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Monday, August 27, 2007




Linguistic Totalitarianism

Last updated: October 11, 2007

July 13, 2007


The Jerusalem Post

Jul. 11, 2007

One to One: Ruthie Blum vs Joel Fishman, a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) and adjunct fellow at the University of Calgary's Center for Military and Strategic Studies.

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Yet everyone, from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the international community, distinguishes between Fatah and Hamas, saying that Fatah should be supported and strengthened.

That comes from a mindset that is very popular in the US of "cultivating the moderates" or seeking a "win-win situation." Kissinger pointed out that the idea of helping the moderates dates from World War II. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's adviser, Harry Hopkins, argued that Stalin was a moderate and therefore had to be helped.

[British MP and Celsius 7/7 author] Michael Gove and [German researcher] Matthias Kuentzel both attribute the weakness of the West to its lack of understanding of ideology as a driving force, particularly in the case of Iran. Generally, Westerners prefer to ignore the ideological dimension and focus on pragmatic problem-solving. They seek the "root causes" of terrorism, as if they were material. This mindset prevents one from understanding the enemy. For example, it fails to take into account the public declarations of [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad such as: "The Zionist regime must disappear from the scene of existence," which is a literal translation from Farsi. Indeed, the essential weakness of Israel and the rest of the West is that we tend to think that every dispute can be settled through some kind of deal.

Another type of faulty reasoning is the assumption that our adversaries are decent people just like you and me. Neville Chamberlain, who had once been the mayor of Birmingham before becoming prime minister of the UK, assumed that Hitler's main objective was to to improve the well-being of the German worker. He thought that he understood this man. And he reasoned that if England gave him what he demanded and the issues of contention could be removed, Hitler would return to the work of building autobahns, spreading employment and raising his people's standard of living.

This approach is called "cognitive egocentrism." It happens when you believe that everybody else is as reasonable as you are. For example, [US Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice once said that every Palestinian mother wanted to see her children going to university. Now, this might be true of Americans, but it's not necessarily the aspiration of every Palestinian mother. I happen to believe that more and more Palestinian mothers would really like to see their children go on to higher education. But Rice's statement in the context of what was going on shows that she doesn't get it.

Rice is an American diplomat. But what about the Israeli decision-makers? They say similar things.

Look, one cannot always know if they really mean what they say, or if they are saying certain things in order to please others. One thing is clear: Political correctness is a form of linguistic totalitarianism that leads to Orwellian "slavery." When there are certain things you're not allowed to say, it means in most cases that there are certain things you're not allowed to think.

Give an example of things one is not allowed to say or think.

It took a long time before one could call the Oslo Accords a failure. Nor could one say that Arabs were propagating anti-Semitism. What happened during the Oslo era and still persists is a type of a disconnect in our reasoning process. It was generally assumed that if we could cut a deal, we would have real peace and there would be no further need for Israel to project its message. That's why in May 1993 Shimon Peres, when he became foreign minister, shut down the information department of the Foreign Ministry. He confidently proclaimed, "If you have a good policy, you don't need public relations, and if you have a bad policy, public relations will not help."

We still must come to terms with the hopes associated with Oslo and our present reality.

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Source

July 26, 2007

The French and the Necromongers


Carolle Ziton is making Aliyah to Israel together with her husband and two small children. She is in the first wave of 3,000 French Jews expected to arrive over next few weeks. The immigration from France has peaked this year and reached levels unknown over the last three decades. In an interview to Ynet Carolle said:

We don’t feel at home in France. I bought a house with a private backyard because we have Arab neighbors and I want my children to play in a safe place. We haven’t encountered any expressions of anti-Semitism, but there is a feeling that something is about to happen. The murder of Ilan Halimi only substantiated this feeling.

Source

There are a few problems with this interview.

First of all, Carolle, what does it mean you had to buy a house with a private backyard because you have Arab neighbors? Are you saying, Carolle, that having Arab neighbors is in some way different from having Jewish neighbors or French neighbors?

Let alone what does it mean you want your children to play in a safe place ? Are you implying that having Arab neighbors is dangerous for children? Do you think it's fair to stigmatize a whole community in this way? Carolle, these people are just the same simple human beings like you and me. They spend their lives trying to live them as normally as they can. These people pass their days mostly worrying over how to make the ends meet. The last thing they have on their mind is stalking your children with a view to harming them.

Or maybe you want to say that Arab children can harass Jewish children? Children cannot be Jewish or Arab, Carolle. Children don't have sectarian or religious identities, because they are . . . you know ... they are just children. You are not trying to say that Arab children can be particularly mean to other children just because these other children are Jewish children, are you? What an awful thing to say.

You see, Carolle. It's true that Israel is a country of refugees. But probably you don't know how much we have changed since Israel was created. Some sections of our society have now reached the next level of evolutionary development as they have evolved into a new and vastly more advanced race, the race of necromongers of diversity and political correctness. I should better explain.

The necromonger code of speech and thinking requires total obedience and compliance with certain rules. Petty worries for your personal safety or the safety of your children, Carolle, are not a good enough reason for violating the necromonger code of speech. While the majority of Israelis will certainly excuse your language as some of them or their parents had fled even worse situations, you should bear in mind that in some sections of our society this kind of talk is no longer tolerated.

