Thursday, October 16, 2014
In the comments section of the Jihad Watch article on Bosch Fawstin referenced by my previous essay (The mild-mannered Moderate Muslim), he provided a link to an article on his own blog where he explains his personal views on Islam in a little more detail. My dismay dawned on me as I read it, and only increased as I thought about it. It's remarkable how many permutations of the crypto-Moderate Muslim Fawstin manages to pack in there in that brief article.
In light of that, I am troubled by a number of assertions (all essentially permutations of one assertion) therein; for example:
“Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t.”
This seems to rest on a sweeping assumption of what reasonably must be millions, even hundreds of millions, of Muslims all over the world—a sweeping assumption in their favor (benefit of the doubt). Certainly, Fawstin doesn’t leave it there but does offer a degree of guarded skepticism about all these (seemingly) non-extremist Muslims:
“But that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad… The problem I have with many of these essentially non-Muslim Muslims, especially in the middle of this war being waged on us by their more consistent co-religionists, is that they give the enemy cover.”
How do these “non-Muslim Muslims” give the enemy cover?
“They force us to play a game of Muslim Roulette since we can’t tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does. And their indifference about the evil being committed in the name of their religion is a big reason why their reputation is where it is.”
Fawstin also uses other terms to flesh out the description of this “indifference”—namely, “their silence and inaction against jihad”.
However, given the essential problem we are faced with, which Fawstin acknowledges—to wit, the game of Muslim Roulette since we can’t tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does—the various permutations of Muslims who are “not our problem” would be a perfectly worthless category for our primary priority, the safety of our societies. Fawstin, like most Jihad Watchers, acknowledges this Muslim Roulette problem, but simultaneously assumes a sweeping knowledge about Muslims that contradicts this very same problem.
In his case, he seems to base this on his personal experience—viz., “I’ve been around Muslims my entire life and most of them truly don’t care about Islam.”
I’m sorry, but this isn’t enough to solve the Muslim Roulette problem.
As I noted, it’s downright fascinating how many terms Fawstin comes up with to describe these Muslims who somehow wiggle out of the Muslim Roulette problem (even as at the same time they are, as he himself points out, facilitating that very problem):
Muslims who don’t take Islam seriously
essentially non-Muslim Muslims
less consistent Muslims (the negative complement of his phrase “more consistent co-religionists”)
Muslims who truly don’t care about Islam
Objectively good human beings, who identify themselves as Muslim
personally peaceful individual Muslims
your average Muslim [who] is morally superior to Mohammad.
Of these Muslims, Fawstin reiterates that they “are not our problem, but neither are they the solution to our problem.” This clearly implies that for him, he is assuming that these types of Muslim (all basically one type in different configurations) are passively inert, not helping us, but also not hurting us (remember their “indifference” and “their silence and inaction against jihad”). How is this not aiding and abetting the deadly game of Muslim Roulette?
Unless Fawstin agrees that such Muslims should be treated by us with the same suspicion we would treat the other Muslims (which would be logical for him, given his agreement that we can’t tell the difference between these two types anyway), one wonders why he insists on calling attention to the distinction, as reflected in the various formulations of that distinction in which his brief article is positively replete, as my list has documented.
I don’t dispute that any one or more of these types of Muslims exist; the point is, this hypothetical existence is of no pragmatic usefulness to us, if we can’t actually know—as Fawstin himself acknowledges—“which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does”. Obviously, this means that all those types of Muslims I listed from Fawstin’s various descriptions cannot be differentiated—with a reliability sufficient for our #1 priority, our public safety—from the dangerous Muslims. So why does he bring them up so copiously in his argument? (And why do so many Jihad Watchers do more or less the same?)
One anonymous civilian cuts through the "Counter-Jihad" horsefeathers
The Mutation of the "Moderate Muslim"
And from 2011, my first essay on Fawstin: Still asymptotic after all these years: the case of Bosch Fawstin.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Bosch Fawstin is a comic book artist who has devoted his career to producing counter-jihad comics. Jihad Watch recently showcased an interview with him, in which the viewer gets a thumbnail overview of his role in the war of ideas.
