Fitzgerald: What have they learned at UNC?

Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald asks some questions about what students at the University of North Carolina learn about Islam — questions that have become more pointed in light of the actions of distinguished Tarheel alumnus Muhammad Reza Taheri-azar.

What have University of North Carolina students learned about Islam — before Muhammad Reza Taheri-azar’s grim lesson? UNC students are no doubt now wandering about, wondering where their former fellow student, that “nice guy, but a loner” Taheri-azar got his strange ideas. And they will wonder, because nothing any of them had ever been taught in classes would lead them to think that there’s much to worry about from ordinary Muslims, from plain old Islam itself. It was just those “radicals,” “extremists,” “Wahhabis,” “Salafists,” those who “would pervert a noble religion” as Bush and Rice like to put, that anyone had to be concerned about. And of course there none of them could possibly have been admitted to UNC.

Carl Ernst supposedly enlightens UNC students on the nature of Islam. Does he tell them that it is a literal-minded religion in which the Qur’an is the immutable and uncreated Word of God? Does he introduce students to the contents of the Qur’an and the Hadith? What’s that? — his students reading this now ask. What’s the Hadith? Oh, he gave us two of those and told us not to bother to read any others because they wouldn’t be on the test. Does he assign to them the Sira? (What’s that?). Okay, but at least they know what’s in the Qur’an, right?

No. To read the Michael Sells version of the Qur’an, the one forced on innocent incoming freshman at UNC/Chapel Hill a few years ago (and may still be forced on them) is not to become acquainted with the Qur’an. In fact, one will learn next to nothing valuable without reading several versions synoptically, without understanding the principle of abrogation or naskh by which the milder verses (such as they are, and few as they are) are cancelled out by the harsher later verses (especially the last of the Suras in time — Sura 9). And if further you do not realize how mild even the best English translation of the Arabic Qur’an makes it sound (the word “punishment” or “punish” in English does not convey the full meaning of the Arabic word or words it is used to translate), then that course is a guide to nothing and nowhere.

Carl Ernst was a great pusher of the Sells version. What else is he pushing on his students? And who is minding the store at UNC/Chapel Hill to make sure that the apologists for Islam, who are light on the real thing, and certainly will not inform their students fully either about the tenets of Islam or about the history of Muslim conquest and subsequent subjugation of all conquered non-Muslims (Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists), are reined in? Perhaps sensible people in the administration can, if there is a separate department of Islamic or Middle Eastern Studies, place it under the careful jurisdiction of a larger department unlikely to be full of such apologists, and at least some of whose members will not be dissuaded from such oversight by cries of “faculty autonomy” — nor intimidated by the claims of “professional expertise” that turn out to be false.

Easy question: is the Sells version assigned to students at UNC/Chapel Hill in courses? Yes or no? If it is, then the President, the Trustees, and various interested faculty members should now take it upon themselves to read the Qur’an with the necessary guides to interpretation, so that such seemingly innocuous phrases as “in the path of God” are given their real meaning — and by “guides” one does not mean Michael Sells at Haverford or those who backed the use of his sanitized Qur’an as required reading for those hapless, trusting Freshman. And they should, while they are at it, read the Muslim biography of Muhammad, and read as well the biographies of Sir William Muir, or Tor Andrae, or Arthur Jeffery, or other Western scholars of Islam. They should read a few hundred of the Hadith (the sayings and acts of Muhammad), which are as important, for most Muslims, as a guide to existence, as the Qur’an itself — and indeed the Qur’an without the Sunnah, it has often been said, could hardly be understood, but the Sunnah without the Qur’an is another thing.

And then there are the books of Robert Spencer, and Bat Ye’or, and Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim. Start reading, all over the campus — and compare what you learn with what certain professors have been assuring you, with their highly selective reading lists (if Sells is on it, can Maria Rosa Menocal be far behind? And what about Said’s “Orientalism”? And Khaled Abou el Fadl as a Young Star in the Firmament of — well, of something). All so predictable.

