Sunday, August 23, 2015
The Counter-Jihad is ailing. That's what Dr. Hesperado concludes, soberly, after sticking a cold thermometer up where the crescent moon don't shine.
As I indicated in a recent post, my series wasn't quite finished, and after part 9, I left it on a back burner for months.
Percolating in the back of my mind was a restless sense that I hadn't quite tied a neat bow on that series; that something more needed to be said.
I'm afraid I still don't know exactly what that "something more" is. I'll forge ahead and proceed with what I think is a broad view of the "temperature" (or, rather, the climate) of the Counter-Jihad, and perhaps in doing so, what I had wanted to say will unfold.
In a nutshell, the overarching problem is three-fold: a lack of organization, a lack of a center, and a sense of frustrating impotence.
Taking these three out of order, the lack of a center means a lack of a coherent, unifying platform drafted by a reasonable consensus of the membership.
And that leads us to the fact that the Counter-Jihad remains disorganized. There seems to be no unifying consensus to the Counter-Jihad (although many in it seem to feel that just being anti-Islam in a vaguely generalized way is enough, and they even look askance at anyone who dares to raise the question I raise here).
One major reason why such a consensus is lacking is that by and large, the Counter-Jihad seems divided into three ragged factions:
1) the Softies
2) the Real Problemers
3) the Couch Potatoes (or Armchair Counter-Jihadists).
Let us look more closely at each of these types:
Our West is not anywhere near abandoning the unrealistic hope in Muslim "reform" as a way to help solve the horrid problem Islam is causing -- that is, when they're not doing their utmost to deny there's even a problem at all. We are nowhere near beginning to gird ourselves for the grim, brute fact of the uniquely fanatical and violently supremacist nature of this inveterate enemy (when it is not mendaciously pretending to be assimilable to the modern world). Naturally, I think we need to get to that point; but we're not going to get there -- that is, in time to prevent or at least minimize horrific casualties on our side -- if even our influential (albeit unofficial) leaders of our already small and beleaguered (and ill-organized) Counter-Jihad Movement are driving our vehicle in the opposite direction, at least insofar as they continue to reinforce the notion that only Islam is the problem, not Muslims. And that problem of leadership is exacerbated by a significant demographic of "civilians" in the Counter-Jihad who more or less have this soft spot in their heart for innumerable Muslims they cannot bear to suspect of being... followers of Islam -- the Islam they (the Softies) otherwise spend all their time condemning.
I.e., the Counter-Jihad should function as a goad & gadfly, to try to pressure & persuade our laggard Mainstream-in-Denial to wake up to the magnitude of this metastasizing problem. Instead, the Softy Wing with its rhetoric tends to reinforce the mainstream paradigm -- not unparadoxically, to be sure; but do we really have the luxury of time to experiment like this?
Meanwhile, the Real Problemers continue to exploit the lack of a vetting process in the "Big Tent", thereby fostering mixed messages that include an unhealthy sense of alienation from the West at times verging on conspiracy theory.
The Couch Potatoes are the least harmful lot, if only because of their passivity; which, needless to add, is a double-edged noodle. They need some direction, but their fellow Counter-Jihadists, and the unofficial leadership, aren't really providing any, other than a vague climate of inspiration that doesn't seem to be going anywhere as we sit back, feeling helpless on this Titanic course on which our West continues blithely to float.
In short, the Counter-Jihad can't do its primary job (serving as the spearhead of sociopolitical change) as optimally as it should and could, if it continues to be beset by problems of disorganization and lack of a clear vision.
In lieu of what it should be doing, the Counter-Jihad basically straggles along flinging heaps of Too Much Information left and right like a Zamboni machine flings crushed ice, or before it like a bulldozer piles fresh hills of dirt, in hopes that the mere quantity of data, shoveled and dumped over time, will somehow have the qualitative effect of changing minds.
