Earlier today, I reported on The New York Times‘s cheerful story about “mad pride,” the effort by various lunatics (I use the term in the way Mr. Blotton used “humbug,” in its Pickwickian sense) to reverse the unfair stigmatizing of insanity by “embracing their madness,” so to speak. Just as certain homosexuals now proudly employ the word “queer”–once a term of disapprobation–to describe themselves, so some of the hallucinatorily-inclined want to dust off and revel in (not to say “rave about”) words like “mad.”
It is worth noting not only how widespread these efforts at semantic rehabilitation are in the Times and other organs of political-social orthodoxy, but also how uni-directional they are. The “fashion and style” story about Mad Pride exhibits one slightly preposterous aspect of the phenomenon. A more sinister aspect is on view in the Times‘s effort to normalize the pathology of radical Islam. As Robert Spencer points out in an excellent post at JihadWatch today, the Times was up to its old trick of defining deviancy down in its recent flattering profile of Ali Ardekani by Neil MacFarquhar. MacFarquhar compares Ardekani to Bill Cosby, claiming he is an exemplary “moderate” who provides a good role model for Muslim youths. Quoth MacFarquhar, “Mr. Ardekani is among the most visible of a new wave of young American Muslim performers and filmmakers trying to change the public face of their religion. His most popular video posting — “Who Hijacked Islam?” — has garnered more than 350,000 hits on YouTube since July 2006. . . . The role model is Bill Cosby, who young Muslim filmmakers believe changed the perception of African-Americans by depicting them as ordinary.”
How sweet! Let’s get out the cardigan and slippers and have a cup of hot chocolate before turning it.
Unfortunately, as Spencer points out, Ardekani is an Islamic supremacist whose songs glorify jihad and Islamic triumphalism. Spencer quotes some lyrics from Ardekani’s now-disbanded rap group “Soldiers of Allah“:
Even if all the kafirs got together…
They still couldn’t stop this Ummah!
We love Islam More than we love life
No more kufur system to be run
All of these belong to one land
Part of once mighty Islamic span
More than 52 nations we fall
One nation strong we stand tall
Waiting for the Ummah’s call
Once again and for all
Reestablish Islam to rule all
over a billion
But oh so weak
We need to rise up
And get back on our feet
We’ve been fooled too long
This what happens
When we let kafirs lead
et very much cetera.
As Spencer notes, you’ll find none of this in MacFarquhar’s valentine. Like Tariq Ramadan, Ardekani seems to have be anointed a “moderate,” notwithstanding his very un-moderate sentiments. Now that I think of it, I can see why the Times should be so keen to run flattering pieces of people embracing their madness. Their own coverage is increasingly insane: why not make endeavor to make a virtue out of a vice and pretend that insanity is something to be proud of.