One of the largest presences on the left today, filmmaker Michael Moore, has brought us the latest example of the West’s overpowering self-hatred, even to the point of civilizational suicide. After the massacre in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, Moore tweeted: “The life of Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa shows that people can come from all over the world and truly assimilate into our beloved American culture.” To drive his point home, Moore attached to the tweet a photo of the Statue of Liberty, implying that all the racist, redneck, Trump-supporting, gun-toting right-wing “terrorists” of Moore’s fever dreams think that it is a core American value to carry a rifle into a crowded supermarket and open fire on the unsuspecting shoppers.
Reality is, of course, worlds away from Moore’s hateful, anti-American hysteria. The gunman, Ahmad Al Issa (which is how he himself wrote his name on his Facebook and Twitter accounts) is a Muslim migrant from Syria who is devout in his observance of Islam and is reportedly an ISIS sympathizer. Michael Moore may not know it and wouldn’t admit if he did, but the Qur’an and Sunnah contain numerous exhortations for warfare against non-Muslims (see Qur’an 2:191, 4:89, 8:39, 9:5, 9:29, etc.).
In light of all this and more, it is much more likely that rather than assimilating into American culture, Al Issa was acting upon beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions that are rooted in Islamic culture. But that is the last thing that Michael Moore and his ilk would be willing to admit. Regardless of what he may know or not know about Islam, Michael Moore would stoutly defend Islamic culture, insisting that Islam is a religion of peace and that there is nothing whatsoever in Islamic texts, teachings, or cultural attitudes that would lead to a mass killing of non-Muslims.
Moore would do this because he knows that if he didn’t, and if he admitted that Islam is not a religion of peace and actually contains doctrines of violence, he would be denounced and vilified as “Islamophobic” and summarily canceled, unable to produce his “documentaries” and shunned by all his former friends. But he can denigrate American culture and imply that mass murder is a core American value and not only will no one mind except a few grumpy conservatives, but leftists all over the country will be nodding their heads in agreement. Their culture is one of self-hatred, of contempt for their own heritage, tradition, and country. Slamming the United States is not only acceptable, but laudable, but woe betide Moore if he ever dared say the slightest negative or critical word about Islamic culture.
How did this odd state of affairs come to be, that an American who has been wildly successful and grown wealthy and influential in the country of his birth would have no problem expressing open and undisguised contempt for one of its most revered symbols, as well as for its core values? How has it come to be that adherents of an aggressive, violent, supremacist ideology could attack Michael Moore’s home country and murder three thousand Americans, as well as many more in other attacks in Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando, Fort Hood, and elsewhere, and Ahmad Al Issa appears to share their murderous world view, and yet Moore would never even come close to daring to utter the mildest critical word about that ideology?
Most Americans, especially on the left, take this situation for granted today, and have no problem bashing what used to be known as the freest society on earth, while they have been well-trained to consider any opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women and others to be “Islamophobic.” The cultural and societal self-hatred is not as strong among conservatives, although there are some who are so eager to appease leftists that they turn a blind eye to it or rationalize it in various ways (yes, Mr. French, I’m talking about you).
But the abject fear of “Islamophobia” is just as strong, or stronger, on the right as it is on the left. Islamic advocacy groups including the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have relentlessly pounded into the American people the idea that any discussion of the motivating ideology behind jihad terror victimizes innocent Muslims. This is a close cousin of the idea that is increasingly accepted on the left, that conservative speech in and of itself leads to violence and hence must be suppressed. The left’s current war on the freedom of speech had its prelude and dry run in the coinage of the term “Islamophobia” and the stigmatizing and marginalizing of “Islamophobes,” just as the Spanish Civil War was a kind of prelude and dress rehearsal for World War II. Michael Moore is a warrior in this conflict. And he is on the wrong side.
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Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 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 Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.