When a Liberal Meets the Paleoliberals

Great article by Eric Bell, a filmmaker and writer who started a project to document the events surrounding the building of an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with the aim of portraying the proponents of the center in a positive light and the opponents of the center in a negative light – not necessarily to be intentionally biased but because that’s what he genuinely believed. He got funding and support from Hollywood bigwigs to bring the film to fruition.

But then he started learning some truths about militant Islam – truths that would make any genuine liberal shudder. The Arab spring had turned into a winter, where non-Muslims started fearing for their lives. He informed the funders that he wanted to mention some of these issues in his film. “I wanted to show what happens to countries when they gain a Muslim majority, how women are treated, that homosexuals were executed, that free speech did not exist, that the forced Islamic Law was not consistent with Democratic Values – anything and everything I could think of.”

But he soon learned that he was dealing with a lot of paleoliberals. They didn’t want to hear any of those ugly truths. “Eric you are starting to sound like an Islamophobe,” they told him. “We don’t want to make a movie that promotes fear. Let’s just stick with the existing plan, okay?”

Bringing up those realities about militant Islam constituted  “hate speech” and “propaganda designed to spread fear”. There’s a site called “Loonwatch” where people – such as Bell – who criticize radical and violent Islam are called a “loon”, in the pejorative sense. (That’s ironic, because the loon is one of the most beautiful species of waterfowl. Its call is also one of the most beautiful sounds of nature.)

Unwilling to stick with the original script, Bell had to give the money back. He also got banned from writing for the Daily Kos, for revealing his liberal (as opposed to paleoliberal) tendencies. He suffered plenty of other blowback as well.

“Given the incredible density of the popular Liberal mind, …the readers of my articles were unable to see how the beliefs of Islam were in direct conflict with human rights, gay rights, women’s rights and basic Democratic Values.”

Those people are what you call paleoliberals. And unfortunately, they greatly outnumber the liberals.