Joining hands with Islamists and attempting to silence her, CJ Werleman in his latest article mentions Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In a speech in which she refers to Anders Breivik as an abhorrent neo-fascist – Werleman paints quite a different picture, purposely editing what she actually said, and insisting that she:
“…expressed sympathy for Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.”
– On this often repeated manipulation by the illiberal liberals, Ali had to defend herself, and explain why those illiberals – like the Islamists that came before them – are wrong in attacking her:
Well, on the topic of Breivik, it goes without saying that I was horrified by his actions. He is one of the worst mass murderers in history, and there’s no question about that. Like most people, I had never heard of him before he went on his killing spree. However, he did write a thousand-page manifesto in which he quoted John Stuart Mill and other thinkers, and even me. Trying to use other people to justify your own actions is not unusual in mass murderers. Osama bin Laden quoted Noam Chomsky with approval. Does that make Chomsky in any way culpable for the behavior of bin Laden? Of course not. Just as no one quoted by Breivik is responsible for him.
In any case, I gave a speech at an award ceremony in Berlin, in the spring of 2012, on the shortcomings of policies based on the theory of “multiculturalism,” and I said that Breivik was one deeply unfortunate product of these policies, as are the rising number of European jihadis. They are unintended products, to be sure, because multiculturalism is all about good intentions.
– Ali echoes my thoughts exactly. When you protect one idea from criticism, from satire, from mocking, when you imply that those who do, are simply bigoted, when you offer that single idea a level of privileged protection that no other idea on the planet is afforded, you make a taboo out of it, and that is incredibly dangerous. This is not to be interpreted as “expressing sympathy” for far-right mass murdering terrorists. To distort the argument in such an emotive way, is so incredibly wrong. It is a dishonest attempt to silence the criticism. We blame the policy of the illiberals in trying to silence criticism, for the rise in far-right violence…. much like the illiberals blame the policy of Western governments for the rise in Islamist violence. I wont be so absurd as to claim Werleman has sympathy for al-Zaqawi though.
The equally as illiberal Max Blumenthal is not happy that his similar article on Ayaan Hirsi Ali was picked apart for its vast manipulations – like the one above – so easy to discredit (I wrote on the manipulations in his article). He has a theory! He isn’t quite willing to apologise for the gross distortions he presented – because then we might have to look at other reasons that he might have chosen to be so dishonest, like bigotry – so instead he’s chosen to insist that any complaints about his article, could only possibly be the result of neoconservatives unable to bring themselves to accept that colonialism happened. In an article by the equally illiberal Chris Werleman – provocatively entitled “Is New Atheism an anti-Muslim, white supremacy movement?” (no, no it isn’t) – we’re told:
“On last week’s episode of my podcast Foreign Object, I asked journalist Max Blumenthal why our recent respective criticisms of Hirsi Ali have generated so much blowback hate, particularly from New Atheists and neoconservatives. “The narrative Hirsi Ali tells is … very comforting to Americans. It tells them that they’re good. That they’re inherently good. That they’re peaceful. That all these wars they’ve been involved in have been forced upon them. That their hands are clean. That they’re in a religious conflict with no political roots that requires a nuanced discussion or historical context. That colonialism never happened. That lies about WMDs never happened. That all of these are just left-wing lies, and it is they who speak in a clear, comforting language. [The reason we are hated] is we are interrupting that narrative.”
– We’ve been busted by Blumenthal! Quite obviously the reason that I thoroughly disliked the article that Blumenthal wrote isn’t because it was full of distortions presented as fact, or the victim-blaming mentality of the entire piece, or the bigotry it takes to completely misrepresent the facts in order to smear her, or the misrepresentations of comments, not that he’s utterly obsessed with trying to discredit an ex-Muslim (a female, African ex-Muslim at that; the bigotry is pretty clear) rather than the ideological system that abused her in the first place, and willing to manipulate in order to do so…. no… it’s because I must believe that colonialism never happened. That must be it.
To reiterate, Blumenthal says that to highlight Hirsi Ali’s story, tells us:
“That they’re in a religious conflict with no political roots that requires a nuanced discussion or historical context”
– This is of course, not the case. We accept there’s always a political root, and that it is simply dishonest to imply that religion doesn’t inform the political and social context. It is those who refuse to accept a religious element to conflict, who seek to explain away a web of variables by ceaselessly parroting how much they dislike George Bush, who refuse to accept that perhaps anchoring right and wrong to a specific set of doctrines codified centuries ago might be problematic regardless of the political element, who insist that the narrative be limited to a ‘historical’ discussion, split for religion, that begins in March 2003.
The article then takes a bizarre turn that in my opinion, highlights Werleman’s own bigotry. I think this is the key to understanding the pathology of the illiberal liberals. Here, he says:
“Moreover, New Atheists enthusiastically, and often unintentionally, promote western imperialism, and any individual who supports an erroneous narrative (“clash of civilisations” is the theme of New Atheism) that, by design, attempts to justify western intervention in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia is, ergo ipso facto, a white supremacist.
Case in point: Somali-born, anti-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is feted by the New Atheist movement. Her most staunch supporters include celebrity New Atheists Harris, Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins. Last weekend, Hirsi Ali was the keynote speaker at the largest annual gathering of atheists – the American Atheists convention, despite the fact both her fictitious biography and anti-Muslim bigotry are well documented.
– It’s odd to me that Werleman equates Western nations, with being white. Instantly vast swathes of the population of Europe and the US are dismissed. Instantly those – who are not ‘white’ – who shaped the cultural and social framework upon which we were born, are dismissed. It’s also important to note that it absolutely is not a “fact” that Hirsi Ali’s biography is “fictitious“. The subtle implication – by linking both paragraphs with a “case in point:” – is that the story that Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells about her life, is a wholly owned white supremacist narrative – because Western nations are ‘white’ nations – designed to justify what he calls “Western imperialism” (the irony being that most of the Middle East is under constitutional frameworks that enshrine and privilege one religion; the epitome of imperialism & supremacism), that only white people think like this, that those who aren’t white couldn’t possibly come to similar conclusions, under conditions outside of a Western colonial attitude, even if they directly suffered under the system that so viciously harmed Hirsi Ali. Further, to push criticism of an idea into a category that is considered solely ‘white‘, is to disenfranchise and silence people like Hirsi Ali and others like her, before they’ve even told their story. The fear being, if they tell their story, they’ll be dismissed as liars whilst those who support her considered ‘white supremacists‘. It’s a victim-blaming, white privilege; to assign a particular colourless narrative and criticism, to a single skin tone in order to try to discredit it.
When you become so obsessed with trying to discredit people you dislike so much, to the point that you’re willing to distort so badly, you neglect to notice the creeping bigotry that becomes a product of those distortions. There is an unnerving tone throughout Werleman’s piece. Instead of owning up to the falsehoods, and their quick leap to call everyone a nazi, they instead choose to incorporate the dissent into the overall – subtly bigoted – narrative; if you think Blumenthal vastly distorted the facts, it’s because you’re a white supremacist (forgot about those who aren’t white, they’re just influenced by white supremacists, the poor, unthinking souls) wanting to believe colonialism never happened, and you probably want to invade Iran. You’re basically Hitler.