Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Asymptote Watch: Frank Gaffney
I've been impressed by Frank Gaffney on a number of accounts: his unstinting support of Diana West during the attacks by David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh on her new book (American Betrayal); his ongoing project (at the Center for Security Policy) of galvanzing various analysts mostly in the form of podcast discussions and interviews which shine lights on various aspects of the problem of Islam; and his calm and reasoned manner which helps maintain an admirable decorum especially in the Blogospheric context where hot tempers and boorish manners often seem to become too readily the norm.
The reader is probably wondering about now where my Big However is going to rear itself. Right about now: However, I have become increasingly disappointed by certain asymptotic signs and symptoms in Gaffney's Islamanschauung.
Two glaring ones: Gaffney prompts the pseudo-no-nonsense anti-Islam analyst Erick Stakelbeck to distinguish "Islamism" from Muslims following their Islam -- and, of course, Stakelbeck earnestly complies, since he's also asymptotic, providing as usual a sweeping generalization about the minds of untold millions of Muslims he can magically mind-read.
The second occurred when Gaffney had the slick Moderate Muslim Zuhdi Jasser on his show, introducing him as the greatest thing since sliced cheese. If a stealth Muslim wanted to make sure that those influential people suspicious of the more obvious "Islamists" such as the Muslim Brotherhood could be hoodwinked by a deeper infiltration of Muslims, he could not do classically better than to whisper into Frank Gaffney's ear exactly what Gaffney needs to hear to make himself feel ethically better about the horrible prospect of damning all Muslims -- which, to the Gaffneys of the Counter-Jihad, must be avoided at all cost.
Would Frank Gaffney be willing to submit his "great friend" Zuhdi Jasser to a polite yet assertive and thorough disquisition on the Islam he continues to follow? If not, why not? And if not, would Gaffney not be (ironically) behaving approximately the same as those who refused to investigate the loyalty of Huma Abedin?