How to Attack the Critics of Islam: A Primer

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Joignot serves up plenty more in this vein, noting, for instance, that a number of writers – he names Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Melanie Phillips, Mark Steyn, and me (what an honor, incidentally, to be named in such company!) – depict “a conquering, authoritarian Islam invading Europe.” Joignot sneers at Oriana Fallaci, calls Christopher Caldwell’s book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe “the bible of the New Right,” and cites Caldwell’s alarming demographic predictions about Europe only to dismiss them with a wave of the hand: “a number of studies from different countries dispute these figures…..All the predictions of a Muslim-majority Europe (‘Eurabia’) are unfounded.”  The mathematical illiteracy of supposedly educated people never ceases to amaze.

Also included in Joignot’s piece is something that is now a de rigueur element of such articles: the claim that the writings of these critics of Islam led directly to the mass murders committed by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway last July.  (Interestingly, while Joignot paints the bloodthirsty Breivik as a disciple of writers none of whom have advocated violence, he depicts Mohamed Merah, whose child murders in Toulouse a few months ago were in perfect accord with the directives of his own favorite book, as a psychiatric case, a “lone wolf,” and not a jihadist.)

Joignot further quotes anthropologist Malek Chebel, who complains that “Caldwell and Le Pen are silent on the thousands of educated Muslims, executives, doctors, engineers, political activists and trade union, students” – as if being any of these things and being a jihadist (violent or stealth) were mutually exclusive.  Joignot quotes more from Chebel: “Most Muslim countries in the Asian region…live out a peaceful Islam….I also see examples everywhere of harmonious modernization.”  In a world of Twitter and Skype, Chebel insists, bullies and demagogues can no longer gain power.  What to say about words so totally unhinged from present reality?

But this is precisely Joignot’s argument: that “a vast majority” of young Muslims in Europe “want to promote an open Islam.”   To the extent that Joignot acknowledges the grim reality of Islam in Europe, it is to blame it on others or to focus on its alleged “exploitation” by the supposedly dark forces of the “extreme right.”  If there is Islamic violence in Europe, for example, it’s because “young Muslims” are reacting to “unemployment, racism, and poverty.”  Yes, perhaps Islam is rough on gays and women, but what matters is that “the way in which women and homosexuals are treated by some Muslims – homophobia wins in the suburbs – is…exploited by the extreme right.”  “Exploited”!  Thus does Joignot cavalierly dismiss the seriousness of Islam’s treatment of women and gays.  (He doesn’t even dare, I guess, to mention its treatment of Jews.)

I didn’t know who Frédéric Joignot is, so I looked him up: he’s the author of a bunch of novels, essay collections, plays, and screenplays; for several years before becoming a reporter at Le Monde in 2002, he was the cultural editor of the far-left newspaper Libération.  This, I’ve discovered, is a not uncommon career trajectory for journalists in Europe: start out at some far-left (or even explicitly Communist) rag, and work your way up to the “newspaper of record” – all the while keeping your ideology perfectly intact.

As is often the case, the only cheering thing about Joignot’s article was the reader comments.  The first two said pretty much all that needed to be said.  The first pointed out that if “Islamophobia” is gaining ground, it’s “because Islam is gaining ground.” And the second read, in part: “it is the religion of Islam that is truly phobic: afraid of female seduction, afraid of alcohol, pork, the representation of the human body, etc.”  How striking that, when it comes to reporting on Islam nowadays, it’s almost always left to the readers to supply the obvious truths around which the so-called journalists have been so desperately dancing.

