Fear and Loathing of Reality at ‘The Nation’

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Yet to read Bayoumi’s piece, you would think that concerns about Islam in America are utterly unfounded: he kvetches about the persistence of “the idea that American Muslim communities are foul nests of hatred, where dark-skinned men plot Arabic violence while combing one another’s beards” (thus neatly slipping in the obligatory implication that it’s all really just a matter of racism).  No, not every Muslim, American or otherwise, is a potential suicide bomber.  But that’s not the point.  Bayoumi quotes both the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security and the Rand Corporation as saying that the number of American Muslims involved in domestic terrorism has been “tiny.”  The Rand reference is apparently to this article, which states that fewer than a hundred American Muslims had “joined jihad.”  But to speak of “joining jihad” is to distort the very idea of jihad.  Jihad is a doctrine of cultural triumphalism of which overt terrorism is only the most conspicuous – and, frankly, the least worrisome – manifestation.  The countless Muslims throughout the West who jumped for joy on 9/11 are jihadists, too.  The members of Muslim student groups who show up at lectures en masse to shout down speakers about Islam are also engaging in jihad.   And men who write articles in which they systematically dismiss the very real threat that Islam poses to Western values are also engaged in jihad.  It is amusing, in a perverse way, that even as he is engaging in this kind of stealth jihad, Bayoumi mocks the term.

It is, indeed, cultural jihad, and not terrorism, that is by far the more significant problem before us.  Yet Bayoumi is at pains to remove the very idea of stealth jihad from the realm of serious discourse.  Anger over the Ground Zero mosque?  Sheer paranoia.  He is not about to address the notion that that building’s construction was, at best, an incredibly insensitive response to a massive act of violence in the name of the Islamic faith, and hence a sign of an alarming lack of shame, humility, and respect – and, at worst, an outrageous act of jihadist triumphalism.  He professes to find it “bizarre” that some Americans are unsettled by “Muslims filing for divorce” – entirely obscuring the fact that the source of concern, in these cases, is the well-nigh cartoonish scale of the inequality of men and women under sharia law.

Indeed, he entirely ignores Islam’s treatment of women.  And gays.  And Jews.  And its punishment for apostasy.  And so on.  He invites us to sympathize with the president of a college Islamic Society who “feels his rights to practice his religion and express his ideas has been compromised” by the NYPD’s surveillance of New York-area Muslim communities – no mention, naturally, of the unsavory background and connections of these campus hotbeds of radicalism.  Bayoumi has nothing to say about CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, which continues to be treated as a legitimate Muslim rights organization – a defender of “ordinary” Muslims – despite massive evidence to the contrary.  Nor does he mention the innumerable “ordinary” imams who have been paraded before us in the media since 9/11 as model moderates and staunch American patriots only to have been unmasked, one after another, as anything but.

On September 11, 2001, men who were acting in the name of Islam, and who were not misguided at all about the contents of their holy books, murdered thousands of people in New York City.  The NYPD, from what I gather, is acting responsibly to prevent other members of the Islamic faith from acting upon the same commandments and bringing about yet another horrific nightmare.  Muslims who want to demonstrate that they are indeed “ordinary” Americans who cherish American freedom and security should be applauding this effort and doing everything they can to support it.  As for The Nation– well, The Nation is The Nation.  What can you do?  It will, perhaps, be with us always, like rats in the New York subways.  The turning point in Christopher Hitchens’s career came, you may recall, when he finally realized that it was morally incumbent upon him to sever his longstanding ties with The Nation in order to retain his self-respect in the wake of 9/11.  If The Nation serves any purpose, perhaps it is to remind us just how twisted the left’s loyalties can be – and to impress upon us the colossal scale of the lies they are capable of perpetrating in the name of their repellent beliefs, and those of their ideological allies.

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  • Schlomotion

    A second hit piece on The Nation in just two days. So did Mr. Bawer and Mr. Spencer agree to both use the word "flagship?"

    • Anon

      Why do you come to this site? You have no life.

