January 12, 2004


Jim Nolan -- with whom, among others, I enjoyed a sensational eight-hour lunch last Saturday -- dissects John le Carre and Anne "le Greenpeace" Summers:

Will Le Carre serve to popularise the anti-Americanism already so evident among the conformist left and reactionary right? Perhaps, but if Summers’s inarticulate pleading is any example, not to an extent that it can get much worse.

"Inarticulate pleading" could be the headline for the latest piece by The Guardian’s Ian Black, who somehow reaches this conclusion:

Islamophobia is a bigger problem than anti-semitism.

Quite how he reaches this conclusion isn’t clear, at least to me. In fact, a great deal of his column seems to indicate the opposite.

(Via contributor J. F. Beck, who hails from a far western locale where lunch, alas, is never taken)

Posted by Tim Blair at January 12, 2004 11:11 PM

The sentence before Ian Black says Islamophobia is a bigger problem than antisemitism is, "Europe's Jews are not generally subjected to the sort of comments that have landed Robert Kilroy-Silk in trouble with Arabs."

Right . . . except a few times:

Martin Hohmann, MP representing the conservative opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) delivered a speech on 3 October 2003, German Unity Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit) claiming that Bolshevik Jews had been behind the mass executions during the 1917 Russian Revolution and comparing these acts with the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. “Jews were active in large numbers at the leadership level of the Cheka execution squads,” he explained. “Thus one could describe Jews with some justification as perpetrators [T?tervolk].” On another occasion Hohmann is quoted as having said that the time had come for Germany to stop regarding itself as “the one that caused Auschwitz."


- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad: The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them," Mahathir said, adding, "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews . . . They invented and successfully promoted socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others.

Posted by: TobaccoTom at January 12, 2004 at 11:32 PM

Let's look at the first definition for "phobia" at dictionary.com, shall we?

"A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous."

I have not been aware nor reassured that Islam is not dangerous. On the whopping contrary: I have seen nothing but suicide bombings, violent riots, seething editorials, gang rapes, denial of super-basic human rights, and "holy" texts advocating an anything-goes approach to non-Muslims. Even their recent Nobel laureate doesn't sound as peaceful as her little prize would suggest. Plainly put, I'm simply afraid of Muslims (well, it's not a paralyzing fear, since the U.S. can kick their asses if Muslims want to escalate this fight), but I wouldn't call any such fears a "phobia," and thus I don't think "Islamophobia" really exists.

As for anti-Semitism, when I see Jews slaughter 3,000 office workers without warning or cause, maybe I'll become afraid of them, too. But until then, any fears of Jews is actually a bit irrational.

Posted by: brett at January 12, 2004 at 11:55 PM

"As for anti-Semitism, when I see Jews slaughter 3,000 office workers without warning or cause, maybe I'll become afraid of them, too. But until then, any fears of Jews is actually a bit irrational."

Obviously you are unaware of the fact that 4000 jews never showed up at work on 9/11, so that their neocon Zionist criminal masters could fly remote-controlled jets into the World Trade Center. This act of 'Terrorism' provided the excuse brain-dead Dubya needed to launch his all-out so-called 'war' against progressive forces, such as the Taliban and the Iraqi Baath party, all around the world.



-Stabil som fan!

Posted by: Döbeln at January 13, 2004 at 12:10 AM

Black evidently suffers from 3 problems: 1) he writes for the Guardian; 2) he's an idiot; 3) he believes that Israeli resistance to being blown up is the root cause of the problems between Israel and the Palestinians.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at January 13, 2004 at 12:27 AM

The best that le Carre ever wrote was his first novel - The Spy Who Came In From the Cold. On the strength of that I spent the few dollars I got from a school prize on his Looking Glass war and another whose title I can't remember now. This was however before I read the Gulag Archipelago. In the face of all the horror and suffering detailed in that series of books, le Carre's angst-ridden spies who couldn't decide where their loyalities lay came across as moral buffoons. Le Carre cannot forgive Cold Warriors like Ronald Reagan and now the infamous neo-cons, because they had been right all along even without the benefit of an Oxbridge education. On the other hand Le Carre's own heroes among the self-described "best and brightest" had serious trouble distinguishing between Uncle Joe and Harry Truman.

Posted by: Ivan at January 13, 2004 at 12:42 AM

At last, some sense in this right wing death beast spiderhole !

Yes it is true: the moron George W Bush (who cant even pernounce the Kinks English good - Ray Davies, where are you ?) set in train the diabolically intricate plot to mind-control innocent men of God into flying passenger jets into the Twin Towers, taking care to warn the Jews not to turn up for work that day.

The "hijackers" were forced into it! I know for a fact that Mohammed Atta suffered Islamophobe slurs several times!

This can never be proved because it has been so cleverly covered up!

Bush is a fool!

Posted by: RantsInHisPants at January 13, 2004 at 08:14 AM

Bush is a retart and a pupet.

Posted by: gaz at January 13, 2004 at 08:53 AM

So, Tim, what bottle of EXPENSIVE WINE did you drink with LUNCH? How many innocent Iraqis and soldiers DIED while you ate LUNCH? Did you pay for LUNCH with money, or oil? Did you eat CHICKEN? Did you stop at the local Army recruitment center when you finished? I thought not...

Posted by: Jerry at January 13, 2004 at 09:03 AM

I like:

"Prodi should remind the anti-semitism conference that one of his first acts as EC president was to visit Auschwitz"

Well thanks a million Prodi. If only all politicians could wander around the ruins of Auschwitz all the time the Jews would feel so much more secure. Maybe that's where they sent all the French police who don't seem to be around to help prevent synagogue bombings.

Posted by: Mark at January 13, 2004 at 12:22 PM

Whether Islamophobia is more dangerous than antisemitism depends of course on who you are...

Posted by: maor at January 13, 2004 at 11:33 PM