To teach well or learn, one asks not for flattery but rather to hear the worst from one’s critics.
I’ve quoted myself recasting an ancient commonplace, but not that I’m stuck on myself: there’s plenty to be quoted from others in relation to the above trope.
With friends like Melanie Phillips, who needs enemies? Articulate and useless.
Melanie Phillips writes in her latest column, entitled The British government’s jihad against free thought, “I do not support the approach taken by either Geller or Spencer to the problem of Islamic extremism. Both have endorsed groups such as the EDL and others which at best do not deal with the thuggish elements in their ranks and at worst are truly racist or xenophobic.”
What “other groups” is she talking about?
Geller, Pamela. “With Friends Like These . . . .” Atlas Shrugs, June 28, 2013.
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PVV: England once again pleases Islam by silencing its critics
The British government shows itself once again to be made up of Islamophiles by objecting to speech by critics of Islam. It shows the weak knees it showed in 2009 when turning down Geert Wilders for entry into England; this time, the U.S. critics of Islam Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are banned.
Geert Wilders quoted by Robert Spencer — “”Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party asks Dutch government to stand for freedom of speech, protest UK ban of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
Indeed, the British nanny state seems quite unconcerned with stepping in to “protect” its children’s ears and minds from comprehending a broad and complete argument.
One understands this process.
In deference to my Muslim friends on Facebook, I have judiciously (but not consistently with others) restrained myself from sending a friend request to Tom Trento, thereby forestalling my endorsement of his Christian agenda. Nonetheless, he’s a well studied critic of Islam armed with points difficult to dislodge and impervious to ad hominem attack.
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So let’s recap: Geller and Spencer banned for blogging critically about Islam. Al-Suleiman and Al-Arifi given free passage despite actively fomenting sectarian divisions and endorsing terrorism.
I think I’m beginning to see how this all works…
Media Hawk. “Theresa May’s ban on Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller reveals a troubling relativism.” The Commentator, June 27, 2013.
Considering the conclusion drawn by “Media Hawk”, one might find the backstabbing dismissals preceding it both absurd and compromising, as from the top, Hawk states, “Let me clarify something from the outset of this blog, so you are not confused by what I am about to say. I am no fan of Pamela Geller (Sorry Pam).”
Indeed, Melanie Phillips does the same thing when she too rises above it all with, as quoted above by Geller, “Both have endorsed groups such as the EDL and others which at best do not deal with the thuggish elements in their ranks and at worst are truly racist or xenophobic” (Phillips, Melanie, “The British government’s jihad against free thought,” blog, June 27, 2013).
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For the record, I endorse both Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer for their possession of a great ethical and moral center and vision in relation to their critiques of Islam. Where I differ involves the political topology involved, and the significance of the presence of my Muslim friends who repudiate Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban and all similar others, as they often do and with passion.
When the same promote out of their own soulful existence a contemporary Islamic humanism, I believe them.
The want to trim away “extremist elements” all around, whether those bloodying the Ummah with anti-western swagger and sectarian violence, or those espousing an absolute stance in the west (by typing a few hours about Islamic extremism and, perhaps, going out for lunch afterward) runs headlong into the absurdity just implied (in the preceding parenthesis) on three counts: 1) the “extremist” critics have something of merit to discuss, 2) do not incite or promote violence — neither Geller nor Spencer should be backward-linked to yobs who brings themselves to political movements of every kind — and 3) they might be right.
Fear of the argument — fear of criticism — produces the muzzling that has today degraded British expectations about what may be said and discussed in public.
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“There must have been pressure . . . .”