Herd mentality

A genuine opponent of the Islamist-fascist jihad (and fascism in general) has also noticed a peculiar trend in the Anti-Jihad movement. Bruce Bawer, author of While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within and Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom discusses the Anti-Jihad Meltdown.

Once upon a time, these people made a point of distancing themselves from far-right European parties such as Belgium’s Vlaams Belang – whose most prominent Internet voice, Paul Belien, has declared himself to be fighting for “Judeo-Christian morality” not only against jihadist Islam but also against “secular humanism.” Belien has made no secret of his contempt for gay people and for the idea that they deserve human rights as much as anyone else. Now, however, many of the anti-jihadist writers who once firmly rejected Vlaams Belang have come to embrace it wholeheartedly. In fact, for reasons unknown to me, this regional party in one of Europe’s smallest countries appears to have become, for a number of anti-jihadist writers on both sides of the Atlantic, nothing short of a litmus test: in their eyes, it seems, if you’re not willing to genuflect to VB, you’re not a real anti-jihadist…

…What the hell, one is entitled to wonder, is going on here? Why has Vlaams Belang, of all things, become a veritable sacred cow for so many anti-jihadist writers? And why does at least one of them now take such a staggeringly contemptuous view of Pim Fortuyn? I can’t honestly say that I understand any of it. But I do know this: when writers who represent themselves as champions of liberty start cozying up to distinctly illiberal parties like Vlaams Belang – and when one of those supposed champions of liberty starts to sound uncomfortably like the Islamist enemies of freedom whom he purports to despise – then there’s something terribly wrong, and genuinely evil, afoot.

LGF commenter “zombie” says:

Certain people must be very confused by the Bawers/Johnson line, of taking a hard-but-not-extreme stance against Islamism: To draw a line in the sand, but in the correct place on the beach. To not use Islamic extremism as merely an excuse and a platform to advance an opposite extremism.

Staying reasonable when everyone else is going off the deep end is very difficult.

It does seem that reasonable people are currently in the minority, but most of the “anti-Jihad” types who support Vlaams Belang, like many of the Leftists who support Hugo Chavez, are probably not doing it because they’re evil. And they’re certainly not unique. History shows that, during times of stress, the majority of people in the old world (and some in America) will support politicians with clearly authoritarian views if they think that this will solve their problems or benefit their cause. The American Vlaams Belang cheerleaders aren’t fascists, proto-fascists or fascist sympathizers, but they, like most people, are probably willing to downplay the faults of groups like Vlaams Belang because they think befriending these groups can somehow ‘help’ them.

As Bawers’ experience shows, their views are ordinary, but the way they harass anyone who disagrees with them is extraordinary.

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About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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