Google “MESA Nostra” and start there. It’s a big problem. It’s all over the place. But on each campus, some faculty members, and some members of the Administration, and some trustees and alumni, and even some students, have got to grab hold of this problem, and not let go.

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  1. says

    My friend that I had been e-mailing back and forth with about the true nature of Islam said he was excited to learn more after our conversation, and thought he’d become informed on these “political topics” through his current class, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and his upcoming class, International Relations With The Middle East, at UCLA.

    I tried to explain to him that he isn’t going to learn much in either of these classes, or at least nothing useful, but he doesn’t seem to understand why I would say something like that.

    Many students going into college take what their professors say verbatim because they figure if they’re paying multiple thousands of dollars a year to get an education, these people must know what they’re talking about.

    And you’re right Mr. Fitzgerald… the focus of our educational systems (public before the university, and private in university) is on passing tests, not comprehending and thinking critically. It’s such a waste… why are people even going to college anymore? Oh, that’s right, because they can’t get a job without their degree. With a labor force of 149.3 MILLION ( we sure must have a lot of college graduates!

  2. says

    Can anyone suggest an English version of the Koran that would provide the most accurate reflection of the Arabic version, and not a white-washed version?

  3. says

    Ben Hur – the Yusuf Ali translation was favored by the Saudi royals for some time, if not currently…. it’s bad enough to make any point you’d like but sounds like ‘King James’ (old style)

  4. says

    Can anyone suggest an English version of the Koran

    Here is Robert:

    Q: Can you recommend a good English translation of the Qur’an?
    RS: N. J. Dawood’s is the most readable in English. However, most versions do not mark the verse numbers precisely. Some non-Muslims don’t like it because he uses “God” for Allah, although since Arabic-speaking Christians use “Allah” for the God of the Bible, and have for over a milennium, this is a problem for poseurs and pseudo-scholars but is not really a serious objection to anyone who knows both languages. Also, many Muslims dislike this translation because Dawood was not a Muslim, and doesn’t sugarcoat any of the passages. Two translations by Muslims, those by Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, are generally reliable, although both write in a stilted, practically unreadable pseudo-King James Bible English. Of the two, Ali’s contains more liberties with the text — such as adding “(lightly)” to Sura 4:34 after the directive to husbands to beat their disobedient wives. The Arabic doesn’t say to beat them lightly, it just says to beat them. Pickthall’s is generally accurate.

    There are other good translations. For years I have liked Arberry’s for its audacious literalism and often poetic English. Compare, for example, 81:15-18 (Fala oqsimu bialkhunnasi/Aljawari alkunnasi/Waallayli itha AAasAAasa/Waalssubhi itha tanaffasa) in Pickthall and Arberry: Pickthall: “Oh, but I call to witness the planets, the stars which rise and set, and the close of night, and the breath of morning…” Arberry: “No! I swear by the slinkers, the runners, the sinkers, by the night swarming, by the dawn sighing…” Shades of the Symbolists. Arberry gives a hint of how the book sounds in Arabic, in which it is full of beguiling rhymes and rhythms.

  5. says

    I’ve been deleted here before for saying what I’m about to say again, in order to mobilize the West to resist Islamofacism, the Left must be defeated, both politically and intellectually. It is the Left that holds sway over academia and it’s mis-educating our youth. It is the Left that holds sway over Europe and is the cause of the policies driving that continent into the Islamic world. It is the Left that believes in appeasement over frank discussion. And it is the Left here in the USA that undermines our ability to resist.

    It’s easy to criticize the current administration’s refusal to recognize the true nature of Islam. But such critics also ignore the harsh reality of Western and American political life. The President would face a firestorm of criticism in this country from the Left controlled MSM, Democrats and apologist Republicans that would probably render him unable to govern. Only if the Left’s influence in government and media is reduced and discredited can the nation be mobilized and the voices of truth and reson be heard and taken seriously.

