by Chris Floyd
Mark Steyn is a blithering idiot, and his new book about the coming Muslim "takeover" of Europe — a Protocols for the 21st century — is full of outright lies, a number of which I can disprove simply by walking around my neighborhood here in England. In a civilized society, the kind of paranoid racist bile disgorged by Steyn would be relegated to the freakish fringe, and he himself would be an object of pity, a dribbling ranter on some obscure street corner.
But in our New Dark Age, where barbarism and brutality are enthroned in power and ignorance parades in gilded robes, Steyn must be taken seriously — because his violent fantasies are taken seriously by those in authority and their advisors. These eminent figures are bringing Steyn's hateful delusions into the ever-degrading mainstream of public debate. What's more, they have the means to use this poison in the creation of government policy.
Yes, it is shameful and humiliating to have reached such a nadir in our society that we have to give even a moment's attention to Steyn's rank mental excreta. Shameful, that we have squandered so egregiously the sacrifices of so many generations toward enlightenment, betrayed their best hopes by allowing these malicious, cud-brained dullards to rule over us and belch forth their criminal stupidities. But such are the times we live in, such are the burdens we bear. There is nothing for it but to wade into the muck and shovel it out with our bare hands.
Fortunately, in this case, young Johan Hari has courageously gone before us. In a masterpiece of waste management, Hari cleans Steyn's clock with a review of his hate tract, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, in the New Statesman.
In the book, Steyn predicts that by 2020 — in a little more than 12 years — Europe will be entirely overrun by Arab Muslims, who will have taken over the continent's democratic governments and imposed Sharia law on the few remaining "whites" who have not fled to the world's last alabaster bastion, the United States. As Hari notes:
This is not presented as satirical sci-fi, nor as fanatical fodder for a party political broadcast fronted by Jean-Marie Le Pen. It is the straight-faced prediction of a book that has slithered onto the New York Times best-seller list and captured the imagination of the American right. Mark Steyn - an uneducated former Disk Jockey turned pundit - is today being greeted as a sage by Dick Cheney and a seer by the National Review. Even former Democratic candidate for Vice-President, Joe Lieberman, is touting its "wisdom".This Arab conquest, Steyn says, will be accomplished largely by breeding. Although, as Hari points out, Steyn offers no statistics on the actual birthrates of European Muslims, he is certain that the sexually over-fecund darkies will overwhelm "European races too self-absorbed to breed" in what he says is a deliberate quest by a monolithic Islam to conquer the West. All Muslims — Shiite, Sunni, Sufi, of every possible background of national origin, ethnicity, class, etc. — are presumably acting in carefully planned concert to accomplish this goal. Steyn doesn't say how they receive their instructions — through the internet, perhaps? Or perhaps, being lower creatures than the "European races," they have an insect-like hive mind that directs their behavior?
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'America Alone' becomes even more problematic when Steyn tries half-heartedly to call for Muslim women's rights. He is intelligent enough to realise the surest way to reduce the disharmony between Muslim birth-rates and those of other communities - if this was judged to be a problem requiring a solution - would be to spread Islamic feminism. Throw money at Muslim women's refuges, introduce positive discrimination at universities and in the workplace, crack down ferociously on fathers who try to keep their daughters effectively imprisoned in their homes. Very few women want to have seven children, given a free choice, proper education and access to a menu of contraceptives and, yes, abortion.As noted, Steyn provides little or no genuine evidence for his fearmongering. His predictions for the Muslim birthrate are ludicrous, and bear no relation at all to the true demographic balance in Europe. For example, Steyn, like so many of the professional paranoids on the radical right, continually pushes the image of a beleaguered Britain being overwhelmed by a sea of fundamentalist Muslims. But as I've noted before, in a piece about the manufactured controversy over British Muslim women wearing the veil:
But Steyn cannot promote this, because he opposes these freedoms for Western women. Indeed, he has spent the book chiding white women for failing to breed and for aborting ("killing") a generation of white children. Worse, he seems to actively agree with the Islamist critique of women's sexual freedom, claiming in passing that Islam provides women with "a refuge from the slatternly image of post-feminist Western womanhood." He does not really believe the solution is to roll out feminism to Muslims; he thinks it is to gut feminism among those women who already enjoy it - an impossibility as well as an abhorrence. So his solution simply sits limply like a deflated souffle, with his dark hints that if this fails "unthinkable solutions" will become necessary and "neonationalist strongmen" will rise...
