Tuesday, October 21, 2014

To boldly go where no Jihad Watcher has gone before...


Robert Spencer is excellent when analyzing the problem of Islam.  He falters, however, when tackling the less appreciated corollary problem of Muslims.

Case in point: his recent, almost surreal criticism of Bill Maher's latest controversy in a string of controversies he has been having by blurting out politically incorrect statements about Islam.  Ordinarily, Spencer has offered up sound approval of Maher.  This last incident, however, proved to be revealing -- revealing, that is, of a pocket of nougaty softness inside Spencer's otherwise no-nonsense Counter-Jihad bona fides.
When I first began reading the article in question, it became immediately apparent that Spencer was couching his latest report on Maher with a “big but” -- that he has appreciated Maher lately, but...  Naturally, I assumed that this meant that Maher, unsurprisingly (being solidly in the PC MC mainstream), must have leavened his recent expostulation with some PC MC spasm that revealed he hasn’t really freed himself from the PC MC paradigm on the topic of Islam, even as he has showed encouraging signs of struggling to free himself from its Box.  

Imagine my surprise, then, when the one thing about Maher that Spencer was complaining about was not that he was too soft on Islam, but that he was too hard on Muslims!

This one part of Spencer’s introduction to the piece, for example, in particular reads like it was composed by a garden-variety liberal.  Out of context, one would be hard pressed to distinguish such asymptoticism from a neo-con PC MC that prides itself (up to a point) on being anti-Islam:

Maher, Spencer wrote, is failing to distinguish between Islam and Muslims. What people continually fail to grasp is the distinction between the texts and teachings of a faith, which are matters of record, and the many different ways in which people understand those texts and teachings. To say that all the schools of Islamic law teach violent jihad and the subjugation of unbelievers under the rule of Islamic law is simply a statement of fact. It can be proven or disproven with reference to the actual teachings of the schools. But if they do all teach this, and they do, that doesn’t mean that every Muslim follows those teachings, any more than the fact that the Catholic Church teaches against contraception means that every Catholic opposes contraception. There is a spectrum of belief, knowledge, and fervor among Muslims as there is among believers in every belief system, religious or not.”

As usual, most of the Jihad Watchers who deposited their comments noticed nothing amiss and merely parroted their praise of Spencer (and among them no doubt were many who actually agree with Spencer’s softness on Muslims).  It’s nice to know, nevertheless, that there was a pitiful handful among them who are able to notice this problem, and to take the time and trouble to point it out. As I have noticed before, the further phase of graduation on the LCPOI (the Learning Curve of the Problem of Islam) is to graduate beyond all this chest-thumping self-congratulatory I’m-so-wise-and-I’m-such-a-no-nonsense-observer-of-the-problem-because-I-see-how-bad-Islam-is posture and move on to being robustly anti-Muslim

I recall when the refreshingly brash Andrew Breitbart died Robert Spencer took the time to write an appreciative article in his honor & memory, in which he demonstrated the good sense to notice that one of the chief qualities of Breitbart was precisely his “take no hostages” attitude in the face of the PC MCs and his refusal to tiptoe on obsequious eggshells around them -- which makes all the more ironic how Spencer in this specific context does exactly that, suddenly shrinking back from his bravery to be oh so careful about Muslims (and at the time, I deposited a tart lemon drop there in this regard under the moniker “LemonLime”).
It’s long past time for us to be worrying about the precious sensibilities of Muslims or of the PC MCs who dictate what we should be worrying about when this problem of Islam comes up. Islam is only a concrete problem for the world when Muslims put it into practice. Why is that such a difficult concept for so many in the Counter-Jihad?  And, of course, when I say “when Muslims put it into practice” we then have to factor in whether the reader has himself gone through the LCPOI (the Learning Curve of the Problem of Islam) with sufficient diligence & intelligence to fully appreciate the full horror of the systemic and the metastasizing nature of that seemingly casual phrase “when Muslims put it into practice” -- for, if he has, he reaches the threshold of a dilemma where he has only two options at that point: either to recoil and shrink back into a defensive posture defending innumerable Muslims from our searingly appropriate condemnation, or to boldly go where no Jihad Watcher has gone before.

And no, I don’t mean “going there” down that slippery slope to genocide -- that’s where the shrinking violet PC MCs irrationally fear we are compelled to go if we follow our ruthlessly intelligent nose having the “mental pencil” (as Hugh Fitzgerald put it) to connect the dots; but that’s not where we rational Jihad Watchers know it has to lead us. The only problem is, where are the rational Jihad Watchers in this regard…? There are a few. One can count them all perhaps on the left hand of a Muslim thief.

