Saturday, January 01, 2011

Quantum Ignorance














Hugh Fitzgerald, I believe, once wrote of fellow Westerners in their continuing myopia about the problem of Islam:

"...who did not, in the eight years that have followed 9/11/2009, taken even a month, even a week off, to try to learn about Islam."

Actually, there are innumerable individuals throughout the West going back to the 19th century (but increasing in number after 1950 as the deformation of PC MC became dominant and mainstream) who have spent not only a month, or even a week, but years, if not positively decades in the study of Islam -- many of them learned in the original languages of Arabic, Farsi, Urdi, etc. -- including most if not all of the relevant corpus of foundational and subsequent texts, who, for all that study, persist in defending Islam and Muslims when the subject comes up. These people cannot be accused of "not having studied" Islam. And even with all their familiarity with the relevant data, they maintained the myth of a tolerant, civilized Islam (where the exceptions to this could always be contextualized and therefore exculpated through the Ego Quoque argument as well as other complicated obfuscations) -- along with, of course, the related myth of the Vast Majority of Moderate (and "Diverse") Muslims in our time.

Nor is this a unique peculiarity of the Academic -- neither of that dastardly class of "Elites" of which the Academic would be a subtype. Rather, it reflects a more complex problem than one for which the mere supply of information will suffice to solve.


In addition to the simplex (if not simple-minded) framework implied by many (and by the writer of the quote above) --

Information about Islam --> Recipient --> Jihad Watch Epiphany

-- and complicating it usually irrevocably, there has developed a paradigm throughout Western societies over the past century (with roots going back much longer but only attaining mainstream dominance in the past 50-odd years) by which the information is deformed in a variety of complex ways.

This is not a single, monolithic paradigm, of course; but one does discern a unity amid the ragged edges and seemingly amorphous nature of it among the various models floating about the West.  For example, the academic scholar who has studied Islam for 35 years and yet still thinks that Jihad Watch is a bigoted enterprise, shares more or less the same constellation of givens as the typical politician (local or national); and the newspaper publisher of the Duluth News Tribune; and the liberalish Protestant suburban housewife; and the Home Ec teacher at a high school in Phoenix, Arizona; and the union boss of a steel company in Pittsburgh or of a baker's union in Oregon; and the corner grocer and the librarian and the dental hygienist and the bus driver and the jazz musician and the owner of a profitable small business and the starry-eyed teenager who volunteered for the Obama campaign (or even the McCain campaign or the Mitt Romney campaign) -- and on and on, probably numbering throughout the West into the millions of people of all classes and walks of life who represent a population of diversity for which the labels "Elites" and "Leftists" (much less "Gramscians") break down.

The mere presentation of information about Islam to all these various people is not enough to persuade them of our cause, nor will the scales fall from their eyes once they read or heed a sufficient number of Koran passages and Hadith excerpts along with choice quotes from current Muslim representatives. While it may be possible that a sheer quantity of data presented to people in the thrall of quantum ignorance could, by the mere mass itself, provoke a quantum leap to budge them out of the Box of their QI, it seems very unlikely; for we are not fighting fire with fire: we would be, rather, fighting quality with quantity.  For, that is the precise meaning of Quantum Ignorance: it has made the quantum leap from a quantitatively based ignorance into a higher, qualitative ignorance fortified by a paradigm that resists all attempts at a quantitative argument.  

As anyone who has tried to reason with any number and type of them would know all too well -- and has experienced the frustration with their stubbornness that often infuriates when it doesn't clench you by the viscera with a devastating depression -- there is something more complex going on here than a mere ignorance of data. Nor ought we dismiss these people as being necessarily "liberals" or "Leftists". Of course, Leftists remain a significant piece of the puzzle of the problem, but the magnitude of the problem consists in the unfortunate fact that the majority of conservatives and centrists (as well as innumerable people who are more or less apolitical) are about as blithely addled with the warm and fuzzy disease of Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism (PC MC) as are those one could peg as "liberals".

