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Nov 18

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 8:39 AM 

Here is what I wrote in response to this:

To the Editor:

I am responding to Editor Marc Charisse’s column about my work, a column I found striking for its mud-slinging crudity. In Charisse’s words, my work, the product of  careful research and reporting, may be summed up thus: West “never met a Muslim she didn’t hate.”  There is no more apt word than “grotesque” to describe such an irresponsible and flippant mischaracterization of my weekly column, which very often grapples with the terrible, largely unspoken reality that Western liberties—freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, equality before the law, including women’s rights and the rights of non-Muslims—are increasingly threatened by a growing deference to the laws of Islam. To underscore my point, I don’t write about “Muslims.” I write about Islam, the supremacist ideology constructed on laws (sharia) that justify censorship, repression, violence, inequality, and even maiming and murder of those whom the sharia leaves voiceless and powerless: dissenters, Muslim apostates, non-Muslims and women. I write about its agents—violent jihadists as well as soft jihadists, all of whom are working to extend the rule of this law across the non-Muslim world. And I write about politically correct non-Muslims who, as a public point of what is hailed as tolerance and inclusiveness have surrendered their common sense, their courage and, increasingly, their countries to the advance of this Islamic law.

“Pull the plug” on me if you like. But do not slander me or my work as a manifestation of hatred toward individuals. If anything, it is a manifestation of fear—fear that our liberties are not just under assault but have already been diminished, and are destined for still more restriction in that “sharp new subtext” Charisse says the recent presidential election has added “to the subject of Muslims.” Whatever that means.

I’ll take Charisse’s assessment of my work as “confrontational” as a compliment, even if he didn’t mean it that way. After all, what columnist worth his space, from Paul Krugman to Pat Buchanan, isn’t confrontational? But as for branding my ideas as “inappropriate” and “out of place”—well, isn’t that less the language of an American newsroom than an old Soviet politbureau?

Diana West

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