I am talking about The Culture War, the war that must be fought to oppose the campaign of lies and propaganda that Islamists and western Stalinists launched against the West, beginning with Israel, arguably anywhere from forty to seventy years ago.
The Culture War is a very hot war: no prisoners are taken, no mercy is shown. And there are now penalties for trying to tell the truth about the danger of jihad or about the barbaric and pathological nature of militant Islam today.
Indeed, if you try to discuss the Is-lamic religious and gender apartheid and its dangerous proliferation into Europe and North America (i.e. there have been honor killings in Cincin-nati, St. Louis, Chicago, Jersey City, Toronto, as well as all over Europe and in the Muslim world), this is what will happen to you: If you tell these truths in the Arab and Muslim world, you’ll be beheaded, probably tortured, certainly jailed, exiled if you are lucky. Many Muslim and Chris-tian dissidents have suffered precisely this fate. There are no more Jews there, as the Islamist Caliphate ren-dered the entire Arab Middle East Judenrein long ago. Try to say this in Europe and you might be butchered, as Theo Von Gogh was, or simply imprisoned in purdah, veiled, or threatened, forced to go into hiding, or honor-murdered as so many Mus-lim girls and women are.
If you are a North American intellec-tual, you may not be imprisoned or beheaded but you will be heckled, mocked, and shunned. You might need security in order to speak. If you’re a feminist, you will no longer be taken seriously as an intellectual, nor will you be “heard.”
Expose the permanent Intifada against Western Civilization and against the Jews and you will be sued and driven into exile, as Oriana Fal-laci has been, or sued and prevented from traveling to certain countries, as Rachel Ehrenfeld has been. You will be sued and silenced in all those pla-ces where you were once published, even lionized. Dare to say that the torturer and genocidal tyrant, Sad-dam Hussein, is on trial today only because of America’s and Iraq’s sacri-fice and their bold vision of democ-racy and you will be called a reac-tionary, a liar, a fool, and the worse epithet of all: a conservative.
Both Western leftists and Islamists brandish many tools against America and Israel in this war. Their first wea-pon is the systematic misuse of lan-guage. Mainstream and liberal news-papers write about “insurgents,” not “terrorists,” whom they describe as “martyrs,” not “killers, and as “free-dom fighters,” not as “well educated evil men.”
Anti-American and anti-Israel dem-onstrators, who are clearly and visibly filled with hate and rage, are de-scribed as “peace activists.” Anti-Semitism is legitimized, while the slightest criticism of Islam is banned because of the disallowance of “Isla-mophobia.” Telling the truth has be-come an offense which is unprotected by free speech doctrines, which in-stead protect the telling of lies.
I was once held captive in Kabul, Af-ghanistan. I experienced, first-hand, what life is like in a Muslim country, one that has never been colonized by the West. I learned that it was both foolish and dangerous to romanticize Third World countries. And I learned first-hand that evil and barbarism exist a priori, and are not caused by western imperialism or colonialism or by the “Zionist entity.” It’s where I also learned to reject the doctrine of multiculturalism, which teaches that all cultures are equal, formerly colo-nized cultures even more so. This leads to isolationism and non-interventionism and condemns mil-lions of civilians to Islamist torture, terror and genocide.
Although, to their credit, a handful of feminist activists and journalists have sounded the alarm, once America invaded Afghanistan these very activ-ists, all Democratic party operatives, swiftly opposed the military routing of the Taliban. And why? Because the expedition had not been undertaken, apparently, with women in mind. It’s as if they did not think that bin La-den’s terrorism kills women too.
The number of lies being told in the Western academy and among West-ern activists are literally beyond be-lief. Here’s one: Mohammed was rea-lly great to women, especially to one Safiya bint Huyay, whom he married even though she was Jewish. Yes. But first he beheaded her father and her husband and exterminated her entire village. And then he forced poor Safi-ya to convert to Islam before he mar-ried her. This disinformation cam-paign leaves me speechless.