Given the inherent limitations of a brief interview calculated to hit only the punchy bullet points, Fawstin articulates well the overarching problem of Islam. However, he only makes passing allusions to what I consider to be the more important facet of that problem -- not so much Islam, and not so much the Extremists who ostentatiously broadcast their Extremism: but rather, the vast majority of seeming harmless Muslims, the so-called "Moderate Muslims". Now, Fawstin according to his interview grew up in a Muslim family -- a "moderate" Muslim family as he himself says. In this regard, one of his passing allusions near the beginning of his interview breezes by rather briefly, but it is startling: His own "moderate" Muslim family regularly evinced hatred of Jews, misogyny, and beating of women.
One reasonably surmises that had little Bosch as he was growing up in this family thought to examine and interrogate his family more closely, he would have found all the other ingredients of mainstream Islamic fanaticism, including seditious support for jihad (both stealth and terror jihads) along with the taqiyya deception that normally is used to try to conceal the aforementioned whenever it is deemed to be necessary to dissemble to the surrounding Kuffar in order to advance Islam.
As I put it in a comment in the thread of the Jihad Watch article:
"Given what this was, a relatively short interview with a (thankfully) respectful interviewer (exceedingly rare in the mainstream on this issue), I see no constructive criticism necessary; but I do most emphatically think that our general communication of this problem has to formulate a cogent and concise way to explain the problem of the moderate Muslim: I.e., we need to take the next step after explaining that Islam itself is not moderate — which BF did well — to explaining why there exist so many seemingly harmless Muslims out there (and all around us in the West), and why their harmlessness is only seeming.
"That is the subtler and more difficult challenge in the battle space of the war of ideas in which all of us, no matter how we do it and whether we even know it, are deputized as soldiers of one sort or another."
Now Bosch, in his admirable and brave role as a counter-jihad soldier through the medium of art, has created several counter-jihad comic characters, including most (in)famously Pigman, who, as he describes him in the interview:
"is... an ex-Muslim character... dress[ed] up in pigskin leather... [who] take[s] on the jihadist... go[es] to the Middle East and do[es] what our government is not doing..."
-- which, he goes on to imply, is to "wipe out the enemy".
My bright idea for Bosch at this point would be the creation of a new comic super antihero calculated to highlight my above-mentioned concern about the problem of the Moderate Muslim. Perhaps riff off of the gold standard of the comic superhero, and call the new character Supermuslim -- a blatantly extremist Muslim super-villain who wreaks the usual mayhem, misery & mass-murder that mainstream Islam has been fomenting for centuries right up to our present day -- and his alter ego: the mild-mannered Islamic Clark Kent, Moderate Muslim.
Alternately, the character vacillates from the one to the other, and the Western Mainstream, naturally, is nary the wiser as to the identity of the two as one person. When he's Supermuslim (aka "Saladin Akbar"), he beats his chest like Anjem Choudry and perpetrates super-terrorism around the world with his Mohammedan minions. When he disguises himself as his mild-mannered self, Moderate Muslim (aka "Sal Snackbar"), he dons glasses, Western attire, takes off his fake beard, and goes to work as a liberal professor in a Western college, teaching his classes about peaceful Islam and the golden age of Andalus, and regularly giving press interviews about how terrorism has "nothing to do with Islam".
It's just an idea.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Erich Maria von Remarque, 1929
֍ ֍ ֍
This appalling litany of human rights and security monstrosities spans only the past three weeks (and it's only what Muslims have been doing in the West -- it's not counting all the shit they have been doing in various parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia). Clearly, all's not quite quiet on the Western front (notwithstanding what our PC MC mainstream keeps insisting arrogantly and obtusely); and it's clear that the problem of a Pan-Islamic Revival is metastasizing increasingly in these first decades of the 21st century.
Rhode Island: Three elementary schools get beheading threat; similar threats in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
Norway: Laughing men hoist Islamic State flags in Oslo; EU expert says jihad songs used at beheadings “not extremism”
Australia: 11 suspected jihad terrorists nabbed at airports, had images of beheadings and Islamic jihad propaganda
Islamic State jihadi from UK calls on Muslims living in the West to “cause real damage” in their countries
Oklahoma beheader’s city: Man with “thick Arabic accent” enters high school unauthorized, asks “suspicious questions”
Boston Marathon jihad mass murderer’s sister: “I have people. I know people that can put a bomb where you live.”
