Sunday, May 15, 2011
Plausible Denial, Islam Style -- and Bluffing Them, Western Style
I found the following excerpt from a scholarly article on a website back in 2007, and have always been meaning to feature it on my blog. It not only provides a glimpse into the perennial murderousness of Muslims in the name of Islam (in this case, in the history of the Philippines) but also provides a hint of an ingeniously canny way to deal with Muslims. And, in the spirit of my principle that,when it comes to Muslims, 16th century history is not appreciably different from this past week's news, I offer the following:
"With the possible exception of Japan's kamikaze pilots in the closing days of World War II, warfare has rarely known a more frightening phenomenon than the juramentados. Known as sabers by the Maranao and sabils by the Tau Sug, juramentados were [Muslim] fanatics who, believing that they would enter Paradise if killed in battle against infidels, would whip themselves into obsessed states of self-hypnosis and, kris [a dagger] in hand, charge blindly into the ranks of the enemy, be he Spaniard, American, Japanese or Filipino. In this semimystical trance the juramentados often raced directly into heavy volleys of rifle fire, shrugged off incredible wounds, and had to be killed on their feet literally, before their attack ended.
"These slashing attacks kept the Spanish in a constant state of terror until, it is said, the Spanish military governor of Jolo stumbled on a harsh but effective solution. The governor had complained to the Sultan of Sulu that juramentados had made repeated attacks against Spanish troops in Jolo town. The Sultan who lived in nearby Maimbung apologized but explained that he could not control suicidal fanatics. Soon after, a Spanish gunboat appeared off Maimbung and began to shell the town, killing many Moros and destroying a large part of the town. The horrified Sultan immediately reported this to the Spanish governor who apologized but replied that there was nothing he could do. The captain of the gunboat, he said, had obviously gone juramentado and as the Sultan well knew there was no controlling fanatics. After that, according to the story, Jolo was not troubled by juramentados for a long time."
(As the website says, the above is taken from an article, written in 1965, by Dr. Peter G. Gowing, an associate professor of Christian History and World Religion at Silliman University in the Philippines, and editor of the Silliman Journal, a scholarly quarterly.)
Now, let us translate and distill that excerpt I quoted above into an adumbration of discursive prose a little more appositely blunt and clear for our purposes:
1) A tiny minority of Muslim extremists are terrorizing a region of non-Muslims.
2) They have been terrorizing this region so long, and so many times, that they are becoming a deadly serious, and escalating problem.
3) The non-Muslim authorities, tasked with the basic responsibility to protect their own people in the region, begin to take serious notice of the problem and seek to find a way to curb it or put a stop to it.
4) These non-Muslim authorities are rational (i.e., their hearts and minds are relatively unclouded by PC MC).
5) These rational non-Muslim authorities intuitively (and no doubt from long experience) suspect that regional Muslim representatives (both clerical and political) are in collusion with the tiny minority of Muslim extremists.
6) These rational non-Muslim authorities therefore decide to pursue a wickedly ingenious game of "calling your bluff" on the regional Muslim representatives:
7) First, they send a delegation to the highest authority among them, the regional Sultan, informing him of the escalating plague of terror attacks, and asking him to do something about it.
8) The Sultan, of course, like all Muslims, immediately denies that he has anything to do with that tiny minority of fanatics (for of course, Islam is peaceful and wouldn't aid and abet, much less perpetrate, such atrocities) -- and thus he is sorry, but he cannot help the non-Muslims with their problem.
9) The rational non-Muslim authorities figured the Sultan would try to pull this ploy of plausible deniability: so they proceed to plan B.
10) They start bombing his palace and surrounding town from cannons on ships offshore.
11) The Sultan in consternation sends the non-Muslim authorities immediate word: "What are you doing!? Please stop!"
12) The rational non-Muslim authorities respond calmly: "Why, those ships bombing your palace and town must be a tiny minority of fanatics; we have nothing to do with them, so we cannot help you with your problem."
13) The next day, and for years afterwards, the Muslim terror attacks in the non-Muslim region cease.
Note: I am not implying that such a devilishly clever tactic would work like this every time, in all contexts, against Muslims. But it is certainly a stratagem worth trying, occasionally, and using on a case-by-case basis -- that is, when the West begins to regain its former rationality.
P.S.: Ironically, the article I excerpted is to be found on the "saudiaramcoworld.com" website; though the candidly unflattering descriptions Muslims of yore are probably due to the fact that, as we are told, it was written in 1965, when the mainstream dominance of PC MC was only beginning.
I.e., perhaps back in 1965, not only were professors like Prof. Gowing, the writer of the article, slightly less PC MC (in other remarks he makes elsewhere in the article not reproduced here, he sounds notes similar to the tiresome "but not all Muslims were bad" and "both sides of the conflict were enmeshed in a cycle of violence" bullshit we have come, wearily, to know all too well), but apparently too the Western publishers and editors were at least slightly less PC MC than their counterparts today, who would tend to leave such a hot potato untouched by a six-foot pole, or at least severely whitewashed. And back then, perhaps it is likely the Saudi Muslims involved in the project were somewhat less worried about unvarnished history unprotected by taqiyya and/or kitman.