It’s also worth going through the arguments of the Western defenders of these protesters, because they too aren’t going away. Already I have had e-mails and bloggers saying I was “asking for it” by writing a “needlessly provocative” article.
When there is a disagreement and one side uses violence, it is a reassuring rhetorical stance to claim both sides are in the wrong, and you take a happy position somewhere in the middle.
But is this true?
I wrote an article defending human rights, and stating simple facts.
Fanatics want to arrest or kill me for it.
Is there equivalence here?
Mostly good stuff.
However: Hari — whom I find awfully annoying, but so what? — presents himself as a reasonable man, just getting after the Truth, and coming face to face with idiots who don’t appreciate his subtlties.
I take issue, therefore, with his simplistic demonization of Geert Wilders as (yawn) a “racist”. Contrary to popular belief, Wilders is not “trying to ban the Koran” so much as wondering aloud why Mein Kampf is banned throughout Europe when the Koran is not, given that the both books contain calls to violence against Jews.
Such wilfull or accidental misrepresentations don’t help Hari’s argument.
But he, a man of the Left, is struggling to articulate, as I am, the bizarre “twisting” phenomenon we’re witnessing in our time, in which angry words in response to acts of physical violence and criminality are condemned more vociferously by the Left than those very acts of violence and criminality themselves.