Philia: a combining form used in the formation of compound words that have the general sense “unnatural attraction” (necrophilia), “tendency” (hemophilia); also forming abstract nouns that correspond to adjectives ending in -philic, or -philous, or nouns ending in -phile.
In response to leftist actor Ben Affleck’s performance on Bill Maher’s show last week, American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord has penned a piece on Ben Affleck’s Islamophilia. In it, Lord contrasts the argument Affleck is using to defend Islam (that it’s racist to be critical of it) with the silence of leftists like Affleck in the 1950’s and 60’s when it came to treatment of blacks. It’s a great angle:
Ben Affleck has a case — a bad case — of Islamophilia. By now the exchange on Bill Maher’s show is everywhere, as well it should be. Maher and Sam Harris argued that much more than just a tiny fraction of the Muslim world holds extreme views, such as the death penalty for apostates. Affleck retorted that calling out Islamic radicalism in this way was “so gross” and “racist,” like calling someone a “shifty Jew.” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof essentially agreed, saying that the position held by Maher and Harris “does have the tinge a little bit of the way white racists talk about African-Americans.”
Let’s stop right there. Since Messrs. Affleck and Kristof brought up the subject of race, let’s go back in time to the Civil Rights era. By the 1950s and 1960s, with the arrival of television and mass media, the gruesome world of lynching, murder, and general brutality to black Americans was finally being protested in a way that attracted the attention of the nation at large. There were, to their credit, liberals who finally decided to do something about this. In fact, as Ben Affleck himself has noted elsewhere (here in the Hollywood Reporter ): “His mother…had been one of the original freedom riders who went into the Deep South during the 1960s to fight for civil rights.”
And what were those freedom riders and other civil rights leaders of the day asking for? They demanded what we now call “boots on the ground.” Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy responded to various crises in places like Little Rock, Arkansas, and Oxford, Mississippi, by sending in those boots — the National Guard. Various segregation hot beds targeted by civil rights protesters were flooded with federal marshals. When dogs and fire hoses were loosed on peaceful demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, or a church was bombed killing four little girls, or when the Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, occurred — with demonstrators being beaten to a pulp in full view of the cameras — the demand from Americans for action rose even higher. When three civil rights workers were yanked from their cars, murdered and their bodies stuffed in an earthen dam? When a Detroit housewife named Viola Liuzzo was shot to death as she drove a black fellow-civil rights worker to their next stop? As with the reaction today to the videotaped beheadings of American journalists, American public opinion angrily rallied for action. That action came to fruition in terms of the passage of two major civil rights bills in 1964 and 1965.
In other words? Forty-nine years ago, there were in fact liberals who showed not the slightest hesitation in finally putting an end to a world that had promoted and facilitated the most vicious of treatment towards fellow human beings solely because they were black. They saw injustice — and were determined to put an end to the injustice of segregation once and for all.
What is the difference between all those Klan lynchings and the horrendous murders of “non-believers” in Islam committed by jihadists? One group committed its crimes in the name of racial superiority, and the other today commits its savage acts in the name of religious superiority…
Read it all here.
Lord’s argument can lead one to a conclusion that Affleck and Kristof are Islamophiliacs on par with KKK-philiacs prior to something being done about the treatment of blacks through the Civil Rights Acts.
But how did the likes of Affleck and Kristof contract it?
The answer to such a question can be complex but both may have been victims of stealth Muslim Brotherhood charm offensives that helped give each man what he wanted most – notoriety for his work. In return, the Brotherhood would receive staunch defenders with high public profiles – a Hollywood actor and a New York Times writer.
Back in October of 2012, Affleck premiered his prized project – ARGO – in Washington, DC. It was a film that would win an Academy Award for Best Picture and a slew of other awards. By his own admission, a woman who has been identified as the daughter of a Muslim Sisterhood leader Saleha Abedin (one of 63) – Huma Abedin – played an integral role in the production of the film. Huma, who had served as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, was in attendance at the premiere:
“Huma is a really close friend of mine,” Affleck explained on the red carpet. “In fact, Huma — the reason why she’s here — is she was instrumental in helping us shoot the State Department. As you know, we shot at the real State Department. We never would have had any of that stuff in our research [otherwise]. …Huma was enormously helpful, and obviously we invited her and she brought her husband. I look forward to seeing him.”
There you have it. A woman with irrefutable and extensive familial ties to the Muslim Brotherhood as Shoebat.com has long ago demonstrated, was “instrumental” in helping Affleck achieve the kind of recognition he most sought.
Couldn’t such a thing make Affleck a defender of Islam so staunch that he would embarrass himself on television defending it? Couldn’t it help him contract Islamophilia?
While he was nowhere near as embarrassing as Affleck in the exchange with Maher, Kristof did side with the Islamophiliac Affleck. Like the actor, Kristof appears to have been the target of some stealth Sisterhood charm.
In December of 2011, the Arab Spring was approaching its one year anniversary. The Muslim Brotherhood was in vogue; it was all the rage. Kristof traveled to Cairo and had dinner with one of Saleha’s 62 Sisterhood leader colleagues – Manal Abu Hassan – and her daughter Sondos Asem Chalabi. A few months later, Sondos would be part of a delegation that would travel to the White House, as Shoebat.com reported. Kristof was ahead of the curve by interviewing someone who would later be elevated, right?
If you can stomach the article, written by a clearly smitten Kristof, there is no attempt on his part to hide that Sondos is Muslim Brotherhood. Conversely, any time Abedin’s connections to the Brotherhood are brought up, leftists scoff. The one difference is that Sondos is in Egypt and Abedin is in the U.S.
Nonetheless, here are Kristof’s opening stanzas:
If you want to understand the Islamic forces that are gaining strength in Egypt and scaring people here and abroad, let me tell you about my dinner in the home of Muslim Brotherhood activists.
First, meet my hostess: Sondos Asem, a 24-year-old woman who is pretty much the opposite of the stereotypical bearded Brotherhood activist. Sondos is a middle-class graduate of the American University in Cairo, where I studied in the early 1980s (“that’s before I was born,” she said wonderingly, making me feel particularly decrepit).
She speaks perfect English, is writing a master’s thesis on social media, and helps run the Brotherhood’s English-language Twitter feed, @Ikhwanweb.
The Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the dominant political party in parliamentary voting because of people like Sondos and her family. My interviews with supporters suggest that the Brotherhood is far more complex than the caricature that scares many Americans.
Sondos rails at the Western presumption that the Muslim Brotherhood would oppress women. She notes that her own mother, Manal Abul Hassan, is one of many female Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated candidates running for Parliament.
As for Kristof’s contention that the Brotherhood is “complex”, perhaps it’s so complex that Kristof didn’t understand he was being charmed by two of its operatives into becoming an Islamophiliac. While Kristof mentioned Sondos’ mother as being “affiliated” with the Brotherhood, he failed to report on her leadership role with the Sisterhood.
To close the circle, Kristof’s article also served to demonstrate Jeffrey Lord’s point. Much of it was about rationalizing and diminishing the reality of oppression and persecution of women and minorities.
There are at least three things both Affleck and Kristof share. 1.) Both are leftists; 2.) Both are defenders of Islam; 3.) Both were charmed into becoming Islamophiliacs, in part, by Muslim women who granted them access and who helped each man get what he most desires – recognition for his work.
What did those women get in return?
Have a look: