Too many people in the free world have internalized Islam’s view of them. A couple of years ago, I visited Guantanamo and subsequently wrote that, if I had to summon up Gitmo in a single image, it would be the brand-new copy of the Koran in each cell: To reassure incoming prisoners that the filthy infidels haven't touched the sacred book with their unclean hands, the Korans are hung from the walls in pristine, sterilized surgical masks. It's one thing for Muslims to regard infidels as unclean, but it's hard to see why it's in the interests of us infidels to string along with it and thereby validate their bigotry. What does that degree of prostration before their prejudices tell them about us? It’s a problem that Muslims think we’re unclean. It’s a far worse problem that we go along with it.
Yes it is.
Steyn goes on to describe how many of us have become complicit in the destruction of our freedom:
But forget about notorious rightwing hatemongers like me. Look at how liberal progressives protect their own. Do you remember a lady called Molly Norris? She's the dopey Seattle cartoonist who cooked up "Everybody Draws Mohammed" Day, and then, when she realized what she'd stumbled into, tried to back out of it. I regard Miss Norris as (to rewrite Stalin) a useless idiot, and she wrote to Mark's Mailbox to object. I stand by what I wrote then, especially the bit about her crappy peace-sign T-shirt. Now The Seattle Weekly informs us:
You may have noticed that Molly Norris' comic is not in the paper this week. That's because there is no more Molly.
On the advice of the FBI, she's been forced to go into hiding. If you want to measure the decline in western civilization's sense of self-preservation, go back to Valentine's Day 1989, get out the Fleet Street reports on the Salman Rushdie fatwa, and read the outrage of his fellow London literati at what was being done to one of the mainstays of the Hampstead dinner-party circuit. Then compare it with the feeble passivity of Molly Norris' own colleagues at an American cartoonist being forced to abandon her life: "There is no more Molly"? That's all the gutless pussies of The Seattle Weekly can say? As James Taranto notes in The Wall Street Journal, even much sought-after Ramadan-banquet constitutional scholar Barack Obama is remarkably silent:
Now Molly Norris, an American citizen, is forced into hiding because she exercised her right to free speech. Will President Obama say a word on her behalf? Does he believe in the First Amendment for anyone other than Muslims?
Who knows? Given his highly selective enthusiasms, you can hardly blame a third of Americans for figuring their president must be Muslim. In a way, that's the least pathetic explanation: The alternative is that he's just a craven squish. Which is odd considering he is, supposedly, the most powerful man in the world.
Listen to what President Obama, Justice Breyer, General Petraeus, The Seattle Weekly and Bluehost internet services are telling us about where we're headed. As I said in America Alone, multiculturalism seems to operate to the same even-handedness as the old Cold War joke in which the American tells the Soviet guy that "in my country everyone is free to criticize the President", and the Soviet guy replies, "Same here. In my country everyone is free to criticize your President." Under one-way multiculturalism, the Muslim world is free to revere Islam and belittle the west's inheritance, and, likewise, the western world is free to revere Islam and belittle the west’s inheritance. If one has to choose, on balance Islam’s loathing of other cultures seems psychologically less damaging than western liberals' loathing of their own.
It is a basic rule of life that if you reward bad behavior, you get more of it. Every time Muslims either commit violence or threaten it, we reward them by capitulating. Indeed, President Obama, Justice Breyer, General Petraeus, and all the rest are now telling Islam, you don’t have to kill anyone, you don’t even have to threaten to kill anyone. We’ll be your enforcers. We’ll demand that the most footling and insignificant of our own citizens submit to the universal jurisdiction of Islam. So Obama and Breyer are now the “good cop” to the crazies’ "bad cop". Ooh, no, you can’t say anything about Islam, because my friend here gets a little excitable, and you really don’t want to get him worked up. The same people who tell us "Islam is a religion of peace" then turn around and tell us you have to be quiet, you have to shut up because otherwise these guys will go bananas and kill a bunch of people.
Or, how about the insane political correctness at the very highest levels of our government--e.g., those institutions that are tasked with defending our freedoms:
...[A]known Hamas operative and unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history - Kifah Mustapha - was recently escorted into the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and other secure government facilities, including the FBI's training center at Quantico, during a six-week "Citizen's Academy" hosted by the FBI as part of its "outreach" to the Muslim Community.
WTF? Or, how about NASA's Charlie Bolden, and his "outreach" to Muslims. And, who could forget Major Nidal Hasan of the US Army and his tolerant superiors?
In fact, since 9/11, I will bet that there has been more "outreach" to Muslims; more "tolerance" for Islamic violence and more excuses made for this sad religion than at any other time in history. Nevertheless, whenever anyone questions this madness, they are promptly labeled as "Islamophobic"--a term that has risen to the top of the toilet of political correctness and which floats on the same level as accusations of "racism" and "sexism" and "homophobia."
All these terms have become completely meaningless and utterly useless when used by the postmodern progressive establishment, whose only goal in bandying about such terms with reckless abandon is political power--and certainly not truth or justice.
Ayn Rand in 1981 called this "going along with it" phenomenon the sanction of the victim. She didn't realize back then that the postmodern progressive political establishment would actually glorify victimhood and raise its status to that of suicidal sainthood. She didn't realize that they would prefer that state of forced submissiveness to all others.
Steyn calls the people who "go along with it" gutless pussies and squishy liberals--both excellent descriptions. They have also been called useful idiots in another, but very related, context. Andy McCarthy calls them willfully blind.
As a psychiatrist, I see the problem this way: approximately 50% of the US population is in deep psychological denial about radical Islam (and its deathgrip on all of Islam) and demonstrate a psychological phenomenon known as identification with the aggressor first described by Anna Freud:
Anna Freud wrote a seminal book in the 1936, "The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense" in which she attempted to categorize many of the unconscious defenses people sue to keep themselves unaware of disturbing thoughts or feelings. Identification with the Aggressor is a particular defense mobilized by people in traumatic situations of victimization. In this defensive maneuver, the person who is being threatened or abused, is traumatized by terror and rage; they are helpless in the face of these overwhelming feelings and their psyche is unable to function. Once the immediate threat is over, they have a limited number of ways to deal with the terror. One way is to become like the abuser (which is why so many abusers were themselves abused in their childhoods). This is not a conscious behavior. No one decides that they want to do to someone weaker and dependent what was done to them or that they want to be "just like" their abuser. However, when one's life depends on the actions of another person, the particular terror and helplessness is an impossible combination. To survive, one must find a way to feel close to and understand the powerful and frightening authority figure. This is as true for abused children as it is for victims of horrible crimes. It is the basis of the Stockholm Syndrome. The victim must see the perpetrator as a potentially kind, even loving, person. They form an intense emotional bond with the person. It is that relationship that is evoked and feels protective when they are overwhelmed in the future.
If you want to understand why the postmodern liberal/progressive hordes have gone all squishy and gutless and that their useful idiocy sanctions their (and our) victimhood by terrorism; and if you want to understand why these same progressives stand up and defend proudly and loudly their interpretation of the US Constitution as a suicide pact; then you need to understand how fear makes people stupid and blind. And how lack of insight keeps them that way.
Having said all this, let me be very clear about one thing: many of the leaders of the postmodern progressive movement--the dead-end socialists and communists from the previous generation and their ilk-- are not in psychological denial at all. They know exactly what they are doing and their goal is nothing less than the destruction of western civilization.
For them, I reserve the term evil; because that's what they are. They are consumed by a hatred of all that is good; a hatred of life and freedom and humanity in general; This is what drives them; and this is why they admire terrorists, who are the pure, unadulterated versions of their own rotten selves.