Media Takes Whitewashing of Islam to a Whole New Level

Finally, on page 263, I mention a 2008 Post/Newsweek website article by Feisal Abdul Rauf arguing for nothing less than “the integration of Sharia law” into Western law -- a change which Rauf presents as nothing less than fair, even though it would entail (among much else) making homosexuality and adultery capital crimes.

As this sorry record suggests, the Washington Post has, in the years since 9/11, taken an unequivocal stand on Islam: in the name of liberalism and tolerance, it has chosen to minimize or overlook entirely the many extremely illiberal and intolerant aspects of the faith of Muhammed. And while embracing the mendacities of John Esposito and his ilk, and legitimizing terrorists' disinformation by publishing it on its op-ed page, the paper routinely dismisses, distorts, and demonizes those who dare to speak uncomfortable truths about Islam.

No surprise, then, that when the Post ran a review of Surrender last Sunday it proved to be yet another splendid example of the Post’s Islam policy. Surrender contains nearly three hundred pages of meticulously documented evidence that Western leaders, media, writers, artists, and others (some motivated by fear, others by a misguided multicultural “respect”) are censoring and self-censoring, prettifying the facts about Islamic belief, practice, and history, and pillorying those who don’t follow their lead -- and, as a result, eroding precious liberties. This is a genuine crisis for the free world.  But the Post’s review treated the hard facts as if they were the feverish delusions of a crackpot.

Take my comments on the Islamic Society of North America. Terrorism expert Steve Emerson has described the ISNA as a “Muslim Brotherhood front group with a long and documented history of support for terrorism.” Yet the Post's reviewer, Paul A. Barrett, mocked my criticism of the ISNA, calling it “innocuous” and its leader “moderate.” Indeed, it now seems that just about any Muslim or Muslim organization that professes to eschew violence -- no matter what his, her, or its religious beliefs, social views, long-term goals, and sub rosa connections may be -- qualifies as “innocuous” and “moderate” in the eyes of papers like the Post.

Barrett further wrote that “Bawer veers into self-parody when he asserts that Muslims have cowed skeptics into self-censorship and inaction."  It is as if the countless examples that I cite in my book simply did not exist. We are, make no mistake, deep into Orwellian territory here. What to make of reality-denial on such a colossal scale? How can even the most bone-rattling fear of retribution (or of being called a racist or Islamophobe) lead supposedly responsible-minded members of the West’s cultural establishment to say that two plus two equals five?

“His own work,” Barrett sneered, “shows that critics of Islam have no trouble publishing.” Yes, and the butchering of Theo van Gogh, and the current lifestyles of people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders, Robert Redeker, and Fianna Nirenstein -- who must be accompanied everywhere they go by armed bodyguards -- show that some of Islam’s critics have to go to a good deal of trouble to stay alive. But the travails undergone by these brave champions of freedom plainly mean nothing to the likes of Barrett -- or, I’m sorry to say, to the editors of the Washington Post.