Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mark Steyn, Islamophobic Misogynist or Misogynistic Islamophobe?

Both, really, opines the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg. She now joins the demented Halleluiah chorus, the one that's singing "Halleluiah, we finally have a 'right-wing Christian fundamentalist' nutter!" with great gusto and jubilance and that's blaming Mark Steyn, the anti-jihad's funny Jeremiah, for the Norway massacre:
Conservatives worried about the Islamization of Europe often blame feminism for weakening Western societies and opening them up to a Muslim demographic invasion. Mark Steyn’s bestselling America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It predicted the demise of “European races too self-absorbed to breed,” leading to the transformation of Europe into Eurabia. “In their bizarre prioritization of ‘a woman’s right to choose,’” he argued, “feminists have helped ensure that European women will end their days in a culture that doesn’t accord women the right to choose anything.”
This neat rhetorical trick—an attack on feminism coupled with purported concern about Muslim fundamentalist misogyny—is repeated again and again in Islamophobic literature. Now it’s reached its apogee in mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence.” Rarely has the connection between sexual anxiety and right-wing nationalism been made quite so clear. Indeed, Breivik’s hatred of women rivals his hatred of Islam, and is intimately linked to it. Some reports have suggested that during his rampage on Utoya, he targeted the most beautiful girl first. This was about sex even more than religion...
Er, if you say so Michelle. Personally, I thought it was more about a deranged Charlie Manson type wanting to leave his mark (his spoor) on history. Speaking of which (derangement, that is), I'd say that your drawing a direct line between Steyn and Breivik is--now what did you call it?--oh, yeah, a "neat rhetorical trick".

I think we should give the last word on this one to George Jonas. In today's National Post, he observes re a mass murderer's "inspiration":
Some lament that Breivik is a rightwing nutcase; others rub their hands in glee. Both are wasting their time. Misdeeds don't invalidate ideas any more than ideas validate misdeeds. When people who are wrong try to discredit people who are right on the basis of something the lunatic Norwegian said in the days when he was only shooting off his mouth, remember that 2x2=4, even if the Unabomber says so.

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