Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A Civil War of Ideas (Part One)

The world is currently in a world war -- but one side (the West) largely doesn't know it yet.  The crucial question then becomes:  Why doesn't the West know that Islam has revived and renewed its perennial jihad against "Rome" (as Muslims see the West)?

Some in the Counter-Jihad (still a minuscule group in the West, and including a few brave souls hailing from various parts of the Muslim world), think the answer to this vexing question must be that the West has come under the sway and control of some strangely powerful dastardly cabal of evil people -- usually described as "Leftists" and/or "Cultural Marxists".  While I agree that Leftism, and even Marxism, is pernicious, and is one factor in our currently massive myopia to the problem of Islam, there are reasons why I believe this cannot be the main factor.  Among those reasons, I find it symptomatic of a strange alienation from one's own West to consider the entire West to be ruled under some kind of hegemony of a nefarious cabal of evil "elites".  Some Counter-Jihadists who adopt this view even go so far as to describe the West in terms that imply it is now already a totalitarian fascist regime.  If this were true, what would be the point of defending the West?  The only logic that may be wrested from such a view is that the West is gripped by a mass malignancy, but that there exists a good Remnant who should hunker down, disconnected from the West, and fight some kind of apocalyptic civil war against their own West, hoping to win and transform the West (or restore it to its former self -- assuming that these alienated Counter-Jihadists believe it ever was good in the first place).  The degree of alienation from the massively good and healthy and beautiful West (sans the usual litany of its flaws of imperfection) which this view implies, and the conspiracy theory it requires to sustain it, are impermissible.

There has to be a better way; and one's Western faith in one's own West, based upon a complex and rich forest of reasons, apparently unseen or ignored for the trees by these strangely disaffected types of Counter-Jihadists, is why one is reasonably justified in committing to a confidence to move forward to try to wake up the West to the problem of Islam -- not through a violent civil war, but rather through a war that must remain civil:  a Civil War of Ideas.

In the view of the alternative I suggest, it is apposite to recognize that we are in, as Frank Gaffney so aptly put it, the "battle space of the war of ideas".  Our civil war is, for now, a war of ideas, and it assumes that the majority of the demographic of those in the West who Don't Get It can get it -- indeed, will get it -- if we persevere and work hard in the coming years (if not decades) to try to persuade them.

Unfortunately, one major factor in helping us persuade our fellow Westerners to wake up will be the metastasis of our enemy, the Muslims; for it is eminently reasonable to suppose that Muslims in pursuing their Islamic goals around the world will only get worse in the years and decades ahead.

Given the mountain of evidence we have to build upon now, it would be unreasonable to suppose that their outrageous hatred and violent atrocities will not escalate as this 21st century unfolds, but will remain static and stable.  No: Muslims will continue to push the envelope so flagrantly and lethally that it will rise to the threshold set irrationally high by our fellow Politically Correct Multi-Culturalists (PC MCs), and will help to cause them to perk up and take notice and to begin that epochal readjustment of a worldview called a "paradigm shift" -- consequent upon such elementary behaviors as noticing new data and changing your mind, or known colloquially as Thinking Outside the Box, and Connecting the Dots.

This project will not be easy; it will likely entail lots of very frustrating attempts on our part, leading us often to feel like pulling out our own hair by the roots in exasperation at the axioms, shibboleths, and knee-jerk responses of our fellow PC MCs who, alas, abound throughout our West all around us -- including not merely "elites" but also innumerable Ordinary People; and not merely "Leftists" but often many otherwise Conservatives and Centrists, not to mention that sociopolitical demographic under-appreciated for their sheer numbers, the Comfortably Apolitical (a post-modern holdover, perhaps, from the rather antiquated category of the Bourgeoisie; revived fashionably during the 80s and 90s as the "Yuppie").

As we forge ahead and gird ourselves for the long haul, we note, wearily, that the PC MCs around us exempt themselves from the obligation (and responsibility) to be fair and balanced with regard to Islamocritical figures (example, reporters for the online magazine Salon).  Indeed, they often go further and exempt themselves from the obligation to process pretty much any external data about the problem of Islam at all (except when the sheer force of news events make it virtually impossible for them to continue their dereliction of civic duty; though they persist in their attempts at obscuring the Islam factor with euphemisms and other circumlocutory semantics).