      • tagalog

        Stiil, it IS the second hit piece on The Nation in two days. The Nation deserves it no doubt, but the timing is noteworthy.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      What's the matter Schlocklotion? Is it "counter-revolutionary" to oppose Socialism?

      Well get used to it.

    • Sage on the Stage

      So what? How many hit pieces has The Nation done on other publications? Great article, Mr. Bawer…the truth…and plenty of it.

    • nightspore

      Schlomotion seems to think it necessary to say something (anything!) in response to the arguments presented in a given FPM article. In this way, he can make it seem like the arguments have been countered – at least in his own mind. The problem is that throwing out non sequiturs like the one above just serves to undermine his own position, at least for any reader who isn't already of the same persuasion – and probably many of those who are. (I know I'd be embarrassed if I were on his side of the fence.)

    • Anonymous

      The low-paid loser schlockINmotion has a great deal of time on his hands to devote to feeling bested by Jews, and to attempting to appear as though he knows anything at all. His life's energy will, in the future, prove to have been utterly wasted, with nothing – literally nothing – to show for his travails. Cheeky screeds typed into his computer keyboard will all have wafted away, and no one will even know he was ever here.

    • fnord

      In mr. Bawers logic, he is personally responsible for the murders of his fanboy Anders Behring Breivik.

    • poppakap

      Once again slomo blathers on about meaningless dribble instead of refuting or addressing the serious issues in the article. Typical troll obfuscation.

      So what if the anti-Nation scribes both agreed to use the term "flagship?" Big friggin' deal. That's one Everest-sized moehill slomo. As if the left doesn't do the same thing endlessly in order to communicate marching orders and talking points. I'm reminded of the weekend a few years ago when every socialist talking head from BSNBC to DailyKooks were all "concerned" that W didn't have the "gravitas" of Slick Willie. The Borg were singing in unison that Sunday.

      It would be comical if it weren't so predictable oh slow one.

    • elitist

      The Nation DESCRIBES ITSELF as the "flagship of the left."

      so it's not a conspiracy after all……

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

    Excellent summary by Bawer on the left's whitewash of Islam. Mr. Bawer, who once wrote for The Nation, knows the mindset well. And he knows they are closed-minded to his arguments. But there are those in the audience who are in the middle and we can reach them. Islam is inherently illiberal … so why do liberals cozy up to this creed? I'm looking forward to his book: "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind."

    • Russ

      "Islam is inherently illiberal … so why do liberals cozy up to this creed?"

      Because "liberals" are inherently illiberal; they are egalitarians, they see true American liberalism as an enemy (just like Islamists do), and the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      • steve

        It's mysterious, but not really. The champions of "Liberation" on the Left dislike, rather hate, the United States so thoroughly that although they are usually atheists they will side with theocratic psychopaths rather than show any support for the country protecting them.

        This should be all you have to know about the political Left in this country. Finally, they should know that if the jihadist's succeed, as in earlier revolutions the first to go will be those on the Left professing liberation. Ask Trotsky!

        • Oleg

          Trotsky never professed or advocated liberation, at least not while he had some authority in the Soviet government, he fully subscribed to the theories of revolution by terror every bit as much as Lenin and Stalin did, the only difference of opinion was the degree to which it should be used. The only reason he was driven into exile, and subsequently murdered by members of the American Communist party, was because he was a competitor against Stalin's monopoly on power, but in every other aspect it was really a matter of style rather then substance. It would be like comparing serial killers and saying that one was less evil then another because of body count.
          The other point you made is entirely true, those that dream of installing a totalitarian system, like the extreme left in Hollywood and in academia, believe that somehow they will be at the top of the pecking order when the "good guys" take over. Point in fact, they and the other radicals will be the first to have their property and wealth confiscated, be hauled off, and shot in the basement of the perverbial "Lubyanka" of the new regime. The muslim brotherhood factions would likely do the same, except on full public display in a soccer stadium.

  • StephenD

    Mr. Bawer, I have one point I disagree with. You said "No, not every Muslim, American or otherwise, is a potential suicide bomber."

    You are wrong. Just as you and I are one breath away from being a murderer but for conscious restraints we are not. In like manner, every Muslim IS a potential suicide bomber, more so if his/her beliefs conform to the very idea and negate that conscious restraint even further.