It's hard to say (putting it mildly) if this rudderless "strategy" has been working. A nucleus of people around the world does seem to be slowly growing in size; but so incrementally, one cannot say with confidence whether there is sufficient progress, or even any progress at all. One does get the sense that the West is sort of floating in a state of Denial, in the eerie calm during an eye of a hurricane, hoping Muslims won't strike worse than 911, and apparently ill-prepared if they do so. And the Counter-Jihad, as canaries in the coalmine, sense this more acutely. And in their frustration & impotence at the dereliction of civic duty of their own West, they cannot help but feel there lurks & looms the foreboding of the eventuality that we won't really rouse ourselves from our pleasantly sleepwalking PC MC until after a series of horrific attacks on our soil, not just in America but also throughout various parts of the West.
We, the Counter-Jihad would like to avert such a protracted train wreck of a catastrophe, of course; but we remain too confused, it seems -- both in strategy and ideology -- to do much about it.
What to do about it?
Well, a summit meeting of the entire Counter-Jihad (with online input in real time from the "civilians" of the movement) would be a logical first step -- if only anyone in it gave a damn about this most exigent aspect of the problem.
Way back in 2008, I posted the following essay here; and still I have seen no signs in the Counter-Jihad that anyone is listening, or cares...
The Anti-Islam Movement: Prospectus for Improvement
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Another addition to my blogroll: collected articles by journalist Cinnamon Stillwell, whose writing has impressed me for years. Not only does she report on useful topics often unreported, or under-reported elsewhere -- topics that fall somewhere within the broader ambit of the Problem (of Islam), and the Problem of the Problem (the West's myopia to the Problem of Islam) -- she's also a good writer with interesting turns of phrase.
The articles to which the blogroll link takes the reader are those collected by Frontpage.com, and so more directly relate to the Problems noted above. For a broader selection of issues she has written about, one may also take a look at her blog.
I encourage readers to click on her name up top on my main page, off to the right, and take a perusing tour of whatever articles strike a fancy...
Saturday, August 15, 2015
As with many other aspects of this horrendous, slow-mo Train Wreck of a global problem (viz., Islam) unfolding in this new twenty-first century of ours, Western PC MC dovetails (unwittingly) with the Islamic agenda.
The PC MC doctrine of Tolerance seems not simplex, but complex:
On the face of it, the doctrine seems utterly self-contradictory, or a marvel of a Zeno’s Paradox wrapped in a riddle in an enigma:
Be tolerant of everyone—but don’t be tolerant of those who refuse to be tolerant of those who are intolerant—except where those who refuse to be tolerant of those who are intolerant are intolerant of those who refuse to be tolerant of those who are intolerant.
Until we restore the missing ingredient: When we remind ourselves that the PC MC worldview of the mainstream West racializes the problem of Islam, we then see that the Paradox is not only wrapped in a riddle in an enigma, but further enfolded in a pita bread burrito:
Be tolerant of everyone—but don’t be tolerant of those who refuse to be tolerant of Brown People who are intolerant.
Now the logic of PC MC makes sense, when we see the anxious White Western Guilt—reflecting the neurotically magnified distortion of the two capital, classical virtues of Western Civilization (Respect for the Other; and Self-Criticism)—at the bottom of it all.
And, as I noted, it dovetails nicely (i.e., disastrously) with the Islamic agenda of Stealth Sharia-cum-Stealth Jihad.
The “Brown People” of my analysis refers, of course, to Muslims in the perspective of PC MC. In the perspective of PC MC, Muslims have become the #1 Aggrieved Ethnic Minority Whom We White Westerners Must Respect. And as long as the mainstream West sees Muslims as a non-white race it must "respect", it will be handicapping itself in this race against time as Islam undergoes its global revival.
Monday, August 10, 2015
By now, many out in the breezy sunshine of the mainstream, free of the dark, smelly, racist-cooties-infested corridors of the Counter-Jihad, have heard of the embarrassingly Correct (and, therefore, Multi-Culturalist) speech praising the Golden Age of Islam, given by Republican candidate for the U.S. Presidency, Carly Fiorina, She gave that speech back in 2001, practically while the smoke was still clearing from the 911 assault on America, obviously as a spasm of an anxious need to demonstrate her multi-culturalist tolerance.
