Friday, January 29, 2016

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I keep learning of new (new to me, that is) Better Cops.

Two more for now:

Boulem Sansal, a Muslim novelist of apparently dual French and Algerian citizenship (choosing to live in his wealthy home in Algeria paid for by his artistic celebrity), of a lithe and wiry frame, sporting a fashionably chic ponytail and dressed perpetually down (you know, a white t-shirt, black suit jacket, guaraches) as befits a French artiste (he must be quite the Brown arm candy to have on hand at cocktail parties and salon soirées for the Parisian counter-intelligentsia...).  His most recent novel, 2084 (oh so clever reference to Orwell's classic) -- incidentally reflecting a wave of dystopian tomorrows imagined by various Frenchmen, all centrally involving an indigestible Islam causing troubled dreams -- refers to a globally totalitarian and imperialistic Islam in the not-distant-enough future.

Aside from the mere fact that Sansal is a Muslim -- which, in the eyes of the Counter-Jihad (if they were not blinkered as they are) would be sufficient to damn him without further ado -- we find (when we know what we're looking for) that little nugget of a meme that never fails to come from any and all of these Better Cops.  Here, Sansal is opining to his interviewer about the "extremist" Islam currently plaguing not only France, but the whole world:

Sansal tells the interviewer that it is “...‘not the Islam I knew in my childhood...’ (pas l’islam que j’ai connu dans mon enfance...).”

And then this about the Islam he knew in his childhood:

“From a minor custom that didn't cause any trouble, it has passed into a thunderous reality.” (...d’une petite pratique qui ne dérangeait pas, il est passé à une réalité tonitruante.)

Thus is subtly telegraphed the notion that Islam in its essence is okay; the problems only began lately, with "Wahhabism", or "Salafism" or other permutations of "radical extremism", which only began relatively recently.  And once we detach the problems of Islam from Islam, we can better attach them to, oh, perhaps some faults of the West (Colonialism, post-Colonial "meddling", etc., ad Islamonauseam).

Yet another Better Cop whose notice has appeared in the peripheral vision of the twitching left eye of Chief Inspector Dreyfus is one Salim Mansur.  My attention was caught when, during a video conversation between the courageous UK activist Anne Marie Waters and the vaguely oily Lebanese Canadian Jew Gid Saad on his radio show The Saad Truth, the latter hastened anxiously to alert his viewers that there exist good & decent Muslims out there like his friend Salim Mansur, who feels our pain and decries the horrible problems Islam is causing the world.

So I Googled Salim Mansur, and wouldn't you know it, within 15 minutes I stumbled across that little nugget of a meme.  As Robert Sibley summarizes and describes a recent debate between Mansur and Doug Saunders (some white PC MC idiot defending Muslims):

“Certainly, many Muslim immigrants will come here to escape the oppression that has taken hold in parts of the Muslim world, where, according to Mansur, the diversity that once characterized the faith was gradually lost after Saudi Arabia began spending billions of petro-dollars to promote its wahhabist traditions with its demands for jihad and shari’ah compliance.”

And notice the two-fer in that summation, where Mansur also slips in the notion that among the Muslim immigrants he is warning about from the Better side of his mouth, are an innumerable Many who are "escaping the oppression that has taken hold in parts of the Muslim world"; thus implying that there exist decent Muslims who desperately seek Sandwiches no longer available in their cruel, essentially un-Islamic regimes of Wahhabist Extremism...  Etc., ad Islamonauseam.

Prompting the question, who is the real Useful Idiot here, Doug Saunders, who defends Muslim immigrants willy-nilly, or the mildly counter-jihad Robert Sibley, who pats himself on the back for throwing caution to the winds in order to embrace a Better Cop...?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

An eschaton up my sleeve...?

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                           ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge & shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast & with ah! bright wings.
 
                    -- Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), The Grandeur of God

                           ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍

 

Monday, January 25, 2016

The problem: Wahidism, not "Wahhabism"


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Years ago, I coined a term, Wahidism, to denote the standard PC-MC-friendly, moderate Muslim Apologia that ever since 911, has become globally dominant (among Muslims and PC MC Westerners alike).  It is named after the former President of Indonesia (died in 2009), Abdurrahman Wahid, who made a big deal about Islamic "reform".  It is an Apologia that gives assurance to those anxiously suppressing their dread that Islam may be a horrifically broader and deeper problem than they wish it to be.

The other terms I came to use for those Muslims selling this bill of goods was the "Good Cop" -- and then, the "Better Cop" (the former calculated to fool the easily gullible Western Mainstream; the latter fine-tuned and recalibrated to fool the more difficult to deceive, because more alarmed & informed, Counter-Jihad).

Back in 2005, Abdurrahman Wahid penned a classic example of one or the other (depending on whom he fools), with one side of his mouth pretending to be serious about noticing problems among "Wahhabis" and other "extremists" in Islam; with the other, telegraphing the false hope that supposed moderate reformers like him exist in viable numbers to save the West from the former.

As I noted at the time, one proof (among 1,001 others one could cite) that PC MC has become dominant in the West is that the Wall Street Journal should give Wahid's apologia such a prominent venue (its Friday paper, the day it is most read for its news and commentary, the day of Friday sermons in the Stock Exchange).  Another is exemplified by the Mu'tazilitism (to coin another word) of the ostensibly tough, no-nonsense analyst on the problem of Islam, the Catholic writer Robert Reilly who, as late as 2010, should think Wahid represents a hopeful type of Muslim -- and who, more importantly, the supposedly Counter-Jihad organization Frontpage should feature in a typically Glazovian softball interview.

Then we have Robert Spencer, luminary and éminence grise of the Counter-Jihad who, after he spent thousands of words in a Jihad Watch article ably diagnosing the holes in Wahid's sales pitch selling a Cadillac with no engine and four flat tires, takes our breath away by writing:

I am not saying that Wahid is trying to deceive us. But if he isn’t, he needs to address the obvious gaping holes in his analysis and recommendations.  

