Well, why can’t we? It’s a good question, and a reader in the UK emailed us earlier today wanting to know the answer:
I am a regular reader of your (mostly) excellent blog, as I am very worried about the inroads of radical Islam in the UK.
But I have one severe criticism to make. I rate Jihad Watch higher than Gates of Vienna because it has focus, which you are in danger of losing. Your blog is ostensibly devoted to Muslim mayhem, but at the moment you are galloping off in an entirely new direction.
Maybe some or many of your readers are preoccupied with how US healthcare is to be funded, but, to put it bluntly, it is not a Muslim thing, is it? It is not on my radar at all, as I reckon it is a purely internal matter of US politics.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this respect. I’m genuinely curious to know how you reckon this subject fits in. And my advice is to take a leaf out of the book of the excellent Robert Spencer, and to keep on topic.
I got to the email first this morning, so I happened to be the one who responded to our British reader. Here’s what I told him:
Jihad Watch is and always has been a better blog than Gates of Vienna. That’s fine with me. Cream rises to the top!
The primary concern of Jihad Watch is — duh — jihad. But Gates of Vienna is about the gates of Vienna — that is, the portals that guard Western culture from forces that would destroy it.
Our major concern is Islam, but it is not our only concern. In fact, the disease which is killing us is socialism, transnational Marxism, Leftism — call it what you will. Islam is just a symptom, a virus of opportunity that has invaded our debilitated body politic.
So the healthcare bill, being a major socialist coup, is definitely “Marxist mayhem”. It’s significant, and, yes, we will post about it from time to time.
And sometimes we post about other things that interest us. I particularly like to write essays about history and poetry. Many readers have emailed me to say how much they enjoy and appreciate such posts, and that these essays are part of what makes our blog exceptional. It’s unfortunate for you that you are unable to experience them in the same way.
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Blogs have their specialties. No one can beat Jihad Watch for breadth of information about the Islamic danger. On the other hand, Jihad Watch cannot subtitle videos in Czech nor rapidly obtain expert translations from Dutch, Finnish, or Norwegian. That’s one of the niches that we just happen to occupy.
Our specialty remains our own peculiar specialty, and it attracts fewer readers than Jihad Watch or View From the Right.
My goal, however, is not to gain more readers — readers will arrive in whatever numbers are appropriate to the interest our material stimulates. If I simply wanted more readers, my best bet would be to post photos of naked celebrities — that would really bring ’em in!
My goal is to tell the truth about what seems important to me, and at the same time to build an extensive and resilient transatlantic network of like-minded anti-jihad people. I aim to do this with virtually no money, so that when the real crash comes, the network will survive relatively intact — when everyone else is losing funding, we will have no funding to lose.
In other words, I have no interest in becoming rich, famous, prominent, or widely-read. My reasons for doing what I do are different.
Thanks for sharing.
Gates of Vienna
This reminds me of the old days, when I was a poverty-stricken landscape artist. People who observed my plight would sometimes want to know why I didn’t paint subjects that were more marketable.
One time an acquaintance asked me, “Why don’t you paint waterfalls and lighthouses, things like that? People would really want to buy them.”
I retorted: “Why don’t you f*** people for money?”
It may well be that our modus operandi at Gates of Vienna is not the most effective course of action. It’s certainly not in our own best personal interests. However, the prospect of trying to make this blog more “marketable” fills me with revulsion — I can’t do it, anymore than I could paint pictures of woeful kittens with huge plaintive eyes.
If readers find anything useful here, that’s good. If not, Jihad Watch and many other excellent Counterjihad websites are out there, and they will certainly be able to meet your needs.