Sunday, July 31, 2016
Robert Spencer's Moderate Muslims
He doesn't call them "moderate", of course. One doesn't have to use the word rose to denote the very same thing that stinks as sweet. Were he to call them "moderate" explicitly, even the sheeplike toadies who are his fan base at Jihad Watch comments would begin to dare to balk and wonder, and might even venture a timid toe or two of concern in the comments section.
Today at Jihad Watch, Spencer analyzes the case of a Wall Street Journal Brown Person, Sohrab Ahmari. I call Ahmari that not because I'm racist, but because the Wall Street Journal, in its anxiety to have "diversity" on its staff, has seen fit to kowtow to the minority perceived, by the PC MC Mainstream, to be the most aggrieved and in need of "respect" -- Muslims -- the minority perceived by the PC MC Mainstream to be not only ethnic, but ethnic par excellence, on top of the food chain of Ethnic Minorities the White West Must Respect. The one and only minority of the world deserving of zero respect.
I won't go into the distracting details of the brouhaha that occurred between Spencer and Ahmari, except to say that Spencer's reportage of the key points seems perfectly unobjectionable. Ahmari (claimed he) was so appalled at the Islamic slaughter of the priest in northern France this past week that he announced he was converting to Christianity. Then when Spencer's staff writer Christine Williams reported that (citing evidence), Ahmari apparently had a hissy fit on Twitter with Spencer, and then claimed he had never been Muslim.
So here follows the relevant portion from Spencer's report on this, in which the problem of the problem becomes illuminated (the primary problem being Muslims, any and all Muslims, including Ahmari; the secondary problem being Counter-Jihad Mainstream analysts like Spencer who still believe there viably exist moderate Muslims). I have emphasized Spencer's egregious lapses in bold:
Andrew Bostom has pointed out the fact that on page eight of Ahmari’s book Arab Spring Dreams, he identifies himself as “Iranian (with Azeri roots).”
What an interesting self-description: the Ayatollah Khamenei is also an Iranian with Azeri roots. The overwhelming majority of Iranians with Azeri roots are Muslim or come from a Muslim background. Ahmari tweeted at me that he had never been Muslim, but had been a secular atheist — in yet another tweet that he curiously deleted soon afterward. There is no reason to doubt his self-description, even if he deleted it, but it is a perfectly reasonable assumption, and indeed a likelihood, that if he is an Iranian with Azeri roots, his secular atheist household was at least nominally Muslim in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in which he grew up and only left in 1998, and that when he announced his conversion to Catholicism in the context of the priest’s murder, he was renouncing even any cultural and vestigial attachment to Islam.
It could be that Ahmari is afraid of being targeted by Muslim hardliners as an apostate if he identifies as a former Muslim. His fear in that case would be understandable, if not particularly worthy of respect; but to lash out at those who reported about his actions accurately suggests other motives as well. The bottom line is that whether Ahmari comes from a Muslim or Bahai or Christian or Jewish background, and whatever religion he is now, even in his revulsion at the murder of Fr. Hamel, he feels the need to distance himself from genuine opponents of jihad terror, and to assure his colleagues that even though he opposes jihad terror, he isn’t going to do anything so politically incorrect as link it to Islam.
No, Mr. Spencer. The bottom line is that you still give certain Muslims the benefit of the doubt. The instant I saw that his name was "Sohrab Ahmari" I knew not to trust him.
Until the Counter-Jihad can graduate to this Zero Tolerance of All Muslims, how will they ever even begin to do the most important job they should take it upon themselves to do -- to school their wider West?
Note Spencer's distinction of the "Muslim hardliners" -- a flawed trope that by implication implies there viably exist Muslims who are not "hardliners". And what is this nonsense about Iranian Muslims being "secular atheists" and coming from "nominally Muslim households"...? Those are the two terms, by the way, by which we smell the Moderate Rat of Spencer's rose by another name.
And did Ahmari's kitman slip by Spencer? When Ahmari claims he was "never Muslim" by claiming he was a "secular atheist", that's a classic way of saying Yes and No -- and getting away with the cachet of either one, whenever convenient. Unless, that is, one believes (along with the magnanimous Spencer, in turn following the undertow of the politically correct multi-culturalist mainstream) that a Muslim -- indeed, innumerable Muslims -- can actually be "secular atheist" without doing taqiyya -- without lying to us about it.
(And this isn't the first time Spencer has looked at Persians with rose-colored glasses: my Persian Flu essays of former years took a look at his romantic penchant toward the brave Iranian People who, because they protested against one or two Ayatollahs, must have magically become Jeffersonian democrats who love freedom just like we do.)
Are Spencer's slavish fans going to call him out on this? Is the Pope Lutheran...? (Is the Ayatollah Jewish?)