Muslim Victim Chic

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


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This, then, is the novel out of which Mira Nair has fashioned a motion picture in which Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson agreed to act.  Simply put, the book is a loathsome piece of work.  Hamid, whose writing teachers at Princeton reportedly included Toni Morrison and Joyce Carol Oates, places no critical distance whatsoever between himself and Changez.  Nothing in the text suggests that Hamid disapproves of Changez’s benign picture of Pakistani society or his view of the Taliban as “friends” of Pakistan.  One plainly unintended moral here is that the more generous America is to certain foreigners, the more they’ll hate America for it; another is that that that intelligent, polite, clean-shaven young Ivy Leaguer from the Muslim world who seems so thoroughly Westernized may, in fact, be secretly cheering for America’s destruction.

Durra professes to feel at home everywhere; Hamid, like Changez, has said that he feels at home nowhere.  Nonetheless there are significant continuities. Both are plainly fond of life in Western world cities: while Durra recently moved from New York to London, Hamid, unlike Changez, “now divides his time between Pakistan and abroad, living between Lahore, New York, London, and Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece.”  Thanks to Western freedoms, Durra and Hamid, like many others with Muslim backgrounds, have been able to pursue careers and lead lives of a sort that would be denied them, or that would put them in grave danger, in most of the Islamic world; the only downer is the embarrassment they feel among their upper-crust Western compeers every time something happens to remind everybody of the primitivism and brutality of that world.  That embarrassment breeds a powerful defensiveness which renders them constitutionally incapable of giving the West, especially America, the credit it’s due – unwilling to put any ideological distance at all between themselves and the totalitarian thugs in places like Beirut and Lahore who would stone them to death for doing any number of the things they do on a regular basis.

Are they on America’s side in the war against jihadism?  Both Durra and Hamid belong to a breed of narcissistic, self-consciously cool young jet setters, the sophisticated progeny of the Islamic world’s privileged classes, who would be likely to dismiss such a question as vulgar, ill-informed, lacking in nuance – in short, uncool.  Or who would reply with some comment about American aggression, the implication being that Islamic violence is purely reactive, or about the disparity between Western wealth and Muslim poverty, the implication being that Islamic violence is purely a response to economic injustices caused by Western capitalism.  Reading Hamid’s book, however, one cannot help reflecting that while the standard liberal move is to attribute jihadism to poverty, what’s striking is how many perpetrators of Muslim violence have indeed, like Changez, been affluent beneficiaries of the West’s bounty.

Hamid’s book made the New York Times bestseller list, and Nair’s celluloid adaptation, which was praised by critics who saw it in Venice, is already being embraced by the bien pensant crowd; the latest news is that it will open this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.  Whether it will reach a wide audience remains to be seen – but countless young readers, as it happens, have already been force-fed the novel’s twisted picture of reality.  In the five years since Hamid’s book first came out, several U.S. colleges, including Tulane and Georgetown, have made it required reading for incoming freshman, who, during their first days on campus, are presumably expected to participate in teacher-led “discussions” of its deeper meanings.  The reason why Hamid’s book is so popular for these purposes is obvious: it’s an ideal tool for faculty-lounge America-bashers and jihad apologists who are eager to get started brainwashing their little charges.  Alas, given the kind of reception these morally bankrupt works have received, it’s a good bet that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this sort of swill in the months and years come – for while the overwhelming majority of authors and directors today, as we know, may be scared to tell the truth about Islam, a great many of them have no compunctions whatsoever about recycling fashionable lies.

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  • fred dawes

    total normal in a nut house like that hope some god wll get tht ass.

  • Chris

    Nice review Bruce, it's good to see someone with a clear mind speaking out. I've met these sort of people on 'development' project and their Western supporters, bashing the West and making banal excuses for excesses of savages. Frankly it all turns my stomach. When reality catches up with this lot it won't be pretty.

  • Diann

    These stories are all part of the 'creeping jihad', like the lobster gently going to sleep in a pot of warm water, which slowly turns hot and kills him. We are being sedated – later to be slaughtered by agents of the Islamist agenda. We are naiive enough to give financial aid and preference to those who despise us and our way of life. Why don't we just tell them to go live in a country where their ways are comfortable and acceptable? But they won't. The bigger picture is the 3rd Jihad which is Islamic global conquest, and they are unfortunately right on target. A vote for Obama will more quickly usher in our demise. I would so love to be wrong about all of this….

