May 30, 2008


Just to be clear, folks, it's a novel: There's an emerging sub-genre of Islamotopian fiction, and it's not my fault (MARK STEYN | May 28, 2008, Maclean's)

The thesis of my book is that the Western world is becoming more Muslim, and that this will change the nature of our societies. But an emerging sub-genre of Islamotopian fiction is beginning to delineate some of the options. Robert Ferrigno has just published Sins of the Assassin, the second novel in his trilogy set circa 2040 in the Islamic Republic of America. He recently took time out of his hectic schedule of book promotion south of the border to profess bewilderment at finding himself part of a "human rights" case up north. As evidence of my "flagrant Islamophobia," the Canadian Islamic Congress claims I "asserted" the following:

1. America will be an Islamic Republic by the year 2040 — there will be a Muslim/Islamist takeover;

2. As a result of the Muslim takeover, there will be a break for prayers during the Super Bowl, the stadium will have a stereotypical Muslim name, and the fans will be forced to watch the game in a Muslim prayer posture;

4. As a result of the Muslim takeover there will be oppressive religious police enforcing Islamic/Muslim norms on the population, important U.S. icons [such as the USS Ronald Reagan] will be renamed after Osama bin Laden, no females will be allowed to be cheerleaders, and popular American radio and television talk-show hosts will have been replaced by Muslim imams . . .

Er, no. I didn't "assert" that any of the above will happen. Robert Ferrigno did — in the plot of his splendid novel, Prayers for the Assassin. As Mr. Ferrigno put it, "It's as if that hall monitor saw the two of us walking to class and decided that it was Steyn with the squeaky shoes. Sorry pal, c'est moi." The author was as perplexed as any citizen of any free nation should be at the idea that the plot points of a work of fiction — a creative art form, an act of imagination — apparently constitute a hate crime in Canada. But he took particular umbrage at being described by the Canadian Islamic Congress plaintiffs as a "recognized Islamophobe." "For the record," he says, "I am neither Islamophobic nor recognized."

He's right. The hero of his trilogy — and, as the Islamist enforcers at the CIC apparently aren't on top of this whole fiction-type deal, I should explain that the "hero" is the chap that you the reader are meant to identify with — is a Muslim: Rakkim Epps, a veteran of the Fedayeen, "a small, elite force of genetically enhanced holy warriors." He's a cynical fellow — Joel Schwartz in The Weekly Standard recently described him as a kind of Muslim Bogart, which is the right general territory; he's Philip Marlowe crossed with certain cabinet ministers I've met from Islamic countries — decent fellows under no illusions about the societies they serve. Ferrigno's second novel puts Rakkim undercover in the part of the old United States that didn't go Muslim — the southeastern "Bible Belt," a wild raucous land of rough liquor and cartoon religiosity in which the biggest tourist attraction is the daily re-enactment of the Waco siege. Mr. Ferrigno's Belt sometimes feels like a televangelist theme park writ large. So, if Christian groups were as willing to bandy around accusations of Christophobia, they'd have as much to work with as the Canadian Islamic Congress does. And, to one degree or another, both inheritors of the old United States — the Islamic Republic and the Belt — are societies in decline, living off the accumulated capital of a lost past.

If you're minded to spot Islamophobia in everything, Tom Kratman's Caliphate may offer easier pickings.

...they might realize that such texts aren't driven by fear of Islam but by contempt for secular Europe and American intellectuals.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 30, 2008 9:23 PM

Have I, perchance, offended you guys in some way?



Tom Kratman

Posted by: Tom Kratman at May 31, 2008 2:37 PM

Who's Tom Kratman?

Posted by: ratbert at May 31, 2008 2:51 PM

Nobody important, surely.

Posted by: Tom Kratman at May 31, 2008 3:14 PM

People will have to read the book to determine whether it's offensive.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2008 8:29 PM

Oh, the book's offensive...or at least CAIR would find it to be. No, I was teasing about you cutting off Steyn's comments before he said what he thought of the bloody thing. Just a joke though; don't sweat it.

Posted by: Tom Kratman at May 31, 2008 8:45 PM

We expect people to read the stuff we link to, so we tease... :)

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2008 9:12 PM

You could've, at the least, provided a link to "Caliphate", a book I've been telling you projects a much more likely future history than the "Assasin" series! (Prayers was comic book fun, Sins is, at best, ludicrous).
After all, Caliphate link has been in most my comments, which you have peristently dissed as being Islamophobic. Now there's a term to turn reality on it's ear.
BTW Tom, I've read and enjoyed all three.
A Desert Called Peace

Posted by: Mike at May 31, 2008 9:15 PM

Islamophobic? An intersting word. I usually take it as an attempt to make people's reasonable fears and concerns sound insane. It's a very Orwellian thing. Were the Romans Gothophobic? Hunophobic? Did people then say to those concerned about the barbarians, "Oh, you're just insane"? Was there a Center for Roman-Barbarian Relations on the Palatine? Or was that only after Rome was sacked by Alaric?

Thanks, Mike. Orrin, if you would like a copy of Caliphate, I can have my publisher send you one.

Posted by: Tom Kratman at June 1, 2008 5:54 AM

No, the Romans were Christophobic, correctly, since Christ bore a superior culture. Europe, similarly, is both Christophobic and Islamophobic. It has good reason to be.

Posted by: oj at June 1, 2008 6:15 AM

No, that's not what I mean. The Roman example is just illustrative. I mean that the use of the word is an attempt to portray reasonable concerns as irrational fears. (There's also an attempt to call it cowardice, I think, somewhere in there, thus taking advantage of modern, "enlightened" thoughts on the subject of an ancient and still widely felt value.)

And even paranoids have enemies...

Posted by: Tom Kratman at June 1, 2008 6:59 AM

The Roman example is the point. Inferior cultures yield to superior. Europe's secularism makes it a dead letter.

Posted by: oj at June 1, 2008 4:21 PM

if you really believe a secular Europe is worse than an Islamic Europe, please take Tom up on his offer of a free book!
BTW, listening to my post-teen/mid-60's music and just enjoyed a 60's top-40 tune; Edwin Hawkins Singers "Oh Beautiful Day", of course Mookie would have them executed for defaming Islam.
BTW 2, so, if you're saying the Pagan/Barbarian hordes which overan Christian Italy/Rome were the superior culture, why are you Christian?
Could also ask, is "conquest" the determining factor of a culture's superiority?

Posted by: Mike at June 1, 2008 9:46 PM

Because the Barbarians are.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2008 4:28 AM

Mr. Kratman,

Please do.


Posted by: oj at June 2, 2008 4:29 AM

Send me a snail mail please.

Posted by: Tom Kratman at June 2, 2008 9:55 AM