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“All enemies aren’t equal”

The highlight of my leisurely read of today’s OZ (in hard copy) was Noel Pearson’s excellent piece about the war against Islamic extremism.

Read the whole piece here

With important exceptions such as Christopher Hitchens and the signatories to Britain’s Euston Manifesto, it is generally true that the Western Left’s view of the threat represented by Islamist extremists is immature and highly confused. I concur with Hitchens and the authors of the Euston Manifesto about the imperative for the Left to pull its head out of the sand. (I cannot use my preferred metaphor here.) The Western political Right has a much more coherent grasp of the nature of the threat than their opponents. My point is, however, that the political Right has to decide which war it wants to win. As long as the political Right conflates cultural war with the war on terror and uses wedge politics, racism and xenophobia for domestic electoral gain in Western societies, then the war against terror will not be backed by the unity of purpose that is necessary to prosecute it successfully. This is why the West stands impotent six years into what will be a long war.

Noel Pearson

The only part that I don’t agree with is his concluding sentence above where he accuses the right of cynically exploiting the threat of the Jihadists for electoral gain. My view is that in the absence of any realistic response from the left to Islamic terror the left are far too prone to suggesting that anyone on the right is being a racist/ bigot/ xenophobe every time we point out the reality of the threat that the Jihadists pose to a peaceful future.
In any case give the piece  a good read. Pearson is a chap who is well worth listening to no matter where you sit on the political spectrum.
Cheers Comrades
8)

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4 Comments

  1. Madd McColl says:

    My view is that in the absence of any realistic response from the left to Islamic terror the left are far too prone to suggesting that anyone on the right is being a racist/ bigot/ xenophobe every time we point out the reality of the threat that the Jihadists pose to a peaceful future.

    I think there’s a bit of confusion here. Some on the left have made ridiculous comments downgrading the crimes of Islamic terrorists and have been overly senstive of criticism of Muslims. But, some on the right have been overtly racist and xenophobic as they’ve charged the majority for the crimes of the few. Even though you don’t agree, calling Muslims “goat fuckers” on a regular basis and never making a single clarifying statement about who you’re specifically refering too IS suspicious in my opinion and deserving of criticism. Just as many of those Nick Cohen accuses of giving succour to criminals broadly deserve some of what he gave them.

    The xenophobia charge is further supported when you get 2000 marching against the creation of an Islamic school because they believe it will “breed extremists”. I mean settle the fuck down!

    On a side note do you read Quadrant as there’s an excellent piece in this months copy about the misinterpretation of the Koran.

  2. Iain says:

    I think there’s a bit of confusion here. Some on the left have made ridiculous comments downgrading the crimes of Islamic terrorists and have been overly sensitive of criticism of Muslims.

    The certainly have I can think of a mutual acquaintance who falls into that category and I think at times, sadly you do as well MM .

    But, some on the right have been overtly racist and xenophobic, as they’ve charged the majority for the crimes of the few.

    while the pedantic part of me is quite willing to concede that a few on the more extreme right are guilty as you charge, however I do think that this is a charge more often used by even the more sensible left as a general “shut up” tactic to avoid having to change their perception about the threat of the Jihadists.

    Even though you don’t agree, calling Muslims “goat fuckers” on a regular basis and never making a single clarifying statement about who you’re specifically referring too IS suspicious in my opinion and deserving of criticism

    I have no intention of further discussing a epithet that I would not personally use, beyond saying that context is King here .. and that I think that one swallow does not a summer make, ok?

    Just as many of those Nick Cohen accuses of giving succour to criminals broadly deserve some of what he gave them.

    Well I make no secret of the fact that I like Nick Cohen and that the reasons that he dislikes much of the left are the reasons that I gave up on Leftism.

    The xenophobia charge is further supported when you get 2000 marching against the creation of an Islamic school because they believe it will “breed extremists”. I mean settle the fuck down!

    I don’t know which school you are referring to MM but if it is like many examples of “Islamic education” the curriculum is likely to extend only as far as a detailed study of the Koran…. I think that you have a rather naive vision of the sort of things would be taught in such schools. Personally I am highly suspicious of any school that has an overtly religious focus.

    On a side note do you read Quadrant as there’s an excellent piece in this months copy about the misinterpretation of the Koran.

    Sorry but I don’t read quadrant, is the piece you refer to available on line? Or can you scan and email it to me?
    Cheers

  3. Madd McColl says:

    The certainly have I can think of a mutual acquaintance who falls into that category and I think at times, sadly you do as well MM .

    You would wouldn’t you. 😉

    …however I do think that this is a charge more often used by even the more sensible left as a general “shut up” tactic to avoid having to change their perception about the threat of the Jihadists.

    You may have that opinion but since I’m one of those you’re refering too I can tell you that that’s absolute bullshit. I have no desire to “shut you up”, I merely point out suspicious talk when I see it and that which I’ve refered to in the past IS clearly suspicious.

    I have no intention of further discussing a epithet that I would not personally use, beyond saying that context is King here ..

    You’ve never demonstrated the comments to be benign by putting them in context anyway Iain. In fact KG clearly states his opinions of Muslims consistently.

    I don’t know which school you are referring to MM but if it is like many examples of “Islamic education” the curriculum is likely to extend only as far as a detailed study of the Koran…. I think that you have a rather naive vision of the sort of things would be taught in such schools. Personally I am highly suspicious of any school that has an overtly religious focus.

    It appear that YOU are the naive one here Iain as you appear to have no knowledge of Islamic schools in Australia. Children are taught a common curriculum as well as the Koran like any other private religious affiliated school. If you highly suspicious of Islamic schools, why not Angligan or Catholic?

  4. Iain says:

    Personally I am highly suspicious of ANY school that has an overtly religious focus.

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