Saturday, September 20, 2014

The colubrine Maajid Nawaz

Reading through the comments to a recent report on Jihad Watch by Robert Spencer summing up his rather punches-pulled misgivings of the latest attempt at moderation by the colubrine Maajid Nawaz, I must say I’m pleasantly stunned -- that pretty much all the comments by and large express the more rigorous skepticism that Robert Spencer should have hedged his bets with.

This latest Maajid Nawaz communiqué must be seen for what we must reasonably suppose it is (if our Reason, that is, has appropriately assimilated and digested the horrible mountain of data of Islam’s Twin Peaks of Violent Jihad & Stealth Jihad over the years): To wit, the sly Good Cop (who, we must recall, does not exist except as a tactical appendage in collusion with the Bad Cop) has upped his game.

Allow me to repeat more tersely for those Counter-Jihad readers who need punchy bromides:

The sly Good Cop has upped his game. That’s all that is happening here.

We may say Maajid is trying the uniform of the Better Cop on for size.  It’s a phenomenon I have noted has been happening increasingly: As the global revival of Islam continues to unfold and metastasize, its naturally attendant effects of hatred, horror and terror and grotesquely ghoulish evil have had the result of chipping away at the massive ice shelf of Complacent PC MC Denial that immobilizes the West, and some more adroit and astute Stealth Jihadists, like Maajid Nawaz, seem to notice this with alarm, and decide to do their part in the Stealth Jihad by going daringly further in their Faux Moderation. In doing this extra Good Cop maneuver, above and beyond the call of Jihad Booty, their target audience is not the mainstream (the usual tried & true target of the classic Stealth Jihadist) -- but rather, precisely, the Counter-Jihad (or pale resemblances of it in the mainstream, like Megyn Kelly of FOX News).

And it is dismaying that Spencer entertains it at all and effectively lends it his imprimatur of credence, rather than summarily dispatching it to the outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing, the gnashing of teeth, and the biting of forked snake tongues. For that means that the Good Cop tactic works -- or has a chance of working (though it is salutary, again, that the comments thus far, by and large (with some rough edges of specious assumptions and axioms here and there that need sanding down with a few applications of a power sander) have shown a remarkable awareness of the thoroughly suspect nature of Nawaz. 

One detects the likely reason for Spencer’s egregious lapse. Before I get to that, I note that I tend to think that by now, after all these years, I’ve been around the Jihad Block, utterly weary and jaded of all the cluelessness of the mainstream, and all the wrongheaded habits of the Counter-Jihad (against which I have been hitting my head for years now on my blog and in various lifetimes and incarnations here in JW comments as well as over across the hall in that camera non grata, the Gates of Vienna blog); and yet, darned if I can still be surprised. It hit me on reading Spencer’s analysis that he actually believes that the notion of calling for a change in the Muslim mindset about their religion is actually a realistic proposition! I guess I assumed he was being rhetorical all these years, in order to underscore and highlight what was monumentally NOT being done by Muslims. I.e., I guess I thought he was being rational about this. To think that Muslims en masse could actually reverse course of their 1,400-year warship of worship and turn it radically around in a uniquely unprecedented way for which there is not the slightest shred of an iota of a scintilla of evidence is even the remotest possibility -- at least, that is, if your Bullshit Detector is set on “Reasonably Ruthlessly Skeptical” rather than on “Asymptotically Gullible” (with the “Christian Wilsonian” switch, in this case, additionally activated)!

Sometimes clichés come in handy, and one comes desperately to mind now: something about a snowball, and its chances… in Hell, I believe…


Dave said...

Hey there! I only found your blog today, but its quite refreshing to see that there ARE blogs out there that don't mince words or try to appeal to the brainwashed, politically correct majority.

I started out reading Daniel Pipes, then, after realizing that he's merely camouflaging the problem at hand, and not even identifying Islam as the culprit, and the ideology responsible for 23,000 or so terror attacks since 9/11, instead creating this fictional thing called "Islamism", in order not to set off the "Racism Alarm" of the PC public.

