The dangers of anti-Islamic sentiment on the Right

I’m a reactionary to the core, so don’t think for an instant from that title that your friend Bonald is going “tolerant”.  In fact, my motivation is the exact opposite:  I fear that anti-Muslim bigotry and pro-Western triumphalism will actually lead conservatives to abandon their beliefs and embrace tolerance, multiculturalism, hedonism, and all that BS.

The danger when Christians form an alliance with liberals is that Christianity will end up being redefined as the spiritual endorsement of liberalism.  Not every anti-Islamic conservative falls into this trap–Larry Auster, Lydia McGrew, and Alan Roebuck are good examples of conservatives who have sounded alarms against advancing Muhammedan hordes without falling into the Left.  From a traditionalist perspective, there’s nothing wrong with accusing Muslims of violating the natural law, being a false religion, or just being incompatible with the majority culture.  On the other hand, it is very easy to slip into the prejudices of the surrounding culture, and start criticizing Muslims for being insufficiently committed to free speech, gay rights, and public nudity.  The rule I would suggest is this:  before you criticize Muslims for something, ask yourself if the criticism would also apply to conservative Christians circa 1800.  If so, you’ve slipped into liberalism.  This danger is very real.  Consider the following examples.

John Zmirak is a conservative author worth reading, but his most recent article, while ostensibly an attack on Muslim “intolerance”, is in fact a renunciation of conservative belief.  Zmirak is intelligent enough to sort of realize this.  In the article, he repents for his former admiration for General Franco and 19th century ultramontane Catholicism.  He also renounces censorship and the ideal of a confessional State.  Suddenly, he’s finally realized the truth of the liberal argument that it’s “hypocritical” to want tolerance for your own beliefs without wanting tolerance for others’.  He thereby affirms the essence of liberalism, that beliefs are just lifestyle accessories without any connection to morality or truth, and a “fair” government won’t favor some over others.  Also, his rejection of censorship (e.g. the Index) means that he’s committing himself to a policy that has made the triumph of godlessness in the West inevitable.  The experience of two centuries in a dozen countries tells us that, in a “free marketplace of ideas”, atheist hedonism always wins over the populace.  What happened that Zmirak no longer realizes this?  Hatred of Islam has blinded him.  Note well that this hatred hasn’t done Muslims any harm; it’s just alienated him from his own tradition.

Then there’s Bill Luse, who’s gotten into his head the ridiculous idea that half a billion Muslim men are all vicious domestic abusers, and half a dozen Muslim women are saintly, innocent victims.  He fantasizes about inviting all Muslims to America and trying to destroy all their marriages by getting the women to betray their vows and abandon their families.  The sacrality of the marriage bond apparently means nothing to Mr. Luse.  He wants to corrupt the Muslim men with strippers.  Chastity apparently means nothing to Mr Luse.  He wants to double the population of America by inviting all 500 million Muslim women to stay.  The cultural integrity of his nation apparently means nothing to Mr. Luse.  He speaks of patriarchal marriage as a “tyranny” and regards sexual equality (androgynism) as “divinely appointed.  Utterly vile feminist drivel.  And this in one of my favorite weblogs.  What drove them to print something so contemptible?  A mind-overpowering hatred of Islam.

I’ve never seen the opposite danger.  Every once in a while, one will hear a Christian say that we should ally ourselves with Islam against liberalism.  I’ve never seen this lead to them rejecting any Christain doctrine or adding any distinctively Muslim one.  In terms of ideological drift, prefering the Muslims seems to be the lesser danger.

4 Responses

  1. […] the case of Islam, this is particularly obvious, and I’ve discussed it elsewhere.  In the field of Catholic-Protestant polemic, it’s also pretty obvious.  I used to think […]

  2. […] the case of Islam, this is particularly obvious, and I’ve discussed it elsewhere.  In the field of Catholic-Protestant polemic, it’s also pretty obvious.  I used to think […]

  3. I remember reading this article of Luse’s on WWWtW. I had not yet concluded that he wasn’t writing satire, since it was too ridiculous to take seriously.

    If he was in earnest, his thinking on the matter is very naive. It doesn’t make any sense but to conclude that Muslim women are just as committed to the Muslim way of life as the men. How could Islam flourish as it has without the wholehearted support of the women among its populations?

  4. How sacral is Muslim marriage, anyway? I remember a story of Cervantes in which a qadi’s wife escapes to the West (Italy, I think) and marries a Christian who had formerly been one of her husband’s slaves.

    Not that this makes Luse’s proposition any more sensible, of course.

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