Saturday, August 04, 2007

Why is Hitchens Not Scared of Offending Muslims?

Cervantes explains the Don's desire to leave his village and take up the profession of knighthood: "he was spurred on by the conviction that the world needed his immediate presence." (Don Quixote, Book 1, Part 2)

In a recent article, the famed film-maker John Pilger referred to a critique of British artists by Terry Eagleton in their failure to "question the Western way of life." John Pilger aptly describes rabid colonialist writers and columnists like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens and others singled out by Eagleton in the Guardian column:

That they play their part in a broadcasting studio or in the clubbable pages of the review sections and that they think of themselves as liberals or conservatives is neither here nor there. They belong to the same crusade, waging the same battle for their enduring privilege.

Hitchens in one such writer given "tombstones of column inches in which to air his pretensions, along with his attacks on Muslims." This is John Pilger bouncing Amis, but I think it rings even truer for Christopher Hitchens. Like the derogatory viewers' feedback on Youtube aimed at Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper with whom Hitchens debated about a New York student's right to dump the Qur'an. This incident is what allegedly elicited Hitchens anew "to air his pretensions, along with his attacks on Muslims." When we analyse Hitchens' columns and slurs since September 11, 2001, the day on which some of the most morally absurd intellectuals and barbie doll newsreaders decided to warn us about the "Islamist threat", which consequently fueled "our search for moderates" and "friendly communists like Maryam Namazie", it is made clear that Hitchens would squander his (and our) time in the process.

  1. Afghanistan: "first country in history to be bombed out of the stone age." [This murderous passion of Hitchens reminds me of those who pride Japan's democracy to the terrible war crimes in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Of course, it is irrelevant that Afghanistan is chaotic, overrun by US-backed warlords. Ismail Khan, one of the worst, was endorsed by Rumsfeld as "an appealing man... thoughtful, measured and self-confident"].

  2. Iraq: "And if they're bearing a Koran over their heart, it'll go straight through that, too. So they won't be able to say, 'Ah, I was bearing a Koran over my heart and guess what, the missile stopped halfway through.' No way, 'cause it'll go straight through that as well. They'll be dead, in other words."

  3. This is a period in time when the majority of the Australian, American and British public are questioning their government policies. Hitchens has nowhere to go. One up for the Niger myth.

  4. Islam has since formed an active preoccupation of Hitchens: 'Stop indulging Islamist violence', 'Jefferson versus the Muslim pirates', 'Facing the Islamist menace', 'Londonistan', 'Why are we so scared of offending Muslims?', etc. etc.

Why is Hitchens not scared of offending Muslims? Because, there is nothing unusual about offending Muslims. People have the right to critique Islam, and they indeed do that every single day. What is unethical and strange is when the criticism trespasses into an area of abuse, misrepresentation and fascist fervour. Islamophobia Watch comments that Hitchens wouldn't be "putting his name to a piece subtitled 'Why are we so scared of offending Jews?'". I think this is very true, because I recall Hitchens writing in Vanity Fair not very long ago:

The objection of these people is not really to Judaism, or even to Zionism. It's anti-Semitism pure and simple. The other name for which is racism, of the deadliest kind because it's accompanied by a direct incitement to murder. Not just discrimination, but murder.

The double standards are obvious. It is anti-Semitic to criticise Israel and Zionism, let alone Jews, but we needn't be scared of "offending" Muslims. It is alright for Hitchens to shamelessly indulge in anti-Muslim fascism because it's the norm, like it was the norm to scapegoat Jews in Europe half a century before. And armchair bombers like Hitchens, Spencer and Pipes are the champions who "dare" to offend Muslims, whilst bigotry against Islam and Muslims is almost a universal truth. How unnerving indeed!

36 comments:

Orwellian said...

This article is the longest footnote to the most nonsensical label getting around. Islamophobia is a stupid word used by only dishonest and cowardly people. A phobia is an irrational fear of something. Hitchens rationally says why he dislikes Islam in the same manor he does with all religion. Those of you who feel criticism should not apply to the followers of your religion need to dispell that hope because there is a great deal to be critical of.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI: Islamophobia is NOT NOT NOT the new anti-Sematism.

First and foremost, Judaism is a culture, a race, a bloodline. Jews have never sought converts. There is no equivalent to the Islamic Ottoman 'crusades' of convert-or-die NOR the Christian Crusades NOR missionaries etc.

Of the 3 "main" monotheist religions Judaism is unique in that regard. Because of this Judaism generally shrinks in numbers while the other 2 monotheist religions BALLOON. In terms of population it is minute, tiny, a miniscule morsel compared to Christianity and Islam. There are less Jews than there are Jains and Animalists! Judaism is a bloodline and is generally unwelcoming to converts (YES there are converts, but they make up an insignifigant percentage of the whole such as to be statistically irrelevant).

Because it is a bloodline, anti-Sematism has generally centered around the (IMAGINED) 'inherent characteristics' of the race.

Jews have always been a convenient scapegoat but are also 100% innocent of the rubbish they are accused of. Regardless of ones opinions or reading of history the fact remains - there are simply too few Jews (today about 15 million, that's it!) to fathomably 'take over the world', 'hog wealth', or 'manage a multi-million dollar matzah industry made of the blood of Palestinian children ;-O'...

Because of their small size, Jews have never been expansionist, it was only for a short period under David that a "Greater Israel" (an Israel that includes nations beyond the area we know today as Israel) was ever realized.

On the other hand, Islam has a long history of violence, subjecation and expansion. Muhammed himself was a warlord. He took females of defeated tribes as chattal, he betrayed the Jews at Khybar, he was ruthless as any warlord of his time.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI: Islamophobia is NOT NOT NOT the new anti-Sematism.

First and foremost, Judaism is a culture, a race, a bloodline. Jews have never sought converts. There is no equivalent to the Islamic Ottoman 'crusades' of convert-or-die NOR the Christian Crusades NOR missionaries etc.

Of the 3 "main" monotheist religions Judaism is unique in that regard. Because of this Judaism generally shrinks in numbers while the other 2 monotheist religions BALLOON. In terms of population it is minute, tiny, a miniscule morsel compared to Christianity and Islam. There are less Jews than there are Jains and Animalists! Judaism is a bloodline and is generally unwelcoming to converts (YES there are converts, but they make up an insignifigant percentage of the whole such as to be statistically irrelevant).

Because it is a bloodline, anti-Sematism has generally centered around the (IMAGINED) 'inherent characteristics' of the race.

Jews have always been a convenient scapegoat but are also 100% innocent of the rubbish they are accused of. Regardless of ones opinions or reading of history the fact remains - there are simply too few Jews (today about 15 million, that's it!) to fathomably 'take over the world', 'hog wealth', or 'manage a multi-million dollar matzah industry made of the blood of Palestinian children ;-O'...

Because of their small size, Jews have never been expansionist, it was only for a short period under David that a "Greater Israel" (an Israel that includes nations beyond the area we know today as Israel) was ever realized.

On the other hand, Islam has a long history of violence, subjecation and expansion. Muhammed himself was a warlord. He took females of defeated tribes as chattal, he betrayed the Jews at Khybar, he was ruthless as any warlord of his time.

Anonymous said...

He also ordered the subjecation of non-Muslims, was a pedophile (prophet's actions are supposed to be timeless, their morality should stand the test of time, otherwise they are mere men, NOT PROPHETS!), stole the wife of his son (and the clicher, said "Allah told me it was ok"), enslaved, murdered and raped the survivors of tribes he conquered by the sword!

He also claimed that he was guided by Satan at one point, before quickly taking it back when followers dissented (the so-called "Satanic Verses"...

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