December 18, 2007

Substitute targets

Eric at Classical Values...

...What intrigues me is why so many of those who are afraid to criticize Islam are nonetheless quite fearless when it comes to other religions.

It's easy to dismiss this as cowardly hypocrisy, as selective religious bigotry, or as anti-Western bias, which of course a lot of it is.

But I think another dimension is post-9/11 denial. This is not ordinary denial, as it's closely related to the fiercely anti-war people whose hatred toward Bush is often characterized as "Bush Derangement Syndrome." Before 9/11, there was plenty of hypocrisy, and religious bigotry, plenty of anti-Western bias, and plenty of cowards, but they generally did not hesitate to criticize Islam. Feminists in Berkeley used to demonstrate against the veil.

Yet the fact, is, this "fear" of criticizing Islam is comparatively recent, and closely related to 9/11. The tenets of Christianity -- even over-the-top fundamentalist zealotry -- has not changed since 9/11, nor has Mormonism. But Western religions are attacked as never before. I think they're substitute targets....

"Feminists in Berkeley used to demonstrate against the veil." Yes, and I remember when the Taliban were the number one bogeyman for leftists... Before 9/11. "Post-9/11 denial" is a good term. But why?

As I've written before, I don't think that the actions of liberals "make sense" in any obvious way unless you understand that they are not "liberals" anymore. (Most of them, not all.) Their liberal "faith" has seeped away, leaving nothing behind. And their deepest motivation is to hide this fact, especially from themselves.

I think fear of Islam is not the main reason for the change; they talk the same in small private gatherings where there is no possible danger. Rather, I imagine, before 9/11 they could denounce Burkas, or oppression of gays in Islam, because the target was so distant. There was no chance of being called on to actually DO something, or risk anything. And so they could pretend to be liberal.

I wish I could peer into the minds of some of those Lefties who used to bravely denounce things like the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas and see the post 9/11 moment when they realized they were going to be called on all their bombast, and on their "speaking truth to (safely distant) power." What did they think? What was the thought process that led to the almost-universal flip-over to denouncing Christians?

I'm pretty sure that they did not think at all. Someone came up with the new Party Line, and they all changed direction like a school of guppies...

Posted by John Weidner at December 18, 2007 8:14 AM
Weblog by John Weidner