Thursday, March 03, 2016

... damned if you don't...

In a posting last month, Damned if we do, damned if we don't: Example #137,085 (I was drastically lowballing the number...), I discussed how the anxiously careful mastery of walking on eggshells perfected by Robert Spencer doesn't seem to be doing him much good:  I.e., no matter how much he may insist that he is "not anti-Islam" and "not anti-Muslim", mainstream PC MCs still treat him as though he is.

So our titular bromide leads us to only one of two conclusions:  Either

1) Spencer is stubbornly persisting in thinking that if he continues to walk on eggshells around our PC MC Masters, maybe someday they will stop demonizing him;


2) Spencer actually, sincerely is "not anti-Islam" and "not anti-Muslim".

If it's Door #1, that would of course imply that he is anti-Islam and anti-Muslim, but that he has been trying to finesse his rhetoric all these years in order to try to avoid being accused of those postures.

If we are to follow the beck of the hand model gesturing lovingly at Door #2, however, we are led immediately into a deeper problem.  For, behind Door #1 is just a new Kenmore refrigerator that will conk out within a month of shipping; behind Door #2 is an all-expenses-paid vacation to an alluring Paradise that will turn out to be a Hell-on-Earth of being fleeced by corrupt local officials, followed by our assault and rape by racist black Jamaicans.

I.e., the first choice indicates that Spencer's rhetorical strategy is obtuse and simply not working; the second choice indicates something far worse -- which we can illuminate by posing the elementary question:  Why the hell are you not anti-Islam and anti-Muslim for crying out loud...!!!???

Why are Spencer and his Jihad Watch loyalists so afraid of being anti-Islam and anti-Muslim?  Of course, it's never entirely clear where the latter stand -- behind Door #1 or #2; one sometimes gets the sense that they are indeed anti-Islam (even if they waffle on, and try to wriggle out of, the anti-Muslim part of the equation); but Spencer made himself crystal-clear many years ago, as I have documented and more recently reprised in my essay a month ago, Who's Watching the Jihad Watchers? 

To wit:

I am not “anti-Islam”. (Robert Spencer, in a Jihad Watch article, June 27, 2007)



I am not “anti-Muslim,” as I have stated many times. It is not “anti-Muslim” to stand for human rights for all people, including Muslims… (Robert Spencer, in a Jihad Watch article, September 17, 2011)


To which I say: Au contraire, my dear Non-Anti-Muslim Frère.  Since to be a Muslim is to pledge allegiance to Islam; and since Islam is a culture and ideology that stands against human rights for all people, then if we stand for human rights for all people, we have to stand against Muslims.  On what grounds, on what basis, would Spencer and his loyalists disagree with this argument? If they do not succumb & subscribe to the Paradox of Tolerance, there remain only two possible grounds.  They would have to assert either that:

1) Being a Muslim is not necessarily to pledge allegiance to Islam;

or that:

2) Islam is not necessarily a culture and ideology that stands against human rights for all people

And #1 (exclusive of #2), in turn, depends upon fudging the definition of "Muslim" such that, in effect, innumerable Muslims out there are "not really Muslim" -- i.e., not really following Islam.

But as I indicated in my aforementioned essay -- Who's Watching the Jihad Watchers?  -- Spencer has vehemently adhered to both #1 and #2, even to the point of arguing with intelligent Jihad Watch readers who took issue with him on this particular problem.

I collected a record of some of this into a few essays on my aforementioned now retired companion blog, Jihad Watch Watch -- such as Transcripts Part 2: Jihad Watch readers politely yet firmly take Robert Spencer to task; and Robert Spencer's Two Hats: Keep Your Day Job.  (I haven't yet ascertained if Google cache still has these or not.)  One can see there Spencer insisting doggedly why he is "not anti-Islam".  Yes, that's right, a man who has forged a career amassing mountains of data indicating that any sane, decent human on the planet should be anti-Islam, stubbornly insisting he is "not anti-Islam".

Part Two:

...damned if you do...


30donkeys said...

It's very hard to put a charitable interpretation on either of those statements. 'I'm not against Islam' is irretrievably beyond the pale. The best I can do with 'I'm not against Muslims' is that Spencer is trying to say that he is not against the non-Muslim trapped inside the Muslim, whether recently by conversion or by a family tradition of hundreds of years. He holds out hope that the non-Muslim is recoverable from within the Muslim, and so would not like entirely to write off all Muslims as hopelessly lost causes. Spencer is not against the possibility of redemption for Muslims. Therefore he is not, as it were, against Muslims.

Egghead said...

Who precisely is expected to be doing the 'recovering' of the 'non-Muslim' from the Muslim (as if that even exists) - and what precisely are we 'recovering' the non-Muslim to be instead of being Muslim?

