Hitchens: JAFI

Ron Coleman at Dean's World admits that he doesn't know enough about the topic, but goes on to approvingly quote Christopher Hitchen's latest racist and Islamophobic rant anyway.

I'll admit I lost my temper. Below are my responses in the discussion thread to the excerpts of Hitchens provided by Ron.

All over the non-Muslim world, we hear incessant demands that those who believe in the literal truth of the Quran be granted "respect."

Ron accepts this statement uncritically. Does it resonate with his prejudices?

We are supposed to watch what we say about Islam, lest by any chance we be considered "offensive."

Muslims are fair game for offensive critiques by everyone. You can get away with a post full of nonsense like this and then pretend it's somehow forbidden to do so?

A fair number of authors and academics in the West now have to live under police protection or endure prosecution in the courts for not observing this taboo with sufficient care.

a TINY handful, all in Europe! of what value is this observation? its meaningless crap. One might as well infer something about the misogynistic impulses of the Haredim on bus lines in Israel when they threaten and attack women. Of course the rational, principled view is that such actions are in no way representative of the broader community, and is only an extreme minority. But funny how that argument only applies to Jews and not to muslims.

A stupid term — Islamophobia — has been put into circulation to try and suggest that a foul prejudice lurks behind any misgivings about Islam's infallible "message."

a "stupid term" - sure, if it were used only in the context of the army of straw men above. However, not so stupid if it actually has meaning beyond that.

Well, this idiotic masochism has to be dropped. There may have been a handful of ugly incidents, provoked by lumpen elements, after certain episodes of Muslim terrorism.

indeed, and a handful of ugly incidents, provoked by lumpen elements, of terror attacks as well. But how dare he suggest that genuine attacks on innocent muslims are direct cause of specific terror attacks! in truth it is clowns like Hitchens that create an atmosphere of hatred and fear and mistrust. That does more to facilitate "ugly incidents" than any attack by genuine terrorists. In fact even the latter nearly always claim more muslim lives than non.

But no true secularist or even Christian has been involved in anything like the torching of a mosque.

oh, is that how its played? well in that case no true muslim has ever been involved in anything like the murder of innocents, either.

(The last time that such a thing did happen on any scale — in Bosnia — the United States and Britain intervened militarily to put a stop to it.

on ANY scale? Hitchens is a dolt or a liar. I leave it to you to judge, dear readers.

We also overthrew the Taliban, which was slaughtering the Hazara Shiite minority in Afghanistan.)

we overthrew the Taliban? are we sure?

But where are the denunciations from centers of Sunni and Shiite authority of the daily murder and torture of Islamic co-religionists?

Yes, where indeed? why dont the heads of every major sect of Islam come to kiss the ring of Saint Hitchens and declare their condemnations to be entered in his royal registers?

Of the regular desecration of holy sites and holy books?

oh, the humanity, is this utter lack of condemnation! the world wept for Bamiyan, though.

Of the paranoid insults thrown so carelessly and callously by one Muslim group at another?

now he wants us to condemn talking smack? okay, sahib Hitchens. Yes Sahib. Anything you like, sahib.

This mounting ghastliness is a bit more worthy of condemnation, surely, than a few Danish cartoons or a false rumor about a profaned copy of the Quran in Guantanamo.

ah, and those riots over the cartoons were so organic and genuinely representative of the attitudes of the vast majority of muslims!

The civilized world — yes I do mean to say that — should find its own voice and state firmly to Muslim leaders and citizens that respect is something to be earned and not demanded with menace.

aha! because the civilized world is indeed a separate entity from "muslim leaders and citizens". But Hitchens is not a racist imperialist snob, no sir.


The Anti-Wahhabi said...

One should look at the Ward Churchill fiasco from early 05 on how Americans react to something they don't like.

Or better yet, the Hindu fundamentalists who destroyed sets of a movie they found offensive to Hinduism. I forgot the movie(s) but it was by Deepa Mehta.

Arcane said...

Hitchens is Islamophobic... no question about that. He's opposed to all religions... he isn't a "racist," though. Being Islamophobic is not synonymous with racism. Muslim leaders time and again state the fact that there are Muslims of all races, so it is therefore impossible for a person to be both Islamophobic and racist unless that person has specifically attacked races other than their own in the process of attacking Islam.

There are all kinds of nuts like this in the world... just look at Dawkins. I don't see why Hitchens represents some kind of special example.

Aziz Poonawalla said...

Arcane, islam is intimately tied to ethnicity, especially for Europeans. In the British context, muslim means pakistani. I assure you that Hitchens is carrying over colonial prejudices into his judgements.

I base this on my personal observations, travels, and experiences as well as those of my many many many (brown) friends who reside in the UK and Europe.

Arcane said...

Being that Hitchens is a staunch anti-imperialist and former devotee of Edward Said, I don't see how that I can true...

I mean, have you ever heard Hitchens talk about Mother Theresa? I saw a show once where he was on with Michael Parenti bashing pre-occupation Tibet. He's an equal opportunity religion basher.

Aziz Poonawalla said...

I didnt mean that Hitchens would be pro-imperialist. There are many anti-imperialist racists. Its simply the engrained societal attitude.

But I have not heard him talk about Mother Theresa, admittedly. so I am willing to put a question mark after "racist". This doesnt strike me as an improvement.

A.E. said...

Hitchens stopped being an anti-imperialist a long time ago. He's gone even farther to the right than the rest of his "Euston" kin in Britain (Oliver Kamm, Nick Cohen, etc).

He thinks of himself as the modern-day equivalent of the Spanish communists facing down the fascist horde in 1936. Never mind that this "islamo-fascism" is a phantom enemy dreamt up in his fertile imagination. Hitch soldiers on--as an apologist for all of the elements he was most critical of back in the day.

Nightstudies said...

You obviously didn't read Hitchen's article if you called it "a racist and Islamophobic rant", no matte what Coleman said. Coleman's quote is taken entirely out of context from an article about how everyone in the world should be loudly and actively opposing warfare between Shiites and Sunnis. Jesus!

If you have any sense of fairness, you will read Hitchens' article in full and then edit your post!