Left looks away from Islamist threat

Left looks away from Islamist threat, by Peter Baldwin, a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments.

On a recent episode of the ABC’s Q&A American physicist Lawrence Krauss delighted the audience by claiming that in the US falling fridges posed a greater safety risk than terrorist attacks.

Variations on this theme recur in statements by those determined to minimise the threat posed by terrorists inspired by Islamic doctrine. … All the better to get people to focus on the real menace: an outbreak of Islamophobia in response to the attacks among the unenlightened masses.

This is pernicious nonsense. It is patently absurd to make statistical comparisons between deaths by accident, misadventure and disease with those resulting from deliberately orchestrated violence by groups determined to reshape our society.

Morally, there is no comparison between the inevitable accidents of life and planned slaughter. The terrorists responsible for the Manchester atrocity real­ly intended to kill and maim large numbers of teenage girls. People are profoundly unnerved, and rightly so, to think that we have people in our midst capable of forming this kind of evil intention and of carrying it out.

And, crucially, we are not just talking about individuals, the proverbial “lone wolves”. In case after case it turns out that the attacks are committed by organised cells, sometimes involving scores of people. In the case of the 2015 Paris attacks, for example, 23 arrests were made in addition to the eight who carried out the attacks. …

I wonder if Krauss can point to any instances of feral ­fridges causing cities to go into lockdown, as happened in Boston, Paris and Brussels. …

Mao Zedong famously stated that in a guerilla war the fighters must move among the people “as a fish swims in the sea”. Suburbs such as Molenbeek in Brussels, where the Paris and Brussels terror attacks were incubated, provide just this kind of environment. …

In France, heavily armed troops patrol beaches in Nice; Jewish schools and synagogues resemble armed camps. In Britain troops were ordered on to streets after the Manchester bombing. In Melbourne ugly concrete bollards have been placed in 10 CBD locations to protect pedestrians from terror attacks. Our societies are being transformed by all this — and very much for the worse.

The most sinister aspect is the effective curbing of free speech. Starting with the fatwa against Salman Rushdie issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, any high-profile critic of Islam has had to face the prospect of death threats. …

This is the intellectual and moral abyss that the postmodern left has fallen into with its embrace of identity politics.

hat-tip Stephen Neil