Monday, January 22, 2018
An "Alt Counter-Jihad"? The case of Faith Goldy. Part 3.
For background, see Part 1, and for a general discussion getting into the meat of the matter, see the much more extensive Part 2.
In Part 1, I observed:
...there seems to dominate in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream a tacit consensus to agree with Ezra Levant, Jordan Peterson, and Gad Saad, in their fastidious fear of the cooties transmitted by people like Faith Goldy...
The reason this is a likely implication is that the Leadership of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream (e.g., Jihad Watch, Gates of Vienna, Ruthfully Yours, Frontpage) hasn't uttered a peep about what these Three Horsemen did to Faith Goldy; and instead have approvingly featured them on their venues.
I also posed the following question in Part 1:
...is the Jihad Watch team (by passive extension for approvingly publishing Ezra Levant and Jordan Peterson, but not Faith Goldy) able to skate by in this regard?
The answer to that all depends on what the Readership (the Civilians) of the Counter-Jihad want to do. Will they continue to sit passively letting the Leadership pursue a soft approach to the problem of Islam (and to the problem of the problem, the West's continued myopia to the primary problem)? Or will they pipe up and let their voice be heard, that they are not satisfied with the Leadership continuing to put lipstick on the pig of Islam AND Muslims?
As I noted in Part 2, the main person who punished Faith Goldy for her free speech by gagging her free speech (as best he could, by firing her from his venue, The Rebel Media), Ezra Levant, seems to be as egregiously soft on Islam as Robert Spencer and his colleague Christine Douglass-Williams, and others in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, and Sam Harris (though there is trouble in the Paradise of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, insofar as Sam Harris continues to keep Spencer at an arm's-length for fear of catching his cooties -- which might change, now that Sam's friend Ayaan, as chummy & cozy as he is with the transparent snake-reformer Muslim Maajid Nawaz, has publicly praised Spencer's new book; but that's a tangled web for another day).
We could also position Ezra Levant in the general vicinity of the fuzzy category of the "Alt Right". Thus, when Jihad Watch, a main bastion of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, published Ezra Levant praising the egregiously soft-on-Islam Christine Douglass-Williams, and describing his position on Islam in appallingly soft terms --
...she is a promoter of Islam in the sense that we are and Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah and Saleem Mansour [are]-- that is, an Islam that coexists with the West, a patriotic democratic liberal Islam, progressive Islam, critical of political Islam…
-- this was a sign as clear as any of the alliance of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream with what we could call the "Alt Right Mainstream".
Another example caught my attention more recently, again on Jihad Watch, that bastion of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream. The details have to be digested, piece by piece, to fully grasp the irony and hypocrisy here as both Mainstreams increasingly embrace each other: Robert Spencer is approvingly featuring Paul Weston (another "safe" Counter-Jihad Mainstreamer who doesn't condemn Muslims, just Islam, with vague references to "jihadists" and "immigrants"), whose Jihad Watch feature praises Jordan Peterson -- Paul Weston on Cathy Newman and Jordan Peterson’s spectacular takedown of Leftist dogma -- one of the leading lights of the Alt Right Mainstream. And, as I have been arguing in Part 2, I say "Mainstream" because of Peterson joining Levant in the cowardly hypocrisy of justifying their respective punishments of Faith Goldy for her "incorrect" speech (and her failure to practice "correct" speech). Given this context, Spencer's introduction is unwittingly rich in irony & hypocrisy:
The Leftist establishment, in the UK as well as in the US, demands that certain opinions must be accepted; dissenters are tarred with charges with “racism” and “bigotry.”
Exactly what Jordan Peterson, friend of Jihad Watch Ezra Levant, and Gad Saad did to Faith Goldy. Oh the irony! More from Spencer:
These opinions have for the Left the status of religious dogma, never to be questioned. Among these, of course, is the false claim that Islam is a Religion of Peace. Jordan Peterson and Cathy Newman do not discuss that claim, but the motion here is the same: their interview is a marvelous example of what happens when truth and reality meets Leftist dogma.
Just as I observed in Part 2: various Leadership of the Alt Right, such as the up-and-coming favorite Jordan Peterson, don't seem to be all that concerned about Islam, but their concerns about other issues in opposition to the prevailing dogma of PC MC (and of the "Leftism" of Spencer's idée fixe) make them attractive to the Counter-Jihad Mainstream -- particularly as both share a concern for "pragmatism" over principle; i.e., playing it safe in order to survive, at the cost of selling their soul to the broader Mainstream (that is, if they weren't soft on principle all along, making their sell-out not that much of a sacrifice...).
I hope my readers detect the irony here: both of these groups -- the Alt Right and the Counter-Jihad -- have developed buoyed along by a sentiment to buck the status quo, to be a radical voice for a perspective that is regularly marginalized by the broader Mainstream. In the process, they have become streamlined into mainstream versions of themselves. Perhaps Levant should call his fearlessly maverick show The Mainstream Rebel...? Or is it possible that Robert Spencer and Ezra Levant were always soft on Islam, and they and Jordan Peterson were always unwilling to press the principle of Free Speech to its valid conclusion, and have only been skating by all these years on the fumes of pretending they were tougher? We'll never know until their Readership becomes bold enough to ask these kinds of questions openly.
I have more familiarity with the Readership of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, and from what I can tell, many of them might be fed up with the softness, hypocrisy & incoherence of their Leadership, but they don't admit it. Mostly, because the vast majority of the Readership never criticize their Leadership on these matters, it seems on the surface that they are fairly happy with the Leadership. When you read their thoughts, however, as I have in thousands of comments by probably thousands of individuals in various discussion forums over the years, perhaps a majority of them seem to be coming from a stance markedly tougher than the Counter-Jihad Mainstream; but at the same time, they seem passively afraid to "rock the boat" and would rather just let that Leadership continue being incoherently soft on Islam because "it's better than anything else being done," in the hope that if they throw enough vaguely anti-Islam stuff at the wall of the Mainstream West long enough, maybe something will eventually stick.
An "Alt Counter-Jihad" would clearly articulate a tougher position on the problem of Islam (by, among other things, clarifying that the problem of Islam is at the same time the problem of all Muslims). Its stance would be: enough is enough with this mealy-mouthed, phony bravado about being tough on "jihadism" or "political "Islam" or "Islamist extremism" without at the very least promoting a general conversation in the movement with internal voices who disagree.
Will such an "Alt Counter-Jihad" ever develop? Given all I've seen over the years, I remain pessimistic.