In the United States today, and indeed in the western world as a whole, we are in a state of perpetual war. This is no exaggeration. Since 9/11, the US has officially been involved in at least 5 wars – two explicitly against state actors (Iraq and Afghanistan) and three against non-state actors (with fronts open in Libya, Syria, and Pakistan). It is not just the United States, too. Due to Islamic terrorism, which currently takes the form of a war declared against states by non-state or pseudo-state entities, multiple western countries such as France and Belgium, having suffered attacks from said entities, have declared prolonged states of emergency, with many others poised to do so as the terror alert remains universally high across western Europe. It is to the extent that the UK foreign office has declared that the risk of a terror attack at home in Britain is just as high as that in Algeria, Syria, or Saudi Arabia.
We have also seen the rise of another, more confined war (or set of wars) across the West. It is fought in campuses across the country, as well as on social media, where vast echo chambers have been set up to accommodate the views of either side. There is no definitive name for this war, but its fighters on either side do have names; on the left, they are the ‘regressive left’ or the SJWs (so-called social justice warriors) that seeks to limit free speech and traditional concepts of equality and meritocracy (equality of opportunity) in favor of identity politics, ‘social justice’, and ‘new’ equality (equality of outcome). The culture they seek to spread is widely identified as ‘PC culture’. On the right, we have seen the rise of the counterrevolutionaries, who are lambasted as racists, sexists, bigots, or worse – those who want to curtail the excessive practices of the regressive left in enforcing their ideology in public. This latter group includes the much lambasted ‘Alt-right’ which does indeed contain prominent individuals with racist views.
Nowhere else has this been better demonstrated than the two camps set up around the two maverick candidates that took the run for the presidency in their respective party’s nominee races – Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Looking at them, they could not be more different – Bernie is a compassionate socialist who has bought into the SJW movement, and Donald Trump, the billionaire business magnate, whose hubris seems only surpassed by his lack of a political self-preservation instinct.
Bernie Sanders has been the candidate of choice for the SJW movement – he appeals to the hip and young cool kids of college campuses who want to appear compassionate and aware of injustice in society – in other words, virtue signalling. Bernie himself has engaged in this virtue signalling, attempting frequently to appeal to minorities; this has often been politically disastrous, like when he assumed that a town hall questioner was Muslim based solely on the color of his skin, or when he said that white people don’t know the reality of poverty. Unfortunately for Bernie, the man in the former case turned out to be a Hindu, and the second statement was utterly debunked as false racialist spiel by Politifact.
Donald Trump is not without criticism – despite cinching the Republican nomination, he might just be one of the most unpopular candidates in living memory. His notable plans include his desire to build a wall on the US southern border and to lower or wholly block immigration from majority-Muslim countries until we can “find out what’s going on”. He has an utter disregard for political correctness and people’s feelings – sometimes callously so, and resorts too easily to petty insults and namecalling. He behaves like an unintelligent braggart on national television, and has far more points worthy of criticism to be able to mention in a single paragraph.
But there is one crucial area where Donald Trump, and those who support him, are utterly right. The issue of free speech and its limits in US and elsewhere has been a massive cultural issue in recent years. We may indeed be witnessing the concept of free speech as we know it redefined to exclude anything which could be perceived as offensive – and thus hate speech. Prominent British intellectual Douglas Murray has written on this issue in detail, as have many others. This is highly problematic, and not just because of issues around subjectivity and arbitration on what can be considered ‘offensive’, but also because of its implications for wider society. One example would be the unpalatability, in the United States, of openly discussing issues among specific minority communities. Open discussion on black crime and the specific problems being faced in inner-city environments such as Chicago is not tolerated, and the voices of black conservatives are drowned out in the crossfire.
A similar example would be the reluctance in the UK to talk about issues posed specifically by the Pakistani community, and the reluctance to confront rape gang cases perpetuated by that community, such as the Rotherham Scandal (which has been linked explicitly to the promulgation of PC culture and fears of being labeled racist). We saw the same thing happen after the Cologne Sex Attacks of New Year’s Eve, where a systematic media blackout on the crimes, as well as total obfuscation of details surrounding the ethnicity of the suspects from the police was documented. The danger here is very real. People are not speaking up about issues because they fear social censure – or worse. If you’re a student at university, you could end up losing all of your friends and becoming an outcast if you speak openly about such unpalatable issues as Islamic terrorism while denying the validity of the ‘religion of peace’ narrative. If you’re a journalist or an employee at a company, you could risk losing your job or your chance at career advancement for openly discussing anything that could cast aspersions of racism on to your character.
