia-law.html

      I quote:

      “It is believed Muslim extremists are behind a spate of attacks being investigated by police, according to the Sunday Times.

      An Asian woman who works in a pharmacy in east London was told to dress more modestly and wear a veil or the shop would be boycotted.

      When she went to the media to talk about the abuse she suffered, a man later entered the pharmacy and told her: ‘If you keep doing these things, we are going to kill you’.

      The 31-year-old, who is not a practising Muslim, said she has since been told to take holiday by the pharmacy owners and now fears she may lose her job.

      She said: ‘Why should I wear a hijab (headscarf) or burqa?”.

      Question: how many women are being threatened but are afraid to go to the Press?

    • mika says:

      Glorious Six..
      ==

      LOL! I love it when I catch a muslim taqqiyya liar who claims not to be a muslim, but who knows to perfectly parrot all the propaganda lines of a taqqiyya liar. It just re-enforces my own personal experience that all muslims are lying jackals, and that’s where it starts and where it ends with them.

      Muhmud, you wont believe it, but even over the vast ether of the interweb I can see that fat chester the cat smile on your face as you write your lame taqqiyya propaganda, which of-course you believe is full of wit.

      One question, Muhmud. Why not the Martyred Six?

      • Mika, i disagree. I would bet he is a Westerner. He is way too gentle – as evidenced by his apology for his grammar – to be honor-shame minded.

        • mika says:

          It’s good to disagree. After all, that’s what makes us great. However, I’ve heard enough of that kind of voice, tact and mannerism to recognize it instantly for what it is. I’m going with my experience.

        • mika says:

          LOL! Re-reading your reply I now appreciate your sarcasm and humor. A Westerner, particularly a British Westerner, would know his grammar. I also like that little jab at our muslim taqqiyya liar: “apology for his grammar – to be honor-shame minded”. Cute and subtle. Nicely done!

    • eib says:

      Quote:
      I’ve never been abused as a non-Muslim, although I have been abused as a fatty, and although a bearded Muslim chap once told me a story of being abused by local pub goers, after he adopted his beard and Arabian-robe kit.
      So: what you say is factually, empirically incorrect.
      end

      Factually, empirically incorrect ONLY in the context of your experience.
      I don’t view you or your experience as any final authority about anything.

    • CBinTH says:

      “Now I moved to Tower Hamlets in 2006, and I know that, actually, NOTHING happens to women who uncover their hair in Tower Hamlets (nor in Walthamstow, which the link in this article pertains to)”.

      Dr Landes has just posted a comment that directs to a huge number of links documenting what goes on in Tower hamlets.

      Are you sure you live (or lived) in Tower Hamlets?

      “I’ve never been abused as a non-Muslim [in Tower Hamlets]“

      Maybe it’s because you are a Muslim? Or, at least, a certified supporter of Muslim culture (aka, humanitarian racist, to borrow Dr Gerstenfeld’s terminology)?

    • CbinTH

      I forgot to mention that, even if you are a certified humanitarian racist (and, therefore, a natural ally of Muslim culture), the urge of the Islamists to dominate is just too strong to be contained, the Muslim honor-shame bravado is always present at the background, so don’t feel so sure that they will spare you.

      Just look what happened to the Italian humanitarian Islamophile activist who went to Gaza to “help” the Palestinians, but was perceived as an infidel who came to spread corruption:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/15/italian-peace-activist-murdered-gaza

  4. CBinTH says:

    “Firstly, they speak of ‘Muslims’ as a problem, therefore indeed essentialising everyone who’s a Muslim as a threat”.

    A threat to what?

    Not all Muslims will become terrorists, that much we know – and let us for the purpose of the discussion ignore those Muslims that do support terrorism but wouldn’t engage in it directly.

    But what about the widespread beliefs among Muslims that they are entitled to tie their wives to the bed and whip them in case they behave licentiously?

    How about the the widespread belief among Muslims that my gay friends should be outlawed?