  • popseal

    Nation published "BLACKWATER", the hit piece against that security contracting company that I worked for. The book made the rounds at the sequestered site I was assigned and was considered rather amusing. To us on the inside of the company, at that Central Asian location, it was a telling exposure of just how untruthful the Katrina Vanden Huevel ilk can be. Now retired after 17 months on stations, I can only be grateful to the company for a chance to serve again in the cause of freedom. May the fleas of 1000 camels infest the crotches of the leftist cowards and parasites walking among us.

    • Schlomotion

      Blackwater? You mean that criminal organization that has to change its name every six months?

      • poppakap

        That slomo calls an American security company a criminal organization is all we need to know about his jihadist, anti-American worldview. Stalin couldn't have described slomo better than "useful idiot."

  • Maxie

    Criminal organization? No, you're confusing it with The Nation.

  • Ghostwriter

    Unfortunately,the people at "The Nation" aren't the only one out there who are blind. We have Schlomotion,one of our resident Jew haters,who peddles his rancid anti-semitism around like an old-time snake oil salesman.

    • Schlomotion

      Good for bursitis…
      Cuts and semitis…

      • gray man

        However, it apparently has no effect on mental retardation.

      • poppakap

        …and he fancies himself a writer. Seriously.

        I've read better prose on headstones and on the walls of my daughter's kindergarten class.

        Anyone care to guess the proportion of failed socialist writers that have clinical depression and/or anti-social ideations?

    • BS77

      Hey Ghost….Schlocko is an idiot, an arrogant Bill Maher type, with a smirk and a stupid mind….best to never respond to this fool.

  • el zopilote

    “What happens when ordinary life becomes grounds for suspicion without a hint of wrongdoing…?”
    Maybe Mr Bayoumi can clarify this comment. How about the ordinary Muslims in this country who
    cheered when the planes brought down the WTC?

  • clarespark

    The Nation was always weird. See http://clarespark.com/2009/09/19/populism-progres…. I spent half a year analyzing its coverage of the wild year 1919, and wrote about their top down "populism" here. It was shocking. They advised their readers to move sharply to the Left to co-opt the Socialist Party and the IWW (and feisty women too), which they feared as revolutionary parties. And there was more than a dollop of antisemitism in there too. Very Plato, very organic conservative, very gentlemanly..

  • clarespark

    On The Nation during the critical year of 1919, see http://clarespark.com/2009/09/19/populism-progres…. The title: Populism, Progressivism, and corporatist liberalism in The Nation, 1919." It is quite a revelation of the progressive mentality.

  • ArmedInfidel

    "The end justifies the means."

    The end is the destruction of the West, Capitalism, and Freedom.

    The means is….well, anything and everything, no matter how bad, how wrong, or how evil it may be. In this case it's lies and propaganda designed to convince people that our Islamic enemies are not really our enemies. Remember the Scorpion and the Frog? — "It is my nature" said the scorpion.

    It is their nature. No amount of propaganda will change that.

  • dysgenic

    It's the Jewish jihad on both Arabs and white gentiles that we should be worried about. Palestine is occupied and America is occupied by our common enemy. We whites need to stop fighting Arabs on behalf of Israel and form an alliance against Jewish domination.

    • BS77

      Better take something to cure your stupidity….but it may not be available.

    • Drakken

      Hey dummy, the Israelis are our friends, they are western civilization personified like we are, so get it through your shortbus special mind of those facts. If Israel goes we go next and I for one will side with the west, over the savages of the middle and far east any day and twice on Sunday.

      • dysgenic

        Hey DUMMY, Jews HATE western civilization and work continually to destroy it. That's a major part of what the "Left" (i.e., the Jews' left hand) is about. You're buying propaganda meant for the ignorant.

