Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stop "shoulding" Muslims


The Counter-Jihad Mainstream (CJM) is still using an outdated operating system, as evidenced by the rhetoric of Christine Williams, one of the main writers on that bastion of the CJM, Jihad Watch.

In her editorial introducing the flawed outlook of the French government vis-à-vis the problem of Muslims (France burkini backlash panic), her rhetoric is rich in Great Expectations.

This is how Williams opens her piece:

A respect for secular values should be an expectation and requirement of all Muslims immigrating to the West (along with all other adherents of any faith tradition).

Notice her shoulding of Muslims begins right away, in her first sentence.  The locution of "Peter should do X", however, only makes sense if one's expectation that Peter is viably capable of doing X is reasonable.  There is a wisp of a dim possibility that Williams is using this locution merely rhetorically, as a way to highlight the deficiency of Muslims.  Her reiterations throughout her short introduction, however, tend to reinforce the opposite impression:

The key for Muslims living in the West is to reject political Islam and practice their faith in peace and respect for their host societies, as other citizens do. 

Again: Sure, that would be "the key for Muslims" if we had any reasonable expectation that they wanted to do this, rather than to continue pursuing their twin Jihads (of the Sword, and of the stealthy pretense of being amenable to the Great Expectations of people like Williams).  Apparently, the CJM still dreams the impossible dream...

Following on the heels of that last sentence, Williams invokes the cousin of the Should -- the Need:

The French government’s mode of intervention in the promotion of a “French Islam” is counter-intuitive, as it is injecting politics into a religion that needs to be de-politicized. 

Saying that Islam "needs to be de-politicized" is like saying that the Third Reich "needs to be de-Nazified".  It's absurd on the face of it -- or should be, to anyone who knows Islam. 

Earlier in her editorial, Williams wrote:

Indeed, an appreciation for pluralism is a major work in progress toward the evolution of the Muslim faith tradition, in which pluralism and democratic values are rejected by its normative practice under sharia law.

One would dearly hope she meant the phrase "work in progress" with bitterly caustic sarcasm; but, alas, with the other locutions we've noted, we are afraid we'd be wrong.

Seven years ago already, I realized the fallacy of this general mindset which to that date (November of 2009) I had been noticing crop up all too much in Counter-Jihad rhetoric, in an essay I wrote titled:   

Not So Great Expectations and the Proverbial Straw.

No comments: