Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Strange Fruit

Why do our private intellectuals and members of the public intelligentsia and even many ordinary private men and women of the general public in the West assume that Islam is a religion, and one at that given to peace and love and warmth and fuzziness of all kinds? Islam is demonstrably a violent poligion, one based on theft, rapine, murder and imperialism. So, why do our fellow citizens so blithely ignore the obvious even when it's fatal? Why do so many Westerners look at the bodies on the streets and say it's nothing to do with Islam but with our local policies?

We believe that philobarbarism is a form of public insanity growing in our culture from roots in 18C. Romanticism, and that the fruit of the Romantic ideology is
Left dhimmi fascism, a poisoned fruit we eat not knowing its effects even as we obviously sicken and die. We as a general population in the West accept obvious lies regarding Islam, and we suffer mutilation and death at the hands of Muslims because we receive our public ideas from those intellectuals who promote Romantic ideologies whose ground is Irrationalism and proto-fascism. We read, we hear, we see Islam is a religion of peace, and that Zionism is racism, that the Palestinians are victims of Israel, and that the world is under threat from American militarism and hegemony. We buy this nonsense because our public intellectuals sell it and we don't bother to look for another set of ideas in the mental marketplace. We live with the cliches of the age, and they are the same cliches that were made up in the 18C by those whose ideas founded modern fascism. Our intellectuals lie to us, and we, being busy, being social creatures, rely on our professional thinkers for our public ideas. Our public ideas are becoming increasing fatal. Our public intellectuals are becoming increasingly crazier, and we as a general population must be thinking more and more that the course of our general opinions is leading us right to the nut-house. Our public intellectuals, filled to the hilt with hubris, cling to and advance their fascist agendas in spite of all realities and decency. They wallow in the most insane puddles of fascism and expect us to continue to adore them. No, it's time to forget these these fools and look at our own views as we see them without the filters of Left dhimmi fascism. It really doesn't take any particular intellectual gifts to see that if Muslims maim and kill civilians at random and claim they do it in the name of Islam that Islam and Muslims are a genuine threat to our existence. It's time we look at the idiots who belong to the Middle Eastern Studies Association and see them for what they are: Nazis.

It might become clearer to the reader that our current dhimmi academics on the Left are fascists if we look at the history of Nazism in German universities in the 1920s. Below we'll look at a MESA gathering, and then we'll look at a few pieces from a short history of the German Wandervogel movement that became the Hitler Youth. It's our position here that MESA is a Nazi-like organization, and that many of our university professors, particularly in the social sciences, are Nazis no different from those in the German universities of the 1920s.

MESA: The Academic Intifada.

Every three years, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) brings its annual conference to Washington, presumably to impress upon lawmakers the relevance of Middle Eastern studies. The conference is meeting in a Washington hotel right now. So it's an appropriate moment to consider how the field's priorities have shifted since 9/11 and the Iraq war.

One measurable indicator is the papers presented at the annual conference. In the four MESA conferences since 9/11 (2002 through this year), some 1,900 papers have appeared in the program. That's a substantial sample of what interests people. But it's more than a measure of pure intellectual interest. Like all such meetings, MESA is a place where grad students and untenured faculty display their wares, in the hope of attracting job offers. It's also where the mandarins send signals to their lessers about what's in and what's out.

So just what do these people study? There are all sorts of ways to answers this question. One could look at different themes (e.g., gender, Islamism), categorize MESA papers accordingly, and come up with some trends. But that leaves a lot of room for subjective judgment, and some paper titles are so obscure as to defy easy categorization.

Sandstorm takes a different approach. The Middle East is a large and diverse place. It includes many Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, and Israel. With the help of my research assistant, Sandstorm has gone back over the last four MESA conference programs. We've looked through all paper titles for explicit mention of one of seven countries: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. These countries are where where you would expect to find a greater focus, because of their large populations or geostrategic significance. We've added up the papers, and plotted the results here. (The vertical axis is the percentage of total papers; the figure next to the name of the country is the total number of papers in the 2005 conference.)


The conclusion of these findings is incontrovertible. For MESAns, the Palestinians are the chosen people, and more so now than ever. More papers are devoted to Palestine than to any other country. There are ten times as many Egyptians as there are Palestinians, but they get less attention; there are ten times as many Iranians, but Iran gets less than half the attention. Even Iraq, America's project in the Middle East, still inspires only half the papers that Palestine does. Papers dealing with Israel are only half as numerous as those on Palestine, and only three of these are about Israel per se, apart from the Arab-Israeli conflict. More than half of the Israel-related papers actually overlap the Palestine category. MESA's Palestine obsession has reached new heights, suggesting this: academe is gearing up for its next intifada.

To appreciate that, you have to go beyond the numbers, to the content of this "scholarship." There you discover that many of the presentations, if not most of them, are blatant attempts to academize anti-Israel agitprop. Here are three quick examples, selected pretty much at random from the program.

There's a paper by one Nasser Abufarha, University of Wisconsin-Madison, entitled "The Making of a Human Bomb: State Expansion and Modes of Resistance in Palestine." It turns out that Abufarha, a grad student, is already well on his way to recognition as a one-man Palestinian propaganda machine. He made this speech at an April 2002 rally in Madison:
In 1948 the State of Israel stole Palestine of its people, its land... In 1967, the Israelis occupied the remainder of Palestine after stealing the nation as a whole....They came to Palestine and forced us, the Palestinians, to pay the price for their troubled history—and we are still paying with our blood and tears.... I salute my people in Jenin for defending our city in the face of the most brutal, murderous army, supported by the most lethal American weapons.... Our message to Powell and Bush: join the world community that has called to impose sanctions on the apartheid state of Israel! (applause)
Abufarha also oozed this bit of sentimental syrup:
For over fifty years, cactus trees in stolen Palestine produce their fruit every season and don't find the people to pick them (they are surrounded by strangers who don't know how or when to pick them, or what they taste like, or if they are even edible). They are patiently blooming their beautiful yellow flowers every spring and fruiting every summer hoping that the people who know them would come the next season. We shall return.
With a Wisconsin Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, an "academic" paper on Palestinian "human bombs," and the support of the MESA network, Abufarha is sure to land a spot teaching "Israel/Palestine" at a university near you.

Here's another example, taken at random: Noura Erakat, law school at the University of California, Berkeley, offers a paper on "Non-State Parties in International Criminal Tribunals: A Case Study of Palestinian Refugees from Jenin Refugee Camp." Noura Erakat is a campus agitator and co-founder of Law Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-divestment group. This is how she describes herself (warning: this is not a parody):
I never hesitate to assert my Palestinian identity. I am frustrated by the U.S. government's colonization of Iraq, its support of Israeli colonization of Palestinian land, and its economic and military domination of the Arab world in general.... I believe that imperialist ambition of conquest and the accumulation of wealth drive U.S. foreign policy. I believe that people of color within the U.S. and the Global South, generally, incur similar repression and marginalization due to U.S. imperial exercises; I, therefore, identify as a person of color from the Global South. Consequently, I share similar struggles with Latina women, but I am Arabiya [an Arab woman].
Erakat has a two-year fellowship at Berkeley to develop a litigation project to sue Israelis for alleged human rights violations, sue U.S. corporations doing military business with Israel, and protect pro-Palestinian activists and scholars in the United States. Now she'll have a MESA conference paper on her resume—another "academic" fig leaf to cover her naked propaganda when she goes for her next fellowship.

Here's another case: Lori Allen, a post-doc in anthropology at Brown University, offers a paper trendily entitled "Martyr Bodies: Aesthetics and the Politics of Suffering in the Palestinian Intifada." Allen's projects are textbook cases of how to disguise agitprop as scholarship. She did a doctorate at the University of Chicago which purports to be an "ethnography" of the second intifada. The Social Science Research Council funded her research in the West Bank, which was to "examine the role which discourses of pain and suffering play in the creation of Palestinian nationalism."

While in the field, she wrote passionate reportage full of... Palestinian pain and suffering, which she made her own. "It is true that some have accused me of writing one-sided propaganda," she admitted, "and others have warned me against publishing views in a necessarily simplified form that might be interpreted in credibility-wrecking ways. But writing about Palestine from a sympathetic point of view is always going to elicit such commentary, and the professional risks are outweighed by what I feel to be professional obligations and moral imperatives." (I assure Dr. Allen she has nothing to worry about. If she keeps writing one-sided propaganda in simplified form, her academic credibility will increase. It's a risk-free strategy. But I suspect she knows this already.)

