Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A View from the Inside

Phyllis Chesler learned the truth about Islam and Islamic culture long before 19 jihadis sent airplanes plowing into the World Trade Center. As a naive college student in America she met and married an Afghani and later moved to Kabul. This was long before the Taleban came to power. Chesler, no doubt taught by her college professors that all cultures are equal and that Third World cultures were morally superior to the West, quickly learned otherwise. Her "Westernized" Muslim husband dropped his mask as soon as he was back home.

When we landed in Kabul, an airport official smoothly confiscated my US passport. “Don’t worry, it’s just a formality,” my husband assured me. I never saw that passport again. I later learnt that this was routinely done to foreign wives — perhaps to make it impossible for them to leave. Overnight, my husband became a stranger. The man with whom I had discussed Camus, Dostoevsky, Tennessee Williams and the Italian cinema became a stranger. He treated me the same way his father and elder brother treated their wives: distantly, with a hint of disdain and embarrassment.

While being held a virtual prisoner in Kabul - where women, even in pre-Taleban days, were not permitted to go outside without a male relative escort - Chesler saw the truth.

Individual Afghans were enchantingly courteous — but the Afghanistan I knew was a bastion of illiteracy, poverty, treachery and preventable diseases. It was also a police state, a feudal monarchy and a theocracy, rank with fear and paranoia. Afghanistan had never been colonised. My relatives said: “Not even the British could occupy us.” Thus I was forced to conclude that Afghan barbarism was of their own making and could not be attributed to Western imperialism.

Long before the rise of the Taleban, I learnt not to romanticise Third World countries or to confuse their hideous tyrants with liberators. I also learnt that sexual and religious apartheid in Muslim countries is indigenous and not the result of Western crimes — and that such “colourful tribal customs” are absolutely, not relatively, evil. Long before al-Qaeda beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and Nicholas Berg in Iraq, I understood that it was dangerous for a Westerner, especially a woman, to live in a Muslim country. In retrospect, I believe my so-called Western feminism was forged in that most beautiful and treacherous of Eastern countries.

But when she returned to the West, her blunt appraisal of what she had seen endured won her no praise among the intellectual and academic elite. Her taste of reality sounded a discordant and unpleasant note in their ultra-orthodox symphony of multiculturalist delusion. That she had seen this with her own eyes - seen women treated like cattle, deprived of all rights - only infuriated the mandarins of political correctness, who insisted. with a fanaticism of self-loathing capable only among the most devout religious believers, that the West and the West alone was responsible for all the problems of the world. So she received only scorn for her prescient warnings.

Nevertheless, Western intellectual-ideologues, including feminists, have demonised me as a reactionary and racist “Islamophobe” for arguing that Islam, not Israel, is the largest practitioner of both sexual and religious apartheid in the world and that if Westerners do not stand up to this apartheid, morally, economically and militarily, we will not only have the blood of innocents on our hands; we will also be overrun by Sharia in the West. I have been heckled, menaced, never-invited, or disinvited for such heretical ideas — and for denouncing the epidemic of Muslim-on-Muslim violence for which tiny Israel is routinely, unbelievably scapegoated.

Chesler hopes that the last five years will have opened the eyes of the elite.

Now is the time for Western intellectuals who claim to be antiracists and committed to human rights to stand with these dissidents. To do so requires that we adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism, which justifies, even romanticises, indigenous Islamist barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals and intellectuals. Our abject refusal to judge between civilisation and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny.

But this is fantasy. The"antiracists" and "human rights" activists have never stood for "antiracism" or "human rights." Those were cudgels with which to express their hatred of Western Civilization, its creators and everything it stands for. They do not stand against racism or for human rights, only against the West. This is why, in Britain, a white school girl is taken to the police station after she asks to be assigned to a study group whose members speak English, while imams, caught on tape at "moderate mosques" throughout London slandering Christains and Jews, praising terrorism, and calling for the erradication of England, are not even questioned by the police. That is how "antiracism" laws are applied in Britain, and a stark statement of whom they are only to be applied against. And that is why the Western intellectual elite refuses to acknowledge the truth about Islam. And never will.


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