Around The Right-Wing Blogosphere in 80 Links!

by Belle Waring on August 18, 2004

Be Amazed: as warblogger Bjorn Staerk comes to the stunning conclusion that some people might have gone a bit off the rails in wanting to ban Islam. People like, well, LGF commenters! And Bjorn Staerk commenters!

What has gone wrong when Norwegians, Americans and other Westerners who rever the enlightenment ideals of reason and freedom of thought more than anything, justify restrictions on thought with bad reasoning and paranoia? It’s not just LGF readers. You can read similar views (though fewer of them) at Free Republic, Dhimmi Watch, and Liberty Post – all in reply to the Kristiansand story.

Again, I’m not saying these views are shared by the owners of these websites, or the majority of their readers. But neither do I see many strong, principled objections. Phil says above that “the failure of good Muslims to object or organize and stop bad Muslims indicts the whole Islamic movement”, which doesn’t justify a ban on Islam, but is true in a sense. We all have a responsibility to speak up clearly against extremists in our own ranks, whether we are Muslims or peace activists or bloggers who criticize Islam and support the war on Islamist terror.

And so it’s time to stand up for the basic values of our democracies and confront those in our own ranks who want to abandon those values. Because if we don’t, outsiders will be justified in interpreting this as silent approval or apologism.

Something has gone rotten. We can’t blame it on the “left”, the “relativists”, the “PC crowd” or the “multiculturalists”, (and don’t anybody dare blame it on the Muslims). It’s gone rotten here, among people who on 9/11 woke up to the danger of Islamism. The ban Islam meme and all its relatives (Islam is Islamism, Islam is war) must be confronted here, now, before it spreads.

Wow, even people at Free Republic are saying stuff that’s crazy? The rot has spread. But, anyway right on Bjorn! Bjorn Staerk is absolutely, no irony intended, right. Something has gone rotten, and outsiders will be justified in interpreting this as silent approval or apologism.

Guffaw! as Staerk’s commenters dissent in increasingly strident tones!!

—And here they go on record asking for Norway to abandon our equivalent of the first amendment, one of the basic rights of any democracy: Freedom of religion.—

Europe and “the world” have been making demands on Americans for a few decades now to give up pieces of our Constitution.

ICC – violates 3, 4 & 5, possibly 1, 9 and 12. They could have protected our rights to get us to join it, but they refused. Could have done the same w/Kyoto, bringing in the 2 majorpollution-causing countries which has 1/3 of the world’s population, but again, they refused.

UN wants world-wide gun control – there goes 2 which protects #1 – and trust me, all 3 branches have done TREMENDOUS damage to #1, we don’t need outside help, thank you very much.

After all, it’s an 18th century document suited to those times, not relevant in the 21st century, and we must put it aside for the greater good of “the world.”

Hell will freeze over before I give it up. I’m going down fighting.

All the muslims have to do is stop killing us and learn to get along. Where are the “moderate” muslims?

The AQ plans discovered will not help. They were going to bomb The Tube and drown people.

3 years and the crickets still drown out the “moderate” voices.

And the chatter has fallen off – it did before 9/11, too.

Vehicle passes to the Olypics have been stolen partially because the some of the idiots who had them in their cars DIDN’T LOCK THEIR DOORS. Security is going to be a joke.

Bjorn, I understand what you’re saying and why, but when someone tells you he intends to kill you, believe him. They’ve not only told you, they’ve done it.

Snicker! as the Instapundit links to this mad heterodoxy with the following caveat:

That said, it would be useful if those more moderate Muslims would take a more aggressive role. Some are—see, for example, the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism—but we could use more of that, no doubt.

Sob Softly! As Eugene Volokh goes out on a limb:

As a result, it makes little sense to say, for instance, “Christianity is a religion of peace” or “Christianity is a religion of war,” unless one is speaking about theoretical aspirations about what the religion should be, rather than describing how Christians actually act, have acted, and are likely to act. It seems to me the same is true for Islam.

I should stress that I think it’s perfectly proper for people to criticize religious beliefs and religious movements, just as it’s proper for people to criticize any ideology. But broad criticisms about how Islam is this or Christianity is that—again, with a very few exceptions—are almost always based on inaccurate overgeneralizations.

UPDATE: Gary Farber got here first. Also, you must all bow down before Giblets, NOOOOOOOOW



nick 08.18.04 at 1:48 am

I suggest, Belle, that you offer links to shower manufacturers after that nasty little round-up.


belle 08.18.04 at 2:20 am

yeah, sorry for getting cooties all over the weblog.


Tom T. 08.18.04 at 2:22 am

It strikes me that these sorts of small steps toward chastising the extremists on one’s own side, while certainly limited and rare, are something that thoughtful commentators should encourage. But what do I know?


belle 08.18.04 at 2:49 am

tom t: you are right. it’s the responses to Staerk’s unobjectionable views that I find scary.


DonBoy 08.18.04 at 3:02 am

I’m also genuinely interested to learn from the linked-to piece that Sirhan Sirhan was a Christian, not Moslem, Palenstinian.


yabonn 08.18.04 at 3:17 am

limited and rare, are something that thoughtful commentators should encourage. But what do I know?

C’mon guys, i was just kidding, promise! Now why don’t you relax and drop these pitchforks and torches?

C’mon really it was just a joke, don’t you prefer to leave this guy alone and just, like, go home?”


Well… Well i never told you to do that -i was just linking anyways! And don’t go telling after that i was responsible for the comments, because i was not!

… No, really, i don’t feel like patting them on the back.


