Hitchens: Need I Say More?

Christopher Hitchens' June article about the ups and downs of multiculturalism in his old London neighborhood, piqued our interest — especially after a jittery weekend in London and Glasgow. Is the dream of the melting pot also an invitation to extremism? What do you think? Write or call... but enter at your own risk, Hitchens has an answer for everything (why we love him, I suppose).

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I am very disturbed by 'Talk of the Nation's' choice to invite Hitchens without a counterpart guest who could challenge his views. He is notorious for sloppy analysis of a complex social issue, and for slippery language, confounding "Muslims" with everything violent and hated. His credentials are lacking - I am very disturbed that NPR found it okay to bring such a controversial figure onto the program without providing someone who carries a differing perspective. This is particularly irresponsible just days after the bomb attempts in Glasgow and London. I am shocked as well that the host chose the words "burqas & shoe-bombers" to describe Hitchens' community in Finsbury Park, underlining the most blatant stereotype about Muslims, without mentioning the many, many Muslims (not just secular) who live there that disagree with extremism. Very disappointed.

Sent by Sara | 4:05 PM | 7-3-2007

Hitchens is, contrary to his critics, one of the only persons speaking sense on all of this mess.

Sent by Bernie Kosar | 4:44 PM | 7-3-2007

Well done, Mr. Hitchens. It's about time that someone began calling "a spade a spade". The thing that began with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran almost 30 years ago is only building, and the Saudis are not our friends. This is nothing short of a "clash of civilizations", and the sooner we Westerners stop apologizing for who we are, the better!

Sent by CJ McAuley | 4:52 PM | 7-3-2007

I fully concur with the previous poster (Sarah), and was also shocked at NPR's choice of guest. I was further shocked by the brazenness of some of Hitchens' claims -- such as the existence of "honor killings" in London, and that the Quran explicitly encourages mass murder (maybe that's Hitchens' understanding of the Quran, but that's not how Muslims read it). I laughed out loud when he suggested that Britain is in danger of being turned into an Islamic state, and that there is anyone who is seriously planning on doing so.

I was also greatly disappointed that the host (who is otherwise one of my favorite NPR figures) did not feel the need to question any of these ridiculous claims, or ask her guest for substantiation.

Sent by Tyler Roach | 5:06 PM | 7-3-2007

Hitchens as always, gets to the heart of the matter. Clear thinking, perfect prose,
irrefutable arguments, the only journalist I have read who understands the clash of cultures, and the dangers facing Western Society from Jihadists.

Sent by Gerald mcSheffrey | 7:09 PM | 7-3-2007

What a choice to invite this absolutist uninterested in discussion into your discussion! A balanced discussion would require a fundamentalist violence-endorsing priest be invited as co-panelist.

Hitchens said he "has nothing to say" to his "enemies," and invokes the "war of civilizations." This shows no faith in civil society's ultimate ability to cope with ultimate exigencies. The old man has become too tired to listen to others and would rather we young people commit murder on a global scale to quell this annoyance.

And for a man uninterested in religiosity, his use of rhetorical paradox ("there is no solution" ... "the only solution is...") is nothing but demagogic. Please, Mr. Hitchens, tell us whom to kill!

Sent by John Mulligan | 7:10 PM | 7-3-2007

Hitch is dead on about the thread of radical Islam. Honor killings have definitely happend in the UK in Muslim communities. We shouldnt just let these extremists spread theyre violent ideologies.

Sent by K Bhattacharya | 1:33 AM | 7-16-2007