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Terrifying: How Pro-Islamist Organizations Became Mainstream

Reader comment on item: Academic Malfeasance: The Case of Christopher Bail

Submitted by Dave (United States), Sep 11, 2016 at 21:56

One would think that Western institutions of higher learning would be repelled by Islamists since Sharia is so opposed to liberal values. Yet, liberal left intellectuals have become the greatest defenders of Islamism in the media and on campus. In fact, Western elites in general seem to have a soft spot for Islamic reactionaries.

This was not always the case. Prior to 1967 Israel commanded considerable sympathy on the Left. This changed because, allegedly, the Israeli occupation of territory captured in the 67 war was perceived as ending Israel's status as an underdog, and so sympathy shifted to the Arabs. This transformation was aided by Soviet propaganda, which successfully sought to portray the Arab-Israeli conflict not as Israel versus overwhelming Arab odds, but as Israel bullying the helpless, pint-sized "Palestinian" people. The arrant nonsense in this scenario should be evident by geography as well as by the lack of a historical Palestinian nationality. Yet, its success has outlived the Soviet Union. Why?

The answer lies in the relationship of Christianity to victimization: The New Testament narrative centers on the pathos of a divine martyr and his travails against earthly persecutors. Jesus is a victim, and although he is a Jew, he is victimized by Jews. This drama has set the tone for Western morality through the ages, and while it has resulted in countless acts of Christian charity to aid the poor and oppressed, it has also fueled blood libels against innocent Jews.

Academics are hardly a religious lot, but they are as subject to subconscious cultural influences as anyone else. Islamists may be monsters, but even monsters can be framed as victims: Just look at all the movements to exonerate convicted murderers. Unfortunately, Israel in the role of evil victimizer fits an ancient script. Add to that the guilt over Western colonialism and one has quite the pity party.

I hope that Dr. Pipes is right to maintain that reality will eventually prevail, but it will be against some strong cultural headwinds.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (27) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Marxist acedemia [53 words]Pershing KassOct 3, 2016 14:23233137
1Academia hates the West more than they hate the East. [69 words]LynnSep 26, 2016 08:37233013
so true [30 words]dianne gallenSep 13, 2016 13:22232661
1Not a bright future for leftist professors. [141 words]Michael SSep 13, 2016 03:15232644
2Smoke, Mirrors and Other Sociobabble DIscourse [379 words]Pied PiperSep 13, 2016 02:42232643
7Objective criticism of Islam [497 words]PrashantSep 12, 2016 22:52232640
4i.e: "HA HA THE TERRORISTS TERRIFIED YOU, YOU WUSSIES!" [353 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
UNCLE VLADDISep 12, 2016 19:09232637
2Terrified = Terrorized [46 words]DajjalSep 15, 2016 23:09232637
3Christopher Bail and his flawed methodology [168 words]dhimmi no moreSep 12, 2016 16:25232634
So I ask once more: What is a moderate Muslim? [39 words]Daniel GurevichSep 12, 2016 15:30232633
Between what poles moderate Muslims moderate [168 words]PrashantSep 14, 2016 20:47232633
Not a proper answer [40 words]Fragonard, PxSep 15, 2016 12:40232633
4Horrible scholarship from American Academia? [168 words]dhimmi no moreSep 12, 2016 13:24232626
2The appalling Considine and jihad [238 words]ECAWSep 14, 2016 04:18232626
1Yes, Considine is Appalling. [117 words]Peter HerzSep 16, 2016 18:42232626
2Jihad means holy war The lesser jihad hadith? It is spurious [228 words]dhimmi no moreSep 17, 2016 07:32232626
2Ibn Kathir wrote that Jesus died for 3 days and was resurrected! No I'm not kidding [235 words]dhimmi no moreSep 17, 2016 07:54232626
Gibberish [1434 words]ECAWSep 19, 2016 05:42232626
1googletranslate is not Shakespeare [28 words]dhimmi no moreSep 20, 2016 06:21232626
Maybe he's only half wrong - [27 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
MarkSep 12, 2016 08:22232619
Isn't it weird.... [174 words]ECAWSep 12, 2016 03:57232603
3Mainstream Islam? [56 words]DajjalSep 12, 2016 03:09232601
1Academics Today [78 words]KateSep 12, 2016 00:34232591
What can of education did he receive? [8 words]stevenlSep 12, 2016 00:07232588
Here is the way to reverse the leftward drift of academia [242 words]Stuart FaginSep 11, 2016 22:02232577
1Terrifying: How Pro-Islamist Organizations Became Mainstream [333 words]DaveSep 11, 2016 21:56232576
1Critical theory? [93 words]donSep 11, 2016 20:13232562

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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