  • Western Spirit

    oooooh i'm afraid of the big bad jews who frequent this site. i lived with a big bad jew for years and he never raised a hand to me or hurt me in any way even though he was strong, in excellent shape and capable of great damage.

    so will you please explain to me dysgenic why we whites should be afraid of jews? jews who are also white. i think they are, on average, good people who came to my rescue when someone was trying to destroy me. until that time i hadn't known any jews but when i needed them they came out of the woodwork and became my champions. i think it was because they knew how persecution feels.

    • dysgenic

      A concise one-page listing of Jewish infamies against white America may be found at http://www.rense.com/general81/how.htm under the title “How Jewish Supremacism Is Destroying America.” It only scratches the surface. Much of it overlaps with a possible listing of leftist infamies. David Horowitz rarely discusses the historical predominance of Jews in the left, naturally enough, although he was a Jewish red-diaper baby himself (which he does discuss).

      • Ghostwriter

        And what have you been doing dysgenic? Reading "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" before you wrote that disgusting post? I had a quick look at your thing. I hated that as well. You've proven yourself to be another vile anti-semite who has no decency and has all the love and compassion of a cactus. In fact,why don't you hug a cactus and leave the rest of us alone?

  • http://www.lornasalzman.com Lorna Salzman

    The Nation refuses to accept a paid ad of my quiz "Are you an Islamophobe?" and publishes rot. I got pretty annoyed, and then said to myself: why should I expect anything different from The Nation? They have made their islamist apologias quite clear just as they do in all their authoritarian articles. This is hardly the only topic where The Nation is clueless. I stopped subscribing to it thirty years ago because it had no interest whatsoever in environmental issues, which are of major concern to me. (In fact neither does the right wing, but for different reasons, and that is where I part company from them). The Nation is free to print its gobbledygook and its uninformed readers are welcome to it. We can't look to the left to be honest or balanced. Ideology has always trumped the truth for the left in America. Let's comfort ourselves with knowing that The Nation and its readership is
    in the tiny minority and that its influence on public opinion and policy is essentially nil. They are not about to open
    their minds to the truth and there's nothing we can do about it. But at least we can tell them what we think; they did publish my comment on the Blumenthal article and it was not the only critical comment on their site. So not all their readers agree with them. That's a bit of comfort, as is the fact that there are some honest left wing writers who speak out: Nick Cohen in the UK, Bernard-Henri Levy and Pascal Bruckner in France, Paul Berman here (and the late Christopher Hitchens), for starters. Our big battle is not with the fellow travelers of totalitarianism but with the ordinary mass media who practice self censorship on Islamist oppression and violence. Free speech is what we need to uphold and press for, and we should understand that the more they rant and try to discredit us, the greater the impact we are having. For The Nation to publish a slew of pro Islamist articles attacking nonexistent "Islamophobia" means that we must be doing something right. The truth is coming out, everywhere, and they are
    scrambling to confront it. But people know what is going on. Their eyes and ears don't lie.

  • elitist

    I disagree with the blanket condemnation of The Nation.

    Incidentally, they have had at times excellent coverage of environmental issues – despite what one commentor here asserts.

    their Islamophobia issue, however, an instance of insanity.

    I have been blocked permanently from commenting on the online edition of The Nation for my comments concerning Islam.

    Nonetheless, it is encouraging that they have received a deluge of angry mail from readers and subscribers who disagree with their kowtowing to the Muslim brotherhood.

    Just as many conservatives disagree with some of the more insane positions of mainstream conservatives (the most grotesque being the worship of bloated, corrupt, inefficient, environmentally destructive corporations that should simply be dissolved altogether and replaced by smaller enterprises), there are many progressives who disagree with much of the orthodoxy.

    Many progressives, for example, are jumping ship because of the palpable insanity of the left's open borders policies, but they have nowhere else to go, since the Republican Party is just as pro-open borders as anarchists or communists!!!

    Just as many conservative publications are fronts for bloated corporations who subvert good governance by bribing corrupt politicians, some progressive publications – and quite a few conservative ones as well, not to mention universities etc. – are now accepting funding from Saudi Arabia, the Muslim brotherhood and its front organizations etc..

    My question is:

    has The Nation too accepted jihadi money?

    It would go a long way toward explaining their same decision to run with the fraudulent Islamophobia issue.