Hogan's Alley

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Muslim and Western Fanatics, Different Yet the Same

Anatole Kaletsky in The Times (of London) has a fascinating piece comparing the reaction of some in Islam to the infamous cartoons and the reaction of certain right wingers to his criticism of President Bush. Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

Apparently Kaletsky's column came to the attention of Rush Limbaugh, who unleashed the hounds via his radio show and Kaletsky was bombarded by vile name-calling emails. As he points out, these are a far cry from the violence and threats of violence we are seeing in the so-called "Arab street" (highly organized variety).

There is one other difference worth noting and one similarity that is disturbing.

The difference is that while the vast right wing attack machine was set in motion by the self-anointed guardian of America and its values, Mr. Limbaugh, the demonstrations in the streets of the middle east were fomented, if not organized, by the governments of the region. Those governments survive by the constant distraction of their populace away from the backwardness, inequality, poverty and authoritarianism of these states toward the evil West and toward the afterlife, achievable only by absolute adherence to the received word of the Prophet.

The ugly similarity is that both groups of irrationalists have chosen to define the source of all evil in the world as the Jewish people. Muslim anti-semitism is famous and well documented. Limbaugh's minions like to "defame" Mr. Kaletsky as, among other things, a "Commie Jew-boy".

Both are seekers of the simple, albeit stupid, answer that explains the universe.