The Corner

Derb Voted Off Island

Oh, Kathryn, thanks so-o-o-o much for linking to my old “Unpleasant Truths” piece. Now I am once again getting those emails asking: (A) Didn’t I mean to say “defined benefit,” not “defined contribution”? (Ans: Yes); (B) Who cares what some dead Frenchman said? (Ans: Who cares who cares?); (C) Which H.P. Lovecraft story was that? (Ans, from deeply unreliable memory: Arthur Jermyn); and (d) Why don’t I take a header off the Empire State? (Ans: Why give pleasure to one’s enemies?)

Speaking of which, I have been voted off the New English Review site for being insufficiently Islamophobic. Fair enough. NER has now settled down as a definitely and strongly Islamophobic vehicle, and I’m a poor fit for it, being Islamophobophobic. In matters editorial I am anyway a believer in totalitarian despotism. I’ve seen enough of magazine and newspaper editors tearing their hair to know that it’s a wellnigh impossible job—”herding cats” is the merest approximation—and am content to leave them to it, so long as they don’t grossly infringe on my rights as a contributor.

And the more exposure I get to the Islamophobia phenomenon, the more I dislike it. It is now quite an industry. Huge numbers of Americans, people who would not have been able to spell the word “Islam”seven years ago, now spend their leisure hours poring over the Koran and its supplements looking for evidence that Islam is root-and-branch evil. Some of them have gone to the trouble to learn Arabic, or at any rate enough Arabic to be able to discourse confidently on the difference between a mawla and a halif. There’s something unpleasantly autoerotic about the whole enterprise—something of seeking for glee in the contemplation of other people’s misbehavior. Something defensive, too, as I said in my Islamophobophobia column: some fear (in my opinion justified) that the Islamo-crazies are giving all religion a bad name and thereby fortifying the ranks of unbelievers—who, in the minds of many Islamophobes, are the real enemy.

On the other hand, Islamophobes, though I think unintentionally in some cases, are making a contribution to the much larger cause of undermining the multiculturalist myth: i.e. that peoples from any place, in any numbers, can be settled in a Western society without causing dramatic changes to that society in directions likely to be undesirable. To that degree I think they are doing useful work. I therefore part company with them with goodwill and a cheery wave, and, while I continue to think that they are a bunch of crankish obsessives, remain ready to join with them in matters of common interest.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More