And then on top of this daily, seemingly implacable problem of PC MC, one has to deal with a simple-minded myopia to that same problem among one's own fellows who have crossed over to the epiphany. As they keep running up for years and years against the wall of the PC MC paradigm as manifested in a wondrously exasperating rainbow of variety, they themselves keep holding fast in a strangely childish way to their simplistic view of that impediment. One would think that over time the more intelligent among them would begin to surmise that the wall is held together by a more complex concatenation than mere ignorance of information augmented by a smattering of universal venial sins (Stupidity, Cupidity and Timidity, as Hugh Fitzgerald's Esdrujula Explanation would have it) -- or worse, a conspiracy theory involving some evil cabal of "Liberal Elites" pulling the strings of "real" power behind the scenes.

And, just as this is not the mere matter of some dastardly cabal of sinister Elites, so too it is not mere ignorance we are up against that explains the irrationality of the West in the face of the problem of Islam: it is quantum ignorance.

֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍

Quantum ignorance is a queerly paradoxical phenomenon, which we could paraphrase as "learned ignorance" or, in more starkly contradictory terms, "intelligent stupidity" -- or, as I have analyzed elsewhere, morosophy. For such a sociopolitical phenomenon, education has to move onto a whole new level: it's not merely about supplying information. As I noted above, many in the Counter-Jihad seem to think that all we need to do is report data about Islam, and our Western fellows will magically wake up.  Something like this:

Information about Islam --> Recipient --> Jihad Watch Epiphany

It's more complicated than that, because the ignorance is more complicated than merely an absence of information.

Certainly, an absence of information about Islam invariably is a problem; but almost more importantly, there is a presence of an interpretative framework by which incoming information about Islam is received, filtered, re-routed and reconfigured. When we see a fellow Westerner before us with whom we would wish to strike up a conversation about Islam, we must remind ourselves we do not merely see an individual there, abstracted from his sociocultural environment. Sure, it would be nice if only the individual were there, free of his surrounding culture. But most people are not like that. While the modern West has produced people relatively freer of sociocultural constraints than any other culture in history, it doesn't mean we have produced Perfectly Free and Open-Minded Individuals (indeed, it is often those who tout themselves as being "open-minded" who, ironically, demonstrate the most slavish indoctrination in the current fashionable worldview of PC MC). It's a matter of degree. Nevertheless, there is good reason to hope (at least among the minions of those who are PC MC but not die-hard Leftists).

Thus, the individual we see before us is not a mere individual attentive to the present ready to look at the data about Islam with an open mind. He or she carries with him a complex psychocultural apparatus that filters such data. We who have woken up to the pernicious dangers of Islam may think any given datum we present is a sure-fire eye-opener; but that's not necessarily how it will be received. That datum will enter the recipient's ear (or eye if they read it) and will be immediately intercepted by the PC MC Mechanism that has taken up residence in the individual's heart-and-mind. This mechanism will move the datum to a contextual complex of associations, axioms and givens that tend to have the effect of nullifying or at least diluting the anti-Islamic -- and perhaps more importantly, the anti-Muslim -- purport of the datum.

Many of us have experienced this in a variety of ways. Consider the simplex datum that the Islamic prophet Mohammed married a girl when she was age 6 (and he was age 54) then had sex with her when she was age 9 (and he 57). We are about to present this simplex datum to a fellow Westerner, to show him how sick Islamic culture is. Closely relevant to that datum is the more complicated datum of the importance of Mohammed to Muslims. One tends to expect that a given fellow Westerner would at least make the unremarkably reasonable assumption that Muslims revere their prophet, even if that fellow Westerner doesn't know the details -- both from founding texts of Islam as well as from historical and current writings, and behaviors of Muslims -- that would augment the fact of that reverence considerably.

Now, what happens is that within seconds after that datum is presented to our fellow Westerner, his PC MC mechanism intercepts it and attaches to it a constellation of assumptions, axioms, factoids and opinions, as well as a mush of feelings.

Thus:

1) "Well, Arabic society was different back then."

2) "We had underage marriage in our past too."

3) "What about all those pedophile Catholic priests?"

4) "Most Muslims don't know this anyway."

5) "Most Muslims don't really care about this, even if they know it."

6) "Most Muslims don't really follow their Islam to the letter, anyway, just like most Christians and Jews."

And these six responses, as exasperating as they are, don't even count other more aggressively defensive ones, such as:

1) "How do you know that source is accurate?"

2) "Do you know Arabic?"