    Just as our Nation and the current administration needs to wake up and smell the coffee, so must Mr. Spencer and the powers that be of JW/DW recognize that while we may be in the same boat as the Left, the Left doesn’t see it that way at all. This website is extremely important, in my opinion, and the work Mr. Spencer and his people do in bringing the Jihad to light is heroic and commendable. But like the Administration, JW/DW must pull it’s head out of the sand and recognize that who Islam’s enablers in West are, and shine the harsh light of the truth on their actions and how they contribute to the threat Western Civilation faces from Islam.

  6. says

    Enablers include such apologists for Islam (which may, or may not, overlap with those who are strongly anti-Israel; which may, or may not, reflect conviction or economic advancement or both)or the Arabs, or Saudi Arabia, as:

    James Baker, James Akins, John Connally, the late John C. West, Raymond Close, Fred Dutton, Pat Buchanan, Brent Scowcroft, Chris Patten (a Tory and former muck-a-muck with the E.U. bureaucracy), Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin (both in a center-right French party), and all sorts of others who do not quite qualify for your adjective “Left.” Not to mention Bill Clinton, who I suppose you would say is on the “Left” — but is that really what explains his atrocious remarks in Qatar a few weeks ago, or is it his pocketing a fat sum for his appearance? Surely you don’t think that only supposedly right-wing people can be bribed to be apologists for Islam, while those deemed to be left-wing (god, I hate these ridiculous words and stupid categories) people only do it out of conviction?

    On the other hand, Oriana Fallaci, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, the late Pim Fortuyn, the late Theo van Gogh,French editor of Charlie Hebdo Philippe Val, the Czech Pavel Kohout, and a good many others who might be characterized, save for their antipathy toward Islam and the aggressive demands of its adherents for modifications in the individual liberties that help make the West the West, as falling more readily under your category of “Left.”

    It is not fair to use a site whose contents is offered by others, whose audience is attracted by the flair of its presenters, and then to attempt to hijack — isn’t that the word these days? — for one’s political views, nostrums, panaceas. All kinds of attention is brought here to all kinds of stupidities and cupidities. Some might be labelled of the Left, and others of the Right. And others — well, they have not even received their name in taxonomic Latin yet. We’re still waiting to hear back from the Linnaean Society in Uppsala.

    P.S. Watch those apostrophes.

  7. says

    Foot speed and agility?

    /I’m here for weeks.

    I’m sure many of them are confused by Mohammed’s Qur’an compared to Sells and “Approaching the…” Qur’an. This sounds a bit like IED work. Approach, but don’t yank anything.

  8. says

    I’m waiting for the publication of “Allah and Man at Yale”. Perhaps alum, Bill Clinton of Qatar and New Haven can provide a preface.

  9. says

    Hugh: “as falling more readily under your category of “Left.””

    I believe that Oriana Fallaci used to be of “the left” but I’m not sure about the others. Are they not merely “liberals”? I understand your frustration with terminology but I do not think that Proud Infidel is so off base, provided the term “leftist” is not confused with the term “liberal”. Inasmuch as “liberal” refers to classic liberals, or descendents of the enlightenment, there are quite obviously liberals on both the right and the left. But I think Proud Liberal is referring to the “far left” – Marxists of some or other persuasion – the folks that David Horowitz has written about in “Unholy Alliance”. Such folks aren’t really “liberals”. I believe Horowitz has documented the history of how those folks essentially appropriated the term “liberal” (when they are actually closer to totalitarians of all stripes), thus forcing many real “liberals” to move to the right. Many of those disenfranchised liberals now call themselves neo-conservatives, or merely conservatives.