Gary Farber 08.18.04 at 4:14 am


Why do I have the feeling this is posted because of being seen on Instapundit, which Glenn only posted because of my e-mailing him, but, well, I can’t divulge the contents of e-mail. But he ended up only linking to Bjorn, and not my post, for a reason you can figure out if you look.

Doubly cranky now.

And you didn’t even link to Giblets.


Adam Kotsko 08.18.04 at 4:32 am

I agree with tom t. I think that the lack of self-criticism on the right/Republican side of things has led them into the mess they’re in now, with a shitty president who has shitty advisors and shitty congressional leadership. The mere fact that they’ve managed to “play the game” well enough to get elected is kind of a hollow victory when all they know how to do once they’re in power is fight wars and run the federal government into the ground. And if Bush gets re-elected, it’s just going to mean that the conservative movement is going to be even more discredited once this whole fiasco blows up in our faces.

And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I’m just trying to help.


cw 08.18.04 at 4:35 am

I think it is equally disturbing that someone thinks it would even be posible to ban islam.


Sebastian Holsclaw 08.18.04 at 4:56 am

Way to help encourage the right to be self-critical.


nick 08.18.04 at 7:09 am

Way to help encourage the right to be self-critical.

Actually, Sebastian, I wouldn’t consider the kind of people leading the shouts of ‘ban Islam’ to be part of ‘the right’. More like ‘right off their rockers’.

Which you should take as a compliment, since it means that I’m not asking you to disavow any association with those spittle-flecked nutjobs, because I don’t believe such an association exists.

However, I don’t extend that definition to those, such as Reynolds, who consistently offer ‘yes, but–‘ responses that accuse Muslims of just not doing enough to avoid being subject to such unabashed bigotry.


Sebastian Holsclaw 08.18.04 at 7:20 am

Hmm, I don’t consider them to be a part of the right, but likely enough to be mistaken for the right that we should take responsibility for trying to change their minds and/or shut them up. Maybe it isn’t strictly ‘police your own’, but those of us on the right should try to influence those who will listen. Though I have to admit they are a lost cause when they call me a Communist. :)


Tom T. 08.18.04 at 1:27 pm

Belle, thanks for responding, and I understand. Attacking Volokh for his response, however, seems a bit over the top. As I read it, he’s agreeing with Staerk. Is your objection that he’s so polite and measured about it (the old Goldwater view that “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”)? That’s in keeping with 90% of what he writes on his weblog, though; he almost never gets sharper than that.


Skip 08.18.04 at 2:30 pm

Robert Wright has posted a series of fascinating interviews with some of today’s major thinkers on the ‘big’ questions at One of the interviewees is Omid Safi, a muslim who is a professor in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Colgate University. For those in need of an antidote to the Coulterian view of the world, Safi’s wisdom, intelligence, and humanity offer enormous pleasure and some hope.

The interviews run 35-65 minutes and can be listened to whole, or broken up by discrete subject matter.


alpha 08.18.04 at 4:02 pm

I think it is equally disturbing that someone thinks it would even be posible to ban islam.

Hey, plenty of people on this very site think it was a great idea to ban private property, just badly implemented. And the communists also attempted the abolition of all religion.

Haven’t you read your Marx? Religion is the opiate of the masses. Get with the program. All religion was banned in the USSR, the PRC, Vietnam, North Korea, etc. And given that this site regularly compiles lists of the greatest Marxists, I know you haven’t entirely repudiated that ideology.

So when leftists – especially the communist sympathizers ’round here – talk about banning religion as if it were a bad thing that only right wingers would think of…well…you’ll excuse me if I guffaw.


john b 08.18.04 at 5:40 pm

Alpha –

Marx != Kim Il Sung. Marxism != Soviet totalitarianism. Having socialist ideology !=> supporting gulags for enemies of the state.

You lose, thanks for playing.


john b 08.18.04 at 5:43 pm

Actually, I lose: the comments system doesn’t like my characters. Either that or MT is sentient and has right-wing sympathies.

Erm, “Supporting Marx is not equal to supporting Kim Il Sung; supporting socialism is not equal to supporting Soviet totalitarianism, etc.” And sharing someone’s nominal ideology doesn’t preclude you from thinking they’re an idiot.


yabonn 08.18.04 at 6:43 pm

Decidedly no.

I don’t think the banalisation of racism towards muslim we see now on the right side of the blogosphere could have happened without some complacency from its more mainstream components (i realize bearstrong may be an exception in that).

So, if these critics are welcome, they remain above all weak, late and easy. No cheering for me.


abb1 08.18.04 at 9:37 pm

FreeRepublic? You’re approaching this from the wrong end, I’m afraid. Think Dr. Daniel Pipes, Charles Krauthammer, Judith Miller, Cal Thomas and dozens of other “respectable”, “mainstream” intellectuals and opinion makers.


pj 08.18.04 at 11:45 pm

It sure is possible to ban islam. The soviets did it in Afghanistan, Chechneya and a few other places. It worked very well. We should definitely follow that example.


Keith 08.19.04 at 3:39 am

So when leftists – especially the communist sympathizers ‘round here – talk about banning religion as if it were a bad thing that only right wingers would think of…well…you’ll excuse me if I guffaw.

Te he… He said Communist sympathizers… boy, that takes me back.

I’v noticed an increase in the old Commie slur being bandied about lately. It makes me giggle every time I hear it because it is inevitably some blinkered Conservitive trying to pick a fight with some Amorphous Lefty, just as if the last fifty years of geopolitcs had never happened.

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