The Brunei Moment

LenoThe Hollywood outrage over Sharia law in Brunei, accompanied by celebrity boycotts, doesn’t represent a real awakening, but it does represent an opportunity.

Gay rights activists have mostly overlooked the impact of Islamic law in party spots like Dubai and Doha. The UAE has had the death penalty for homosexuality on the books for some time. Iran, a cause célèbre for the left ever since Bush considered bombing its nuclear weapons program, executes gay men.

So why is Brunei being singled out?

It might be that activists believe that while it’s too late to change Kuwait or Qatar, they can still prevent Brunei from imposing Sharia law. But it may just be random. The story of Brunei may have simply pinballed around the media and blogsphere and collided with a few of the right people.

The Human Rights Campaign may have been looking to fill an international slot after its campaigns against Russia and Uganda. Brunei’s local presence through the Beverly Hills Hotel also made it easy and convenient to go after in a way that Russia and Nigeria aren’t. And it probably didn’t hurt that HRC’s corporate partners include a hotel chain and several resort chains.

Add on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade agreement that will include Brunei and is opposed by many on the left (and the right) for a variety of reasons, and the protest gained critical mass. When Leno protested outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, he was surrounded by signs denouncing the TPP.

If the Brunei moment isn’t a sea-change, what, if any, are the implications of it for the Counterjihad?

Since 9/11 Islam has been untouchable in the United States. Its activists achieved a status that placed them in the top ranks of the left virtually overnight. Muslims became the most victimized of the victims.

The Brunei moment is significant because it’s the first time in a long time that Islamic law has been questioned and that Islam lost its grip on the sympathy of the American left. It’s not a serious defeat, but for organizations such as CAIR it has to be viewed as a warning sign of trouble ahead.

Feminism had already been subverted by the “Women of Color” attack which accused white feminists of privileging gender over race. It’s one reason why American feminists have so little to say about Islamic law. They’ve had it beaten into their heads that they have no right to presume that Muslim women don’t want to wear hijabs or be second-class citizens. They’ve embraced the comforting myth that a woman in a hijab or a burka is just as empowered as a Western woman who can dress as she likes.

When it comes to Muslims, a conventional feminism that argues for equal rights hardly exists among professional American feminists. Gay rights groups however have demonstrated now that they are unwilling to subordinate their agenda to the larger agenda of the left.  Unlike feminists, they don’t intend to just take a seat in the back and show up as representative props at generic protests.

Still it’s one thing to beat up on evangelical Christians, but another thing to challenge Muslims. And for the moment gay rights groups are staying far away from criticizing American Muslims. Or even Islamic law in general. And yet the Brunei moment has made protesting against Islamic law socially acceptable.

The left has yet to come to its own Satanic Verses Moment in which it is forced to realize that it must choose between a secular society and a multicultural society. The European left made the choice that put it on the road to oblivion and that conflict over Salman Rushdie’s book helped sharpen the lines between a secular left and a multicultural left that is willing to criminalize blasphemy as bigotry.

The European Counterjihad is characterized by this contrast between nationalists, traditionalists and the secular left. The United States has not had the same kind of militant secular left as Europe, but as the number of religious believers falls that may be changing. As Islamic law begins to have more of a domestic impact, the future of America’s Counterjihad may be less Conservative and more Libertarian.

The United States is becoming Europeanized and it is approaching the same crisis points that defined Europe. One of these crisis points is the moment when the left realizes that its original vision of a secular society is incompatible with the multicultural means that it has been using to achieve it. In the UK, Salman Rushdie became the casualty of that multicultural moment. And he has yet to come to terms with that in any coherent and intellectually honest way.

Brunei isn’t America’s Rushdie moment, but it is a warning that the left’s harmonious vision of a secular society is incompatible with multiculturalism. Through all the caveats, the left has been forced to admit that its current leading cause is incompatible with Islam. It is an unpleasant revelation that it will do its best not to dwell on, much as even many of the writers and thinkers who supported Rushdie, and even the man himself, avoided thinking too hard about the larger implications of the Rushdie moment.

Unlike Europe, the United States has yet to have a debate about Islam. Instead both parties have set out a consensus that everyone is expected to accept. That consensus is premised on the compatibility of Islam with the preferred way of life of Americans. Too few have asked the question of how Islam can possibly be compatible with every possible way of life in America when in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Kuwait and Brunei it is incompatible with every single part of the American political and social spectrum.