    But the overall point, IMHO, that Proud Infidel is making is not wrong. Of course there are folks on both the left and the right who can be “bought”. I assume,e.g that Galloway (left) is bought much as I assume that Norquist (right) is bought. But isn’t being “bought” a rather different issue than an overall ideological THRUST? And with regards to the latter, don’t we in fact have more to fear from the political LEFT (again, not to be confused with “liberal”), than we do ideologically speaking from the RIGHT? And if that is the case, then Proud Infidel is correct to point out the we face a real IDEOLOGICAL battle to discredit the left, which is of a different stripe altogether than dealing with “greed”, which is a more common human trait which can afflict anyone, regardless of political ideology.

  10. says


    The bottom line is that when you survey various people, whether celebrities, artists, writers, or politicians, throughout the West who have been more forthright and lucid and rational about the problem of Islam, they tend to be on the right. This indicates that the culture of rationality is stronger on the right than it is on the left. Is this such a bizarre and untouchable proposition? At any rate, the evidence seems to substantiate it. The tiny handful of leftists who are rational (Fallaci, Hirsi Ali, Fortuyn) or in the vicinity of being so (Hitchens) about Islam have been strongly censured, marginalized, at times ostracized — and most ridiculously, accused of being “right wing”! (Fortuyn) — by their leftist and liberal colleagues.

    It’s a screamingly obvious fact which some here stubbornly persist in obfuscating, for God knows what reasons.

  11. says

    Dear Jihad:

    Lately you have been confusing me…

    I don’t wish to go against the orisons of the oracles, but I also think that a larger body of thought must be confronted for the defeat of Islamic Jihad, and this probably must include pesky little “stupid categories” like those which make Mr. Fitzgerald cringe… So let the flames flash forth, singe me with your flairs of flares and fiery fulminations — I had to say something…

    I admit to being slightly confused by the distinctions being made lately, and by the requests to avoid these topics or terms which always seem to lurk on the purlieu of everything discussed here! I would gladly honor your requests if I weren’t quite so confused about exactly what you’re asking posters to do… Indeed I am wondering if my posts fall into the category of those you would like to see curtailed. I can’t imagine discussing this topic without referring to both left and right etiologies for our difficulties, although I blame Islam and Muslims first and foremost for the calumnies of Islam. How is one to proceed? I admit the terms “left” and “right” are cleverly bypassed in the lexicons of Mssrs. S. or F., but they seem omnipresent to me — just there, lurking below the surface of nearly every post of both sides of this clean and lovely site — is it just me who is confused?

    I’m no fan of the detestable,
    but those Western ideas and theories which permit the large scale immigration into the West of inimical Muslims, those ideas which endorse the continued obfuscation of Islam’s true nature (for whatever reason; stupidity, cupidiy, lividity, lack of liquidity) or blinkered policies which permit the continued exploitation by Muslims of Western rights, privileges, and intellectual property (technology, materials, education) to wage their Jihad unhindered in our domain… aren’t these also the nexus of Islamic Jihad in the West? To the extent that they are leftist ideas or rightist ideas — how can a discussion go forward without mentioning the etiology of these various pathologies? All of it must be confronted and discussed. (and they are discussed here all the time, by implication at least! Am… I… hallucinating…??? )

    So while the failures of such labels as “left” and “right” might be problematic for this discussion for the presenters, and not least simply because they upset Mr. Spencer and others so, how are we to proceed?

    And I can’t help asking here although I probably shouldn’t (at the risk of muddying already murky waters (to me at least) and introducing another possibly unwelcome hobby horse, one which the presenters would possibly like to see dead, or which they would like to see me stop beating (I’m so confused at this point I’m just going to toss it out there anyway)): Aren’t there other terms and labels which are extremely problematic in a similar manner for this discussion of Islamic Jihad, and yet aren’t we forced to use them for lack of better terms?

