This week’s Islam-debate in the shortest possible review:
…she makes crystal clear the nature of her views and erases forever any thought that the perception of her as a “clash of civilizations” extremist might be the result of misreporting or looseness of expression
For those pressed of time there are excerpts at Mattew Yglesias who also comments:
This is crazy stuff, and it’s frightening that AEI has gone so far ’round the bend that they’ve decided these are the kind of views they want their institution to be promoting.
As it is, Hirsi Ali has become something of a cause célèbre in Danish politics with the Danish People’s Party and the Liberals – the Prime Minister dedicated a post on his blog to her – competing to use her as policy symbol and the Conservative broadsheet Berlingske Tidende calling for the Danish government to put pressure on the Dutch government.
Meanwhile Scott McLemee declared last week Islamophobistfascist Awareness Week and, sure enough, Tony Blair stepped into the arena and declared that Iran is the Nazi Germany of today. (The Guardian has the video). Daniel Pipes, who is presented as an advisor to Rudy Giuliani, echos the view of Turkey promoted by the Danish People’s Party.
This piece by Sarah Baxter in the Sunday Times can be added to the mix, but she at least offers points for discussion.
So, what to make of all this? One point could be that American observers miss that people in Europe have in fact been murdered by Islamists which makes the concern for Hirsi Ali’s safety a real subject. And let’s face it, a lot of people both on the left and right say pretty crazy stuff. On the other hand, the Dutch government is likely to have a better picture of circumstances in the Netherlands than the Danish.
At the same time, I’ve promised myself not to take serious notice of people who use the terms Islamofascism (I’m allergic to the gratuitous use of the term “Fascism” as I’ve witnessed the systematic abuse of that term by the radical left in Europe during the 1970s and 1980s) and Eurabia. You’ll have to take notice of such people as a nuisance and possible threat (World War III, anyone?), but they do not invite serious discussion.
I’m also annoyed by Sarah Baxter’s statement that:
If you think Bush is a fascist and Castro is a progressive, you are not a democrat.
In my humble view, Bush43 has shown himself not to be a supporter of liberal democracy – his conception of government looks decidedly pre-1776 (or pre-Locke to be academic) to me – while Castro is a pretty ordinary third-world dictator. But if I’m anti-Bush, then I can’t be a democrat. Or?
Addendum: I posted this article about integration of Muslim immigrants in the UK in my del.icio.us-links some time ago. I still think it is interesting as a demonstration of the complexities surrounding the issue about “the West” and “Islam”.