Blair Speaks the Truth to Power!
Because in our societies, victimhood is power.
'The idea that as a Muslim in this country that you don't have the freedom to express your religion or your views, I mean you've got far more freedom in this country than you do in most Muslim countries,' Blair told Observer columnist Will Hutton, who presents the documentary.
'The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we're not actually fighting it properly. We're not actually standing up to these people and saying, "It's not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn't justified."'
Fatwas to follow shortly.
Christ we're going to miss him. Hopefully, the Brits will understand in time. But if Mark Steyn is correct, we can't hope for much:
Can that really be true? In a typically incompetent response, Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, issued one of those obviously -we're-sorry-if-there's-been-a-misunderstanding statements in which she managed to imply that Rushdie had been honored as a representative of the Muslim community. He's not. He's an ex-Muslim. He's a representative of the Muslim community's willingness to kill you for trying to leave the Muslim community. But, locked into obsolescent multiculti identity-groupthink, Beckett instinctively saw Rushdie as a member of a quaintly exotic minority rather than as a free-born individual.
This is where we came in two decades ago. We should have learned something by now. In the Muslim world, artistic criticism can be fatal. In 1992, the poet Sadiq Abd al-Karim Milalla also found that his work was ''not particularly well-received'': He was beheaded by the Saudis for suggesting Mohammed cooked up the Koran by himself. In 1998, the Algerian singer Lounes Matoub described himself as ''ni Arabe ni musulman'' (neither Arab nor Muslim) and shortly thereafter found himself neither alive nor well. These are not famous men. They don't stand around on Oscar night congratulating themselves on their ''courage'' for speaking out against Bush-Rove fascism. But, if we can't do much about freedom of expression in Iran and Saudi Arabia, we could at least do our bit to stop Saudi-Iranian standards embedding themselves in the Western world. So many of our problems with Iran today arise from not doing anything about our problems with Iran yesterday. Men like Ayatollah Khomeini despised pan-Arab nationalists like Nasser who attempted to impose a local variant of Marxism on the Muslim world. Khomeini figured: Why import the false ideologies of a failing civilization? Doesn't it make more sense to export Islamism to the dying West?
And, for a guy dismissed by most of us as crazy, he made a lot of sense. The Rushdie fatwa established the ground rules: The side that means it gets away with it. Mobs marched through Britain calling for the murder of a British subject -- and, as a matter of policy on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity, the British police shrugged and looked the other way. One reader in England recalled one demonstration at which he asked a constable why the ''Muslim community leaders'' weren't being arrested for incitement to murder. The officer told him to ''f - - - off, or I'll arrest you.'' Genuine ''moderate Muslims'' were cowed into silence, and pseudo-moderate Muslims triangulated with artful evasiveness. Sir Iqbal Sacranie, who went on to become leader of the most prominent British Muslim lobby group, was asked his opinion of the fatwa against Rushdie and mused: ''Death is perhaps too easy.''