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June 17, 2016 3:39 am


avatar by Michael Widlanski

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Edward Said.  Photo: Studio Riley.

Edward Said. Photo: Studio Riley.

Those who deny that Islamist terror is a grave danger often hold progressive views.

Leaders like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Francois Hollande, Ban-Ki-Moon, Noam Chomsky and Edward Said (the latter two highly influential academics), prefer to sling slogans rather than cite facts, but they really just cling to the tradition of terror-denial.

This is an old tradition that predates the terror attack in Orlando this week, and countless other terror attacks across the world since 9/11.

Indeed, the stale tradition of denying the existence and danger of Arab Islamist terror goes back to well before the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.

Twenty years ago, Professor Richard Bulliet, the head of Columbia’s Middle East Institute, unfairly said that America was attacking Muslims. He claimed that it was “a new antisemitism against Muslims,” driven by attempts “to over-publicize, hype, and sell hostility to Islam.” That was 1994. Other academics have spewed similarly absurd themes after every terror attack since.

Columbia Professor Edward Said, a mentor to Barack Obama and Professor John Esposito, who nursed the minds of future leaders at Georgetown, called Arab-Islamist terror a “myth.” Dr. Said repeatedly insulted anyone who did not agree with him that jihadists or Iranian mullahs were actually “moderate.” Past US leaders like Jimmy Carter agreed with him — and on issues such as Iran, we are seeing the terrifying results now.

Trusting Islamist maniacs (Ayatollah Khomeini or the Muslim Brothers) or belittling the danger (calling them “lone gunmen” or a “junior varsity”) is not new. Obama and Hollande merely expand on the themes of their youth, when they read and heard the “anti-colonialist” or “anti-hegemonist” drivel of communists, socialists and college professors.

Professor Said and later Professor Chomsky dramatically visited Arab-Islamist terrorists like Hezbollah in Lebanon. Said, who actually knew very little Arabic, was hailed as a forward-looking thinker. The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) announced an award in his honor on September 11, 2002. Columbia University gave him special status as “University Professor.”

Professor Chomsky, who once taught linguistics at MIT, has spent most of his life corrupting language and inventing alternative universes, where the United States and Israel are the terrorists and Arab-Islamist terrorists are progressive. Chomsky once wrote a book denying that the Khmer Rouge had committed genocide in Cambodia. Naturally, Chomsky and Said are frequently cited sources on reading lists at Western universities.

President Obama, Secretary Clinton, President Hollande and the “intellectuals” who groomed and still support them are fervent believers in “secular humanism.” They believe a collection of superstitions: that Arab-Islamist terrorists attack the West because the West attacked first, or because the West built prison camps for Muslims, or because the West supports Israel.

Memo to Barack Obama and John Kerry: Said Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ayatollah Khomeini always thought the West was the enemy, and the West always supported the Arabs more than Israel — witness the British in 1933-48, Charles De Gaulle in 1967, the US State Department from 1948 through 1980, etc.

Another such superstition: there is no Arab-Islamist terror, because the terrorists also attack Arabs and Muslims. Second memo to Obama and Co.: The Nazis began their career by murdering Germans, and Lenin and Stalin began theirs by murdering Russians, even communists. Just ask Leon Trotsky and the other Jews murdered by Stalin.

So if you want to witness a neurotic patient “in denial” of his illness, or if you want to study the superstitions by which Western leaders live, just tune in to the latest press conference of President Obama, President Hollande, the UN secretary general or the foreign minister of the European Union.

Terror-denial is not forward-thinking or progressive. It is just dumb.

Dr. Michael Widlanski is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, long-time lecturer at Bar Ilan and Hebrew University, as well as  strategic affairs advisor in Israel ’s Ministry of Public Security.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Jeffrey Justin

    So , is this what you call Journalism ?your Commentary’s and Opinions are Not based in fact .Is this web Digest the internet equivalent of the foolishness that masquerade’s as Fox News?

  • Yaakov

    If terror-denial is not forward-thinking or progressive, then why say that those who deny Islamic terror often hold progressive views?

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    First–I think Israelis should not meddle in American politics as Dr. Widlanski is. I also think Americans shouldn’t meddle in Israeli politics.
    Second–this article is replete with defamations and lies about Sec. Clinton. She is not a secular humanist and never has been…she is and always has been a committed Methodist Protestant Christian..since childhood.
    Third–to link Sec. Clinton with such avowed Jew-hating, Israel-hating radical leftists as Edward Said and Noam Chomsky is outrageously false and defamatory.
    Fourth–It may not occur to Dr. Widlanski who has no acquaintance with truth or reality but vilifying and defaming the next president of the United States is not exactly in Israel’s best interest. And yes, Algemeiner Republican Trumpers, she IS going to be our next president.

    • A Zionist

      Her relationship with Sid Blumenthal and his son, Max is well known. Max who writes for such antisemitic websites such as Mondoweiss & Electronic Intifada, makes his money by being an antisemite. Hillary Clinton’s supportive emails are in the public domain.

      Just because you do not like what is written does not make it a lie or defamatory.

      However, we both agree that Said & Chomsky are Israel-hating radical leftists. Said has manage to fool an entire generation of “academics”. I also believe that he was not exactly honest about his origins. Perhaps he was a good English professor at Columbia, but his ideas about the Middle East are hallucinatory.

      • Dorothy Nicolazzo


        Israelis shouldn’t meddle in US affairs but
        it’s fine and dandy for Americans to interfère
        in Israel’s. What planet are you on?

        Chomsky is the académic version of Bernie
        Sanders: a self-loathing Jew.

        In the synagogue I attended as a girl the refrain on
        every Shabot was “Next year in Jerusalem.”
        We are finally there and these imbeciles
        want to tear it down. Shame on all of them.
        Am Israel Chai!

    • Michael Widlanski

      Mr. Elliot J. Stamler’s comment forces me to react like the Hebrew grammarian chastising a failing student who writes a two-letter Hebrew word with seven errors. His comment is a real achievement in arrogant inaccuracy.
      Normally, I do not bother to reply to comments that (a)have vicious personal undertones, (b) try to put words into my mouth or into my article that I did NOT speak or write, and (c) are completely factually unfounded. But I am in a good mood and have some free time.
      First, I am not trying to “meddle.” I have not endorsed any candidate, but as someone who still has US citizenship, if I chose to “meddle” I would have more right to do so, as a US citizen, than Hillary Clinton (a non Israeli) trying to influence Israeli politics (as shown by several messages in her emails) or Bill Clinton (a non-Israeli) trying to micro-manage Ehud Barak’s 1999 election campaign with Clinton campaign advisors, or Barack Obama or Joe Biden trying to influence various matters in Israeli domestic politics, such as housing in Jerusalem or coalition agreements etc.
      Two, I suspect Mrs. Clinton would not object to being called a secular humanist, and I did not mean it as an insult. If Mr. Elliot J. Stamler thinks the article is “replete with lies” about Mrs. Clinton, he should begin by citing one. Third I did NOT link either Clinton–Bill or Hillary– with Edward Said. Rather, I linked Barack Obama, who studied at Columbia and whose views closely mirror Said’s.
      Fourth, I do not know how Mr. Stamler can say I have “no acquaintance with truth or reality” without being acquainted with me or even acquainted with the article he claims to have read. Maybe Mr. Stamler should re-read the article, but first let him check his prejudices at the door.
      One final note: if writing the truth is going to make Mr. Stamler or other supporters of Mrs. Clinton or President Obama angry at Israel, I am not worried. Israelis have overcome the odds, and, with God’s help, we will continue to survive, to thrive and to defy those who threaten us. Michael Widlanski, Jerusalem