Guardian’s Jonathan Steele accuses Tunisian Muslims who oppose radical Islam of Islamophobia

This is almost comical.

Evidently, for Guardian journalists – who consistently fail to acknowledge the most explicit expressions of antisemitism – even a nation which is 98% Muslim can be plagued with the scourge of Islamophobia.

The Guardian’s Jonathan Steele, commenting on the results of yesterday’s Tunisian elections, in “Tunisia’s clean election leads the way”, CiF, Oct. 25, in which the Islamist Ennahda party (led by Rached Ghannouchi) was victorious, wrote:

The party that has emerged from the poll most strongly is Ennahda (Renaissance), a party of modern democratic Islam

Modern? Democratic? 

In fact, as Middle East Analyst Oren Kessler observed today:

“Ennahda presents itself to outsiders as nonviolent, but the movement’s members have been implicated in both incitement and violent actions against Tunisian and foreign targets.

The party supported the 1979 embassy takeover in Iran, and evidence suggests it was responsible for bombing four tourist hotels in the 1980s. In 1991 its operatives attacked the headquarters of Ben Ali’s party, killing one person and throwing acid in the faces of several others, and that same year Ghannouchi called for attacks on US interests in the Middle East in response to America’s invasion of Iraq in the Gulf War.

Ennahda’s founding ideology was largely shaped by that of Sayyid Qutb, a leading ideologue of the grandfather of all Islamist groups.”

Further, Ghannouchi has also advocated the destruction of “the legions of Israel”.

Steele, later in his celebratory essay about Ghannouchi’s victory, added:

While several smaller secular parties tried to manipulate Islamophobia – a relatively easy card to play given the official state-controlled media’s demonisation of the Islamists over several decades – their efforts have failed.

This is truly a remarkable passage – a secular Guardian left commentator characterizing truly moderate Muslims who advocate for a secular, liberal Tunisia, free of Sharia law, as guilty of “Islamophobia”!

In fact, the Tunisian secularists which Steele demonizes have pointed to a disconcerting trend towards religious extremism, such as a recent incident in which hundreds of Islamist protesters converged on Tunis’ Grand Synagogue after Friday prayers shouting “Allahu akbar” and “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!”

Khaybar was a Jewish oasis in Arabia conquered by the Muslims in the seventh century.

In July, a draft constitution compiled by the country’s interim authorities included a clause banning normalization with Israel. Some constitutional committee members from secularist parties called to remove the clause, but Ennahda – along with Arab nationalist and extreme left factions – supported its inclusion.

So, for Steele: 

An Islamist movement aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood which supports violence against Americans, the imposition of Sharia law, and intolerance towards non-Muslims represents a progressive movement.

While, moderate Tunisians who oppose religious extremism and the imposition of a theocratic state are reactionary “Islamophobes”.

I’d really like to know at what point genuine liberals will speak up and express outrage at the Guardian’s continuing knee-jerk embrace – in the name of anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, and anti-racism! – of the most intolerant, illiberal movements in the world.     

11 replies »

  1. Marc Belzberg’s excellent op ed in the Jerusalem Post is a must read…. a salutary reminder of what we are dealing with…..depraved societies whose ideology is worse than anything that Hollywood could make up.

    Societies who brainwash their young to believe that Paradise will be reached by martyrdom operations taking as many innocent lives as possible, are sick and evil…..we’re talking here the PA, Hamas, Hezbollah, not to mention such delightful regimes as Saudi Arabia and others.
    And these are people that we wish to surrender Judea and Samaria to for an illusory “peace”… other word for it.

  2. People may have heard of the concept of “The Right Man” developed by A E Van Vogt and written about extensively by Colin Wilson. “Right Men” are inclined to authoritarianism and cannot bear being wrong or losing face. Wilson writes:

    A E Van Vogt points out that the Right Man is an ‘idealist’ — that is, he lives in his own mental world and does his best to ignore aspects of reality that conflict with it. Like the Communists’ rewriting of history, reality can always be ‘adjusted’ later to fit his glorified picture of himself.” (Or, in the case of Steele and his fellow travellers at the Guardian, to fit in with the narrative they are trying to peddle) They believe that they can get away with it because of their overwhelming belief in their own superiority and rectitude.

    It is obvious that the Right Man syndrome is a compensatory mechanism for profound self-doubt, and that its essence lies in the person convincing others that something he knows to be untrue is actually the truth; in other words, it is a form of confidence-trickery. it is, that is to say, a typically dishonest form of “shortcut,” like cheating in an exam, or stealing something istead of saving money to buy it.

    The Guardian World View nurtures vindictiveness towards anything which threatens it, to the extent that Steele and others are encouraged to plumb any depths to try turn reality on its head rather than admit that they may be wrong.

    • I used to read Wilsons books on the occult.

      On topic. Steele is really representative of the complete disconnect with reality the left has found itself vis avis Islam.

      To stoop so low as to accuse Muslims opposing Islamic fundamentalism of bigotry is really taking the cake.

      It is on par with the Guardian writers like Neil Clark and Richard Gott who accused anti communists of the cold war of fascism.
      It is up there with Seumass who called the Geneva delegates racists for having walked out on AhmedNutjobs antisemitic rant at Durban II.
      It is up there with the “feminist” Naiomi Wolfe who called the Niqab liberating.

      These people inhabit a strange place in the intellectual universe.
      There is no barbarity low enough for them not to embrace when that may come up against America, Israel or the West.
      This is no longer even about Israel or America. These idiots truly hate the West. They hated it during the cold war as they stood with Stalin, Russia and its tanks crushing protesters and hate it today favoring Bin Laden who to them was some vanguard of a neo revolucion they have wet dreams over fantasizing about the just society which amalgamates the best (read worse) of Soviet Communism and Jihadi Islamic fundamentalism.
      The noble savage of Russeau represented by the cavemen side of the Taliban and the justice of Stalin and Mao who showed the burgeois the value of a shovel and spade.

  3. Suddenly there is a new phrase that is sweeping thorough the media: “moderate Islamist”

    Since Islamists are fanatics by definition, what an a not-moderate or immoderate Islamist party be like?

    • In the light of benorr’s comment below, I wonder whether there’s any difference in victims’ experiences between being blown up, stabbed, maimed, kidnapped or otherwise abused by a moderate Islamist and an off-the-graph one?

      Is it less painful, more easily recovered from, less heartbreaking for family or what?

      Islamism is not pick and mix. To claim that someone is a moderate Islamist is like saying that they are a little bit pregnant.

  4. A moderate Islamist blows you up moderately,they will hang gays moderately,but there will be no moderation when it comes to anything concerning Israel.

  5. Jonathan Steele – just another career Jew-hating, One-world-under-socialism and Islam Progressive liar.

    Islam ueber alles – the Guardian’s theme tune, motto and raison d’etre.

  6. ps I recommend A E van Vogt’s Voyage of the Space Beagle – a genuinely progressive philosophy a million miles away from the blind hatred and superstition promoted by the Guardian.

  7. ‘Suddenly there is a new phrase that is sweeping thorough the media: “moderate Islamist”’

    This is not so sudden – The Times has been pushing moderate Islamists for some time as if true democracy might only be achieved by submitting to the pristine and holistic vision of the Muslim Brotherhood. The idea is risible – and that it should be taken seriously in the foreign ministeries of the West even more so.