Sunday, July 17, 2016
Counter-Jihad Operating System 3.0 Update
Editorializing on the recent discovery that the Muslim who perpetrated the devastating terror attack in Nice, France "has three family members who are jihadis," Robert Spencer then quotes the report of the authorities who learned that the attacker Mohamed Bouhlel, "wasn't religious," and then writes in his opening sentence:
But he got religion in the end, enough to scream “Allahu akbar” while murdering Infidels.
This phrase reflects, and telegraphs, the meme of "radicalization"; and that meme has got to go. For it implies that when the attacker, Mohamed Bouhlel, hadn't yet "gotten religion," he was not a danger to society. More broadly, it implies a distinction between Muslims who are (i.e., who seem) harmless -- walking around "without religion" in a more or less secular manner -- and Muslims who suddenly transform into dangerous killers.
Certainly, this meme is better than the prevailing mainstream meme that assumes that the vast majority of Muslims not only are harmless but will forever remain so (unless, it is incoherently implied, we provoke them too much by being too critical of their religion). The Counter-Jihad Mainstream meme at least keeps us on our guard more with regard to any and every Muslim. However, it still suffers from a fatal flaw (and I mean "fatal" literally as well as figuratively): it presumes that outward signs of "extremism" are the only justification for our suspicion that would move us to take measures of proactive self-defense. This Counter-Jihad Mainstream meme is only an incremental upgrade of the fatally flawed Western Mainstream meme, and it will only serve to make us more alertly jittery as we continue to pursue the Whack-a-Mo reaction to Muslims popping up (seemingly) randomly to kill us.
Now, if the problem of Muslims popping up to kill us were static, and really statistically random, it would be a stable problem we could learn to "live with" and try to minimize along its ragged, bloody edges.
Is this something we want to gamble with? That the problem of Muslims pursuing their Jihad of the Sword against us is not going to get inexorably, horribly worse -- both in quantity and in grotesquely nightmarish quality? And that the problem is not actually systemic, rather than some random process of disconnected "lone wolves" suddenly "radicalizing" for reasons that are not a concerted plan by an Umma of Muslims more unified in intent than our memes can fathom?
"And now it comes out that he has three family members who are Islamic jihadis..." so continues Robert Spencer's report.
Until the West recognizes the horrible fact that all Muslims are, in effect, "jihadis" -- for they all wage one or more of the many flavors of Jihad -- we will be gambling with a losing hand. How will the West graduate on that learning curve, if the Counter-Jihad, whose primary function is to educate the West, continues to indulge outdated software?
Speaking of a failure to update software, I see that the reliably mainstream Counter-Jihad website, Gates of Vienna, features a visual post promoting exactly the fatally flawed meme I just got through analyzing above. Here's the picture they feature (through one of their contributing authors, Matt Bracken):
This could not epitomize more exquisitely the fatal flaw I analyzed above. If there were a Counter-Jihad College, one of the top ten pop quiz test questions for incoming freshmen would be to show them this picture, and then assign them this exercise:
"In 100 words or less, explain how and why the meme communicated by this picture, if it influences our way of thinking about the problem of terrorism, will fail to adequately protect our societies from destruction by Mohammedans in the coming decades."