Steyn's wider response to Islamism is to make democratic societies more like the one the Islamists want to build. He sees democratic debate and concern for human rights as unforgivable signs of weakness, mocking those who oppose torture and saying the war in Iraq has been fought "with kid gloves". He has suggested debate about the war should be confined to a war cabinet of five people, and that anybody who disputed their decisions would be "disgusting". "The Muslim critique of the West - that we're decadent vulgar narcissist fornicating sodomites - is not without more than a grain of truth," he writes, saying that the destruction of Europe's feminist and gay rights advances wouldn't especially bother him. He agrees that secular Europe is spiritually barren, decadent, depraved. At times, it's hard to see why he opposes Islamism at all."
What is the true context of this asymmetrical "debate"? The numbers tell the story. There are approximately 1.6 Muslims in Britain – 3 percent out of a total population of more than 60 million. And of this miniscule minority, only 5 percent of British Muslim women wear the veil. In other words, this "mark of separation" that is now, suddenly, "corroding" British society is actually rejected by 95 percent of all Muslim women. It plays almost no part in Muslim life in Britain.Here then is the true source of Steyn's fears: a miniscule, moderate, non-violent minority, quietly living their lives in the midst of a vast sea of "white Europeans."
Nor does any kind of tolerance for violent extremism. An extensive survey of British Muslims just released – to almost zero notice – by the 1990 Trust shows that the number of those who believe that terrorist attacks are "justifiable" is between 1 and 2 percent. (You could probably find a higher percentage of Americans who believed that terrorism against, say, the "Zionist Occupation Government" or illegal immigrants or abortion clinics – or Muslims – was justified.) Violence and extremism are thus rejected by 98 percent of all British Muslims.
So what can a dedicated propagandist do when confronted with this yawning gap between reality and his hatred? Why, make things up, of course. Hari again:
After the 9/11 massacres, in his Daily Telegraph column he repeated as fact preposterous claims that Muslim children all over New York had warned their favourite teachers not to go to the World Trade Centre that day. Here, he says, "On the night of September 11th Muslim youths in northern England rampaged through the streets cheering Islam's glorious victory over the Great Satan. They pounded on the hoods of the cars, hammered the doors and demanded the drivers join them in the chants of 'Osama Bin Laden is a great man.'" There is no record of these events on Lexis-Nexis; Steyn has not replied to a request for the source. He says variously that "the old flag" of St George is now "unflyable" in England, and - with shades of Enoch Powell's untraceable "grinning picanninies" - claims he knows "an English lady" who wears a headscarf every time she steps outside to stop Muslims harrassing her. As somebody who lives in a Muslim area, everybody I know who lives here finds this preposterous. But this is Steyn's way with evidence: the extremely atypical is presented as universal, and the urban myth is presented as damning fact.I too live in a neighborhood with a large Muslim population. And I was here during 9/11 and its aftermath. I know that Steyn's assertions on these points are not just "urban myths" — they are flagrant lies. There was no incident even remotely resembling the horde of "Muslim youths" running through the streets cheering the 9/11 attacks. Believe me, it would have been front-page, banner-head news, and the tabloid press would still be dining out on the story. To put it plainly, this kind of thing is the equivalent of the ancient "blood libel" about Jews — an "urban myth" that led to mass-murdering progroms by the "European races" during those pre-Enlightenment days that Steyn pines for.
And as for "the old flag" of St. George being "unflyable" — this is simply preposterous. You can hardly go a half a block without seeing the English flag (the red-and-white banner of St. George as opposed to the Union Jack) draped in the window of a house or adorning a car bumper. This is doubly true whenever the England football team takes the field in international competition, as in last year's World Cup. Steyn's claim here is not only a lie; it's a stupid, pointless lie, one that anyone who lives in an ordinary English neighborhood could refute in mere seconds.
But of course, Steyn is writing for those power brokers in Washington like Cheney and Lieberman who would never set foot in an ordinary English neighborhood. He's writing for all the little paranoid panty-throwers out there who love to goose themselves with perverted genocidal/erotic fantasies about big, breeding Arabs. It goes without saying that these insular fantasists will never see an English neighborhood either. And so the "flag" lie, unimportant in itself, serves its purpose as part of the mosiac of hatred that Steyn is constructing, confident that his readers will never challenge his assertions.
There is one major flaw in Hari's review, however: he says that "Steyn is genuinely funny." I'm afraid that's as demonstrably untrue as any of Steyn's own delusions. To illustrate this dubious claim, Hari says: "At one point, [Steyn writes] that he would counsel his readerst to run for the hills, 'except they're full of terrorist training camps.'" Mmm, yes, that's comedy gold, all right. But Hari, bless his heart, is not known for his riotous sense of humor. He is known for the earnest passion of his prose, and that is certainly on effective display in this important review.
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