Conservatives who seek to banish anti-jihadism, as the EU seeks to criminalize it
The anti-jihad blog US or Them has a blow-by-blow account of a controversy at the very popular website LGF. It seems that LGF’s owner Charles Johnson has attacked the recent anti-jihad meeting in Brussels on the grounds that it included the leaders of the Belgian immigration restrictionist party Vlaams Belang, which Johnson called extremist, and he also deleted comments at his blog advocating the deportation of Muslims from the U.S. I haven’t read Johnson enough to know much about his politics. Basically I’ve not read his website (except for occasionally linking items there that readers tell me about) because of an instinctive, and no doubt backward and prejudicial, feeling I have that a publication named “Little Green Footballs” cannot possibly be serious.
Meanwhile, over at Brussels Journal, Paul Belien lays out Johnson’s charges against Vlaams Belang and replies in detail. I haven’t read Johnson’s original article yet, but if, as Belien writes, Johnson said that VB must be shunned because “Nazi skinheads applaud the party,” and because “neo-Nazis link to VB videos,” (the logic being that if David Duke approves of something I write then my beliefs are the same as David Duke’s), then Johnson is a PC liberal and useless to any serious defense of the West.
More important and alarming is the initial subject of Belien’s post, a proposal in the EU to outlaw racism and xenophobia, with racism and xenophobia defined as “belief in race, colour, descent, religious belief or national or ethnic origin as a factor determining aversion to individuals.” Meaning, that since non-discrimination is now (as I’ve been saying for years) the ruling principle of Western society, disobedience to this principle shall henceforth be a criminal offense. So, if I prefer not to associate with Muslims, or perhaps even if I say that Europe should not admit Muslim immigrants because Islam is inherently dangerous to the West, I go to jail.
We must keep in mind that the view underlying the EU proposal is not extreme by the standards of modern liberalism and its offshoot, modern conservatism. I’ve previously mentioned that Joseph Bottum, formerly of the neoconservative journal The Weekly Standard and now the managing editor of the neoconservative Catholic journal First Things, has said that if we stopped admitting Muslim immigrants into the West, “we would be as immoral as the terrorists.” Well, how should society treat people who are the moral equivalent of terrorists? Hmm?
Cord Raeside writes:
You wrote: “I haven’t read Johnson’s original article yet, but if, as Belien writes, Johnson said that VB must be shunned because “Nazi skinheads applaud the party,” and because “neo-Nazis link to VB videos,” (the logic being that if David Duke approves of something I write then my beliefs are the same as David Duke’s), then Johnson is a PC liberal and useless to any serious defense of the West.”LA replies:
I did not attack LGF as a website (other than to say that I find its name silly), and I have regularly posted items from LGF. What I said was that someone who seeks to banish a European immigration restrictionist party from consideration merely because some other party (in this case a skin-head group) agrees with it or quotes it, is someone who is operating on a knee-jerk liberal basis. And someone operating on a knee-jerk liberal basis will always undermine our side in the end. There are many conservatives who have been good in calling attention to the dangers of Islam, but who, the moment anyone suggests doing anything about this danger, shut down the conversation.Emerson writes:
Would you please link or source Bottum’s quote. You’ve referred to it four times in the last few weeks and it’s almost unbelievable. And what is this guy’s genetic background. He more than “just a liberal.”LA replies:
It was not something he published. I heard him say it in person. I was at a meeting about the Islam problem in Spring 2006 in New York City. The main speaker, who is a noted person from Britain, warned of Islam in the most alarming terms. When the discussion opened up, I said my usual thing about stopping Muslim immigration. Then Bottum said, “If we stopped all Muslim immigration, we would be as immoral as the terrorists.” I impulsively blurted out, “That’s the most naive thing I’ve ever heard.” Of course, “naive” was not the right word, but I didn’t want to say “stupid,” and “naive” was the substitute that came to mind. He then physically recoiled in surprise at my comment and said something along the lines that I was trying to shut him up. I forget what I said next, if anything, but I did not have the wits to say, “You’re the one trying to shut down this entire discussion on the Islam problem by saying that someone who says we should stop Muslim immigration is as evil as the most evil people who have ever lived on this planet.”James P. writes:
Charles Johnson has been viciously attacking European rightwing parties and their supporters all week. His “lizard army” (regular posters) have shouted down any dissent on his blog, as I found out to my chagrin. When I pointed out that Diana West wrote that the Vlaams Belang was the most pro-Israel political party in Europe that she knew of, I was immediately labelled a jackbooted goosestepper.Michael B. writes
Thank you for acknowledging the LGF debacle. LGF’s attack on Vlaams Belang and the Sweden Democrats was shameful. Charles was using unsourced photos and even Swedish leftist-multiculti propaganda sources to make his “point.” The charges are beyond ridiculous. The Sweden Democrats are easily one of the most pro-Zionist, pro-Jewish parties in Europe today. LGF has now enabled Muslim groups like CAIR to pick up and run with the Nazism charges against VB and SD. This attack could not have come at a more inopportune time. Many of us have been very filled with renewed excitement and commitment to the cause after the successful Brussels conference, and we’re also in the middle of a very perilous period as far as EU power-grabbing goes.LA replies:
Could they be the Islam critics that John Derbyshire is so turned off by?Richard B. writes:
I also rarely visit LGF. It is the Charles-Johnson-we’re-all-on-the-same-page-and-don’t-we-all-love-Charles self-indulgence fest (see, we all have the same enemies). Juvenile, in so many ways. I never understood why it’s popular, but then there are a lot of juveniles out there.LA replies:
I must do more of that.N. writes:
Perhaps Charles Johnson is “fighting the last war”? That is, he’s fretting over some right-wing from the past, because that is easier than looking at what is going on in Belgium right now? We all carry baggage with us of past conflicts. Maybe Charles’s load has gotten heavier for some reason?Buck R. writes:
I visit LGF frequently, am a member but rarely post there. I was surprised how he attacked SIOE and the groups involved, so quickly and with very little verification of the evidence he presented. Brussels Journal refuted many of the photos Charles posted as proof. Ironically, this is what the mainstream media does to those who oppose Islam. Charles can’t have the perfect resistance to support, it doesn’t exist. Waiting for the emergence of a resistance that would meet his standards is hopeless.LA replies:
From what people are saying, Johnson sounds like a Ralph Peters type, a “conservative” who hates Europe and sees it as Nazi-like.Milos L. writes:
I wanted to write to you about Charles and the LGF attacking Vlaams Belang and European nationalists in general and signal him as one of your “usual suspects,” but never got round to it. I’m glad you took notice yourself of the whole sorry affair. However, it seems to me you still have some doubts whether Charles is a PC liberal or not. To give you conclusive proof I present two comments on the infamous LGF thread that started the whole thing.LA replies:
The quote doesn’t show Johnson as a Usual Suspect but as a liberal. Usual Suspects may ultimately be liberals, but not all liberals are Usual Suspects. A Usual Suspect is a person who warns of Islam as a great menace to our society but rejects the idea of stopping or even reducing Muslim immigration.LA continues:
To return to a nightmare scenario discussed at VFR a few months ago, we could ask the following question. If there were popular nationalist uprisings in Europe against the forced imposition of Islam on Europe, and if the EU forces were unable to contain this uprising, would Charles Johnson and Ralph Peters support the use of U.S. troops to put down the nationalists? I think there’s a reasonable chance they would.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 27, 2007 05:21 PM | Send