Why isn't Spencer saying that Wahid is trying to deceive us?  That is the eminently reasonable conclusion we all must come to, one that positively screams, with a desperately hoarse voice, to be declared.

Then old Wahid jihad-of-the-penned another article for another major Western media organ, The Washington Post.  About this other specious tissue of sophistry, Spencer wrote the following, again after capably analyzing the seamy underside of Wahid's fancy moderation:

What peaceful Muslims like Wahid need to do is not spend their time writing articles in Western media outlets, but convincing the mujahedin. I am all for real moderate Muslims, but if I can see that a moderate’s account of Islamic teaching is inaccurate, a mujahid will certainly be able to also. 

What Spencer says next (after assuming Wahid is a "peaceful Muslim") in the form of rhetorical questions, in their answers which he fails to proffer, holding his neutrality in abeyance (as he always seems to do) on this pivotal point, actually indicates his failure to exercise Zero Tolerance for All Muslims:
 
And if that moderate’s moderation won’t convince Muslims, what’s the point of it? To make non-Muslims feel better?

Yes, Robert, that's the point of the Good Cop's soothing bromides about an essentially benevolent Islam beneath its "extremist" mutations -- to assuage and fool the Westerner who is growing increasingly alarmed at Islam.  Which, naturally, reveals that he is not, in fact, a "peaceful Muslim" and a "real moderate", as Spencer so recklessly and glibly assumes (just as he assumed more recently that Zuhdi Jasser's "heart is in the right place").

Spencer is good at dissecting the rhetoric of the Good Cops, but he's incompetent when it comes to the conclusion we must all come to, if the West is to survive.  If even the Counter-Jihad cannot do this, this bodes mortally ill for the defense of the civilization it alone is (ineptly) spearheading.

In the comments section of the 2005 Jihad Watch article on Wahid, quite a few of the civilians weren't buying his fishy taqiyya.  One of them posted a helpful list of uncomfortable facts about Wahid's long and illustrious political career in Malaysia.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It must be true; therefore it is.

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Concerning my previous essay on pseudo-reformer Zuhdi Jasser, a reader "30donkeys" wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to expose the insufferable Zuhdi Jasser.

It took a long time indeed.  When I first thought I'd write a piece on that Frank Gaffney interview with Jasser, I thought I could dash it off in one sitting.  As I rolled up my shirtsleeves to delve in, however, it soon became apparent that Jasser's tissue of sophistry -- even the one small example of it I had selected from a longer interview -- would require a diagnostic analysis that attends to the multitude of fallacies, red herrings, and subtle half-truths of which his tortuously specious apologetics of Islam reeks, and with which it is tediously riddled.

This brings up an interesting subtopic in the realm of ideological warfare, and one of the key tactics used by both stealth jihadists and by the Soviet Communists during their long war of subversion against America and the West -- namely, the tactic of generating such a complex tissue of distortions & disinformation (practically inextricable from its webs of half-truths), that any intelligent attempt to expose it is forced to match its jungle of details with an even greater welter of complexity, inevitably causing the eyes & ears of most audiences to glaze over.  The only way to cut through this would be for the lovers of truth to resort to low-brow demagoguery, an unfortunate act of desperation sure to attract those doing the right thing only half-assedly (at best), and for the wrong reason.

I opted for the intelligent mode of response, spending hours weaving together my critical analysis of Jasser's performance in meticulous detail (my essay was 4,582 words total).  In the light of our likely doom, however, it amounts to a hill of beans, compared with the mountain ranges of data (and oceans of dots screaming to be connected) about the global revival of Islam in the 21st century abounding all around us, which our dear old West continues to ignore to its peril.

I wrote above of Jasser's "specious apologetics" and note that specious according to Noah Webster (PBUH) means "seemingly plausible but actually fallacious" as well as "deceptively attractive".  Well, Jasser's sophistry may be deceptively attractive to gullible naïfs like Frank Gaffney, but to those of us who can see the nose on our face, it's lipstick on a vicious jackal.

Indeed, to summon another old fable, Gaffney's performance with his Muslim friend -- "whose intelligence, whose courage, whose tenacity, and whose leadership has meant more to me personally" -- amounts to an anxiously earnest, almost desperately willful entreaty to himself (and by extension, to the rest of us Westerners) to convince himself (and us) that when he gazes at the Emperor strutting about buck naked with his wee willie hanging out in full view, he is seeing the Emperor completely attired in his splendid royal garb.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quantum Stupidity: The Case of Zuhdi Jasser and his Useful Idiots

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Part 1 of "Quantum Stupidity" was published the other day.  If one had the inclination and time, while sunning oneself on the deck of our collective Western Titanic -- looking up occasionally from our laptop (great wifi reception in the north Atlantic...) to squint at the sunny skies over a horizon still more or less pleasantly dotted with distant spots of snowy white -- one could produce a thousand parts -- nay, tens of thousands -- to exemplify it. 

Today's example showcases Frank Gaffney's gushing admiration for pseudo-reformer Zuhdi Jasser:

"There are truly few people whose intelligence, whose courage, whose tenacity, and whose leadership has meant more to me personally -- and I think in many ways to our country -- than a man we are very privileged to have with us for a full hour.  He is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser..."

That's Gaffney, introducing the subject of a recent radio podcast (December 17th), in which broadly speaking he and Jasser discuss Jasser's new book, A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight to Save His Faith, as well as Jasser's efforts in, as Gaffney puts it:

"...leading a very inspiring -- and I hope very promising effort -- A declaration of the Muslim reform movement earlier this month..."