For, you see, PC MCs don't need external data about Islamocriticism: the PC MC template already supplies all the data they need, and they can't imagine there could possibly be any new data (let alone any data at all) that would disabuse them of their pre-judgement (= prejudice) -- their prefabricated premises and foregone conclusions.

Which is why, incidentally, we still desperately need an A.I.M. (an Anti-Islam Manual) -- not so we too can become unthinking parrots like the PC MCs, but so that we may have an arsenal more capable of outwitting and outdancing the diversely complex obfuscation tactics of the PC MCs whenever they defend various aspects of Islam and Muslims; and when they go on the offensive against Islamocriticism. The useful function of an A.I.M. would be, in effect, to deputize a few million ordinary people who also happen to be critics of Islam -- armed with a comprehensive manual of talking and rebutting points.

I say this from years of frustrated experience, where I've found myself ill-equipped, in myriad ways, to fend off Islamopologists (not to mention the minions of semi-passively lazy thinkers we have all around us in the West who allow their vaguely PC reflexes to do their thinking for them whenever the direly exigent issue of the problem of Islam comes up).

Of course, innumerable ordinary people are, and have been for years now, arming themselves autodidactically, in their earnest effort to scramble around by the seat of their pants to take a crash course in Islam.  This exigency has been rudely and horribly made necessary, most emblematically, by the planes Muslims crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon many years ago.  I also have observed, however, from years of experience, as I have with great interest witnessed and heard and read their various efforts in various venues online and offline that -- again, in myriad ways -- most of this still minuscule army of autodidacts, with good intentions and often lots of determination and dedication (bless their hearts), seem more often than not to be stumbling and fumbling along, groping and flailing in a situation where the data they need to deploy most effectively is scattered all over the place in ill-organized ways.  All too often, the data we need to deploy in our "battle space of the war of ideas" remains far-flung, or chopped into various pieces in various places, overly complicated, often maddeningly overlapping with unhelpful redundancy, plagued with insufficient source citations forcing the concerned researcher to Google for hours amid the Blogospheric Echo Chamber and rarely find an adequate reference for their pains and trouble.  And this is not to mention the problem of Too Much Information for any given topic -- or for the hundreds of important subtopics with which this dreadful issue of Islam teems and bristles, like a veritable jungle.

Not all of us have the nimbly encyclopedic talents of Robert Spencer; indeed, very few of us do. Wouldn't it be nice if a few million Ordinary People could become better equipped in this war of ideas which is really a Civil War of Ideas, direly in need of persuading our pleasantly Islamo-ignorant fellow Westerners?

One vivid example of what I am talking about I myself experienced a little over three years ago.  It was on a discussion forum that revolved around issues of science, politics, and philosophy, called (I wrote a couple of essays here describing my time there).  An all-too typical commenter there (all-too typical of the West at large, that is), whose mind was evidently compromised by PC MC, in pursuing her own war of ideas against my Islamocritical postings there (a war of ideas in which her surrounding sociopolitical milieu -- the entire West also compromised by PC MC -- remains overwhelmingly in her favor), in one discussion thread took exception to one key statement I made. She asked:

Show me evidence to support your claim that there is a law in Afghanistan that a person is killed if they leave Islam?

My lengthy, detailed and responsive answer to her I now will paste in here.  Three things the reader should note as they read through this:

1) I clearly and massively support my claim which my PC MC demurrer there ("Ms. Lucysnow") implies in her passive-aggressively rhetorical question cannot possibly be true.

2) After all the time and effort I put into responsively answering her question, "Ms. Lucysnow" didn't even bother to thank me or acknowledge that I had addressed a key point revealing a flaw in her anti-anti-Islam position.

3) Most importantly for the purpose of my essay here today is that it took me at least three hours of painstaking research to find, marshal, and present my evidence (including my concern to use only mainstream news sources, so that my "Ms lucysnow" wouldn't try to deflect by sneering at my use of "Jihad Watch" or "FOX news") -- time which we few, we proud in the Counter-Jihad often don't have for all the 1,001 different questions and issues raised by the problem of Islam.  If we had a digital Anti-Islam Manual (or app), I could have punched in a few keystrokes, and within 30 seconds I would have been able to access the lengthy detailed response that took me over three hours to ascertain.
Here then is that detailed response which blew "Ms. Lucysnow" out of the water:

The fact that you don't know this [viz., that Afghanistan had passed a law, based on Sharia, that makes apostasy a capital crime] is telling (but, alas, not surprising).

