Sunday, September 6, 2009


Of all the fringe political entities out there, I think the one that most burns me is the soi-disant "anti-jihadist movement." They are a loose group of people dedicated to the idea that a vast, implacable Muslim conspiracy exists, bent on destroying once and for all Judeo-Christian culture and replacing it with a universal Caliphate. If you've ever seen Daniel Pipes or Robert Spencer on the news, or blundered across Bat Ye'or's Eurabia in a bookstore, you've seen them.

Frankly, they frighten me, and I'm a white, Midwestern Lutheran. I am not in their crosshairs. When I read their writings, or see them on TV, I can't help but shudder, though. Something about their wild-eyed insistence that they are fighting a thousand-year struggle against the hordes of Islam bothers me. Something about their insistence that a racial and religious war is coming chills my bones. It chills me, not because I am a dhimmi with my head in the sand (as the anti-jihadists love to call anyone who disagrees with them), but because those who warn most loudly of racial strife are those who do their best to cause it.

They also frighten me because of their deep contempt for what they claim to love. They claim to love the West, in all its glory as the font of science, art, religion, music and technology. Their West, though, is the insular, inward-looking world of the Middle Ages, aware of the outside world only as a threat. The reject the Enlightenment, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions (except as an example of the superiority of the West), the political and cultural changes that gave us universal suffrage, birthright citizenship, and popular elections. They hate, and I do not think hate is too strong a word, the idea of republican government. One needs only look at their self-chosen titles and iconography - baron this or that, crusaders' crosses, references to Holgar the Dane and Brigid of Sweden - to see their contempt for everything the West has built since, say, the reign of Barbarossa.

This contempt spills over into the political parties the support. Their anti-modernism and longing for a mythical golden age make them natural allies for reactionaries and fascists. The fracas within the movement over the decision of some members to support the Vleems Belang party of Belgium, a party that glorifies Belgians who served in the SS, shows this fault line. The glowing mentions of the BNP and right-wing German groups on the movement's blogs show them for the fascists they are.

Most disturbing, though, is the behavior of Jewish anti-jihadists. Jews, of all people, ought to be able to see through the "anti-jihadists." A look at the rhetorical tricks used by the anti-jihadists shows them to be eerily similar to those used, both in ages past and today, by anti-semites. Accusations, for instance, of collusion between the banks and Muslims ought to sound familiar, as should accusations of a great Leftist-Muslim conspiracy. The innuendos about improper relations between Muslim men and non-Muslim women common in the movement also should send warning shivers down the spine of anyone who remembers history. The accusation that Muslims are "parasites," and the officially-disavowed but still-common label of "subhumans" should sicken listeners. While I have not yet seen any accusations that Muslims murder Christian or Jewish babies for Eid, I would not be surprised, as accusations that Muslims fabricate wholesale any violence against them are common in the anti-jihadist sphere.

I know that this seems an odd thing to harp on, since we have our own troubles here, but I believe they are connected. The forces of reaction where many hats, but are united by a hatred for everything we have built over the past few hundred years.

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