As if that's not laying it on thick enough and setting the stage for a softball interview, Gaffney goes on to say:

"...it is my, as I say, honor to call him a friend as well as a person with whom we are very privileged to consult from time to time..."

-- and describes Jasser as "very active in this space of trying to counter the jihadists" -- thus effectively blessing him with induction into the Counter-Jihad (which, thanks to the fact that it remains an incoherent and disorganized movement, can't marshal any opposition to such a precipitously reckless blessing).

In light of this, consider the considered opinion of Eliana Benador (whom wikipedia describes as "a Swiss-American public relations consultant, global strategist, and a publicist for American and Middle Eastern neo-conservatives"):

People like Frank Gaffney, Steven Emerson, Brigitte Gabriel, Glenn Beck, and many others seem to have given into the Jasser charm, but sadly they are wrong. 

Then we have the ever reliably suspicious Andrew Bostom, who recently tweeted a wonderfully incisive summation by Carl Goldberg of his debate in 2014 with Jasser:

Regarding the questions of "solutions", it is Jasser himself who has offered no solutions.  Advocating a "pluralistic and liberty-minded Islam" is not a solution at all. Saying that Islam should get rid of some of its core tenets is not a solution.  He did not say which verses of the Koran or Mohammed's sayings needed to be eliminated in order to achieve what he wants to achieve, or how to go about getting those sacred texts revised so that the Islamic religious establishment will accept them.  A solution must get down to those details, and Jasser did not offer any at all... He has no solution at all, only hope.  Hope is not a solution.

Bostom has also written some critical essays on Jasser (all seem to be a few years old), but Bostom, like Hugh Fitzgerald, seems to be stuck at a level of generously conceding sincere motives to Jasser -- characterizing him as "a decent man conflicted by what he wishes to be, and mainstream Islamic reality..." and his ongoing project of reform as "wishful thinking revisionism".  This characterization, however, is not the most reasonable inference to be made based on all the data we have:  Consider the following facts:

1) Zuhdi Jasser is a very intelligent man;

2) he has been studying Islam for years (and studying the problem of its reform and extremism for years);

3) he has been a practicing Muslim all his life; he grew up in a Muslim family that immigrated to the U.S. from Syria;

4) when discussing the problems of Islam, Jasser's rhetoric becomes a tissue of sophistry sometimes bordering on "disingenuous drivel" (as Bostom aptly not long ago characterized the sophistry of another up-and-coming Muslim on the career fast track of pseudo-Reform, Maajid Nawaz) as well as "double talk and deception" (as Diana West aptly characterized the same performance of Nawaz which Bostom heard).

When we put #4 together with #1-3, something does not add up.  To merely characterize Jasser as a "decent" man who indulges in "wishful thinking" simply does not suffice, given the tortured sophistry his so-called wishful thinking exemplifies.  The only way to salvage Jasser's reputation would be to consider him severely and strangely brain-damaged -- which, needless to say, would ruin his usefulness as an ally.  The most reasonable inference, then, is that Jasser is trying to deceive us.  And, tragicomically, he's succeeding with many in the Counter-Jihad (Exhibit A today, Frank Gaffney).

Now, of course #4 is a matter of subjective assessment.  To detect it, one needs to be informed about Islam 101, which apparently eludes Frank Gaffney. 

Let us then consider one particular segment of a recent podcast discussion Gaffney had with Jasser.  I chose that portion that gets to the most important part of the problem of Jasser (which, naturally, is no problem for Gaffney, since he apparently has already vetted him with flying colors, without doing his audience the courtesy of explaining just how he managed this vetting process) -- namely, the part about Mohammed and the Koran, both of which Jasser, as a Muslim, reveres.  Here follows some of the transcript, interspersed by my commentary bookended by rows of asterisks before and after:

***

Gaffney:  ...the idea that the prophet was the perfect Muslim, which seems to govern so much of what has come down to us as, I guess, 'sharia'... Let me just ask:  this was a man who was indisputably a very accomplished if very brutal warrior.

***

Would Gaffney characterize the ISIS Caliph as a "very accomplished if very brutal warrior" and not add in this regard that his bellicosity is grotesquely fanatical and ultra-violent and metastatically disturbing the peace of his surrounding society?  For this would aptly characterize Muhammad.  Consider, for example (just to pluck one example out of hundreds we could adduce from a head-towel), Bill Warner's pithy summation from the mainstream Islamic record of the Sira of Muhammad's conduct at the oasis of Medina where he oversaw the mass beheading of the Jewish tribe, the Banu Qurayza:

In Medina, Mohammed sat all day long beside his 12-year-old wife [Aisha, three years after he first fucked her] while they watched as the heads of 800 Jews were removed by sword.  Their heads were cut off because they had said that Mohammed was not the prophet of Allah.

(Not to mention Muhammad's sex slavery consequent upon his violence at, for example, the Khaybar Oasis where, among the atrocities he committed there was to have sex with a female captive (Sufayya) whose husband (Kinana) he had, only hours before, had tortured and beheaded.)

Gaffney's way of putting it, on the other hand, resembles kitman, in that the phrase "very brutal" could conceivably, just barely, cover the deeper, broader pathology of Muhammad -- yet at the same time softens it with a vague coat of whitewash, thus granting on a silver plate a way for Jasser to finesse his way to obfuscation, as we shall see.  Let us continue with Muhammad's résumé as Gaffney presents it:

***

Gaffney:  ...This is a man who married a child bride...

***

Muhammad did not merely marry a child bride -- Aisha, at age 6 -- he fucked her when she was age 9, according to that collector of hadiths, Sahih Bukhari, considered most authoritative in the Muslim world.  And since the hadiths form the heart of the Sunna -- and as Muslim historian of Islamic law, Chibli Mallat, noted, the Sunna is for Islam as important if not more important than the Koran itself -- this is no peripheral fact about Muhammad: it is a central, and profoundly ugly and disturbing fact about the man Muslims revere as an "excellent model of conduct" (uswa hasana, per Koran 33:21 and also see 68:4, not to mention the 89 other verses throughout the Koran lauding Muhammad).

