Friday, June 21, 2013


I recently finished Douglas Murray's recent book Islamophilia: A Very Metropolitan Malady, which I found easier and more entertaining reading than his previous book Neoconservativism: Why We Need It. The premise of the book is essentially that unlike the word "Islamophobia," "Islamophilia" is a useful word that describes an actual and dangerous trend, particularly in Europe (America seems to be about 10 years behind Europe in social movements and their subsequent recantings).

In my own view, the most powerful proof of the author's point, ironically, lies withing his own text. In a chapter 10, "Where are the critics?" (here's one?), Murray explains:
"...Professor Dawkins is not an enemy of Jews or Christians. He is a critic of their religion. Lars Hedegaard is not an enemy of Muslims. He is a critic of aspects of their religion."
[my emphasis]
The difference in what Hedegaard is allegedly criticizing only just strays from an otherwise mirrored phrase, so the additional two words seem intentionally placed (no mere slip of the pen); yet it is petty enough and subtle enough, and derived from a passage written recently enough (February) that I think I can say with relative certainty the self-deprecating irony was unintentional, and therefore a legitimate demonstration of precisely Murray's own point. Lars Hedegaard is not a critic of aspects of Islam. If he is, it is only to the same extent that Richard Dawkins is merely criticizing aspects of supernatural superstitions like Christianity, which he clearly isn't. Hedegaard, having written 1400 Years [of] War: Islam's Strategy, the EU and Liberty Finally and Muhammed's Girls: Violence, Murders and Rapes in the House of Islam (source, with Google translations), is similarly un-hedged in his criticism of Islam.

Murray, unwittingly to his own credit, and at his own expense, hints at the twisting of language and equivocation slanted in favor of this one particular Middle Eastern religion in his own writing. If the language of this British journalist, of all people, can be unintentionally twisted so by force of social necessity or political subconscious, one can only guess at the depth of double-think and equivocation embedded in the thoughts of ordinary citizens confronted with the twin dangers of the believable threat of violence and the more pressing threat of social castigation for admitting to the former. This book shows it to be much deeper, and more dangerous than at first meets the eye, and does so with a sense of humor tinged slightly with the sadism of reading people say the most gut-wrenchingly embarrassing garbage on hands and knees. It's even more guiltily delicious than...

At $7.00, it's certainly worth two Starbucks, or more. Here is the link again: Islamophilia

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