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Hollywood’s Selective “Islamophobia”

They are rankled! Upset! Angry! Outraged! Gnashing their teeth! Balling their fists, straining their massaged tendons, and cutting their palms with their manicured nails! They’re really, really mad! It’s unconscionable! We won’t tolerate it! Their Gucci knickers are in such a twist they have a hard time picketing and not walking funny! We just won’t come here anymore!!! Take that, Sultan of Brunei!

How dare the Sultan of Brunei, who owns some of our favorite party spots, want to stone to death gays, and lesbians, and even transgenderites, and people of all sixteen lifestyles who make whoopee outside marriage, or even if they’re not married?? Our kinds of people!!!And isn’t cutting off the hands of thieves just a bit harsh, damn it all? Over here, we let thieves off with a fine and a warning. And that rule about no drinking?? Criminey! Unacceptable! No gambling?? That’s criminal!!!

The Clarion Project (which unfortunately is dedicated to “challenging ‘extremism’ and “promoting dialogue,” much as many of the Hollywood protesters do), on May 7th reported:

As Clarion Project previously reported, as of April 1, the first phase of sharia law went into effect in the country. Eventually, punishments including the stoning to death for the crimes of adultery, homosexuality and blasphemy and the amputation of limbs for theft will be implemented.

Jay Leno, who participated in the protest organized outside the hotel, said, “I’d like to think that all people are basically good and that when they realize that this is going on, hopefully, they will do something about it … I mean, it’s just … I don’t know. Berlin, 1933? Hello, does it seem that far off from what happened during the Holocaust?”

Other celebrities and business people are joining in the boycott, including comedians Stephen Fry and Ellen DeGeneres, and TV host Sharon Osbourne. British billionaire Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Group, said in a tweet: “No @virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.”

Jay Leno, who at one point joined the protests, and speaking without cue cards and with no big adoring audience hanging on his every punch line, mumbled his incoherency about Berlin, and 1933, and the Holocaust. (He really shouldn’t say anything in public without cue cards or a script.) But then his wife, Mavis, has been after the women-brutalizing Taliban in Afghanistan for a long time.

But women are brutalized by Sharia elsewhere in the world, as well, by Islam. Not just in Afghanistan. Try the Sudan, and Libya, and Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and Jordan, and Gaza, the West Bank, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Persian Gulf emirates. And in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, the U.K., Ireland, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, all those former Soviet Central Asian republics whose names end with “stan.” Austria. The U.S. and Canada. And Australia.

The Clarion Project pointed out this disparity between the outrage over Muslim Brunei and instances of other Islamic nations that have investments in the U.S.

Christopher Cowdray, the chief executive of the London-based Dorchester Collection of hotels owned by Brunei, said it was unjust to single out the Beverly Hills Hotel and its employees. “There are other hotel companies in this city that are owned by Saudi Arabia … you know, your shirt probably comes from a country which has human rights issues,” said Cowdray.

“This is misguided,” Robert Anderson, the great-grandson of the founder of the hotel, told Reuters after the vote. “We should be against human rights violations in all countries, not just the Brunei.”

However, the Sultan of Brunei’s wanting to turn his country into an Islamic prison is nothing new. Islam has been practicing these things since long, long before Brunei was a gleam in the eyes of the Sultan’s ancestors. Since the seventh century.

So, where were all these hair-tearing protesters forty years ago? Or when Islamic terrorists began hijacking airplanes? Why do some of these same protesters run Boycott Israel campaigns, and wish to see Israel torn from limb to limb? Why are they just now becoming “conscious” of Sharia? Have they the teeniest notion of how many hundreds of thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims have been meted the harshest Islamic “justice” over the centuries?

Perhaps not. While the mainstream media shies away from reporting honor killings, rapes, murders, domestic terrorism and related Islamic activities just in this country, the Internet is awash with news sites that do report these things. Hollywood types don’t read these sites. Their “social justice” mentors advise them not to.

Where was their “Islamophobia” then? Or is it “Islamophobia”? I’m willing to bet that if one asked at random any of the outraged demonstrators against the Sultan if they were “Islamophobic,” they’d scream bloody murder in denial. “What do you think I am? A racist?” Of course, a Malaysian or Brunei Muslim is not of the same “race” as a Pakistani or Arab or Turkish Muslim. Nor even of the same race as a chalk-white British convert to Islam. Still, the charge of “Islamophobia” is attended by the charge of “racism.”