3) "You're not an Islamic scholar."

4) "How many Muslims do you know?"

5) "Have you ever lived in a Muslim country?"

6) "I know lots of nice Muslims."

7) "Why do you hate Muslims?"

8) "Why do you want to kill all Muslims?"


Etc., ad nauseam.

After a few minutes of this with a typical PC MC Westerner -- the vast majority of whom are not fire-breathing "Leftists" nor are they sinister "Elites" but could look and act like an ordinary suburban housewife or all-American construction worker -- it becomes clear that the mere presentation of data is not enough. Merely to get across the purport and implications of the one datum we used as an example -- the pedophiliac rape of a little girl sanctified as Islamic "marriage" and perpetrated by Islam's founder, Mohammed, himself revered by Muslims as the greatest model of moral conduct for all Mankind -- we readily begin to see that we need to marshall enormous amounts of subsidiary data in a complex context of argumentation and presentation.

For every piece of information we have in our arsenal that we think automatically damns Islam, when it is presented to the person who is more or less deformed by PC MC, it enters a complex mental machine that is assaulted on all sides by a complex interlocking jigsaw mechanism of assumptions, givens, prejudices, logical fallacies, emotionally powerful incoherencies, and among the more intelligent of them, a dizzying array of factoids that can keep popping up through the debate like gophers one after another -- after you think you've whacked one, another pops up, seemingly forever. What I have described in this paragraph here is only an impressionistic stab at the phenomenon and reflects only a small portion of the magnitude and complexities of the problem.

And what aggrieves even more acutely is when one encounters some forms of this PC MC resistance even among those within the ragged boundaries of the Counter-Jihad itself.

If the reader takes anything away from my essay here, I would hope they take this: These fellow Westerners -- whom we may find so frustrating and exasperating in their glibly sincere and starry-eyed defense of Muslim monsters and their grotesquely evil and dangerous culture Islam -- are not themselves evil or even stupid people: Most of them are decent and reasonably intelligent people. That's part of the problem. And so, the reason they continue defending Islam is not because of evil or stupidity. It's because of a complex paradigm they have over time grown to accept, a paradigm that has reflected a sea change in consciousness throughout the West over the past half century, spanning the era of the end of World War 2 to the present (and, sadly, showing few signs of reversing itself).

Furthermore, the reason this paradigm has acquired such broad influence throughout the West is not because it's bad, but precisely because it reflects many good virtues and principles developed by Western tradition.  I discuss this at length in another essay, PC MC: Neither Left nor Right, but Ambidextrous.

Once we recognize that mere ignorance is not the problem -- but rather a quantum ignorance -- we can then more capably and appropriately find ways to dismantle it through rhetoric and persuasion in the crucial aspect of the war we are in now, the War of Ideas. One absolutely necessary tool we need for this is a manual of argumentation, a digitalized Anti-Islam Booklet (about which I've written at length elsewhere).

Conclusion:
 

This is not a War of Ideas against Muslims: with few exceptions not significant enough to make a difference, the vast majority of Muslims will remain Muslims, and thus our implacable (and often stealthy) enemy. This is a War of Ideas against our own fellows citizens: a Civil War of Ideas, so to speak -- a war that, indeed, should be kept civil; for our fellow citizens (whose number includes most "elites"), as myopic as they remain in their quantum ignorance, are not our enemies.  They are pleasantly earnest, intelligently complicated fools.  And they will be grateful to us for having awakened them from the ridiculous Rip Van Winkle nap they've been indulging all these years -- most maddeningly post-911 as they persist in hitting the snooze-button on the alarm we sound.

18 comments:

Ghostrider said...

