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But that doesn’t entirely explain it, does it? Earlier this year, Channel 4 in London broadcast a documentary called “Undercover Mosque” in which various imams up and down the land were caught on tape urging men to beat their wives and toss homosexuals off cliffs. Viewers reported some of the statements to the local constabulary. The West Midlands Police then decided to investigate not the fire-breathing clerics but the TV producers. As the coppers saw it, insofar as any “hate crime” had been perpetrated, it lay not in the urgings and injunctions of the imams but in a TV production so culturally insensitive as to reveal the imams’ views to the general public. As The Spectator’s James Forsyth put it, “The reaction of West Midlands Police revealed a mindset that views the exposure of a problem as more of a problem than the problem itself.”

Exactly. Did you see the latest remake of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers? It sank without trace a couple of months back and not just because it had Nicole Kidman in the lead. The new version relocates the story from small-town America to Washington, and sees it as a metaphor for power: cue endless references to Iraq and glimpses of Bush on the TV screens. Yet Body Snatchers isn’t about power so much as conformity.[2] That’s what the West Midlands Police were attempting to enforce with Channel 4, and what the Rotterdam police managed to enforce rather more successfully when they destroyed a mural created to express disgust at Theo van Gogh’s murder. Chris Ripke’s painting showed an angel and bore the words “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. But his studio is next to a mosque, and the imam complained that the mural was “racist”, so the cops showed up, destroyed it, arrested the TV crew filming it, and wiped their tape. A “tolerant” society cannot tolerate any assaults on its most cherished myths.

Professor Rosner, Daniel Silva’s fictional murder victim, would have understood. At the scene of his ritual slaughter there are no protesters, just piles of tulips and the banner “ONE AMSTERDAM, ONE PEOPLE” – one mass delusion. It’s not just that you’ll get your throat cut, but that you’ll get it cut and they’ll still string the same sappy happy-face multiculti banner over the crime scene.


Your lyin’ eyes

Perhaps the most conspicuous absence from the Canadian Islamic Congress dossier on Maclean’s “flagrant Islamophobia” is a column of mine from June 2006. At first glance it would appear to meet all the criteria used to establish the Islamophobia of the preceding exhibits. Like “The Future Belongs To Islam”, it could easily be said that this piece…

…focuses on the influx of Muslim immigrants into Europe and North America… Another significant theme contained in the article is that there is allegedly an ongoing war between Muslims and Non-Muslims, that Muslims are part of a global conspiracy to take over Western societies, and that Muslims in the West need to be viewed through this lens as the enemy.

Like “Feeding The Hand That Bites Them”, it surely suggests that…

Extremism and radicalism is prevalent in Ontario.

Like “The Little Mosque That Couldn’t”, it explicitly states that…

Muslims are obtaining undue and unwarranted cultural sensitivity from law enforcement.

Like “The Church Dance That Snowballed”, it states that…

There exists a ‘culture’ of grievance in Islam and in Muslims.

So it would appear to be no different from all the other “hate crimes” the CIC took to the “human rights” commissions. And yet this column was strangely absent from the otherwise comprehensive “case study”. Why should such a flagrantly flagrant piece of Islamophobia get off so lightly?

Perhaps because, unlike the “The Future Belongs To Islam”, this column deals not with Europe or other distant climes but with a jihadist plot smack in the middle of Canada – and that to complain about Maclean’s publishing it would have been a near parodic demonstration of the “victim complex” and the “moral inversion” that the piece itself addresses. So here is the hate crime that got away, as published in Maclean’s on June 13th 2006:

WITHIN A FEW hours of those arrests from the – what was the phrase? – “broad strata” of Canadian society, I had a little flurry of emails from radio and TV producers inviting me to toss in my two bits. But my two bits on Toronto is pretty much the same as my two bits on London and Madrid and Bali, and that’s quite a mound of quarters piled up over the past five years. What’s to say? The best summation is a line I first quoted in 2002, when a French oil tanker was attacked off the coast of Yemen. Back then, you’ll recall, the French foreign minister was deploring American “simplisme” on a daily basis, and President Chirac was the principal obstructionist of the neocon-Zionist-Halliburton plan to remake the Middle East. If you were to pick only one western nation not to blow up the oil tankers of, France would surely be it.

But they got blown up anyway. And afterwards a spokesman for the Islamic Army of Aden said, “We would have preferred to hit a US frigate, but no problem because they are all infidels.”

No problem. They are all infidels. In the scheme of things, launching a plot to behead the Prime Minister of Canada would not seem to be an obvious priority. No doubt they would have preferred to behead the President of the United States. But no problem. We are all infidels.

The multicultural society posits that each of its citizens can hold a complementary portfolio of identities: one can simultaneously be Canadian and Jamaican and gay and Anglican and all these identities can exist within your corporeal form in perfect harmony. But, for most western Muslims, Islam is their primary identity, and for a significant number thereof, it’s a primary identity that exists in opposition to all others. That’s merely stating the obvious. But, of course, to state the obvious is unacceptable these days, so our leaders prefer to state the absurd. I believe the old definition of a nanosecond was the gap between a New York traffic light changing to green and the first honk of a driver behind you. Today, the definition of a nanosecond is the gap between a western terrorist incident and the press release of a Muslim lobby group warning of an impending outbreak of Islamophobia. After the London tube bombings, Angus Jung sent the Aussie pundit Tim Blair a note-perfect parody of the typical newspaper headline:

British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train bombing.

An adjective here and there, and that would serve just as well for much of the coverage by The Toronto Star and the CBC, where a stone through a mosque window is a bigger threat to the social fabric than a bombing thrice the size of the Oklahoma City explosion. “Minority-rights doctrine,” writes Melanie Phillips in her new book Londonistan, “has produced a moral inversion, in which those doing wrong are excused if they belong to a ‘victim’ group, while those at the receiving end of their behaviour are blamed simply because they belong to the ‘oppressive’ majority.” If you want to appreciate the forces at play among western Muslims in societies hollowed out by multiculturalism, Londonistan is an indispensable read. “It is impossible to overstate the importance – not just to Britain but to the global struggle against Islamist extremism – of properly understanding and publicly challenging this moral, intellectual and philosophical inversion, which translates aggressor into victim and vice versa.”



An afterthought on The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

With hindsight, I think the makers of the latest version started out wanting to make an anti-Bush allegory – hence all those endless background news bulletins about Iraq – and then couldn’t figure out how to make it fit the Body Snatchers narrative. The nearest thing to a coherent message was the Russian guy’s observation toward the end that a world without war would be a world in which we’re no longer human. And, message-wise, I’ll bet that was an accidental one.

Nonetheless, it’s interesting. Since my difficulties with the “human rights” thought police began, I’ve been struck by how many Canadians (and Europeans) sincerely believe that a better world can be built by giving the state the exclusive power to “ban hate” and enforce niceness. Such a world will by definition be totalitarian. I’m not proposing that the next remake of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers should be an allegory for the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission, not unless Hollywood really wants to lose a ton of dough. But nevertheless that fits the story’s theme better than whatever Nicole Kidman was running through the streets perspiring over. In its successful manifestations, the Body Snatchers narrative is not about Bush but about sedating the populace into bland conformity for ostensibly “nice” reasons. A human society is a messy one: a lot of people will be “partisan” and “mean-spirited”, others will be hateful and bigoted, a few will bomb and kill and maim. You hope that most folks will stay down the low-key end of that spectrum, and that those who don’t will be resisted. But that is the price of remaining human, and the alternative – a state-mandated niceness – is fascistic.