    Aren’t these Muslims (the huge majority of Muslims) that subscribe to those discriminations a cultural threat to any society that values freedom?

    Do you support homophobia and sexism? If not, don’t you feel the need to talk a little bit about the vulgarity of Muslim cultures on those issues, even in the context of defending them against people that you perceive as racists?

  5. CBinTH says:

    “…the propositions put forwards were factually incorrect, based on stereotypes and racial tropes which don’t stand up to scrutiny. In other words, the speakers were either delusional or liars…”

    I challenge you to cite ONE instance that Dr Landes has ever spoken against Muslims not on account of their culture, but because of their race or ethnic origin.

    Until then (and it’ll be forever, for you will find none), i think i am entitled to consider that you are either delusional or a liar.

    • eib says:

      Islam is a race?
      No.
      Of course not.
      Even if every Muslim was a white Westerner, Islam would remain antithetical and an existential threat to Western history, culture, civilization and values.

  6. Richard Landes says:

    i think mistaken is good enough. no need for name-calling.
    i must confess that my reflections on muslim behavior in so-called “sharia zones” is based on various accounts from different places. i know, for example that there are neighborhoods in france, belgium and holland where women who do not cover their hair are in trouble (esp muslims).
    i will look into your (CbinTH) claims about Tower Hamlets.
    in the meantime i’d prefer that the exchanges in the comment section remain civil. i see no reason to question the integrity of people just because they disagree.
    r

    • CBinTH says:

      I appreciate that you chose to let my comments through. A lot of websites wouldn’t.

      I can’t say about France, Belgium, etc., as I’ve never been there. I can’t even say about Bradford or Luton. But I can say that there are no zones of shariah enforcement in Tower Hamlets.

      There are all sorts of problems posed by sectarian thinking amongst Muslims, by Islam itself, and by things of that nature. But most of these problems are latent, rather than actual, and some of them are problems which are merely morally offensive, rather than a problem because they are a practical concrete threat*.

      But none of that makes the existence of shariah zones reality, nor does it mean that women in the streets are forced to cover their hair in Tower Hamlets.

      I’d like to type more right now, but time presses, I have to be elsewhere. I am glad that you’re going to look more closely at what you’ve heard about East London.

      *For instance, the different viewpoint of someone of another ‘identity group’ can be distressing to encounter, especially when – as fellow citizens – they SHOULD share your own reaction. Essentially, I mean that the reaction of Muslims, generally, to Islamic terrorism is embarrassment and denial, when what they ‘should’ feel is anger and outrage, like non-Muslims. This is distressing, but it is not the same as support for terrorism, or even apology for it. It is not in itself a threat.

      • “But most of these [Muslim-generated] problems are latent, rather than actual, and some of them are problems which are merely morally offensive, rather than a problem because they are a practical concrete threat*”.

        Well, Dr Landes has been writing about those “problems” that constitute a threat to free societies, not about trifles.

        Mind you, even those Muslim cultural traits that look as minor moral offenses, e.g. an apathy as a response to Islamic terrorism, should be reasons for concern because we don’t really know what is lurking beneath this apathy: maybe they love the terrorism, but feel that they must keep a straight face and not declare their true feelings until they become more numerous?

        At any rate, terrorism is not the only issue. I talked about making homosexuality illegal and about the right to wife-beating. How many Muslims do you know that do NOT subscribe to these atrocities? Very few, i would guess (if any). And these Muslim moral transgressions against gays and women, if implemented, suffice to turn western societies into hell.

        I conclude that your dismissive approach towards the Muslim cultural threat is unwarranted – their culture is a clear and future danger.

      • Richard Landes says:

        my comments in italic

        I appreciate that you chose to let my comments through. A lot of websites wouldn’t.

        really? can you name some. i’m surprised. it’s not like your comments are violent (like some at my daily telegraph blog – where this article, modified according to the comments here, including yours and your opponents, will be going up this week.