***

Gaffney:  ... this is a man who seemed to have countenanced beheadings and other harsh punishments and even in some cases for petty crimes and the like...

***

"who seemed to have" is a curious locution; much better would have been something like "who is recorded by mainstream Islamic sources -- the Sira and the Hadiths -- to have commanded various beheadings; etc." (including the mass beheading of the Jewish tribe the Banu Qurayza, as we noted above).

This reminds us of Jasser's paradox; he logically must rely on extra-Koranic tradition (which perforce relies on Sira and Hadiths) to whitewash Mohammed (unless he's fabricating his Good Mohammed out of whole cloth & thin air); yet he claims not to follow the Hadiths (or, at least, as he put it once, cagily and parenthetically, "those are the hadiths that we reject"); and Gaffney of course didn't think to confront him about the key question of whether he accepts the Sira, and if partly so, on what basis he cherrypicks from it... but we may revisit that problem later.

***

Gaffney:  What does a reformer like you say about those aspects of the history of the faith and what you need to do going forward in light of them?

Jasser: Thanks for asking. It certainly is the elephant in the room if you will. The bottom line is that Muslims do not in any way worship the Prophet Muhammad -- we believe he was a man who was used as a vehicle for the message of God...

***

Notice how Jasser right out of the starting gate begins with a red herring flambé, wrapped in tasty kitman:  Of course Muslims "do not worship" Muhammad.  That's not the point nor the problem -- which is that Muslims unduly revere Muhammad. Jasser follows this with another bit of kitman:

***

Jasser: There are passages in the Koran in which God corrects Muhammad for errors that he made.

***

Let's take a look at those "errors" of Muhammad which Allah "corrected", shall we?  In Koran 10:94-95, Muhammad is rebuked by Allah for having doubts.  In Koran 33:37-38, Muhammad is rebuked by Allah for suppressing, out of fear of men's opinions, what Allah wanted him to do with the wife (Zaynab) of his adopted son (Zaid) -- to take her for his own sexual desire!  But it has a happy ending: Zaid had such problems with Zaynab, he left her, and Muhammad was given special dispensation by Allah to fuck her without ceremony.

Notice, then, the sleight-of-hand Zuhdi Jasser is attempting here:  by vaguely mentioning that there are "passages in the Koran in which God corrects Muhammad for errors that he made" without specifying the details, Jasser makes it sound like Mohammed's human fallibility, where bad, was corrected by God.  But in fact, the Koran has no record of Allah correcting Muhammad for all the horrible things which Islamic tradition records about him -- the massacres, the beheadings, the tortures, the assassinations, the plunder, the underage sex, the sex slavery; and so on.  It only corrects him either for unrelated, blandly generic things ("doubt") or, as in the case of his adopted son Zaid, for actually doing the right thing in at first counseling Zaid to stay with his wife and try to work things out!   Jasser is hoping that his audience are none the wiser about these details which would expose his sleight-of-hand.  And sadly, he's right -- at least about Gaffney and who knows how many others in and out of the Counter-Jihad.

Now what follows from Jasser is a submersion into what is almost tantamount to tortuous gibberish -- one reasonably assumes because Jasser is getting closer to the heart of articulating his impossible project of wresting (or rather, pretending to wrest) something salutary from the Koran:

***

Jasser:  Now, ultimately, the inspiration for our moral example of how we live our life began with the Prophet's example and much of his life, so... but there's no doubt that in addition to being a Messenger he was the head of a military and also the head of State, so his acts... you can call it apologetics or whatever they may be, but ultimately, if we believe in the authenticity of the Arabic script of the Koran, we must also believe in the moral character of the man that God chose to give us that script; so just as we believe in the moral character of Abraham, of Jesus, of Moses, and of the Prophet Muhammad, then Muhammad had to have been a moral human -- we cannot then say that somehow we're going to reform Islam by condemning the Prophet and saying that he had immorality.

***

The circularity of this logic is attenuated only by the derangement its appendages twist themselves into.  Basically, Jasser is trying to say (or trying not to spell out) that as a Muslim who reveres the Koran as the direct word of God, he must axiomatically assume Mohammed is God's Prophet and that anything in the Islamic record that indicates Mohammed was an evil psychotic must be either rejected as human corruptions in the record or be tortured away with sophistry (and of course Gaffney didn't press him on whether Mohammed is the last and greatest of God's Prophets, the "best model of conduct", matched only by Abraham when in Koran 60:4 Allah blessed him with that unique compliment after Abraham had pledged to hate the non-Believer forever).

Most of all, the garbage in Jasser's rhetoric here is self-evident, and it aggrieves to think that Frank Gaffney just sat there nodding his head sagely while hearing this welter of nonsense, and that he actually would need to have it explained to him why it's nonsense.  The only indication that Gaffney has ever so slight misgivings about Jasser's sophistry is when, later in this portion of the interview, he ever so gently suggests that what Jasser may be doing is "picking and choosing" from the texts in order to construct an artificial Islam that not only doesn't exist, but which goes against the mainstream:   

"...there are those -- and certainly those in the Muslim community, I need not tell you -- who consider this to be simply heretical and outrageous and probably a capital offense."  

This is the Useful Idiot form of kitman (the Islamic half-truth): for, it is not merely "those in the Muslim community" who would consider this to be "simply heretical and outrageous and probably a capital offense" -- it is the entire mainstream Islamic establishment and the entire mainstream Islamic legal apparatus based on mainstream Islamic texts (Koran & Sunna).  And, it is not "probably" a capital offense.  It is a capital offense, according to mainstream Islam. 

It gets worse.

