Monday, August 28, 2006

Steyn attack

Warrior of the Right | Herald Sun

Oh dear, lefty favourites Jill Singer and Jon Faine "stared at each other with incredulity" after interviewing Mark Steyn on his recent Australian visit.

Singer tries to put the boot into Steyn in her article above, and I don't have time to do a full "fisk" as it thoroughly deserves.

The fact that Steyn can use humour in his commentary upsets them. Funny how the Left worried so much that anti terrorism legislation might make satire illegal. The importance of the "right" to use humour only exists when the "Right" is the target, obviously.

Singer criticises Steyn for "exaggerating" the Muslim population of the town of Malmo in Sweden. She claims his source is a 2 year old Fox News report, which put it at 25%. She does not say what Sweden's "official statistics department" says the current figure is. One suspects it must be between 25 and 40% by now.

Anyway, Singer suggests that Steyn's main source is the right leaning Fox News. A quick Google of "Malmo Muslim population" shows that the bad situation in that town has been the subject of stories by the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and other far from right wing sources. Furthermore, the 2004 Washington Post story notes:

About 40 percent of Malmo's population is foreign-born or has at least one foreign-born parent. The bulk of foreign-born people come from the former Yugoslavia, Iran, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

As I said, this suggests to me the correct figure is probably between 25 and 40% Muslim. Steyn's website published a letter questioning this figure, to which Steyn replies:

As to the 40 per cent, that'’s the figure I was given by the late Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003. I don'’t know whether she was talking about the '“greater Malmo'” area, or adding in non-Swedish Muslims plus Swedish Muslims. But certainly the youth population in Malmo is already 50-50.

Does it matter much how accurate this figure is? Whether it is 25 or 40%, the more important issue is what effect this is having on the town itself, and Steyn is big enough to publish a letter that even questions that. (It's the same one that questions the 40%). Looking at the ways the mainstream press has covered this story, it is not a trivial issue.

Singer then claims that:

Now, I am as scared as Steyn is about Islamist terrorists, but a faith-based US President also scares the bejesus out of me.

This is based on Bruce Bartlett's analysis that Bush thinks "he is on a mission from God." Someone else can analyse Bartlett's views, I don't have time right now. But the point is not whether someone thinks that they are trying to do God's will, but whether they are crazy enough to think that they are infallible in understanding God's will. Is there convincing evidence that Bush thinks he is infallible on religious grounds? Maybe some would argue that he is overconfident. Can't any politician suffer from this?

Let's face it, for Faine and Singer, any right wing politician of serious religious inclination is always going to be criticised because of the possible role of their religion in helping form their views. As I have written before, there are so many involved in the American political system that I find it hard to believe that any megalomaniacanic President with delusions of infallibility will ever get to push the red button.

With a system such as that in Iran, for example, you could hardly have the same confidence.

Finally, of course I can concede that Steyn may not always have every fact correct. It's also fair enough to not agree 100% with all of his opinions. But this sort of snide criticism of him from the Left misses the mark by a country mile.

UPDATE: I previously forgot to link to the Steyn on line mailbox for the letter about Malmo. (You have to scroll down to find it.) And welcome all Mark Steyn readers; it's somewhat of a surprise to find he's linked to this post.


Lindsay said...

Great "comments". I admit I found this site through Steyn's site, but it's great to find some good "Australian" stuff (since I'm Australian myself).

Funny, it takes a Canadian living in American visiting Australia to help me find an Australian blog.

Anonymous said...

my name is dan L. from calgary, alberta, canada. thank God for your kind comments about mark steyn, steve.
i,ve been a reader of his writings since he last wrote for the national post in canada. in fact, i ordered two of his books when he had a fundraising for the victims of the hurricane katrina in the us of a. i,ve introduced his commentaries to my father in law ( a korean war veteran ).
mark has educated me about politics like no one has.
but now i'm adding steve brisbane's website in my computer.
thanks again steve. i'll be reading your take on things from now on.

Anonymous said...

So much could be said with accurate cruelty about that puerile article. If they stare at each other with "incredulity" regarding Steyn, imagine their expressions if confronted with a true zealot.

Well written!

Another Infidel said...

Steve, my heartfelt thanks for defending the invaluable Mark Steyn and his urgent message to civilized humans.

I would be grateful if you could fisk the extremely irritating Jill Singer and other "useful idiots" of her kind more thoroughly in the future ... : )

Anonymous said...

As an English pop band once sang 'truth is outta style' or is it that the stylists with no substance are untruthfull. By the way who was the last lefty not to look incredulous, it is their defining trait.

PelaLusa said...


Greetings from Vancouver, BC on Canada's Left Coast. Jill Singer's idealistic pomposity is typical of many in my country, that I frequently refer to as Kanuckistan to be more accurate.

Just the other day I had a female friend of mine tell me that most of the problems in the world were the fault of George Bush and the U.S. "If he wasn't pushing his ultra-Christian agenda then we wouldn't have these terrorist problems that we do." Where does one even start with such lunacy?

The likes of Jill Singer have always been present in our society and always will. They sincerely believe that most every problem is our own fault, that there are no evil people in the world (except for right-leaning people in the West), and that all we need to do to solve the Muslim terrorist problem is "talk it over".

It's important that people like you and me and Mark Steyn and all the others commenting here keep speaking out or else the useful idiots of the world (Singer being but one) will surely destroy our way of life in just a few decades.

Steve said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

A link from Mark makes for a dramatic increase in hit rates, that's for sure. I hope some visitors have a look around and come back again.