Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Newsweek Misses The Mark... Again

Newsweek, the weekly news magazine that famously was recently sold for a dollar, has proven its worth once again with another excursion into irrelevance.

Chris Dickey, an award winning journalist at the Paris news-desk of Newsweek has entered the discussion of Islam and its interactions with the West.
"The story has an eerie relevance to the current mood all across Europe. People are afraid, caught between terrorists who are plotting attacks against them and politicians who are not only exploiting the public’s fears but, in some cases, openly taunting the terrorists."
So from Chris Dickey's point of view, those darn European polliticians are causing their own problems, and they are doing so in the hopes that speaking about the rise of Islam in Europe and its impact on their homeland will translate into them gaining political power.

Are you kidding me?  How can Dickey so completely loose his way?  It's a cart before the horse argument that has reduced the political tension between Islam and the West to a pair of toddlers who can't get along sharing the same toy.

This then would be the nuanced insight of the left, constantly seeking to find cause in the West for the violence and oppression that is the way of the jihadists.  It is utter nonsense.  The approach casts the problem as though it is the Europeans that are narrow minded and intolerant, rather than the Islamists who wish to subdue or kill them.  An example of the distortion is the recent attention given to Geert Wilders and his comments suggesting that head scarves be taxed.  The critics use this as an example of Wilders being a rabble rouser, all the while giving a pass to the multiple threats made against Mr. Wilders life.  Mr. Wilders is a member of parliament and is a relatively protected person.  How much more dangerous would it be for a common citizen to speak critically of Islam?    The threats to Mr. Wilders life are an atempt to silence him and subdue the West, and it strikes to the heart of our long established freedoms of thought and of speech.  The religion of Islam is not harmed by Mr. Wilders expressions of his opinion, and if the Islamists seek to live in a free society they must brace themselves to be the hearers of opinions that they may not agree with.

The Dutch received 285 threats to the life of Geert Wilders in 2008 alone, and 428 death threats against Dutch politicians in all.  Geert Wilders is speaking out... he is exercising his right to speak freely.  And what he is saying is speech of a political nature that is protected. He is living in a land that is daily coming under pressure to conform to what Islam would have.   Geert Wilders is a beacon of light saying no we will not buckle under your threats and efforts to control us.  We will preserve our right to speak freely, and commenting upon the head scarves as he does is him flying in the face of those that would put him under their thumb.  He is creating room for full discourse on the part of the average dutchman.

Most of the above mentioned death threats were from Islamists who did not like what they were hearing from Dutch parliment members.  We can all recall the shockingly brutal murder of Theo Van Gogh, who had been drawing attention to the treatment of women in Islamic societies.  For his troubles an Islamist shot him repeatedly, ignoring his pleas for mercy, slit his throat and then took a letter decrying Van Gogh's 'crimes' and pinned it to him with a knife that he plunged into the dying man's chest.   Then of course there was the assassination of minister of parlimnent Pim Fortuyn, who also had been saying that the Netherlands should restrict the inflow of Islamic Immigrants to their country. Of course, Pim was not assassinated by a jihadist, but rather was shot down by Volkert Van der Gaaf, a self-described animal rights activist and environmentalist extremist who killed poor Pim because he thought Pim wanted to take advantage of Muslim immigrants.
"Wali ur-Rehman, a Pakistani Taliban leader linked to the attempted May 1 Times Square bombing, has been watching Wilders’s rise in the Netherlands. “The path that the Dutch government is following is very dangerous.  They will have to pay the price for putting a ban on Islamic values and ridiculing them.”"

Geert Wilders is a brave man who is not likely to die a natural death.  Meanwhile, award winning Newsweek journalist Chris Dickey wonders if it is all a stunt Wilders is trying to pull off to gain votes in the Dutch parliament.



  1. This is beautifully done, Jim.

  2. My heart sinks every time I see that picture of Theo Van Gogh. It's a harsh reminder.

  3. But it is important for all of us to be harshly reminded -- it takes so much to get through the mass hysteria equivalent of denial the West is mired in.

  4. Sadly, it seems that nothing will get people to diagnose the true problem honestly or responsibly. For all that people attack Ann Coulter, this confirms the basic premise of Guilty -- usually those who play the victim are really victimizing others.