Further Reading:

Many years ago I had another blog (what I have called my “sister blog”) dedicated to analyzing what I perceived to be analytical deficiencies in Robert Spencer's view (and often also those of his then right hand man, Hugh Fitzgerald) -- Jihad Watch Watch -- more often than not revolving around precisely the problem I highlight here today -- the distinction between being anti-Islam and being anti-Muslim (though I also explored a fundamental incoherence in Spencer's anti-Islam stance).  I wrote so many essays there, and many were so long and detailed, it would take a reader forever to get through it.  I recommend they browse among the titles and only pick out the ones that interest them as relevant.


Dave said...

Well, it's easier to say the problem is in Islam than in Muslims. Since if the problem is Islam, then you can't really do anything to "kill" an ideology, or "persecute people based on their beliefs which they have the right to due to freedom of religion".

But you definitely can act against Muslims, and so admitting that they are the problem is inconvenient, because as with all opinions, if one has the chance to act on them but doesn't, it shows hypocrisy. "Jihad Watchers" are exactly what they claim to be. They watch. And avoid anything that can obligate them to take action, because they're too scared (both mentally and physically) of the consequences.

How can some of the more PC-MC Jihad Watchers justify their darling pet "moderate Muslims" (buy one get one free) if Muslims are the problem? So its far easier to say it's Islam that's the problem!

Hesperado said...

Yes it seems so, Dave. I also think a certain number of Jihad Watchers sincerely believe that Muslims are just like everyone else, and so the problem is really just the Minority of Extremists. They only sound more aware because they are so anti-Islam per se, and because their number of "Extremists" is much higher than the mainstream admits.

Fiqh said...

Yeah, that was a particularly bizarre post of Robert's, which I pointed out. Maybe that's why I was banned.

Is there a difference between 'Islam' and 'Muslims'? Sure. One is an ideology and the other is people. Two different nouns.

But as far as policy goes -- as far as the problems that Muslims are causing and will continue to cause, and what we need to do about it, Islam = Muslims. Both must be treated the same way.

This is the Achilles heel of Robert's public logic.

I get the impression that he decided to stick to that a long time ago and now he won't change even though it doesn't hold up to scrutiny in the slightest.

TL Winslow said...

Spencer makes a nice living as the self-appointed spokesmen for jihad watchers. Too bad, he's a Catholic and can't be trusted as far as one can throw the Hagia Sophia. He's been banning all posts from me for years, which says it all. His idea of the ultimate solution is a resurgence of Catholicism, not Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox Catholicism, what an absurd shit sandwich he's in. What's really needed is a leader who's above all divided loyalties and preaches the Great Muslim Apostasy and promotes my Winslow Plan for Defeating Islam, an anti-WWIII requiring the non-Muslim world to unite and do what's necessary to end Islam as a political threat forever, starting with disintegrating the Muslim World and ending Muhammad's Jihad. It should have been done a century ago, and in the age of nukes we can't wait.

Read my plan free here:


Dave said...

TL Winslow, what you said is quite right.

As a Jew, something that made me a bit leery of Spencer is his devout Catholicism. I mean he could want Islam gone too, but Catholicism has a not-so-clean record when it comes to my people. Call me biased or bigoted, but I basically subconsciously equate Catholicism with Jew-hatred, after all the suffering we've endured over the years from Spencer's co-religionists.

And what with anti-Semitism being resurgent worldwide, any Jew with more than one brain cell automatically looks back at the oft-repeated pattern in history, that of us being slaughtered, pitied for a few decades, and then after a few generations slaughtered again. And Catholics did more slaughtering than the Muslims.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not equating in any way Christianity nowadays (After multiple reforms, Christianity is now a benign religion) with Islam. Western people in general are far more cultured, thanks to a Judeo-Christian moral heritage, than barbaric Mohammedan savages from the 7th century. And Jews and Christians who really read the Old Testament are united against the Islamic scourge. For now, at least...

I'm just expressing my worries that history tends to repeat itself, especially when it comes to the Jews. Germans, a mere 30 or so years before the Holocaust, were among one of the most Jew-accepting nations in the world! The same with Spain, before the Inquisition came along. And the trends among the younger generations in the West are not looking positive when it comes to anti-semitism. In another few decades, the Holocaust will be "ancient history", and thus fresh for the redoing.

Egghead said...

Dave, You seem like a very bright boy. Why don't you research the Jewish contribution to Communism with its attendant brutal murders of men and nations? Communists have murdered more people in less time than any other group of humans. Pot calling kettle black. Jews know how to give as well as they get - which I would reasonably expect from the world's often-self-proclaimed 'smartest' people.

While you are at it, research the Jewish affinity for Spanish Muslims - and understand that, due to their own actions, Jews who propped up the Muslim regime at the expense of Christians in Spain were very unpopular at its end. Cause and effect.

