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Geert Wilder and the Swat Valley Follies: Tolerance or Cowardice?

By       Message Allan Goldstein       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Item:  The British government refuses entry to Dutch politician Geert Wilder, because he made a 17 minute agit-prop movie equating the Koran with terrorism.

Item: The Pakistani government surrenders the Swat Valley, a resort area not 100 miles from Islamabad, to the Taliban and sharia law.

Britain will survive, as will Mr. Wilder, though he faces hate crime charges in the Netherlands for doing no more than telling the truth as he sees it.  The odd thing is that there has been so little outrage, or even discussion, about either.

The quiet insult to Mr. Wilder and the silence accompanying the introduction of sharia law in Swat--and the bombings, beheadings and girl's school demolishings that produced that happy outcome--are both attributable to what we liberals like to call tolerance.

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Color me cynical, but I'm starting to think we are full of ... it.  Specifically, the chicken variety.

I think the implacable, unreasoning, bearded Islamist serial-killers have us scared half out of our principles.  It's like we're in a room with a maniac and we're afraid to make eye contact; maybe if we ignore him he'll leave us alone.  We liberals can't accept that there are people so barbaric as to hate us.  Us, the light of the world!  Who do they think we are, George Bush?  We don't hate them, we're tolerant!

But I'm beginning to hear the real word behind that pretty sound: Cowardice.

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If it walks like a chicken and clucks like a chicken it's a chicken.  We're a bunch of chickens and the Islamists are Colonel Sanders.

Let's take a look at what the Taliban is doing in the Swat Valley and Afghanistan, or wherever they make the rules.  And let's not bother ourselves with regulated hairstyles or what they do to petty thieves, let's get to the heart of the matter: Women.

Actually, women is a western word, a liberal word.  The Islamists call them something else.

Slaves.  Ignorant, invisible sack of baby breeder.

They keep women as brood mares, unlettered and house bound.  And they know how to keep the slaves quiet.  They do it the same way we did, back before the Civil War.  Make it a crime to teach a slave how to read.  The Pakistani government just made a pact with girl's school blower-uppers.

The Taliban's definition of the proper role for a woman is one of total subservience.  Let me put that in terms that might get a rise out of you.  They think women are subhuman.  There is, right this moment, in Pakistan, a political movement that has won a major victory over a nuclear-armed state, that believes women are subhuman.  Not entitled to show their faces in public, not allowed to go to school, not allowed to question their masters.

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We don't hear so much about that stuff, do we.  If we're outraged, we're pretty quiet about it.  Check the TV news, check the newspapers, check the blogs, check this blog.  You're more likely to read purple-faced rage about the late George Bush, or Rod Blowjobovich, or slimy bankers, sneaky auto execs, juiced-up ballplayers and evil politicians, which 60% of us think means Dick Cheney, and 40% Nancy Pelosi.

I hate to break it to you kids, but that's small change. The distance, philosophically, between Karl Rove and Ralph Nader is........that far.

The distance between either of them and your average Taliban Neanderthal is...........................................................................................................

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)

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