Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bosch Fawstin's multiplication of the crypto-moderate

In the comments section of the Jihad Watch article on Bosch Fawstin referenced by my previous essay (The mild-mannered Moderate Muslim), he provided a link to an article on his own blog where he explains his personal views on Islam in a little more detail.  My dismay dawned on me as I read it, and only increased as I thought about it.  It's remarkable how many permutations of the crypto-Moderate Muslim Fawstin manages to pack in there in that brief article.

In light of that, I am troubled by a number of assertions (all essentially permutations of one assertion) therein; for example:

“Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t.”

This seems to rest on a sweeping assumption of what reasonably must be millions, even hundreds of millions, of Muslims all over the world—a sweeping assumption in their favor (benefit of the doubt).  Certainly, Fawstin doesn’t leave it there but does offer a degree of guarded skepticism about all these (seemingly) non-extremist Muslims:

“But that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad… The problem I have with many of these essentially non-Muslim Muslims, especially in the middle of this war being waged on us by their more consistent co-religionists, is that they give the enemy cover.”

How do these “non-Muslim Muslims” give the enemy cover?

“They force us to play a game of Muslim Roulette since we can’t tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does. And their indifference about the evil being committed in the name of their religion is a big reason why their reputation is where it is.”

Fawstin also uses other terms to flesh out the description of this “indifference”—namely, “their silence and inaction against jihad”.

However, given the essential problem we are faced with, which Fawstin acknowledges—to wit, the game of Muslim Roulette since we can’t tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he doesthe various permutations of Muslims who are “not our problem” would be a perfectly worthless category for our primary priority, the safety of our societies.  Fawstin, like most Jihad Watchers, acknowledges this Muslim Roulette problem, but simultaneously assumes a sweeping knowledge about Muslims that contradicts this very same problem.

In his case, he seems to base this on his personal experience—viz., “I’ve been around Muslims my entire life and most of them truly don’t care about Islam.”

I’m sorry, but this isn’t enough to solve the Muslim Roulette problem.

As I noted, it’s downright fascinating how many terms Fawstin comes up with to describe these Muslims who somehow wiggle out of the Muslim Roulette problem (even as at the same time they are, as he himself points out, facilitating that very problem):

Muslims who don’t take Islam seriously

reluctant Muslims

essentially non-Muslim Muslims

less consistent Muslims (the negative complement of his phrase “more consistent co-religionists”)

indifferent Muslims

Muslims who truly don’t care about Islam

Objectively good human beings, who identify themselves as Muslim

Non-observant Muslims

personally peaceful individual Muslims

your average Muslim [who] is morally superior to Mohammad.

Of these Muslims, Fawstin reiterates that they “are not our problem, but neither are they the solution to our problem.” This clearly implies that for him, he is assuming that these types of Muslim (all basically one type in different configurations) are passively inert, not helping us, but also not hurting us (remember their “indifference” and “their silence and inaction against jihad”). How is this not aiding and abetting the deadly game of Muslim Roulette?

Unless Fawstin agrees that such Muslims should be treated by us with the same suspicion we would treat the other Muslims (which would be logical for him, given his agreement that we can’t tell the difference between these two types anyway), one wonders why he insists on calling attention to the distinction, as reflected in the various formulations of that distinction in which his brief article is positively replete, as my list has documented.

I don’t dispute that any one or more of these types of Muslims exist; the point is, this hypothetical existence is of no pragmatic usefulness to us, if we can’t actually know—as Fawstin himself acknowledges—“which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does”.  Obviously, this means that all those types of Muslims I listed from Fawstin’s various descriptions cannot be differentiated—with a reliability sufficient for our #1 priority, our public safety—from the dangerous Muslims. So why does he bring them up so copiously in his argument?  (And why do so many Jihad Watchers do more or less the same?)

Further Reading:

One anonymous civilian cuts through the "Counter-Jihad" horsefeathers

The Mutation of the "Moderate Muslim"

And from 2011, my first essay on Fawstin:  Still asymptotic after all these years: the case of Bosch Fawstin.


Fiqh said...

Yikes. Looks like I got banned by JW. Not even sure why. That's five years of writing that I didn't have saved down the drain. Sigh.

Egghead said...

My sincere sympathies to you.

Fiqh said...

Thanks Egghead. I'll probably try to rejoin under a different name like Hesp did. But right now, I'm buried in work.

Egghead said...

Just search for your name plus Jihad Watch on google, and then copy and paste your comments.

Or, ask the NSA for a copy....

Fiqh said...

Hmm. Thanks for that suggestion Egghead. I just searched, and it looks like some of them have been deleted, but others haven't. Maybe I can salvage some of this. Thanks!

Hesperado said...

Sorry to hear that Fiqh. Do you know why, or can you guess?

Fiqh said...

I have no idea Hesp, to tell you the truth.

I didn't get any warning from a moderator (that I know of). No email was sent to me in advance or afterward.

