Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Showdown with Evil

It goes without saying that insightful commentators find themselves challenged to face the apparently developing confrontation with what is labeled as radical Islam.  Yes, it is a confrontation.  Wherever it finds succor, it consistently practices sedition against its host.  We see its early stages at work in Canada and the USA and a maturer version at work in Europe.

It knows it is fighting for the mind and loyalty of young men who can be used to attack in the name of its fraudulent version of Islamic Jihad.  It is a profane ideology that subjugates women and its own and anyone else it can intimidate.  I see it as an evil that must be opposed and bled dry and antidotes applied as had to be done with Nazism and Communism.

A reformed Islam may arise and stifle any similar reemergence, but there has been not much sign of that.  The militants are permitted to threaten with impunity and cow more liberal Muslims into silence.

Around the Muslim world, Egypt is struggling in a death grip with its own version known as the Muslim brotherhood.  The same forces are strongly suppressed in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.  Except it appears that authoritarian states can be negotiated into a devil’s deal with these forces in order to preserve themselves.  Thus it continues.  The system appears presently broken in Iraq, but these forces are out there trying to grab control.

Many commentators see only the path to war.  In some situations that has happened and surely it will continue to happen.  More likely the demands of modernism will ameliorate all that.

Strangely, even with outrages ringing in our ears, I am optimistic that war can be generally avoided.  It has taken military confrontation where tribalism rules, but there a sharp lesson also serves.  I recall the Canadian forces arriving in Kandahar several years ago.  The militants saw an opportunity to attack an unseasoned force.  The result was several hundred dead militants after the Canadians induced them into an ambush confrontation.  A local leader discovered he had lost five grandsons and the local militants were hugely diminished in reputation.

Outside that the rest have central governments that need productive citizens.  The pressure on these societies to allow their women to contribute to family incomes is intense and can only worsen.  In time, it cannot be withstood.  This all leads to freedom for women.  With that the rise of a secular society becomes unstoppable.  The problem today is the age old suppression of both women and any other designated minority is ingrained and must be ameliorated.  This can only be done with economic liberation which is been forced on these societies.

A Showdown with Evil


Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. For extended biography visit The Phyllis Chesler Organization.

Dr. Jamie Glazov and his Canadian publisher, Mantua Books, have just published a new kind of “samizdat” which is the Russian word for self-publications written by dissidents and passed from hand to hand. “Self-publishing” (by hand, on typewriters, on printing presses) was a 20th century way of dealing with Soviet government censorship. The Russian authors and readers who were found with such writing in their possession were routinely subjected to harsh imprisonment.

Westerners, (and this includes Israel), do not live in a Soviet Gulag and are not subject to political censorship, but we do face a new kind of Orwellian censorship and self-censorship. Independent and anti-totalitarian thinkers and activists are demonized, “disappeared,” legally sued, threatened with death—and in the name of anti-racism and human rights. Historian, journalist and Frontpage editor Glazov has been tracking this astounding turn of events—both the censorship and its denial—for a very long time, perhaps even in utero. After all, his parents were Soviet dissidents and he dedicates the book to his mother.

Glazov’s book is a careful compilation of selected interviews which he conducted with 30 dissidents, including one with himself and (full disclosure) one with me as well, between 2004-2010. These interviews appeared in David Horowitz’s Frontpage magazine. The book is titled: Showdown With Evil: Our Struggle Against Tyranny and Terror. Glazov understands that the new Evil Empire is the global alliance between Islamist totalitarianism and western liberal progressivism or leftism. The interviewees’ work is post the Intifada of 2000 and post 9/11.

This collection showcases some of the radically dissident work being done by those who are defamed and marginalized by the mainstream media as “conservatives,” “Islamophobes,” “racists,” and “traitors.”  Glazov stands with them. Included here are Steven Emerson, Victor Davis Hanson, David Horowitz, Andrew Klavan, Rep. Sue Myrick, Robert Spencer, and Charles Winecoff.

Glazov has consistently and persistently supported human rights, women’s rights and gay rights. He has a very moving interview with Charles Winecoff in this book. Winecoff “came out” as a conservative in the gay rights movement and had the same kind of “Darkness at Noon” experience that others, including myself have had.

Technically, Glazov did not “self-publish.” Publisher Howard Rotberg founded Mantua Books and is Glazov’s publisher. On the other hand, Mantua is a small, relatively new press, one which was forged in fire, and Rotberg is as determined as Glazov is to publish the truth-which-dare-not-speak-its-name in most mainstream western publications.

Rotberg, a Jewish lawyer, self-published his first novel, The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and Its Author, in 2003. He was not only defamed in a Canadian bookstore when two Arabs disrupted his lecture by calling him a “f**ing Jew” but was then labeled a racist-Zionist. His work was banned from the bookstore chain. Since then, Mantua has published six books, including David Solway’s Hear, O Israel and now this work by Glazov.

The interviewer, Glazov, and his interviewees all understand that their difficulties here are nowhere near as perilous as are those of their counterparts in the Islamic and communist world where the media is controlled by the state and in which anyone who publishes anything—however minor—against the party line (or which exposes the corruption of government officials), is jailed, tortured, or murdered. 

For example, in 2006, Moscow journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered because of her opposition to Putin’s policies in Chechyna; her murderer remains unknown. Attorney Sergei L. Magnitsky exposed official Russian corruption against an American firm. He was jailed in 2008, and then refused medical treatment while in custody; this purposeful neglect killed him. Finally, professor and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo was arrested, sentenced to eleven years in prison and, in 2010, not allowed to travel to Sweden to receive the Noble Peace Prize. His crime? “Inciting subversion of state power” by crafting and signing a human rights charter in 2008.

