As the founder of Mantua Books, Howard Rotberg has published works by such important writers as FrontPage Mag’s own editor Jamie Glazov, Giulio Meotti, Diane Weber Bederman, Gustavo Perednik, and David Solway, among others. Rotberg is the author himself of four books, including TOLERism: The Ideology Revealed, and now The Ideological Path to Submission:...and what we can do about it.
Mr. Rotberg agreed to expound upon his important new book in an email interview with TruthRevolt's Mark Tapson at the Freedom Center's FrontPage Mag.
Mark Tapson: Can you briefly explain tolerism and denialism and how are they propelling the West down the path toward submission to Islam?
Howard Rotberg: Tolerism is the term I came up with to describe the ideology of excessive tolerance, actually a leniency, given to those who themselves are intolerant and illiberal and who, if they obtain power, would want to end all tolerance. Tolerance is of course a term relating to something negative: we say we “tolerate” pain not pleasure. Explaining the full nature of Tolerism was the goal of my previous book, Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed. I sought to explain how Tolerism tolerates the slow ascendancy of Islamist values of terrorism, breach of human rights and attempted reversals of the wonderful liberties and advances made in western societies, where church and state have been successfully separated, and an enormous degree of freedom reigns. Unfortunately it is the Left that leads this process of Tolerism, as it is the Left that is most contemptuous of traditional Western values.
My new book seeks to explore how tolerism and its related ideologies, are beginning, in the West, to create a submission to the anti-liberal values of the Islamists, and an advocacy of some kind of group rights as more important than our historical individual rights. These ideologies include Inclusive Diversity, Empathy, Denialism, Masochism, Islamophilia, Trumpophobia, Cultural Relativism, Postmodernism and Multiculturalism.
The term Denialism is meant to indicate that the individual psychological mechanism of denial to deal with anxieties and fears has now morphed into a culture-wide ideology. Tolerism and denialism are linked in that toleration of evil or facts that might well result in the creation of a great evil, is to show a denial of the danger of the evil or the facts that might create the evil.
How brazen this has become is to study the facts for the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the American embassy in Benghazi Libya. Despite their knowledge to the contrary and despite the facts that were sure to come out eventually, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied that this was in fact an organized terrorist attack, and attempted to frame it as a spontaneous reaction against a little-seen anti-Islam video by an American Coptic Christian.
This denialism became part of the reason that Americans tolerated Obama’s disastrous Islamist-appeasing foreign policy and his moral relativism and moral equivalency between American and Islam and led to his re-election. As to Hillary, the near unanimous favorite of American media in the next election, she stated before a Congressional investigation “What difference does it make?” to the important question of whether this was an organized terrorist attack. Only members of an Administration (and its near-unanimous supporters in media and in universities) in absolute denial of the Islamist terrorist threat and the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood and its related organizations, and a Secretary of State whose closest aide was a Saudi with links to the Muslim Brotherhood could deny that facts about Benghazi do not make a “difference.”
And when reality does win out in the end, the denialists often turn to the tactic of blaming others, whether it was that Coptic filmmaker in the case of Benghazi or Israel in the case of the first front in the Islamist war against the West.
MT: One of the most heated arguments in discussions of Islam is whether there is a distinction between Islam and Islamism. Can you elaborate on the relationship between the two as you see it?
HR: Just because the Turkish Islamist Erdogan says there is only one Islam, and there is no “moderate” Islam, and he in his repression and hostility to neighbours represents it, does not mean we have to believe him. The distinction I make, following in the footsteps of Daniel Pipes, between Islam and Islamism is fundamental to my book. It is central to any hope that we might have of defeating the Islamists world-wide and those who have already become citizens in the West.
I use the term “Islamism” to describe the ideology of members of Radical Islam - and those who are complicit with them - who believe that the West must “submit” to Islam and who use violence and other illegal acts, and who define “Jihad” as an outer-directed struggle to create a restored Caliphate, rather than an inner-directed struggle for goodness; and who believe in Daar Al-Islam, meaning that once a territory is ruled by Islam it must never be ruled by anyone else, (and hence Israel and Spain, as two examples, must return to Islamic control), and who believe that wherever Muslims settle they should be governed by Sharia Law rather than the secular law of the land.
Islam is a religion with various problems in its Holy books that must be reformed or interpreted so that illiberal and hateful aspects be removed. Islamism is the powerful movement that seeks to use those very illiberal aspects to control their own people and wage an asymmetrical war against the West and implement Sharia Law in a world-wide Caliphate, enforcing submission to its dictates. Like so much of what passes for politics, it is a game all about power. It is time to stop the denial that the situation is otherwise.
We must overcome our denial and our psychological fantasies that cause us to think we can control Islamism. The only way to do it, is to overcome our reluctance to tell people of religion that certain matters will not be tolerated in the West; from honour killings to female genital mutilation, to strict Sharia Law enforcement for crimes, it is time to declare, courageously and unapologetically that we welcome as immigrants only those willing to be part of a reformed Islam – without the barbaric cultural practices that should have been left in the Middle Ages. It is not our fault that Islam has developed in such a way that it is threatening our freedoms, but it is our duty to plainly distinguish Islamism from Islam and act to defeat Islamism
But to be clear, it is up to Muslims to reform themselves if they wish to participate in Western political culture; people like me cannot do it for them. We can reasonably expect Muslim immigrants to the West to pledge allegiance to our Constitutions and confirm that taking up residence in the West means that where Sharia law and our Constitutions conflict, they will be loyal to our Constitutions.
I understand the many bloggers and commentators who argue that Islam itself contains the seeds of Islamism; but we cannot wage war against more than a billion people practicing Islam who are not a direct threat to us. In my opinion, we must acknowledge the way that the Islamist enemy feeds off of Islam, but while in theory we could starve the Islamists by attacking their food source, and attack all Muslims, in practice that is very wrong. The most important point, however, is that we are in a war with Islamism and while we did not ask for that war, it is time to fight to win. Non-Islamist Muslims must show us that they have no support for the Islamists, do not look to them as a source of imams or any direction; otherwise in war, we might have to deport people who have chosen to support the enemy rather than us.
MT: How are “fun and foolishness” inhibiting us from seriously addressing the threat that jihad poses to our values?
HR: This relates to our failure to accept that Islamism has declared war on the West and that 9/11 was our generation’s Pearl Harbor. I am particularly critical of Barack Obama with his frequent need to have fun golfing even during times of domestic or foreign crisis, and see this as indicative of a worrisome cultural trend.
In the book, I look carefully at our cultural values, and trace how over the past 50+ years, our culture has begun to emphasize having fun as a major cultural goal. This is a shift from traditional now-ignored values, such as doing one’s duty, patriotism, getting satisfaction from hard work, worshipping in church or synagogue, and living within our means both as individuals and on a national level. I find an emphasis on fun somewhat troubling in an era when the West is clearly facing a crisis brought on domestically by over-spending, and internationally by the terrorist war by Islamism for Western submission to Islamist values and influence.
Our children spend countless hours in the fun of video games and internet chatting. What education our children do receive is meant to be fun and is meant to teach them that there can be education without values, respect without being respected and tolerance without being tolerated. It is more fun for the teachers to avoid the whole issue of values and pretend that it is possible to separate values and ideology from informed discussions.
Moreover, if we appear in the West to be focused only on fun, those Islamists who enjoy jihad more than fun can easily surmise that they have a good chance of winning, and making a world-wide Caliphate when their opposition is too busy having fun to take up arms in defense of their own liberty.