Of course, they don’t condemn Islam. Islam is such a colorful religion, what with all that praying and prayer mats and pretty architecture and flowing garb. It’s all so culturally diverse, you see. Sharia has nothing to do with Islam. Right? They can divorce Islam from Sharia and not be caught condemning Islam. CAIR will never file a slander suit against Jay Leno. Leno was smart. He didn’t equate Sharia with Islam, either. Nor with jihad. Or perhaps he commits the same error, that is, segregates Sharia from Islam.

As for their favorite pre- and post-Oscar party palaces, and venues in which to spend lots and lots of money and network over drinks with their favorite people and pose with their latest squeezes for the pesky paparazzi, the Sultan gave them fair warning last October. Richard Ehrlich in his Washington Post article of October 22nd last year, “Brunei to implement Shariah penal code, including stoning, caning,” reported:

The sultan of Brunei announced on Tuesday (Oct. 22) he will rule his oil-rich Islamic country according to Shariah laws, including death by stoning for adultery, the amputation of limbs for theft, flogging for alcohol consumption and abortion, and other punishments.

The Shariah penal code will begin in phases starting in April 2014, said Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, according to Agence France-Presse.

John Walker, writing for Western Free Press on May 8th, in his article, “Hollywood Hypocrisy Cracks: Stars Boycott Historic Hotel Over Sharia Law,” remarked:

The stars spoke out when the Sultan of Brunei, who owns the hotel through a holding company, announced that his country would adopt Sharia law. The law is a brutal doctrine that calls for harsh treatment of violators of its legal and religious code – especially women and homosexuals.

In a rare turnabout, Hollywood put aside its left-wing obsession with all things conservative – Christianity, the military, and free market capitalism. Hollywood wants the Sultan to divest the hotel from its holdings. But now it has opened a debate that goes far beyond one hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

The hypocrisy of Hollywood is obviously relevant here, but it’s not my main point. Hollywood has always been hypocritical. Over the last four or so decades, it has churned out numerous anti-American, anti-military, pro “social justice” films, all the while enjoying the rule of law which they want to change in this country, and doing its own kind of wealth-spreading to countless tyros, producers, directors, actors, and actresses, turning them into millionaires or better, ready to tow the Progressive/Left party line.

It’s the inbred, nearly incestuous cluelessness of the whole town. What Hollywood isn’t quite aware of is the stake Islam has in their business (aside from the self-imposed injunction against negative portrayals of Islam and Muslims in films). Ben Shapiro, in his Breitbart column of May 7th, “Nine Other Sharia-financed Projects Hollywood Should Boycott,” noted:

Brunei will now operate under laws that “call for violent punishment, including amputation and death by stoning, against those engaging in same-sex activity and extramarital sexual relations and those committing adultery.” And as Big Hollywood’s John Nolte stated:

“Hopefully, rather than using gay rights as a weak and hypocritical excuse to single out and beat up on conservative Christians, this is the first step of a Hollywood that will use its awesome power to call attention to the very real and tragic horrors homosexuals face in Islamic countries.”

In honoring that “first step,” we hereby recommend that Hollywood leverage its massive market power against other Sharia law targets.

The Movie Promised Land.Matt Damon’s anti-fracking diatribe was funded by the royal family of the United Arab Emirates. As Lachlan Markey of Heritage Foundation writes, “Promised Land was also produced ‘in association’ with Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media…The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE.”

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival and The Dubai Film Festival. Stars like Uma Thurman and Adrian Brody have attended the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. And the Dubai Film Festival – Dubai is a member of the UAE as well — has attracted celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Oliver Stone, Gerard Butler, Salma Hayek, Richard Gere, Ben Affleck, Brad Bird, and others.

Al Jazeera America. Al Gore had no problem taking hundreds of millions of dollars from the government of Qatar to sell his Current TV to Al Jazeera America. Qatar is ruled by a combination of civil and sharia law. Sodomy is punishable by between one and three years in prison. Qatar is now cooperating with the Gulf Cooperative Countries to apply an anti-gay test to those who wish to immigrate to the country.

Bank of America. Qatar currently holds a $1 billion stake in Bank of America.

Major Universities Including Harvard, Georgetown, Columbia, University of Arkansas and Berkeley. All these major universities have taken serious cash from the Saudi government. In 2005, Prince Alwaleed bin Tala Alsaud handed $20 million to Harvard and another $20 million to Georgetown. He stated, “Bridging the understanding between East and West is important for peace and tolerance.” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia stated, “The gift will deepen Georgetown’s ability to advance education in the fields of Islamic civilization and Muslim-Christian understanding, and strengthen its presence as a world leader in facilitating cross-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.” Saudi Arabia punishes homosexuality with penalties ranging from death to lashings, from chemical castration to prison sentences.

