Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Everything But a Race

Amis descends into Steyn-hugging

He has a point. Islam is everything but a race. It's a religion — which is to say (if you're an atheist like Amis and his friend Christopher Hitchens) an ideology. It's also a political platform and an imperialist project, as those terms are traditionally understood. It has believers of every colour on every continent. So, if Islam is a race, then everything's a race — from the Elks Lodge to the Hannah Montana Fan Club to the British Airways frequent flyer program. Moreover, to denounce as "racist" any attempt to discuss Islam is to accept that being Muslim, like being black, is a given, fixed, unchangeable. That's what its adherents believe: 36 per cent of young British Muslims think that anyone attempting to leave Islam should be killed. But there's no reason for non-Muslims to sign on to that. "Racist," of course, no longer has anything very much to do with skin colour. It merely means you have raised a topic that discombobulates the scrupulously non-judgmental progressive sensibility. I wonder if one reason we seem so bizarrely fixated on "climate change" and the flora and fauna is because it's one of the few subjects we can talk about without having any dissenting view greeted by cries of "Racist!" For the moment.

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