Using the recent spate of attacks in Europe as a pretext, Douglas Murray bolted for his bubble of comfort like a greyhound and proceeded to blame Islam in two particularly vitriolic anti-Muslim pieces. At first my thoughts were *sigh* this is getting really old, can someone really take such a hate-filled hypocritical neocon fascist seriously? Then of course you drink some coffee and realise that yes, nutcases, loons, opportunistic individuals and organisations who feed off such rhetoric – financially and egotistically – do exist. They operate as cogs in a well-oiled machine which perpetuates global wars and fosters a closed society at home through the use of such decrepit narratives. A comment to document such ludicrous statements of a man who runs a hate-financed think-tank, which has influenced domestic and international security, is unfortunately necessary.
In Murray’s lead Spectator piece, the European attacks were recounted albeit in deliberately forced manner which eschewed particular detail that would undermine the claim that Islam was to blame. His evidence for his claim was that the perpetrators of violence shouted “Allahu Akbar”, and possessed the name “Mohammed”:
“Although the public know what is going on, the media seems loath to find any connection between these events… in 2016 a child of Iranian parents can be portrayed as a white supremacist, while no amount of Mohameds shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ can be said to have any connection to Islam.”
In other words, acts which are emphatically prohibited in Islam – orthodox, unadulterated Islam – are somehow Islamic because the perpetrators shout God is Greatest in Arabic.
Murray’s Cited Attacks
A look at the cases he highlights demonstrates the lengths traversed to portray his “Summer of Islamic terrorism”.
The Nice attacker had a history of violence and mental instability. He allegedly ate pork, took drugs and had an indulgent sex life. In the days leading up to the attack he researched what Eid was.
Murray states “Mohamed Boufarkouch, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and stabbed a Frenchwoman and her three daughters”. This is false. The investigators said there was no evidence of radicalisation, with the suspect said to have “little interest in religion”. The uttering of the Islamic phrase occurred once he was detained and when he “felt oppressed” during interrogation.
The case of the “Syrian asylum seeker” in Stuttgart, is being investigated as a “crime of passion” as opposed to terrorism.
Murray’s own Ideological Link to Attacker
Murray also makes a tedious reference to “a child of Iranian parents”. An 18-year-old German-Iranian killed nine people at a shopping mall in Munich last week. Murray keenly reconstitutes this particular incident to fit his “Islam = violence” thesis on the basis that one witness apparently heard him saying “Allahu Akbar”. Murray also decried the media’s focus on a link to Anders Breivik:
“Instead, speculation about the shooting happening on the fifth anniversary of Anders Breivik’s terrorist assault in Norway meant that every-one could ignore the Muslim eyewitness who heard Sonboly shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and headline on Breivik instead.”
Of course, reports are now surfacing that the perpetrator’s victims were all immigrants. Seven out of nine of his victims were Muslims. His friends state that he harboured “tremendous hatred” for foreigners, not unlike Murray. Murray in the same article implicitly posits Muslims as a threat stating,
“Mainstream politicians cannot agree with this, not least because they (and Merkel in particular) are responsible for the massive upsurge of Muslim migration into Europe that is fundamentally changing its future.”
The attacker had even prevented his friends from using his first name which Murray is so keen to highlight – Ali – saying he did not want to be mistaken for a Muslim. Further, the perpetrator was proud of his Aryan heritage and considered it a distinction that he had the same date of birth as Adolf Hitler.
Again this is a profile which Murray, according to his own logic, has links to. After all, his fascist neoconservative influence Leo Strauss was instrumental in strengthening the ultra-nationalist, closed society vision of Carl Schmitt who went onto become a jurist for the Nazis. And Murray’s endorsement of people like Robert Spencer – individuals cited by terrorist Anders Breivik in his manifesto – is instructive. Perhaps this is why Murray is a little peeved at media outlets highlighting the Breivik anniversary link.
