The Islamists are coming

A substantial portion of the right-wing movement actually believes that the Islamists are coming to take over America.

Published August 13, 2007 2:40PM (EDT)

(updated below)

Glenn Reynolds today sends his readers to this absolutely exquisite essay from Roger Simon of Pajamas Media, who explains why his support for gay marriage and women's rights leads him to be such a committed warrior in the War against Islamofascism:

I never cease to be amazed b

The very people most threatened by the ideology of Islamism and the institution of Sharia law b

So, yes, I am a supporter of gay marriage and undoubtedly will remain so, since it is consistent with my values of long duration. And, yes, I will continue to agitate for it in my writing and elsewhere. But in return I call on my friends on the Left b

And their key political beliefs -- from Iraq to Iran to executive power and surveillance theories at home -- are animated by the belief that all of this is going to happen. The Republican presidential primary is, for much of the "base," a search for who will be the toughest and strongest in protecting us from the Islamic invasion -- a term that is not figurative or symbolic, but literal: the formidable effort by Islamic radicals to invade the U.S. and take over our institutions and dismantle our government and force us to submit to Islamic rule or else be killed.

They actually think this is going to happen ("read Zawahiri's speeches about the Plan for Caliphate!!") and believe that we must do everything in our power -- without limits -- to stop it. And there are a lot of them who think this. In recommending this essay, the most-read right-wing blogger today described it as: "ROGER SIMON has thoughts on gay marriage and the War on Terror." There are many ways to describe what Roger Simon wrote, but "thoughts" would not really be one of them.

It is so astonishing that they think this that it is actually easy to forget, and it is thus worth taking note of every and then. Maybe the next time journalists and Beltway pundits want to throw words around such as "extreme" and "fringe" and "unserious," they may want to consider whether this qualifies.

UPDATE: One way to look at the threat posed by Islamic radicalism (let us call it Option A) is to see it as the Epic War of Civilizations, the Existential Threat to Everything, the Gravest and Scariest Danger Ever Faced which is going to take over the U.S. and force us all to bow to Islam.

Another way to look at it (let us call this Option B) is to dismiss it entirely, to believe there is nothing wrong with Islamic radicalism, to think it should just be completely ignored because it poses no dangers of any kind.

There are, however, other options besides A and B. Therefore, to reject Option A is not to embrace Option B.

One would have thought that logical principle too self-evident to require pointing out, but as is typically the case when one assumes that, one is proven wrong.

On a different note, is the curriculum for history classes in some American states restricted to learning about Hitler and the Nazis and 1938 and Hitler and Germany? It must be, because there are many right-wing fanatics whose entire understanding of the world is reduced in every instance to that sole historical event -- as though the world began in 1937, ended in 1945, and we just re-live that moment in time over and over and over:

Love war? You are Churchill, a noble warrior. Oppose war? You're Chamberlain, a vile appeaser. And everyone else is Hitler. That, more or less, composes the full scope of "thought" among this strain on the right.

By Glenn Greenwald

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