Hello, Hesperado - Another typical response, which might not be often voiced, is: Why are you telling me this? Aren't the authorities supposed to handle things like this? Another similar response is: Admittedly what you're telling me is pretty bad, but there must be something about it Muslims love and value, else it never could have gotten anywhere at the beginning and even nowadays.
Another similar response: Why wasn't it squashed and defeated way back when, a thousand years ago? Or why wasn't it eradicated by the authorities 1300 years ago when they became aware of the danger it posed at that time?
There are answers to these questions, but not very good ones (as far as my study of Islam goes). But there has to be a very good and believable and detailed , explanation of how Islam was able to get off the ground and so successful during its first fifty or a hundred years. I've tried researching this, but what I find doesn't satisfy my curiosity, let alone enable a convincing story for someone less knowledgable. I even suspect there has been suppression of the historical record about this.
As a side comment, it's noticed that when Muslim's start losing an argument about what's so good, or bad, about Islam they fall back on saying how beautiful and powerful the poetry of the koran is to their ears. They really think the poetry of it is otherworldly, miraculous, irresistable -- so much so that little things like murder, slaughter, pedophilia, pale into insignificance as mere quibbling.
I always and regularly ask myself: how did Muhammed win? How did Islam succeed? What were the methods that were able to fool and trick and defeat much of the civilized world at that time? If I can't answer that then the whole thing is senseless, then there must be good things which make it attractive to people, or maybe it was a miracle.

trencherbone said...

How to destroy Islam.

Ghostrider said...

Thank you, Trencherbone. I'm now reading the EDL Forum link you posted. After that I'll watch TV for awhile (the NY Giants football game). Tentative first thoughts : "reverse dhimmitude" against muslims, giving them back their own medicine. And the extreme conformity within the ummah. At least, I think it's extreme. I've never been a member of the ummah, so I can only imagine what it's like in there. And, yes, the slightest disrespect of the person of Muhammed they start jumping up and down howling like a major nerve has been touched with a foreign metallic probe.
More later. After the game.

Hesperado said...

The link trencherbone left leads to a recommendation that makes sweeping assumptions that may sound authoritative but also may be flawed.

"In an age of nuclear weapons, the option of exterminating Islam the way we exterminated Nazism - by world war - is unthinkable."

1) Just because we are in an age of nuclear weapons doesn't mean we can't use a whole rainbow of non-nuclear weapons.

2) The writer is framing the solution ineptly. The goal is not to "exterminate" Islam; it is to manage the problem. I only say that because "extermination" is unrealistic, not because I wouldn't dearly wish it, as I dearly wish all diseases to be eradicated from earth, or mountains made out of chocolate pie, or dead loved ones brought back to life.

The writer makes a good point, however, about the fact that the millions of Muslims already present within the West would pose a serious safety problem were we to officially declare war on Islam.

That's why I propose an action that apparently has never occurred to the writer: total deportation of all Muslims from the West, followed by global quarantine of Muslims within their Muslim lands -- a policy I dub the Iron Veil.

While of course an Iron Veil policy is not realistic currently due to PC MC, it is something I believe the West will be ready to do after Muslims and their outrageously violent and anti-liberal behaviors continue metastasizing exponentially in years to come. I see no reason why we few "canaries in the coalmine" should not be paving the way for this collective change of mind, so that the West will change sooner rather than later, and avoid the costlier, messier and bloodier consequences of waiting too long. I also find it baffling when people even in the anti-Islam movement balk at it, as though our only options are 1) fatalistic surrender to Islam; 2) some kind of Mad Max Apocalyptic Civil War between Rednecks and Leftists; 3) some kind of unrealistic expectation that we can change and domesticate Muslims.

Hesperado said...

Ghostrider,

As for your questions about how Islam got off the ground and became successful: On one level, it doesn't matter, just as it doesn't matter why the house is burning down in order to save its residents and put the fire out.

To the extent the question does matter, I appreciate the baffling nature of Islam's success. One explanation conjectures two factors have been essential, from day one to the present:

1) a gnostic fanaticism which satisfies the basic human need for assurance in a reality that is fraught with mystery and various pains, ills and evils.

2) a ruthless military credo that spread by slaughtering people in its wake (after, of course, "inviting" them to join Islam and after their refusal) then terrorizing the survivors into submission through dhimmitude. Over time, the attraction of "joining the club" was powerful, for one could thereby instantly avoid the humiliations and unpredictable abuses of remaining a non-Muslim.

The two factors often were fused into synergy, as when Muslim armies would "plunge" (inghimass) into the weapons of the opposing armies or opposing militias, in order to kill as many as they could and be killed in the process -- the early form of suicide bombing before explosives were invented. Individual Muslims also did this "plunging" whenever and wherever they could, in situations or regions perhaps where Islam had not come to thoroughly dominate -- even in areas where no combatants were around (e.g., the Philippines and Indonesia).