One could go on and on in this depressing exercise. Paper after paper reveals itself to be elaboration of Palestinian nationalist ideology, "academized" into "discourse" by grad students and post-docs who've already given stump harangues, organized sit-ins, and written passionate propaganda pieces. This same kind of nationalism, practiced in any other field, would be dismissed as primitive pap. But exceptions are regularly made, and standards are regularly suspended, for crudely apologetic and celebratory analysis applied to (and by) Palestinians. Of course, no one dares to call any of this work mediocre, which is why so many mediocre pseudo-academics produce it. The appalling truth is that in the Edward Said-inflected, Rashid Khalidi-infested field of Middle Eastern studies, you dramatically improve your chances if you sell yourself as a Joseph Massad-in-the-making—someone likely to come up with the next great breakthrough to follow Massad's ingenious discovery that Zionism is really a form of antisemitism.

The foundations of the next academic intifada are being laid right now. When the next major crisis comes in Israeli-Palestinian relations, dozens of Massad-like agitators will have taken up secure positions on campuses, having first established their polemical bona fides in the Palestine-fest of MESA. A few years hence, they will have completed the academic mainstreaming of the "one-state solution" and "apartheid Israel," and they will have generated a vast literature, with theoretical prefaces and bloated footnotes, blaming Palestinian suicide bombings on their Israeli victims. When the sign is given from Palestine, Israel will be assaulted on campus by a veritable army of propagandists, who've been smuggled into the ivory tower because no one has had the courage to stop them, or even to call such smuggling a degradation of scholarship.

So remember MESA 2005 when the next intifada sweeps academe. Sandstorm warned you.


The following is a brief look at German universities and students in pre-Nazi Germany:
Universities and colleges had many supporters of anti-Semitism in their faculty. The Prussian Ministry of Science, Art and Popular Education described a "massive swelling of anti-Semitic tendencies in our universities." Two-thirds of the Technical University of Handover student assembly called for a exclusion of "students of Jewish descent" from the student union in 1920.2

2 - "Volkisch Origins of Early Nazism: Anti-Semitism in Culture and Politics", Uwe Lohalm pp. 185

And this is a short bit on the Wandervogel movement that became the Hitler Youth movement:

A Berlin university student, Herman Hoffmann Fölkersamb, founded a study circle for shorthand at the all boys Berlin-Steglitz grammar school where he was teaching. This schoolboy group began to meet without adult leadership about 1895. The early members of the Wandervogel movement liked to consider themselves the pioneers of the youth mission, yet not until November 1901, in the Steglitz town hall cellar, was the Wandervogel, as an association formally created.

Hoffmann did not have a firmly-defined program for the group. He had vague notions about what did and did not represent a reasonable life. These thoughts were developed as the Wandervogel movement spread and was adopted by increasing numbers of German youth. He realized that industry and commerce had come to stay, but he was equally convinced that the individual, instead of passively surrendering to the impersonal and atomizing forces of industrialism, should actively control them. What seems strange to the modern reader is that along with the heralding of nature and the individual was a healthing dose of Teutonic nationalism and anti-Semitism, sounding much like a melding of today's' greens and neo-NAZIs. Here we review some of the tenants of Hoffman and other Wandervogel adherents.

As Wandervogel was the principal German youth movement and not Scouting, it suggests that the movement was more in tune with German youth than Scouting. It is often thought that the Hitler Youth in the 1930s perverted innocent German youth. It appears, however, that German youth in the years before the NAZI seizure of power willingly adopted some of the tenets of the Hitler Youth before even more the more virulent ideology of NAZIism was forced upon them.

The Wandervogel movement was an outgrowth of German Romanticism which influenced the NAZIs. The Wandervogel featured groups of youths hiking, singing, and camping. We would have called it "getting back to nature" a couple of decades ago. It was a reaction against industrialization and urbanization, as was romanticism, and it was something of a model for various Hitler Youth activities.


