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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Useful IDIOTS No More
The Trump administration pulls the plug on official Islamophilia.
Tell him you are a Muslim, tell him you are a Muslim,” Nancy Pelosi instructed Congressman Andre Carson at an anti-Trump rally on Monday, moments after she had just introduced him as a “Muslim member of Congress.” She apparently felt that the crowd hadn’t sufficiently gotten the point.
Pelosi normally rattles on about the dangers of “religion in politics,” but on Monday night she very much wanted religion in it — and not just any religion, but the most patriarchal of them. To see feminists hawking Islam so feverishly is an amusing spectacle, especially since a day or so later Pelosi had recovered her fear of religion in the public square and creeping Christian patriarchy. She cast Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch as a gift to the religious right — one that imperils all women, not to mention those Americans who “breathe air, drink water, eat food, take medicine, or in any way interact with the courts.”
Pelosi’s comment, in sheer battiness, exceeds even Ted Kennedy’s histrionics over “Robert Bork’s America.” Kennedy envisioned Bork busting down bedroom doors, re-segregating lunch counters, forcing women into back alleys, and confiscating Darwin’s books, but he stopped short of accusing Bork of threatening to cut off people’s access to air.
At the very moment Pelosi and company forbid any criticism of Sharia law, they rip into Gorsuch as a “religious liberty zealot.” They mock those who worry about encroaching jihadists, then freak out over an Episcopalian judge.
The media is forever demanding that Christians take a “serious look” at their religion’s lack of modern enlightenment, then declare any criticism of the Koran “Islamophobia.”
“A Sinister Perception of Islam Now Steers the White House,” blared a Thursday headline on the front page of the New York Times. Could anyone imagine it running an equivalent headline about Obama’s White House and Christianity — “A Sinister Perception of Catholicism Now Steers the White House”? Later, the paper changed “sinister perception” to “dark view of Islam.”
Whether or not leading imams hold a “sinister perception” of the West never figures into the story. Not a single one of their open declarations of jihad is quoted in the article. How Muslims define their own religion is of no interest to the Times. That would complicate the story too much. Readers might discover that Trump and Stephen Bannon are simply taking the authoritative definers of Islam at their word.
The story contains such laughable paragraphs as:
[Critics of Islam] warn about the danger to American freedoms supposedly posed by Islamic law, and have persuaded several state legislators to prohibit Shariah’s use. It is a claim that draws eye rolls from most Muslims and scholars of Islam, since Muslims make up about 1 percent of the United States population and are hardly in a position to dictate to the other 99 percent.
How would the Times know that “most Muslims” roll their eyes at talk of Islamic influence in America? What omniscience the paper possesses. How convenient that “most Muslims” share the exact same sensibility as the reporters on the story.
The story also informs readers that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely nonviolent,” another whopper. The point of the story is that the Trump administration is pulling the plug on the official Islamophilia of the last administration, which the Times seems to think went swimmingly. Remember the glory days when Obama was inviting the Muslim Brotherhood to his speeches, his attorney general was banning any mention of Islamic terrorism, and his CIA director was sanitizing jihad as a “legitimate tenet of Islam”? Apparently, we’re supposed to tremble at the thought that this period has passed.
The Times devotes half of a page to a tremulously assembled collection of quotes from Stephen Bannon on his “war with radical Islam.” The quotes aren’t sinister but blameless. They are proof, if anything, that the White House is finally in the hands of people who refuse to serve as useful idiots for America’s enemies.
In one excerpt from a talk he gave to a Catholic group in Rome, Bannon says: “I believe everyone associated with the church and associated with the Judeo-Christian West that believes in the underpinnings of that and believes in the precepts of that and want to see that bequeathed to other generations down the road as it was bequeathed to us, particularly as you’re in a city like Rome, and in place like the Vatican, see what’s been bequeathed to us — ask yourself, 500 years from today, what are they going to say about me? What are they going to say about what I did at the beginning stages of this crisis?”
That is a good question, and the answer, in the case of many of the bishops, is nothing. Look at the speed with which they rushed to the microphones to denounce Trump for his insufficient Islamophilia. As one headline put it, “Responding to Trump’s ban, top Catholic bishops pledge solidarity with Muslim refugees.”
As jihadists chop off the heads of priests and drive Christians out of the Middle East, the bishops busy themselves with press releases about their “deep respect” for Islam and count the millions they collect from the government for “refugee resettlement.”
Their criticism of the Trump administration is framed as high-minded humanitarianism. It is not. It is just more craven and opportunistic religious relativism from secularized Christian leaders scared by Islam. They think that bringing out the pom-poms and calling it a religion of peace will buy them protection and plaudits from the press. If Trump and Bannon don’t share this bogus view of Islam, as a hyperventilating Times insinuates, so what? Their perception isn’t “sinister” but clear-eyed and marks an end to a self-defeating Islamophilia that only led to more Islamic terrorism.