‘Journalist and academic talking heads are subject to an inordinate fear of criticising Islam’

via Liberal intellectuals are frightened of confronting Islam’s honour-shame culture – Telegraph Blogs.

Our journalist and academic talking heads are subject to a different kind of Islamophobia: an inordinate fear of criticising Islam.

A recent series of polls indicate that European public opinion is substantially concerned by the increasingly aggressive Islam that their substantial immigrant populations have taken to expressing. To quote Soeren Kern, Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group:

The findings – which come as Europeans are waking up to the consequences of decades of mass immigration from Muslim countries – point to a growing disconnect between European voters and their political masters regarding multicultural policies that encourage Muslim immigrants to remain segregated rather than become integrated into their host nations.

The survey results mirror the findings of dozens of other recent polls. Taken together, they provide ample empirical evidence that scepticism about Muslim immigration is not limited to a “right-wing” political fringe, as proponents of multiculturalism often assert. Mainstream voters across the entire political spectrum are now expressing concerns about the role of Islam in Europe.

The disconnect referred to in the article constitutes one of the most worrying developments in Western culture over the last decade: between a elite that controls much of the discussion in the public sphere (journalists, academics, talking heads, mainstream politicians) and who fear being called Islamophobes and racists more than they fear Islamist racists, and a population of people who, whenever they voice concern about the behavior of the Muslim neighbors, are told not to be Islamophobic racists. The problems are knotty and painful to disentangle. Here’s my outline of an approach. (For a longer version of the following essay, see my blog, The Augean Stables.)

Secularism demands more maturity, it requires that religions be civil, that they not use force (the state) to impose their beliefs on others. Religious communities have to give up their need to be visibly superior as a sign of being right/true. This involves high levels of both self-confidence and tolerance for public contradiction.

For Islam this is a particularly difficult challenge. For Islam’s formative period, it dominated. Dhimma laws spelled out the principles: infidels were “protected” from violence and death at the hands of Muslims as long as they accepted a visibly humiliating, inferiority. And among the key demands made on dhimmis, was that they not challenge, criticise, or in any way “insult” Islam or Muslims.

Contemporary manifestations of Islamic revival tend to handle the infidel “other” poorly. The peril to contemporary Christians and Jews in Muslim majority nations is mirrored in the behavior of Muslims in the expanding European enclaves, those zones urbaines sensibles, or Sharia zones, where the state’s writ no longer runs.

Thus, Islam’s – Muslims – relationship with the “other” (kufr, infidel, lit. one who covers [the truth]), is the great problem to resolve in this coming generation, and at the heart of that problem lies the ability of Muslims to tolerate criticism from outsiders.

We in the modern (and post-modern) West, who first forged these remarkable rules of self-restraint and created so rich, so variegated, so tolerant a culture, have a right to demand that Islam adopt these rules, certainly those who live in and benefit from the civil polities we have created. Indeed, if we treasure these values of tolerance, and freedom, and generosity towards the “other,” we owe it to ourselves and to the Muslims in our midst, to make this demand. Anything else, including the fantasy that this is not a problem, is cultural suicide.

And yet, so far, we are doing very badly, mostly because we avoid dealing with the problem.

Which brings us back to the “disconnect.” Our journalist and academic talking heads are subject to a different kind of Islamophobia: an inordinate fear of criticising Islam. And as a result they betray their own real constituencies, those of us committed to the rules civil polities. We cannot defend modern, tolerant, liberal political culture with such fearful people dominating the public sphere.

11 thoughts on “‘Journalist and academic talking heads are subject to an inordinate fear of criticising Islam’

  1. Hey, what’s there to worry about Muslims not integrating into non-Muslim European society? Give it enough time, multiculturalism, and political correctness by the Powers That Be and the European Muslims will integrate the non-Muslim (kufrs) into their European society. Its called dhimmitude and the non-Muslims become “protected” people, like those shopkeepers who are protected by the Mob. What’s there not to like? You’ll be free to be slaves and your grandchildren will curse you, or maybe not…they may convert to Islam to save their own skin.