This "plunging" was not the only method of violence, of course. There was also the razzia -- a lightning-fast terror attack in order to terrify, not once, but many times over a period of time in order to weaken the outer periphery. This tactic, after centuries of it, paved the way for the eventual conquest of Byzantium in 1453. Some times the periphery was weaker and it took less to conquer -- as with the Iberian peninsula (or, for that matter, the entire Middle East and North Africa on their way to Iberia). But then, Muslims hit a brick wall in northern Spain when a coalition of proto-Westerners at the Battle of Tours among other battles repelled them definitively, and continued to repel them for centuries thereafter; and indeed finally re-conquered Spain after 800 years of trying.

To the extent that explanation #2 does not feel like it completely satisfies the puzzle of Islam's success initially and over time, although I am an agnostic, I think there is no other way to explain Islam than to say it is a collective Satanic mass possession. The kinds of grotesquely ghoulish violence that are rife throughout the Muslim world now and throughout history, and the twisted fanaticism and schizophrenia of Muslims (example their puritanical fanaticism simultaneously co-existing with depraved sexuality including pedophilia, gang rape, sodomy of boys, sexual mutilation of corpses, etc.) would find the most logical explanation there.

At any rate, I would rather err, or exaggerate, in that direction, than to posit that Islam is somehow good or a "miracle".

But questions like these I think need not be answered before we figure out a way to put out the fire and save the residents.

I.e., as my conclusion to my essay "Quantum Ignorance" has it, the War of Ideas aspect of this war is not a propaganda mission to change Muslims; it is a project to persuade our own fellow Westerners to wake up to the threat and take rational actions (which in my view include total deportation and quarantine).

Ghostrider said...

I use the word eradication because it means that Islam has been thoroughly destroyed on several levels so it will cease to exist even as a future alternative ideology for anyone. I carefully don't use the word extermination because it usually means killing people (not that I'm personally averse to killing Muslims, I consider it an ineffective method for effecting what I want to do). In the words of Cato the Elder, Carthago delenda est.
Framing the goal as eradication of the religion Islam will only result in something like managing it and shrinking it, since the best laid plans are rarely perfectly successful as originally envisioned -- as you know.
The timing of the several parts of a multi-pronged war is important and remains to be seen. Certainly deportation and effecting the de-legalizing of Islam's status as religion is the primary part of any larger strategy.
More maybe later this evening. By the way, the EDL Forum is organized quite well. We in the U.S. could use a similarly constructed website.

Ghostrider said...

The post on EDL Forum by Bamiyan is worthwhile reading. I have a few minor disagreements. Bamiyan eschews violence and out & out war. I wouldn't rule it out. Bamiyan is right, though, in cautioning against making a facile equivalence between WWII with its full throttle military force and the future prospects of how we stop Islam. Islam is quite a different animal than the German Nazi war machine, despite the Jew-hatred of them both.
Bamiyan then says: ideological war only. I would have to add to that: Containment and also some military operations in selected places. And, more accurately, that is in fact how the Cold War was conducted.It was, like WWII, "total war" but less violent total war: The war of ideas, Containment, plus the constant threat of possible violent force, plus occasional surrogate military conflict.
Reverse Dhimmitude : Altering the spiritual and material cost/benefits of being a Muslim. In other words, constantly, regularly making Muslims feel inferior (sometimes in subtle ways, not necessarily being loud and boisterous about it, but applying many forms of Disrespect towards Muslims and Islam so the Muslims will be aware of it).
As Bamiyan says: The way to get at them is to destroy the Muslim's fragile ego, the Muslim's superiority complex, exposing the underlying sense of true inferiority. I would add: As soon as the Muslim recovers and starts building back up his ego, knock it down again, over and over, year after year, decade after decade. Never let them regain their conviction of superiority.
Bamiyan is, of course, right on target re. the centrality of the person of Muhammed in the psyche of every Muslim. But I would caution against simply wagging our fingers, moralistically, at the Muslim as though shaming him according to non-Muslim standards of morality is going to accomplish anything. The self-righteous moral critique - browbeating the Muslim - is entertaining for us but has little effect on the Muslim.
Could it be the case that Muslims revere Muhammed because they know little about him? Because he is a man of mystery, in the Muslim mind? I don't know.
Very true: That the koran is full of contradictions doesn't bother any Muslim. Also, appeals to normal human decency are pointless. What does have an effect on a Muslim is disrespect, and lots of it. Disrespect can come in many forms, on many levels, in many areas. There's a whole spectrum of gradations of disrespect. On one end of the spectrum is when you go out on the street and simply kill someone and kick the dead body into a ditch. That would qualify as a type of disrespect. There are many less bloody types of disrespect which can be employed.
I caution that any violence or force must be reserved to the police and to military units. Vigilanteism is not good mostly because it results in disordering ourselves and our society. It's to our benefit to maintain the usual special functions of police and military. It's our society, so let's keep it the way it's supposed to be, while we make things very uncomfortable and quietly (but effectually) insulting for every Muslim.

