The West’s convulsions are gathering pace.
In America and across the world, there has been uproar over the call by Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to bar all Muslims from entering the US until its administration can work out what is driving jihadi violence.
In France, a political earthquake took place earlier this week when Marine le Pen’s “ultraright” National Front made huge gains in regional elections, taking almost 28 percent of the nationwide vote and raising the prospect that it will control a number of regional councils.
Both Trump and Le Pen are considered by Western elites to be beyond the pale. Trump is indeed a preposterous figure. His call to bar Muslims was not only ludicrous in practical terms but morally and politically illiterate, making no distinction between Islamic extremists and the millions of Muslims who live decent, unthreatening lives.
But calling Trump a fascist, a Nazi or “just like Hitler,” as many in the West have been doing, displays a mindset ranging from the historically cretinous to the maliciously perverse.
Fascism is a totalitarian slave-doctrine which deifies the state and its leader, is obsessed with racial purification and is hostile to modernity and reason. Hitler’s Nazism added genocide of the Jews to the brew.
Whatever Trump’s flaws, does anyone seriously suggest he wants to kill all Muslims and turn the US into a totalitarian state? And isn’t it more than a little illiberal, not to say incoherent, for people to demand he should be banned from Britain or Israel – on the grounds that he incites hatred by calling for people to be banned? Le Pen has tried strenuously but not altogether convincingly to distance herself from her father, Jean-Marie, whose hatred of Jews is unquestionable. Maybe she really is a fascist in democratic clothing, but her stated program to end all immigration, ban Islamist organizations and close radical mosques and expel foreign hate-preachers makes her merely an uncompromising nationalist.
What’s more, such arguments resonate with millions of non-fascist, decent folk.
Such people simply want to live in safety and security in countries reflecting their own values and where they can govern themselves.
They have concluded that the entire political mainstream has abandoned those elementary elements of a free society – and worse still, demonizes anyone sounding the alarm.
The public may not care for either Le Pen or Trump. Yet they have touched a nerve among millions who perceive that they alone are saying what is all too obvious but which mainstream politicians deny: that the European Union is a positive threat to both democracy and public safety; and that Muslim society which pumps out paranoid hatred of the West and of which a sizable part wishes to Islamize the body politic provides the toxic sea in which Islamic terrorism swims.
Even now, however, Western elites are continuing to drive the public further into the arms of such maverick politicians. After the San Bernardino Islamist atrocity, Democrats and their media groupies fell over each other to blame instead America’s gun laws.
President Obama was finally forced to concede it was terrorism and even acknowledged for the first time that “an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities.”
However, his main concern was that this would foment “divisiveness” by people discriminating against Muslims. It would be nice if he could show the same concern for America’s Jews, attacks on whom outstrip attacks on Muslims by four to one.
But it’s Islamists who are dividing America.
Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote after San Bernardino on the Investigative Project on Terrorism website that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR ) uses public platforms routinely to try to divide law enforcement and American Muslims.
In 2011, for example, CAIR ’s San Francisco chapter posted a flyer on its website of a skulking agent roaming a neighborhood as doors slammed shut. “Build a Wall of Resistance,” the flier said. ‘Don’t Talk to the FBI.”
CAIR officials have routinely condemned FBI terrorism and terrorism financing investigations and also criticized terrorism investigations of Muslims involving informants.
Maybe that’s why, at the West Coast Islamic Society in Anaheim, Southern California, where two 24-year-old men arrested in May for conspiring to aid ISIS had worshiped, Obama’s request to American Muslims that they must help “root out” extremism was described as “insulting” and the suspected ISIS sympathizers as “victims of over-zealous law enforcement.”
Meanwhile, Obama, who previously banned the words “radical Islam” from the White House, removed anything disobliging to Muslims from the FBI training manual and described the 2009 Fort Hood jihadi terrorist rampage as “workplace violence,” courts the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2011, Presidential Study Directive 11 defined the Brotherhood as a “moderate” Islamist political entity. Last February, Obama met a number of senior American Muslim leaders amongst whom were some with links to the Brotherhood and organizations linked to funding terrorism.
Yet in 1991, the Brotherhood adopted as its plan for North America the “grand mission of civilization jihadist,” which meant “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Now it has been revealed by Democratic lawmaker Stephen Lynch that at least 72 employees at the Department of Homeland Security are on the US terrorist watch list.
On both sides of the Atlantic, liberals damn those trying to defend the West as fascists or Islamophobes while sanitizing and excusing Islamists bent on mass murder and conquering the West.
This is because the weak spot of Western liberals is their support – going back to the French Revolution – for totalitarianism of the left-wing kind.
Islamic jihadis are sometimes called Islamo- fascists. In fact, the Islamist thinkers of the last century drew less on fascism than on communism.
In 2003, the Iranian analyst Azar Nafisi wrote that radical Islam “takes its language, goals and aspirations as much from the crassest forms of Marxism as it does from religion. Its leaders are as influenced by Lenin, Sartre, Stalin and Fanon as they are by the Prophet.”
Whoever inspired them, Islamists are totalitarians – and so-called liberals take their side.
Meanwhile, dangers greater even than ISIS are being ignored. In October, Iran tested a ballistic missile, the second test since the nuclear “deal” and in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The International Atomic Energy Authority has also said that before 2009 Iran was working to create a nuclear weapon, and since then... well, it doesn’t know. Which isn’t surprising, since it did a side deal with Iran which seriously restricted its access to the Parchin military site.
So the IAEA has given up, and Iran lied and has violated UN resolutions and the US-led non-deal which is laughably supposed to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon but in fact will enable it, making ISIS seem like a sprat swimming next to a great white shark.
But hey, who cares when there’s the so-much more important fascist threat from Donald Trump to worry about? Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).