Monday, January 21, 2008
The Vlaams Belang Controversy
Less than two days have gone by, and a Jihad Watch thread about the Vlaams Belang party of Belgium has generated over 400 comments—which I think is a record number of comments for any JW thread.
What has contributed to this amazing output of comments is, first and foremost, Robert Spencer's introductory remarks that
a) reiterated a blacklisting suspicion against the Vlaams Belang party
b) renewed his support of Charles Johnson (of Little Green Footballs) with regard to (a) above.
Many, many commenters took issue with both of these stances by Spencer, particularly his ostracization of Vlaams Belang (however fastidiously genteel was the manner in which he phrased it). Then, of course, many other commenters took issue with those who either support Vlaams Belang, or who at least stand on the principle of refusing to blacklist them on the basis of those parapolitical terms that have become saturated with politically correct overtones—to wit, “racism” and “fascism”, among others.
The bottom line gleaned from a perusal of that monstrous thread (still burgeoning as I write) is this:
A discomfitting number of people in the Anti-Islam Movement (including Robert Spencer) show signs of having imbibed and digested the PC Multi-Culturalist mythology of Anti-“Racism”—or at least that part of the mythology that renders the white Westerner perpetually suspicious of any hints and signs of “racism” in white Western culture, and perpetually ashamed thereof. Because of this assimilation of the term “racism”, many of our members and at least a couple of our leaders have lost the distinction between it and genuine racism without the Orwellian quotes, and therefore have bought into—and enable—the abuse of the former in order to smear individuals and groups with the latter.
Let us be clear about the terms: racism without the quotes is a bad thing, to be avoided wherever possible in society and politics; “racism”, on the other hand, is an ideological construct designed to smear people with charges of actual racism. The effectiveness of the smear tactics increases exponentially to the degree that the PC Multi-Culturalist paradigm becomes dominant and mainstream—as it has in the modern West. It is a pity that so many in the Anti-Islam Movement, Spencer included, are aiding and abetting this Orwellian abuse of terms by, among other things, smearing the Vlaams Belang and Filip Dewinter.
Because some claims, emanating from somewhere (who cares where they come from, right?), generate the fog of suspicion of “racism” against Vlaams Belang, that is enough for those who are so skittishly timid and fearful of being tainted by that label, they would rather throw Vlaams Belang to the dogs (or in more gingerly fashion, insult them by asking for their authentification papers—never mind that there is ample evidence and argumentation out there to show that Vlaam Belangs and Filip Dewinter, and their defenders, have already provided sufficient explanation) than be deemed by the PC world to be, Allah forbid, “racists”.
This is a dim day in the Anti-Islam Movement. When we should be moving steadfastly away from PC MC and its Orwellian labels that suppress dissent, too many among us now show signs of a major reversal in the wrong direction—into the arms of those who use “racism” as a smear tactic precisely to protect Islam and Muslims from any substantive criticism, let alone the condemnation they deserve.
For further reference, see these three essays on the Center for Vigilant Freedom website that present detailed arguments exonerating Filip Dewinter and the Vlaams Belang:
Facts Part 1: Counterjihad Brussels 2007 Conference
Vlaams Belang in the European Parliament, Part 2
Diana West: Vlaams Belang, Freedom Fighters
Perhaps someday, when Robert Spencer has a moment of free time when he is not vilifying individuals and movements who are working on his side in Europe, he will read the above three articles and, at the very least—if he does not actually change his mind (Heaven forbid!)—, will present cogent counter-arguments to their points. The man Spencer has smeared, Filip Dewinter, deserves that intellectual courtesy no less than does Spencer.