The Gates of Vienna blog provided a useful service in clarifying that some of the wording of this speech that has been making the rounds on the Internet is a distortion or fabrication, and in providing a link to the bonafide speech Fiorina actually gave. But, as Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna pointed out, the actual speech is no better. Indeed, it stinks to high heaven of multi-culturalist treacle, praising medieval Islam to the skies.
Such as, for example (warning: may induce dry heaves and gagging):
There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.
It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.
One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.
And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.
Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.
When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.
While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.
Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.
And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population–that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions.
This kind of enlightened leadership — leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage — led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.
In dark and serious times like this, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness.
I mean, the sheer camelshit she spewed that day just goes on, and on, and on, and on...
Gates of Vienna later published a fine essay by Tabitha Korol that goes a long way toward debunking Fiorina's ridiculous paean to Islam. For years, the Internet has been a good source for correcting the record on the "Myth of Andalus" (aka the Golden Age of Islam). Why hasn't Republican Presidental Candidate Carly Forina taken the time to educate herself on this most important matter, and get back to us, the American People, with an apology for her embarrassing ignorance?
By the way, this is only the umpteenth example I have seen over the years demonstrating that, unless one pulls out the No True Scotsman fallacy, the Problem of the Problem (namely, the problem of the West’s persistent myopia to the problem of Islam) is not merely—or even mainly—a “Leftist” phenomenon.
I haven't made this facet of the Problem of the Problem a main priority on my blog, but I have now and then posted essays adverting to it. My series on the Voegelinian Society (academics from around the world dedicated to keeping the study of their mentor, philosopher Eric Voegelin, alive) is a good example: Voegelin was profoundly conservative, as are most of his admirers; and yet, as I documented and analyzed, too many of them, including luminaries (e.g., Fritz Wagner, Barry Cooper, Eugene Webb) lurch in the direction of the PC MC orbit whenever they begin to think about the problem of Islam. In another essay, Us and Dem, I alluded to some choice quotes by such stalwart conservatives as Bush, Giuliani, Rumsfeld, Huckabee, McCain, Romney, Beck, O'Reilly and Hannity—all spouting idiocies about Islam that could just as well have been regurgitated by PC MCs or even Leftists. Then there was the exposé (thatnks to blogger Logan's Warning) on that bastion of Republicanism, General-cum-President Eisenhower, dedicating an Islamic center in Washington, D.C., and once again praising Islam and Muslims to the skies.
Apropos of that, I found this choice nugget in the oeuvre of Daniel Pipes, circa 2005, in his dispute with Lawrence Auster who, though I have some problems with his perspective on Islam, was decidedly robuster than the namby-pamby Pipes. Here, Pipes basically sounds the same notes (though less nauseatingly) as did Fiorina in her 2001 speech:
The Auster view of premodern Islam (“the glories of medieval Islam are largely a myth. It was a parasite civilization whose achievements were mainly the work of its subject peoples such as Byzantines, Jews, and Indians, and it declined when it eventually killed off its host”) is a superficial projection backwards of today’s problems. Indeed, its very premise (“a parasite civilization”) is oxymoronic. There was a true and vital civilization of Islam and (to take a convenient date) in 1005 it represented the best that humans had attained at that time in terms of learning, governance, and general advancement. I suggest that Auster ground himself more in this civilization before dismissing it.
So what does this all have to do with my essay title? I've noticed a curious tendency on the part of many in the Counter-Jihad. Whenever I cite such evidence of non-Leftists whitewashing Islam, or when they see such evidence (as reported, for example, at Jihad Watch), they will have a knee-jerk response: "Why, he's not a real Republican!" or "Eisenhower wasn't a real conservative!"—and so forth. This, however, would be the "No True Scotsman" Fallacy: whenever one encounters anyone ostensibly known to be conservative and/or Republican who also happens to spout whitewashing nonsense about Islam, the robust Counter-Jihad person will pronounce him or her ipso facto "not a true conservative" / "not a true Republican".
