Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

The Enemy Too Close to Home

How bizarre a book is The Enemy At Home, Dinesh D’Souza’s new screed insisting the left is responsible for Islamic extremism? Pretty bizarre. The book’s argument, according to the Times is that “1) that the American left is allied to the Islamic radical movement to undermine the Bush White House and American foreign policy; and 2) that ‘the left is the primary reason for Islamic anti-Americanism…’ because ‘liberals defend and promote values that are controversial in America and deeply revolting to people in traditional societies, especially in the Muslim world.’”

Follow that? The left is allies with Islamic extremists because the extremists hate the left. Just like Dinesh D’Souza. “[W]hen it comes to core beliefs,” he writes, “I’d have to confess that I’m closer to the dignified fellow in the long robe and prayer beads than to the slovenly fellow with the baseball cap [Michael Moore].”

In other words, it sounds like the right is allied with Islamic extremists in hating the liberal elements of American culture. What to do about this is left as an exercise to the reader.

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February 8, 2007


Dinesh D’Souza has lost it.

posted by Ethan on February 8, 2007 #

Does he think he’s the first one to realize that American religious extremists have plenty in common with foreign religious extremists? Isn’t that what Liberals have been shrieking since September 2001?

I guess he got a little thrown off by all his hatred. If you hate liberals, and you hate Islamic extremists, there has to be something linking them, right?

posted by Ben Donley on February 8, 2007 #

Taken to its logical conclusion, it reads like: If there are no more liberals in America, Islamic extremists won’t hate America. There will be no more terrorism and we can all live happily ever after.

posted by Krishna Kumar on February 8, 2007 #

Watch Colbert utterly destroy Dinesh, if you haven’t already seen it:


posted by david mathers on February 8, 2007 #

This reminds me of ESR’s screeds of a few years back, before he fell off the radar. These reside somewhere on his blog, here: http://esr.ibiblio.org/

posted by David M. on February 8, 2007 #

Watch John Leach summarize ESR’s entire life in a 3 pane comic strip, if you haven’t already seen it:


posted by david mathers on February 8, 2007 #

The islamic fundamentalist situation has to be utterly confounding to right wingers. Prior to 9-11, an accellerating meme was that Christians, Muslims, and Jews would bind together into a monotheistic conglomo-religion in opposition to godless liberalism. See “Peter Kreeft” for the best example of this. Also, it can’t help that the Bush familiy has longstanding ties to the Kingdom of Saud, who are major exporter of radical ismaili islam.

posted by armchair philosopher on February 9, 2007 #

In reality both the islamic fundamentalist and the christian fundamentalist seek to make religion the basis of secular power, and to subject democratic lawmaking to religious scrutiny and control.

posted by Branedy on February 10, 2007 #

Yes, after watching D’Souza on Colbert’s show, I’m not sure it’s even worth reading reviews of the book. His argument is truly wacky.

posted by Jacob Rus on February 11, 2007 #

Saudi Arabia does not export “Ismaili Islam” (whatever that is). Ismailis are a tiny Shia off-shoot.

posted by Faried Nawaz on February 16, 2007 #

It is bizarre to think that american extremists are allied with any other extremists in the world. Extremists are trying to lead the majority of thier county into thier way of thinking. If they did not use religious they would use some thing else.

posted by rickaltemus on February 22, 2007 #

Once a hater always a hater

posted by Joey Shitaskey on February 27, 2007 #

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