Friday, June 11, 2004

Tolerating the intolerant

Failure, or refusal, to distinguish oppressed people from intolerant people, as though the two never could be the same, is a hallmark of Chomskyite thinking. It permeates this disturbing view from Berkeley, California, home of the "Free Speech Movement," which has taken a moral plunge into old-fashioned Jew-baiting.

Most of the students who promote a free Palestine don't hate Jews, whatever they think of Israeli counter-terrorism. But they put up with hate in the ranks all the same. Even the more radical and racist Palestinian activists are "allies" in the campus cause du jour.

Meanwhile, Daniel Pipes, an articulate opponent of radical Islam and its armed terrorist factions actually was called a racist and worse at his campus speech in Berkeley, as the East Bay Express article reports. Mr. Pipes, who wisely said "militant Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution," is hardly an Islamophobe or a racist. It's just a back-alley libel against a historian of the Middle East because he doesn't toe the radical leftist line.

This is what Political Correctness has become. Mere opponents are falsely denounced as "racists" while virulently racist allies are given a pass by the very same people.

Victor Davis Hanson sees it, too. Though his view, imagined through Osama's eyes, is more chilling in its consequences:

It was hard for the Islamic fascists to find ideological support in the West, given their agenda of gender apartheid, homophobia, religious persecution, racial hatred, fundamentalism, polygamy, and primordial barbarism. But they sensed that there has always been a current of self-loathing among the comfortable Western elite, a perennial search for victims of racism, economic oppression, colonialism, and Christianity. Bin Laden's followers weren't white; they were sometimes poor; they inhabited of former British and French colonies; and they weren't exactly followers of the no-nonsense Pope or Jerry Falwell. If anyone doubts the nexus between right-wing Middle Eastern fascism and left-wing academic faddishness, go to booths in the Free Speech area at Berkeley or see what European elites have said and done for Hamas. Middle Eastern fascist killers enshrined as victims alongside our own oppressed? That has been gospel in our universities for the last three decades.