Now Muslims use "The Bloody Shirt" Strategy

Posted in Broader Middle East | 13-Jul-08 | Author: Judith Apter Klinghoffer| Source: History News Network

The Post Appomattox South was filled with bloody shirts but the misremembered transgression is the supposed "waving" of it. Reading Stephen Budiansky passionate summary of the long forgotten history of The Bloody shirt: Terror After Appomattox, I could not help but muse about the similar dynamics operating today. Then, it was confederates leaders covering up for the Klan who accused Republicans of waving the bloody shirt. Today, it is Muslim governing elites covering up for Islamist terrorists who accuse Westerners of waving the bloody shirt. They even claim to be the new Jews! Just try substituting Muslim for Southerner:

To white conservative Southerners, the outrage was never in the acts they committed, only the effrontery of having those acts held against them. The outrage was never the manly inflicting well deserved punishment on poltroons, only the craving sniveling whines of the recipients of their wrath. And the outrage was never the violent defense of "honor" by the aristocrat, only the vulgar rabble-rousing by his social inferior. . . .

The bloody shirt perfectly captured the inversion of truth that would characterize the distorted memories of Reconstruction the nation would hold for generations after. The way it made a victim of the bully and a bully of the victim, turned the very act of Southern white violence into wounded Southern innocence, turned the very blood of African American victims into an affront against Southern white decency; the way it suggested that the real story was not the atrocities white Southerners committed but only the attempt by their political enemies to make political hay out of those atrocities. The merest hint that a partisan motive lay behind the telling of these tales was enough to satisfy most white Southerners that the events never happened, or were exaggerated, or even that they had been conspiratorially engineered by the victims themselves to gain sympathy or political advantage.

Indeed, crime exposure was considered betrayal and was dangerous. An aristocrat quoted by Budiansky was careful to maintain his annonimity: "So bitterly do Southerners hate to have the truth come out that it is at the risk of life that any man dares to speak it. That was in 1977. In 2008, a muslim wishing to tell the truth calls him self the Myth of Islamophobia when he writes:

“Let’s be realistic: how did the term “Islamophobia” originate? And, who benefits from it? Who is threatening whom? Is it true that the West is afraid of Islam? If there is a fear of Islam in the West, which Islam is the West afraid of? Is it Islam as a religion, or is it rather political Islam, that has produced Irhab,* and continues to commit its ugly crimes against humanity in the name of Islam? Which side suffers the most from these crimes, is it the West, or the Islamic peoples? . . .

Who Benefits from the “Islamophobia” Lie?

“It was the followers of political Islam who invented the term “Islamophobia” and they are the ones who benefit from it. Their goal is to place the Muslim communities in the West in a state of confrontation with the host nations; pushing them to adopt a radical form of Islam, and thus, inflaming the struggle with the West. They have succeeded, up to a point, to gain the sympathy of some moderate Muslims who criticize the West, and rail against its “Islamophobia.”

“For example, after the failed terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow, an Arab organization in Britain issued a statement criticizing the terrorist attack, while at the same time it blamed Britain’s foreign policy as a possible reason for that attack. But such a claim is nothing but a pack of lies! There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terror. Let’s never forget that those who were involved in the terrorist attack were medical doctors who betrayed the honor of the medical profession. It was a religious ideology that changed Muslim doctors into Irhabis. Now, aren’t Westerners justified if they fear people like them? After all, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second in command in al-Qaida, is a doctor and the son of a doctor!

Of course, successful strategies are always repeated. It is the Communist "bloody shirt" that Myth of Islamophobia remembers:

During the lifetime of the USSR, it was customary for the Russian Communists and their fellow-travelers, to attempt to silence anyone who disagreed with their Marxist ideology. So they resorted to vilifying their adversaries by painting them as “bourgeois reactionaries” and “enemies of the toiling masses.” They acted according to the age long principle that attack was the best defence.

Nowadays, we find a similar strategy being used by Islamists and some “moderate” Muslims. They work hard to silence anyone who unveils the belligerent components of Islam. One of their tactics is to brand critics of Islam as manifesting “Islamophobia.”

Wise King Solomon's oft quoted maxim is that there "there is nothing new under the sun." Missing is the reason he gives:

[But] there is no remembrance of former [generations], neither will the later ones that will be have any remembrance among those that will be afterwards..

Who is responsible for such dangerous forgetfulness? Public intellectuals, academics and members of the media who for reasons of their own help sell the myths.

The result? The powerless die and so do young, idealists who fall prey to Islamist utopia in the same manner previous generation fell pray to Communist ones. Just note the manner in the historian who tells the story of misguided Americans who ended in the Gulag blames American diplomats for their being Forsaken.

Be that as it may, the Muslim version of the "bloody shirt" campaign, like it's Southern and Soviet predecessors, is garnering success after success. The UN, EU, the American and British State Departments are issuing decrees forbidding coupling Islam with terror. This at a time when misnamed "honor killings" are making it to America and Turkish social scientists are finding that such dishonorable murder are welcomed by society! If blacks were the oppressed in the South, women and non Muslims are the oppressed in the Muslim world and their blood is calling to us all not to let this "bloody shirt" strategy succeed yet again.

Judith Apter Klinghoffer is member of the WSN International Advisory Board.