John Derbyshire, is a contributor to the National Review and the New English Review and has also penned several books, one fiction and the other two dealing with mathematics and politics. From all appearances Derbyshire seems like an intelligent man but that’s when you realize that individuals who appear intelligent on the surface can believe and say utterly stupid things.
Derbyshire has stated, “I am a homophobe, though a mild and tolerant one, and a racist, though an even more mild and tolerant one.” He can add that he is an Islamophobe and a not so tolerant one to the list as well. In an NRO column he explains why he takes issue with the term Islamophobia which he discussed previously in a review of Robert Spencer‘s book Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t. Amongst other denunciations of Islam and Muslims, Derbyshire writes that he would answer “yes” to the following question,
Would it be wise of Western countries, in the present state of affairs, to “fence off” Islam — that is, to deny entry to foreign Muslims, to expel — regretfully, politely, and humanely, but firmly — resident foreign Muslims, and to restrict the activities of Muslim citizens (preventing them, for example, from proselytizing in our jails, or working in defense establishments)?
Derbyshire’s mantra seems to be “If you build it, they won’t come.” By building this figurative wall and excluding Muslims he is sending a message that Muslims aren’t equal and we have to keep the barbarian hordes out, that the unfortunate fact that we have Muslims in this country means that we have to restrict their activities.
One wonders why The National Review which was founded by William Buckley to serve as a conduit for Conservative thought and dispel myths about Conservatism would traffic in such banalities? It is no surprise that someone such as Derbyshire, a self-admitted racist, would also be an Islamophobe but it is quite another thing for a publication which proclaims to be respectable and “the most widely read in America” to give him a platform.
In the end Derbyshire would do well to read Robert Frost‘s poem the Mending Wall where he wrote, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” meaning there is something in our nature that is adverse to: barriers, fences, walls, artificial obstacles that are created to divide and isolate.