The unbroken line from Herder and the German Romantic proto- fascists to today's MESA Nazis and Left dhimmi fascists is completely clear to those who care to look at it. Our universities are over-run by Nazis and fascist allsorts careerists.

When the general public sees and understands that MESA is acting in step with Geman academics and students of the 1920s they will then see the future we face. Until our public is informed and educated regarding the fascist intentions of our academics we will continue to poison ourselves eating the strange fruits of our knowledge gardens.


Rick Darby said...

Dag, I agree with you that there are similarities between the MESA and the Hitler Youth, and between the Muslim mentality and the unfortunate ideology that overtook Germany a while back. But I have to question whether it is useful or illuminating to make the Nazi analogy.

People suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome who carried those "Bush = Hitler" banners did their cause a world of harm, by making it obvious to fair-minded people, even those who weren't stoked on Bush, that anybody who made such an absurd comparison wasn't attempting a serious argument. Now, it's true that Islam can be compared to Nazism more reasonably than George Bush's policies can. But to drag Nazis into the debate still is bound to seem to many people to carry a whiff of fanaticism.

The menace of Islam doesn't need any comparisons. All you have to do is point out what they say and do; they condemn themselves. If anyone is informed about the real nature of Islam and the facts of Muslims' behavior, and still doesn't "get it," then pinning the swastika on the Crescent won't make that person see the light any more clearly.

You do note a very important point when you talk about Islam as a "poligion" (and if you coined the term, good on you). One reason so many good people can't grasp the consequences of the Islamicization of Europe and Britain is that they think of it as a religion and not a political movement — and we all believe in religious freedom and tolerance, don't we? So every step to reverse the Muslim tide is seen as if it were like the Protestants and Catholics sending armies against one another in the 16th century.

It's very important to insist on the distinction that, while we do not want to pick a fight with Muslims' spiritual beliefs, we recognize that contemporary Islam is a political power, and one that aims at political conquest.

dag said...

Rick raises an important issue here of my seeming conflation of MESA with Nazis, and I think it's likely many readers will reach the same conclusion Rick does that I mean them as the same; however, it's my sloppiness that gives that impression: I wish to clarify the point that it's not MESA that is Nazi but our academics in the West who support them, and there I must elaborate.

I reach that conclusion on the basis of reading Jung, Heidegger, and Eliade, among others, Nazis and Nazi sympathizers as they were. My point is not that the current lot of academics in the West are anything like (official) Nazi Party hangers-on, but that the line of Nazi sympathy is unbroken from the earliest wandervogel movement, and that the influence of professors today on their students is akin to that of the wandervogel movement in the 1920s in which Heidegger and others worked with and guided the student movement into offical Naziism. I'll explain briefly:

I look at the history of the German universities in the late 19th and early to mid-20th centuries, and there I see committed fascist intellectuals who are today highly regarded in our academic mainstream, Heidegger, as the prime example; and I see the ecology movement begun by anti-Semites in Germany in the mid-19th century; together I see a naive fascsim in many of our most seemingly benign public opinions and social attitudes, ideas generated from the 18th and 19th centuries that come down to us almost pure over the course of the centuries. Student movements then, like student movements today, are lead by professors who hold similar ideological positions to that of other and earlier Romantics, not exactly officially Nazi but at least prot-fascist.

I'm not suggesting that MESA is a Nazi organiziation but I think it is clear that the unbroken line of fascism from Herder through Fichte to Heidegger and Mesa members today is discernable in the works I post. I look here at the influence of Darre, for example, and of Herder, and I see that many of our Western intellectuals at least unconsciously hold opinions based on their works, works that are, in Darre's case, Nazi.

I suggest, if I missed it before, that the Romantic ideology permeates the West, and that it is deeply rooted in our acadamies. I looked back to the anti-Semitic movement of the wandervogel period of Germany to show the comparison between then and now, to show how Romance fascism still lives, and how it is inherently anti-Semitic. My point is that very little has changed in the undercurrents of our acadamies from the late 18th to our current century. That means that if we had Romantically inclined professors then and the current lot are equally enamoured of Romanticism that we can see the same results in the same fashion: that anti-Semitic identity politics of Herder will be roughly the same as anti-Semitic identiy politics today; and that because Herder is obscure today it is a naive fascism our modern academics practice, though no less fascistic for that.

