Karen Lehrman Bloch
Watching the new documentary “Jihadists” right after the Covington Affair, where the media and leftist elite unconscionably botched the story of a group of boys from Kentucky, was both depressing and eye-opening.
As we now know, what happened at the Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 18 was not at all what esteemed newspapers reported and what the Twittersphere hurled up. The homophobic, racist and sexist insults and intimidation came not from a group of Catholic boys but from an extremist hate group affiliated with the Black Hebrew Israelites. Their invective against the Native Americans was so ugly that most left-leaning news outlets chose not to quote them — even when the longer videos of what really happened were circulating.
Why? Because racism has now been redefined as “power + prejudice.” In today’s twisted ideology, people of color can never be guilty of racism because they are presumed not to have power. Even when they do. Even when they are capable of a great deal of harm.
White boys, on the other hand, are presumed guilty just for being white boys. Thus, virtue-signaling celebrities can freely screech that the boys should be “punched in the face” and threatened with death, even when it became clear that they did no harm — and, in fact, tried to subdue the ugly racism of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
Such twisted morality, public shaming, self-righteous glorification of abuse and violence, and totalitarian views of the world are now key parts of today’s leftist orthodoxy.
Which brings us to the film “Jihadists.” The 75-minute film’s documentation of relentless acts of evil is torturous to watch. It’s not primarily about ISIS and other terrorist groups, but about Salafists/Islamists who viciously enforce Sharia law in Mali, Tunisia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are lashings for smoking, dancing or drinking alcohol; the stoning of women accused of adultery or being incorrectly dressed; the cutting off of hands of people accused of theft; the throwing of people from rooftops for their presumed homosexuality; and murders of those accused of insulting Islam.
The social code is viciously enforced. Public shaming creates an atmosphere of fear. All dissent is immediately silenced.
Director Francois Margolin’s inspiration for the film was personal: “Members of my family died in Nazi extermination camps. They disappeared during the ‘Holocaust by bullets’ in Lithuania and Ukraine. I wish these things are never allowed to happen again.”
Margolin made the film at obvious great risk (the crew was almost executed for mispronouncing a name) to show the West what goes on in communities where the “purest” form of Islam is practiced. Indeed, the fundamentalists are very clear on their position: “Democracy is in complete contradiction with Islam.”
The fact that today’s “social justice” movement is moving closer to resembling fanatical Islam — in its increasingly brutal enforcement of a political and social orthodoxy — is just part of the irony. If the self-proclaimed social-justice warriors actually cared about social justice, the growth of political Islam — where women are considered to be worth half of men; where homosexuals are routinely called “animals” — is precisely what they should focus on.
Instead, they never mention it.
And now we learn that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) — who was appointed to the House Foreign Affairs Committee despite her clear alignment with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks the destruction of Israel — has also expressed “compassion” for men who want to join ISIS.
In 2015, when Omar was a Minnesota state representative, she encouraged leniency in a case involving a group of men accused of trying to join the terror group, which at that time controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria. “The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” she argued, despite the men’s stated goal to fight and kill for ISIS.
We’re increasingly seeing what kind of deal with the devil House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to make to keep her chair as Minority Leader. All the while, the Sharia left marches on.
Karen Lehrman Bloch is an author and cultural critic living in New York City.