***UPDATED*** ‘Appeasement serves neither the right or left. In fact, it is the kindling for the fire that might engulf us’
October 6, 2006
The challenges of radical Islamism are many and varied.
For most on the left, confronting radical Islam is tantamount to violating a certain ‘Political Correctness’ code, an admission that maybe radical Islam is not an acceptable, politically viable alternative expression. Indeed, radical Islamism might even have to be construed as evil and vile. Admitting those realities challenge the multicultural mantra that ‘we are all the same (except of course, as Dr Sanity pointed notes with regularity, for American, Judeo-Christian and democratic principles. Those values are never on an equal footing. They are in fact, to be rejected and scorned).
For may on the right, the presence of radical Islamism is nothing less than proof positive that cultures and societies that have abandoned Christian and moral values in favor of unadulterated secularism will descend into an abyss of meaninglessness and violence.
Most on the left and right abhor our lowest cultural expressions. While there is hot debate over the artistic merit over Robert Maplethorpe’s photos or classifying the Madonna smeared in feces in urine at the Brooklyn Museum as art, Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake are not considered sacred expression of the American Experience. For the most part, Americans on the right and left simply ignore that part of the American cultural desert. Out of sight, out of mind.
There is no grand tradition of Americans or westerners in any free nation, of using explosives, threats of violence or decapitation in the name of religion or ideology, to silence Spring or Lake. Along the same lines, there are no calls from the religious pulpits or ideological bully pulpits, to ‘slaughter’ either Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake or the early morning religious preachers on cable TV. For most of us, none of the aforementioned play any meaningful or significant role in our lives.
This is no small matter. Christians, Jews and the proponents of different ideologies do not believe they are less Christians, Jews or proponents of different ideologies because they do not call for the violent confrontation or ‘slaughter’ of those with different beliefs.
In western cultures, we allow offensive expressions and ideas to die away by themselves. Artists that defame religious icons are no longer avantAs the Anchoress has noted, Madonna’s once provocative stage acts are now rather ‘predicatble and perfunctory.’
Whereas the feces covered Madonna at the Brooklyn Museum and the real Madonna are fading away into nothingness and irrelevance, the cartoons that inspired so much violence will be forever remembered because of how their ‘offensivness’ was treated. What would have been used to wrap fish on the following day, will live on for decades.
The supposed ‘great artistic expressions’ that are now receding into obscurity, were supposed to address the issues of the day- the relationship between religion and sexuality, for example. Those celebrated ‘great artistic expressions’ of their day, never address the real issues of the day.
There are no artists questioning radical Islam’s threats to free expression and the ever escalating threats of violence directed at anyone that dares challenge their worldview. There was great art that documented the cruel persecutions of the African American experience (To Kill A Mockingbird is but one example) but there is no such art that addresses the hate and bigotry of radical Islam.
In fact, it is those in the artistic community that have been the first to ‘sell out,’ remaining silent in the face of a threat that is openly stated, daily. There was great Soviet and communist bloc dissident art. There is dissident art in communist China and there was art that exposed the tyranny of Nazis in war time Germany. There was even art in the concentration camps that defied the oppressors.
Where are the artists that defy oppression and stand up for justice, today? They live in fear, afraid of their own shadows. Like legions of communist scribblers and scrawlers before them, they produce only ‘approved’ art. They are happy to produce ‘Piss Madonnas- but they are afraid to produce ‘Piss Mohammeds.’ They have chosen to identify with those that might oppress them, currying favor in the hope they will ‘belong.’
How desperate, shallow and so devoid of meaning and purpose do you have to be to choose to adopt the values and to associate with those who openly espouse hatred and cruelty?
Theo van Gogh was murdered, first the Paris riots and then the cartoon riots enveloped Europe- and the artistic community remained quiet to the outrages. Instead, we are told that ‘Christians and Jews are the problem,’ and Jews in some European countries are told to hide their religious identity. The problem is that you can’t hide your racial identity.That kind of hate, ever escalating, is sophisticated, by comparison, to the indiscriminate threat posed by bombs and missiles, coming to a city near you (h/t Dr Sanity).
It is for those very reasons and a host of others, that both the left and right have to be concerned as it relates to radical Islamism.
Appeasement is antithetical to the values of a free society. In a free society, we all have the right to offend whomever we please. As a balance to those who exercise their right to appease, others have an equal right to offend. Both rights are equal. No matter what view is espoused, we cannot allow our expression of those rights to come under the threat of a cave dweller in a far away country. Those who claim to be more easily offended, by reason of a kind of religious sensibility, are in fact, playing to our own sensitivities and misplaced notion of ‘inclusivness’ at all costs. They are not more sensitive. They are more violent. That is the truth that needs to be addressed by multiculturalists and by ‘forgiving’ and ‘loving’ Christians.
By their own admission, in words and in deeds, racism, hate and cruelty are a part of the dysfunctional radical Islamist agenda. Violence, Church burnings and riots have been been a sword of Damocles hanging over our heads. ‘Do not insult us in any way, or in away that might be perceived as an insult, or your cities will burn, and we will rain violence upon you,’ has become the mantra du jour.
Appeasement serves neither the right or left. In fact, it is the kindling for the fire that might engulf us.
Rather than address or question ‘radical Islam’s threats to free expression and the ever escalating threats of violence directed at anyone that dares challenge their worldview,’ these ‘artists’ have capitulated into appeasement and conformity to a particlular ideology.
The images hearken back to the kind of ‘art’ that depicted Abraham Lincoln being picked apart by vultures, even as they glorified the oppressive and repressive slaveholders (from an email exchange with Dr Sanity.)