The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method—by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses—you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem.
C. S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters XIII
One of the biggest problems that our friends on the left tend to run into is the disturbing habit of reality to intrude on their message. While this has been a real issue on the domestic front the biggest exclamation points have been in the world of Islamists.
In France the brutal murder of Jewish Children and a Rabbi which got short shift here has apparently made a difference in France and their reactions:
Item: France looks at Radicalism in prisons
President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered a study on the evolving threat in prisons after last month’s killings, and the justice minister called for greater intelligence gathering in prisons and more Muslim prison chaplains.
This is a good first step, but it appears they are slightly unclear on the concept:
Justice Minister Michel Mercier recently announced he wants a full-time security official devoted to intelligence gathering in each large prison and closer working ties between the prison administration and intelligence agencies. He also wants an increase in the number of Muslim chaplains in French prisons.
“A new phenomenon has appeared, the self-radicalization of some prisoners,” Mercier said. “Mohamed Merah read the Quran alone and it is his own interpretation that led him to radicalization.”
Sarkozy has called self-radicalization “the worst thing for democracies,” apparently referring to the difficulty in detecting this solitary transformation without trampling on civil liberties.
The idea of “Self radicalization” only works if you ignore the pronouncements of radical Imans all over the middle east and within Europe. An increase in chaplains will only be positive if those chaplains are well screened for radical teachings. Of course some would argue that this is inherent to Islam itself, but still this is a positive step, you can’t address a problem properly if you don’t even acknowledge there is a problem to begin with.
Item: Canada finally orders Accused Terrorist extradited to France:
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has ordered Ottawa professor Hassan Diab to be extradited to France to face terror-bombing charges.
“Mr. Diab was committed for extradition on June 6th, 2011 by the Superior Court of Justice,” Justice Department spokesman Christian Girouard wrote in an email. “On April 4th, 2012, the minister of Justice ordered his surrender to France.
It only took four years after the request for this order to take place. I’ll wager the murders in France had a lot to do with this. This is one of the times where the strong French influence in Canada has likely made a difference.
But more significantly Canada is notorious for tolerating Islamic radicalism, that this case is moving at all is significant.
Item: Salon walking “murder” accusation back
After spending serious time accusing Pam Geller and Robert Spencer of inciting murder it appears Salon magazine is finding itself walking back
Indeed, in the days after her death several revelations called the hate-crime allegation into question. On April 4, an affidavit for a search warrant about the murder was “accidentally released,” according to the New York Times. The San Diego Union-Tribune, which first received the document, claimed it shows a “family in turmoil and cast doubt on the likelihood that her slaying was a hate crime.” Alawadi was said to be planning on leaving her husband, based on blank divorce papers found in her vehicle. Last November, police investigating reports of two people possibly having sex in a car found Fatima with a 21-year-old man. After her mother was called to pick her up, Fatima allegedly jumped out of the moving car at 35 mph. While being treated at a hospital for her injuries the court records state, “Police were informed by paramedics and hospital staff that Fatima Alhimidi said she was being forced to marry her cousin and did not want to do so she jumped out of the vehicle.”
Remember the writer is a co-founder of Occupy Wall Street Journal. Gupta still attacks both Geller and Spencer in the piece but is put in the uncomfortable position to note the holes in the “hate crime” story.
This is in Sharp contrast to what the same magazine was saying just a week before:
“What we do know,” wrote Mónica Novoa confidently on March 30, “is that Alawadi 17-year-old daughter Fatima, found a note next to her slain mother’s body that read, ‘This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist.’ Those words and the animosity and bigotry experienced by Muslim communities of diverse racial backgrounds is rooted in years of ignorant stereotypes.”
We now know that we didn’t really know any such thing.
In fact not only do they now know they didn’t really know any such thing, but some are suddenly they always thought this:
This revelation Friday morning, along with the release of information that made it look much more likely that Alawadi was a victim of honor killing than of murderous “Islamophobia,” stopped a few of the more circumspect among the Islamic supremacists: the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) tweeted a claim that it had always had doubts about the “hate crime” claim.
Of course there are those who are too invested in the old narrative:
Islamic supremacist writer Reza Aslan, however, who had initially blamed Pamela Geller and me for the murder, reacted with scornful indifference to the news disproving his claims, and continued to promote Hoodie and Hijab rallies.
The has been the worst of all possible worlds for Islamic apologists. Most of the time Pam and Robert are standing alone looking for justice for victims of Honor Killings who are slaughtered without fanfare. The Islamist left attempt to use the killing of Shaima Alawadi to attack Geller and Spencer has instead made her the face of Honor killings to their readers who had heretofore not has the subject before them.
Item: The Irish times are a changin‘
Filmmaker Nicky Larkin went to Israel and the west bank to make a film about the conflict between Israel and “Palestine”. Nicky arrived in Israel with a particular point of view but reality pushed him in the face, hard:
But the more I felt the martyrs watching me, the more confused I became. After all, the Palestinian mantra was one of “non-violent resistance”. It was their motto, repeated over and over like responses at a Catholic mass.
Yet when I interviewed Hind Khoury, a former Palestinian government member, she sat forward angrily in her chair as she refused to condemn the actions of the suicide bombers. She was all aggression.
This aggression continued in Hebron, where I witnessed swastikas on a wall. As I set up my camera, an Israeli soldier shouted down from his rooftop position. A few months previously I might have ignored him as my political enemy. But now I stopped to talk. He only talked about Taybeh, the local Palestinian beer.
and then came stories like this:
He talked slowly about his time in Gaza. He spoke about 20 Arab teenagers filled with ecstasy tablets and sent running towards the base he’d patrolled. Each strapped with a bomb and carrying a hand-held detonator.
The pills in their bloodstream meant they felt no pain. Only a headshot would take them down.
and when he came back with his film Forty Shades of Grey his peers didn’t like what they saw:
My peers expected me to come back with an attack on Israel. No grey areas were acceptable.
And when Larkin’s story came out, the vitriol came with it:
The fall-out has been quite spectacular. I’ve been called everything from a Protestant to an agent of Mossad. Letters to the editor have been flying in since, like rockets from the Strip. But, unlike the rockets from Gaza, not all the letters have been sent with spleen.
and like conservatives in Hollywood his support comes in hushed tones for fear of the “tolerant” left.
I didn’t expect the support from a largely silent group of people — Irish people. It seems there are true liberals out there; people prepared to listen to both sides of the story. Unfortunately they are surrounded by foaming scarf-wearers, clutching their boycott sheets and Bic biros.
It’s the foam that gives the fear. Nobody wants to be bitten by a rabid dog. Or a Bic biro. So, as a result, the Irish support I’ve received has been largely by private correspondence. Strictly for health reasons. I’m contagious.
Yet more proof courage is the virtue that makes every other possible.
One can hold back reality for only so long.
Update: added … to the title as a setup for my next post.