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Posted in: Culture Wars & Censorship

Published on Dec 28, 2005 by Phyllis Chesler

Published by Jewish Press

Leftists, Muslims, And The Race Card


Today, the charge of “racism” is similar to the Stalin-era accusation that one was a “bourgeois capitalist” or the McCarthy-era accusation that one was a “communist”; the crime is one of essence and is meant to cancel out the humanity of the accused as well as the facts in the case – and it does.

In these times, all it takes is two or three disgruntled Arabs, preferably Palestinians, or a handful of Western leftists to merely level a charge of “racism” and the damage is done. The alleged offender, be he a Christian professor, a Jewish author, or a Muslim dissident, is pronounced guilty, shunned, and often “disappeared.”

Thus, the fear that one might be accused of being a “racist,” either by Muslims or by Western leftists, is so great that most people either join the Orwellian jackal-chorus or refuse to “get involved.”

Here are the Alice-in-Wonderland rules: No one – especially if one is a westerner and particularly a Jew – is allowed to accuse Muslims of being “racists,” not even when Muslim governments refuse citizenship rights to Jews, persecute (to the point of genocide) their Christian or black-skinned citizens, spew the filthiest hate propaganda about infidels and threaten to “eliminate” Israel with nuclear weapons. Neither politically correct western leftists nor Muslim leaders call this “racism.” Only those who document and challenge such Islamic racist barbarities are themselves slandered as “racists.”

Two of Europe’s most brilliant and passionate thinkers, France’s Alain Finkielkraut and Italy’s Oriana Fallaci, were recently condemned as “racists” for telling the truth about Islam and about Israel. But there are many other examples. Here are three in North America:

First, in 2003, Canadian lawyer and author Howard Rotberg published a charming and heartbreaking pro-Israel first novel, The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and Its Author. As they say, life often imitates art and Rotberg himself soon partially experienced the fate of his fictional protagonist, Professor Norman Rosenfeld.

Rotberg delivered his first lecture in a Chapters bookstore in Waterloo, Ontario. Suddenly, two Muslims interrupted his speech. The first disrupter, who identified himself as a Palestinian, accused Rotberg of saying or perhaps thinking that “all Muslims are terrorists.” The disrupter admitted that he had not read the book.

A second man, who identified himself as an Iraqi Kurd, began “ranting about how Americans and Israelis are the real terrorists and that democracy is really fascist.” The two disrupters did not allow Rotberg to speak. According to Rotberg, they used “Gestapo tactics to completely disrupt (my) lecture.” No bookstore staff person stopped them. One disrupter called Rotberg, who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, “a [expletive] Jew.” Only when Rotberg responded and said that he would “not be called a [expletive] Jew,” did a store manager came over – to tell Rotberg not to swear.

Rotberg demanded that store employees call the police. According to Rotberg, they finally did so, but very reluctantly. The police refused to arrest anyone for disturbing the peace. They told the two disrupters not to return to the store but refused to escort Rotberg to his car. Rotberg’s publisher, Mantua Books (which Rotberg owns), issued a press release announcing that he was cancelling his future lectures at Chapters/Indigo bookstores since security was not appropriate. According to Rotberg, the publicity director at Chapters “went ballistic.” She claimed she heard Rotberg say that “all Muslims are terrorists,” and in a press release “apologized for any inappropriate behavior and racist comments both from the guest author and some of the attendees at the event.”

Rotberg compiled affidavits from audience members confirming his story and filed a lawsuit. He wanted the store to retract its characterization of him as a “racist.” Rotberg told me that no Canadian-Jewish or Canadian-author’s organization was willing to take up his cause.


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