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch at least is willing to admit that the problem is a part of Islam (mainstream Islam, not some fictional ideology called Islamism). However, he has an absolutely unrealistic assessment of most Muslims not knowing their own religion (that attitude is extremely patronizing, aka the cultured white Westerner "educating" the poor misguided illiterate brown people). Either that or he claims that they're "harmless mystics", like Jews and Christians.

The difference in my opinion (correct me if I'm wrong) is that Islam never reformed, and while Judaism (and Christianity, which is derived from it) made the "good" side of morality the core of their religion, Islam took the worst bits of human nature, and made an ideology out of it. So Muslim murderers, tyrants, rapists, and criminals of any sort won't have to think they'll be punished for doing "bad" things. They'll actually get rewarded by Allah for waging jihad against the infidels! That, along with the extremely simple world view of "infidels" and "righteous people who must purge the world of the infidels" is appealling to a simpleton's psyche. If you wanna indulge the bad side of your human nature, and think you'll get Heaven for it, then Islam is the religion for you!

I'm also a bit curious to what exactly you refer to when you speak of Gnosticism (I'm only in 12th grade at the moment, and while I've read quite a few major philosophical works, I'm not really familiar with the concept of Gnosticism.). I'd be glad if you could enlighten me about that!

And much kudos for having the clear sight and sharp tongue needed to criticize Islam and the misguided PC Western mentality, especially with all their doublespeak and evasion tactics. It takes a really sharp mind to jump through all those hurdles that are designed to invalidate criticism right off the bat.

I was really impressed by your analyses and critiques of Robert Spencer's and Daniel Pipes' writings, and how you could glean so much information from one simple phrase.

Thanks a ton for the fun and enlightening reads, Dave

PS: I know now that what I wrote above on Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer is kinda just what you said, but rest assured I reached the same conclusions even before reading what you said on the matter.

Hesperado said...

Hi Dave, thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to articulate your thoughts. It sounds like you may have dipped into some of my essays on Daniel Pipes, which I wrote a long time ago. If you haven't, just look up "Pipes Dream" and you'll find at least two or three.

On Robert Spencer, perhaps my most detailed summation of his good side (which is great) and his less than productive side, is an essay I wrote way back in 2008 on my previous blog dedicated to analyzing Jihad Watch itself;

Robert Spencer's Two Hats: Keep Your Day Job

As for the term "Gnostic", it's rather complex. I learned about that term through reading my favorite philosopher, Eric Voegelin, who became known for using the term to apply to certain modern movements (e.g., Nazism, Communism), which he termed "Modern Gnosticism". He basically applied the term from what historians know was an ancient movement -- sort of a rag-tag collection of quasi-religious cults beginning about the 3rd century B.C. then continuing in various forms into the first few centuries A.D., and by that time taking on Christian symbolisms.

In a nutshell, the essence of the Gnostic worldview is a profound sense that the world is "broken", that the world is an evil prison, and yet the Gnostic who has come to realize this must somehow find salvation from this. Not only did Gnostics think the world is evil, but also matter itself is evil, and the human body also. This evil cosmos was created by an evil "Demiurge", so their mythology said, while the True God who has nothing to do with Creation is the goal for the Gnostic.

Some Ancient Gnostics turned the Genesis story on its head, and said that the serpent was a messenger from the True God, while Yahweh was the "evil Demiurge" trying to trap mankind in his evil Creation.

The Ancient Gnostics tended to find a solution in "escape" -- some magical formula that would help their "pneumatic spark" (the good part of a human being trapped inside his evil body) escape Creation and return to the God who is radically transcendent.

Modern Gnostics, while they share the same hatred of the world and obsession with salvation with their Ancient counterparts, no longer believe in a transcendent God outside the cosmos -- so they seek salvation through trying to transform this world, through utopian political revolutions with the aim to make society perfect.

Like I said, it's complex. I wrote a couple of essays on this, and one of them you may find interesting:

The Sorta Kinda Anti-Western Westerner: “Gnosticism Lite”

12th grade, eh? What's your sense of where your generation stands on this issue generally? My sense is that the vast majority of Westerners your age (in whatever Western country) tend to be decidedly PC MC -- they have assimilated its values and axioms as the "cool" way to think. This isn't so bad, perhaps, with regard to a whole panoply of sociopolitical issues out there; but it is DISASTROUS with regard to the one issue of the problem of islam.

