Spiked columnist Luke Gittos noted Wednesday that “musician and actor Riz Ahmed’s new short film, The Long Goodbye, has been released to accompany his new album of the same name. The film depicts an Asian family – in the midst of preparing for a wedding – being dragged from their homes and executed.”
Sounds like a solid miss? Absolutely. And it gets worse: “The killers are a gang of armed white men who arrive in a black van. The police, also white, stand by and do nothing. The family’s white neighbours then watch from their window as the Asian [the UK media’s favored code word for “Muslim”] family members are shot in the head. The film ends with Ahmed rapping about how he doesn’t feel at home in the UK. The message? Presumably that Ahmed’s own feelings of disillusionment is rooted in his foreknowledge of an impending fascist slide in British society.”
Nonetheless, and predictably, “the film has already received much acclaim.” And Ahmed “gave an interview to Radio 4 in which he argued that there are many people in Britain who would not consider him to be British. When asked whether racial divides are more pronounced in America than in the UK, he replied ‘pick your poison’. In other words, British Muslims are in a comparable position to blacks in the US. Or possibly worse. The Holocaust also came up in the interview.”
Gittos observed that The Long Goodbye “seeks to trade off the message that British Muslims are in a comparable position to European Jews prior to the Holocaust. This is the message of his film. His own feelings about ‘not being at home’ in Britain, which may be explained by the fact that he spends a lot of time making films in the US, is somehow reflective of the precarious situation all British Muslims apparently find themselves in.”
Riz Ahmed’s new film is lurid and trashy victimhood fantasy porn that non-Muslim Leftists in Britain will lap up eagerly as they cry for more. But its intent is even more insidious than to reinforce feelings of grievance and entitlement among Muslims in Britain.
Note what Luke Gittos adds about the attitudes and assumptions that led Ahmed to craft his exercise in industrial-strength self-pity: “The Independent claimed in 2019 to have uncovered evidence that Islamophobia is ‘thriving in all parts of British society’. It cited statistics suggesting that 31 per cent of the population believe that Islam poses a threat to the British way of life, and only 32 per cent believe that Islam and the British way of life are compatible.”
As Gittos quite rightly points out, “these numbers do not reveal widespread anti-Muslim bigotry. For instance, 41 per cent of those who suggest that Islam and Western life are incompatible believe that ‘Islam breeds intolerance for free speech and calls for violent actions against those who mock, criticise or depict the religion in ways they believe are offensive’. This is not reflective of a generalised hatred of Muslims. Rather, it expresses concern about the impact of certain sections of Islam on important aspects of Western life.”
That’s what this movie is for: it is an attempt to foreclose upon any discussion about “the impact of certain sections of Islam on important aspects of Western life,” ruling out such discussions a priori as “racist,” “bigoted,” and “Islamophobic.” Thus no one will be able to whisper a word about the advancing jihad threat; doing so will be labeled “hate” and outlawed accordingly. This initiative is already well advanced. There is already an immense stigma surrounding those who call attention to the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat: the Left is wholly on board with Riz Ahmed’s assumptions in The Long Goodbye, and the Right is as weak and cowed as ever, anxious to avoid the labels the Left has ready for anyone who dares to step out of line and commit Wrongthink.
When I am silenced entirely and my books and website are unavailable, and everyone is marching together into the glorious multicultural future without distraction from “Islamophobes,” and yet for some reason the jihad massacres keep happening, I hope you will remember when you read this and how you got from living in a free society to the open-air gulag you’ll be living in at that point.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.