“They know only violence”

Kevin Drum points to a post by Matthew Yglesias about the stereotype that Arabs understand only violence and compulsion.

Sad to say, it is an old stereotype…

[A] host of preconceived inherited notions about the Algerian were accepted uncritically [by the French settlers of the 1950s], without examining either their veracity or causation: he was incorrigibly idle and incompetent; he only understood force; he was an innate criminal, and an instinctive rapist.

Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962; New York: Viking, 1978 [1977]; pg. 54

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