Mein Jihad

In his NRO column this morning, Victor Davis Hanson writes:

Hezbollah’s black-clad legions goose-step and stiff-arm salute in parade, apparently eager to convey both the zeal and militarism of their religious fascism. Meanwhile, consider Hezbollah’s “spiritual” head, Hassan Nasrallah — the current celebrity of an unhinged Western media that tried to reinvent the man’s own self-confessed defeat as a victory. Long before he hid in the Iranian embassy Nasrallah was on record boasting: “The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win because they love life and we love death.”

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trumps that Hitlerian nihilism by reassuring the poor, maltreated Germans that there was no real Holocaust. Perhaps he is concerned that greater credit might still go to Hitler for Round One than to the mullahs for their hoped-for Round Two, in which the promise is to “wipe” Israel off the map.

The only surprise about the edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf that has become a best seller in Middle Eastern bookstores is its emboldened title translated as “Jihadi” — as in “My Jihad” — confirming in ironic fashion the “moderate” Islamic claim that Jihad just means “struggle,” as in an “inner struggle” — as in a Kampf perhaps.

The apparent incuriosity of the mainstream media on the utterances of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is striking; his letter to Angela Merkel, to which Hanson alludes, has not been addressed since its text was released. Diana West notes the related silence that has followed the forced conversions of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig:

The most shocking thing about the Centanni-Wiig “conversion” is the silence that has followed. First, there is silence from Islam. Shouldn’t Muslim religious leaders, and particularly “beautiful and kind-hearted” Palestinian Muslim religious leaders, vehemently condemn the forced conversions? As Mr. Bostom put it, “Will such Muslim authorities at least recognize the acute predicament of Centanni and Wiig by issuing a fatwa stating that their ‘conversion,’ being under duress, was not bona fide, condemning in advance any Muslim who might now attack these journalists for ‘apostasy’ from Islam?”

Yes, of course, they should — at least according to any Western understanding of compulsion and morality — but don’t hold your breath. Meanwhile, holding their breath is exactly what Western media are doing when it comes to covering (not covering) the story. Even Fox’s Greta van Susteren, a tabloidesque host who never met a bodily fluid she couldn’t elaborate on, went delicate on us the other night, failing, in a one-hour “exclusive” interview with the two men, to ask a single question about their religious ordeal — presumably at their request.

Why? Who or what is served by shutting up? Only forces of coercion — a word which, after all, implies the nullification of individual will. Which means this is one case where silence isn’t golden and ignorance isn’t bliss. They are dangerous and dumb.

To update Diana’s observation, we should add that neither Sean Hannity nor Alan Colmes improved on Greta of the fluids in their interview with Centanni and Wiig last night. Is the subject — to use a term of art — verboten?

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