Today, the USA has a significant number of Jews - many with dual citizenship - who completely support the immigration and destructive legal demands of Muslims in the USA.

Additionally, Jews control the finances of the Democrat Party which is actively attempting to subvert the USA election system to gain permanent power using largely illegal South American Communist and Muslim immigration.

I disagree with the idea of a Judeo-Christian moral heritage because IF we truly shared a moral heritage, then Jews would be unwilling to take the moral stance that is - right here, right - now intended to weaken and kill Christianity - and Christians and Christian nations everywhere in the West.

P.S. You basically CONSCIOUSLY equate Catholicism with Jew-hatred - which is par for the course but grossly inaccurate.

Dave said...

Egghead. Jews such as Karl Marx abandoned their Jewish heritage, that's why they created Communism. So it was a bunch of rogue Jews who hated their roots profoundly who created Communism, unlike Catholicism in which it was endorsed by all the figures of authority.

During the Communist revolution, Jews joined up with the Commies due to their being oppressed horribly by the Czar, and wanting social justice, they banded together with the rebels. Then, Lenin showed he was no better, and many of the Jews who had proved so instrumental were mercilessly slaughtered by those very same Communists that they so ardently supported.

Catholics have a very long and extensive history of persecuting Jews, and they weren't a few rebels, like the Jews who were for Communism, but rather the mainstream. It apparently was an intrinsic part of their ideology, otherwise it Catholicism and persecution of Jews wouldn't have coincided so often throughout history.

The Jewish affinity for Spanish Muslims? I don't know about that, but you seem a tad biased against us, considering Jews were among the most influential and contributive of the officials in Christian Spain before the Catholic Inquisition came along and either kicked 'em out or burnt them at the stake (if they stayed but lied about their conversion to Christianity. Jewish converts to Catholicism were called "Marranos" or pigs, by the Spanish).

Also, the multitudes of innocent Jews who were killed and their villages burnt to the ground by the Crusaders (Muslims might have started the Crusade, but that's not the point) on their way through Germany and France, and then the purge of Jews from Jerusalem, also deserved their fate due to "Jewish affinity to Muslims"?

And if you start blaming Jews for inventing Communism, think again. http://robertlstephens.com/essays/shafarevich/001SocialistPhenomenon.html
The idea of communism existed since ancient times, and Marx's philosophies were hardly a novel phenomenon.

All Christianity originally was just another sect of Judaism, until Paul (Real name Saul) of Tarsus made it more populistic than Judaism in order to make Christianity appeal to the Roman elite and the barbarian hordes alike. All America's moral values come from Judaism.
You in no way proved that Jews have nothing to worry about when it comes to Christians. All you did was make a failed attempt at moral equivalency.

Also, I do equate Catholicism with Jew-hatred, just as I equate Islam with Jihad. I judge based on what I see, and I don't believe in coincidences. If Catholics persecuted Jews for centuries, it's no more "by chance" than Muslims committing Jihad "by chance". "It could've been anyone else!" But it wasn't.

Anonymous said...

Spencer is afraid Hesperado. The DOJ, ADL and SPLC would lynch him if he spoke the way Maher did and he could forget about appearing on Fox or most radio stations

Maher pretty much has carte blanch since he's a Hollywood insider and a favorite of the West coast elite. Spencer has none of that going for him.

Put another way, if Spencer wants even the patina of mainstream access he has to throttle back - a lot to play the game. And what does the MSM, nice little obedient puppies.

All Spencer can do at the moment is let the Muzzies and their White, liberal, secular enablers hoist themselves on their own petard as Muslims start increasing up their attacks on the West.

Given enough bloodshed, he will be able to speak up. But not before then.

Dave said...

Well, I'm not sure it's fear and not laziness. I mean if Spencer'd be soft on Muslims himself, that could be the case, but the fact is he actively works against those who voice their opinions in a way that isn't PC-MC enough to him. When I say "work against" I mean he bans them from his site and is very, very, very bristly when it comes to any criticism.

Working with a guy who, on one hand, has inconsistent views, and on the other, is privy to random fits of rage whenever someone dares to disagree with him is quite a task.

Egghead said...


First, I have trouble believing that you are a young person - except that you are willing to openly discuss these issues.

Second, you should go to Gates of Vienna and read some articles by half-Jewish author Takuan Seiyo - and perhaps see if he would correspond back and forth with you.

Third, I disagree with much of what you contend (which you contend without sources, by the way, which makes it even more suspect). There are internal inconsistencies - even within the paragraph that you wrote in addition to your ideas.

Egghead said...

