Tuesday, December 16, 2014
This important article by Andrew Bostom notes a 2004 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal which reported the crucial detail -- largely ignored by nearly everyone -- that the main impetus and vision of the Bush Cheney policy vis-à-vis the problem of Islam was to try to solve the problem of obviously metastasizing terrorism consequent upon 911 with a strategy of democratizing Muslims (which, perforce, of course, implies the disastrously neo-Wilsonian view that Muslims are capable of becoming "democratic").
One critical part of that op-ed quoted by Bostom:
Call it the Lewis Doctrine. Though never debated in Congress or sanctified by presidential decree, Mr. Lewis’s diagnosis of the Muslim world’s malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast… As mentor and informal adviser to some top U.S. officials, Mr. Lewis has helped coax the White House to shed decades of thinking about Arab regimes and the use of military power. Gone is the notion that U.S. policy in the oil-rich region should promote stability above all, even if it means taking tyrants as friends. Also gone is the corollary notion that fostering democratic values in these lands risks destabilizing them. Instead, the Lewis Doctrine says fostering Mideast democracy is not only wise but imperative.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
As I have come to realize, the problem (of Islam) -- and the problem of the problem (i.e., the West's ongoing myopia about the problem) -- is not so much Islam, but Muslims.
The seemingly secularized in a smarmy way, You Tube news mogul (and self-defined ex-Muslim atheist) Cenk Uygur, in this long one-on-one conversation he had recently with Sam Harris, helpfully frames the issue with this crucial focus -- though Cenk's motivation, of course, we must reasonably assume, is not clarity but obfuscation in a pursuit of the Stealth Jihad-of-the-Pen (or updated to Jihad of the Tube).
And here's an amusing and incisive parody of this conversation by a You-Tuber named "Atheism is Unstoppable".
Also, the same guy produced a nice dressing-down of Cenk in this Tube chop I prepared. (From his list of videos, he also seems to take on Christianity, but I haven't assessed to what degree; the two videos I've seen thus far indicate he's not an Equivalencist). The full video is here.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Is it just me, or did Cenk Uygur's glibly secularized mask slip here ever so slightly...?
(From a one-on-one discussion that host and creator of the "Young Turks" online news show -- who, by the way, claims he's an ex-Muslim atheist -- had recently with Sam Harris; about which I'll have more to say soon.)
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
How to pronounce Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu.
Who or what is this Turkish noodle soup of letters? He is, as Frank Gaffney has said, perhaps the most important man in the world; and certainly the most unknown important man in the world -- until recently (before his bid this summer to become President of Turkey), the Secretary-General of the O.I.C. (the Organization of Islamic Cooperation).
And what is the O.I.C.? It is an international organization that, as Stephen Coughlin says in this fine piece, remains also virtually unknown -- even among high-level government and intelligence officials in the West whose business it is to know such things (particularly with a war on terror going on, one would think).
A Tube-chop snippet of that talk by Coughlin gives a pithy glimpse into who İhsanoğlu is and what his relevance is (and, I note, he mentions, as I did in an essay here back in 2008, that the O.I.C. functions as a de facto (if not as a de-Sharia-jure) "proto-Caliphate").
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I keep noticing the tendency among some in the Counter-Jihad to demonize the Westerners who persist in whitewashing the problem of Islam -- as though the only Westerner who would do such a thing must be a wicked Leftist (or must be a closet Muslim).
These remarks serve mostly as a reminder to the reader of my previous two-part essay, A Civil War of Ideas.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I don't know if I'm fed up for good, or if it's just a passing phase (which keeps coming back, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome). On one level, it doesn't really matter, as the problem it's responding to won't seem to go away (like chronic Athlete's Foot).
For a glimpse into this, I recently underwent a rather intense flurry lasting a couple of days of exchanges with (or rather mostly irascible pot-shots taken by me against) other Jihad Watch commenters in a comments field attached to a story about Queen Rania of Jordan's recent rallying of the Islam-is-Peace Moderates against the Big Bad (and apparently utterly non-Islamic) ISIS.
