Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Salman Rushdie lesson was not learnt

Excerpt from Mark Steyn

So many of our problems with Iran today arise from not doing anything about our problems with Iran yesterday. Men like Ayatollah Khomeini despised pan-Arab nationalists like Nasser who attempted to impose a local variant of Marxism on the Muslim world. Khomeini figured: Why import the false ideologies of a failing civilization? Doesn't it make more sense to export Islamism to the dying West?

And, for a guy dismissed by most of us as crazy, Khomeini made a lot of sense. The Rushdie fatwa established the ground rules: The side that means it gets away with it. Mobs marched through Britain calling for the murder of a British subject - and, as a matter of policy on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity, the British police shrugged and looked the other way.

One reader in England recalled one demonstration at which he asked a constable why the "Muslim community leaders" weren't being arrested for incitement to murder. The officer told him to "f--- off, or I'll arrest you." Genuine "moderate Muslims" were cowed into silence, and pseudo-moderate Muslims triangulated with artful evasiveness. Sir Iqbal Sacranie, who went on to become leader of the most prominent British Muslim lobby group, mused about the Rushdie fatwa: "Death is perhaps too easy."

In 1989 Salman Rushdie went into hiding under the protection of the British police. A decade later he decided he did not wish to live his life like that and emerged from seclusion to live a more or less normal life. He learned the biggest lesson of all - how easy it is to be forced into the shadows. That's what's happening in the free world incrementally every day, with every itsy-bitsy nothing concession to groups who take offense at everything and demand the right to kill you for every offense. Across two decades, what happened to Rushdie has metastasized, in part because of the weak response in those first months. "Death is perhaps too easy"? Maybe. But slow societal suicide is easier still.


The very strange "American Conservative Union"

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), has been moving, along with several other paleo-conservatives like Dinesh D'Souza, towards a partnership with Saudi-funded, pro-Hamas institutions. A forewarning was the appointment of Grover Norquist to the ACU board. A second forewarning was the appointment of Suhail Khan to the ACU board.

Then Tuesday, David Keene joined United for Peace and Justice, the ACLU, the Communist Party-USA, as a speaker in the "Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice" to:

"call on Congress to restore habeas corpus, fix the Military Commissions Act, end torture and rendition and restore our constitutional rights. Activists from all fifty states will gather at Upper Senate Park on June 26, 2007 and deliver tens of thousands of signatures to Congress, urging the restoration of our rights."




Immigration amnesty bill killed by protests from the people: "Ding dong, the bill is dead. I confess that right now I feel kind of overwhelmed by happy emotion. I've participated in democracy in the best, most hopeful way. In the past I've made phone calls for candidates. I've contributed money and gone to meetings. I'm on my town's Republican Committee. But, doing my small part to fight a bad piece of legislation, and witnessing on-line my fellow citizens doing theirs, is one of the most wonderful experiences I've ever had. Has there every been a moment in American history to match this one, when all the force of professional government has been stymied by a determined citizenry? There has been much talk in recent years comparing the invention of the internet with the invention of the printing press on freedom and government. It may still not be strictly true, but the comparison now has greater validity."

The destruction of Israel: look who's okay with it: "Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana) has been a stalwart supporter of the American-Israel alliance. He recently introduced an amendment to the foreign aid bill that would prohibit groups that deny Israel's right to exist from receiving American (taxpayer dollar) foreign aid. The amendment passed 390-30. Of the 30 members of Congress who have no problem with giving money to groups that advocate and plan for the destruction of Israel, 27 of them were Democrats."

Baghdad Christians: “It was a kind of genocide killing”: "The 70 houses of this tiny village spring from the treeless, arid plain here in the northern tip of Iraq with the uniformity of an army camp. Built over the past four years of war, they house Christian refugees from some of Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods: Dora, New Baghdad and Mashtel. There the residents did not know one another, busy with their city lives. Now a barber, a bank manager, a news anchor and an electrician are comrades in the misery of flight. “We saw everything a human can see,” said Majida Hamo, a mother of four who came from Mashtel recently. “It was a kind of genocide killing.” “We were saying to Jesus, ‘See us and save us.’ ” The Iraqi exodus is one of the largest displacements in the Middle East since the creation of Israel in 1948. Many have fled to Jordan and Syria, countries where Arabic is spoken. Others have stayed within Iraq’s borders, moving into the largely peaceful Kurdish north, which is more foreign to them than neighboring countries because the main language is Kurdish, not their native Arabic."

Honour killings now coming to America: "A Bucks County father was accused of going to extremes to break-up his daughter's romance. Police said the father and his son tried to kidnap her fiance by beating him up and tossing him into a sport utility vehicle. "The victim advised me that his fiancee's family was trying to kill him, drag him into a car and take him somewhere, where he believed he was going to be killed," Webber said. Webber said the alleged victim told him his fiancee's family was upset the two had moved in together. He said there were cultural differences and that's why 48-year-old Mohd Nasher and his son 20-year-old Mohammed Nasher were allegedly gunning for the fiance. "The father and son came in, grabbed our victim, pulled him outside, began choking and beating him. Drug him into the back of a Ford Explorer and that's where they advised him that they were going to take him somewhere. He jumped out the other side window in fear for his life and as he went to run away the father told him, 'I'm going to find you and I'm going to shoot you.' The son went and grabbed a bat and went to chase after him," Webber said"


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


1 comment:

Garrett Heaney said...

Good piece here. We just released an article on Rushdie and the importance of protecting free speech in our magazine Wishtank: Journal of intellectual freedom. It can be found at .

I'd be curious as to what you think about the comments The New York Times made that likened the protection of free speech to religious acculturation. Feel free to email me at if you ever want to share anything.

Garrett Heaney
Founding Editor
Wishtank magazine