Monday, January 12, 2015
Taking the temperature of the Counter-Jihad, part 7
So far, each installment of this series has alluded to the immediately preceding part in order to link up with an unfolding, overarching analysis of the problem. This time, then, instead of referencing part 6, I reach back to an observation I made in part 4:
Before the Counter-Jihad can forge its platform, then, it has to get straight what the problem of Islam is, exactly, and what it advises its West to do about it. And before that can happen, as I have said in the previous installments of this topic, its members need to have a Conversation about this.
We can't lose sight of this crucial piece of the puzzle as we forge ahead pursuing a "Conversation". We have to agree on what is, exactly, the nature of the problem we are grappling with. If we have widely divergent definitions of the problem, any subsequent discussions we have will be, as the saying goes, "talking past each other" (or, to pull out another cliché, we "won't be on the same page").
So what is the problem, exactly? Most of the Counter-Jihad folks would hasten to agree it's not a "Tiny Minority of Extremists" (just as they would hasten to agree that the term "Moderate Muslim" is worthy only of bitterly caustic derision). But what are they offering in its place? Well, unfortunately, the answer to this question seems to depend on the Counter-Jihad person one is talking to at the moment. Many in the Counter-Jihad may seem to be talking in robustly no-nonsense terms about the problem; but when one examines their locutions more closely, one sees to one's dismay that they are effectively putting forth something roughly the same as the "Tiny Minority of Extremists" -- with merely a larger Minority in mind. I.e., the only difference between them and a Daniel Pipes (or, worse yet, a George Bush) is the numbers: a slightly (or somewhat) larger Minority of Extremists is the problem. Not "Tiny", perhaps, but still a Minority.
This, along with a fastidious disinclination to condemn Muslims in any way that does not anxiously and simultaneously protect vast swaths of Muslims from our condemnation, characterizes what I have called the "Counter-Jihad Softy" (what I have analyzed as the "asymptotic" perspective, contrasted with the "holistic" point of view that sees Islam and all Muslims as the problem).
So the question at this juncture of my multi-part meditation here is: Can I conceive of a way to come to some kind of compromise with the Counter-Jihad Softy, given that I define the problem in a significantly (if not radically) different way?
I'm still chewing on it...