Islam is incompatible with everything from gay rights to Christianity. It is incompatible with every form of religion and the lack of religion. It is incompatible with traditional marriage in which a woman is a human being, not an interchangeable piece of property. It is incompatible with gay marriage or any of the casual lifestyles. It is incompatible with everything except Islam.

The Brunei moment hasn’t opened up a public debate, but it has embedded a private debate by resurrecting the pre-9/11 understanding of Islam as totalitarian theocracy, rather than oppressed minority. It’s not a true awakening, but it subverts a false consensus that Islam is part of America.

If Islam becoming a deeper part of Brunei means the death penalty for gays, what does Islam becoming a deeper part of America really mean for everyone from traditional Americans to the celebrities and gay protesters outside the Beverly Hills Hotel?

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  • Naresh Krishnamoorti

    The goal of the Left is not a secular society, but an anti-Christian society. Therefore, multiculturalism still has at least four decades’ worth of use for Leftists. The protests against Brunei and Boko Haram are mere aberrations, as will be clear a year from now.

    Either they are aberrations, or the Left has some ulterior motives. In the case of Boko Haram, they may want to bring down the government of Goodluck Jonathan. In the case of the Beverly Hills Hotel, maybe a Hollywood mogul has his eyes set on buying it at a discount.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      They certainly want to bring his government down

  • truebearing

    “Islam is incompatible with everything from gay rights to Christianity. It is incompatible with every form of religion and the lack of religion. It is incompatible with traditional marriage in which a woman is a human being, not an interchangeable piece of property. It is incompatible with gay marriage or any of the casual lifestyles. It is incompatible with everything except Islam.”

    Some on the Left have figured out that the Left is incompatible with Islam. Islam isn’t a social movement that can be infiltrated and possessed by the Left. Shariah isn’t something that can be co-opted by the Left. Attempting to do so destroys meaning for the Left. Islam is incompatible with everything the Left believes…except the lust for power, and ironically, that is the biggest incompatibility of all. Islam is the IED that destroys the credibility of political correctness.

    Perhaps the biggest problem this Brunei flap creates for the Left, at least in the short run, is that their useful idiots are able to see the contradictions. They are starting to think about survival. They are thinking for themselves. There is a tremor of primal individualism running through the collective, creating doubt about political correctness and what it really means to them as individuals. Suddenly negative consequences are rearing their ugly heads and negative consequences aren’t compatible with the promised utopia.

    • Wolfthatknowsall

      Excellent comment, my friend. Nothing concentrates the attention more than someone who wants to kill you, simply for being you.

      • truebearing

        Now the test of the insidious paralysis of Political Correctness will be tested. What is stronger? The desire to be accepted by the mob, or survival?

    • Naresh Krishnamoorti

      That’s an interesting view, especially given the fact that just a couple weeks ago the murderer of Pim Fortuyn was granted an early release from prison.

      • truebearing

        The Left has been able to weld different causes and ethnic groups into a somewhat cohesive coalition, but with Islam, they are trying to weld steel to aluminum. The weld will be weaker than the incompatibility of the metals. The question is, can the Right capitalize on it and use Islam as a splitting maul on the Left’s coalition, or will we pretend we like Muslims, too, and just go along to get along. Greenfield hit it on the head: Islam is incompatible with everything.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      “Some on the Left have figured out that the Left is incompatible with Islam.”

      Respectfully I ask… Really? Where??? Who???

      • truebearing

        These people protesting are aware that there are problems in utopia. You can be sure that gays have been keenly aware of Islam and the consequences of Shariah, but haven’t been willing to speak up for political reasons. Now some are speaking up — timidly, compared to their vitriol against Christianity, but they are showing some signs of awareness. The threat of Islam has seemed far away, but Obama is bringing it home as fast as he can. Some of them recognize it and also see that enabling Islam is Obama’s priority.

        Don’t misunderstand my comment to mean the Left has suddenly achieved moral clarity. Most of them never will, and even the ones smart enough to finally recognize a threat to their survival probably won’t go much further than that. But any impediment to the spread of Islam is a good thing, and clearly some on the Left see Shariah as dangerous, if only in a selfish way.

    • Marine Gunner

      It is a great irony that liberals, who support every practice that Islam abhors, are hated by Islam even more than Islam hates Jews and Christians. If Islam succeeds in imposing Sharia law, liberals will be the very first to lose their heads … literally.

