Nidra Poller writes in Tech Central Station about things you just can’t say about Islam, no matter how true and essential they are:
PARIS — Add one more casualty to the victims of the November incidents in France: Alain Finkielkraut, 56-year-old professor, philosopher, author, and subtle commentator on current events. This humane intellectual has been dragged into something like a cross between a medieval disputation, the Moscow Trials, and an al Qaeda beheading scene, simply because he deviated from the accepted interpretation of the violence then raging in France”¦and said it in an Israeli newspaper.
Finkielkraut was interviewed in the thick of the fighting by two journalists from the Israeli daily Haaretz, Dror Mishani and AurÃ©lia Samothraiz. Thinking himself in friendly territory, the philosopher spoke freely about the origins and implications of the violence that was shaking France on its foundations.
Haaretz published an awkward English translation of the interview/profile, originally conducted in French on November 17; the Hebrew version was the cover story of the November 18 weekend supplement. In the course of the interview Finkielkraut remarked that it was not possible to say “these things” in France.
How right he is.
A slapdash French (re-)translation by notorious Israel-bashers Michel Warshavski and MichÃ¨le Sibony was rapidly posted by the French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP) under the title, “They’re not miserable they’re Muslim.” Once the sharks had drawn blood a motley crew of French journalists, scholars, and all-purpose intellectuals rushed to devour the man who dared to speak his mind, inadvertently exposing their own mental and ethical poverty in the process.
Here in France, where no accusation against America or Israel is too scurrilous for official dissemination and mass consumption, Finkielkraut was beaten almost senseless for developing, with utmost precaution, a thoughtful analysis of the riots. Going beyond the simplistic sociological description of ghettoized youths bursting out in frustration against discrimination and unemployment, Finkielkraut analyzes the violence as a nihilistic attack against the French Republic. He points out the dangers inherent in romanticizing the riots as the justified revolt of the wretched of the earth. And he has the courage to mention that the perpetrators of the street violence are, for the most part, black and/or Muslim”¦born in France but anchored to an ethno-religious identity that makes their integration well nigh impossible. He cautions against a misguided anti-racism that may become the totalitarian menace of the 21st century, as was Communism in the latter half of the 20th.
Every detail of the extensive Haaretz interview merits debate and reflection. But the prevailing dhimmitude climate leaves no room for debate: It is forbidden to criticize Islam.
Read it all.
UPDATE: Fausta at the Bad Hair Blog has evidence that “Mr. Finkielkraut did not recant his opinions “” on the contrary, he made it clear that he stood behind what he had said in Haaretz.”