Friday, November 17, 2006

Salman Rushdie: The Will to Win

He lives on the political left and we have our disagreements with him, but in this extraordinary exchange published at FrontPage Magazine, author Salmon Rushdie (who also lives with a fatwa on his head) delivers a powerful argument for eternal vigilance against the creeping encroachment of Islamist coercion. While rightly opposing discrimination against the individual, he eloquently defends the right, perhap even indeed the obligation of every freedom loving person to be “Islamophobic.” He describes “Islamophobia” as a legitimate and necessary fear of Islam not as a religion but as an ideology in the political sense (if such a seperation is possible), which radicals are seeking to impose on others through force and the spread of fear. Indeed “political Islam” should be feared and resisted wherever possible. It is a long, but an absolute must read. A Few Samples:

"...I think, you know, Islamophobia is also a victimless crime because it must be in any free society OK to be as open as you want to be about your dislike of a set of ideas. I mean otherwise it becomes impossible to think. It becomes impossible to have any kind of interchange of thought in a society if you’re told that there are ideas which are off-limits. If you take that further into discrimination against or prejudice towards individuals, that’s another matter. You obviously need to protect individuals against prejudice but you can’t ring fence their ideas, and that’s what seems to me why terms like that, you’re not allowed to say “Islamofascist” either because, of course, no Muslims are fascists, as we know.

I suppose one has to mention the Danish cartoons. I ran into a young journalist at a party in New York working for a small New York magazine who said that he’d been obliged to quit his job because his proprietor refused to publish the cartoons because he was worried about his offices getting bombed. And this kind of cravenness was worldwide. And the name that the cravenness was given was respect. When people said that they didn’t publish them out of respect for Muslims, what they meant is they didn’t publish them because they were afraid of their offices getting bombed.
And when you create that kind of a climate of fear, when you concede, you give in to that kind of intimidation, you don’t as a result have less intimidation. I mean as a result you have more intimidation."
Netherlands to propose burqa ban
Israel developing anti-militant "bionic hornet"

"Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."

I can tell you what it is not about. Not about Israel, not about Iraq, not about Afghanistan. They are mere excuses. Algerian Muslim fundamentalists murdered 150,000 other Algerian Muslims, sometimes slitting the throats of children in front of their parents. Are you seriously telling me that this was because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians or American foreign policy?"

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