Saturday, December 03, 2011
Still asymptotic after all these years: The case of Bosch Fawstin
About a year ago, in December of 2010, I posted an essay here of the same title.
Not much seems to have changed this past year. Most in the anti-Islam movement (particularly the more moving-and-shaking luminaries among us) still seem to be asymptotic.
By "asymptotic" I refer to those who are, in various ways and flavors, sorta kinda anti-Islam. To put it another way, their anti-Islam inclination seems to result in various statements or analyses that equivocate and soften their criticism of Islam.
There is a whole spectrum of asymptotic positions -- from the low end, where they are in danger of shading off into being virtually PC MC, to the upper reaches, where they just can't seem to take the last step to a full and total condemnation of Islam and of all Muslims.
Probably the most egregiously asymptotic figures in the still inchoate anti-Islam movement are Jamie Glazov and Daniel Pipes. Indeed, the latter is almost the gold standard, or poster child, for the term.
And speaking of Pipes, an important facet of the definition of asymptotic, in addition to its relative softness and squishiness about the problem of Islam, is its essential incoherence -- and Pipes exemplifies that in spades. (Lawrence Auster has done a good job of bringing that incoherence to clear relief.)
Now, regrettably, we must add a new name to the list of Asymptotics: Bosch Fawstin. And, judging from a recent essay of his published on the website Frontpage.com (of which Glazov is a major figure) and republished on Jihad Watch, he seems to be rather on the low end of it (though not as bad as a Glazov or a Pipes).
After his provocative opening salvo, "My name is Bosch and I'm a recovering Muslim" -- Fawstin writes in his very first paragraph:
... fortunately for us, Islam hasn’t been able to make every Muslim its slave, just as Nazism wasn’t able to turn every German into a Nazi. So there is Islam and there are Muslims. Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t.
The remainder of his essay is chock-full of incoherencies, insofar as, interwoven among gymnastically flexible contortions otherwise, they effectively contradict the purport of the two sentences quoted above -- assuming, that is (as Fawstin goes on to make clear), that his hypothetical category "Muslims who don't take Islam seriously" apparently reflects a vast worldwide demographic sufficiently numerous and widespread to make a difference to the danger which Islam activated by Muslims poses to our societies. (For, it they don't make a difference, why mention them?)
Other than unsubstantiated claims to support the viability of that hypothetical category, Fawstin offers only anecdotal evidence:
"I’ve been around Muslims my entire life and most of them truly don’t care about Islam."
First of all, he's only one person; and he's relatively young (he looks about 40-something tops; perhaps late 30s). Assuming his "entire life" spans say from age 18 to the present (though we'd have to eliminate the last couple of years during which he's been provoking Muslims with his brazenly blasphemous artwork), we have one man's experience with Muslims for approximately 20 years.
Assuming then that he hasn't been "around" Muslims 24/7 365 days out of every year during those 20 years, we can safely put the number of Muslims of his experience at about 250 -- approximately one Muslim per month for those 20 years. Unless he is going to make the rather extravagant claim that he has known one large Muslim family for every month, or even every week, of those 20 years; or that he has known one Muslim per day for 20 years; or that he is seriously including in addition the scores or even hundreds of Muslims with whom he has had only the barest, most fleeting experience in passing -- claims that, needless to say, should be summarily dismissed.
Further making the safe assumption that this number of approximately 250 Muslims isn't scientifically geographically representative of all Muslims around the world, but probably reflects a skewed demographic not only limited by geography, but also perhaps by sociocultural criteria (perhaps tending more toward urban and academic types, encountered largely in Western settings?), we are left with a rather paltry shred of anecdotal evidence. This is not counting the vagueness of his evidence. What does "being around" Muslims constitute? How can we weigh the usefulness of that phrase, in terms of exculpating those Muslims he has been "around" from being dangers to our society?
Assuming the most reasonable form of Fawstin's anecdotal evidence, even if we had five thousand Fawstins to bring forward their similar anecdotal evidence, we'd still only be talking about approximately < 0.0001% of the Muslims of the world. And even that number would be dicey, full of holes, as we've argued above, in terms of verifiability of their allegedly innocuous nature.
For Fawstin to use this personal anecdotal evidence in a serious vein as some kind of substantial underpinning to his argument reveals a serious emotional deficit impairing his judgment. ( I do not add an intellectual deficit, because he seems to be an intelligent person.) One not unlikely source of that emotional deficit may be indicated by the mere fact that a person who looks as white and Western as Fawstin chose to become a Muslim in the first place, and has chosen to be "around" Muslims his entire life. What motivated him to become Muslim in the first place? Why has he been spending so much of his time around Muslims all these years of his life? Did he undergo some kind of brain replacement surgery to undergo the transmogrification from his previous Muslim life to his present anti-Islam life? What explains the new Fawstin and how do we know it's any different from the old, Muslim Fawstin?
While it's of course good that he jumped ship and left Islam, nevertheless these kinds of questions need to be answered by him with frank and substantively responsive answers; and any way they are sliced, they would seem to point to problems with Fawstin's rational faculties.
All this may go a long way toward explaining why he's asymptotic which, as I have defined it before, is the retention -- to one degree or another -- of the mental disease of PC MC in the heart and mind of the otherwise anti-Islam person. I.e., Fawstin never fully left Islam. He is retaining a bit of it in his heart and in his mind, if only by absolving innumerable Muslims, perhaps the majority around the world, of their Islam without demanding that they first leave Islam before he pronounces them safe and okay for the West.
I was also disappointed in reading the comments to the Fawstin essay by Jihad Watch readers. With a rare exception, they all pretty much gullibly lap up Fawstin and seem to agree with his incoherent mush (perhaps, at best, figuring that as long as he left Islam and is working against it, that's good enough for them).
As I wrote in my previous essay a year ago:
After all the evil and lethal crap that Islam oozes and spews -- not merely over the centuries, decades, years and months -- but just in any given past week, I continue to see Jihad Watchers (or we may call them "Counterjihadists" or "Anti-Shariaians") pull their punches with regard to what we should do about the problem.
And, of course, Islam does not ooze and spew all this evil and lethal crap by itself: it only does so as long as Muslims do it, and/or as long as Muslims enable their brothers and sisters to do so. There is no excuse for any Muslim (other than one severely brain damaged in a literal medical sense) to remain a Muslim -- given what Islam stands for, and given what innumerable Muslims are saying and doing all over the world now, and for 14 centuries.