If there are any questions or if I'm still off base I'll continue to coveras well as I'm able any gaps I might have left here.

Pastorius said...


I think you should turn your clarification into a post all it's own. That's a good insight. I've thought about that subject a bit myself. However, other than recognizing that Nietzsche was influenced by the Romantic movement, and in turn influenced fascism, I never made the connection clearly in my own mind.

Rick Darby seems a very intelligent and well-informed fellow. I agree with his point. The word "Nazi" has been used for so many different evils, and pseudo-evils that it has lost all meaning. In fact, that obliteration of the meaning of words and concepts is one of the left's most evil contributions to the world. When humans do not have words for things, they find themselves unable to recognize things that are going on right in front of their faces. This is why so many are having trouble seeing the evil that is Islamic Jihadism.

Rick, a few months ago, I stopped using the word Islamofascism on my blog for the very reason you named. I realized it was not winning me any converts. Truth is, my traffic has quadrupled since I stopped using the term. Coincidence? I don't know.

Anyway, I have to ask Rick; are you aware of the fact that Arabs colluded with the Nazis during WWII. There is a sense in which there is an unbroken line between Hitler, The Grand Mufti al-Husseini, and Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Movement itself.

In fact, a friend of mine, who blogs at Mystery Achievement, makes the point that the movement for Palestinian Statehood, is merely the Holocaust by other means.

That seems like a blatantly radical thing to say, when you first hear it, but when you read the record you have to wonder if it is true.

Pastorius said...

Oh, by the way, Dag, this was a very excellent post.

dag said...

The Nazi references are a mistake on my part. I usually refer to fascist islam rather than Islamic fascism. I used "nazi" deliberately here but I do agree that it gives the wrong impression.

I wish I'd been the one clever enough to coin the term "poligion" but that honor goes to a reader at jihad whatch a year or so ago. I'll try to find the reference and post it to give the author credit. I find that I'd like to find a better, more euphonic word or phrase than "nazi" and Left dhimmi fascism. So far, perhaps from habit of use, I haven't.

I look forward to developing some work with the new blog Pastorius has begun, and if I get some time tomorrow I'll post a note on it generally. For now the flu bugs are marching and I must retreat to the rear.

Will follow up as much as possible on any further comments, but I do hope that in my abscence others will continue this debate. I thank you for your interest.

Rick Darby said...


I have lately seen one or two references to Arab-Nazi lovefests during World War II, but don't know any details. It is very disquieting that the more I learn about the history of Islam (and I started from a very low baseline), the scarier it seems to get. I had no idea, for instance, of the massive and cruel slaughter wrought by the Mughal conquerors of northern India on the native Hindu population. I read about it only the other day on a blog that quoted a couple of historians of the period. (Apparently there aren't many specialists in that field; it's a subject the world doesn't want to remember, and I would guess there aren't many opportunities for professorships if you make that your life's study.)

Your idea about the counter-productivity of the term "islamo-fascism" (which I admit to having used occasionally) is well taken. All bad ideologies have similarities, but it's not helpful for understanding to try to fit them into a single category; there are differences as well.

We do need to put more thought and discussion into the problem of terminology where Islam is concerned. "Poligion" may or may not catch on, but it's a neat way of encapsulating the double nature of the movement: Islam is a religion (not one I like, except for the mystically minded Sufi fringe, but still a religion) and it is also a political entity with political goals.

That isn't unique in history -- you could have said the same of the Catholic church and some Protestant denominations 400 years ago -- but other world religions have almost entirely outgrown the wish (or hope) of conquering the world, and the world is all the better for it. Islam could evolve in the same way, but only if we absolutely hold the line against its political ambitions in Dar-al-Harb today.

dag said...

I can't seem to make a proper link here to take the reader to this site, July 19, 2005 for "Nazis and Muslims." There one will find some good detail on the alliance between Haj Amin and the Nazis in the 1930s through the mid 40s, and from therre more details on Amin's career.

Regarding Mughals, KS Lal is a top-notch historian, and the more accessible Percival Spears, History of India, Vol.s I and II are easy to read and find in used bookshops.

