Freedom of the Press (to Incite Jihad)
Would you loudly accuse someone of being an anti-blue extremist if you knew there were deranged young men in the room with a history of killing people who criticize the color blue?
Progressive media types around the world have spent years branding people like Lars Hedegaard as “haters,” “racists,” “promoters of intolerance,” “alarmists,” and “extremists,” for warning of the dangers of the global caliphate movement. Throughout those years they have watched as numerous men and women they have so branded became targets of violence from Islamists, or of repression from their own politically correct governments. Now Hedegaard, already having suffered through his government's repressive machinations, has apparently become the latest famous victim of jihadist violence. (See Andrew Bostom's chronicling of the attempted murder of Hedegaard, here.) And yet the penny never drops for the progressive media: their branding is helping to inflame violence and repression against people who speak their consciences regarding Islam.
If I say Noam Chomsky is a fascist whose writings are dangerous, the “violence” of the response from his defenders will likely be purely metaphorical. Likewise if I say the same thing about Christianity or Judaism, for that matter. Not so in the case of Islam, however, and we have a lot of precedent, along with endless public threats from Islamists themselves, to prove it.
And yet that precedent, and those threats, have no effect whatsoever on the progressive media's practices, except perhaps to make their accusations of hatred, intolerance and extremism even more virulent. Why can't they see that this case is different – that their heightened rhetoric is providing impetus to murderers, and fodder to apologists for global jihad? Criticizing Islam is not, at this time, the same as criticizing other religions, or any other group. It frequently results in violence and intimidation from an ever-growing radicalized faction. Everyone knows this. Thus, everyone knows that portraying a critic of Islam with the politically correct lexicon of “hate speech” and “racism” may contribute to bringing an always-simmering pot to a rolling boil. It is tantamount to helping jihadist leaders paint bull's-eyes on their targets.
With their politically correct smearing of brave men, these progressives are at least rationalizing, and possibly inciting, terrorism and government repression against innocent people who have merely voiced unpopular opinions – often, as in Hedegaard's case, in defense of Muslim women – and they are doing so in the name of freedom of the press. They are claiming the “freedom” to shout “Infidel!” in a crowded radical mosque. And then, when the inevitable happens, they either fall silent, or imply that the victim asked for it. (Read Douglas Murray's article at the UK's Spectator, including the readers' comments.)
Are these progressive media muckrakers merely too stupid to see that every jihadist attack, every assassination attempt, every French or Swedish woman frightened to show her hair in certain neighborhoods of her own country, reinforces how wrong they are in branding men like Hedegaard extremists? Or are they secretly pleased to help Islamists silence their critics through death and fear, on the same “partners in crime” principle that has made international socialism and the global caliphate movement strategic allies since the Soviet era?
None of this makes any sense in rational, human terms. But in today's Western political and media climate – when the most powerful politician on the planet is touting the Muslim Brotherhood as a force for democratic reform, and the most powerful “free press” is carefully concealing its government's acquiescence in the Islamist killings of four of its own citizens – not making sense merely proves you are at one with the forces of history. Forward, cower!