Our own intelligentsia — our profes-sors — are so politically correct and so multiculturally relativist that they refuse to call “barbaric” the act of sto-ning a woman to death because she was raped or because she refused to marry her first cousin. Nor will they denounce subjecting women to geni-tal mutilation and public gang rape as “barbaric.” Nor did American media commentators who showed the Pales-tinian lynching of two Israeli reserv-ists in Ramallah in 2000 describe the event, which they played over and over again, as “barbaric.”
The intelligentsia did not describe what was done to us on 9/11 as “bar-baric” either. Indeed, I know Ameri-can and European intellectuals who are convinced that America and Israel are the greatest barbarians of all, and that we deserved 9/11. According to Islamists and Western academics and journalists, bin Laden is not an “Isla-mo-fascist.” To them, President Geor-ge W. Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon are the “Nazi fascists.”
And then there is that vast industry of Palestinian, Arab League and United Nations-funded-and-distributed doc-tored footage and fake film massacres including fake gun battles and the faked death of Palestinian children at Jewish and Israeli hands. Our Islamist opponents have turned out this pro-paganda nonstop around the world.
As propagandists, they are far more sophisticated than Goebbels, and far more patient. We cannot afford to underestimate their skill at telling Big Lies. Islamists understood that if they funded madrassas in the East and Middle Eastern Institutes in the West — and if they funded the total Pales-tinianization of the United Nations and of every international human rights group — that in thirty to fifty years they would have brainwashed generations to see things their way.
Islam is sacred — it cannot be in-sulted. Imagined slights are as impor-tant as real slights. Lies have as much weight as the truth. Whether Ameri-can military forces did or did not flush a Koran down the toilet does not matter. What matters is that Mus-lims thought they did. No penance is good enough to atone for this crime.
Millions of people have been system
atically brainwashed against America, against Israel, against Jews, against women and against the Western con-cept of truth, objectivity, truth-telling, and independent thinking. All are under siege.
We have a serious fifth column in our midst, one that has made common cause with Islamists against us, one that has been well funded by Arab oil billionaires for more than forty years. And George Soros too — a fifth col-umn general who, for a variety of rea-sons, has actually been leading the cultural war against the West. They are fools, but they are dangerous fools. Do they think they will be spa-red because they are so politically correct? Do they think they would enjoy the same freedom of speech in Mecca or Tehran that they enjoy in the West?
What must we do in the face of this tyrannical threat? We must rescue language. It must bear some relation-ship to the truth and morality. Every-thing is not relative. It is not all “Rashomon.” We must not allow our media or aca-demics to continue to insist that Islam is not the problem, but that even if it is, that we cannot say so, lest we be deemed racist. We must teach the history of jihad against infidels, and the history of how infidels (Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoro-astrians) were treated under Islam. We must insist that criticism of Amer-ica and Israel be balanced, not patho-logical, obsessive and cult-like as it is now. We must insist on civility in public discourse. We must model it for the coming generations.
We must fund seriously a collective effort to combat vulgar lies and vilifi-cation, the propaganda against us which has brainwashed countless generations. We need a War Room effort to coun-ter the Big Lies. We need international radio and television channels to edu-cate people. We need to teach people about intellectual diversity and toler-ance. This country has birthed two signifi-cant waves of feminism. We must now take that feminist vision global. We need our foreign policy to contain serious provisions about women’s rights abroad. Otherwise, democracy cannot and will not evolve or flourish in Muslim countries.
The way I see it, everything is at sta-ke. This is a time when we must all be heroes. We must all stand up to evil in our lifetime. We must acknowledge that Islamist terrorism is evil and has no justification. We must teach this to our children. We must support Mus-lim and Arab dissidents in their fight against Islamic tyranny and gender apartheid. We can do this. We must do this. Ot-herwise, we will die, and our history and our values and our entire way of life will die with us. If we fail, we will betray all that we believe in as a free people.
La Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D., is the author of thirteen books including the just-released Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom” (Palgrave Macmillan) and “The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Do About It.” She can be reached through her website (www.Phyllis-Chesler.com).