Friday, February 26, 2016
Robert Spencer tilts Better Copsward...
It shouldn't have come as any surprise to me to see Spencer reveal his hand in favor of the Better Cops meme. In fact, I've been wondering why he hasn't done it sooner, given his underlying nougaty underbelly of softness about the problem of Islam and Muslims (see my recent essay -- Who's Watching the Jihad Watchers? -- for a mere glimpse of the iceberg tip).
What do I mean by "Better Cops"? See this page listing a few of my essays on this phenomenon. In a nutshell, the phrase fits into a context of a taxonomy of Muslims, divided up into:
Bad Cops / Good Cops / Better Cops.
In keeping with the classic meaning of "Bad Cop/Good Cop", this taxonomy is not denoting a real division among Muslims, but rather a deceptive pretense of a division, calculated to fool the Kuffar into thinking the overall Muslim demographic is a) diverse such that it b) contains innumerable Muslims assimilable into the West.
Thus, the Bad Cops are the candid Muslims who pretty much admit they want to "keel you".
The Good Cops are the Muslims who insist that they do not want to kill you, that Islam is against terrorism, that Jihad is primarily a non-violent struggle for piety and justice, that Islam does not believe in killing the "innocent", that Islam is a "religion of peace" and is made of sugar & Middle Eastern spice and everything nice. And, of course, they pretend to be against the Bad Cops, whom they incoherently, rhetorically ostracize as the TMOE meme (Tiny Minority of Extremists who are trying to hijack Islam).
For a while, this division seemed to be enough to fool the Kuffar -- and it still is, for the majority mainstream in the West, deformed as it continues to be by PC MC. It was not fooling the Counter-Jihad, however (with the exception of a handful of outliers like the egregiously squishy Danel Pipes). But as long as the Counter-Jihad remained a marginalized and tiny movement routinely demonized by the mainstream, the simplex Bad Cop / Good Cop routine seemed sufficient for Muslims.
In the meantime, however, apparently a number of Muslims in recent years have begun to be concerned that the Counter-Jihad is growing, slowly, in numbers and influence, with ominous signs that its message has been percolating more and more into the mainstream. Even if this percolation is only a glacially increasing trickle, it would be better to nip it in the bud, lest it grow to spring a leak and catch the Muslims with their Westernized pants down. Thus there developed the Better Cops -- Muslim pundits & analysts who go further than the Good Cops do, to traffic in rhetoric that seems to reflect deep criticism of Islam and the Muslim world. Recognizing that the TMOE meme isn't cutting it anymore, the Better Cops use rhetoric that implies that the problem is far worse than a mere "Minority" of Muslims. And, similarly, they use rhetoric that implies that Islam itself is, at least indirectly, a breeding ground for the extremism that is increasingly impinging on the world. Of course, when one examines the rhetoric of the Better Cops more closely, one finds numerous flaws and holes in their presentation. At least I do, and a tiny handful like me. The rest of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, unfortunately, seems blithely blind to the problems of the Better Cops, and they practically swoon like schoolgirls at the sweet taqiyya they whisper into their ears. I have examined this only in part, with regard to Sam Harris (and his Better Cop of choice, Maajid Nawaz) and Frank Gaffney (and his Better Cop friend, Zuhdi Jasser).
The crucial thing to notice here comes of asking the question: Who is the target audience of the Better Cops? It is not the Mainstream they are chiefly talking to -- it is the Counter-Jihad they are trying to fool. And this subtle strategy seems to be working.
I haven't done a concerted study of the Better Cops and their gullible dupes in the Counter-Jihad, but I have penned a few essays on it -- noting the varying degrees of gullibility from the likes of Sam Harris and Frank Gaffney (the most egregious), Bill Maher (somewhere in the mid-range), to Andrew Bostom, Baron Bodissey, and Diana West (the mildest). As I noted up top, I naturally assumed Robert Spencer would be situated somewhere between the mid-range and the most egregious.
