A few years ago, I was applying for jobs in the Lower 48 when I came upon a particularly promising one. It was a live-in assistant to a wealthy retired couple. When it looked like the job might be a "go," I sent them a picture that was taken of me holding my 18-month-old daughter.
That evening, I received a glacial phone call saying they were no longer interested in my services. I was bewildered and kept pushing for an explanation. I was finally told that they could not hire "a traitor to the white race" as I had given birth to a black child. I was helping to increase "the mud people" and therefore was "a mud person" myself ... a term that white supremacists use to describe all people who are not white and Christian.
These folks were originally from the UK so it was my first introduction to European racism. After some research I discovered that there was a strong undercurrent of anti-immigration prejudice happening in the UK and the rest of Europe.
Enter UK-born Canadian Mark Steyn and his book "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It." Steyn's skilled writing and sarcastic humor distract from the bigotry of his unscientifically-based assertions regarding a Muslim "breeding conspiracy." He discusses the birthrate decline in the "white" European population and the "danger" that poses.
UK journalist Johann Hari described the premise of the book this way:
"An unassimilated, culturally confident Muslim mass will slowly become the majority, and demand the demoralised multicultural 'natives' integrate with them. At times, Steyn implies this shift is the result of a conscious political conspiracy. Orianna Fallacci -- whose 'bravery' he praises -- said that Muslims 'have been told to come here and breed like rats.' "
Steyn writes: "Today, a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman ... There are three strategies Islam deploys against a dying West: first, demography; second, conversion; and third, the murky 'intertwining' of modern technology and ancient hatreds."
One would not expect such a book to be used as reference material.
However, Sen. Ted Stevens did so recently in a rant reminiscent of "Grandfather Abraham" from "The Simpsons" when asked about his supporting votes on Real ID and the Patriot Act. It was caught on video, available on the Daily News' Alaska Politics blog or YouTube:
"Read the book 'America Alone.' " Stevens said. "A lot of people complain about that book ... Look at the demographic concepts of that book and just think about what's going on in the world and decide whether we want to become Italy or we want to become France, in terms of our society and how it's impacted by those who are really against us."
It's bad enough that a sitting U.S. senator references a book that portrays fanatic jihad as the eventual goal of the religion of Islam, rather than the distortion of a small percentage of Muslims.
It's bad enough that a sitting U.S. senator recommends a book where the author states on page 5:
"In a democratic age, you can't buck demography -- except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out -- as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can't outbreed the enemy, cull 'em."
The most horrendous point is that Senate leader Ted Stevens promotes this devoid-of-scientific-research tripe as the influence behind his domestic security policy!
I've seen no story about this in the mainstream media.
U.S. Muslim leader Imam Zoubir Bouchikhi was in Anchorage this week meeting with the Alaska faithful and religious leaders. I had a chance to ask for his thoughts on Ted Stevens' comments during an interview on Cary Carrigan's morning show. Among them:
"There is a great deal of fear spread by politicians and we know why. I think that's a great disservice to the American people. To spread peace is the right thing."
Another disservice is when their elected leaders make incendiary statements and are not held accountable.
Linda Kellen Biegel is a local blogger who was chosen as Alaska's "state blogger" to the Democratic National Convention. To see the video of Sen. Stevens' remark, see the Daily News' Alaska Politics blog July 2 entry. It's in the second half of the first video posted there.