The whole thing is just weird.

A couple of commenters seemed to get weird about something that I said in that non-Muslim girls being raped by IS thread. Even though I thought my position was sound. I don't know, maybe I used some inflammatory language. I don't know.

But I, at the same time, posted one or two posts that differed slightly with positions of Robert's.

I doubt that was it. I'm guessing that it was the rape one. Someone maybe complained. Who knows...

Hesperado said...

Well Fiqh I'm a veteran of JW bannings (I think I've been banned four or five times by now). I never got any warning or emails before each banning (that I know of). It seems odd to ban someone for one set of comments in one thread.

Egghead said...

Thanks, Fiqh. Email the Baron at Gates of Vienna and ask him if he has any advice. The Baron claims that, once an item is posted on the internet, it can always be retrieved.

In a related topic, check out the Wayback Machine (which I have never used):

Hesperado said...

Good idea, Egghead. I'd particularly be interested in seeing those comments about the ISIS rapes, to see what could possibly have set off the JW Softies.

Fiqh said...


I'd particularly be interested in seeing those comments about the ISIS rapes, to see what could possibly have set off the JW Softies.

I typed it quickly, and can’t remember exactly the wording, since they took it down now. (And again, I don’t even know if this is why I was banned) but it was this story:

And as any normal person would be, I was sickened by the continuing stories of the horrific rapes of non-Muslim girls, or even non-Orthodox-Muslim-enough girls, by ISIS.

So I posted several paragraphs that started with, if memory serves, something like ‘I hope Leftist women in the US get raped too by ISIS.’ I can’t remember if that was the exact wording. I know that is strong language. But I thought it was obvious that my point was not that I wished rape on any woman – it was an anti-rape post. I went on to explain the hypocrisy of Western Leftist women who, in effect, are supporting these rapes via their political positions.

I thought it was pretty clear. I mean, if I were a Jew in Nazi Germany that was actively aiding the Nazis in gassing Jews, wouldn’t I myself deserve to be gassed? I would say so. One could use any number of examples. If one is aiding in evil, shouldn’t they have to endure that evil? That’s all I was saying. The positions of these Leftist women aren’t just about them; there are actually girls out there suffering the consequences.

I admit that it was a controversial intro, but I guess that’s a sensitive topic, and people hear the word ‘rape’ and get irrational about it quickly, and the argument I was making gets drowned out. I went into some detail. Heck, even Robert has pointed out the hypocrisy of Western Leftist feminists many times.

But, like I say, since they gave no explanation for my banning, I don’t even know if that was it. I posted about 8 comments in the morning, and by afternoon I was banned. Some of the comments were somewhat critical of Robert in line with Hesp’s latest post above. But it was the rape on that got some complaints that I'd 'gone too far.' That’s all I know.

Hesperado said...

Thanks Fiqh. I recall getting into some flack from fellow JWers on an older thread about another rape incident in the Muslim world, where I only indirectly insinuated something resembling what you said, but that was more than enough to attract their ire. It's likely that if this was the cause of your banning, it wasn't Robert per se but other JWers taking umbrage and complaining to him.

Anonymous said...

Bosch is the sort of "ex-Muslim" we don't need. He seems to be more of apologist for the lazy Muslims in the West - who are only lazy because they aren't under the whip of the Iman and his enforcers. But once they are, they are good soldiers of Allah.

Being Muslim is like being pregnant, you either are or aren't. There is no in between with Islam.

As for JW...

JW is weird and counterproductive site.

Write the wrong thing and you're gone. As I've said, before Spencer isn't much as a leader, he's a researcher and writer. The people "helping" him run his blog are no friends of the movement.

The purges and instant bannings to me are a growth killer for JW.They don't even have as many posters as they did 6 years ago.
I don't know who is running the site, but they are damaging it and alienating supporters.

The fact is, the movement should be getting out of the blog stage of development and start forming a national association like the NRA by now.

Instead all we have is that schizoid joke AFDI which can't even raise $10k let alone $20k it needs. And they don't want small contributors, you either pony up $100 or get lost.

AFDI is not the way to go. It's a dead end. You either start organizing and take a page out of successful movements like the NRA or be consigned to irrelevancy.

Hesperado said...

Thanks Anonymous -- I mostly agree with your various points and found your commentary very refreshing.

Hesperado said...

P.S.: one of Anonymous's points I analyzed at length on my previous blog which I link in my essay ("Jihad Watch Watch"), including in one article where in somewhat cheeky fashion I counsel Spencer to "keep his day job" -- that "day job" being his ability to report and describe the problem; his "night job" he should relinquish being his self-appointed roles of Analyst and Activist. Frankly, he's not fit for those latter two, given his weaselly exemption of Islam from opprobrium and his protection of innumerable Muslims.

Hesperado said...

P.P.S.: The essay I was referring to was:

"Robert Spencer’s Two Hats: Keep Your Day Job"