Thursday, October 22, 2009

Freedom or Tyranny: Toward Ideological Reckoning

From Melanie Phillips, "The Clash of Uncivilizations":

The frenzy over the participation of BNP leader Nick Griffin on Question Time this week has been a classic case of failing to identify the real elephant in the room. By fixating on the ‘far right’ as the supremely evil force in British public life, the mainstream political class has failed to grasp that a half-baked neo-Nazi rabble is not the main issue. There is another more lethal type of fascism on the march in the form of Islamic supremacism.

The Islamists, or jihadis, are intent upon snuffing out individual freedom and imposing a totalitarian regime of submission to religious dogma which erodes and then replaces British and Western values. Now these two types of fascism are doing battle with each other — and with the white working class and lower-middle classes caught between them. For it is the intense anger of these people with the fact that — as they see it — they are the ignored victims of the jihadis that is driving them into the arms of the BNP.

There are, of course, many factors fuelling BNP support. Most broadly, increasing numbers at the lower end of the social scale feel the mainstream parties are ignoring their most pressing concerns. Most of these anxieties involve British national identity: uncontrolled immigration, multiculturalism, the loss to the EU of Britain’s ability to govern itself. Most toxic of all, however, is the threat from Islamic supremacism and the concern of the disenfranchised white voters that the political establishment is supinely going along with the progressive Islamisation of Britain.

All around them they see the establishment responding to Islamist bullying with acts of appeasement. Jihadis parade on the streets threatening to behead infidels — but it is white objectors whose collars are felt by the police. The mainstream political parties are all petrified of saying anything about either the steady encroachment of Islam into Britain’s public space or the linked phenomenon of mass immigration.

So the BNP have been handed an extraordinary electoral advantage: it can tell voters that it is the only party prepared unequivocally to denounce such things. The rise of Nick Griffin is intimately related to the unchecked march of Islamism in Britain. The BNP is, in one sense, merely the other side of the jihadi coin.

It is highly relevant that Griffin is an MEP for North West England — and did not stand in the old National Front power base around London. His party’s new appeal is based on a new power base — the north-west and Yorkshire. Research by academics at Manchester University reveals that support for the BNP is highest in areas of high Pakistani and Bangladeshi concentration — but significantly, not where there are concentrations of Indians. Strikingly, BNP support actually falls away steeply in Afro-Caribbean areas.

So to try to damn the BNP as racist misses the point by a mile. Not that the accusation is untrue — despite its attempt to rebrand itself, the BNP remains a racist party with strong neo-Nazi overtones. But it attracts votes talking about religion and culture. Crucially, it is cynically using the Islamisation of Britain as cover for its animus against all Muslims and non-white people.

There are many British Muslims, after all, who are a threat to no one, who want to enjoy the benefits of a secular society and human rights and are themselves potential victims of Islamism and sharia law. But the BNP seeks to elide this distinction. It hates not just Islamism but all Muslims; indeed, it has seized upon the widespread concern over Islamic extremism to morph seamlessly from Paki-bashing into Muslim-bashing.

The fears it exploits are those of ordinary white folk in areas of high Muslim immigration who have watched the transformation of their neighbourhoods from communities of people like themselves into a landscape they no longer recognise. The voters the BNP are seeking are bewildered and distraught that no one in authority seems to notice or care — and that they are dismissed as ‘racists’ for expressing such concerns.

It is this asymmetry of anger which helps the BNP so much. Those who this week seemed to be risking an aneurysm over Griffin’s TV appearance either dismiss the jihadis as an exaggerated problem — or, on occasion, even march behind their incendiary and hate-driven banners. There is no Griffin-style outrage over the regular appearances in the media by the fanatics of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas supporters or Iranian-backed jihadis, even though they endorse terrorism and the extinction of human rights.

Liberal society cannot see them as a threat because, under the prevailing doctrines of multiculturalism and moral relativism, minorities can never be guilty of prejudice or bad deeds. Only the ‘far right’, it appears, can be racist. It is not hard to demonstrate that Islamism is a real and present danger not just to democracy, but to groups such as women, gays, Jews, apostates and liberal Muslims. Yet liberals appear to recognise fascism only if it has a white face.

There's more at the link, but that comment above -- "There are many British Muslims, after all, who are a threat to no one, who want to enjoy the benefits of a secular society and human rights and are themselves potential victims of Islamism and sharia law" -- perfectly captures my thinking on assimilated, even functionally secular, Muslims. In Britain right now, but really no less in this country, if one follows the reporting from anti-Jihad bloggers, a conservative would immediately be denounced as a Nazi by protesting Islamist terrorism with a sign like the one above. The sorry implication is that the radical Islamization of society goes unchecked (for fear of alienating "minorities"); and further, far-right groups become even more extreme in their reciprocal denunciations. That then feeds the media's infatuation with "racists," and the cycle continues on once more. But frankly, those who are doing the best work to combat the true racist Muslim fanaticism are those most willing to speak out against it -- and I would argue that in respectable company it's mainstream neoconservatives who're most willing to call it like they see it. And that includes Melanie Phillips, who when speaking out against "Londonistan," is most likely lumped in with the BNP by her opponents nevertheless, no matter what anti-racist clarity she presents.

And as always, stateside the race card is being slapped down more than ever. If you missed it, go over right now and read Diana West's analysis of the recent Rush Limbaugh controversy -- "Blackballing Conservatism," an essential analysis.

(And by the way, Larisa Alexandrovna continues to pimp out the scourge of "racism" so aggressively she's got race-baiting rug burns to show for it).

So to be clear: I don't hate Muslims, and I don't wish Islam to go to hell. I do think that folks should be to willing to say uncomfortable things about Islam -- like, at its fundamentalist base, it's a "religion of victory." And also, if we're going to fight the Islamists, we're going to need way more clear thinking and differentiation on the threat if the West is to win the battle of public opinion (and the battle over demonic, debilitating political correctness).

Image Credit: Saber Point, "
Europe's March to Cultural Suicide."


The Griper said...

you know, professor, what you wrote about reminds me of the saying, "guilt by association" or put another way "innocent of association" to describe the two factions.
the problem lies in the ability to distinquish between the two. that is an impossible task for those outside of a certain group since one faction resides within the other faction. but that is what is expected of us.

trying to profile the guilty is a handy tool but regardless of how you do it, some of the innocent will be caught up within that profile.

the only way possible for the purpose of separating the two factions is for the innocent to totally disassociate themselves from the guilty in every manner. unfortunately, fear prevents that in a lot of cases. and in this day and age the only alternative is no longer acceptable.

Dave said...

This is what happens when you combined unrestrained immigration and the mental illness of political correctness.

Eventually, you lose your country.

I hope our neighbors to the north aren't racing to the same fate as our friends in the UK.

As for the existence of "peaceful" practitioners of Islam, I'll buy into that when I see them taking to the streets in mass protest of what their more "radical" brethren are doing.

For now, their deafening silence is lending passive support to people who have no business living in a civilized world.


.agoraphobian dreamscape said...