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  • Snorbak

    How to attack critics of Islam eh? Here is some criticism, so feel free to attack away.
    Throughout the ages, everywhere that Islam has stamped its rotten feet, violence & misery has surely followed.
    So, if Islam truly is the way forward, a beacon within a corrupt world & truly peaceful in its intent, as is often claimed, let’s examine some prominent Islamic states so we can verify this to be the case.
    Let’s start with Egypt; ah, nope, just had a coup & popular revolt & still very unstable, so not a good example to start with.
    What about, Libya, opps, no again same problem as with Egypt except the people ended up shooting their leader.
    Lebanon maybe, the only Christian country in the Middle East that Islam showed (violently) who’s boss, so I don’t think it’s a good example either.
    I know…… Iraq, oh…..bugger I forgot, the US & its allies just levelled that country, not really Iraq’s fault in my opinion, but it has since descended into a “free for all” for rival Islamic factions determined to kill all who don’t agree with them, including each other.
    How about…… Iran; no again, there ploughing headfirst into nuclear oblivion, hell bent on “wiping Israel off the map” (their words) & whilst also desiring to give Saudi Arabia a dose of nuclear medicine. (Empires never forget past glory)
    Syria…..well, given that they are currently part way through the process of wiping their own people off the map, I would have to say that’s a resounding no.
    Maybe we should look further south, Yemen maybe? Ah yes paradise on earth, a model state of tolerance..…as if!
    What if we look to the East to…….Afghanistan, a country where women have fewer rights than dogs. Now there’s a model state if ever I saw one, providing of course that it’s failed.
    Pakistan maybe? Given their recent questionable actions towards western governments involved in Afghanistan & their ongoing “friendship” with the US, a supposed ally,……no.
    What about the non state, Gaza; well Hamas & co are still teaching children the art of war, killing all who oppose them & launching rockets into Israel on almost a daily basis as part of their ongoing attempt to “wipe Israel of the map”, so I don’t think so.
    Maybe Saudi Arabia, from the outside it seems fine but, behind the scenes they are quietly going about their business stoning women for adultery, hanging homosexuals, chopping off the alternate hands & feet of thieves & beheading apostates & to think, by many, they are considered a civilised society.
    So much upheaval & violence within states, whereby the ruling theocracies, are adherents to the religion of peace.
    Makes it kind of difficult for a mere infidel to see anything peaceful regarding Islam or for that matter to know who the true Muslims are, when they can’t even agree themselves. The Sunni believe that the Shia are apostates & therefore should be put to death whilst the Shia believe that the Sunni are apostates & therefore should be put to death.
    One thing I can be certain of is though; show me a “moderate” Muslim & I will show you an apostate who, under Islamic law, should be put to death.
    Islam, the religion of peace, whereby its guidelines read like a rulebook for hate & war. In fact, nowhere in the Koran will you find the word LOVE. Odd for a religion that its followers say is peaceful.
    Islam, the Religion of Violence™, teaching hatred since 610CE.
    A dose of Irony anyone?

    • StephenD

      Very well said indeed. I would that everyone read this. So that you know, I intend to copy and save your response because of its succinct approximation of where the world now stands. I will share this with all who make an attempt at moral equivalence. Thank you for posting this response.

      • Snorbak

        I saw the title of the article & after reading same thought this needs to be corrected.
        I could have gone further but I think I have made my point.
        Thanks for the response.

        • mlcblog

          I knew it had to be satire.

      • Beth

        I agree with Stephen Snorbak "Very well said" and I also made a copy of your post and will re-post it when I see the need to do so… the name Sorbak the credit, of course (I hope that is ok with you).

        • Snorbak

          All good, no credit req'd, just expressing my opinion as I see it

    • Beagle

      Islam ipsa loquitur.

      Great points. Probably like many Americans I learned about Islam slowly after Iran's national slogan became "Death to America!" It's actually comical to watch the media spin furiously for Islam at this point. The silly juxtaposition of a journalist obviously ignoring reality while a plot is foiled in Denmark and more bombs go off in Yemen and Kenya.

      Which obviously have nothing in common other than "unemployment, racism, and poverty." To suggest otherwise is just rightwing Islamophobia. Yadda…yadda…yadda…

      It's just so absurd at this point.

    • Beth

      "The tree is known by its fruit".

    • Captain America

      A radical muslim builds bombs in the basement; a moderate muslim denies there is a basement.
      P.S. Just read Robert spencer's excellent new book: Did Muhammed Exist? An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure origins". Islam is nothing more than an offshoot of Christianity; It is a form of Christianity without Trinitarian theology. Christ is a created being, but not the son of God, just a servant & His messenger.

  • H&R_ Barack

    Alinsky's Rule 12: Destroy the Individual

    RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
    ~ Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

    The "the politics of personal destruction," is Alinsky's refined incarnation of Marxist, Hegelian tactics. It is intended to steer the Leftist political arena du jour.

    The real abomination is that "the politics of personal destruction," is a false accusation dialectically hurled at the Right. – No matter what the issue, the invisible dialectic aims to control both the conflict and the resolution of differences, and leads everyone involved into a new cycle of conflicts.

