Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wow. I never knew what an utter taint James Pinkerton is.

Pinkerton -- White House strategist, Newsday columnist, Fox News panelist -- has the current issue's cover story for the American Conservative: "The Once and Future Christendom." This anti-Muslim, chauvinist white Christian screed has all the usual hand-wringing, nervous nelly fears of "dar al-Islam" present on the right these days. Some examples:
"What if Muslims take over Europe? What if “Eurabia” indeed comes to pass? Would Islamic invaders demolish the Vatican, as the Taliban dynamited Afghanistan’s Buddhas of Bamyan in 2001? Or would they settle merely for stripping the great cathedrals of Europe of all their Christian adornment, rendering them into mosques? And what if the surviving non-Muslim population of Europe is reduced to subservient “dhimmitude”?


If demography is the author of destiny, then the danger of Europe falling within dar al-Islam is real. And in addition to the teeming Muslim lumpen already within the gates, plenty more are coming. According to United Nations data, the population of the Arab world will increase from 321 million in 2004 to 598 million in 2050. Are those swarming masses really going to hang back in Egypt and Yemen when Europe beckons?


Nor can we ignore the painful reality of a genuine fifth column in the West. This summer, Gordon Brown’s government concluded that 1 in 11 British Muslims—almost 150,000 people living in the United Kingdom—“proactively” supports terrorism, with still more rated as passive supporters. And this spring, a Pew Center survey found that 13 percent of American Muslims, as well as 26 percent aged 18-29, were bold enough to tell a pollster that suicide bombing was “sometimes” justified. These Muslim infiltrators, of course, have potential access to weapons of mass destruction.


Meanwhile, as European birthrates plummet, the continent faces the prospect of demographic desiccation. Yet surely a civilization-saving alternative to imported Muslimization must be found.


A better vision is needed. The Council of the West must do its duty, to Christians, to Jews, and to the need of the world for peace. Having agreed that Israel must survive, within the protective ambit of Christendom, the council could engage Muslims—who are, themselves, in the process of restoring the Caliphate—in a grand summit."
And so on and so forth. (Here's a thought experiment: substitute "international Jewry" for any of the above references to Muslims and see what kind of message it gets you.)

Pinkerton's proposals are asinine bordering on ridiculous, including as they do an appeal to the "underlying political, even strategic, perspective" of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (really, just an excuse for Pinkerton to get himself riled up thinking about the hulking knights of his Middle Earth fantasies, the "heroic Men of the West and of Christendom"). Furthermore, we can "bring the poorer children of Europe—from countries such as Argentina—home to Europe, allowing the New World to help rescue the Old World"; as for Africa, "[its] Christian countries... are part of the Shire Strategy [sic] and need to be embraced with tough love...the immediate mission is to delineate a Christian Zone and a Muslim Zone, dividing countries if need be"; and even we good Christian men of the West might find alliances with the friendlier dark and yellow people of the world -- "if Westerners, Russians, Africans, Hindus, and Chinese all feel threatened by Islam—and they all do—there’s plenty of opportunity for a larger encircling alliance, with an eye toward feasible strategies of containment, even quarantine [nice disease metaphor]."

I realize it's not really worthwhile for me to waste my time with these idiots (I've spilled virtual ink on similar nuts like Victor Davis Hanson in the past), but it points up a bizarre but perhaps ultimately understandable trend in our time. These people -- employed in think tanks, advisors to Presidents, on our evening news, in our mainstream magazines -- honestly think that there is a chance -- a good chance -- that "our" "Western" civilization will be over-run by Muslims. They honestly think that there is such a thing as an "international war against Islamism," or, in Rudy Giuliani's phrase, "the terrorists' war on us." (Even Andrew Sullivan, who has slowly learned to perceive reality much more clearly than some of his fellow conservatives, spoke twice just last week about "winning this war" and the "war against Islamism." Honestly, just shut up.) They honestly think that an undermilitarized, backwards (hey, I'm sorry, I wish it weren't, but what can I say*) region of the world, most of which is tightly held in check by the United States (see Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt), is on the verge of invading us -- with what army and with what weapons? -- all because some stupid fucking imam on a hand-held camera somewhere is talking about spreading jihad to Europe. They are paid to think and write about these things. If they weren't so influential, I would say that they deserved to waste their dim, impressionable lives absorbed in this nonsense.

But they are influential. If you look at Amazon's top sellers in the "Islam" category, the top 10 is populated by frankly racist propaganda pamphlets like those of Robert Spencer (latest work: Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't). What a sad, irrational world we inhabit.

*Actually, what I can say to clarify is that "backwards" here just means measured on Western standards of political and economic liberalization. I'm talking about institutions, not people.


Blogger The Sheriff said...

Define "backwards"

4:32 PM  
Blogger Robot said...

dude, sheriff. it's not that complicated. ever driven not forwards but _________? Yep, that's backwards. Gosh.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Scantron said...

Does my note clarify things at all? I realized afterwards that that's probably not the best wording -- what would better denote the idea that middle eastern countries are in no position to pose a "threat" to Europe, much less America?

5:36 PM  

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