    • BS77

      as it was said in The Fly, Be Afraid, be very afraid.

  • marios

    Obama is Muslims Brotherhood (MB) proxy. During Obama Cairo speech MB members occupied the first rows there. Soon "Arabs spring" brought MB into power in Egypt. BHO triggered all those Islamists revolution in the ME. He as devoted Muslim us taqiyya (deception) to promote Islam. What is in article just confirm his policy to change our country to " the biggest Muslims country" as he characterize US in that Cairo speech. G-d help us to get new Pres Mitt Romney in Nov.

    • curmudgeon

      it wont help. what the democrats do out of sheer america-hatred, the republicans do out of sheer stupidity. remember, it wasnt our current muslim in chief who declared islam a great "religion of peace". it was the dam fool george w bush. it wasnt our muslim loving america hating current criminal in the white house who threw away the best opportunity we ever had to do the right thing and expell our hate filled muslim invaders from our country–it was the fool-in-chief george w bush. although their motives are different–and who knows what the republicans' motive is to invite and coddle anti-american invaders–the result of republican and democratic administrations is always the same–more destruction of america.

  • Howard-Beale

    .
    ………"MUSLIM-CHIC" is an OXYMORON.

  • oldtimer

    Chic: elegantly ,stylishly fashionable….Burkas, hijabs, ski masks, and so on…..

  • Marty

    It's a pity that we have to tolerate distortions and lies about genocidal sociopaths inspired by a book authored by a pedophile and lunatic that has more hatred of Jews and more deaths overall than mein kampf. We must all fight back as much as our abilities allow. My students will soon be reading books by Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Nonie Darwish, and Ibn Warraq. We can be confident that no one will bring their writings to the big screen anytime soon. Pity. Courageous people such as the aforementioned as well as Irshad Manji and Geert Wilders would make for interesting stories. Of course, the daily death threats they received from peaceful muslims would get a bit tedious for most audiences.

    • Sunbeam

      Islam not only posed a threat to individuals who expose its evilness and truth but also is a threat to world's goodwill society.. Wherever they reside be it in their own homeland or in their adopted country it is not save to live with them as most of them are unpredictable and untrustworthy. Their mentality are more prone to aggressiveness than patience and tolerance. They are a wild people who refuse reason and logic. God foretold from the beginning that Ishmael is a wild man (living a rebellious life) and that his hand will be upon everybody, and everybody's hand will be upon him. We see this prophecy fulfilled today in this time. Islam is a deception created by Satan to war against God and His subjects which is the church.

  • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ Porky’s2istan

    Lots of people live in their own little fantasy worlds. Right wing Christians think that not having sex education, or access to birth control (including abortion) will stop underage sex. And yet they just can’t figure out why there’s an epidemic of venereal disease, pregnancy, and out of wedlock births. It’s obviously not because teenagers are having sex. right? Or how about the fantasy that if we just cut taxes for the top 1% even more we will all live in a free market wonderland, because the Laugher Curve is the word of god.

    Just wanted to point out that NOT having a reality based policy always leads to ruin no matter what side you are on. While the right’s fantasy world will just make America suck, the left’s fantasy world (about islam at least) may make America end.

    • poppakap

      …and you apparently live in your own. Who doesn't have access to birth control Porky? Who can't get abortions? When was the last time you found independently, peer-reviewed data that showed sex education reduced teenage pregnancies? Fantasy world indeed.

      Here's a suggestion; lay off the red kool-aid and MSNBC. It'll help keep you from sounding like a 10 year old.

    • fmobler

      Those you so charitably call "Right wing Christians" do not think that not having sex ed will stop underage sex. They seem to believe that sex education that affirms sex as being bound up in our moral lives will help. The data says they are right about that, though perhaps not as much as they would like. They also have a healthy distrust of educationists to actually deliver anything except a lesson in mechanics. Also, I have never heard a Christian wonder about the epidemic of VD, etc., at least not recently. That's because all those measures are falling. It is the left that says silly things about the dire consequences of encouraging young folks to resist peer pressure.

      As for abortion, I am pretty sure that aborting a child does not undo the sex. It does, however, dispose of an undesirable person. Christians certainly don't oppose abortion because they think abortion causes teen pregnacy. They oppose it because they think snuffing is snuffing.