        I can’t say about France, Belgium, etc., as I’ve never been there. I can’t even say about Bradford or Luton. But I can say that there are no zones of shariah enforcement in Tower Hamlets.

        i don’t know how much you pay attention to more subtle forms of enforcement. mafias work their intimidation largely off-stage. it’s covered with omerta. particularly if you’re muslim, the community has many ways of enforcing, including, for women, the threat of honor-murders. so i’m not sure “no zones of shariah enforcement” is so easy an assertion to make accurately. but i take your claim to be that there aren’t, as there are in some muslim-ruled places (like Gaza, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia), police who enforce sharia.

        There are all sorts of problems posed by sectarian thinking amongst Muslims, by Islam itself, and by things of that nature. But most of these problems are latent, rather than actual, and some of them are problems which are merely morally offensive, rather than a problem because they are a practical concrete threat*.

        as Dionissis (who also provided the link above) has pointed out, you may be making much too facile a distinction between latency and concrete threat. morally offensive becomes threat when the morality is a pre-modern lust to dominate, and we (who are, or should be, morally offended) are the objects of that desire.

        But none of that makes the existence of shariah zones reality, nor does it mean that women in the streets are forced to cover their hair in Tower Hamlets.

        I’d like to type more right now, but time presses, I have to be elsewhere. I am glad that you’re going to look more closely at what you’ve heard about East London.

        *For instance, the different viewpoint of someone of another ‘identity group’ can be distressing to encounter, especially when – as fellow citizens – they SHOULD share your own reaction. Essentially, I mean that the reaction of Muslims, generally, to Islamic terrorism is embarrassment and denial, when what they ‘should’ feel is anger and outrage, like non-Muslims. This is distressing, but it is not the same as support for terrorism, or even apology for it. It is not in itself a threat.

        again, Dionissis makes some good points in response. some may be embarrassed, some may be intimidated against speaking out, but others may be quietly proud and approving. and we don’t have much of a clue what the proportions are. but the overall effect is that a typically progressive attitude – this kind of violent attack on civilians is completely inappropriate, and the ideology that supports it needs to be exposed and denounced – is more or less out of the question in current islam. that’s Gerstenfeld’s point, and it’s a point well worth thinking about.

        if the “moderate Muslims” have been silenced and marginalized in the Muslim public sphere everywhere in the world (!), with no serious matrix of open opposition, of genuinely modern religiosity that renounces the drive to power, that says a great deal (and a great deal of bad things) about the current state of Muslim culture. and if people walk out when others try and talk about this problem, then they are performing a serious disservice to the very values they say they promote and preserve.

  7. CBinTH says:
    “I hope that I would have the courage to walk out of an event if I considered what was said to be racist”.

    Courage?

    Has anyone ever harassed you when you expressed Islamophile views? The official doctrine of the day is NOT to offend Muslim religion in any conceivable way – even by foregoing our right to free speech.

    So, please, stop pretending that you are a moral hero. There is no opposition to your attitude, you are mainstream for God’s sake.

    It must feel great, stepping on the moral high ground and calling people “racists”, i presume you get a high out of it – but it blinds you to the fact that opposition to Muslim culture need not be a racist endeavor, but a quest for personal freedom’s preservation.

    • eib says:

      Agree with this.
      What price, indeed, has any cultural relativist paid for his views?
      How much more costly it is to be a committed, historically-aware Westerner!

    • CBinTH says:

      While you are right that liberal apologies for Islam are socially acceptable whilst criticism of Islam isn’t, necessarily, depending on the company, it is nevertheless admirable to have the presence of mind to assess what was being said by a universal standard and to endure the embarrassment of a walk out. I wouldn’t have done it.

      The reason they walked out is, of course, a practical one. The CST cannot at any cost be shown to be associated with ‘racism’, that is, with what they themselves define as racism when it is used against Jews. To fight anti semitism the CST must be like Caesar’s wife – above reproach.

