To say it's the wrong instinct makes sense only if we adjust our perspective to take the broader context into consideration.
The broader context of what? Of the two Problems we, in the rag-tag Counter-Jihad, continue to grapple with.
What two Problems? Why, the Problem of Islam, of course -- and the Problem of the Problem: the Problem, that is, of our own West persisting in its dereliction of duty with regard to the escalating danger of an Islam undergoing a global revival in our time.
What does "grapple with" entail? What's our role with regard to these two Problems?
First of all, we, in the rag-tag Counter-Jihad, remain minuscule in the broader context of the West being endangered by the primary Problem (of Islam).
Secondly, it's not our job to protect and inform the public about dangers to our societies. Those are the jobs of our governments and our news media. Of course, given the dereliction of duty those two organs routinely manifest, the Counter-Jihad has developed as a response. Given, however, that the Counter-Jihad is evidently deeply committed to avoiding vigilantism (further enhanced by a broader, albeit amorphous, culture throughout the West generally inhibiting vigilantism) -- and again, given the minuscule influence & material resources of the Counter-Jihad -- the slack of our governments is something we cannot remedy in any direct way (though occasionally there are voices bruited in the Counter-Jihad to the effect of Mad-Max-style militias being organized -- or rather fantasized about; indeed, the "backlash" that the PC MC Mainstream always frets about, but of which not even any rudiments materialize).
The slack of our news media, however, is something we, in the rag-tag Counter-Jihad, can do something about. Indeed, it is the main activity, the main point, of the Counter-Jihad. We fight in the figurative "battle spaces" of the war of ideas theater of this larger war which Mohammedans are waging against us (a war the mainstream West remains oblivious to).
And since all actions begin with an idea, this theater is of utmost importance.
Quality control of how we wage it, then, one would think, is crucial. And part of that quality control is a vigilance for noticing, pointing out, and critiquing the wrong instinct whenever it pops up.
The wrong instinct I refer to today is that of implicitly trusting a Muslim just because he insists, seemingly convincingly, that he wants to reform Islam. This would be the application of the otherwise noble Graeco-Roman/Judaeo-Christian principle, innocent until proven guilty (otherwise known as giving the benefit of the doubt).
The correct instinct in this regard would be simply to make a unique exception for any and all Muslims: Never trust a Muslim, no matter what he says. Is that so hard? Apparently for many in the Counter-Jihad, yes.
And so, Exhibit A of the wrong instinct comes from Baron Bodissey, co-owner of the otherwise excellent Counter-Jihad blog, Gates of Vienna. Recently, he featured an article about an Egyptian Muslim named Islam Buheiry. Bodissey's first sentence expresses the wrong instinct with full frontal nudity:
Islam Buheiry is one of those rare birds, a genuine Islamic reformer.
Wow. I nearly lost my coffee when I read that, on a blog that day in and day out for years has been amassing data indicating that such a charitable impulse is colossally reckless.
As I pointed out in the comments section at the time
There’s nothing specific in this article by Ashraf Ramelah about Islam Buheiry that actually demonstrates that he is actually a reformer of Islam. There are several statements vaguely and generally claiming this, but not a shred of actual specific concrete examples.
And there isn't. I dare anyone to read that article and find even a shred of actual, concrete, specific evidence substantiating Baron Bodissey's spasm of charitable optimism about this Egyptian Muslim. But that isn't even the point. The point is that -- given the devastating problem of taqiyya and given the dangers posed by innumerable Muslims whom we can't distinguish from allegedly harmless Muslims -- there is no possible evidence substantiating a charitable optimism about any Muslim. So Baron Bodissey's spasm is doubly egregious.
This isn't the first time the co-owner of the Gates of Vienna blog has manifested a sign and/or symptom of this wrong instinct. As I noted not too long ago in my essay 1,001 Eurabian Nights, when I pointed out to Baron Bodissey in the Gates of Vienna comments section that the pseudo-reformer Zuhdi Jasser should not be trusted, Baron Bodissey's elbow spasmed:
As I said, I don’t know enough about Zuhdi Jasser to have an opinion on whether or not he is a “stealth jihadist”.
(His additional elucidation does not ameliorate this wrong instinct of charitable suspension of judgement: My point was not that he is “moderate”, but that his operation is modest (to put it mildly) and impact is miniscule, compared to that of Maajid Nawaz and others at his level of influence. There’s lots of money behind those masters of taqiyya.)
And, as I've reported & analyzed recently, Robert Spencer, and Frank Gaffney more egregiously, have demonstrated similarly wrong instincts with regard to Zuhdi Jasser -- while the gold standard of the gullible Counter-Jihad analyst, Sam Harris (gullibly swallowing the candy-coated stealth jihad of Maajid Nawaz), I've written about a few times.
All these otherwise fine Counter-Jihad analysts are assuring their flocks that it's raining, when Better Cop Muslims whip out their privy members and urinate all over their -- and our -- heads.