***

Jasser:  Now, certainly he [Muhammad] participated in wars -- and I participated in wars as an American Naval officer, and my generals, my admirals said that we wanted to go "kill the Taliban where we find them," and I think that's a very moral thing.

***

Notice Jasser's clever equivalence he makes between the Koran's "kill the Mushrikoon wherever you find them" (9:5) -- as though what the U.S. Military did in fighting the Taliban was equivalent to what Mohammed and his warriors were enjoined to do in the Koran's Verses of the Sword (infamously in chapter 9 of that unholy book).  Does Gaffney even know that Jasser was alluding to Koran 9:5?  Does Gaffney know that the enemy targeted in that verse, the Mushrikoon, denote all who practice Shirk and thus do not submit to Allah and to His Prophet?  Does Gaffney know that one of the most authoritative mufassiroon (writers of tafsir, or Koranic exegesis), Ibn Kathir, has shown that the various verses of Koran's chapter 9 mandating truculent hostility against those who practice Shirk and against those who foment "disorder in the land" refer mainly to those who refuse to submit to Allah and to His Prophet (for in Islam, to fail to so submit is tantamount to generating the offense against which Allah enjoins Muslims to fight and kill)?  If Gaffney knew all this, and if he didn't have an anxious need to swallow what Jasser was selling, he could have cornered Jasser on his outrageous equivalence of the U.S. Military's goals in fighting the Taliban with what is enjoined in the Koran.

Let us continue with Jasser's apology:

***

Jasser:  So ultimately, the question is not that Islam is pacifist or not, but the question is, at the time is there an apologetic that explains the battles that existed -- the battle of Badr -- or whatever battles that are chronicled in the Koran as being justified because of the abandonment of treaties or whatever it may be, is there an apologetic that makes sense for 623, but then we as reformists say "you can't apply that from there on"...

***

Hang on, sloopy.  First of all, Jasser is saying we should rhetorically ask if there is an "apologetic" that would whitewash & justify the battles which the Koran and the Sunna record Muhammad as waging.  Well, duh.  Jasser is here slyly trying to grease through the mere posing of the rhetorical question as an emollient by which he can ease into his status as a reformer; but the mere posing of the rhetorical question is only the beginning -- not a substitute (as Jasser is trying to sneak in here) for what needs to be unpacked therefrom.  (There is likely a good reason why he's avoiding that necessary exercise of unpacking that rhetorical question: it would lead to the answer that there is no such "apologetic" upon which one could grow a "reformed" Islam -- any more than there would be one upon which one could grow a "reformed" Third Reich.)

Second, it begs the question of the extra-Koranic sources one would have to use to construct such an "apologetic" -- no one has pinned Jasser down on how he is not arbitrarily cherry-picking them to create an artificially benign Muhammad.

This is not to mention that Jasser must be relying on some extra-Koranic texts (the Sira and the Hadiths) in order to explain the Battle of Badr "as being justified because of the abandonment of treaties or whatever it may be" -- though he cleverly words this as a rhetorical question, not as a claim.  Which extra-Koranic Sira would he be relying on, eh...?  Ibn Ishaq, perhaps...?   Ibn Ishaq, that is, who records that after the enemies from among the Quraysh tribe whom Mohammed's men had just killed:

Abu Jahl of the Quraysh was beheaded.  The Muslim who severed his head proudly carried the trophy to Muhammad: "I cut off his head and brought it to the apostle [i.e., Muhammad] saying, 'This is the head of the enemy of God, Abu Jahl!' "

Muhammad was delighted. "by God than Whom there is no other, is it?" he exclaimed, and gave thanks to Allah for the death of his enemy.

[the quotes from Ibn Ishaq, 304, explicated by Robert Spencer in his book, The Truth about Muhammad, p. 106]

Jasser then glides on his wily oil onto his next specious point:

...is there an apologetic that makes sense for 623, but then we as reformists say 'you can't apply that from there on'...

But wait a second:  I thought there the "apologetic" Jasser assumes is one that is supposed to exonerate Muhammad's warmongering (and apparently Jasser thinks there is, hence his equation of it with his U.S. Military service against the Taliban)...  So why would he and his Reformers need to say they "can't apply that" after 623 A.D.?  That's just one of many glaring inconsistencies one finds trapped, wriggling in the middle of Jasser's tortured intestines of a pseudo-argument.

Let us continue:

***

Jasser:   ...we reject abrogation, for example, because abrogation is the way you reject all the other conflicting passages in the Koran to say that it's not peaceful because the last passages justified an act of war.

***

Jasser hasn't explained how he is not simply doing a "reverse abrogation" -- making the seemingly peaceful verses cancel out the bellicose & hateful ones -- and, of course, Gaffney is no help here.

***

Jasser:   And then, do you call Christians 'infidels' when in fact God also allows us to marry them and allows us to have them be the mother of our children without conversion.

***

This is Jasser's way out of the seething hatred the Koran expresses for Jews and Christians?  To offer the bone that Allah allows Muslims to "marry them" and "allows us to have them be the mother of our children without conversion"...?  First of all, even taking seriously that this in any way suffices to offset the profoundly anti-Christian and anti-Jewish sentiments with which the Koran reeks, it remains a mangled piece of complex crap.

1) Notice how Jasser is indirectly conceding that the Koran presents the uncomfortable problem for Reformers like him of calling Christians "infidels", but he adduces no Koranic verse for the seemingly tolerant precept he is citing to offset that problem: That's because the Koranic issue is more complicated than he is implying.  Two Koran verses (2:221 and 60:10) clearly forbid marrying any woman who is not a Muslim (see this detailed explanation).  There is, however, one other verse (5:5) that seems to allow Muslim men to marry "women of them that were given the Book before you".  However, Jasser makes it sound like this allowance is an unproblematic and clear-cut command from God for Muslims, which (without letting his audience know the complications I just explained) he is then using in order to circumvent the problem of abrogation -- by reverse-abrogating 2:221 and 60:10! 