    I refer to the sad and ugly fact that we in the West still must use abhorrent Islamocentric terminology to define ourselves when discussing Muslims and Islam: “infidel” “non-Muslim” “non-Muslim world” et al… and other Islamocentric terminology to define the mechanisms and tactics of their war: “Jihad” “taquiya” “fatwa” “hudna” “Dar al Islam” “Dar al Harb” “Sura” “Hadith” “Koran” et al… I think this provides the Muslims with a subtle but significant tactical victory at the outset, first by reinforcing their arrogant primacy, and also because all of this mumbo jumbo makes widespread understanding and comprehension of Islam’s tactics and intent a vague imcomprehensibility for most Westerners… More work needs to commence on simple terminology which is honest, concise, and approachable. Not just “left” and “right”, but perhaps all of the above need rethinking…

    And all of those tired out (and often of the left) nags of moral equivalency, poisonous marxist theories of history and economics, post modern deconstructionism, anarchist revisionism, down home anti-Americanism and her po’ cousin, anti-Semitism (cmon! it’s so far rightwing it’s come around full circle and is now leftwing again…) — all of these items are implicated, and integral to the Muslim’s Islamic Jihad against us.

    Perhaps more specificity would be in order when discussing these topics? Would that please the oracles? Are my posts out of line? I so often post, yet sometimes wonder for lack of input from said oracles whether or not I’m one of their offensive offenders of terminology and labels… Am I misconstruing the diktates of the diktators (there’s that pesky K!)? Can we really discuss the topic at hand and waltz past these terms and issues of left and right and all the rest?

  12. says

    “the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ are cleverly bypassed…”
    — from a posting above

    Yes, a triple clever bypass, a quadruple clever bypass, all the way up to an n-tuple clever bypass. It’s out of anyone’s hands. It’s just what the doctor ordered.

  13. says

    I think the problem with turning this into a left-right discussion is that left-right arguments usually result from a kind of brain damage. To be left, or right, today, often means nothing more than having a kind of cerebral hemiplegia — either the left or the right half of the brain has become paralyzed. The left-right disagreements people have are usually at bottom not rational, are motivated by barely conscious forces, and are no more interesting than right-handedness or left-handedness are if one is trying to gauge whether someone possesses the truth. Anyway, most righties and lefties are within the liberal democratic ambit, i.e., believe in freedom of speech and of religion and of assembly and rule of law and elections — and it is all of that that we are here trying to defend, isn’t it? So why set left and right at each others’ throats? If we believe in the Western order of things we need to pull together, whether we’re left or right, to resist the fascistic culture of Islam as usually practiced.

  14. says

    Ah, what would we do without labels? Suffice to say that Muslims expect us denizens of their Dar al Harb to be confused.

    And they’re here to straighten us out. Just submit, that’s all.

    People of whatever political persuasion who would counsel the West to welcome this message because it promises peace are as blind as Muslims themselves are to the extreme violence that characterizes ordinary life in the Islamic world. That’s the history. And that’s why it must be resisted with everything we’ve got.

    People of whatever political persuasion who cynically expect Muslims to help them tear down the West and then walk away also don’t know their history. They, too, must be resisted.

  15. says

    “Yes, a triple clever bypass, a quadruple clever bypass, all the way up to an n-tuple clever bypass. It’s out of anyone’s hands. It’s just what the doctor ordered.”
    — from posting above

    Thanks again for the arctic cryptanalysis.

  16. says

    Re this left/right thing, one of my absolute favorite bloggers on the jihad is Jason Pappas at

    He has written a nice pair of articles which separately address the respective failures of both sides to appreciate the Islamic threat.

    First, “Can the left face the threat of Islam?”:

    and second, “The conservative response to the Islamic threat”:

    (psst…jsla – if I forget to mention it recently I love your posts. Considering what happened to the poor doctor today, perhaps a recommended course of action would be to whisper and point somewhat obliquely to the the elephant in the room as opposed to say, getting up on hobby horses and whooping and hollering like cowboys, if you get my drift. Maybe that’s all our hosts are really asking:-)).

  17. says

    Bob said “People…who…welcome this message because it promises peace are as blind as Muslims themselves….”