Robert Spencer comments: Jah’Keem Yisrael [the Oklahoma beheader's Muslim name] was shouting Islamic phrases as he stabbed and beheaded. He is clearly a devout Muslim. He has photos on his Facebook page glorifying beheadings and showing him giving the one-finger sign of allegiance to the Islamic State -- and also "Oklahoma beheader wanted to spread message of Islam after release from prison"
Australia: Teen Muslim who screamed “Slaughter the Christians” outside Christian college charged with intimidation
Norway: Muslims planned to enter random family’s house, cut their throats and post the video on the Internet
Australia: Muslim who threatened Prime Minister stabs police officer and federal agent, is shot dead
Again in UK: Muslim rape gangs targeted girls in Sheffield, care worker kept mum, fearing being called racist
Belgium thwarts jihad mass murder plots by Muslims returning from Syria and Islamic State sympathizers
Austria: Imam accused of driving teen girls to jihad in Syria, says his words were taken out of context
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Most in the Counter-Jihad ("such as it is", as Diana West once wryly remarked) by now have seen the TV show where actor Ben Affleck was parroting and regurgitating PC MC memes left and right in defense of Muslims and Islam, while liberal atheist Sam Harris and libertarian libertine Bill Maher were offering up spirited (albeit still Islamo-illiterate) rebuttals. After the initial smoke cleared, Harris posted a video about it and offered up additional analysis (which, by the way, Robert Spencer praised, even though, as he noted, Harris has been rather rude to him and others Harris has termed "right wing").
Of that video, Spencer wrote:
…In this video, for example, Harris dismisses critics of Islam and jihad who came before him as “fascists” and right wing nuts, without pausing to consider that perhaps his opinions of them are the consequence of previous smear campaigns much like the one of which he is the target.
To which I say:
The cat’s cradle of the PC MC paradigm is very hard to extricate oneself from. Sometimes the way out is the Alexandrian solution of cutting the Gordian knot; but that requires an ability to think outside the Box, and it seems Harris is trying to image (and imagine) three dimensions while remaining a citizen in good standing of Flatland (even while its self-appointed commisars, Affleck, Kristof, et al., are threatening him with the ostracism of persona non grata).
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
A couple of years ago, I drafted an essay for The Hesperado, but never got around to finishing it. I'll reproduce my introduction first, the better to make the punchline (below the row of asterisks after the introduction) all the more grimly juicy:
I look forward to perusing an old book, scanned and made available for free at Google Books:
Mohammed and Mohammedanism (that title alone is incorrectly promising), subtltled "Lectures Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in February and March, 1871".
And one reasonably expects that, as it was conceived and published in that hallowed period of the late 19th century (lectures by R. Bosworth Smith, a fellow at Oxford, written in 1872, delivered in 1874, published in 1875), the Islamoliteracy therein will demonstrate robust signs of being free of the dogmatic blinders of PC MC so typical in our time -- we who now in our 21st century have the misfortune to live in the shadow of two massive movements: a global revival of deadly, bloody Islam, and the Age of the Great Inhibition (as Hugh Fitzgerald has dubbed it) in terms of speaking honestly and intelligently about that global revival.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Oy, was I wrong about Prof. Bosworth Smith! His prose reeks of PC MC Kumbaya Christian Wilsonianism -- or I should say, "proto-PC MC", since he flourished so long before the accustomed era of that sociopolitical neurosis. Usually, we think of the 1960s as marking the beginning of Political Correctness. I used to agree, until I kept running across texts by various scholars and historians prior to that demarcation which espoused PC MC in one way or another, some of them going back not only before the Sixties, but even back to the 19th century. I published various essays about this phenomenon:
PC MC in 1917
When did PC MC begin? Second case study
When did PC MC begin? Third case study
When did PC MC begin? Fourth case study
When did PC MC begin? More info on that question...
What really took the cake and opened my eyes to getting out of the Box on this was my study of an essay by the great French philosopher and statesman, Michel de Montaigne, titled "On Cannibalism" -- written in the 16th century, and yet quite saturated with many of the principles of PC MC, as I analyzed in my article Montaigne: Godfather of PC MC?
So, I wasn't so much surprised when I saw R. Bosworth Smith launch so soon in his book into the nauseating treacle of PC MC type language, but nevertheless -- like Herbert Lom's wearily aggrieved, bitterly longsuffering Commissioner Charles Dreyfus in The Pink Panther who, after the thousandth time he had to suffer Inspector Clouseau's insufferable idiocy, twitches a traumatized smile and flinches a tic of his left eye, no longer feels the pain of his third, or fourth, or fifth finger lopped off by his little cigar guillotine -- I was deeply disappointed in a battle fatigued sort of way.
