The American Conservative (TAC) is a paleocon publication that counts among its founders Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos, both bitter critics of Israel who have been repeatedly accused of anti-Semitism, so it is not surprising that it would be venomously anti-Israel. But now its opposition to American interventionism (which I generally share, and particularly share in regard to the Iraq and Afghanistan disasters) has driven it straight over the cliff into active support for the Islamic supremacist agenda of demonizing foes of jihad terror and friends of Israel, thereby clearing away resistance to the global jihad.
In the past few days they have published a new broadside against “Islamophobia” by the barely literate Kelley Vlahos, whose 2010 American Conservative piece attacking our opposition to jihad terror was so filled with spelling, grammatical and factual errors that TAC’s editor should have been fired on the spot. Vlahos still hasn’t mastered English, but apparently TAC has an editor now, as the only grammatical mistakes that made it to publication were the hapless Vlahos writing an “it’s” where she should have written “its” and misplacing a few commas; the factual errors, however, are just as thick on the ground as they are in any Vlahos piece. For example:
Meanwhile, well-funded fringe groups like Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative, [sic] have attempted to purge Muslim-Americans who have dared to “infiltrate” the White House and other high profile positions throughout federal government. They might have gone too far in 2012, however, when they suggested long-time Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had connections with the Muslim Brotherhood.
There are so many errors in this paragraph that it is hard to fathom anyone publishing it, no matter how well it seemed to serve his or her agenda. AFDI is not, unfortunately, “well-funded”; we frequently rely on crowdfunding to enable us to get our message out. We did not attempt to “purge” anyone from anything. Calls for investigation into Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. government (not “Muslim-Americans who have dared to ‘infiltrate’ the White House”) did not come from Pamela Geller or me, but from Representative Michele Bachmann, who is not mentioned in Vlahos’s piece. Bachmann is the one who suggested that Huma Abedin’s connections to the Brotherhood be investigated, and there are perfectly reasonable grounds for concern. The book Infiltration, which Vlahos links to the word “infiltrate,” is not an AFDI book or a book by Geller or me, but by the investigative journalist Paul Sperry.
The rest of the piece is just as full of errors, but the main problem with it is its use of the term “Islamophobia” as if it were a serious and genuine phenomenon. In reality, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), explains that “this loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” Beating down critics of what? Of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, so that the jihad can advance unopposed and unimpeded. The American Conservative has now fully signed on with that agenda.
It has most likely done so out of its hatred for Jews and Israel. One prominent Catholic writer of my acquaintance, who writes occasionally for TAC, reveals his vile anti-Semitism after a few drinks; and in the last few days TAC has published not one, not two, not three, but four articles about Ted Cruz walking out of the Defense of Christians conference after being booed for speaking in support of Israel. Israel is on the front line of the global jihad. TAC doesn’t want to admit that there is a global jihad, as they’re much more concerned about “Islamophobia,” but in the real word, Jews and Christians (and Hindus, and Buddhists, and atheists, and every group in the jihadis’ sights) should stand together against a common foe that has vowed the subjugation or destruction of all of them.
The Middle Eastern Christians who heckled Cruz are Arab nationalists. In chapter nine of Bat Ye’or’s seminal Islam and Dhimmitude, she discusses at length the ambiguities of Arab nationalism, showing how as a movement it destroyed Middle Eastern Christian communities, dividing them and weakening them. Arab nationalism was also linked to Nazism and of course, theological anti-Semitism. In Sylvia Haim’s “Islam and the Theory of Arab Nationalism,” reprinted in Andrew Bostom’s The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, Haim quotes the founder of the Arab nationalist Ba’ath Party, Michel Aflaq:
Muhammad was the epitome of all the Arabs, so let all the Arabs today be Muhammad. . . . Islam was an Arab movement and its meaning was the renewal of Arabism and its maturity . . . [even] Arab Christians will recognize that Islam constitutes for them a national culture in which they must immerse themselves so that they may understand and love it, and so that they may preserve Islam as they would preserve the most precious element in their Arabism.
Haim concludes: “For Aflaq, Islam is Arab nationalism.” (Emphasis in original).
Thus TAC’s insistence that these Middle Eastern Christian leaders, as Arab nationalists, couldn’t, wouldn’t and shouldn’t support Israel is born of a myopic ignorance of the close relationship between Arab nationalism and Islam, and of how Arab nationalism has devastated the Christians of the Middle East by making them subservient to an Islamic agenda that ultimately has not spared them, and of how Israel is facing the same jihadist foe that the rest of the free world faces.
TAC’s Rod Dreher, whom I respect, points out that the Middle Eastern Christian leaders would have faced violent reprisals if they had publicly supported Israel, and that is a true and valid point — one which could have been conveyed without catcalls and heckling. And with James Zogby on the Advisory Board of the In Defense of Christians organization — a vehement anti-Semite who has referred to Israelis as “Nazis” — it is unlikely that safety concerns were the uppermost concern of the heckling audience. And in any case, the Christians in the Middle East are already threatened, victimized, exiled and murdered. To think that people whose home has been set on fire by arsonists will needlessly provoke those arsonists if they stand with the arsonists’ foremost enemy is to forget that the arsonists have already set their house on fire, and are not going to spare them.
Above all, to be excoriating Ted Cruz about Israel while publishing screeds about “Islamophobia” is to embrace a far more sinister agenda than any that Cruz may have had.
The American Conservative: a new servant of Islamic supremacism and jihadist anti-Semitism. It is not surprising, but it is shameful.
(Thanks to Bat Ye’or and Andrew Bostom for the references.)