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.