Saturday, April 17, 2004

Attack of the LGFers

253 comments! I see that Matthew Yglesias has met with yet another overwhelming surge of irrelevant, insulting and irate comments by LGF lunatics, all of whom seem to think that anything short of "kill em all and let Allah sort em out" makes one an "anti-semite" - and this despite Matthew's own Jewish heritage! I caught the early end of this particular conversation, before Matthew (sensibly) locked down the comments, so I'm not exaggerating when I say that wild accusations of anti-semitism and "anti-American" treachery were being thrown around by the usual suspects; I can't even begin to imagine how much further things must have gone downhill from that already low point, to move a guy who normally doesn't edit even the most insulting comments thrown in his direction to shut down commenting for the post in question. Hate to say it Matthew, but I did warn you!

For me, the strange thing about the sheer level of hatred and intolerance of dissenting viewpoints displayed by LGF commenters on questions relating to the Middle East and Islam is that, unlike most of these people, I've spent years living in a majority muslim environment, have seen the dark side of Islamic zealotry at first-hand, and yet, I've managed to avoid developing a generalized hatred of all things Islamic of the kind on show at LGF or "Emperor Misha." In fact, I'm willing to bet that the average Israeli, despite living daily with the threat of being killed by Islamic fanatics while going about his or her daily business, harbors less hatred for Islam than your run-of-the-mill LGFer. For most of these sorts, it simply can't be a mere matter of exposure to Islamism breeding deep loathing, but something altogether more personal, some sort of character flaw that's on display, and I'm sure most of them would have found something or someone to hate just as vehemently had the events of September 11, 2001 never occurred. That is the only way one can understand the penchant so many of them have for terms like "vermin", "subhuman" and so forth. What is more, despite the overheated denials of bias by the oversensitive proprietor of LGF and his devotees, it really is telling that he's never seen fit to delete posts containing references to muslims in terms that one anyone with a sense of shame and an awareness of history would be mortified to be caught using. As for his cheerleaders, one would think any decent person would be mortified to have supporters who go around flinging insults on others blogs in the manner that the LGFers do on cue whenever a target is pointed out to them.

As I've said before, Islam as practiced by the majority of muslims in our day really does have serious problems, which aren't just confined to "a small minority", as the usual cant on this issue goes. Nevertheless, mindless hatred and dehumanization of all muslims will do absolutely nothing to move things forward to a state where the most we'll have to worry about from religious muslims will be phenomena like the Religious Right's never-ending attempts to get abortion outlawed and creationism into the schoolbooks; to the contrary, indiscriminate bashing of muslims as "vermin", "subhumans", "ragheads" and so forth is a surefire way to undermine any moral claims outsiders may seek to make with respect to the practice of Islam.