Without further ado, I quote from the esteemed morosoph, Prof. R. Bosworth Smith (adding bolded emphasis for the politically correct spasms along the way) writing in 1875:
A Christian who retains that paramount allegiance to Christianity which is his birthright, and yet attempts, without favor and without prejudice, to portray another religion, is inevitably exposed to misconstruction. In the study of his subject he will have been struck sometimes by the extraordinary resemblance between his own creed and another, sometimes by the sharpness of the contrast; and, in order to avoid those misrepresentations, which are, unfortunately, never so common as where they ought to be unknown—in the discussion of religious questions—he will be tempted, in filling in the portrait, to project his own personal predilections on the canvas, and to bring the differences into full relief, while he leaves the resemblances in shadow. And yet a comparison between two systems, if it is to have any fruitful results, if its object is to unite rather than divide, if, in short, it is to be of the spirit of the Founder of Christianity, must, in matters of religion above all, be based on what is common to both. There is, in the human race, in spite of their manifold diversities, a good deal of human nature; enough, at all events, to entitle us to assume that the Founders of any two religious systems which have had a great and continued hold upon a large part of mankind must have had many points of contact. Accordingly, in comparing, as he has done to some extent, the founder of Islam with the Founder of Christianity—a comparison which, if it were not expressed, would always be implied—the author of these Lectures has thought it right mainly to dwell on that aspect of the character of Christ, which, being admitted by Mussulmans as well as Christians, by foes as well as friends, may possibly serve as a basis, if not for an ultimate agreement, at all events for an agreement to differ from one another upon terms of greater sympathy and forbearance, of understanding and of respect.
[Just a second, kind readers, I must retrieve my barf bedpan from the adjoining lumber room... Right! Back to the learned fool:]
That Islam will ever give way to Christianity in the East, however much we may desire it, and whatever good would result to the world, it is difficult to believe; but it is certain that Mohammedans may learn much from Christians and yet remain Mohammedans, and that Christians have something at least to learn from Mohammedans, which will make them not less but more Christian than they were before. If we would conquer Nature, we must first obey her; and the Fourth Lecture is an attempt to show, from a full recognition of the facts of Nature underlying both religions—of the points of difference as well as of resemblance—that Mohammedanism, if it can never become actually one with Christianity, may yet, by a process of mutual approximation and mutual understanding, prove its best ally. In other words, the author believes that their [sic] is a unity above and beyond that unity of Christendom which, properly understood, all earnest Christians so much desire: a unity which rests upon the belief that "the children of one Father may worship him under different names; that they may be influenced by one spirit, even though they know it not; that they may all have one hope, even if they have not one faith.
[There's really no need to read his book further, I can see; for in his anxious need to be "fair" and "balanced" he has congenially lost his head; for not everything in life is "good and bad". Some things are thoroughly diseased, dangerous and demonic; and to be authentically and accurately fair and balanced about those things would produce -- perforce and precisely -- a round and robust condemnation and evisceration, and nothing less.]
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
As I've been saying for a long time now, the Counter-Jihad (some day, hopefully, to become the A.I.M. -- the Anti-Islam Movement) needs to graduate beyond its massively implicit distinction between Islam and Muslims (e.g., "We condemn Islam, not Muslims") and realize that 1) Muslims are the problem of Islam actualized, and 2) a comforting taxonomy of Muslims (viz., into Harmless and Dangerous, with an incoherent spectrum of gradations in between) is impossible.
The following points along our public trajectory do not, in my opinion, reflect a sufficiently ascending curve:
George Bush (September 17, 2001)
Jack Straw (October, 2009)
Robert Spencer (April 2011)
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
On the definition of terrorism, the UK Guardian had a helpful piece ages ago—ironically published about 4 months prior to 9/11 (just avoid the Leftish assumptions the writer slips in here and there)—analyzing the official US definition put out by the State Department:
“Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”
However, the State Department adds qualifiers to clarify what is meant by “noncombatants”:
The state department regards attacks against “noncombatant* targets” as terrorism. But follow the asterisk to the small print and you find that “noncombatants” includes both civilians and military personnel who are unarmed or off duty at the time. Several examples are given, such as the 1986 disco bombing in Berlin, which killed two servicemen.
The most lethal bombing in the Middle East last year was the suicide attack on USS Cole in Aden harbour which killed 17 American sailors and injured 39 more.
As the ship was armed and its crew on duty at the time, why is this classified as terrorism? Look again at the small print, which adds: “We also consider as acts of terrorism attacks on military installations or on armed military personnel when a state of military hostilities does not exist at the site, such as bombings against US bases.”