Ghostrider said...

The post on EDL Forum by Bamiyan is worthwhile reading. I have a few minor disagreements. Bamiyan eschews violence and out & out war. I wouldn't rule it out. Bamiyan is right, though, in cautioning against making a facile equivalence between WWII with its full throttle military force and the future prospects of how we stop Islam. Islam is quite a different animal than the German Nazi war machine, despite the Jew-hatred of them both.
Bamiyan then says: ideological war only. I would have to add to that: Containment and also some military operations in selected places. And, more accurately, that is in fact how the Cold War was conducted.It was, like WWII, "total war" but less violent total war: The war of ideas, Containment, plus the constant threat of possible violent force, plus occasional surrogate military conflict.
Reverse Dhimmitude : Altering the spiritual and material cost/benefits of being a Muslim. In other words, constantly, regularly making Muslims feel inferior (sometimes in subtle ways, not necessarily being loud and boisterous about it, but applying many forms of Disrespect towards Muslims and Islam so the Muslims will be aware of it).
As Bamiyan says: The way to get at them is to destroy the Muslim's fragile ego, the Muslim's superiority complex, exposing the underlying sense of true inferiority. I would add: As soon as the Muslim recovers and starts building back up his ego, knock it down again, over and over, year after year, decade after decade. Never let them regain their conviction of superiority.
Bamiyan is, of course, right on target re. the centrality of the person of Muhammed in the psyche of every Muslim. But I would caution against simply wagging our fingers, moralistically, at the Muslim as though shaming him according to non-Muslim standards of morality is going to accomplish anything. The self-righteous moral critique - browbeating the Muslim - is entertaining for us but has little effect on the Muslim.
Could it be the case that Muslims revere Muhammed because they know little about him? Because he is a man of mystery, in the Muslim mind? I don't know.
Very true: That the koran is full of contradictions doesn't bother any Muslim. Also, appeals to normal human decency are pointless. What does have an effect on a Muslim is disrespect, and lots of it. Disrespect can come in many forms, on many levels, in many areas. There's a whole spectrum of gradations of disrespect. On one end of the spectrum is when you go out on the street and simply kill someone and kick the dead body into a ditch. That would qualify as a type of disrespect. There are many less bloody types of disrespect which can be employed.
I caution that any violence or force must be reserved to the police and to military units. Vigilanteism is not good mostly because it results in disordering ourselves and our society. It's to our benefit to maintain the usual special functions of police and military. It's our society, so let's keep it the way it's supposed to be, while we make things very uncomfortable and quietly (but effectually) insulting for every Muslim.

Ghostrider said...