I don't know why my link to July 19 goes automatically to July 31. It means I have to scroll down half the page to get to the right post. It's inconvenient but if you're interested in some further details on the Nazi Muslim alliance and the Bosnian Handschar SS division Haj Amin created, then it'll be worth the effort.

Now that I've reviewed the post after all this time I'll try to post a graphic to go with it and perhaps I'll have time to clean up the html that's embedded therein for no obivous reason.

Pastorius said...

By the way, Rick Darby, I wasn't correcting anyone about the term Islamofascism, I was merely expounding upon your point that to call Islamists "Nazis" alienates people. I agree, and I think that term also applies to Islamofascists.

The word fascists, and Nazis have lost their meaning, as sad for the world as that fact is.

Newfred said...

How can the "blame" for a Palestinian state be laid at the hands of this fictionally united group of Middle Eastern Studies people? Almost all voices agree on the need for a Palestinian state -- including the Israeli government, the British government, the American government, the editorial of The Economist, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, etc. -- so how can MES students be seen as a fringe group? Most people I know involved in MES are involved because they are aware -- as you are -- of the pivotal importance of Middle Eastern politics to European and American identity.

The MES department at Manchester is staffed more or less equally by Arab, Jewish and English academics and courses offered represent all kinds of viewpoints. I agree there is a left/liberal slant in universities generally speaking, but there is absolutely no comparison with Nazi Germany.

dag said...

If you somehow missed all the text and all the commentary afterward that should have given you a clear understanding of the line between wandervogel and MESA I suggest you try reading the text rather than coming t it with your mind made up that you can't learn anything more. Read the text, grasp the thesis, them comment.

Newfred said...

I grasp the thesis fully. I simply don't agree with the correlation. I agree that Naziism was an outgrowth of German Romanticism, but academic MES, in all the forms I have encountered it, is a far more diffuse realm than you seem to be arguing. For example, the current postgrad papers I'm working on in an MES department deal mainly with Jewish Philosophy of the C20, holocaust theology, and the historiography of the Middle East. Palestine has not even been mentioned.

Simply citing papers which have been written by pro-Intifada students shows nothing except that there are pro-Intifada students writing papers. I'm betting you could find people writing papers about more or less anything. Are you suggesting that somehow Middle Eastern Students are going to usurp power and establish an academic dictatorship?

Sure there are academics who hold extreme opinions. But they are, I'm afraid, in the minority.

dag said...

Newfred, I thank you for your comments. I'll return to them as soon as I get s feww minutes. You raise issues I feel need address. Please hold on till I get some time.

neoleftychick said...

Hi guys

I am really glad that I have found this blog. I am currently a history undergraduate. I have read "Orientalism" and a few other pieces as well as three books by Bernard Lewis, including "What Went Wrong?"

How the hell has Edward Said managed to start such a hugely successful intellectual movement? His arguments, his evidence, his education in history are all so shoddy. Lewis is 1,000 times Said's superior.

Why do so many fall for the appallingly shoddy "scholarship" that underpins Edward said's "Orientalism" thesis. He is a serial liar and an intellectual crook who is laughed at by serious historians.

I read so many describe this so-called "western" view of "orientals" as "hegemonic." On what basis do they claim to have deduced this? By a serious assessment of all the evidence or sherely out of intellectual laziness and a comfort with playing the victim?

I have read quite a lot of Bernard Lewis' books, and the picture painted by said of Lewis is the picture of a very sad and second rate man, which Said was.

dag said...

If you check back later I'll try to make some clear mention of Andrew Bostom and Bat Ye'or, or you can look at amazon reviews to get something succinct. I don't have any problem with Lewis, and in fact I like his work; but there are better writers today, and both of the above qualify. for those of us here, we are all unqualified fans of Robert Spencer.

To cobble together a bibliography of "Orientalists" of real worth, one may google "Hugh Jihadwatch" and start reading from there. If ever we get some time it's a worthwhile project to cull the annotated bibliography for publication. Lots of reading involved.

Dov ben Josef said...

Sad but true: the post-doc you cite here, Lori Allen, will be on WPKN's lefty propaganda program "Between the Lines" this week. http://wpkntoday.blogspot.com/2006/03/whats-on-air-this-week.html

dag said...

This one slipped past me, like others have. Thanks for the reminder.