Sunday, March 27, 2011
Hugh Fitzgerald's "replacement", the affectedly lower-falutin Roland Shirk, in a recent discursive essay on Jihad Watch, took a stab at explaining why the West persists in its myopia to the dangers of Islam. The result was an analysis curiously missing a major, crucial factor -- the most important factor (as I have argued before): the perceived ethnicity of Muslims in the PC MC mind.
This color-blindness I have noticed is a frequent, if not common, problem in the anti-Islam movement (AIM). Part of the problem stems from an asymptotic fear that we will be ostracized as "bigots" or "racists" if we advert too much to the ethnic complexion of Islam. This fear becomes rhetorically solved, yet its underlying assumption magnified, when those in the AIM triumphantly parrot the mantra "Islam is not a race!" -- as though that settles the matter.
But the problem is not that Muslims are ethnic; the problem is that they are perceived, by the dominant and mainstream PC MC culture in the West, as ethnic (or, more accurately, as a wonderfully diverse rainbow of ethnic peoples from around the world). And because of this perception, Muslims are automatically accorded excessive respect and solicitude for their various "grievances".
This perception is not irrational: it derives from the massive demographic fact that the vast majority of Muslims look ethnic (while, on the flip side, the vast majority of those who look white are Western non-Muslims). And this demographic fact in turn derives from the massive historical fact that Islam's imperialism over 14 centuries (including our own, in Africa and central Asia, for example) spread principally throughout non-Western regions of the world, from the Pacific islands and SE Asia, to central Asia, throughout the Middle East, and North and Central Africa.
Once that ethnic factor is in place and exerting its sociopolitical influence on the Western conversation about Islam, other factors strengthen it -- the most important in this regard being the violence Muslims perpetrate, and the evident willingness and capability they show in following through with threats of same. This exerts a semi- (or even sub-)conscious effect on the PC MC mind, for to be consciously afraid of Muslim violence would bring their irrational logic -- by which they persist in whitewashing, respecting and protecting Muslims -- too acutely to the surface. Since no other ethnic group exhibits the same degree of organized violence, this helps push Muslims onto the front burner of the PC MC agenda -- which, as we have said, is in this regard anxiously concerned to respect and placate ethnic peoples over against the West perceived to be white (and therefore, of course, inherently potentially racist).
The Race Factor: Reality, and political reality
Anti-Racism: The primary reason why the West persists in whitewashing the problem of Islam