2) Notice how Jasser tries to slide past our attention the fact that this supposedly wonderfully progressive allowance from God is only one-sided: it only pertains to Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women -- not to non-Muslim men marrying Muslim women.  I thought Jasser was a great reformer who deeply esteems modern human rights; and yet here, he is standing with the Koran's regressive view that forbids non-Muslim men from marrying Muslim women (unless, of course, the men promise to convert to Islam).  This is not merely a matter of inequality, but also reflects the regressively misogynistic framework of Islam dovetailed with its religious supremacism:  the man is the master of the household & family, not the woman (see Koran 4:34), and so Muslims do not want to allow non-Muslim men to have that much control over the families of the Umma, such that they could "corrupt" the children by leading them away from Islam.  The family unit in Islam serves Islam, and anything that undermines Islam must be opposed -- whether blatantly and candidly, or cleverly and surreptitiously (as Jasser is doing).

3) Finally, notice how Jasser only mentions "Christian" women, not Jewish women.  A curious omission when one would think he would want to express as much as possible (given his oily sophistry) the supposed magnanimity of the Koran.

***

Jasser:   The issue of a child-bride: you know, listen, the apologetic I learned -- and I call it an apologetic because I have no way to prove it -- but the apologetic that I learned, is that there were marriages that happened to prevent wars, and that ultimately he may have married her, but the question -- 'cause pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder -- so the question is at what age did he consummate that marriage, and most Muslims believe that that happened when she was much closer to adulthood, at 17 and 18.

***

Again, so much subtly wrong with this.  The worst of it is his blandly sweeping claim that "most Muslims" believe Muhammad consummated his marriage to Aisha when she was 17 or 18.  We remind the reader of our points #1-3 above.  There is no way Jasser doesn't know that his statement about the minds of "most Muslims" is massively, monstrously false.  As we mentioned above, the most authoritative hadith source, Sahih Bukhari, representing the heart of the Sunna, records that Aisha was 6 when Muhammad married her, and 9 when he consummated that marriage.  At this juncture, Gaffney ineptly fumbles with the ball:

Gaffney: Hm, so there is some tradition of it being 9, too, so I mean, I guess what, it comes down to... [hemming and hawing]

-- allowing Jasser to slide through for his touchdown:

Jasser:   ...and ...those are the hadiths that we reject.

Naturally, Gaffney didn't press him on this by asking the screamingly reasonable questions such as -- Why do you reject Bukhari, the most authoritative muhaddith (collector of ahadith) in the Sunni tradition?  You say "those are the hadiths" you reject -- does this mean you accept some hadiths?  If so, which ones?  And under what criteria such that you avoid the charge of arbitrary cherrypicking to build confirmation bias?

Instead, Gaffney mumbles:

Gaffney: Yeah.  Well, and, and... I guess Zuhdi... I'm good with this, personally.  

Good God.  I look out over the railings of this ship of fools, this Titanic we're all on, and see ice storms brewing on the lowering horizon...  The presage of a chilling rain: minute drops on my laptop screen.  Better go in to the stateroom and drink this surreal nightmare away...

And Gaffney in the next breath reveals, unintentionally no doubt, the real reason why he's cutting Jasser so much slack:

Gaffney:  Many of us who very much want to see Muslims, particularly in this country, but around the world as well, practice their faith in a way that is genuinely tolerant, genuinely moral, genuinely peaceable, genuinely aligned, really, along the very principles that you've laid out in this remarkable document -- your declaration of the Muslim reform movement.  

I.e., he desperately wants this untenable, impossible reform to be true, and so he therefore helps Jasser promote it, no matter how flimsy and flawed it is, come hell or high water -- or deep iceberg.

Then Jasser has the grotesque audacity (how do you say chutzpah in Arabic...?) to assert that if Mohammed were alive today -- 

Jasser:  ...if Muhammad were alive today he would tell us, "Listen, those applied to a 7th century pagan tribe that Muhammad [sic] was revealing his message to and it does not apply for equality of men and women, for all these other principles that we need to lift up, that there was the seed of the beginning in the 7th century, but now there is such clarity that that's a much better society and principle that we need to put a circle around those passages and say 'they just don't apply anymore today!"

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***

What isn't an impossible dream, however, is hoodwinking key members of the Counter-Jihad (and counting on others -- such as Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer, Diana West, et al. -- who may be skeptical but who don't think the matter is important enough to press, because, after all, he seems to be such a decent fellow and even though he's deeply confused, "his heart is in the right place") into thinking that innumerable Muslims like Jasser throughout the West are hopeful and benign, and that therefore we shouldn't promote any policies of self-defense that would unduly inconvenience them.




Saturday, January 16, 2016

Quantum Stupidity

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"...my friend, the eminently rational Muslim reformer, Asra Nomani..."

Those are the words of Sam Harris, as I noted in an earlier post, in his most recent podcast, uttered in the same breath in which he is intelligently critiquing the false moderation of Good Cop Dalia Mogahed.  A different kind of reformer from Dalia Mogahed, Asra Nomani is what I have called a "Better Cop" -- more adept at pulling the wool over the eyes of brilliant numbskulls like Sam Harris and Bill Maher, among many others who have been waking up (but still half asleep, apparently) to the problem of Islam.

Another ineptly sly Good Cop whose deceptions Sam Harris can see through is Reza Aslan -- about whom Harris has podcasted and written many times, invariably pointing out the mean-spirited (not to mention mendacious) nature of Aslan's propaganda.

And guess what?  When one takes 15 seconds to visit the personal website of Sam Harris's sainted friend, the eminently rational Muslim reformer, Asra Nomani, what does one find?  A page promoting and praising ...  Reza Aslan.

