Friday, October 04, 2013

The barbarism of Islamophobia. Oh, wait...

Islam: The Religion of Peace

We have to talk about the barbarism of modern Islamist terrorism
Brendan O'Neill
The Telegraph

In Western news-making and opinion-forming circles, there’s a palpable reluctance to talk about the most noteworthy thing about modern Islamist violence: its barbarism, its graphic lack of moral restraint. This goes beyond the BBC's yellow reluctance to deploy the T-word---terrorism---in relation to the bloody assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya at the weekend. Across the commentating board, people are sheepish about pointing out the historically unique lunacy of Islamist violence and its utter detachment from any recognisable moral universe or human values. We have to talk about this barbarism; we have to appreciate how new and unusual it is, how different it is even from the terrorism of the 1970s or of the early twentieth century. We owe it to the victims of these assaults, and to the principle of honest and frank political debate, to face up to the unhinged, morally unanchored nature of Islamist violence in the 21st century.

Maybe it’s because we have become so inured to Islamist terrorism in the 12 years since 9/11 that even something like the blowing-up of 85 Christians outside a church in Pakistan no longer shocks us or even makes it on to many newspaper front pages. But consider what happened: two men strapped with explosives walked into a group of men, women and children who were queuing for food and blew up themselves and the innocents gathered around them. Who does that? How far must a person have drifted from any basic system of moral values to behave in such an unrestrained and wicked fashion? Yet the Guardian tells us it is “moral masturbation” to express outrage over this attack, and it would be better to give into a “sober recognition that there are many bad things we can’t as a matter of fact do much about”. This is a demand that we further acclimatise to the peculiar and perverse bloody Islamist attacks around the world, shrug our shoulders, put away our moral compasses, and say: “Ah well, this kind of thing happens.”

Or consider the attack on Westgate in Kenya, where both the old and the young, black and white, male and female were targeted. With no clear stated aims from the people who carried the attack out, and no logic to their strange and brutal behaviour, Westgate had more in common with those mass mall and school shootings that are occasionally carried out by disturbed people in the West than it did with the political violence of yesteryear. And yet still observers avoid using the T-word or the M-word (murder) to describe what happened there, and instead attach all sorts of made-up, see-through political theories to this rampage, giving what was effectively a terror tantrum executed by morally unrestrained Islamists the respectability of being a political protest of some breed...

Thanks to Spiked for the link.

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At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, again thanks for this. Sometimes I think I am the strange one when, with my friends, I mention the same thing and they look at me like I am a right wing fanatic. I have to shake my head when they cannot grasp that strapping explosive to yourself and blowing up men, women and children who are completely innocent of anything is not the norm. Worst yet, when their comeback is, "what do you call blowing up people in other countries with drones."

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, you are right, and a lot of well-intentioned people are completely mistaken about this. See for example the unanimous moral and intellectual obtuseness of City Hall during the Muni anti-Jihad ad kerfuffle.

This distorted sense of moral equivalence is remarkable---and completely wrong-headed, based on some weird notion of multiculturalism.

Islamic terrorism is the greatest evil of our day, not the US's use of drones, which, while of debatable effectiveness, are nowhere near the level of sheer wickedness of Islamic terrorism.

The country's leftists/progressives seem to have a default anti-American attitude that apparently goes back to the George W. Bush administration: no matter how horrific something another country or individual does, their own country is somehow equally at fault.


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