  • Pete

    The French intelligentsia are simply insane.

    • Aaron

      The french intelligentsia is not crazy but contaminated by AIDS socialism-communism, for a long time, may be since 1981;

  • BS77

    The French are standing around watching their country being destroyed while they continue to chat about the weather, eat a croissant and shrug in helpless impotence.

    • Snorbak

      That just about sums it up

    • flyingtiger

      The French are not shrugging in helpless impotence. If they speak out, they will be arrested for their version of hate crimes. To vote for Le Pen is an act of defiance. Americans are the one shrugging in impotence. Read about the person Nancy Pelosi hired in an article on Front Page today. Protest against that!

  • Richard Garyson

    I like the last part the best, because it so accurate. Whenever a dhimmi journalist writes a fluff piece on Islam or a scourging of "islamophobes," an increasingly learned public sets the record straight in the comments section. A few Muslims and leftists will often try to rally in defense of Islam or at least in offense against Christianity and Western Civilization. However, in the end, Muhammad's own canonical murderous and perverted exploits and history of 1,400 years of jihad are too much for even the most ardent apologist to overcome. And now that Robert Spencer has made ahistoric nature of Muhammad accessible to the layman, I expect even more righteous ridicule of Islam and of its mythical founder to make its way to the message board. To think that people are willing to die and kill for a cartoon of an imaginary Arab. It would be like Norwegians slaughtering comic fanboys for reading Thor comics, or like Greeks killing over shows like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

  • No Dhimmi traitor

    It's unbelievable.

    According to these sleazy liars and hypocrites, Breivik was inspired to violence by UTTERLY NON-VIOLENT writings criticizing Islam, but no Muslim has ever been inspired to violence by the UTTERLY VIOLENT writings of the Koran!

    What a bunch of foul traitors to humanity.

    Breivik himself said he was inspired to violence by AL QAEDA, but don't let the facts get in your way.

  • Schlomotion

    I suppose that when you put experts' areas of expertise in quotation marks they cease to be experts.

    • curmudgeon

      no. it means they never were experts.

      • Schlomotion

        In his opinion it does. But does Mr. Bawer possess adequate expertise to nullify the expertise of these others? Or is this just a mandarin fight?

        • Beth

          Taught in the Koran…

          Mass Murder……………………………009.005 – 033.061
          Gang Rape (of female 'infidels')……033.052
          Telling lies to non-muslims………….003.028
          Cutting off hands and feet…………..005.033

          That's all the proof I need – 'slow'

          • Schlomotion

            I think Christians lost the religion debate in 1999 when the much announced Second Coming failed to happen and then the Catholic Church collapsed under child endangerment lawsuits. That's if you don't count when they lost the debate with Copernicus.

          • Drakken

            So you side with the islamist in the hope they purge you last? Your living proof that liberalism is a mental disorder.

          • Schlomotion

            No, actually, I am not siding with Islamists at all, but too much gaming gives you binary logic.

          • Snorbak

            A big part of the problem is that Christian teaching & principals are being eroded from within by the inclusion of heretical teachings of fringe groups & to a large extent from the Catholic church.
            After all it needs to be appealing to the masses & move with the times.

          • Beth

            What EXACTLY does your reply have to do with those actual teachings of the koran? teachings that are illegal in the U.S. (And BTW, what do the criminal actions of others have to do with the teachings of the New Testament?)

            With a reply like the one you gave schlo – it means only one thing: you have nothing. You have absolutely no defense. This is the argument that none of you can ever win….for your koran has already spoken.

            It also means you have a criminal heart. Those teachings of the koran are pure evil….and you continually defend them.

  • PDK

    France falls to Islam in 2040.

    • Drakken

      There will be a full revolt by the native Europeans very soon and their Govts are not going to be able to stop it, think the Balkans on steroids.

      • No Dhimmi traitor

        We can only hope. I don't think Europe has the stomach for another bloody war. The Europeans are so full of self-loathing and so enchanted by the ignoble savages they will probably lie down and die.

    • Aaron

      C'est pour cette raison que vous, citoyens des USA devaient prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour éviter le même problème, cela veut dire :
      1/ Interdiction de tout le territoire aux muslims;
      2/rejet de toutes demandes de naturalisation ou de "green card".
      3/Mise en place de lois spéciales pour ces mêmes personnes avec expulsion systématique dès leur sortie de prison; peines complémentaires automatiques : déchéance de la nationalité et confiscation de leurs avoirs.

