Tuesday, June 14, 2016
In a war of ideas, words matter.
Every action begins as an idea.
The Counter-Jihad's main activity involves the various "battle spaces" (as Frank Gaffney puts it) in the war of ideas.
The main purpose & object of this war of ideas is to wake up the West to the problem of Islam.
In pursuit of this purpose & object, the Counter-Jihad needs to think carefully about the words it chooses to communicate.
Many words (pun intended) could be spent expatiating on this issue; and Lord knows I've done it in dozens of essays here (and elsewhere) over the years. Today, I advert to just one example, from a Jihad Watch commenter, one "Alarmed Pig Farmer", whom I have noticed is one of the somewhat better (i.e., somewhat tougher on Islam) commenters at Jihad Watch, a Counter-Jihad community that seems to abound in Softies.
Apropos of a recent interview Robert Spencer gave on Newsmax TV concerning the Orlando ghazi, the interviewer used the term "radicalized" and then Spencer followed suit uncritically. In a moment of critical intelligence, "Alarmed Pig Farmer" picked up on that:
I would only add that while I agree that the term "activated" is better than "radicalized", still, "activated" remains dicey, because it still can imply that Muslims who don't explode (or shoot, or stab, or behead, etc.) are somehow "dormant" in some sincere way -- either 1) not pretending to be non-violent while biding their time for more opportune occasions to wage jihad of the sword, or 2) are not also pursuing one or more of the other myriad forms of jihad.
P.S.: A related issue: the term "the Counter-Jihad" has unfortunate connotations, in that it implies a distinction between Jihad and Islam. This isn't necessarily so; the former could well be metonymy for the latter. However, not everyone will take it that way, and many will receive it as reinforcing an artificial distinction between Jihad and Islam. A better name for the Movement would be A.I.M. -- the Anti-Islam Movement.