Monday, July 25, 2011

Pat Condell on Oslo, rape, and Islam

I like Pat Condell. He is extremely harsh, but usually appropriately so, given his standard targets—Islamism in Europe chief among them. I also appreciate that he holds the line against Islamism without jumping into bed with the lunatic elements of the European right, which, so unfortunately, is more than one can say for about half of the loudest contemporary voices against Islamism. However, Condell—like everyone—occasionally gets some things very wrong.

One of Condell's recent videos includes the claim that "all the rapes in [Oslo] over the past three years—all of them—were committed by Muslim immigrants using rape as a weapon of cultural terrorism." This is a truly extraordinary claim, which jarred me when I heard it, but not enough to make me fact-check it—which means I too, got things very wrong. Fortunately, Juan Cole's most recent post just linked (as a sidenote) to a post in Islamophobia Watch that takes apart thoroughly the Oslo rape claim. The blog clearly has its own agenda, but I can't argue with the figures, which are all that matters in this case.

Once again, a demonstration of the importance of not limiting our reading and listening to those who we know in advance will tell us things we will be inclined to agree with.

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