  • Looking4Sanity

    Where is the line between National patriotism and National Soc-ialism (Nazi fascism)?

    To hear the idiots on the Left, there is no dividing line. Ironically, National Soc-ialism/ fascism is a far left ideology whereas pride in, and a desire to protect, your home country's sovereignty is a uniquely conservative (if not right of center) quality…but the Leftists of America insist on labeling America's greatest patriots as "Nazis".

    But, then…the Left has a huge projection problem. They are constantly trying to change the plain meaning of words and accusing others of what they themselves are guilty of.

    Until we get in the resolute habit of calling "BS!" every time they pull this stunt, we are destined to continue enduring this idiocy.

    • Snorbak

      Plain talking, your kidding right? If you tell the truth or state a fact you may offend some poor bugger, better to tell a lie & keep em in blissful ignorance.
      The irony of my above comment will surely be lost to the Left.

  • Ghostwriter

    This weekend,I heard on C-SPAN 2 about a guy named John Feffer. He wrote a book called "The Crusades 2.0." Basically,it's another book in which Islam is portrayed as a great religion while those who oppose it are knuckle-dragging barbarians. What do you guys think about that?

    • Drakken

      The point will be academic very soon, the native Euros are growing restless and the coming Crusades on steroids won't be stopped, the Balkans was just an opening act.

    • Aaron

      Islam is not a great religion; it's a dangerous ideology which mixt civil and religious life.
      This ideology was born AFTER judaism and christianism; it took some parts of eaches, mixted them.
      to-day it's only a barbarian religion which denied all rights to people who are not muslims.

  • Beth

    What do I think?… (great question Ghostwriter)

    I think everyone should mail a copy of these facts to C-SPAN:

    Taught in the Koran…

    Mass Murder……………………………009.005 – 033.061
    Gang Rape (of female 'infidels')……033.052
    Telling lies to non-muslims………….003.028
    Cutting off hands and feet…………..005.033

    ….and then ask those at C-SPAN how they feel about their family members (especially their children) living in such a society.

  • Drakken

    The more the left/progressives/marixist try to silence the majorities voices, the next thing they will hear is the sound of rifles. I do believe we have now reached the tipping point and it is only a matter of time before some craven act by the muslims is met with the full rage of the Europeans.

    • Schlomotion

      "the full rage of the Europeans"

      Heaven help us.

  • Koszule Męskie

    Amazing. Islam is a religion and it is no more harmful than christianity. I think if Muslims invaded christian country, the christians would go terrorism just like any other religion would command.

    • Snorbak

      After reading you comment, I would suggest that you need to think less, read more & become better informed. A good place to start would be the Bible & the Koran for a direct comparison of their fundamental doctrines.
      A recent example denying your claim was the Islamic invasion of the only Christian country in the middle East, Lebanon. The Islamic take over of many African states provide yet further examples refuting your ultimately silly comment.
      You have a profound ignorance regarding Islamic ideals & aspirations, yet this could be easily rectified with an open mind & recognizing the reality of what Islam is.

      • joe

        Every country muslims are in were invaded by them.Every country was taken by mass violence ,terrorism ,intimidation and forced conversions.

        There are no Christian nations.Christians are not intolerant ,brutal,mass murderers who force people to follow a single religion and only muslim countries use religion as a political tool to subjugate,demoralize and control the population .

        Even Israel ,considered the Jewish nation, is only 71% Jewish .They are not seething bigoted totalitarians that pass laws and murder to eliminate other races or religions.

        Simply look at the census of every city,state and country muslims invaded.

  • Axe

    "The mathematical illiteracy of supposedly educated people never ceases to amaze."

    I'm not sure you needed "mathematical."

  • http://N/a Mohamed sheikh

    You are enemy of God,the Almighty,a lier whose claims are baseless.islam is undoubtably the only religion of peace we have on nut shell for you u have shown your arrogancy to extent beyond description,it is my advice not to post comment if you are not acquitted with what you are talking about.kindly take your time in understanding before you rush,besides you are the type of people who dont understand the purporse of his existance on earth, when in real sence one day every man would be held accountable for his or her action,to conclude sit down and analyse the very best reason underlying your creation and where you would be after death before i allow you another opportunity to respond to your article,get to what you are