I am not sure if Fox News Radio political analyst Bethany Blankley’s December 29 piece in The Washington Times, As Christianity exits Europe, ‘Criminal Muslims’ fill void with rabid violence is more offensive on account of its suggestion that peace and order are impossible without Christianity or that Muslims are violent criminals. And then there is the ubiquitous false premise, without which any conservative argument is impossible:
History provides ample evidence of ways in which the local church provides continuity, encouragement and support of family life and societal freedoms. It also reveals what happens when churches close: societal structures erode, crime escalates, and freedoms evaporate.
Churches don’t provide “societal freedoms.” History does not show that they do. On the contrary, the Church has always been associated with limits on societal freedoms. You know, like black folks can’t get married in this white church, or a black man cannot marry a white woman in this church, or a gay couple cannot be married in this church. Or my favorite: that slavery is okay because the Bible says so.
Or this church is going to condemn abortion, or contraception, or even the idea of a woman working outside of the home. It would be literally impossible for the closing of a church to cause freedoms to evaporate. On the contrary, freedom blossoms, because suddenly the community is not being told “you can’t do this, you can’t do that” or you will go to hell.
Nor is there any evidence that closing churches leads to escalation of crime. This is a favorite meme of the Religious Right, that without the Bible, there is no law. But laws were around for many centuries before Moses and his Ten Commandments. Hammurabi is by far the most famous of these earlier codes, but there were others, including the Sumerian Code of Lipit-Ishtar, two hundred years before Hammurabi. The earliest code known is that of Ur-Nammu of Ur, from the 21st century BCE.
It quickly becomes clear that the crime Blankley wants to focus on is rape, which is interesting, because in the United States, the last thing Fox News political analysts like Blankley want to talk about is rape.
You are no doubt aware that central to America’s Jim Crow narrative was the idea of black men raping white women. Racists loved accusing black men of rape, and then lynching them. Well, move over scary black men who rape white women. It is time to fear scary Muslim brutes who rape white women.
And Fox News says we live in a post-racist world.
In support of her criminal Muslim fantasies, Blankley (above) claims that Europe is infested with Muslim rapists, that, for example, “In Sweden, Muslim immigrants account for 5 percent of its population but commit 77 percent of its crime. Sweden’s “rape crisis” is a direct result of an influx of Muslim ‘asylum seekers.'”
But at the Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah refutes these claims, saying that,
In fact…most rapes in Norway are carried out by men of Norwegian and European background. More importantly, the evidence shows that there is no link between ethnicity, culture or religion and propensity to carry out rapes or sexual assaults.
This is in line with a set of 1994 statistics from New Mexico Clearinghouse on Sexual Abuse and Assault Services, which tell us that “In single-offender rape/sexual assault victimizations, Whites and Blacks were victimized most often by members of their own race (Whites by Whites, 78.4%; Blacks by Blacks, 83.5%)” and that, overall, most rapists (49.4%) were Whites.
Abunimah points to the fact that, “Assault rape – stereotypically an attack by a stranger – is the rarest form of rape. Out of the 152 reported rapes in the Oslo Police District in 2010, 6 were classified by the researchers as “assault” rapes.” RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, tells us likewise that “The rapist isn’t a masked stranger” but generally – 73% of the time – someone you know.
Under the circumstances, it would be impossible for so few Muslim men to rape all these non-Muslim women, because a few men (6-7% of the population) aren’t going to personally know all these women. They would necessarily be strangers. It just doesn’t work, except as a means to generate fear and loathing of Muslims.
And Abunimah points out that the Oslo Police study often cited by Islamophobes actually says the opposite of what people like Blankley say it says, namely that,
Crude generalizations that have given the impression that rapists are only foreigners – and primarily Muslims – are shown to be inadequate and erroneous.
Blankley is doing her best here to arouse fear of the Other. They’re different from us, so they rape us. (I won’t even get into all the examples from the Old Testament where Blankley’s God tells his followers to rape the women of the Other).
The trouble for Blankley is that the Oslo Police study says,
It must be emphasized once more that the marked over-representation of individuals from a minority background in connection with several types of rape cannot be interpreted as a result of alien culture being a causal explanation for rape.
We could go on and on about the problem of rape, which is endemic in the United States itself, and rape culture is celebrated by the very people who read The Washington Times. One doesn’t have to look far to see evidence of this. If Republicans had their way, rape would, in America, be defined out of existence.
Yet Blankley tells us, for example, that,
The Dutch government must commit itself to repatriation of Muslims back to Muslim countries so we will not be plagued with honor killings, cousin marriages, anti-Semitism, homophobia, animal abuse, rampant crime, rape.”
So, if churches come back, rapes will go away? Then how does Blankley explain all the rapes in this country? You literally can’t turn around without bumping into a church. I have one at the end of my street. If churches made rape go away, America would be rape-free.
And you can’t have a report written by Fox News end without making gratuitously false and misleading comparisons to Nazi Germany:
Three generations prior, in 1936, nearly 6 million Germans were members of the Nazi Party, representing 7 percent of Germany’s population. Those 7 percent caused over 50 million deaths in less than 10 years.
The 6 and 7.5 percent of Islamists in Europe will cause even more death unless they are stopped.
Needless to say, the analogy is completely, egregiously false. Nazism is a right ring ideology that embraces ethnic nationalism and fear of the Other. Yes, like the Republican Party The Washington Times exists to serve. The Nazis, needless to say, took power in their own country, and did so electorally, at which point Hitler announced he would be staying in power until further notice.
Does Blankley mean to suggest that these 6 to 7.5 percent of Muslims are going to win power electorally in their various European countries? How does she imagine, assuming every single one of them is an extremist “Islamist” (an assumption she does, in fact, make here) are going to kill more than 50 million people in less than 10 years?
This is fear-mongering at its finest, an exercise in propaganda that would have made those selfsame Nazis proud. It is certainly not journalism. It is, all too sadly, typical of the Fox News echo chamber and its ethnic nationalist audience.
Photo from The Washington Times
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.