Note: my moniker over there at Jihad Watch is "voegelinian". Enjoy.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
In a recent Jihad Watch comments field attached to the latest report (the latest of tens of thousands over the past several, numbingly horrific years) of some Mohammedan outrage (or some outrageous example of ineptitude by the West in response to some Mohammedan outrage), someone had the impertinence to ask:
So what’s the plan. Everybody on this site says the same thing as you. What’s the action plan?
By all means, we need a plan of action.
While looking up words in the old 1913 Webster's dictionary, I ran across the word campanile (in short, a "bell-tower"), and read this accompanying illustrative quote:
"Many of the campaniles of Italy are lofty and magnificent structures." (Jonathan Swift)
(The most famous being the Leaning Tower of Pisa.)
I remembered my longstanding suspicion, which I haven't yet researched (and which likely would require excessive work since the historians and journalists of our time remain remiss in their duty), that medieval Christian bells -- particularly in those regions most vulnerable to Islamic depredations and incursions (the entire Mediterranean coast of southern Europe from Spain to Greece, and pretty much all of eastern Europe, not to mention vast swaths of Russia) -- often, if not perhaps primarily, served as instruments of warning against impending invasions (or razzias, the pre-modern Islamic term for the terror attack).
I.e., historically, for centuries, Christian church bells were alarm bells against Islamic attack.
If so, it makes eminent sense that architecturally the bells were housed in tall towers -- indeed, lookout towers, wherein the bell-ringer perhaps would stand vigil (or if alerted from below would be galvanized into action), ready to sound the alarm for the church or monastery and for its environs. This would be yet another token, yet another datum to add to the drearily long list, indicating just how widespread and routine and incessant were the assaults by Mohammedans on the vast periphery of the West for the millennium before the tide of their power and ability to pester, traumatize and terrorize us began to turn, following their last frank military onslaught, the (failed, thank Allah) siege of Vienna in 1683.
The entry on "campanile" in The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization by Jack C. Whytock indicates confirmation of this theory:
The campanile originated in Italy where it was built as a bell tower, thus playing a central role in the call to prayer for the daily offices or for worship. However, its origin is probably from the round towers that were built to fulfill military needs as watchtowers.
And if one surveys the many images on Google for "campanile" one gets a more palpable and vivid sense of their function as high eminences providing tactical vantage points for self-defense.
Another thought: The Islamic prohibition on church bells by the Pact of Dhimmitude may be more than merely the typical control freak aspect of Sharia putting its supremacist arrogance into concrete practice -- and may have had the pragmatic function of stripping a key tool of self-defense from the Christians (for indeed, that same Pact included a stringent control of weapons owned and carried by the dhimmis).
Monday, November 17, 2014
I've long come to the conclusion that we cannot understand Islam by succumbing to our Western tendency to see the Other as some species of Homo Occidentalis -- i.e., by superimposing some behavioral model that makes sense in our worldview. This becomes doubly, trebly problematic, when the Other in question is the Mother of all Others, Mohammedans. We must, I maintain, always try to err on the side of assuming Islam is unique, and that Muslims, though they may sometimes appear to be behaving in ways familiar to us (particularly when they are seemingly assimilating), are in fact singularly alien.
I don't have much to go by save for a gut feeling, built on years of informal study of the issue, with its years of dot-connection I have tried my best to make intelligent and literately creative. One hunch I've had is that while Muslims may seem disordered at times, riddled with societal corruption and internecine pathologies, they yet seem remarkably capable of systemic coordination and "grapevine" networking, in their perennial pursuit of a Pan-Islam.
One glimpse into a theory that may describe this further, if not explain it better than any Occidentomorphic attempts, occurred to me on viewing a Nature video on certain animals that manifest a "swarm" style society, from which I've culled this TubeChop not much more than a minute long.
P.S.: The Google image I found for my article here is especially felicitous; showing a swarm of fire ants on a floor pullulating around a square box -- the whole scene remarkably resembling the Hajj around the Ka'aba.