      • CBinTH says:

        “…it is nevertheless admirable to have the presence of mind to assess what was being said by a universal standard”.

        My take of the incident is that those who walked out had an ABSENCE of mind and could not assess what was being said by a universal standard.

        I only read what Dr Landes said and i find his whole lecture 100% convincing, based on UNIVERSAL moral standards, i.e. values that apply to anyone, no matter her religion (i am a non-Jewish atheist).

        Please cite one universal value that Dr Landes’ speech has disregarded. I claim there is none.

        ” it is nevertheless admirable to…endure the embarrassment of a walk out…The reason they walked out is, of course, a practical one”.

        If the reason they walked out was practical, then there is nothing admirable in it. People deserve praise when their intentions are guided by moral principles, not when they operate out of expediency – which is NOT to say that choosing the expedient is immoral, but only that it does not deserve commendation, since it is motivated by self-interest.

        “endure the embarrassment of a walk out”

        I don’t know the state of mind that the walk-outs were in. Maybe you are right that their reason was a practical one. But i am inclined to believe that inwardly they were swelling with a contemptuous pride, “just look at you, conservative-minded Islamophobes, we will not condescend to stay in your company”. If that was the case, they did not endure any embarrassment, they just showed-off.

        But if you are right, if they were consciously afraid of being perceived as racists, then i feel sad for them, because it means that they have been feeling in their lifetimes so much pressure from the anti-Semitic crowd that they had to resort to a public behavior (walking out) that they didn’t really want to. If that was the case, the embarrassment you are talking about would be the least of their concerns – a mind preoccupied in fear with the politics of the situation does not have time to indulge in (comparatively) low-intensity emotions such as feeling embarrassed.

  8. Gandoo`s Message says:

    “I have been known as a crank, faddist madman.
    Evidently the reputation is well deserved. For, wherever
    I go; I draw to myself cranks, faddists, and madmen.”

    —– Gandhi’s honest opinion
    about himself (May 9 / 1929)

    “In this world there are two kinds of created beings. One is called the divine and the other demoniac.” (16:6)

    “Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them” (16:7)

    “The demoniacs, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world.” (16:9)

    “Know what your duty is and do it without hesitation. For a warrior, there is nothing better than a battle that duty enjoins” (2.31)

    “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of ‘Bharata’ [The Hindu Nation], and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium” (4:7, 8)

    Gandhi’s understanding of nonviolence was totally different from the philosophy of nonviolence of Hinduism. The last two quotes from Bhagavad Gita are particularly important. Lord Krishna promised to reborn and destroy the evil to reestablish dharma. Gandhi’s nonviolence is cowardice and there is no heroism in it. In Hindu philosophy, the nonviolence is the quality of a courageous man and there is absolutely no place of spinelessness in it. A warrior is duty-bound to fight the evil. Gandhi may not have an enemy, but according to Hinduism all the evils are enemies of humankind that cannot be ignored. The core message of Bhagavad Gita is to wage a righteous war against the enemies of the truth and motherland. Therefore, Gandhi’s nonviolence was Gandhi’s fantasy. Hinduism has nothing to do with it. Hinduism does not support Gandhi’s ‘my friend’ attitude to Hitler and his irrational advice to the Jews to ‘pray for Hitler’ and die cheerfully.

    Bhagavad Gita teaches men to live with honor and if necessary die for it. Sadly, this simple Hindu wisdom never entered in the fat head of the naked Hindu saint Gandhi. Hence instead of following the message of Bhagavad Gita, Gandhi wanted Indians to follow the cowardly whim of his nonviolence. Because of his little understanding, he suffered from lack of realism. That’s why he could not see Hitler’s fanaticism, cruelty, coldness of heart and other reprehensible traits; rather he advised the Jews to offer themselves cheerfully to the butcher’s knife. It was not greatness of Gandhi; rather it was his great stupidity.

  9. Crosscop says:

    CBinTH – somehow you remind me of Timothy Treadwell.

