Saturday, March 26, 2011
The asymptotic twitch
The asymptotic twitch is nearly universal -- including within the ragged ambit of the still inchoate Anti-Islam Movement.
It is the minor spasm that occurs after an apparently anti-Islam person has just finished saying a bunch of anti-Islam things. The spasm, or twitch, is a coda meant to assure the reader, or the audience, that the anti-Islam person isn't against Islam per se, or isn't against "all Muslims"; or whatever. The permutations of the locution may vary, but the point is clear: he must anxiously defend himself from the "bigotry" that is assumed to pertain to a condemnation deemed to be too sweeping, or too potent.
Sometimes the asymptotic twitch takes a subtler form, through employing any number of euphemisms (or, rather, cacophemisms) by which to distinguish the Bad Islam from the Good Islam, or the Bad Muslims from the Good Muslims (you know, "radical Islam", "extremism", "fundamentalism", "Wahhabism", "Salafism", etc.).
The asymptotic twitch is sort of analogous to that running joke on that winsomely clever sit-com of the 90s, Seinfeld, where one of the characters would make some amusing observations about gay people or the gay lifestyle -- and then hasten to add at the end: "-- not that there's anything wrong with that!"
At any rate, here's the latest exhibit of the asymptotic twitch, courtesy of that "conservative", Newt Gingrich.
After delivering a speech riddled with seemingly tough no-nonsense language against Islam, including --
"It’s part of this desperation of our secular elites to do everything they can to prove they are not anti-Muslim”
-- we read from the reporter covering this speech:
Gingrich insisted that he’s not anti-Muslim himself, but that he is “deeply opposed” to the religion’s radical wing that represses women, homosexuals and Christians.