One likely motive for this fallacy is the near obsession among many in the Counter Jihad with the all-purpose bête noire, the Dastardly Leftist, to explain the myopia of the entire West to the problem of Islam. If you think the only explanation for myopia and whitewashing must be Leftism or "liberalism", then when you see a putative Republican or conservative behaving like a Leftist or a "liberal" by whitewashing Islam, you will have to reconfigure the data and redefine him as "not a true conservative" or "not a true Republican".
Another likely motive is that if one avoids the fallacy and therefore broadens one's perspective to concede that innumerable conservatives, centrists, and Republicans—real conservatives, centrists, and Republicans, not false ones—whitewash Islam, then the problem of the problem suddenly opens up to become considerably thornier and more complex, with fewer opportunities for satisfyingly simplistic scapegoats.
Monday, July 27, 2015
An interesting symposium from 2007. Jamie Glazov, the counter-jihad journalist from Frontpage Magazine, interviews (occasionally intruding his anxiously asymptotic thoughts) Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, and Robert Tefft.
For the seasoned counter-jihad reader, it's nothing terribly new or surprising, but I found it mildly stimulating to see Tefft's comparative rigor as a refreshing contrast to the varying degrees of asymptotic, nougaty squishiness from the other three -- where Daniel Pipes is reliably the worst; Jamie Glazov flounders about in his anxiety to protect Muslims from our anti-Islam opprobrium; and Robert Spencer as always in such discussions deftly navigates the (ultimately incoherent) fencepost in between.
Beyond that, it's at times engrossing to see three intelligent students of the problem of Islam weigh in on matters revolving around the crux of the matter: whether Islam itself is the problem, and whether Muslims are, qua enablers of Islam, to be included in that problem.
Readers of my blog of course know where I stand (yes, Islam itself, Islam, the whole Islam, and nothing but Islam, the whole Kitman and Kaboodle, is the problem; and yes, all Muslims, in a wondrous diversity of styles & flavors, enable that problem). I wouldn't be recommending this symposium if it hadn't been for the participation of Tefft. Though he's far from perfect, he's better than the other three, and at key points in the conversation, he helps to try to steer the conversation away from the undertow of the asymptotic deep end (ever perilously contiguous with the darker waters of PC MC) toward which his colleagues seem more naturally disposed to drift.
Friday, July 24, 2015
To supplement my older essay Hitler and Islam, I here provide some key quotes from Adolf Hitler drawn from the Table Talks (see links for each quote which all lead to the same book, each with different pagination, of course):
"Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers -- already, you see, the world had fallen into the hands of the Jews, so gutless a thing was Christianity! -- then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies heroism and which opens the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world. Christianity alone prevented them from doing so." -- Adolf Hitler, Table Talks (p. 504).
"I can imagine people being enthusiastic about the paradise of Mahomet [Mohammed], but as for the insipid paradise of the Christians!" -- Adolf Hitler, Table Talks – (p. 111).
“...Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery." -- Adolf Hitler, Table Talks, -- (p. 111).
"Observe... that... the Mussulman [Muslim] was promised a paradise peopled with houris [virgins], where wine flowed in streams -- a real earthly paradise. The Christians, on the other hand, declare themselves satisfied if after their death they are allowed to sing Hallelujahs!" -- Adolf Hitler, Table Talks – (p. 48).
“The fact that the Japanese have attained their political philosophy, which is one of the essential reasons for their successes, is due to their having been saved in time from the views of Christianity. Just as in Islam, there is no kind of terrorism in the Japanese State religion, but, on the contrary, a promise of happiness. This terrorism in religion is the product, to put it briefly, of a Jewish dogma, which Christianity has universalized and whose effect is to sow trouble and confusion in men’s minds.” Adolf Hitler, Table Talks (p. 297).