So, that brings us to the Jihad Watch posting that occasioned my essay here today, "Muslim reformer exposes insidious agenda of "Islamophobia" propagandist". It is a posting by the organization directed by Steven Emerson: a solid member of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream -- i.e., an analyst who deploys terms like "Islamism" and "radical Islamist thought" with a straight face, and who, without a shred of a critical faculty leavened with rational suspicion, unctuously praises the Better Cop Asra Nomani for her careerist reform:
...her career as a Wall Street Journal reporter made her a horrified witness of where unchecked radical Islamist thought can lead. Now, she’s part of a fledgling Muslim Reform Movement, which declares its full embrace of “a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam,” “for secular governance, democracy and liberty” and “for the protection of all people of all faiths and non-faith who seek freedom from dictatorships, theocracies and Islamist extremists.”
In his 2003 book, American Jihad, Emerson uses the term "moderate Muslim" sincerely, as though it means something useful (and not, as it actually does, something counter-productive for the Counter-Jihad) -- and in that context, he invokes yet another Better Cop (one of the earliest, by the way), Tarek Fatah:
But the important thing is this. There are many, many sides to the Islamic religion, and the existence of a strong element of militant fundamentalists is a threat not only to American institutions and lives, but also to moderate Muslims. Tarek Fatah... [blah, blah, blah...] (p. 165)
No doubt, the main thing that appealed to Spencer was that Emerson's article zeroed in on Spencer's old nemesis, Nathan Lean, targeted judiciously by Asra Nomani. Since Nathan Lean is the handmaiden of the singularly oily Good Cop Reza Aslan, what we have here when we broaden our focus out is a Better Cop being attacked by a Good Cop, and the camp of the Better Cops (i.e., their Counter-Jihad admirers) counter-attacking. And this hasn't merely involved Asra Nomani: Lean has gone after Sam Harris's darling, the pseudo-reformer Maajid Nawaz, another Better Cop.
I.e., what's going on here is a conflict between Good Cops and Better Cops. If we in the Counter-Jihad can keep in mind that all Muslims are lying to us and therefore any given Muslim who claims not to want to kill us is doing (or trying to do) stealth jihad, then obviously there's only a superficial, tactical distinction between the Three Cops (Bad, Good, and Better). And thus, the apparent conflict between Good Cops and Better Cops has a useful function for the overall Jihad. For the Western Mainstream, allied with Good Cops, the conflict serves to keep the Better Cops and their allies -- the Counter-Jihad -- demonized. More subtly, the conflict helps to bolster the Counter-Jihad Cred of the Better Cops in the eyes of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream. Thus overall, it's a win/win: For Islam, the ongoing infiltration of Muslims into the West is enhanced on both fronts (the PC MC Mainstream and the Counter-Jihad Mainstream); and, on the side of the Useful Idiots in both Mainstreams, their ethical narcissism (the most precious thing to them, apparently) remains stroked.
Robert Spencer's commitment in this regard, however, indicates a posture typical of him -- remaining oddly remote, teetering on the edge of neutrality (except, of course, for the fact that he features Emerson's piece without any sign of disapproval when we know he is not shy about showing his disapproval of those he mentions in pieces he posts) -- but rather evidently tilting in favor. And why did Spencer not discuss Lean's hit piece on Maajid Nawaz (linked above), and along with that the responses of Nawaz and his Partner-in-Counter-Jihad-Bromance, Sam Harris? Perhaps because Spencer has burned some bridges with regard to the Sam Harris/Ayaan Hirsi Ali set; as Jihad Watch has been curiously silent about the extraordinary anti-Islam activity of late of Sam Harris -- the much ballyhooed book showcasing the collaboration of Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, The Future of Tolerance, several months ago, for example: zero mention on Jihad Watch. Most curious. Is this yet another example of that old Gentlemen's Agreement again...?