The Corner

Stephen Schwartz Chimes In

The author of The Two Faces of Islam sent me this email (the asterisks come from NROHQ):

Imagine the following paragraph put in print in 1945:

“I think it is time to be frank about some things,” Cole begins. “George Orwell knows absolutely nothing about the Soviet Union. I wonder if he has even ever read a single book on the Soviet Union, much less written one. He knows no Russian. He has never lived in the Soviet Union. He can’t read Soviet newspapers or those of the USSR’s neighbors. He knows nothing whatsoever about Bolshevism, the branch of socialism to which a majority of Russians adheres.”

I used to get the same cr*p from these creeps about Saudi Arabia — the legion of oleaginous apologists for Wahhabism repeated like a mantra, “Stephen Schwartz was never in Saudi Arabia.”

To which I answered, “no, I learned about Wahhabism in Bosnia, just as Orwell learned about Stalinism in Spain.”

Bull***t apologetics for terror are easily recognized, especially from the mouth of Juan Cole (whom Shia Muslims in America despise to a point of uncontrollable rage). The idea that you need to read Arabic to refute Juan Cole is silly. Reading English is enough.

Stephen Schwartz

P.S. He’s a deliberate liar on the alleged influence of Khomeini on the Iraqis. Cole has now made a virtual profession out of dropping down the memory hole the fact that Arab Shias consider themselves superior to Iranian Shias, and that Arab Shias never accepted Khomeini’s scheme for clerical rule.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now. @jonahnro

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