Pat Condell, whose Wikipedia entry describes him as an “English stand up comedian, writer, playwright, secularist and atheist,” has produced several short but brilliantly acerb videos in the last couple of years about the mounting threat of radical Islam. His most recent installment, which I believe was released just a couple of days ago (it’s available on the weblog Little Green Footballs here) scales new heights of articulate outrage. Take a look: a more thoroughgoing, not to say entertaining, condemnation of hypocritical multiculturalism would be hard to find. Condell divides his ire equally between Islamic fanatics, who would destroy Western civilization, and those connoisseurs of abasement who would capitulate to any demand in order to preserve their sense of politically correct liberal election.
As always, Condell’s address is refreshing for its forthrightness: “What we need,” he observes, “is not more respect for Islam but less respect for Islam and more respect for ourselves.” The culture of Islam, he argues, is not equal, “it’s inferior” to European civilization. “It encourages violence against women, against Jews and homosexuals. It sanctions polygamy and marrying old men to young children in a disgusting travesty of human relations.” Condell also makes a point I have often insisted upon, namely that “Islamophobia” is a misnomer: a phobia is an irrational fear, and there is nothing irrational about fearing the depredations of radical Islam. On the contrary. If you want to indulge in phobia-speak, far better to natter on about Islamophobia-phobia: the irrational fear of Islamophobia, which has reached epidemic proportions in Europe and wherever politically correct intellectuals congregate.
As for freedom, Condell makes the crucial point that it is only won by sacrifice and can only be preserved by constant vigilance. We in the West, such conspicuous beneficiaries of other people’s sacrifices for our freedom, are tempted to forget that. We do so at our peril–and not only our own peril, of course, for the next generation is growing up fast to take our place. What sort of place will we leave for them? Freedom is hard won; it takes constant effort to preserve; but it is easy, all too easy, to lose. And as Condell notes, there is an important sense in which our freedom, and the institutions that embody and protect it, are not ours absolutely but ours only in trust: “we don’t own it,” as Condell says, “we’re custodians of it. It’s not our to give away.” Would that his final adjuration–“Show a little backbone for once, just once”–could be graven upon the lintels of the West’s legislatures and universities.