The post on EDL Forum by Bamiyan is worthwhile reading. I have a few minor disagreements. Bamiyan eschews violence and out & out war. I wouldn't rule it out. Bamiyan is right, though, in cautioning against making a facile equivalence between WWII with its full throttle military force and the future prospects of how we stop Islam. Islam is quite a different animal than the German Nazi war machine, despite the Jew-hatred of them both.
Bamiyan then says: ideological war only. I would have to add to that: Containment and also some military operations in selected places. And, more accurately, that is in fact how the Cold War was conducted.It was, like WWII, "total war" but less violent total war: The war of ideas, Containment, plus the constant threat of possible violent force, plus occasional surrogate military conflict.
Reverse Dhimmitude : Altering the spiritual and material cost/benefits of being a Muslim. In other words, constantly, regularly making Muslims feel inferior (sometimes in subtle ways, not necessarily being loud and boisterous about it, but applying many forms of Disrespect towards Muslims and Islam so the Muslims will be aware of it).
As Bamiyan says: The way to get at them is to destroy the Muslim's fragile ego, the Muslim's superiority complex, exposing the underlying sense of true inferiority. I would add: As soon as the Muslim recovers and starts building back up his ego, knock it down again, over and over, year after year, decade after decade. Never let them regain their conviction of superiority.
Bamiyan is, of course, right on target re. the centrality of the person of Muhammed in the psyche of every Muslim. But I would caution against simply wagging our fingers, moralistically, at the Muslim as though shaming him according to non-Muslim standards of morality is going to accomplish anything. The self-righteous moral critique - browbeating the Muslim - is entertaining for us but has little effect on the Muslim.
Could it be the case that Muslims revere Muhammed because they know little about him? Because he is a man of mystery, in the Muslim mind? I don't know.
Very true: That the koran is full of contradictions doesn't bother any Muslim. Also, appeals to normal human decency are pointless. What does have an effect on a Muslim is disrespect, and lots of it. Disrespect can come in many forms, on many levels, in many areas. There's a whole spectrum of gradations of disrespect. On one end of the spectrum is when you go out on the street and simply kill someone and kick the dead body into a ditch. That would qualify as a type of disrespect. There are many less bloody types of disrespect which can be employed.
I caution that any violence or force must be reserved to the police and to military units. Vigilanteism is not good mostly because it results in disordering ourselves and our society. It's to our benefit to maintain the usual special functions of police and military. It's our society, so let's keep it the way it's supposed to be, while we make things very uncomfortable and quietly (but effectually) insulting for every Muslim.

Ghostrider said...

Sorry for the triple post. I kept getting a little warning message saying I mistyped the word verification letters.

Ghostrider said...

Hesperado, I have to differ with you when you say the vast majority of Muslims will [always] remain as Muslims. In another location you give the reason for this: the depth of Islamic culture and society. I am not aware of much depth there. On the contrary it appears to be quite shallow. Muslim society is held together by an enormous amount of fear-based social control. Hence it doesn't need much in the way of culture and social arrangements beyond what functions to keep up the level of fear. Internally the society has a heavy atmosphere of fear. Externally they try to convince the kaffir there's no need to fear, alternating with threatenings, according to the expediencies of the moment. The way the Muslims among themselves interact requires much dishonesty unto each other, to always give the appearance of perfect conformity to the shifting requirements of shariah. Muslims must practice constant dishonesty both internally and externally to their society. One might coin a phrase and call Islam's culture and social mores "dishonesty-in-depth".
That's a society which will unravel and disintegrate under enough applied pressure.

Hesperado said...

Ghostrider,

I've been unusually busy of late.

Just for now, I must disagree on your hypotheses of Muslim psychology/sociology.

The rule of thumb, I maintain, when trying to understand Muslims is to err on the side of assuming

a) the worst

b) the most alien from our own understanding.

I don't just say this out of the blue; it is the impression that has slowly dawned on me after reading about Muslims (not only in our own time, but in past centuries).

Thus, the proper way to frame the question is:

Given that Muslims are so evil and alien, how can we explain X, Y and Z which seem to indicate otherwise?

Not:

Muslims must share our psychology and sociology deep down and fundamentally, therefore any phenomena that seem evil and alien can be resolved by seeing ourselves somehow in them.

Nobody said...

Ghostrider

Muslims will always remain Muslims - this is something that can be observed from Muslims themselves. In the past, I've discussed w/ Hesperado how Persians, despite being under non-Muslim Mongol rule for a couple of centuries, did not revert to Zoroastrianism - instead, it was the Ilkhanate that Islamized. Other examples - all the former Soviet Muslim republics - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan - despite centuries under first Russian, and then Soviet rule, have remained Muslim, despite all the Russian influences. After they became independent, they could have been free religiously pluralistic countries, but while the regimes (particularly Uzbekistan) suppress Islam, the people of those countries are becoming more Islamic. Kazakhstan, which was only 50% Muslim when it became independent, is today 67% Muslim, thanks to a decrease in the % of the Russian population. With that, I see all these countries becoming more Islamic as they become more democratic, or if they remain dictatorships, I see a point where they'll become countries like Iran or Turkey - the inspiration for all of them, depending on their ethnicity.