Dave said...

Thanks a ton for the explanation. If I understood it correctly, Gnosticism is basically Leftist radicalism today, only Leftists replaced the "True God of creation" with the "perfect utopian society".

And as to your question, well unfortunately most kids around my age are either too dumb to understand that what the mainstream media and PC-MC culture totes is all BS, or they are too lazy and self-obsessed to do the introspection required to reach the brave, but somewhat frightening conclusions one reaches by assessing the Islamic threat logically.

It's like staring into a bright light, and they don't see a reason to force themselves to do it, since after all those "big, philosophical, mumbo-jumbo, non-practical things" will never affect their small little bubbles, with their high schools, their sports teams, their girlfriends, etc. They don't see the urgency in the matter, and as such they see fit to sweep it under the carpet of "Oh come on brah, that's like too deep and like too long-wordy for me!"

It's just easier for them to accept the mainstream views that are spoonfed to them through the media and culture. The more intelligent ones deviate here and there from the norm, but even those are afraid of what conclusions they'll reach when the simple logic plays its course.

I'm actually Israeli (that explains the slightly rusty English), and up 'till a few months back I had a view of Islam that resembles something out of Daniel Pipes's blog. Somewhat, kinda, a bit, anti-Muslim, but not willing to recognize the true threat inherent in all Muslims, because it's just too scary to see how dangerous the situation really is. It's easier for the human psyche to take the problem and trim it to more manageable proportions, thus easing any worries, i.e. "It's only a radical minority that can be easily put down." The far more frightening truth is "It's 1.2 billion people who are unexploded ordnance, and they'll take the first available opportunity to blow up and put into motion the Islamic revolution and Global Caliphate which is the essence of their religion of barbarism and conquest."

I started having doubts when I started thinking deeper about the matter (in my spare time of course, like any normal high schooler I have friends, exams, and a girlfriend, so that's probably the only reason I delayed arriving to the inevitable conclusions), I began to wonder:

How is it, that in Israel, a very well-off Arab (not a poor, displaced, refugee as the media tends to characterize Muslim terrorists, in order to bring up the comparison to a ragged "freedom fighter") goes and blows himself up one day, seemingly randomly, killing innocent women and children. What can lead a person to do this? "Seeing the alleged suffering of his Arab brethren"? Nope. That doesn't exist here in Israel, unless its caused by the Arabs themselves. So why? And the answer couldn't be personal (i.e. he had financial troubles). Considering that its not a single event, rather a widespread practice, the answer must be one that is applicable to all the terrorists. Since I'm not a conspiracy theorist, it has to be something obvious. So what, oh what, could it be? Generally I don't stop to ask such impractical questions, but I began to have a feeling that this question might have an answer that is very, very practical.

The only two possible culprits for the tendency of Arab Muslims to kill people who don't agree with their religion are:
1. They're Arabs
2. They're Muslims

Considering the fact that there are a lot of Christian Arabs that don't blow themselves up, and there are a lot of Muslims who have nothing Arab in their genes who do, I realized the obvious answer. It's Muslims.

Dave said...

Part 2 (Sorry for it being so long and slightly incoherent, it's 2:15 AM over here)

Then I started looking into what the Quran really says, and I realized it fits perfectly. Then the question arose "But what about Judaism and Christianity? The Old Testament is rife with commandments to stone, burn, and execute!" Then I began looking into the history of Islam, and reached the conclusion that Islam, UNLIKE Judaism and Christianity, never reformed. The only reason there are sects in Islam is because of power plays by leading figures in Muslim politics. Since a Caliphate of Sharia law is the end goal of Islam (which means subjugation, fittingly), it only makes sense that everyone wants to be the Caliph. (All in the service of Allah the Almighty, of course ^^) That's why Islam is incompatible with the modern world.

Also, since the end goal of Islam is forcing the world to submit to its decrees, it cannot reform or change its decrees, for that would be self-defeating. Judaism and Christianity claim to bring good to the world, so as that good changes, so in effect do the implementation of the commandments.