      Laffer (I did catch that clever word play of yours) is completely uncontroversial in classical economics. Crack a book that explains supply/demand curves sometime. The controversy is only to do with where you believe we are on the curve, not the basic idea of the curve itself. Reasonable people can read the poor data we have differently. In fact, I think that you and I would agree that low rates on capital gains is bad idea. But our agreement would be an accident because you seem to believe all sorts of silly things. So agreement with you is about as reliable as agreement with a policy based on goat entrails.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        I prefer a Right Wing Christian to a Left Wing "Christian".

        To a Left Wing "Christian", their savior is Karl Marx/Lenin/Stalin/Castro/Che.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      When I see posts like this, I always wonder how America could have possibly survived in its first 190 years WITHOUT baby murder and sexual promiscuity.
      (sarc)

      • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com Porky's2istan

        All this work to address four people, but I'll try.

        Q: Who doesn't have access to birth control.

        A: Access to birth control (and information about birth control) is increasingly becoming difficult. This is doubly true for poor and/or very young women. Most birth control for poor people comes from publicly subsidized health centres. Every time the Christo/Republicans get a chance they cut funding for these. They even vociferously opposed the requirement that all health insurers cover birth control as well, thus screwing even middle class women.

        Q: Who can't get abortions?

        A: Poor women, young women, and most women in the southeast. The Christo/Republicans successfully ended all public funding of abortions. I HAVE to pay for YOUR wars (which often murder innocents), I HAVE to pay YOUR war on drugs which I consider utterly immoral. I HAVE to pay for a whole slew of unethical and immoral things that this government does, but somehow YOU don't have to pay for abortions for poor women. Again, every time the Christo/Republicans get a chance they try to turn women into baby making chattel (EXACTLY LIKE MUSLIMS DO NOW). Parental notification laws for underage girls take away her CHOICE and give it to her parents. Finally, the systematic assault on abortion, birth control, and family planning has actually severely limited their availability in the southeast. This is partially from anti-abortion terrorism, and mostly from a near constant assault by Republican state legislaters. In many areas of the southeast a woman must trave l200 miles or more for a legal abortion (which both the state and her insurance won't pay for).

        Q: When was the last time you found independently, peer-reviewed data that showed sex education reduced teenage pregnancies?

        A: EVERYWHERE. If you can't find it then you are a self deluded moron. Try the real independent medical journals, and not something written by a phoney Christian hack. What has been absolutely PROVEN is that 'abstinence only' UTTERLY FAILS. There's nothing wrong with including abstinence as the first (but not only) course in avoiding teenage pregnancy and VD, but sex education must include everything. When Bush tied his AIDS funding in Africa to 'abstinence only' education there, the whole world laughed at us. In that moment, for a brief time, we outdid Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in stupidity.

        Q: Here's a suggestion; lay off the red kool-aid and MSNBC.

        A: I don't watch MSNBC or ANY news on the television. I don't read huffpo or any other liberal blog unless it's linked from thereligionofpeace.com.

        • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com Porky's2istan

          Q: They also have a healthy distrust of educationists to actually deliver anything except a lesson in mechanics.

          A: That's what education does. It tries to deliver facts (except in Kansas where creation is taught as as an alternative). Republicans always say, "government is incapable of doing anything right," and when they are elected they do their damnedest to make it true. It's YOUR job to talk about MORALS. It's the STATES job to talk about FACTS. If you don't want abortions or premarital sex, then teach your children that those are immoral. Hopefully they will listen to (and believe) you. If they can't resist 100 million years of selective hornyness, then it's the states job to deal with the reality (at least in Democratic states).

          Q: As for abortion, I am pretty sure that aborting a child does not undo the sex. It does, however, dispose of an undesirable person. Christians certainly don't oppose abortion because they think abortion causes teen pregnacy. They oppose it because they think snuffing is snuffing.

          A: I would be more amenable to this thinking if more Christians were actually 'Christ like'. It seems the same people who so rabidly oppose abortion could care less about poor teenage mothers, or helping the poor or the meek any way whatsoever. Then when when that child invariably grows up to be a criminal you all dance like ghouls for the death penalty (even for children and the retarded). This is the behaviour one would expect from muslims. I will never give up my pro choice stance but if more Christians were 'Christ like' I could at least respect them. It sickens me that a secular, humanist, atheist (like myself) is more like Jesus than most hate filled right wing Christians. If our judgment in the afterlife is based on what we do then I'm all set, and most right wing Christians are screwed. If it's base on what we believe then I'm boned, but I wouldn't want to go to a 'heaven' filled with people like that anyway.