  • Texas Patriot

    Just as the intense light and heat of a movie projector has a tendency to burn completely through celluloid film if it is held for too long in the same place, truth has a way of reaching critical mass and burning through the dark film of delusion and denial even in the most hopeless of cases, and that’s what seems to have happened as a result of the recent events involving Boko Haram and the Sultan of Brunei.

  • johngvanvliet

    Islam has done an excellent job in convincing that Islam is good and every thing else is bad, politicians and activist and many ,, Christian churches,, are embracing islam….. the west has closed their eyes and ears and are unwilling to be truthful because being afraid to be called Islamic phobic or discriminate again the poor minority of the muslims. they, Islam knows better then anyone else how to use the media to their advantage, they have been able to sway the world opinion against Israel, against Christians and the free world let the horror of Islam continue for the media is totally brainwashed and so are most politicians….. What lays ahead????
    yes you got Sariah Law to bend for allah and become slaves of islam….

    • Myrtle

      There is a vast difference in a dedicated Christian Church and one that only goes by the name. Christians will never give int o Islam, that is a completely God that they are worshiping. Those who will change as the weather changes, will do whatever they thing they can get the most out of.

      They do not know the GOD and HIS SON that Christians worship, if they did they would never leave them for a fake god..

      • johngvanvliet

        Hi Myrtle, I agree with your notes but may Christians have no understanding what islam is all about, often I hear…….. Oh muslims are nice people……. But it is not the muslim but Islam and when they become stronger they will make more and more demands! In many ways Islam has all the characteristics of a CULT…. Yes they hate Christians and Jews for they oppose Islam which started right at Medina when mohammed was trying to promote his Ideology and has continued ever since. But Churches like Osteen, Saddelback and many others do NOT teach the danger of Islam and their doctrine of HATE…. you simplify the issue but you will find very little support and therefore Christians will become slaves to a very wicked ideology called islam.

        • SAM

          U r right. The ISLAMO-FASCISTS r the problem & there r MANY MILLIONS of them. They are at war with the other four major religions ON AN ONGOING BASIS. The good MUSLIMS say & do nothing about their FASCISTS. WHILE NOT EVERY MUSLIM IS A TERRORIST…VIRTUALLY EVERY TERRORIST IS A MUSLIM. Violence Is their element. THAT Is where they r most comfortable. They refuse to join the family of man. When one has to side with the savage or civilized man…one ought always choose the latter.

    • SAM

      U r spot on. Don’t forget DRUDGEREPORT.COM & MICHAELSAVAGE.COM

  • kevinstroup

    The Left hopes to use Islam as their shock troops on the proponents of Western culture. Unfortunately, the religiously fanatical mercenaries will turn on their users and eat them, too. I think some on the left are starting to understand this. In addition, you can only deny the truth. You cannot deny the consequences of denying the truth. You can deny gravity exist all you want, but the second you step off the cliff, you cannot deny the consequences of denying gravity. Reality is such a bitch.

  • Ban Liberals

    Sanctimonious FOOLS!

    When I see them rail against sharia in MICHIGAN, and rail against Chris Christie’s support of Muslim judges, and rail against Muslims who want(ed) to co-opt the 9/11 Memorial Museum, then perhaps — and ONLY then will I pay attention to this non event.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Ban FAKE Liberals AKBAR!

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    As I write this, the “anti-imperialist” Left is embracing multiculturalism over class struggle in good Leninist fashion. See how it affected US policy toward Israel after WW2, as related in school curricula: http://clarespark.com/2014/05/17/miracle-man-ralph-bunche-saves-the-un/. “Miracle Man Ralph Bunche saves the UN”. He is distorted beyond recognition in a thick series of lesson plans developed at UCLA’s Center for History in the Schools. The bias toward Arabs is unmistakable and is pervasive among leftists and liberals.

  • hatsylady

    The left has been silent over the persecution of Christans for decades. Suddenly they are alarmed. Conservatives have been sounding the alarm over the hideous treatment of women, gays and children by Islamists. Doesn’t the left corner the market on those groups?

  • CulturalJihad

    Doubt this is much of a moment – more like empty headed activism that will be quickly replaced by the next issue deemed offensive over cocktails.