  10. James says:

    CBinTH is not the only person who has lived in that borough.

    2 years ago, the area was plastered in stickers saying Gay Free Zone. The BBC ignored the story until they could cover it by saying that locals (i.e. some of the few non-muslims) were taking down the stickers. Some of those who took them down were threatened with death. No sharia zone here?

    When a group of gay people tried to organise a Gay Pride march in response to this, the left and the gay muslim group Imaan set about destroying the march. The gay muslim group went so far as releasing the name and address of the man organising the march, claiming he was the founder of the EDL (he wasn’t). They only withdrew his name and address when the police told them they would be prosecuted for incitement to murder. No sharia zone here.

    Gay men have been brutally assaulted by muslims in Tower Hamlets. One had his face slashed with a knife, only a few hundred meters from East London Mosque. A place where they ran a training course on “How to Spot Fags”. No sharia zone here.

    For 3 years at the end of EID, a thousand or so muslims would gather for an open-air celebration in a park near the huge East London Mosque. No police required, despite the so-called threats to muslims in Britain. However, when a small gay pride march which was eventually organsied in response to the Gay Free Zone, there were as many police as marchers there, in order to protect the homosexuals from attacks by muslims (including a helicopter overhead). No sharia zone here.

    When that same park had a “community festival” last year, signs went up saying “no alcohol is allowed in this park”. All the food stalls were halal, and clearly marked as such. At each entrance muslim guards were posted, wearing high-visibility vests, and greeting every one who came with “asalaam alyakum”. No sharia zone here.

    Twenty years ago, Tower Hamlets had over 20 gay bars & clubs. Now it has 3. To my knowledge, several of those bars have been attacked by gangs of muslims, and some have told me they closed down because of the attacks. One bar was attacked by upto 30 muslim men using baseball bats – the attack was because one of their gang had been sent to prison, because in a vicious attack on a gay man, he left the young gay man paralysed for life. No sharia zone here.

    Even non-muslim women in the borough have been threatened with violence for not wearing a hijab. No sharia zone here.

    Elderly white people were driven out of their community centres by violence and abuse from gangs of muslims. The community centres then became mosques and “free legal advice cenres” for muslims. No sharia zone here.

    When I lived there I was the victim of a violent racist attack by a gang of muslims. The police and the local residents know that these gangs have hidden weapsons all over the borough. They are never more than a few metres from a weapon. One white man was assaulted by 30 racist muslims using axes and machetes, only 3 of whom were sent to prison for this attack. No sharia zone here.

    A teacher of religious studies was brutally assaulted by a gang of muslims, because in the school where he was teaching muslim girls, he had taught them about other religions. No sharia zone here.

    When I was a resident there I had 1 jewish MP, and 2 muslim MPs. If I contacted the jewish MP, she responded to my problems. When I contacted the muslim MPs, they never even responded. I assume it is because I do not have a muslim name. But there’s no sharia zone here.

    Two of the local libraries in Tower Hamlets contain copies of “The Reliance of the Traveller”, a manual of sharia law that says that FGM is obligatory, paedophile marriages are legal, that homosexuals are to be executed, and that slavery is legal. No sharia law here though.

    • James, do you happen to have any idea how the police is treating those who report the incidents of Muslim anti-gay violence?

      I stayed in England for studies for a total period of two years, and what struck me immediately about English culture was this gut reaction of the English people against physical violence – the very reason i fell in love with this country.

      So, i was wondering whether the concerns about charges of “Islamophobia” have penetrated the ranks of the Police, making them reluctant to investigate as diligently as they would have if the perp was not a Muslim.

      PS. I notice with glee that the spell-checker does not recognize the term “Islamophobia”: no matter what might have happened to the English Police, our software is still immune to the dictates of the contemporary faux progressivism.