Years ago, I developed the concept of "Quantum Ignorance" -- but this is a deeper level of denial.  Call it Quantum Stupidity.  Shame on Sam.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Slip-slidin' along...

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Since I had my depiphany, I haven't necessarily altered my style (though I have teetered on the edge of giving up the blog altogether): what I used to note in the spirit of constructive criticism now my gimlet eye, nearly bruised shut from jaded disappointment, sees as yet another of the 1,001 signs of the Decline and Fall of the West.

So, for example, take one of the up-and-coming Better Cops, Asra Nomani.  We see Bill Maher, the popular Leftist pundit-cum-comedian who has over the last few years become more and more anti-Islamish, positively gushing over Nomani.  Then as I was listening to an increasingly annoying podcast by Sam Harris (“Ask My Anything #2” -- where had I drunk a shot of whiskey every time he said the word “Islamist” I’d have been unconscious before the podcast ended), my intelligence was assaulted & insulted when, in the context of shining his critical light on Good Cop Dalia Mogahed, Sam lets slide this glibly sincere drivel:

“I just happened to have seen [Mogahed] on Meet The Press a few days before, sitting beside my friend, Asra Nomani, the eminently rational journalist and Muslim reformer.

But Sam’s critical faculties are in fine fiddle when he’s exercized over Mogahed’s transparent Good Cop routine:

“And more or less every word out of Mogahed’s mouth was again a lie or a half-truth that seemed calculated to deceive a secular audience.  She was saying things like ‘the members of ISIS aren’t religious’ and that ‘they have no theological or popular support’ and ‘there is no correlation between being a religious Muslim and being a jihadist’ -- in fact, the correlation is negative, according to Mogahed; you're more likely to be a jihadist if you’re not a devout Muslim.”  And Sam concludes, sternly:  “These statements are completely dishonest.”

Sam adds that he did some digging on Mogahed, and found that apparently she had Muslim Brotherhood connections, etc.

As a Better Cop by contrast, Asra Nomani feels our pain and talks about the pathology of Islam -- and so apparently Sam has nothing to ask her for explanation (you know, little things like why she admires Mohammed as the best model for all conduct -- Mohammed, a deranged lunatic warlord who preached and practiced violence as unhinged as any that ISIS does); since he’s already concluded, without telling us a good reason why, that she is an “eminently rational... Muslim reformer.”

Sam Harris isn’t the only Counter-Jihadish analyst uncritically smitten by Nomani.  As we alluded above, we also have for instance this conversation with Bill Maher, where she slips in very subtly such unctuous correctives as:

“...where did extremism get born? It was born in Saudi Arabia... It was born out of this theology of Islam that we don’t want to accept.”

And of course Bill Maher is too incompetent to catch this sly kitman deception. Which theology of Islam?  Not the one of Muhammad?  Not the one which for centuries, long before Saudi Arabia was born, under various Caliphates rampaged around like ISIS?  The Islam she herself believes in?  No?  Why not?  On what basis does she distinguish her Islam from that of Saudi Arabia -- and from that of Pakistan, her native land, which she admits later in the conversation has the same sharia which ISIS has, and which made the sex she had out of wedlock with her boyfriend long ago a “crime”...?  And so forth.  Questions which, naturally, Maher is too busy coddling her with softballs to think of asking her.

Speaking of her “crime” of fornication, she makes sure to tell Maher -- and his millions of viewers -- that her mother took her “patriarchal” father out to dinner (in some American restaurant) in order to tell him about her “crime” and that later, Asra received an email in which her father forgave her, using Islamic language about Allah being “merciful”.  She then immediately connects this benign Islam of her parents with her ability to grow up and become a Muslim-American journalist and a friend of Damiel Pearl (whom pointedly she reminds us was a Jew, another no-no under Sharia).

Then, when Nomani was asked about the by now infamous Trump proposal (for a moratorium on all Muslim immigration), on the Bloomberg News show “With All Due Respect”, she adroitly evaded the question’s main substance, and instead shifted the focus to Trump’s business dealings with the Saudi and UAE governments.  While continuing to talk about the problem of business investments (with an explicit reference to Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s) in those governments, she frames the problem as an “existential threat of Islamist extremism” -- adding that “this ideology did come out of these countries, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, causing this crisis today.”  Oh, silly me; I thought it was spawned along with her sainted Mohammed...

On this same show, when asked how the “Muslim community” in America feels about Trump’s moratorium, Nomani slyly says that certain Muslim “lobbies” exploit this kind of rhetoric in order to fuel the fire of claims that America is inhospitable to Muslims -- which she hastens to point out is not true, that she has felt welcome in America, blah blah blah.  Thus adroitly, by arraying herself in opposition to the Muslim groups who provoke accusations of Islamophobia, she is directly massaging and supporting the idea of a Muslim presence in America which is benign, like her -- “I came as a Muslim immigrant myself at the age of 4, grew up in West Virginia...”-- and on the side of the Counter-Jihad and thus daringly reformist.  “You see?” she and Maajid Nawaz would say to the Counter-Jihad, “We Muslim Reformers are on your side, taking shots from the same defenders of ‘Islamist extremism’ who routinely attack you too...!”  Indeed, Nawaz said as much in his long Conversation with Sam Harris following on the heels of their book.

In this context, she takes the opportunity to plug a “band of brethren and sisters” she recently came together with in Washington, D.C., called the “Muslim Reform Movement”:

“Look, we’ve had a problem.  Donald Trump is creating such a hysteria, because we’ve had a failure to actually deal effectively with this issue of extremism inside of our Muslim community, and we are Muslims who want to own up to the problem, but we also want cooperation and help from the companies and the government policy makers that are sadly asleep at the wheel on many of these issues.