    I know many “good” Muslims who are just caught up in the religion because of birth. It is not their fault, but they don’t have much choice now since “they were born Muslim and they will die Muslim,” or so the saying goes.

    The right and the left need to wake up to the fact that Islam is not a peaceful religion, it is a system the controls every aspect of life. The goal of true Islam is world domination and they will lie, cheat, deceive, and kill, all the name of Allah to reach their goal.

    The problem in the west is that true Muslims are using our civil liberties and the freedoms in order to do away with the same. Under Islamic Law, there is no freedom. It is a closed society!

    I don’t think the “Right” or the “Left” would tolerate the Islamic agenda if they thought it was really true. Maybe that is the problem-they don’t believe it!

  18. says

    What will it take to get the truth about Islam out to Universities, as well as all the places of public education in the West?

  19. says

    “What will it take to get the truth about Islam out to Universities…”
    — from a posting above

    About $5 million dollars.

  20. says

    Hey Caroline. I’m quite allergic to all types of horses, regular, hobby and even dead ones, (I once had a horrific asthma attack when I sat in a horse hide chair…) and I truly am not interested in violating the desires of the presenters.
    I also get hives from physical exertion, (apparently being allergic to my own sweat…) so I wouldn’t want to labor unnecessarily here composing questions or posts which only warrant snubs or, far worse, which displease the hard working presenters.

    Do you think I’m some kind of glutton for “pruminion” (as DefenderofIslam would call it…)? This whole (what seems to me to be slightly arcane) subject makes me wonder about that possibility… and now I wonder a little about the rules at the site. In no way do I want that to be construed as a challenge towards the presenters — they have every right to make whatever rules they wish. I have to say I find the curt non-responses to be extremely off-putting – that is the intention of “–the poster above” I believe. It makes me a little sad — I didn’t notice when we had our heinous falling out… And I thought we were on the same side, I thought we were friends! ( but I still like his overheated hysterical prose… That probably DEFINITELY makes me a glutton for prumunion… )

  21. says

    …Yikes, just re-read my post, and now I’m fearful of getting Bish slapped… I meant “hysterical” as in funny HA HA… Geez ‘o’ pete — I’m done for…

  22. says

    jsla – I managed to glean that you live in Hollywood and are retired at a pretty young age. Judging from your talent with words, I wonder whether you weren’t a screen writer? (Oh and BTW it was Mulholland Drive that I drove. It’s near Laurel Canyon.I wanted to see it because I loved the David Lynch movie so much).

    Sorry. That was an aside. The point is that your posts are terrific. And I can’t for the life of me imagine that you’re violating any “rules”. I think it’s just a matter of “proportion”. Never mind the rest. Could you be laboring “unnecessarily”? Well, yes. We all could be. In the meantime, just keep your eye on the ball and don’t stop what you’re doing….

  23. says

    “I find the curt non-responses to be extremely off-putting – that is the intention of “–the poster above”
    — from a posting above

    You have misinterpreted. Both the adjective “arctic” and the noun “cryptanalysis” are wrong. Not chilly at all. Cryptic, yes, but only at times, as you know perfectly well, and for all kinds of reasons. Reasons of analysis.

    So not cryptanalysis, but “cryptic” and “analytic.”

    There is only one rule: does a posting or a poster advance things in the way they need to be advanced?

    A Muslim poster who distracts unduly, will be banned. One whose revealing postings are useful, may stay (as Naseem) because the revelations outweigh the distraction it causes some.

    Any attempt to divide the potential audience or fragment it, by assigning political or other off-the-rack labels, are regarded warily, and there have been repeated efforts to discourage them. If those efforts are consistently ignored, thereby alienating and driving away those who might come to this site, out of curiosity, remain to see that its take on things cannot be easily dismissed (for example, the take on the Bush Administration and the Iraq misadventure has for a long time been unique, but now other websites are showing, here and there, the odd sign of agreement).

