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 does—the 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
essentially non-Muslim Muslims
less consistent Muslims (the negative complement of his phrase “more consistent co-religionists”)
Muslims who truly don’t care about Islam
Objectively good human beings, who identify themselves as Muslim
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?)
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.