The Necromonger leader Lord Marshall




August 27, 2007

The Other View

This is what defectors from radical Islam have to say about how political correctness has affected the situation of radical Islam in the West and the West's reaction to it. I made some analysis of the interaction between leftism and radical Islam here.

Khaleej Times Online >> Columnist >> IRFAN HUSAIN
July 12 2007

LAST Saturday, it was two years to the day since suicide bombers attacked the London transport system in 2005, killing over fifty innocent victims. Since then, others have tried to emulate these atrocities, including the botched attempts in London and Glasgow this week. Although thousands of miles separate the ongoing violence in and around Islamabad’s Lal Masjid from the UK attacks, a strong strand connects the incidents.

In both cases, those allegedly responsible were Muslims. Both groups share a worldview where it is incumbent on them to create a world where Islamic law prevails. And to achieve this utopia, both think it is legitimate to use any degree of force necessary. In the process, if innocent men, women and children are killed, so be it. In fact, they usually target civilians because they are easier targets. They have, in effect, declared jihad on the rest of the world.

The theological underpinning of this logic requires a significant departure from orthodox Islamic teachings. For instance, standard commentaries prepared after decades of study by all the major schools of jurisprudence argue that only Islamic states can declare jihad. This is not something individuals can go around doing according to their whim.

However, radical Islamists following the teachings of Syed Qutb and Maudoodi argue that in the absence of a genuine Islamic state and a caliphate, true believers have a duty to bring Islamic rule to the whole world, by the sword if necessary. This line has appealed to two generations of Muslims, and there has been a steady hardening of these beliefs over the last fifty years. The Hizb ut-Tahrir is even more militant and hardline in the politicisation of Islam.

And over the last half century, Muslims in the West have been expanding their religious and political space. Simultaneously, non-Muslims living in Muslim-majority countries have seen their rights circumscribed, and their freedom to practise their faith reduced. Muslims in the West have taken advantage of the climate of tolerance, secularism and democracy to demand greater rights and privileges. Mosques and faith schools have mushroomed. Political correctness and the reluctance to debate religious issues in a post-modern West have seen the steady rise in the demands of Muslims.

‘The Islamist’ is a current bestseller in the UK about Ed Husain’s five-year journey from radicalism to disillusionment. The writer reveals how he was indoctrinated by a Jamat-e-Islami group at a London school, and finally inducted into the Hizb-ut Tahrir. Along the way, he discusses the different extremist groups that have put down roots in Britain: “But though internally divided, they [extremist groups] are all in agreement in their veneration of Mawdudi and Qutb. In different but unquestionable ways, they are affiliated to the Jamat-e-Islami of the subcontinent, the Muslim Brotherhood of the Arab world, or Hamas of Palestine. And in recent years they have united as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), formed in 1997 at the request of the Tory home secretary Michael Howard. What were isolated, competing, often bitter enemies have come together to present a united front as spokesmen for British Muslims…”

Syed Qutb’s most influential book is Milestones, and one of its chapters is about ‘The Virtues of Killing a Non-Believer’. Among the ideas it discusses is ‘Attacking the non-believers in their territories is a collective and individual duty’. Ed Husain bought a copy (published in Birmingham) from the mosque bookshop of the London Muslim Centre, ‘Europe’s largest Islamist hub’.

Another young British-born Muslim who has recently broken away from extremism publicly is Hassan Butt. He has appeared on TV and radio to denounce the violence that is taking hold in the name of Islam. He also questions the popular liberal notion that Western policies towards the Muslim world are the direct cause of extremist terrorism. In an article in the Observer on 1 July, Butt writes: “…I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the ‘Blair’s bombs’ line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology (!!!)…

“…But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase their following is because most Islamic institutions in Britain just don’t want to talk about theology. They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex topic of violence within Islam and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is [a religion of] peace, focus on Islam as personal, and hope that all of this debate will go away...”


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Irfan Husain is a Pakistani commentator

Full Source


PS

The current edition of the Jerusalem Post has a review of Ed Husain’s book here.


October 11, 2007

Are You Tolerant of the Intolerance of Other Tolerances ?

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Radical Islam is what multiculturalism has been waiting for all along. In "The Survival of Culture," I quoted the eminent British barrister Helena Kennedy, Queen's Counsel. Shortly after September 11, Baroness Kennedy argued on a BBC show that it was too easy to disparage "Islamic fundamentalists." "We as Western liberals too often are fundamentalist ourselves," she complained. "We don't look at our own fundamentalisms."

Well, said the interviewer, what exactly would those Western liberal fundamentalisms be? "One of the things that we are too ready to insist upon is that we are the tolerant people and that the intolerance is something that belongs to other countries like Islam. And I'm not sure that's true."

Hmm. Lady Kennedy was arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable. And, unlikely as it sounds, this has now become the highest, most rarefied form of multiculturalism. So you're nice to gays and the Inuit? Big deal. Anyone can be tolerant of fellows like that, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists . . .

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Opinion Journal (The Wall Street Journal)
BY MARK STEYN
Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Source


PS

The comments section of another post contains a discussion of political correctness, its origin and application in Communist Russia: Wahhabite Russia

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