Friday, October 21, 2005

Mark Steyn Slams Dhimmi Britain

I wish I had the writing skills of Mark Steyn. He gets to the point so deliciously. I like Hugh Fitzgerald's writing style also although I have to keep a Google Search handy for his references to people, places and incidents I am completely ignorant about.

In any case, Mark Steyn points out the hypocrisy of the Britain elite and their absurd dhimmitude. Bush is so hated that they would ally with their assassins to dump on him. Hey, I got major problems with the man, myself, but I am not going to jump in bed with the moonbats and the Muslim Mafia. I'll do my skewering on my own thank you.

Speaking of hypocrites, lots of that going on. See my fence posting below.

Why is Bush's Christianity so risible . . .
By Mark Steyn
(Filed: 11/10/2005)

Of all the total non-stories reported by the British media since 9/11 - the brutal Afghan winter, the non-existent Jenin massacre - has there ever been a bigger waste of space than the column inches devoted to "Bush: God Told Me to Invade Iraq"? That was the Independent's headline. The Guardian, like the Indy, led with a front-page picture of the President aglow in his own personal halo, but preferred the caption: "George Bush believes he is on a mission from God." And my old comrade Mark Lawson piled on with a full columnar sneer at the President's "Manichean convictions".

The source for this story was essentially a BBC press release for a forthcoming documentary. Nabil Shaath, the so-called Palestinian "foreign minister", told them (the BBC) that Bush told him (Shaath) that God told him (Bush) to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House said this was "absurd" and the only other Palestinian present at that meeting, Mahmoud Abbas, has denied Shaath's account of the conversation. As evidence of Bush's "Manichean convictions", the whole thing's a lot of Manichean piss, as the Belgians would say.

One suspects a few of those excitable British editors realised that, even as they stampeded to the picture desk to work up some shots of the President looking insanely beatific under the "It's Official: Bush 'Religious Nut' Says Respected Palestinian Intifada Apologist" headlines. One day, when they're sifting through the ruins of post-Christian Europe, archaeologists will marvel at the energy expended on the gleeful mockery of open religiosity.

Well, not all religiosity, of course. If there's anything worth jeering at or condescending to about a certain other big-time religion much in the news these days, the lads at the Guardian and Independent seem far less eager to lead the charge.

Now why would that be? In the Cold War, the elites at least felt obliged to genuflect toward the theory of "equivalence". This time round, who needs equivalence? "Bush is more religious than Saddam," pronounced Martin Amis two years ago. "Of the two presidents, he is, in this respect, the more psychologically primitive." Of course.

If Britain is under threat from anybody's "Manichean convictions", it's surely not evangelical Christians'. To recap from seven days ago: last year I made a joke about banning Porky Pig on the grounds that a porcine cartoon was grossly insensitive toward Muslims, only to discover the other week that Dudley council has banned Piglet as part of its pre-Ramadan crackdown on cultural insensitivity.

So last Tuesday, in the course of a column about Piglet, I made a joke that British Muslims ought to complain about having to put up with a grossly offensive head of state who is an uncovered woman. And lo and behold, in that very morning's Daily Telegraph, I find an item that the English flag - the cross of St George - has been banned from prisons because it might be "misinterpreted" as a racist symbol.

So, for the moment, I'm holding off on any gags about the first imam to be made Archbishop of Canterbury or the Queen demonstrating her commitment to multiculturalism by becoming the fourth wife of a Saudi prince. Official Britain seems to have lost all sense of proportion and one doesn't want to give them any more ideas.

The prohibition of England's flag in England's prisons was put in place by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, who is concerned about the "lack of cultural understanding" at Wakefield jail.

As far as I can tell, specific examples of "lack of cultural understanding" were confined to an insufficient range of hair products for black prisoners and the display of the offensive national emblem: "We were concerned to see a number of staff wearing a flag of St George tiepin," she wrote in a report on Wakefield jail. "While we were told that these had been bought in support of a cancer charity, there was clear scope for misinterpretation."

There always is, isn't there? The other day, a state-funded imam at Werribee Islamic College in Australia told his students that the Jews were putting poison in bananas and that Muslims shouldn't eat them. Allowing Aussie greengrocers to continue to display bananas offers "clear scope for misinterpretation", too. But misinterpretation is in the eye of the misinterpreter, and pandering to it ensures there will be a lot more.

We hear endlessly about "systemic racism" in British institutions, but the really rampant contagion seems to be systemic auto-racism, a psychologically unhealthy predisposition to believe the worst only about one's own culture. And the trouble with the Anne Owers school of pre-emptive misinterpretation is that the perpetually aggrieved interpret it all too accurately.