One main problem is that nominal Christians have forgotten and/or ignored that the first priority of Christians is to maintain existing Christians by creating, maintaining, and cherishing Christian families in Christian lands.

If Christians want to convert people, Christians should try to convert the Jews and atheists in Christian lands. Too hard, say you? Well, that's my point, too.

If Christians are unwilling or unable to convert Western people who ostensibly share Western values (people who have been successfully converting Christians into atheists for decades now), then what sinful vanity and stupidity compels the vain attempt of Christians to convert foreign Muslims who do NOT share Western values, culture or language. It is a fools errand writ large that endangers all of Christendom for vanity's sake.

Egghead said...

Hesp, I believe that I am getting the hang of this asymptotic twitch stuff. Wink!

Hesperado said...

Well Egghead, 30donkeys isn't even talking about converting those members of that strange species, the Non-Muslim Muslims -- he seems to be saying we should not treat them with the same suspicion as we do the Muslims who candidly tell us they want to "keel you". That would be one of the many-splendored forms of the asymptotic twitch...

It's also, as I argued in other essays, a permutation of the "Moderate Muslim" meme.

The Muslim-Who's-Not-really-a-Muslim is just a repackaged Moderate Muslim -- repackaged for palatable consumption in the Counter-Jihad where folks have long since learned to reject the Moderate Muslim label (but will swallow its ingredients when repackaged...).

Egghead said...

Hi 30donkeys, I like that you comment. Hesp and other commenters help me to coalesce my thoughts. Thanks!

Egghead said...

Here's the reality about Muslims:

Muslims believe in a distinctly non-Christian God who prefers Muslims over non-Muslims.

When Allah 'delivers' a Muslim from a (Muslim-root-caused) deprived Muslim country into the abundant West which instantly pays generous jizya welfare to support every Muslim need and want without requiring Western assimilation (or even work), the Muslim believes that his God Allah is a powerful God who offers powerful incentives and rewards to Muslims.

Expecting that Muslim to then disavow not only his God Allah, but his entire community - upon pain of Sharia Law death - is highly unrealistic.

Egghead said...

Unrealistic and irrelevant. So what if one in a million Muslims converts to Christianity in the Christian West at the point that the other 999,999 Muslims per million immigrants pose an ever-expanding existential threat to Christianity and a very real promise to 1) rape, torture, and violently murder ALL Christians and other non-Muslims including the one convert (who probably still harbors third world values), and 2) to completely destroy all Christian symbols including churches, art, libraries, etc.?!

Other Western non-Muslims like Indian Hindus hail from very populated locations where their people, religions, and culture can survive despite being eliminated in the West.

But, the Christian West is being attacked in its for now less populated (than the third world) homeland where Christian people, religion, and culture cannot survive anywhere except in the West due to violent persecution of Christians outside of the Christian West.

30donkeys said...

Hesperado, in which part of my brief comment do I seem to be saying that any variety of moderate Muslim should not be treated with the same suspicion as openly violent Muslims? Looking over the comment again, it appears to me that it is what it was meant to be, a stab at understanding what might lie behind Robert Spencer's saying that he is not against Muslims.

Egghead said...

30donkeys, I agree that it is very complicated because you attempted to interpret Spencer.

The issue is your reference to the very specific idea of the 'non-Muslim trapped inside the Muslim' that leads me (and presumably Hesp) to question your overall definition of Muslim.

What realistic proof does anyone have that there is a Jekyll and Hyde aspect to Muslims where a Western 'acceptable' non-Muslim lurks within a Western 'non-acceptable' Muslim?

Does anyone seriously believe that roving gangs of African Muslim rapists raised and steeped in the Muslim rape jihad culture are wrestling with 'trapped' 'moral' selves over whether to commit gang rapes of European Christian women and girls (and boys)?!

Add to that your loaded vocabulary filled with Christian religious connotations (conversion, recoverable, redemption), and it becomes concerning that you yourself might think that the West should consider and attempt whether Muslims might be 'salvaged' based on their inner non-Muslims.

Egghead said...

The 'non-Muslim trapped inside a Muslim' meme is all too similar to the 'Muslims are the first and worst victims of Islam' meme.

Egghead said...

Indeed, it appears that, far from wrestling with trapped moral selves, Muslim men view rape jihad of infidels as a sanctified act of religious oblation to Allah.

It is simply physically unsafe to allow, let alone import (!) Muslims to locations with ACTUAL non-Muslims who will be targeted by ACTUAL Muslims following ACTUAL Islam.

The current false pope is a wolf rather than a shepherd:

Hesperado said...


