Tuesday, November 02, 2010
The problem of the problem in an exquisitely grim nutshell
I thought she must have been coming to shake my hand. She made as if she was coming to do that. She looked friendly. She was smiling, if I remember rightly.
That's what Stephen Timms, a 55-year-old member of British Parliament, was quoted as recounting about the moment before a Muslim woman he'd never met before, in May of this year at a public political gathering, approached him and when she got close enough started repeatedly stabbing him in the hope (as she herself has admitted) of killing him.
While this quote exemplifies an important aspect of the primary problem -- the Problem of Islam -- it zeroes in with exquisite precision on the secondary problem -- the Problem of the Problem: namely, the West's persistent inability to come to rational grips with the primary problem.
Logically, the secondary problem becomes the primary problem, insofar as it continues to impede us from rationally tackling and managing the problem of Islam.
The nutshell crystallized by the quote of MP Timms above is the continuing bane of the West as an Islam Redivivus metastasizes in our time: The entire West continues to assume that smiling, friendly Muslims must be harmless and must represent an apodictically assumed vast majority who are not dangerous, leaving only the Tiny Minority of Extremists who are. Indeed, Muslims don't even have to be smiling and friendly for the entire West to lean over backwards to give them the benefit of the doubt. Any Muslim who is not actually lighting a fuse or pulling a trigger is accorded the apodictic ontological status of the harmless Moderate Muslim.
Actually, it's often even worse than that: as we have seen even with Muslims caught in the act of trying (and/or succeeding) to mass murder us, the West still bends over backwards to try to exculpate them -- either through the Insanity Defense, or the Poverty Defense, or the Poor Muslim Has Been Discriminated Against By Our Society Defense, or the I'm Baffled About His Motives Defense, or... have I left any out?
The problem: the problem of the problem, the problem of the problem of the problem, and the problem of the problem of the problem of the problem.