If you haven't discovered him yet, you should start paying attention to Pascal Bruckner, a French philosopher deeply involved in our current struggles.  His recent book, The Tyranny of Guilt; an Essay on Western masochism, is a first-class analysis of how Western guilt over presumed past crimes has paralyzed us in the present, preventing us from doing the good works our instincts would normally produce. He's quite right, and although much of his subject matter is European, his insights are as important for us as for his fellow Europeans.

He's written a very important essay on "Islamophobia," in which he calls for the word to be banned. He notes that the term was coined by Iranian Islamists, as part of their campaign against the modern Western world, which was the point of the 1979 revolution that brought down the shah. And he goes on to analyze the several ways in which the word is used. First, it equates secularism with fundamentalism, by branding critics of Islam as intolerant fanatics, even when they criticize Muslims for intolerance. Second, it masks the jihad, using "Islamophobia" to deny the accuracy of their critics.

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