Everyone knows the double standard is in place. It is taken for granted so much that people barely remark upon it anymore. When someone who dissents from the Leftist agenda offends Leftist sensibilities, his or her career is ruined for good. Remember Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, and a host of others. Now the Left has Joe Rogan in its sights for daring to dissent from COVID orthodoxy and has suddenly discovered that years ago, he used a racial slur. Spotify has removed over a hundred of his podcasts, and the end is not in sight. But if someone who is reliably Leftist says something that offends the self-appointed guardians of acceptable opinion, the punishment is slight at best, as we have just seen with Whoopi Goldberg’s two-week suspension for Holocaust denial (which doesn’t really bother the hard Left, but they have to keep up some semblance of an attachment to truth and basic decency). And if the offending speaker is a member of a group with enough victimhood privilege, he or she won’t be punished at all, as the career of Mehdi Hasan indicates.
Mehdi Hasan is a hate-filled far-Left MSNBC host who espouses fashionable Big Lies such as the claim that “white supremacy is now a key ideology of the Republican Party” and “the far-right domestic terror threat is more dangerous than even Al Qaeda after 9/11.” During the Whoopi Goldberg controversy, remarks that Hasan made in 2009 resurfaced, leading many to question why Hasan’s star has consistently risen in the Leftist media, despite his manifest hatred and contempt for non-Muslims.
Hasan, a Shi’ite, said of the early Sunni caliph Yazid: “All of these ulama unanimously agree that at the very minimum if Yazid was not a Kaffir [unbeliever] — then at the very minimum he was a fasiq, a transgressor, a breaker of Islamic laws, a corrupt individual, a tyrant, a killer, a drunkard, a dog lover, a music lover, a homosexual, a pedophile, a sexual deviant, someone who slept with his own mother.”
Now, the Left has no problem with corrupt individuals such as Hunter and Joe Biden if they’re on the right side of the political divide. Tyrannical themselves, Leftists have no problem with tyrants, either. Killers? Depends on who is being killed. Drunkard? Dog lovers? Music lovers? Come on, man! Homosexuals, pedophiles, and sexual deviants? Are we talking about the staff of CNN now?
Anyway, Hasan then broadened his targets to include atheists: “In this respect the Koran describes the atheist as cattle. As cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.” The Qur’an does indeed say: “Already we have created many of the jinn and mankind for Gehenna, having hearts with which they do not understand, and having eyes with which they do not see, and having ears with which they do not hear. They are like cattle, no, they are worse. These are the neglectful.” (7:179)
It is no surprise that Mehdi Hasan, a pious, believing Muslim, would repeat the Qur’an’s distaste and disdain for non-Muslims. It isn’t even a surprise that the Huffington Post and MSNBC would have no problem with his statements, because both are much more concerned about “Islamophobia” than they are about jihad violence, Sharia oppression of women, or the dehumanization of non-Muslims in Islamic texts and teachings. MSNBC was avid to showcase a Muslim host in order to demonstrate that they weren’t “Islamophobic,” and Hasan, a fast-talking, glib propagandist, fit the bill. Anyone who raised any objection to his hiring based on his statements about homosexuals, atheists, and unbelievers in general could himself be accused of “Islamophobia,” but that would take care of any problem.
Meanwhile, Hasan’s colleagues and friends have pursued any and all critics of jihad mass murder and Sharia oppression with undying fury, persecuting and harassing even their relatives and friends in their totalitarian quest to crush and destroy all dissent. If Mehdi Hasan had been a non-Muslim who said about Muslims what he said about non-Muslims, he would be but a dim memory as a public figure today, and if he ever were mentioned, would be reviled as a “racist” and an “Islamophobe.” But as it is, he remains a rising star.
The double standard is obvious because the Left isn’t really interested in policing the public discourse and cleansing it of “hate,” no matter what they say about Joe Rogan right now. Leftists’ actual agenda is to demonize and intimidate their opponents into silence and rule any dissent from their agenda beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse. That’s why Mehdi Hasan has a show on MSNBC today and was never in danger of any professional difficulty because of his 2009 remarks. He is useful as a pit bull of defamation and smears against dissidents, and so his career is unassailable. Mehdi Hasan is, in fact, the epitome of the corruption of the American public square today.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.