Thus, Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, already feels Ms Owers's ban is insufficient. The cross of St George, he explains, is offensive to Muslims because it was carried by English crusaders in the 11th century.

Hmm. Would that be the 11th century that ended nine and a bit centuries ago? When a fellow's got hang-ups about things that happened a millennium ago, there's no point trying to assuage them; he'll only unearth some earlier grievance, demanding the Natural History Museum be dismantled because some stegosaurus was disrespectful to Muslims back in the Jurassic era.

So Mr Doyle wants England to find a new flag which "is not associated with our bloody past and one we can all identify with". How about we simply swap with the Yanks? Give Crusader Bush the cross of St George and England can have the Stars and Stripes? The stars would be the 50 shards of a pork scratching crushed underfoot by a Dudley council official, with 13 horizontal yellow streaks representing the prostrate backbones of the nation.

Why is George W. Bush's utterly unremarkable evangelical Christianity so self-evidently risible but complaints from British Muslims hung up over the 11th century are perfectly reasonable and something we should seek to accommodate? Where is the secular Left's "insensitivity" when you need it? No doubt the bien pensants will still be hooting at born-again Texans on the day the House of Lords gives a second reading to the Sharia Bill.

It may be time to open a book on when precisely that will be. Any guesses? Whoever is closest wins a one-way, first-class air ticket out, with complimentary in-flight bacon butty and Zionist banana.


dag said...

Postes Styn's work a few times myself. Clever and witty guy, which is why I have him compete with me. I love winning.

dag said...

When all is said and done at the end of the day, and when we go off home after a day of waging a righteous struggle against the forces of evil, what have we accomplished, I wonder?

I'll sleep on it, and I'll try to do more tomorrow. maybe, in our own small ways, we're making a difference.

Looking forward to your book review.

John Sobieski said...

Dag, I believe that working with our Reps and Senators either through correspondence or other methods is the lowest cost but effective tactic. We simple have to get them educated. We need to support those who get it, or at least suspect a dark side to Islam. PC and MC are mighty barriers to overcome.

Do you think sending your Senator a nice letter with The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom a good idea?

Education is a process. They may never read that book. But if I could get one of my Senators to read part of it? It's a $25 experiment which I would like to give a go and just see what happens.

dag said...

My mind lights up with the recall of something like "the sixth monkey." The idea is that a number of monkeys do someithing, and through the aether that something leaps to a removed monkey.

There are a number of other appraches to the same concept: the zeitgeist, the mental climate, and so on. And I am a strong proponent of that particular approach, vague as it might seem.

Ignoring the vacuous premise of the Sapir- Whorf Hyposthesis, a popular if incredibly stupid idea of epistemology, we must ask where our ideas do come from. How do we know, and how do we know it's true? The late and much missed Christopher Lasch suggests that ideas come not from the top or the bottom but from the middle class. And what's happened to our middle classes? It is they, and not our political leaders who should be making our common social decisions. What's wrong with them, our middle classes? Muc, I think, but the point is that they are the ones who will create the much needed change in the mental climate so the rest of us can breathe more easily.

My point is that it is our neighbours who are in charge of the public discourse, the public narrative, the meaning of our cultures and societies. In short, I write constantly that it is the guy next door and at the office and at the supermarket who must be our audience if we are going to change the public mind on the question of how we approach our struggles against Islam and dhimmitude.

I write constantly that it is our neighbour whom we should and must go out for coffee with, book in hand, and that we must sit down and converse face to face to show, line by line, the trouble we are in. If one, then five. And from there the sixth monkey, if you will.

Robert Spencer at has often expressed the desire to have his multitude of readers gather together in just such communities of students of jihad. It is through blogs such as this that one might gather ones friends and neighbours to the study of jihad in the local cafe or the pub or the backyard.

Frankly, rather than trying to convince a politician of anything at all, I'd rather put in my time and effort electing someone already on track. Even if that were to fail the result would be to put our concerns on the public table where the elctee would have to address our concerns regardless if s/he wants to gather more votes next time.

Yes, it's a good point to try with the rotten lot we have now, but I would invite my neighbour in for coffee and Bostom as well, and in fact often.

there are numerous advantages to the personal approach, not the least of which is that one might make fast friends with those who are now unknown.

And on that note, how are you? I'm happy to have this converation with you. I like it.

snowonpine said...

Rather than the top-down approach of trying to reason with public officials--who tend to be a stubborn lot who have no backbone but a great sense of entitlement and self preservation coupled with a firm lock on the location of the nearest emergency exit--I would suggest that buttom-up mobilizing efforts among the angry peasants with pitchforks crowd would be much more productive.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! thanks a lot! ^^

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