I alluded to the Jewish contribution to Communism which is indisputable in the last century and moving into this century. Whether or not Jews were, are, and will be successful at ultimately controlling the Pandora's box of Communism AND Islam is a separate topic from whether Jews actively work against Western Christian civilization and interests to fundamentally change Western Christian civilization into despotism that affects everyone in the world negatively - Jews included.

Jews coalesce around two separate factors: race and religion. Even when Jews putatively reject their religion, Jews coalesce around their race - with genetics having blessed many with one form of intelligence (among many) that is measured by high IQ scores. Yet, Jews in the United States do coalesce around their religion as well as race. And, the majority of Jews in the United States fund and support the Democrat Party which is currently STEALING free and fair elections from the putatively Christian majority (which is quite purposely being made into a persecuted minority via immoral 'legal' and illegal immigration practices).

When you speak of Christians who experienced horrors at the hands of Jews, you show ZERO empathy or sympathy - as if it was (perhaps is and will be?) acceptable for Jews to be a party to the torture and murder of Christians. Is this how you really feel? Think about it.

Your assertion that "All America's moral values come from Judaism" is laughable. Again, if all of the United States' values (as opposed to American values) came from Judaism, then Judaism would NOT need to actively work to challenge and change those values everywhere in the West. The United States was founded by Christians who believed, praised, and practiced GODLY values.

Jesus said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Born as a Jew, Jesus would have said that Jesus' values were GODLY values.

Put simply, only GOD can claim credit for creating and purveying GODLY values. Humans should only be concerned with following GODLY values - rather than falsely claiming credit for 'inventing' said values whilst studiously avoiding following those same values.

It is Godly values that led to my white Catholic and Baptist middle class relatives fighting in World War II, Vietnam, and Korea to save the world from despotism (instead of creating it).

Hesperado said...

Dave and Egghead,

With regard to Spencer, I see no reason to think it's only fear or laziness motivating him, when ostensibly it appears to be sincerely ideological, derived from PC MC. Most people who sincerely defend PC MC do so incoherently; so the evidence of incoherence in someone's ideology is hardly indicative of insincerity.

On the Jewish question, I've taken issue with Egghead in the past on this. I believe I have a couple of essays im the archives that touch on it too. I'm not opposed to the idea that there is something intrinsic to Jewish culture that would have various effects of being deleterious to the sociopolitical sphere. While there may be Jews who got on the Communism bandwagon, and while we may be able to identify certain cultural habits in Judaism that make its votaries amorphously inimical to their surrounding non-Jewish societies, there is no direct evidence (hence the need to manufacture a "Protocols of the Elders of Zion") for a concerted conscious machination that links the two diabolically. At best, I feel, we can only say that Jewish culture may predispose a Jew to doing things that would have the effect of undermining society; but because there are plenty of non-Jews who have been doing the same, and because there are plenty of Jews doing more or less the opposite (and/or somewhere in the neutral middle), it seems irrational to go further.

With more amorphous deleterious processes like, for example, Leftism and its distinct offshoot PC MC, precisely because they are more amorphous ideologically & sociologically, and involve multitudes of non-Jews in various modes of passive-to-active and unconscious-to-conscious collusion, it becomes even more farfetched to posit a diabolical scheme on the part of Jews.

As for Dave's anti-Catholic assumptions and extrapolations, they are disappointing (not to mention largely ahistorical and inaccurate). I would recommend Dave in this regard begin a long journey of de-deformation by reading "The Pius war: responses to the critics of Pius XII" (2004), by J. Bottum and (it should be noted, Rabbi) David G. Dalin -- which I discuss briefly and link to in this essay:


Egghead said...

Hi Hesp,

Lame Cherry wrote an interesting related article today.


Jews who coalesce around race and high IQ - and corresponding high income and influence - have been very influential in instituting modern day Marxism (which is an oligarchical system - hence the want and/or need to coalesce around race) in the formerly Christian West. Currently, Jews who make up a tiny part of the USA population provide 70-80% of the individual funding for the Democrat Party - a party which is actively seeking the conversion of the United States into a Communist ONE party political system (using mass 'legal' and illegal immigration and voter fraud) which, as is readily predictable, will be controlled by the people (Jews in this case) who fund the Democrat Party! Direct evidence of the illegal immigration and voter fraud exists, and direct evidence of the Democrat Party funding exists. You do the math!

Oh, and Christians should be very scared because Dave's attitudes about Catholics are apparently typical of how the average Jew feels about Christians (Some Jews have read about Martin Luther.).

I recently saw a TV program with an interview of an Israeli Jew who had converted to Christianity who admitted that he had been raised by his family and his culture to hate Christians.

Now, remember that we have many Jews and dual citizen Israeli American Jews who are placed in key policy positions.

Do you think that any dual citizen American Christians are placed in key policy positions in Israel? Russia? China?

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."