    For my take:
    http://culturaljihad.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/hollywood-hotel-protest-cue-the-clueless/

    • Daniel Greenfield

      for the moment yes, but it does create an opening

      • CulturalJihad

        You’re much more optimistic than me ;)

  • mtnhikerdude

    America has been castrated ! We cave to gays ,Muslims , Illegals ,criminals .
    murderers , pedophiles , Global Warming Idiots , Anti God fanatics , Military Haters and any and all non Caucasians .We have even caved to not wearing patriotic t shirts to class . We are morphing into a pathetic Nation bowing to everyone whose bottom line is our destruction. We laud and elect those who hate us , our Flag ,our Constitution and our Patriotism.
    By the way our Constitution is the longest standing Constitution on the Planet .
    So vote Democratic in 2016 and be complicit in pounding the final nails in the coffin of a once great Nation.

  • mtnhikerdude

    When was the last time a Muslim was sentenced to hanging for refusing to convert to Christianity ? When was the last time gays were executed by Christians for being gay ? What religion bombs its own places of worship ?

  • canto28

    It’s hard to estimate the great harm done by both Bush and Obama when they absurdly insisted that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      There is virtually no evidence that Islam is a “religion of peace”.

      Islam is a religion of hijacking, kidnapping, bombing, beheading, stoning, stabbing, shooting, hanging, disfiguring, dismemberment, cannibalism, child sacrifice, rape…

      • Jeanne DeSilver

        Islam is as Islam does.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    If one wants to know the true nature of any religion, all that need be done is to examine the life and character of its founder(s). When I examine the life of Mohammed, I see nothing in him that I would want to emulate.

    “Religion of Peace”? Islam’s founder created a religion based entirely on conquest and terror. Interesting that the Comparative Religion courses at most colleges and universities have turned a blind eye to the true nature of Islam and its “prophet”.

    • truebearing

      My rule of thumb is that you judge a religion by what it teaches and an adherent by how devoutly they follow those teachings. In the case of Islam, the teachings encourage violence, rape, slavery, and murder of anyone who isn’t Muslim. So a “good” or devout Muslim is a terrible person, as the jihadists routinely prove. A “good” oe devout Christian or Jew, on the other hand, is also a good person. It all stems from the teachings, which means there can never be a devout Muslim who is also a good person. Needless to say, this analysis will never be taught in Comparative Religion courses.

      What I find interesting about the gay community is that they hate Christians because the Bible condemns homosexuality, even though it prescribes no punishment here on Earth. Since these same gays don’t believe in Christianity, why do they get so upset about a divine judgement after they die?
      Islam, on the other hand, is adamant about how homosexuals are to be dealt with in this world, and it is ruthless and fatal. Not believing in Islam is no relief from the beliefs and subsequent actions of Muslims in this world, so why isn’t Islam the target of their vitriol? It makes absolutely no sense.

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        Indeed, one of the Scripture passages concerning homosexuality most quoted is in the first chapter of Romans. In this passage, it is clear … especially in the Greek … that the Apostle Paul is not condemning anyone, on this earth. He merely states that homosexuals receive “in themselves” the reward of their sinful state which is appropriate.

        Note that there is no call to violence, and he does not even condemn them to He!!. His entire statement is about the consequences of their actions on this earth. I assume this would be lack of family, children, hatred of their peers, diseases, and so on. He certainly does not call for their death.

    • Marine Gunner

      Correct. Mohammed was not an Islamic “Ghandi.” He was a fanatical warrior prince who led his armies in an orgy of conquest, forced imposition of Islam, and slaughter of “infidels” across the known world. It was the extension of Mohammed’s campaign that led Muslims to invade Europe and conduct wholesale murder of Christian Pilgrims to Jerusalem, which in turn led to the Crusades; Christianity’s responses to Islam’s war of religious tyranny. Islam is a murderous cult, not a religion in the traditional sense. it invokes the name of God to justify aggression, slavery, misogyny, murder, hatred, and absolute mind control of its adherents by the cult’s ruling class. In the modern world, the cult of Nazism in early 20th Century Germany is an apt analog to Islam with a national socialist twist; even to their public threat to destroy Jews and liberal denial of the real threat posed by the cult’s clearly stated intent. Interesting, isn’t it?

  • Davros11

    To bad, I was hoping the left would continue to empower the islamists who would in turn then kill them all. No more liberal/progressives means we could persecute this war against the lunatic cult of Islam without worrying about traitors like the left helping the terrorists, with appeasement, cries of racism, even hiding them in their homes! We could fight them with no hands being tied by cult wannabes or followers!

  • Texas Patriot

    The Brunei Moment is only the latest in a long series of moments which have provided a largely unseeing, unhearing, and unthinking Western Civilization an opportunity to wake up. Unfortunately, waking up to a rattlesnake in your bedroom is not the kind of thing you can easily forget about and go back to sleep.

  • http://www.libertynewspost.com/ Liberty Newspost

    The ironic thing is that Sharia Law is a mirror image of thought control Secular Laws the Left would impose. Proof positive that Judeo-Christian culture is more pluralistic than either culture has to offer.

  • Suzanne

    I may be totally wrong on this one – but, I’m wondering if a break through about Islam isn’t FINALLY staring to penetrate America. For instance, for a while now, I’ve noticed that “talkbacks” on Yahoo News are almost completely anti-Islam – with opinions very blatantly and sometimes profanity laced – commenting on how offensive they find it. (Sadly, this has not kept “Yahoo News” from daily printing the most vile anti-Israel articles imaginable – usually followed by a ton of “positive” talkbacks – which is inconsistent with the anti Muslim talk backs found elsewhere). Sometimes, Yahoo News prints as many as four anti Israel articles at once. The fact that there are so many agreeing talkbacks to these articles when they’re not found elsewhere makes me wonder if there’s not a concentrated effort by Muslim groups to keep these articles going so that their own “talkbackers” can write in – in order to sway public opionion against Israel. Anyway – and, more to the point – you never know when the public is going to have enough and make a 180 degree turn. Right now there’s massive outrage against Boko Harum and their kidnapping of those schoolgirls as well as the case of this poor pregnant American women who’s been sentenced to flogging and hanging after she gives birth for not rejecting her Christianity. In conclusion, I have never understood what has taken America so long to face the reality about Islam – especially after the war crime of 9/11!

  • FrontPgSubscr

    Islam, a ‘deeper’ part of America?? NO THANKS!!!!

  • DireMouse

    What religion was founded by a mass murderer?

  • ricpic

    The United States is becoming Europeanized…

    This is a huge statement about which I am agnostic. To the extent that our elites (not all but most) are gung-ho for the establishment of a socialist, really feudal order and have no doubt moved us closer to that goal I would agree. But America is also a hugely pragmatic country with 50 laboratories, the individual states, many of which have seen the end goal and are furiously pulling against it. In other words Washington, monstrous as it is is not Brussels. There are strong centers of opposition. Plus, I think (guess really) that a higher percentage of ordinary Americans are wary (even deeply suspicious) of rule by “the best and the brightest” than is the case among their European counterparts. Anyway, I’d love to hear others’ opinions and perhaps Mr. Greenfield could make the case in expanded form in another article at FrontPage.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      That’s why the left is centralizing everything. It wants to end those laboratories. It wants us all in one petrie dish

  • liz

    What a true statement – “Islam is incompatible with everything except Islam”.
    Due to their arrested mental development which keeps them fixated on the barbaric rantings of a 7th century megalomaniac, they are also a threat to everything except Islam. The entire world, therefore, should be united against them.

  • http://www.jamesehorn.com/ Jim Horn

    The colonizers of Islam have the left in general believing that they can live together in harmony – which is a falsehood. The Islamists have the left befuddled into believing that Islam is benign, and this is their peril.

    The colonizers of Islam have likewise gotten many on the right to believe that Islam is benign and that they can get along together.

    Islam is doing what they have successfully done – dividing and conquering. they have the left at the throats of the right, and vice-versa, to the severe detriment of liberty and justice in America.

  • nimbii

    The radical left discovered Islamic Socialism and that opened the doors of radical leftist power to Islam.

    How twisted can this get?

  • Jeanne DeSilver

    “What is evil is evil and it cannot be exempted from criticism by sheltering it under the word “religion”. Paul Weston, Liberty GB

  • Marine Gunner

    You mistakenly presume that the liberal left is uncomfortable with inconsistency; that they strive for integrity in their political positions. If this was true, liberals would be conservatives. The only consistency on the left is inconsistency itself. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, when O’Reilly confronted her logical inconsistency, Whoopie Goldberg said, “We liberals aren’t bothered with all that logic stuff. We just go with our feelings.”