It is this fear that prevents people from speaking out, but the danger isn’t just to the individuals who speak out – it’s to society as a whole. Because when we silence or shut down someone who tries to discuss black crime or homophobia and gay-hatred in Islam in an opened and reasoned way because they reject an accepted narrative, what we’re really doing is allowing those things to fester and get worse. When nobody is willing to discuss the issues of the single parenthood epidemic in the black community in America and its very real implications on phenomena such as black crime and black empowerment, black people are the ones that lose out. Larry Elder previously detailed his frustration with the refusal from white liberals to talk about these issues to little avail. However, black crime mostly affects black people, and its influence diminishes vastly outside of inner-city ghettoized neighborhoods.
Islamic terrorism is different. In the last 16 years alone, it has brought multiple Western countries to their knees, with prolonged states of emergency, widespread atmospheres of fear, and armed guards outside every synagogue. It has killed thousands in the West, and has been responsible for the deaths of millions in the wider Middle East. Practices legitimized by the sources of Islamic law – the Qur’an and Ahadith – such as sexual slavery and marital rape, female genital mutilation, and others are resurgent – and views promoted by the texts, such as a hostility to homosexuality and a nonacceptance of certain forms of free speech seen as religiously offensive, are gaining traction in the UK. Over half of British Muslims say that homosexuality should be illegal, and members of a ‘Sharia patrol’ were last year arrested in London for a hate-crime involving grievous bodily harm against a gay couple.
There simply is no need to attempt to detail every instance of violence or wrongdoing in the West linked explicitly to Islam and its values and commandments. We see it every day (albeit often minimalized) in the mainstream media. So why can’t we blame Islam? Why do we see statements like the tweet below, which obfuscates the issue and blames religion as a whole, rather than Islam, for what Muslims do in its name.
Neuroscientist and atheist philosopher Sam Harris, who writes on religion and terrorism, is quoted as saying that Islam is “the motherlode of bad ideas”. For that, he was called “gross and racist” by Hollywood star Ben Affleck – an action the leftists at the Guardian consider ‘praiseworthy’. The left is simply unwilling to talk about Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism and its links to the religion as a whole, and anyone who seeks to break this wall of censorship risks total castigation.
Late last night, Orlando played host to the worst shooting in American history. The targets were gays – people who, through circumstance outside of their control, are attracted primarily to the same sex. Orlando also played host to an Islamic cleric this year who candidly spoke about how Islam mandates the death penalty for said people based on religious law.
Milo Yiannopolous, an openly gay man and open supporter of Donald Trump and the Alt-right movement, wrote today about how the left has “chosen Islam over gays“. Nothing could be closer to the truth. Whether it be virtue signalling or misguided compassion towards what they perceive to be an ‘oppressed’ minority group, the left’s defense of Islam has resulted in the tabooification of open discussion on the facts about the Islamic faith and its precepts. It should be very clear to everyone in the West by now that the Islamic religion is, as religions go, a rather violent religion, that can be a motivating force in unpleasant and violent actions on the part of its adherents.
The utter insanity of the left in refusing to discuss, acknowledge, or confront this issue, and the refusal to condemn Islam in whole or in part for what it mandates or allows, is lethal. By preventing people from being informed and aware on the nature of the problem, we are unable to tackle it. We cannot fight hateful religious ideology when we are unable to point it out as hateful. The left has prevented us from calling a spade a spade, and the casualties of this behavior continue to pile up – as in Cologne, as in San Bernardino, as on 9/11 and 7/7 and every other numerical abbreviation of terrorist attacks compiled to date.
Sadly, despite the fact that the deaths keep coming, the left has not changed their strategy. Donald Trump may not be the most qualified man to run for president. But I would feel a lot more confident in defeating Islamic extremism if we had a president able to actually discuss it. Political correctness clearly hasn’t worked on Islam – they’re still killing us. It’s time to try something different.