On the solution to the Muslim problem, I'm slightly more optimistic than Hesperado. Reason is that in the 80s, I never dreamt that a day would come that the Soviet Union would cease to exist, but it happened. If that could happen, I believe a day can come when Islam becomes a fringe religion. A lot of it would have to happen due to war, since unlike Communism, we're discussing a 'religion' (which Islam both is & isn't) and the remainder would be an aftermath of their defeat (just like Germans stopped being Nazis after having their heads handed to them after WWII). I don't think separation, or 'managing the problem', would be the long term permanent solution, where Islam will remain alive behind an iron veil, just like it didn't work for Japan.

Hesperado said...

Nobody,

"On the solution to the Muslim problem, I'm slightly more optimistic than Hesperado. Reason is that in the 80s, I never dreamt that a day would come that the Soviet Union would cease to exist, but it happened."

Your first paragraph indicates a glimpse of the vast sociocultural-psychological iceberg that would vitiate the optimism of your second paragraph -- an iceberg which ever portends an Ice Age, not a warming.

Sure, the Soviet Union and its Communist order collapsed like a house of cards. Sure, that took us by surprise where most of us expected that order to remain more or less implacably and indefinitely.

I don't know the technical name for the logical fallacy operative here, but to put it colloquially, just because it happened in one place, doesn't mean it can happen again in another place -- particularly when that "other place" has so many variables distinguishing it from the one place.

I'm surprised that you of all people would think the U.S.S.R. collapse analogy is relevant here at all. Communism was a late, cobbled-together ideology that began in the late 19th century and lasted in sociopolitically dominant force only a little more than 80 years (and in China and Korea, it has lasted only 60-odd years to date; in Cuba 50).

Islam on the other hand has profound historical and cultural depth, and vast geographical breadth -- and part of that depth and breadth has to do with exactly what your first paragraph glimpse referred to: under Communism, most of the People were trying to escape, and the ideology never took hold on a broad basis and had to be coerced. Under Islam, on the other hand, the amount of hold it takes on people's psyches is astoundingly profound. Under Communism, Nazism and Fascism, outside of mass rallies more often than not artificially conduced, there was no spectacle of mass lock-step fanaticism like the Hajj -- which has been annual for centuries in Islam, drawing diverse peoples from all over the globe. And the Hajj is merely one example out of thousands one could adduce of the mass fanaticism of Islam.

Nobody said...

Granted! Which is why I speculated that it will require a combination of a hot war & a cold war for this to happen, not just a cold war.

But once the West and the rest of the Infidel world does wake up to this issue, I strongly doubt that they'll simply be content w/ rolling back Islam to its previous borders - whatever they were. They'd probably go after it w/ the same assertiveness that they went after the Nazis. I don't see them waking up seriously enough to expel Muslims from the West, and then not taking it to its logical conclusion.

Hesperado said...

Nobody,

I believe you're not thinking through your analogy. To conclude WW2, we did not exterminate Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or Imperial Japan: we simply bombed them until they surrendered -- then, we helped them rehabilitate and become prosperous nation-states again.

Secondly, if I can imagine, feel and think that what we should do is expel Muslims then quarantine them within Muslim lands, and if following that there are no (or precious few and small) attacks by Muslims outside of that quarantine (which seems reasonable if the West acts in a concerted fashion to cooperate on enforcing it), then it's not difficult for me to imagine that the West will be satisfied with that.

The healthy (i.e. dominant) West isn't Genghis Khan. We don't exterminate. We just try to stop people from causing trouble. Once the Muslims are expelled and quarantined, they will stop causing trouble. Should they find a way to start causing trouble after that, we will do what it takes to stop that new trouble.

bayoucoyote said...

The present time is ripe for such a book.

jasnan said...

The question why Islam flourished

1. Misogynist quest for power and control of sexuality of women.
2. the power Islam gives to prosecute blasphemers, used by these power hungry people to get satisfaction by injuring others ( what ISIS does now ).

3. Boredom, people want to do mundane jobs instead of constructive thinking.