Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Robert Spencer's response to me, and my response
The feature photograph is not meant to describe Spencer's response itself, but rather the problem of Islam to which in my estimation his prescriptions are inadequate.
In the comments section of a recent article on Jihad Watch (an article that -- with its ghoulish datum of a Muslim man murdering a 5-year-old non-Muslim child and shouting Allah Akbar! -- stands on the ever-mounting mountaintop of horrible data about Muslims that every month of every year, as inexorably reported by Jihad Watch, grows like monstrous lava atop a volcano), Robert Spencer responds to a comment of mine that asks a rhetorical question about the effectiveness of a prescription he enunciated proferred to help with the problem of Islam.
In his comment in response, Spencer then lists what he argues are false assumptions I have made:
"1. He assumes that I am recommending "calling upon the Muslim community to renounce once and for all any and all teachings involving any kind of violence against Infidels" as my sole and only prescription for the fix we're in"
To be flawed, a prescription doesn't have to be the sole and only one of a number of prescriptions prescribed by the same person: it can remain flawed and irrelevant to the other prescriptions; or it can remain flawed and to one degree or another serve to impede the force of the other prescriptions.
And secondly, just because a person has other prescriptions in tandem, doesn't automatically confer an unproblematic blessing on those other prescriptions. They too have to be analyzed.
"...and thus he thinks that if it fails, we will be even worse off than we were before."
Strictly speaking, it's not a matter of "if it fails, we will be worse off", but a matter, as I presented it in my first post above, of its inadequacy. I analyzed the problem and asked the obvious rhetorical question being implicitly begged by the prescription. However, that said, in the all-too-real context the West is in now, with millions of Muslims both being born in the West and immigrating into the West over a span of a century (from 1950 to 2050), time is not on our side, and the longer we wait to take the measures we will have to take anyway when the shit hits the fan, the messier, costlier and bloodier those measures will be. I see no reason not to aggressively push ahead of the curve to try to get our grandiosely pathetic U.S.S. & H.M.S. PC MC turned away from its lumbering course toward the iceberg whose ghastly Islamic tip only a few of us can see now. Paradigm shifts don't happen by themselves; they require people to push for them.
"2... This assumption is belied by the fact that I have on many occasions called for law enforcement and government authorities to demand "transparent and inspectable" programs in mosques and Islamic schools teaching against jihad and Islamic supremacism. Inspectable is a clumsy nonce word that I use despite its clumsiness, because it conveys what I want to convey: that the Islamic community should be made to institute open and transparent and honest programs that are regularly inspected by informed Infidel authorities."
There are some problems with this prescription:
a) "the Islamic community should be made" -- how do you make a community do something -- particularly something that insults them and that blatantly implies they are under suspicion? One assumes there would be legal penalties, and if further refusal to comply occurs, that physical violence ensues (i.e., law enforcement personnel physically take them to jail -- and worse, if further refusal/resistance occurs).
b) The prescription presumes, and seems to accept, an ongoing significant presence of Muslims and Islamic institutions throughout the West. But Muslims demographically and ideologically are not a static population. Meanwhile, Spencer's prescription to halt immigration of new Muslims is not going to be heeded any time soon. From all indications of the continuing persistence of PC MC throughout the West -- and the indeed increasing deference for and defense of Muslims by Westerners in government, news media, schools and pop culture -- it is reasonable to estimate that the West won't even begin even to contemplate such a radical prescription for another 25 years at least (though 50 years is really more realistic, unfortunately). Thus, the particular prescription of trying to manage the Islamic presence in the West which is dynamic and not static tends to have the effect of accommodating a fait accompli rather than pushing for the intolerance that should be our goal.
c) For a society to be prepared to treat Muslims in general like this -- treating their central and major institutions as suspicious and potentially dangerous enough to be regularly inspected and forcing them to comply -- that society would have had to have woken up to the problem of Islam far beyond what they manifest now throughout the West. Having woken up to that degree, they would see that the problem of the danger of Muslims is sufficiently dynamic and volatile (further exacerbated by their obsessively fanatical adherence to a blueprint for organized violence of various flavors with the goal of conquest) as to render such a prescription inadequate.
d) Not only will such a prescription be inadequate, from everything we know about Muslims, it is reasonable to expect that it will inflame and exacerbate their animosity against us and hence their seditious activities we are trying to manage with a stopper ill-fitted to the volatile pressure cooker it is trying to control.
...as I have stated many times, Islamic reform, while theoretically possible, is almost certainly not going to happen, or not within our lifetimes.
A person may state that they believe this claim, but that doesn't mean that person isn't going to state other things that tend to undermine, or even contradict, the force of this claim.
Right now Islam is solely recognized in the public square as a religion, and indeed, a "victim" one at that. And that leads me to "Hesperado"'s third false assumption:
3. He assumes that when I call for such programs, I am talking to the Islamic community. Actually, I make the call for the sake of non-Muslims, so that they might realize that something they may take for granted as existing is actually lacking, and start to think about the implications of that.
That by itself is fine, if it will have the desired effect, and if it will have no other parallel effects that tend to retard the process of the West's reawakening. It tends to have the latter, I maintain, insofar as it reinforces a kind of middle state of quasi-tolerance between the two positions of PC MC tolerance of Islam on the one hand, and on the other hand, of appropriately rational Intolerance of Islam. That middle state, I maintain, is incoherent, because the nature of the beast, once it is known by the autodidactic Western, demands complete intolerance, not some elaborate combination of intolerance and tolerance: viz., it's ok to have masses of Muslims continuing to exist and flourish (and, necessarily, aggrandize, if only in perforce stealthier mode) throughout the West, but we need to regularly inspect their institutions and perhaps also the private records of innumerable lay Muslims among them, and we also need to stop their brothers and sisters from immigrating into the West. What makes their brothers and sisters who are trying to immigrate any worse than the home-grown citizen-Muslims we have now and will have more of in 50 years?
A train wreck is coming, and measures like Spencer's and of other Glazovians will turn out to be too little, too late. While I have hope that the West will put the brakes on Islam before an absolute and complete catastrophe happens, nothing short of putting on those brakes is appropriate for this impending train wreck. Measures like Spencer's and of other Glazovians are all calculated to avoid putting on the brakes; but they will only end up deferring the inevitable: and the longer we wait to do it, the worse the casualties will be on our side, and the messier, costlier and bloodier will be that wreck when it finally devolves.