Islam as the Problem
Despite the lack of legitimate orthodox theological basis for the alleged actions, not to mention the complete irrelevance to Murray’s thesis in a number of the cited incidents, Murray expressly links blatantly un-Islamic behaviour to Islam,
“A poll carried out two years before the Charlie Hebdo attacks showed that 74 per cent of the French public believe Islam to be an intolerant religion incompatible with the values of the French state. The reaction of most politicians to findings such as this is that the public don’t know enough about Islam or haven’t experienced enough Islam. On the contrary many French people — like the Christians of the Middle East — have experienced quite enough, and do not like it.”
This infantile logic, which Murray supports with an argumentum ad populum fallacy to supplant facts, requires little attention: Britain First carry crosses whilst intimidating Muslims in their places of worship as do the Ku Klux Klan when they perpetrate violence. An individual who shouted “Britain First” went onto carry out a terrorist attack against Jo Cox MP. Is Christianity the problem? If “Islamism” comes from Islam, as Murray claims, does this volatile version of Christianity mean Christianity as a collective is to be blamed?
He further writes,
“Recognising this, Valls, among others, is willing to be strident about ‘Islamism’. But like every other European political leader, he is unwilling to admit where it comes from. Again, the public are ahead of him. They know that Islamism comes from Islam. The extreme interpretation may be a minority problem, but when a continent is struggling to assimilate the Muslims already here, there is a huge risk in bringing in so many immigrants from war-torn parts of the world where jihadism is already rampant.”
In other words, Muslims are already a “risk” and a “problem”. Orthodox Jews are not a problem despite the theocratisation of the Israeli army which employs terrorist strategies (Dahiya doctrine). The IDF too has appointed an orthodox Rabbi with views (see below) which would, if it were the Muslim context, prompt Murray to throw his toys out of the pram. Assimilation of the orthodox Jewish community though, is of no concern because Zionist strategic interests – and his pro-Israeli funding – align.
Islam Uniquely the Problem
Unsuprisingly then, Murray was provided with more space in the Jewish Chronicle to make the following, shockingly discriminatory, broad-brush claims:
“Everybody now knows, from Fireman Sam to the church in Rouen, that we all live under the threat of Islamic violence. And we know that this is not about a few extremists alone. It is about mainstream interpretations of the religion and mainstream clerics…”
“All religions have their problems. But no religion has problems like Islam. A Christian pastor preaching hate is a pariah in the faith. A Muslim leader in large parts of the world who does not preach hate is a serious outrider.”
Do these ridiculous claims drenched in putrid white privilege even require a response? Murray effectively repeats a colonialist trope which paints Muslims as barbaric and the Christian west as civilised. In a blatantly discriminatory fashion, Islam is uniquely highlighted as problematic as a matter of normalcy whereas hatred by Christianity is a pariah.
Pastor James McConnell unrepentantly declared Islam a satanic faith in his church. Whilst he faced a six month jail sentence last year, one needs to only Google “Islam is satanic” to surface Christian websites and chat forums dominated with this theme. In 2003, William Boykin, Bush’s deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence and an evangelical Christian (radicaliser?), also told a meeting in Oregon that the War on Terror is a battle against Satan fought by “the army of God.”
Then again, we are ultimately discussing Douglas Murray’s nihilistic moral compass. Murray regards the Home Office-banned Reverend Deacon Robert Spencer respectable and a “brilliant scholar”. Spencer’s hate-filled writings inspired far-right terrorist Anders Breivik. He has also been caught registering websites named f***allah.com and f***islam.com.
Violence and War of Error
In terms of violence, the “Christian west” has been responsible for the genocide of Muslims in the Middle East courtesy of the perpetual War on Terror. The War on Terror was initiated with a healthy dose of Christian rhetoric and militant missionary activity.
US militarism, which is advocated by Murray, saw 28 civilians, including women and children, massacred in Manjib last month. This was off the back of another “error” which saw civilians bombed killing “at least 73”, 35 being children and 20 women. Archbishop Justin Welby gave the thumbs up to bombing in Syria much to the glee of neocons.
