Playing the Rube


I know, I know. I said I’d be away until Monday. But I felt strangely drawn to the latest efforts of embittered Communist Seumas Milne. Still misinforming Guardian readers with undiminished zeal, Milne once again reheats his “root causes” schtick and denounces Ed Hussein and Hassan Butt as “NeoCon poster boys.” (I’m guessing he’s not too keen on Tawfik Hamid, Tanveer Ahmed or the dissident exile Tahir Aslam Gora either.) Apparently, we mustn’t listen to what jihadists and ex-jihadists tell us about their own motives, because – pah - what the hell could they know? In MilneWorld™, Tariq Ramadan is best described as a “liberal academic” and when middle-class Muslim zealots try to kill innocent people – and nightclubbing women in particular – this must be “retaliation” against imperialist “oppression”. And nothing whatsoever to do with nihilistic fantasies, sexual resentment and an urge to be a player in an Islamist psychodrama

With eerie seriousness, Milne argues that,

“If the bombers’ real focus was, say, sexually liberal Western lifestyles, they would presumably be attacking cities like Amsterdam and Stockholm.”

Setting aside the murder of Theo Van Gogh, the effective exile of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the numerous death threats against half a dozen Dutch authors, artists and politicians, I suppose we should simply ignore the arrest of nine would-be jihadists in Denmark in September 2006, and before that another four in Stockholm and Malmo in April 2004. And I guess we should overlook the planned terror attacks on a church in Uppsala, and disregard the Stockholm mosque selling cassettes calling for “holy war”. Perhaps Seumas Milne is somehow, conveniently, unaware of the rapid rise of fundamentalist Islam in Stockholm and the sustained campaigns of violence and intimidation against bus drivers, paramedics and firefighters in “Muslim only” areas of several Scandinavian cities. And presumably we should avert our eyes from the repeated targeting of London nightclubs, where “sexually liberal Western lifestyles” would no doubt be in full hedonistic effect.

Regular readers will, of course, remember just how credible and trustworthy Comrade Milne can be.