(nb: I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley)
There’s a scene in “Judgment at Nuremberg” where a drunk Richard Widmark is talking to Spencer Tracy about how no Germans seemed to know anything about what the Nazis did during World War 2. “Oh, no. There were no Nazis in Germany. It was the damn Eskimos.”
Imagine “Casablanca,” only instead of the creepy-evil Nazis, the evil people were Eskimos, too.
Imagine, now, that the entire reason the Nazis were not portrayed as bad in these films is because everyone was afraid to offend the Nazis for fear of what could happen. Even odder, everyone–from newspapers, to authors, to filmmakers, to news programs–portrayed the Nazis in only a positive light, never daring to question the validity of “Mein Kampf” nor the semidivinity of Adolf Hitler.
(Let me make it perfectly clear before proceeding that I am IN NO WAY comparing Nazism with Islam. IN NO WAY!)
Douglas Murray’s treatise “Islamophilia” points out just such behavior in today’s world. He provides examples upon examples of how Islam is largely given a free pass in the media, because nobody has the courage to write against it.
Murray describes a BBC series on Christianity, where the producers essentially proclaimed Christianity to be unfounded in fact, and full of of nonsense superstition.
A few months later, they produced a series on Islam, and it was almost fawning in its approach, accepting the Koran as inspired, even never showing Mohammed on the screen, which would violate Muslim propriety.
There was nothing critical in the Islam documentary, a few months after the same producers skewered Christianity.
Murray claims the press is loathe to criticize Islam due to fear of reprisals. Instead of everyone subjecting Islam to the same criticism as every other religion gets, the media seems to have developed Islamophilia. Even George W. Bush–whose armies were attacking Muslim lands at the time–praised Islam as a faith of peace.
And that is really Douglas Murray’s thesis. For most of this 76 page treatise, he calls-out and mocks those entities who wuss-out rather than say anything non-laudatory about Islam.
His conclusion is spot-on: NO, he’s not saying anything derogatory about Islam–not at all. NO, he’s not suggesting people should immediately start attacking Islam in the media. YES, he states clearly that the huuuuuge majority of Muslims are kind, peace-loving people, who just want to build a good life for themselves and their children.
Where Murray casts his snide aspersions is at the hypocrisy of a media that soft-sells when a Muslim group kills dozens of people in a suicide bombing, or beheads a non-Muslim for being an infidel, noting that if a Christian or an agnostic did such a thing, there would be great hue and cry and denouncements ringing from every tower.
Again, his jabs are not at all against Islam. It’s against a double-standard, where every religion on earth is up for criticism or mockery, but when it comes to Islam, everybody’s full of cake and ice cream. Murray’s sardonic wrath is aimed solely at those whose job it is to report objectively, and who–being Islamophiles–just don’t.