The preceding month also saw Ethiopian troops shoot dead thirteen Qur’an teachers, whilst a month earlier in the US, two Muslim men on the way to mosque were killed as the perpetrator allegedly yelled “F*ck Muslims”.
Taking Murray’s approach, plenty of theological justification for vile acts can be found. Trigger-happy IDF soldiers spraying bullets into thirteen year-olds holding scissors hide behind the Talmudic saying, “whoever comes to kill you, kill him first.”
During the height of the Gaza massacre in 2014, Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University in Israel suggested raping Palestinian mothers and sisters as a solution to Hamas’s armed resistance. Interestingly, the newly appointed Rabbi for IDF, Colonel Eyal Karim, has been steeped in controversy over the last month for his questionable edicts, including one which permitted Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during war time.
Should Muslims conclude Christians talk the language of love and suffering from persecution but act the language of grand violence and persecution? Can we deduce that Jews as a religious community on the whole are disproportionately violent, land-grabbing colonialists who think they are above the law because their “mainstream” Rabbis authorise the killing of children and babies, their texts promises them the land of Israel, and their scripture demarcates them as God’s “chosen people”?
In short, Murray’s statements amount to flagrant justifications to discriminate against the followers of Islam, gloriously undermining his pathetically feeble claims to freedom and democracy.
Murray’s Selective Outrage and Israeli Exceptionalism
Murray’s own selective outrage is revealing of his Israel-serving agenda. According to Murray, the mainstream Islamic interpretations are responsible for people carrying out criminal activities, which translates as the “hatred and tolerance” that can be found “across the Middle East”. This “bigotry” is what is driving the extinction of Christianity in the Middle East, “with the exception of the State of Israel”.
Israeli tolerance of Christianity is not exactly benchmark material. Christians are spat on, attacked and killed in the Holy Lands governed by the “State of Israel”. Members of Orthodox Jewish organisations have voiced their support for burning down churches.
According to a 2004 article in the American Conservative, at the time of the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, the Christians of Palestine numbered some 350,000 – almost 20 percent of the total population at the time. With the implementation of the Zionist doctrine, 50,000 Christians—7 percent of the total number of refugees and 35 percent of the total number of Christians living in Palestine at the time, were forced from their homes.
As part of the “Judaizing” Palestine, “numerous convents, hospices, seminaries, and churches were either destroyed or cleared of their Christian owners and custodians. In one of the most spectacular attacks on a Christian target, on May 17, 1948, the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate was shelled with about 100 mortar rounds—launched by Zionist forces from the already occupied monastery of the Benedictine Fathers on Mount Zion. The bombardment also damaged St. Jacob’s Convent, the Archangel’s Convent, and their appended churches, their two elementary and seminary schools, as well as their libraries, killing eight people and wounding 120.”
The article further states that the number of Christians in Israel and occupied Palestine now is approximately, 175,000, just over 2 percent of the entire population.
Murray’s filtered script tendentiously fits the fascist neoconservative world view which he and his mafia of fascists inhabit. In this world view, the Judeo-Christian civilisation postured against Islam thus mirroring the simplistic perspective of ISIS. Murray’s argument is similar to Maajid Nawaz’s vacuous proclamations that terrorist attacks have “something to do with Islam” – incidentally demonstrating the nexus in their thinking and the strategy employed: one makes the claims from outside the Muslim community to feed broader societal hostility towards Islam, the other operates from within to push the “solution” which is to deform Islam. Both operate symbiotically.
Such tired rhetoric belongs to the neocon killers and the divisive proponents of the clash of civilisations thesis and the War on Terror. It replaces sober analysis with populist rhetoric which pleases prejudice and accelerates the process of creating a fascist closed society at home whilst facilitating warring abroad.
The corrosive narrative of Douglas Murray seeks to cause strife between Muslims and the West, and is a direct threat to peaceful coexistence amongst communities here in Britain.