Saturday, 2 December 2017

Why are some People Angry about Tweets but Benignly Passive about Islamic Terrorism?

I'm not a Donald Trump supporter. I think he is an obnoxious oaf, but I have a feeling that this article will lead to people accusing me of being a fan of the Donald, so be it, I was recently referred to as being an 'Irish Milo', despite the fact that there are many issues I don't agree with him on. I think the person making the claim believed that because Milo Yiannopolous has criticised both feminism and Islam and so have I, this indicates we share the same brain or something. Partially, or even entirely agreeing with someone on one or two topics doesn't mean you share all their views. This seems to be something so many people fail to grasp. There are many social commentators and politicians who I strongly agree with, partially agree with, or strongly disagree with from across the entire political spectrum, all depending on the issue. Not all of us fit neatly in to political categories which is something ideologues cocooned in their group-think hives fail to understand. My own experience is that intolerance for people even holding different views is more prevalent across the entire liberal left spectrum, which on some issues I still inhabit, but which is increasingly less liberal in tolerating dissent within its ranks, or disagreement with its opponents. Overall, I find it a lot easier to have a civil disagreement with someone with socially conservative views, I have a few socially conservative views myself, although social conservatives do have their wackos too! Too often though, I encounter many people of either a supposedly liberal or far left mindset, many of whom, not all, think you must be evil if you disagree with them.

We live in an age where too many people are utterly incapable of recognising that most political and social issues are far from black and white and are often complex and nuanced. Everyone who disagrees with you is not literally Hitler or Stalin. There is also a tendency for emotionally overreacting, or even the deliberate suppression of emotions (more on that later) depending on the political or social issue being discussed. Social media also facilitates an outrage culture where the mere expression of an unpopular opinion, or the cracking of a joke that enrages enough people can lead to your life being ruined as outlined in Jon Ronson's engrossing book 'So, You've Been Publicly Shamed'.

Twitter in particular is a platform where many of its users indulge in self-righteous and hysterical overreactions to people having the audacity not to agree with them. It is a cesspit of nastiness and bile where on-line mobs incensed that everyone who doesn't share their view of the world don't just confine their hatred to name calling or making nasty idle threats, but in many instances go out of their way to ruin people's lives. I know a left-wing writer in Dublin who because he was critical of aspects of feminism and identity politics had his former comrades try and ruin his reputation and I know a pro-Israeli academic and blogger who has had people contact his employers in the hope they could get him fired. Earlier this year, the tech giant Google, fired one of it's workers because he stated his opinion , based on scientific research he had read, that there may be some innate biological differences between the genders that partially influences the types of careers men and women choose.

These progressive twitter mobs and politically correct employers tend to be the same people who call everyone who disagrees with them fascists or fascist sympathisers. The irony being lost on them that the foundations of every totalitarian state, be it of the left or right, is controlling what people think and say and punishing dissenters. How much of a nasty individual does one have to be to try and have someone's livelihood taken from them because you deem them to have the wrong opinions? Where is the regard for the effects it will have on their children, or elderly, or sick family members that may depend on them? If someone is promoting actual violence against others call the police, other than that people should be entitled to think and speak how they please no matter how awful their opinions might be. Freedom of conscience and expression are the cornerstones of  liberal democracy. The moment you advocate societal or legal sanctions, or the taking away of rights from people on account of nothing more than their opinions then you are as much a totalitarian as the fascist you claim to oppose.

So, this brings me on to Donald Trump and his retweeting of a tweet by the odious far-right anti-immigration group Britain First, a nasty organisation who openly advocate for ethnic cleansing by offering to pay British citizens of foreign ancestry to leave the UK. Now, whilst Britain First might make some valid points about the fact that Islam has a much more profound problem with extremism than much of the media or mainstream politicians will admit, this doesn't sanitise the fact that they are also extremists. It has been very
disappointing to see people I have at other times seen condemning racism defend this group simply because they make some valid criticisms of Islam. With regards to Trump's retweets of the videos by Jayda Fransen of Britain First, it is utterly shocking that the media are only focusing on who posted the videos and have had little to say about the actual content. Two of the three videos clearly show examples of Islamic extremism, including the throwing of a man from a building, yet the BBC referred to these videos as being 'anti-Muslim'. Can the BBC please make their mind up, because on the one hand they rightly tell us that not all Muslims are Islamists and Jihadis, although many more are than they are willing to focus on, yet now they are saying that videos showing examples of Islamist extremism are anti-Muslim. They are clearly conflating Muslims with Islamism the very thing they lecture people not to do. If I was one of the genuine moderate Muslims in the UK I would be appalled at this. It seems to me that the issue is as much to do with the fact the BBC and other media organisations are as opposed to the videos being distributed as they are to who is tweeting them.

As British commentator Brendan O'Neill has pointed out, the ring-fencing of the ideology of Islam from robust criticism and the conflating of it with racism as promulgated by much of the media and most mainstream political parties, will drive some, but thankfully not many, to groups like Britain First. Even ex-Muslims, many of whom have suffered horrendously growing up in Islamist families here in the west, or across the Muslim world are condemned as bigots and 'Islamophobes' by the kinds of progressive left leaning hypocrites who only reserve their indignation for the Catholic church who mistreated and abused white European women in Ireland's Magdalene laundries in the recent past. Isn't it racist to treat two groups of people differently based on their ethnicity? Once again these people are quickly revealed to be the very thing they smugly claim they oppose.

One aspect of the Trump retweet controversy is that so called progressives and the mainstream media think they should police and regulate what people are allowed to be outraged by. They want us be annoyed at Donald Trump's idiotic tweets, and people who criticise the excesses of feminism and so called Islamophobes, UKIP and people who support Brexit. They also want us to be angry at people who are not racists, some of them are even immigrants themselves who escaped Islamist dominated societies, but the know best progressives have deemed these people to be borderline or actual racists because they believe it might be a good idea to regulate and limit immigration to try and keep even more Islamic extremists moving to the west. Personally, I think 23,000 Jihadis in Britain might be enough of that kind of diversity. They want to us to be incensed at all these people and groups whenever they send a tweet, or say something they don't agree with in an interview, because they are saying things the progressives deem to be 'problematic'. Words and opinions they don't like really bother progressives a lot and they want you to be bothered a lot by them too, which is why most of the media and almost the entire political spectrum were apoplectic with shocked outrage that the Donald, a buffon not known for his decorum, was re-tweeting from a particularly vile group.

Whilst the progressives and the media class will descent in to a collective rage over a tweet they don't like, or a youtube video they deem to have expressed a 'problematic' viewpoint, they have a very different emotional response to violent Islamic extremism. In the aftermath of every single terrorist attack on western civilians, the predominant emotional response by progressives and the media is one of benign passivity. After the attacks in Barcelona, Manchester, Paris, London, New York, Stockholm, Nice etc. etc. we are encouraged to keep a lid on any simmering anger and to gather in public squares clutching teddy bears whilst singing Oasis songs and 'Give Peace a Chance' because that is what they believe to be the appropriate response to murder. There is something seriously wrong with your moral compass if you are getting more enraged by Donald Trump's  tweets and retweets, but yet you come over all 'Kumbaya My Lord' after yet another Jihadi has driven a truck over an old lady and a mother and her child in a pram. A culture that descends in to a collective rage over any opinions it doesn't want to hear, but prostrates itself in response to the mass murder of innocents has truly lost its way.


  1. It'd be nice if the Guardian, where "Comment is free" and they're "wedded to free speech" (sic), would run something so sensible.