  2. I’m liberal and I am not afraid to criticize anyone. Liberals questioned middle east cultural practices long before we invaded Iraq. The writers here want war with Iran, Syria, Palestine. Israel is at war–there are critics who both love Israel and oppose war. The anti-Islam writers won’t tolerate that! The FBI is eager to route out radicals and is successfully doing it. They help thoughts become action, which is chilling, but at least we haven’t had a mass murder since 2001. Are you here helping keep America safe, like the FBI? Or are you helping create another Timothy McVeigh?

    • @Anonymous

      Timothy McVeigh was a Liberal created by the radical Liberal Left Lunatics. The Shooter Loughtner in Tucson, Arizona; was a Liberal
      spewed out by the teachings of Bill Ayers, the radical Liberal Scum
      murderer friend of Obama, when Loughtner attended Mountain View School in Tuscon. Trash in , trash out.

      The writers here do not want war with anyone you idiot!!! They are exposing the demonic Islam.

      Daniel Pearl had your same type of brainwashing, goes over to hug up to the muzzies & got beheaded live on Youtube, so did the Berg

      We did nothing to these 7th century savage mass murdering madmen, other than they consider Westerners Infidels for which they wish to exterminate off the face of the earth. Nothing has changed with these vile , evil filth since 632 BC. They still behead their own wives, they marry little girls 5 yrs and younger, they kill their own children in the name of honor, practice pedophilia, & are nothing but evil through and through.

      You are a product of hopeless brainwashing trash and a complete loon. Get back on your meds and crawl back under your rock.

  3. Wonderful post. As a liberal journalist who regularly criticizes Islamic extremism and writes about the prevalence of the problem in Europe — and increasingly, in America – I am constantly frustrated by the efforts to paint any criticism of Islamism as “racist” and “Islamophobic” rather than a very real analysis of a very serious threat. The irony is: when people call those who describe radical Islam as threatening “Islamophobic,” what they are really saying is that they THEMSELVES believe that all Muslims are terrorists – because clearly, they don’t recognize the difference between Muslim terrorists and non-terrorists.
    The real hate comes from them .

  4. So…Journalists are fearful of reporting stories the Islamists don’t like. Is it safe to assume that there will be no coverage of the father in Libya who slit the throats of his 3 daughters who had been raped by Ghadaffi’s forces? Family honor, you see. It’s the culture.

    And they can’t spin this story into “sectarian conflict”.


  6. @ Anonymous: Typical liberal thinking, trying to say that we who are against Islamists forcing Sharia law on us are wanting to start a war with the Arab countries. The Conservatives are the ones who would be fighting any wars while the liberals sit home with one thumb in their mouth and one in their butt, waiting for a Muslim like Obama to say switch. I have been in a combat zone on more than one occasion. Israel is at war because Moslems want to drive them into the sea out of the lands that God gave them. To say that we haven’t had a mass murder since 2001 is pure idiocy. What would you call the mass murder at Fort Hood by a Muslim shouting Allah Akbar or the other one back east or the uncalled for murder of two Army Recruiters in Little Rock. Get your head out of that dark place it is in. “Those who cry appease, appease are hanged by those they tried to please” or in the case of Muslims, have their heads sawn off by a dull knife. “If the Arabs laid down their arms tomorrow and quit fighting, there would be no more wars. If the Israelis laid down their weapons tomorrow and quit fighting, there would be no more Israel.”

  7. I see islam as a cancer on society that has invaded every aspect of our lives. It is bound to win and cause the destruction of civilization simply by overwhelming birth rate financed by the wests obcession with love of children while islam consides each child a weapon. The intimidation has perverted our courts and law enforcement. Here in florida the Fatimah Abdallah DISHONOR murder is not being investigated as the officals have been cowed by islamic threats. The offical line that she commited suicide by repeatedly banging her head on a table is a little bit suspect.

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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