    • James, i found in the “Telegraph” the answer to the question i asked you about the way the English Police treats allegations against Muslims:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8570506/Police-covered-up-violent-campaign-to-turn-London-area-Islamic.html

      “Victims say that officers in the borough of Tower Hamlets have ignored or downplayed outbreaks of hate crime, and suppressed evidence implicating Muslims in them, because they fear being accused of racism”.

      And here is the fate of homosexuals in an Islamic West:

      “Tower Hamlets’ gay community has become a particular target of extremists. Homophobic crimes in the borough have risen by 80 per cent since 2007/8, and by 21 per cent over the last year, a period when there was a slight drop in London as a whole”.

      The link also corroborates some of the crimes you referred to.

  11. ISLAMOPHOBIA AND THE LEFT

    The Left is characterized by an insatiable desire to react. The “progressive/liberal” (the quotes are necessary, since they are not really progressive or liberal) elites that set the tone and determine the do-and-don’ts for their disciples are just girls and guys who wanna say “No”, no matter what the object of their need to negate is.

    The most striking example of this leftist predilection that I am aware can be found here

    http://thewanderinghedgehog.wordpress.com/category/the-left/

    I quote:

    “In the thirties, forties and afterwards, the Left’s key guiding principles included:
    • Anti-fascism: as Cohen points out, if there is one thing the Left could be relied upon to do from the 1930s onwards, it was to oppose fascism (albeit this often leading to double standards as contrasted with the frequent apologism for left-authoritarians).
    • Solidarity with those fighting against oppression around the world: democratic socialists, trade unionists, feminists and so on.
    • Universal values: a belief that what was right in the west (democracy, human rights, freedom and so on) was right anywhere in the world.
    However, a fundamental shift has occurred in many sections of the Left, a recalibration of its “moral compass”:
    • Fascism has been replaced as the “great opponent” by America, Israel, the West, “the hegemon”.
    • As a result, solidarity is denied to those (such as Iraqi trade unionists or socialists) whose oppressors are themselves opponents of America, Israel or the West, even if those oppressors are fascistic (such as Baathists or Islamists).
    • Universal values are seen as an instrument of western hegemony: just because it’s wrong in the West to oppress women or to be racist or homophobic, doesn’t mean we should “impose” those values on others.”

    Notice the shift in the leftist position on the universality of values: as long as the West was oppressing gays and women, the Left was in effect attacking the conservative/right wing violations of the rights of homosexuals and females on the grounds of a moral objectivity (universality of values, i.e. values that should apply to anyone) that recognized the absolute (i.e. non-relativistic) truth of the statement “gays and women should be treated equally”.

    Happily, the Left’s campaign has been successful, thanks mainly to the moral intimidation that the paradigm of political correctness exercised on the conservative opposition. Today we, westerners, can boast of having the most free societies in the history of humankind – not “mankind”, we don’t say this anymore, that’s one of the wonderful victories of the Left-originated political correctness, i.e. that it has made its way into language and, therefore, culture.

    And we need to thank the Left for expediting that freedom-for-all outcome.

    But the Left’s need to react to their societies is insatiable, as I have hypothesized, and now (after their victorious campaign for gay and women rights) they need a new pretext to engage in their beloved habit of bashing the conservatives/right-wingers.

    The trouble is that conservatives nowadays have adapted to almost anything the Left has been commanding, as far as social issues are concerned. So the Left is now left without a morally worthwhile target. And that’s why they made up one: Muslim-oppression.

    Since the initial concern with Islamofascism was generated in the ranks of conservatives, the leftists can’t help defending Islamofascism, so that they can once again engage in their favorite activity – morally degrading conservatives, and doing so in a show of moral narcissism (oh my, the smugness of them leftist radicals!!!).

    No matter that Muslim culture is inimical to gay and women rights, no matter the contradictions the Left has to immerse itself in, the leftists will oppose conservative concerns and defend the Muslim culture, oblivious to the threat that this culture poses even for the leftists’ values and well-being.

    Gay and women rights are worth protecting if, and only if, the conservatives transgress them – that’s the psychopathology of the Left.