The slaughter at Fort Hood in late 2009, for example, was terrorism under this definition (and certainly not the laughable "workplace violence" President Obama has seen fit to label it). Calling it “terrorism”, however, is a bit too general. It's like calling an orange “a plant”—when it’s more pertinent to call an orange “a citrus fruit”. That one-man commando operation by (American Muslim Major and Army Psychiatrist in the U.S. Army) Nidal Malik Hasan, then, was more specifically a razzia—itself a subcategory of qital—the violent form of Jihad (e.g., in its imperative form qatiloo in verse 9:29 of the Koran, properly translated as "Kill", though too often softened as "Fight")—i.e., the war which Muslims have been waging against the West unremittingly for 1,400 years, never ceasing, only either pretending to cease or taking a break due to circumstances of weakness, and now being renewed with escalating vigor in a global revival of Islam.
It’s not apples and oranges: By their fruits ye shall know them.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Reading through the comments to a recent report on Jihad Watch by Robert Spencer summing up his rather punches-pulled misgivings of the latest attempt at moderation by the colubrine Maajid Nawaz, I must say I’m pleasantly stunned -- that pretty much all the comments by and large express the more rigorous skepticism that Robert Spencer should have hedged his bets with.
This latest Maajid Nawaz communiqué must be seen for what we must reasonably suppose it is (if our Reason, that is, has appropriately assimilated and digested the horrible mountain of data of Islam’s Twin Peaks of Violent Jihad & Stealth Jihad over the years): To wit, the sly Good Cop (who, we must recall, does not exist except as a tactical appendage in collusion with the Bad Cop) has upped his game.
Allow me to repeat more tersely for those Counter-Jihad readers who need punchy bromides:
The sly Good Cop has upped his game. That’s all that is happening here.
We may say Maajid is trying the uniform of the Better Cop on for size. It’s a phenomenon I have noted has been happening increasingly: As the global revival of Islam continues to unfold and metastasize, its naturally attendant effects of hatred, horror and terror and grotesquely ghoulish evil have had the result of chipping away at the massive ice shelf of Complacent PC MC Denial that immobilizes the West, and some more adroit and astute Stealth Jihadists, like Maajid Nawaz, seem to notice this with alarm, and decide to do their part in the Stealth Jihad by going daringly further in their Faux Moderation. In doing this extra Good Cop maneuver, above and beyond the call of Jihad Booty, their target audience is not the mainstream (the usual tried & true target of the classic Stealth Jihadist) -- but rather, precisely, the Counter-Jihad (or pale resemblances of it in the mainstream, like Megyn Kelly of FOX News).
And it is dismaying that Spencer entertains it at all and effectively lends it his imprimatur of credence, rather than summarily dispatching it to the outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing, the gnashing of teeth, and the biting of forked snake tongues. For that means that the Good Cop tactic works -- or has a chance of working (though it is salutary, again, that the comments thus far, by and large (with some rough edges of specious assumptions and axioms here and there that need sanding down with a few applications of a power sander) have shown a remarkable awareness of the thoroughly suspect nature of Nawaz.
One detects the likely reason for Spencer’s egregious lapse. Before I get to that, I note that I tend to think that by now, after all these years, I’ve been around the Jihad Block, utterly weary and jaded of all the cluelessness of the mainstream, and all the wrongheaded habits of the Counter-Jihad (against which I have been hitting my head for years now on my blog and in various lifetimes and incarnations here in JW comments as well as over across the hall in that camera non grata, the Gates of Vienna blog); and yet, darned if I can still be surprised. It hit me on reading Spencer’s analysis that he actually believes that the notion of calling for a change in the Muslim mindset about their religion is actually a realistic proposition! I guess I assumed he was being rhetorical all these years, in order to underscore and highlight what was monumentally NOT being done by Muslims. I.e., I guess I thought he was being rational about this. To think that Muslims en masse could actually reverse course of their 1,400-year warship of worship and turn it radically around in a uniquely unprecedented way for which there is not the slightest shred of an iota of a scintilla of evidence is even the remotest possibility -- at least, that is, if your Bullshit Detector is set on “Reasonably Ruthlessly Skeptical” rather than on “Asymptotically Gullible” (with the “Christian Wilsonian” switch, in this case, additionally activated)!
Sometimes clichés come in handy, and one comes desperately to mind now: something about a snowball, and its chances… in Hell, I believe…