Of course, former president Bill Clinton, in his lucrative speaking schedule and continent-hopping, has spoken in the Gulf fiefdoms a number of times. And, oh, yes, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council owns most of that icon of American capitalism, the Chrysler Building – just for starters about what else the petro princes own in this country.

Daniel Greenfield on FrontPage ran an interesting and revealing post on May 6th about the gamboling of the Sultan’s gazillionaire offspring, “Will the Sultan of Brunei Stone His Gay Son to Death?”

Hollywood celebrities are protesting Brunei’s adoption of Sharia Islamic law because it could mean gay men being stoned to death. Not to mention women. Also everyone from Christians to anyone who drinks a glass of beer could face cruel medieval punishments.

Brunei’s ruling family, like those of most oil-rich nations, has been notorious for its party lifestyle. A member of the Sultan’s harem has described violating his Sharia law together with the Sultan.

I could go on, but what would be the point? Whatever Azim’s sexual preference is, does anyone believe that Islamic law would apply to him any more than it did to his uncle?

It’s not just that Islamic law is evil, but that it doesn’t apply to the elites who stone, whip and beat their people, but spend all their time partying.

Vanity Fair in July 2011, ran a piece by Mark Seal which explodes the pious, born-again-Muslim faith of the Sultan and his brother and offspring. Well, not so much the offspring.

For six weeks, starting last November 8, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in Manhattan, the two sides in a most unusual trial presented equally outlandish stories. The plaintiff, Prince Jefri Bolkiah, Brunei’s notorious royal playboy, who has probably gone through more cash than any other human being on earth, tried to convince the jury that he was extremely naïve when it came to financial matters. He claimed that he never signed checks and that his business affairs had been managed entirely by four private secretaries and a coterie of advisers and attorneys, who ran his estimated 250 companies and all his other concerns.

By casting himself in that light, Prince Jefri, 56, hoped to make the jury believe that two of his own lawyers, Faith Zaman and Thomas Derbyshire, the attractive British husband-and-wife team sitting at the defense table, had ripped him off to the tune of a reported $23 million. This wasn’t necessarily a bad strategy, because soon it seemed that only a simpleton would not have noticed the blatant chicanery he was accusing these attorneys of committing.

Imagine. And this is not a Sharia court, either, but an American law court. But the Sultan’s sons, discussed by Greenfield above, are just as profligate, and this might be more in tune with Hollywood’s newly-cast crowd of protesting extras. Mark Seal wrote about the Sultan and his brother:

Back home, the sultan erected a 1,788-room palace on 49 acres, “which is without equal in the world for offensive and ugly display,” in the words of one British magnate, and celebrated his 50th birthday with a blowout featuring a concert by Michael Jackson, who was reportedly paid $17 million, in a stadium built for the occasion. (When the sultan flew in Whitney Houston for a performance, he is rumored to have given her a blank check and instructed her to fill it in for what she thought she was worth: more than $7 million, it turned out.) The brothers routinely traveled with 100-member entourages and emptied entire inventories of stores such as Armani and Versace, buying 100 suits of the same color at a time. When they partied, they indulged in just about everything forbidden in a Muslim country. Afforded four wives by Islamic law, they left their multiple spouses and scores of children in their palaces while they allegedly sent emissaries to comb the globe for the sexiest women they could find in order to create a harem the likes of which the world had never known…..

The Vanity Fair article contains much, much more detailed dirt on the Sultan and his family, but you’ll need to read it yourselves.

So, what’s the big deal about Sharia as practiced in Brunei? After all, Muslims practice it in every Western country named above, either formally, in lawsuits against “Islamophobic” critics or against communities that don’t want mosques built anywhere near civilized people, or in impromptu applications of it, when they rape indigenous, non-Muslim women, establish no-go areas in Western cities, or demand that non-Muslims conform to their religious, dietary, and social practices.

Hollywood’s notion of “social justice” relating to the Sultan of Brunei is very late in coming. And the telling thing about the protests is that the Sultan’s imposition of Sharia in that pitiful country directly attacks Hollywood’s own notorious “lifestyle.” Suppose the Sultan had rounded up all the non-Muslims in Brunei, and had them executed? Would Hollywood turn out in its Birkenstocks and designer jeans to protest that?

Doubtful. If you’re not a Muslim in Brunei and are persecuted, it’s all your fault. After all, you can take “tolerance” too far.

  • Paula Douglas

    It’s pretty rich that Stephen Fry was out there protesting repression since he’s a signatory to the Leveson Report, in which the British entertainment and media industries lobbied for the right to braid the censorship noose for their own necks and throw it over the tree branch, besides.

  • http://www.nrk.no/ Birger Skruddusvingen

    This is a very well written piece indeed. Thank you, Mr. Cline.