Christopher Hitchens and the Quest for Grade-A Muslims

by M. Junaid Levesque-Alam

Christopher Hitchens

Almost 50 years ago, Frantz Fanon raced against death to finish his famous indictment of colonialism, The Wretched of the Earth. In that book, he wrote:

“Western bourgeois racial prejudice as regards the nigger and the Arab is a racism of contempt; it is a racism which minimizes what it hates.”

But there was a twist.

The ideology of Western prejudice, Fanon observed, “manages to appear logical in its own eyes by inviting the sub-men to become human, and to take as their prototype Western humanity…”

Today this ideology is once again attracting robust defenders, as conservatives and some liberals arrogate the right to judge which Muslims are worthy of their good graces.

Christopher Hitchens, for one, has recently declaimed that Imam Feisal Rauf of the embattled Cordoba House fails to make the grade. Hitchens mutters that as far as Muslims go, Rauf is “no great bargain.” The more Hitchens learns about him, the more “alarmed” he becomes.

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