          Q: Laffer (I did catch that clever word play of yours) is completely uncontroversial in classical economics. Crack a book that explains supply/demand curves sometime. The controversy is only to do with where you believe we are on the curve, not the basic idea of the curve itself. Reasonable people can read the poor data we have differently. In fact, I think that you and I would agree that low rates on capital gains is bad idea. But our agreement would be an accident because you seem to believe all sorts of silly things.

          A: If you do any real research about the Laffer Curve you quickly realize that it is only reliably accurate at the extrema. That is, only at very high (80%+) tax rates and at very low (10%-) tax rates. It's intuitive to interpolate the (accurate) ends into an inverted parabola (not a bell). But intuition and 'truthyness' are not facts. Many inside jokes in economic circles put various things in the middle of the curve, like squiggly lines or unicorns.

          As a side note about top tax rates; I would like to say that cutting taxes for the rich will create jobs. This is technically true. It was probably in actually (more) true 50 years ago when equity markets where not so fluid and international, but now, every dollar a (very) rich person doesn't pay in taxes he invests in DEVELOPING countries. Why would anybody invest in America when they can invest in a third world hell hole. A place where there are no civil rights, no environmental laws, and if you try to form a labour union they take you outside and shoot you. Americans can't compete against slaves (including illegal immigrants), but investment markets love them.

          Of course none of this helps America. We lose the jobs, and then we lose even more jobs when those slave products compete with domestics via 'free trade'. Raising taxes on the rich however keeps the money 'at home'. Weather the government spends it on goods and salaries HERE, or just lowers the tax rates on the middle class (who spend that money HERE), it helps US, and not some tin pot dictator. I millionaire once said, "If you give me an extra million dollars I might by another car, but if you give 1000 families 1000 dollars each they will buy HUNDREDS of cars, and wash machines, and vacations, and clothes, and food…"; And all that spending will be HERE.

          Q: So agreement with you is about as reliable as agreement with a policy based on goat entrails.

          A: That's actually really funny, (although haruspicy is no more ridiculous than any other illogical religious practice).

          • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

            Wow, you have a lot to say.
            Interesting

        • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com Porky's2istan

          Q: I prefer a Right Wing Christian to a Left Wing "Christian". To a Left Wing "Christian", their savior is Karl Marx/Lenin/Stalin/Castro/Che.

          A: Communism (at least on paper, but not in practice) is much closer to the words of Jesus than capitalism. Although 'sharing' because the state forces you, is about as moral as tithing ONLY to get into heaven. If you don't like the concepts of welfare and communalism perhaps you should change religions. Might I suggest islam, or Ann Rand style self centred atheism? :P

          Q: When I see posts like this, I always wonder how America could have possibly survived in its first 190 years WITHOUT baby murder and sexual promiscuity. (sarc)

          A: It NEARLY didn't. One thing you might want to look up is the MASSIVE decrease in crime that occurred between 1990 and 2000. This roughly corresponds to all the poor, unwanted, male children who were NOT born, beginning in 1970. Maybe if you looked back into the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's you would see a society that both denied women control of their own bodies, and then left them to the whims of poverty. The end result of which was an ever increasing tide of poverty, decay, and violence. It reminds me of Rome in Jesus' time, when life was so hard and miserable that mothers (often slaves) would throw their newborns onto garbage piles, because that would be a better fate for them than living. It's no coincidence that the last 'city riot' was in 1992. After that there just weren't as many unwanted, uneducated, and unemployed males aged 15 to 25. What happened to the crack cocaine epidemic? Did crack just 'go away' (Reagen and his hatred of the poor certainly went away), or was it that the poverty and decay that fosters drug use declined in the 90's? You just keep on with that relentless anti-abortion aggression, almost exactly like islam does about everything. I've never once seen an anti-abortionist try to avert abortion by promising to take care of EVERY pregnant mother, and her child for LIFE. Our entire capitalist society is 'gegen liebe' (against life). When children become just another 'commodity' that you MUST PAY FOR, then your society is truly 'gegn liebe'.

          Didn't' want you right wingers to think that I can't reason or that I'm afraid of criticism. It's a shame that I have to come here to find information about the counter jihad. Getting racist, xenophobic, Christian, republicans to hate islam is like shooting fish in a barrel. The counter jihad will only thrive when ALL people realize the inherent danger of islam. But realizing the danger of islam might just gleam a little light on the dangers of Christo-fascism.

          There's a reason why Evangelical Christians are called, "The American Taliban".

      • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com Porky's2istan

        Split message is out of order. The repeated portion about the laffer curve and taxes should be 2nd. (Technology is great!) The "American Taliban" section should be last. Oh well. ;)

  • Drakken

    These so called chic muslims protest way too much, like the proverbial boy who cried wolf one too many times, the wolf does eat the boy in the end, and you can expect the muslims to suffer the same fate.

  • Ar'nun

    32 Cases have reached Federal Appeals court where the defense was Sharia. In 26 the defense worked. The most famous one was the Mohhamed Zombie case.

    Canada is hanging on by a thread. There Liberal leaders have seen the edge of the cliff and are pushing with all their might to not allow the contry to topple over, but it seems it is too late.

    The Muslim Brotherhood in America has infiltrated our Universities since the at least the 1970's slowly poising the people's mind. The refrain that is so obvious in the story above is Elite Expensive Universities. Almost all of the people listed in this story have some sort of connection to these schools. Now many have grown up and work in our Government (both Parties). Even McCain has fallen prey.

    Buy guns, and lost of ammo. We are on our own from here on out.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Saudi petro dollars have soiled Harvard, Princeton, Columbia.

  • Ghostwriter

    Sadly,far too many Muslims do this. They treat Americans and other immigrants to America like filth and they expect us to like them? Please,if there is ANY Islamophobia it's because of the years of terrorism that far too many Muslims have NOT condemned in the slightest.

  • http://twitter.com/IamHazelMay @IamHazelMay

    While I do not like the propaganda being spewed for in the name of pretending Islamic ideologies are peaceful, I do not believe that Canada is hanging by a thread. What are you talking about? What Liberal leaders. The Liberals are not in power at this time and have not been for years. We are under a Conservative government at the moment and our prime minister, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper actually got booted out of the UN security council for taking a stand and giving a poignant speech in support of Israel and denouncing the thinly veiled anti-Semitism at the UN. Really… I'm not against your position… just let's not have both sides distorting facts. Stick to the truth because, as soon as you don't, you diminish your ability to have an impact for your cause.

  • dr.music

    Islamorealism is a word…..say it properly….islamorealism !!
    Islam is not halal.
    See how nature works…..the most violent is itself k i l l ing itself all over the planet….soon it will smash it’s own head-quarters…..
    “ Madness only is what islam is “ Yoda would say.
    Science has no consience.
    Every muslim demise is monetarily , ecologically , scientifically , educationally and morally a relief for this planet. islam is a drain on our planet. So true considering saudi-arabia is the toilet of the planet.

    Islam feeds on money and money will k i l l islam.
    All islam wants is weapons and all that weapons do is murder . islam is murdering itself.

    Let us just watch. It is safer for our children and our grand-children. It is our duty as responsible adults to see that our near and dear ones are kept safe from islam’s non-stop harm.

    Islam is not halal.
    Islamorealism is a word…..say it properly….islamorealism !!
    Islam is not halal.

    There is absolutely no option for Planet Earth NOW ….
    islam and muslims have become a Different , Damaged and Damaging species.
    Or as we SCIENTIFICALLY and MEDICALLY call islam now … A DDD species.
    Just because a DDD (Different , Damaged and Damaging species ) wears clothes does not mean it is beyond culling. Culling is the only option because in a short time their multiple and damaged and continuous children will also be made to become our enemies and trade cannot be done amongst 100 percent semi-retards (Different , Damaged and Damaging species) with violent and savage immorals of ages ago with no scope of change and mentally incapable for lucid and rational thought.
    Heavy ….how will it happen ?

    PROXIMITY TO A DDD (Different , Damaged and Damaging species) IS VERY DANGEROUS…LIKE SMALL-POX…SMALL IN NAME AND BIG IN DEATH…JUST LIKE islam…TALK OF PEACE WHILE NON-STOP MURDER IS ON.

    ERRADICATION is already on …."for islam a reluctant death it will be" ….Yoda would have said.
    Sometimes one wonders if aliens did land up ….would the muslims force them to convert to islam and give them the religion of human body pieces spiel…… muslims are hilarious…but i don't want us to die laughing-laughing as they (Different , Damaged and Damaging species) murder our loved ones. Snap out of it people !! Now !!
    Educated and logical people find islam to be painful to study because it is illogical, irrational and offensive to a scientific mind, and this doesn’t even approach the many morally disturbing aspects of immoral-islam.