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Friday, January 16, 2015

Sam Schulman: What good have Holocaust-denial bans done?

...despite all this fond protectiveness toward Islam and energy spent muzzling and denouncing anyone who dissents, the jihadists were not impressed. In a fervent letter sent round the Internet the day after the Charlie Hebdo murders, a French left activist pleaded with his comrades around the world not to condemn Charlie Hebdo for Islamophobia​—​after all, they support Hamas! But the policy of denunciation and prosecution to silence critics of immigration has failed. France’s Muslims are unconvinced that the state is on their side. Dutifully, major imams condemned the attacks of January 7, but schoolteachers told of Muslim students refusing to respect a “minute of silence” for the Charlie Hebdo victims, giggling and saying “awful things.” Meanwhile the French working classes are alienated, their traditions of religion and the family sneered at, and their complaints about crime and the desecration of their churches ignored. Worst of all, focusing on hate speech has blown up in the face of France’s Jewish community, who see the state act on their behalf only to the extent of rounding up the usual suspect​—​anti-semitic comedian Dieudonn√©—​but refusing to confront Muslim immigrant youth who express their antisemitism with fists, clubs, and guns...

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