This past February, as this Telegraph article reported, NATO chief Anders Rasmussen appealed to the Afghanistan government to spare the life of a Muslim, Musa Sayed, who had left Islam to convert to Christianity -- who was sentenced to death according to its "moderate" constitution which is explicitly based in Sharia Law.

And from a CNN story back in late 2010 on the same case:

"According to Afghanistan's constitution, if there is no clear verdict as to whether an act is criminal or not in the penal code of the Afghan Constitution, then it would be referred to sharia law where the judge has an open hand in reaching a verdict," Shenwari said.

Under sharia law, converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by death....

(I'm amazed a mainstream news source actually recognized that unremarkable yet horrific fact; since we are usually coddled with the milk & honey of assurances that sharia law is benign.)

The Afghan constitution (which we, under Bush and Obama, have helped to realize through our ongoing committment of billions of dollars, and the lives and blown-up limbs of our men and women) identifies the country as an Islamic republic, and says that "followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law, " but "no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam" (Chapter 1, Articles 1-3).

An amendment in the tenth chapter of the constitution adds: "The provisions of adherence to the fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam and the regime of the Islamic Republic cannot be amended."

And, of course, sharia law is part of the Sunna, which is based centrally on the hadiths (or "ahadith" for those who are precise about their transliteration from Arabic) -- which are the Sayings of Mohammed, whose Dos and Don'ts preserved therein are the very heart of all Islamic law. The most authoritative collection of hadiths is Sahih Bukhari. According to Bukhari, it was reliably narrated that Muhammad said:

"Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."

-- Sahih al-Bukhari, 9.84.57.

Other hadiths back this up, for example, Jami At-Tirmidhi:

...the Messenger of Allah said: It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim, except a man who committed adultery after being married, or one who reverted to Kufr after becoming a Muslim...

And Sunan an-Nasa’i:

It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim except in one of three cases: A man who reverts to Kufr after becoming Muslim, or commits adultery after being married, or one who kills a soul unlawfully.

(as well as the hadiths of Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Malik, Tayalisi, and Ibn Hanbal).

Back in 2006, another Muslim in Afghanistan was similarly sentenced to death for leaving Islam ("apostasy"), Abdul Rahman. Only concerted international pressure convinced the Afghanistan government from relenting and sparing his life. (After all, they don't want to annoy the Americans who give them billions annually in the form of cash and the construction, and reconstruction (after frequent destruction by their homegrown and imported fanatics), of infrastructure projects.). An Afghanistan court ruled that he was "mentally ill" (which is one way to avoid getting killed under sharia law for apostasy, since sharia law stipulates that only if a person is an adult and mentally capable should he be killed for leaving Islam -- wow, how rational of them to be so obsessive-compulsively punctilious about their grotesque fanaticism!).

And so, Rahman was spirited away to Italy for his safety, since after being released from jail, Islamic clerics threatened that they would incite the people to "pull him into pieces" if they could.

From an AP story, reproduced by the Washington Post at the time:

Senior Muslim clerics demanded Thursday that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."

That AP story also has this precious quote and information on one of those clerics:

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.

Also note this MSNBC report at the time:

Senior clerics condemned Rahman as an apostate.

Rahman had “committed the greatest sin” by converting to Christianity and deserved to be killed, cleric Abdul Raoulf said in a sermon Friday at Herati Mosque.

“God’s way is the right way, and this man whose name is Abdul Rahman is an apostate,” he told about 150 worshippers.

Another cleric, Ayatullah Asife Muhseni, told a gathering of preachers and intellectuals at a Kabul hotel that the Afghan president had no right to overturn the punishment of an apostate.

He also demanded that clerics be able to question Rahman in jail to discover why he had converted to Christianity. He suggested it could have been the result of a conspiracy by Western nations or Jews.

At a fruit market in Kabul, many ordinary Afghans said they supported the death penalty, but some wanted more investigation before meting out the punishment. [well, how discerning of them!]

Really, you need to brush up on your Islam. There's no excuse for this Islamo-illiteracy in the year 2011.


By the way, according to this Pew survey, 99% of Afghanistan Muslims believe in making Sharia the law of the land, and 79% of that overwhelming majority favor the death penalty for apostasy (leaving Islam).  (Incidentally, the copious data that Pew survey reveals about the dangerous fanaticism rife in many other Muslim societies around the world should startle, alarm and appall any reasonable individual who bothers to take a careful look at it).

Part Two...

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