PC Self-Censorship at the American Foreign Policy Council

By Srdja Trifkovic
Friday, 15 Apr 2011

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The bacillus of deferring to the sensibilities of Islamist “activists” and their Western abettors has started spreading to some unexpected quarters. As the author explains on Jihad Watch, the behavior of the AFPC in this sorry affair is a paradigmatic case of dhimmitudinal self-censorship at its worst. Its implications are dire and eminently predictable.

The decision by Comedy Central, the television channel owned by MTV Networks, to censor an episode of “South Park” that alluded unflatteringly to Muhammad, and the terrifying case of Molly Norris, a cartoonist forced into hiding here in the United States for “insulting the Prophet,” are but two recent examples of how successfully the Muslims have instilled terror into the hearts of American unbelievers (as commanded by the Koran, 8:12). In Europe the situation is even worse, of course, and ranges from the ritual slaughter of Theo van Gogh in Holland and the terrorizing of the Muhammad cartoonist in Denmark to the sorry spectacle of kowtowing to Muslim demands everywhere.

The bacillus of deferring to the sensibilities of Islamist “activists” and their Western abettors has started infecting even those who purport to inform the world about “the nature of the contemporary Islamist threat around the world and on the current activities of radical Islamist movements worldwide.” It is in sorrow rather than anger that I am compelled to present the facts of a recent example.

In early February I was approached by the American Foreign Policy Council to write a 4-5,000 word entry on Bosnia for their World Almanac of Islamismself-described as “a comprehensive resource designed to track the rise or decline of radical Islam on a national, regional and global level." The article was to be divided into four sections covering some key aspects of the problem. The honorarium offered was a symbolic $500 for a task of this magnitude. I nevertheless accepted because I believed the endeavor eminently worthy of support and the institution behind it reliable to see it through professionally and objectively. I saw the project as a long overdue antidote to John Esposito’s mendacious Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. I wrote the article (attached at the end) and sent it to the AFPC on April 11.

On the morning of April 12 they called me to say that the editorial board had several concerns about certain turns of phrase and my treatment of some specific points, and indicating that they would be sending me a list of suggested edits shortly. I told them that I would deal with the matter as soon as I get the file. A few hours later, however, they called me to inform me that the Board had just decided not to publish the article at all. No satisfactory explanation was offered.

The cat was soon out of the bag, however; Washington is a small place. On April 14 I learned from two different yet equally reliable sources close to the institution in question that the problem was not with the article but with me. One person on their team had done some background research on me and presented the board with two supposedly incriminating quotes which were deemed so outlandish that they disqualified me as an acceptable author of the Chapter: 1. “Islam is inherently aggressive, racist, violent, and intolerant”; and 2. “Islam has been for the past thousand years a gigantic grinder that turns its adherents into intellectual and moral cripples.”

Some rhetorical flourish of the second quote apart, the substance of both statements is elementary to anyone seeking to educate the public about the nature of the threat. If they make their author unpublishable, by the same token many names infinitely more prominent than mine are presumably verboten at the AFPC. De Tocqueville is beyond the pale for writing, “I studied the Koran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad.” Or Winston Churchill for exclaiming, “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy… No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.” Or Bernard Lewis for stating that “unbelievers, slaves, and women are considered fundamentally inferior to other groups of people under Islamic law.”

In subsequent contacts initiated by the AFPC and ostensibly aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution to the issue my various suggestions were rejected. On a peripheral note, particularly galling was their offer to pay me the $500 even though the article was not published. It merely added insult to injury.

This whole affair is a paradigmatic case of dhimmitudinal self-censorship at its worst. Its implications are dire and eminently predictable.