The gravitation of liberals to illiberal ideologies is uncanny. The more illiberal the ideology, the more likely liberals will endeavor to understand and defend it. Militant Islam enjoys the benefits of this phenomenon in this century, just as the totalitarians of the Soviet Union benefited from it in the last. Militant Islam's most powerful propagandists are not Muslims but self-hating Westerners who interpret militant Islam's history and doctrines with a sympathy they never extend to Western religion.
The latest illustration of this self-hatred is Kingdom of Heaven, an anti-crusader movie that contains Hollywood's idea of a happy ending -- Christians in retreat and Islam on the march. Owing to this species of death-wish liberalism, Islamic conquerors against the West don't even need to rewrite history. Defeated Westerners will rewrite it for them, making their imperialism by the sword look harmless.
A few years ago PBS, making a great effort to refurbish Islam in the wake of 9/11, produced a documentary depicting the early Muslim warriors as 7th-century Alan Aldas. Kingdom of Heaven keeps this propaganda rolling, which director Sir Ridley Scott's spokesman didn't even bother to hide prior to the movie's release. He told the London press last year that the movie is designed to please Muslims. "We hope that the Muslim world sees the rectification of history," Scott's spokesman said.
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