    Ultimately, this reactive attitude must be stemming from a hatred towards authority (which might be explicable in terms of the leftists’ upbringing). But irrespective of the genealogy of the emotional underpinnings of this incapable-of-being-appeased leftist hostility, it is certain that it blinds the Left up to the quixotic extreme of rejecting the objective nature of morality – I say “quixotic” because it is obviously wrong to oppress gays and women, even in the context of an alien culture that deems it permissible. What counts for the leftist is to be able to morally dominate her opponent, even if this means that the universality of universal values goes by the board.

    The philosophically untenable thesis of moral relativism in the service of temporarily satiating the Left’s petty hatreds….

    Can we say that the Left is all about seeing-red?

    O tempEr(a), o mores!!!

  12. Dr landes, i left a (very) big comment on the issue of Islamophobia and the Left, but it must have been caught by the system’s spam filter, i can see neither my comment nor a message that it is awaiting moderation.

    The Left did it!!!

  13. [...] a previous post about Sharia Zones in London, one of my readers, who claims to have lived in Tower Hamlets, insisted there was no such problem. [...]

  14. “They deny the responsibility for their crimes of the weak”

    There is a mistyping in the above sentence of Dr Gerstenfeld, the sentence should read: “for the crimes of” not “their crimes of”

  15. Dr Gesternfeld said:

    “Among non-Muslims, the main stereotype of the Jew is an arrogant, clever, and not very honest businessman. Among Muslims, the main stereotype is that of the warmongering, dominating Jew.”

    Our stereotypes of perceived enemies (Jews in this case) are infused with our concerns, we tend to project to others what is already inside us (if i may speak a bit sloppily).

    If that is true, then no wonder that westerners seem preoccupied with arrogance, intelligence, business and business ethics, whereas Muslims with dominance and war.

    Honor-shame mindsets can explain this difference in the stereotyping of the Jews by Muslims and Westerners.

    http://www.theaugeanstables.com/reflections-from-second-draft/paradigms-and-the-middle-east-conflict/honor-shame-jihad-paradigm-hjp/

  16. David Sokol says:

    Richard – it is not what you say but how you say it. Your self indulgent “bull in a china shop” style invites polarization and discourages dialog. I most likely agree with you on facts more than I disagree with you but you may be doing more harm to the fight against antisemitism then you are helping. Try to get your ego and self righteousness out of it and think about communicating. Many people are putting time and money into this fight against antisemitism. You use your intellect like a weapon that has no place in a conference on antisemitism. You make enemies of people who could be friends.

    • Richard Landes says:

      are you referring to my talk? Or to Gerstenfeld’s? Or to my comments (here) on Gerstenfeld? I would like to understand what you’re saying. Can you give me an example of someone who addresses these issues the way you think communicates effectively? (And to whom are we supposed to be communicating? And what?)

    • David Sokol

      Your comment has stimulated me to introspect.

      If Dr Landes is indeed such a bull(y) in a China shop, as you claimed, then the reason I have been attracted to his writings (writings that have made me decide to devote time to pro-Israel advocacy) must be that I have an unconscious penchant for outright confrontation than for synthesis, a predilection for (intellectual) war than win-win compromise, a taste for bluntness.

      Well, my as-sincere-as-i-can soul-searching tells me that this is not the case, and that I am still the guy I thought I am, namely a peaceful lad that is always seeking friends, not enemies.

      Ergo, Dr Landes cannot be a bully, for he would have scared me away if he were.

      I can imagine some people who would be put off. They are those that would rather turn the other cheek to the unbelievably malicious and replete with self-righteousness slandering of Israel and the Jews.

      But I have already said that I am interested in synthesis, not in seeing Israel or the Jews committing suicide by silently accepting the anti-Semitic narratives.