You began your comment by writing:

"It's very hard to put a charitable interpretation on either of those statements. 'I'm not against Islam' is irretrievably beyond the pale. The best I can do with 'I'm not against Muslims' is that Spencer is trying to say...."

I reasonably inferred that you did not mean "charitable" sarcastically (nor the "best" you "can do" to be charitable). As such, the charitable form of your salvaging Spencer's distinction among Muslims would be implying that this distinction is to be considered tenable, rather than dismissed as untenable.

It is true that your prose gave no overt indication of your position on the matter; however, it is not unreasonable for me to infer from the lack of any indication of your position on the matter itself -- along with the sincerely "charitable" form it took -- that you take uncritically at least the tenability of the notion that there exists in viable numbers (where "viable" means knowable by us in numbers adequate for our safety) the type of Muslim who is a "non-Muslim trapped inside the Muslim, whether recently by conversion or by a family tradition of hundreds of years" who is "recoverable from within the Muslim".

Many people, it seems, confuse the abstract theoretical possibility of something, with its pragmatic tenability -- where the latter ought to lead us to the conclusion of its practical impossibility.

When we then add to that the deadly exigency of the problem we are dealing with, coupled with the massive, and peculiar secondary problem of our own Western societies enabling this danger rather than dealing appropriately with it (including the very institutions whose job it is to deal appropriately with sociopolitical dangers) -- a secondary problem that is the main and sole reason for the existence of the Counter-Jihad developing in order to try to wake up the West to the danger -- we then have good reason to conclude that the cultivation by the Counter-Jihad (assuming the Counter-Jihad is having any effect at all, which it is not unreasonable to assume) of any ideas that undermine our wariness and self-defense in the face of such dangers is only serving to enable the colossal recklessness of the very West we should be trying to wake up.

My argument then hinges on whether the charitable form (assuming it is accurate, and I think it is) of Spencer's motivation for his pro-Muslim stance serves to protect us from the danger, or make us more vulnerable in the long-term. Given the lofty ideals of Christian Wilsonianism, and assuming Spencer is a Christian Wilsonianist, it is not unlikely to further assume that safety from societal danger is not foremost in his mind, and that he puts universal love for Muslims (exempting the Minority of Extremist Jihadists, of course) above our safety, in terms of the two ideals coming into conflict where we can never have sufficient certitude about whether either

1) prioritizing universal love for Muslims will certainly result in mass deaths and destruction of our own people and infrastructure


2) prioritizing our safety in ways that flout expressions of universal love for Muslims will certainly prevent mass deaths and destruction of our own people and infrastructure.

Given all this, and given where I stand based upon my arguments in dozens of essays over the years, there is no charitable way of excusing Spencer for his reckless analysis. As I said years ago, he wears two hats -- that of Reporter, and that of Analyst. Insofar as the latter intrudes into the area of prescriptions, and insofar as his prescriptions presume that we can trust innumerable Muslims (= that we should not treat them as though we cannot trust them all equally), I recommend he stick with his day job, which he does so excellently, and stop moonlighting.

Robert Spencer’s Two Hats: Keep Your Day Job

Hesperado said...

slight correction:

I wrote:

"...confuse the abstract theoretical possibility of something, with its pragmatic tenability -- where the latter ought to lead us to the conclusion of its practical impossibility. "

I of course was referring to when we find no pragmatic tenability.

Hesperado said...

P.S.: My response to 30donkeys is amplified by taking into consideration a recommendation for a "paradigm shift" in the Counter-Jihad -- a shift from concentrating exclusively on the problem of Islam, to also factoring in the problem of Muslims.

A shift from Islam to Muslims

Egghead said...

Yes, Hesp, the single-minded focus must be taken OFF of theoretically saving Muslims in their own countries or in the West - and put back ONTO proactively saving Christians in the West. Note that this was the single-minded focus of the West for hundreds of years, so there is ample religious, social, and economic precedent for the West to exclude Muslims from civilized society.

It appears that Christian missionary work is a serious contributing problem to the demise of the West. Western religious leaders CANNOT and will NOT speak feely about the danger of Muslims because to do so would legitimately endanger Christian missionaries and also the possibility of potential converts from Islam.

Egghead said...

Correction: speak freely

Egghead said...

Hesp, Have you seen this one?!

Hesperado said...

Thanks Egghead -- I had heard about that story, but not in detail. That story gives some interesting depth to the incident. What's interesting and typical is that the "sharia creep" involved is sort of sideways, not direct; which would be expected of an intrusion of something ostensibly alien to all our mores.

Egghead said...

Well, it 'may' be sideways for us, but the Muslim Saudis knew EXACTLY what they were doing: declaring Islamic sovereignty over infidel land.