And, in the Islamic world: In 2006, Kareem Amer, an Egyptian blogger and former law student, was expelled from al-Azhar University for criticizing some of the university’s instructors, writing in his blog that the “professors and sheikhs at al-Azhar who … stand against anyone who thinks freely” would “end up in the dustbin of history”. The prosecutor admitted that he was on a “jihad” against Amer. In 2007, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison on charges of atheism (“There is no God except Man,” he wrote). His words were seen as defaming the President of Egypt, disrupting public security, and inciting hatred against Islam.

In September 2010, Hossein Derakshan, known as Iran’s “blogfather” because he helped to start Iran’s blogging revolution, was sentenced to 19 ½ years in prison, supposedly for spying on behalf of Israel. He left Iran for Canada in 2000 and visited Israel as a Canadian citizen in 2006. Although at first he was harshly critical of President Ahmadinejad, eventually he changed his mind and began blogging in favor of him, even comparing him to a modern-day Che Guevara. But the regime still decided to make an example of him when he returned to Iran in 2008.

In June, 2010, Bangladeshi authorities arrested the publisher Mahmudur Rahman and closed his newspaper because he dared to publish reports about government corruption and abuses of power. He has been beaten incustody, and 34 charges have been lodged against him. His fate remains unknown.

This does not occur in the West and in Israel. However, Glazov and his contributors have each sounded the alarm about a different and dangerously new kind of censorship. While there is no state censorship—there are no communist-style government-run publishing houses in the West—there is, nevertheless, “politically correct” censorship in public broadcasting which is partially government-funded and which wields enormous influence among the professoriate and the intelligentsia.

Thus, private publishing houses as well as university presses have become increasingly and rigidly left in orientation; the Party Line is an anti-American, anti-Israel, and pro-Palestinian line. No other views need apply. America and Israel are, allegedly, the world’s greatest imperialists, colonialists, racists, and aggressor nations. The long and tragic history of Islamic colonialism, racism, and jihad is not a welcome view.

More: Like the professoriate, publishers have become especially cautious, some might say cowardly or sadly, realistic. They do not want an Islamist bomb thrown through their windows, they do not want to absorb the cost of security for an author against whom a fatwa has been issued, nor do they want to pay to defend themselves against a battery of Islamist and leftist lawyers charging them with “racism” and “Islamophobia.”

The lawsuits and the fatwas are real. They have exerted a profound and chilling effect on Free Speech in the West. Salman Rushdie, Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Magdi Allam, Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, all come instantly to mind. All have required round-the-clock protection or have been sued for “racist” or “hate” speech by those who themselves specialize in telling Big Lies about America, Jews, and Israel. Theo Von Gogh was murdered, butchered, by a Moroccan-Dutch Islamist for daring to co-produce a film titled “Submission” about the normalization of barbaric violence towards Muslim women in Islam’s name.

Today, both in “Eurabia” (the term is Bat Ye’or’s) and in North America, any thinker, writer, academic, or intellectual who dares challenge the Party Line will be marginalized, scorned, demonized, not published; if published, not reviewed; if reviewed, reviewed negatively; and, in any event, not assigned by professors, and never quoted in the left, liberal, and mainstream media as an expert. In addition, friendships will end, political networks will crumble. The post-9/11 and “matzav” world viewers will not be hired as professors; their works will only be read by other post 9/11 world viewers.

Thus, in the wake of this steady tsunami, conservative internet sites, publishing imprints, and small, new publishers, such as Mantua Books, have arisen. I want to introduce you to the steadfast and principled Glazov by quoting from him at length from the excellent interview with him which was conducted by David Swindle, the editor of NewsReal Blog. Here is Glazov in his own words:

“Radical Islam is now the greatest threat the West faces. We are, as Norman Podhoretz has noted, in World War IV. We face totalitarian and religious zealots who seek to establish an Islamic caliphate worldwide. They hate freedom and liberty, and so they hate and need to destroy the United States and Israel the most, since these two nations are the bulwarks and representatives of freedom in the world.”

They also hate women: “…it is obvious that woman-hatred is intertwined with Islamic terror. The more fanatical and violent the Islamic terrorist and his milieu, the more misogyny you will find there…to fight for women’s rights under Islam is also to stick a dagger into the heart of Islamic jihad.”

Where Islamic gender apartheid is allowed to flourish, cancerous, violent extremism is destined to follow.

Glazov does not mince words about what is wrong with Islam in the 21st century. But there is a difference, he insists, between being blunt and being bigoted.

“This is not about demonizing Muslims or attacking Muslims,” he writes. “We are the allies of Muslims. I consider myself pro-Muslim. Muslims are the victims of Islam and its totalitarian structures. I spend a large part of my life fighting for the rights of Muslim women who suffer under Islamic gender apartheid. Does this make me anti-Muslim or pro-Muslim? I fight on behalf of Muslims who want to live in freedom and who don’t want to suffer the harsh punishments of Sharia Law. I fight for a world where young Muslim boys and girls are not brainwashed and forced to blow themselves up. Does this make me anti-Muslim or pro-Muslim?”

These are crucial questions and I expect that Glazov will keep asking them.

This article was originally published by Israel National News on December 26, 2010.

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