Ha! This is such a classic. Quoting someone as saying something, when they were quoting someone else.
Jim Henley has his say on my present legal woes:
The excerpt from Mark Steyn’s America Alone that ran in Maclean’s last year is far more blatantly racist than I figured it would be when I began reading it. I knew Steyn was a bigot, with a 1920s obsession with demographic decline. (Cf.
Tom Buchanan in Gatsby, who can’t stop talking about Rise of the Colored Empires, “by this man Goddard.”) But I imagined Steyn was more adroit in his use of code words and deniability feints. No! “Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes” is merely the most spectacular example of – not code words. I’m not completely shocked that Steyn would write with such frank bigotry, or that Regnery would publish it. I’m somewhat surprised that an establishment organ like Maclean’s would run it.
Nor am I surprised actual existing Muslim Canadians would take offense at the article. The article can’t touch me, an Anglo American, in the same way it can hit the emotions of a Canadian Muslim – it can’t feel as personal to me as it can to them… Mark Steyn is a racist douchebag in addition to being a ridiculous figure…
Etc. The words that so offend him are, indeed “frank bigotry”. However, if you read my racist diatribe, you’ll see the bigotry is not mine but Mullah Krekar’s:
“We’re the ones who will change you,” the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. “Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children.” As he summed it up: “Our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours.”
Hello, Mr Henley? Anybody home in there? Those are quotation marks, because they’re someone else’s words – not the blatant racism of the racist douchebag Steyn but of a prominent Scandinavian imam. It’s tempting to say to Jim Henley, “Douchebag, douche thyself”, and leave it at that. However, in an attempt to divine his thinking on the subject, I’d like to ask him this:
What is it precisely about this statement that makes it “blatantly racist”? That a Euro-Muslim imam uttered the words? Or that an “Anglo American” (if I can be said to count as such) was culturally insensitive enough to reveal the mullah’s words to a wider audience? Is the problem Krekar’s “frank bigotry”, or “Anglo Americans” boorish enough to let the cat out the bag?
Or, if that’s too much for him, perhaps he could at least issue a clarification.