      PS. I have arrived independently at a conclusion, a version of which I recently found out that Dr Landes has once proposed: every blog with a critical mass of visitors should be engaged so that each and every single lie about Israel is addressed and discredited with facts and clear arguments. That is the real communication deficit of Israel, not Dr Landes’ perceived (by you) belligerent mode of engaging the general public.

      PS.2 You are not the David Sokol, are you?

  17. Dr Gerstenfeld said:

    “As I pointed out in my lecture in London, Western media largely avoid investigating the issue of the disproportionately high anti-Semitism among Muslim immigrants and their descendants. I also said that it is not politically correct to tell the truth.

    Not just the Media and the general public, universities too are succumbing to the moral bulling of the leftist interpretation of what political correctness should consist in, with regards to investigating the widespread Muslim anti-Semitism:

    http://www.martinkramer.org/facebook/2011/06/21/yale-has-shown-the-door-to-charles/ (it directs to another link)

    Yale has closed down “YIISA, the antisemitism research institute that dared to touch on Islamist antisemitism”. (Yale has started a new, watered-down initiative along the same lines, but cautious not to touch upon the current Islamist Jew-hatred).

    Charges of Islamophobia have been the reason for this violation of academic freedom.

    Let us not outrage the touchy Muslims, they might bomb us, or riot – or stop their generous petrodollar contributions to universities for the development of pro-Muslim-leaning Middle Eastern studies?

    After all, it is only the Jews they are after. If they annihilate them, then we will be able to live in peace with our Muslim brothers – provided that we have accepted sharia law in the West.

  18. Dr Landes said:

    (Apparently one of the cardinal sins that Gerstenfeld, Bat-Ye’or and I committed was referring too often to Muslims, not Islamists. This is crucial, and as one of the group objecting made clear later on, the Islamists are a “tiny minority” and “the vast majority are moderate.”

    So, how are we to know how many are radicals (Islamists) and how many are moderates (Muslims)?

    Polls come to mind, even though they might give a distorted picture (Muslims are surely capable of appreciating what the “right” answer is when asked by a westerner. Arafat has been notorious for saying different things to his western audience from what he was saying to his Arabic audience).

    But with this wave of academic elites’ and Mainstream Media (MSM) complicity to the propagation of Muslim-made propaganda (with respect to both Israel and Muslim culture) we won’t be sure about the actual numbers, even if the Muslims were to open their hearts and tell us that they despise our culture so much that they want to blow it away.

    What i have in mind is an article (http://www.martinkramer.org/sandbox/2008/04/dr-esposito-and-the-seven-percent-solution/) by Dr Martin Kramer, an acknowledged authority on the Middle East (also professor at Tel Aviv University and visiting professor to a number of Ivy League universities) where he discusses a book written in 2008 by John Esposito, a university of Georgetown professor, entitled “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think”.

    Basically, the book claims (i quote Dr Kramer) that “only 7% of Muslims are “politically radicalized,” and that “about 9 in 10 Muslims are moderate.”

    Esposito came up with this number based on a Gallup poll. But he chose to categorize as radicals ONLY those Muslims that have answered that they considered the 9/11 attacks “completely justified” (the 7% of those polled).

    The rest of the Muslims were labeled as moderates, even those that considered the attacks largely (but not completely) justified.

    And the Media came up with headlines such as “the overwhelming majority of Muslims—93 percent—condemned the September 11, 2001 attacks”.

    Now, Esposito has been handed 20 million dollars from Saudi Arabia to set up what looks suspiciously as an Islamist den at Georgetown university, and has also co-edited a book with a Hamas apologist (and suspect of being a Hamas member http://www.martinkramer.org/sandbox/2002/09/ask-professor-esposito/), so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he evinced such intellectual dishonesty.

    But the Media followed his lead and misinformed the public that everything is ok with Muslims, they overwhelmingly condemn terrorism.

    Given the above, how trustworthy should we consider both the academic elites and the MSM that assure as that there is nothing radical in the ideology of most Muslims?

  19. [...] UK: The Painful Paradoxes of the Left … [...]

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