And what if not every Muslim blows himself up? Just wait. They're waiting for their chance, because they see death for the cause as preferable. They glorify and celebrate death, and believe that the afterlife (in which privileges are earned by dying for the cause, of course) is better than anything this world can offer. Every religious Muslim will sacrifice himself for the cause of subjugating and destroying the "kuffar".

And if they're not religious Muslims? Then the above isn't applicable. Muslim isn't an ethnicity, its a religion.

I believe that steps should be taken to prohibit Islam, for its not a belief that can be expressed without actions, and those actions are to actively weaken and attempt to destroy the host country if the host country is un-Islamic.

But do you really think deporting all Muslims is tenable? I mean, I'm all for it, but I'd be all for a button that'd make all of 'em disappear too. I'm not meaning to be disparaging in any way, but do you think it a realistic possibility? In the PC-MC Western society nowadays, with people as lazy (both intellectually and physically) as they are?

And even without Islam, there's still the problem of the leftists in Western society. As an avid student of history (not like Barack Obama, even though he spams that phrase over and over again), I see that all empires, all countries, run their course eventually. I sure hope its not the case, but a person has to be realisti. I read your article about the meaning of "Hesperado". So my question is: Do you see a possibility of a happily-ever-after for the West? No matter which way I try taking, I don't see a way out. Either the Muslims or the Socialists, it seems to me. Either way the West is gonna be eaten from the inside out.

Thanks and good night, Dave

Hesperado said...

Thanks Dave for your in-depth responses. I may not get to everything right now, but just wanted to touch on a couple of things. I'm heartened that you've been able to come around to the "full catastrophe" of Islam from the more tepid Daniel Pipes view. It's not a comfortable view, but it seems unfortunately to be the most reasonable inference from all the data. The problem seems to be systemic and metastasizing -- meaning that it seems spread out much more broadly than a "Small Minority of Extremists", and it's also open-ended, getting worse and worse in ways that seem unpredictable and out of control. Factor in the problem of taqiyya and all the cases of the False Moderates we have seen, and it seems we can no longer have sufficient grounds to trust any Muslim.

As for deportation, I don't think it's possible now, given the lack of will and lack of ability to face facts without irrationally superimposing a framework on the data that doesn't really fit. But I think there have been many movements in history that took a long time of pushing for the idea before society was ready, and sometimes they were successful. One example was the Abolition movement to end slavery. In 1700 when a few people in the West began calling for this, society wasn't ready. But people kept pushing and pushing in various ways, and more and more people joined the nucleus and it grew -- and eventually by the mid-19th century, the West became the first culture in history to outlaw slavery. I think the West will eventually deport Muslims, because Muslims will simply be persistently getting worse and worse, forcing the West to do this in order to protect its society from terrorism and civil violence far worse than we've seen so far.

Do you feel secure living in Israel? I think I would be rather edgy considering how the Muslim world all around Israel is spiralling out of control, it seems...

Thanks again for reading, and I may deposit another comment or two if I think of more...


Dave said...

Well, the good thing about Israel is that the PC-MC crowd is relatively small, considering that Israel's smack in the middle of a bunch of Muslim countries. Israelis simply can't be brainwashed into thinking that Islam is peaceful, since due to the country having so many Muslims as neighbors (and fighting wars continuously with them as a result) opinion has already been colored against them.

It's just about impossible to like or accept a religion that wants to exterminate your country, and in the end, your entire ethnic group. And the "up side", practically speaking of course, of the relatively constant terror attacks is that they keep people on their toes and prevent Islam from gaining a favorable reputation like it did in the West. It's just seen for what it is too often.

Israel is actually the eye of the storm at the moment. I mean yeah you have a few Arabs that left to fight with ISIS, but all in all Israelis are always ready (everybody served in the army at some point) for an Islamic attack. And the turmoil in Lebanon and Syria actually works in Israel's favor. With Iran and Hezbollah shaking in fear of ISIS, nobody's throwing rockets at Israel or delivering them to Hamas, and the international community is too busy trying to wriggle out of confronting ISIS directly to criticize Israel and push it into a self-destructive "peace process" (aka sacrifice us in a manner reminiscent of the biblical scapegoat)

That's my two cents, anyways.
Have a nice day, Dave