Eagleton again, gawdelpus
There is no quarrel about how to treat those whose scorn for liberal values takes the form of blowing the legs off small children. They need to be locked up.
But everyone who doesn’t blow the legs off small children is perfectly all right. In particular those who strip women of all rights and beat them up for breathing incorrectly, we have no quarrel with them.
Writers such as Martin Amis and Hitchens do not just want to lock terrorists away. They also tout a brand of western cultural supremacism. Dawkins strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq, but preaches a self-satisfied, old-fashioned Whiggish rationalism that can be wielded against a benighted Islam. The philosopher AC Grayling has an equally starry-eyed view of the stately march of Western Progress. The novelist Ian McEwan is a freshly recruited champion of this militant rationalism. Both Hitchens and Salman Rushdie have defended Amis’s slurs on Muslims. Whether they like it or not, Dawkins and his ilk have become weapons in the war on terror. Western supremacism has gravitated from the Bible to atheism…Liberals are supposed to value nuanced analysis and moral complexity, neither of which are apparent in the slanderous reduction of Islam to a barbarous blood cult. They are noted for their judicious discriminations, rather than the airy dismissal of all religion as so much garbage. There is also an honorable legacy of qualifying too-absolute judgments with an awareness of context: the genuine liberal is appalled by Islamist terrorism, but conscious of the national injury and humiliation that underlie it.
He thinks Islam can be slandered – and he thinks that the people he named slander it. Again it’s only terrorism that is mentioned as appalling, and then instantly whisked out of sight in favour of the ‘national injury and humiliation’ explanation. What about the injury and humiliation of countless women? Doesn’t register. He’s too busy lifting his leg on naughty naughty naughty Amis Hitchens Dawkins Grayling and Rushdie. What a spectacle.
I would say more but have to go. Maybe tomorrow.