    And this is not only an American audience. All kinds of people come here, and they have one thing in common: either immediate or family experience of Islam, or a knowledge of Islam, or an unease that has led them to attempt to acquire such knowledge, or a suspicion that the “authorities” on Islam in governments and universities are offering them explanations and soothing words that do not correspond to the evidence of their senses. Internecine warfare, or hints of it, at this site would not help it.

    So a certain unsystematic suppression goes on.

    Similarly, if postings are grotesquely ungrammatical, or use language that is offensive, so that the site looks as though it is run by, or for, or by and for, idiots — well, those who run it are not idiots, and there is method in the non-madness, and such examples will be emended, to semaphore the need for the rules of grammar and spelling and of verbal decorum to be observed.

    If the hints are taken, fine. If not…

    Most sites with open postings are, after a time, unbearable to read. Many of the postings here are to the point, and offer valuable information. That is to be encouraged. Not ever posting can be checked or even read.

    On another thread today I described the website as a ship, and its crew as consisting of American Practical Navigators. Nathaniel Bowditches, every one.

    With emphasis on their being “Practical.”

  24. says

    jsla, I love your posts and share most of the sentiments you express. I certainly wouldn’t intentionally offend a left-wing multiculturalist who might be cruising the site with an open mind, but I’m confident that is very unlikely so I don’t worry about it.

    We all want both liberals and conservatives to wake up to the threat of jihad and right now, conservatives probably outnumber liberals a thousand to one. When a liberal sees a muslim, he sees a non-white, third-world immigrant from a disparate culture, the perfect candidate for identity politics, racial preferences, protected minority status, and one more concretion in the proverbial “mosaic” of sacred diversity. Islam is this oppressed, exploited creature’s religion, which influenced his culture and his culture is the polar opposite of our own, thus sacrosanct. We cannot discriminate against him just because he hails from an impoverished, illiterate, atavistic society. His culture and religion are every bit as legitimate as ours, if not more so. This egalitarian liberal probably sends his children to private schools, lives in a gated community, has no contact with third-world immigrants socially or casually, and does not know or care if this incongruous addition to our society will adapt and fit in, or join the ranks of discontented, angry, resentful muslims, like the one mentioned above.

    I have noticed, much to my chagrin, that many putative conservatives have been infected by cultural Marxism, and the left/right divide seems to be narrowing in some ways. There are still many distinctions between the two groups but political correctness is ubiquitous. If we had faced the jihad threat just twenty years ago, it would have been exposed, explained, addressed and resolved. End of story.

    Dr. Pepper contends that PC permeates our society from the bottom up, but I do not believe that. Cultural Marxism is an elitist concept, foisted on us by the left-wingers who control the schools and government bureacracies. It has become de rigueur, and that is very disturbing.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to ramble on, I just wanted to tell you that your prose is delightful and please continue to entertain and enlighten us with your posts.

  25. says

    Thanks for your words of encouragement, Susanp — You bring up (as usual) some great points regarding labels. While the world once easily seemed divisable into “left” and “right” — today the picture is far more complex. It seems that, along with distinctions such as “liberal” and “conservative”, one must add the prefix “neo” to describe subsets within each category. What I find peculiar is this: “Neo-conservatives” are really quite un-conservative… They buy into certain aspects of traditional conservatism, but then advocate all kinds of Wiilsonian internationalist entanglements, massive government programs and spending, and all kinds of other “activisms”. Hardly “conservative”. And I’d attach the term “Neo-liberal” to all of those radical leftists who adhere to some of the planks of traditional liberalism such as public education for everyone, social welfare, restraints on the marketplace, but they also adhere to nearly fascistic thought control measures such as anti “hate speech” laws and institutionalized multi-culturalism.
    Traditional liberals and traditional conservatives also seem to me to be advocates of limiting government interference in the lives of the citizenry, whereas the “neos” seem to both believe that more government is always the answer — the stress on where the money gets spent is the only difference.