I’ve noticed Auster keeps taking pot shots at all other analysts of the problem of Islam, chiding them for not being tough enough. Unfortunately, he suffers from the same essential flaw for which he himself is chiding others. While his rhetoric gets closer to the cigar than that of most other analysts, he still falls short of it, thereby serving—as all asymptotic analyses do—to facilitate the PC MC paradigm rather than to undermine it, without which the West will never be able to do anything sufficiently effective about the problem of Islam.
In one breath, Auster writes on his blog about the problem of Islam:
“Here’s what I say. I say that (1) we must state publicly that Islam is a mortal danger to us; then (2) we must get politicians to state publicly that Islam is a mortal danger to us, as Geert Wilders consistently does; and then (3) we must pass and enforce laws that remove Islam from us.”
Then in another breath, after quoting Diana West who calls for the stopping of Islamic law in the West, he writes:
“Diana, how do we “stop Islamic law in the West”? Was it Islamic law that attempted to chop Kurt Westergaard to death with an axe, or was it a Muslim? Yes, we could “eradicate the deeply advanced tentacles of Islamic law in the West,” by outlawing Islamic law in the West, but we cannot eradicate Muslims’ belief in Islamic law. To repeat, it was not Islamic law that entered Westergaard’s house with an axe; it was a Muslim who believes in Islamic law.
“The only way to make the West safe from Muslims who believe in the Islamic law is to remove from the West all Muslims who believe in the Islamic law. ”
Notice that in his first breath I quoted, Auster advocates passing and enforcing laws that “remove Islam from us”—not Muslims. Notice too in his second breath, Auster cleverly qualifies “all Muslims” with “who believe in the Islamic law”—as though all Muslims do not believe in Islamic law, or as though, even if there were some such strange creatures, we could tell that they were not lying to us.
As I have analyzed before on this blog, Auster has a fundamental asymptotic timidity with regard to solving this problem by identifying the problem simply as all Muslims without qualification, and then doing something about that problem. There is no coherence to any gingerly parsing of the problem to anything other than all Muslims—for the crucial reason that we cannot tell the difference between harmless Muslims and dangerous Muslims. Other factors also militate against attempts to formulate some kind of demographic calculus short of all Muslims as a framework for managing this problem.
Now and then, I keep noticing asymptotic formulations popping up on Auster’s blog, such as this one:
There is no way to determine that a seemingly moderate Muslim is not really a jihadist or is not going to become a jihadist. Which is why screening prospective Muslim immigrants, as Robert Spencer admitted in 2007, is useless. The reality is that any Muslim may be a potential or actual jihadist. Which is yet another reason why, as I always say, significant Muslim populations do not belong in any non-Muslim society, period.
Notice the qualification again: “significant Muslim populations”. That qualification acquires a particularly absurd tonality when it comes after all that seemingly no-nonsense and hardnosed realism about how we cannot tell the difference between any seemingly harmless Muslim and the dangerous Muslim. Something consistently gets stuck in Auster’s craw that prevents him from enunciating the two words
All this was treated more fully in the following two previous essays here, which must be read in full by any reader interested in developing a counter-argument to mine:
Lawrence Auster's insufficiency and incoherence
An Iron Veil
(In the second linked essay, most of the critique of Auster comes in later, in section III, though a search for “Auster” will yield other important remarks in other parts of the essay.)