“...the ways that extremist interpretation, bred in the mosques in Pakistan and Karachi and south Punjab indoctrinated these young men to then one day take Danny [Daniel Pearl] from the village restaurant [and abduct eventually behead him]... we lost our friend to the same ideology now 13 years later that confronts our country, and I thought about Danny as I was sitting here waiting to start this conversation, and I thought, what would Danny want me to be able to say to people, and I think it’s really simply, ‘Wake up, stop with the political correctness, deal honestly and sincerely with this problem...’  the Pakistani police realized that there is an interpretation of Islam that is taking these young men and turning them into criminals.  We have to be very clear and honest about it.  In this movement that we have created, we are explicitly calling out the Islamist extremist interpretation, and this is called Salafism in the history of Islamic thought -- Saudi Arabia, Qatar are the greatest incubators of this theology.  Khaled Sheikh Muhammad, the man that takes credit for killing our friend Danny, was indoctrinated by that same ideology, those two young people in California -- same ideology -- and yet we still can’t call it by the name that it should be called... call it the ‘Islamist ideology’ that it is and come up with effective strategies so that we can come to a middle path and come up with reasonable solutions and not these extreme ideas...”

Given the entire package Nomani is carefully wrapping here with brightly pleasing reformist string and a sincerely moderate bow, these vague platitudes about “effective strategies,” “a middle path,” and “reasonable solutions” -- not “extreme ideas” like Trump’s moratorium -- obviously entail the fait accompli modus vivendi of more and more innumerable millions of nice Muslims like her inside the West in the coming decades whom we must just learn to live with -- “We're here, get used to it”.

This would be fine and only mildly problematic, were there not looming ahead in the decades of this 21st century the darkening, lightning-laden clouds of a metastasizing revival of Islamic jihad and the shitstorms of terrorism and civil unrest it portends.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Is the person half headless or half bodiless?

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The optimist would say the latter, the pessimist would say the former.  Think of it as the gruesome variation on the "Glass Half Empty/Half Full" bromide.

And even more grotesquely, optimists like Sam Harris and Frank Gaffney and Bill Maher -- in trusting their better halves Maajid Nawaz, Zuhdi Jasser and Asra Nomani, respectively -- put their trust in lying snakes who pretend to be horrified at the very things which their sainted "best model of all conduct", Muhammad, preached and practiced.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ees not jure job...?

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With regard to an adroitly cheeky attempt by Reza Aslan to play the race card up his sleeve by suggesting a remake of the 70s classic television show All In the Family (whose whole premise was a satire of a typical white American racist, "Archie Bunker") -- in which now instead of blacks and other racial minorities being the subject of ignorant prejudice, it will be the New Black and the New Jew, Muslims -- Spencer dispatched Aslan's nonsense in fine form.   Spencer never fails to deal well with the "Good Cops" like Aslan, but he exhibits poor if not failing grades with regard to the subtler, Better Cops.

Case in point, Zuhdi Jasser, one of the better "Better Cops" (better than Reza Aslan's "Good Cop" routine seen through so easily by Spencer) -- whose "heart is in the right place" -- so Spencer says, preposterously, in this recent video talk.

Spencer never would have even brought it up, had it not been for an audience member who is curious enough about her question to ask Spencer, and to press him by reiterating her point when he seems to skirt off point (though she is oh so polite in doing so).

At 1:05:36 of the videotape, referring to the infamous verse of Koran 9:111:

"I'm curious to know... 'those of us who kill and are killed in the name of Allah go straight to Paradise' -- how do so-called moderates like Zuhdi Jasser _______ -- I just don't, I can't understand that!"

(The blank is a word I can't make out, but it's clear what she must be saying; at any rate, Spencer helpfully clarifies her question for the audience:)

"How does Zuhdi Jasser read the Koran saying that Paradise is guaranteed to those who kill and are killed for Allah, and not think there's something wrong here -- is that a fair summation?"

And the woman in the audience agrees -- "Yeah, right!"

However, something odd goes on in the videotape. At 1:06:02, while Spencer is drinking from his water bottle, there's an obvious editing splice in the tape, meaning something was cut out. Since this video is from "JihadWatchVideo" recording an event for the group Spencer is affiliated with, "ACT for America", we may reasonably surmise that Spencer himself had a few seconds edited out, right at the point where he's discussing the problem of Zuhdi Jasser with that female audience member -- it's a problem for her, at any rate, not for Spencer, apparently; for right after the seeming edit splice in the tape, he says:

" -- look, I don't really want to talk about Zuhdi Jasser because he's a good guy... and I don't doubt that Zuhdi Jasser's heart is in the right place..."

Perhaps that odd edit splice represents a gap in time during which Spencer could not help himself and said some unkind words about Jasser, then before airing time on YouTube, decided to have those seconds scrubbed (thanks to reader GodlessKafir for catching this detail on the video).

This reflects a curious (and serious) dereliction of civic duty in Spencer. I mean, for crissakes, his whole career involves analyzing the problem of Islam, and he can't take time out to probe the problem of the pseudo-reformers like Zuhdi Jasser, Maajid Nawaz, Asra Nomani, and Irshad Manji (to name the most prominent and conspicuously busy out there) who are exercising their sly taqiyya to fool not only the mainstream but also as "Better Cops" go further to fool many in the Counter-Jihad?  But instead when he examines this most important subtopic of the overall problem of Islam Spencer only fixates on the obvious Good Cops like Reza Aslan?

That's like a janitor who dutifully takes out the trash, but neglects to clean the toilets.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Owl of Minerva, part 2...

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In my first post on this subtopic, I wrote:

One of the subtler, yet most searing, signs of a civilization's imminent demise is when its better & brighter succumb to the disease of the Age.

And I went on to say:

One example out of thousands one could cite in this regard, marking the knell of the latest and greatest civilization in human history (our dear old West):  Matt Ridley...

Another example out of thousands one could cite is conservative columnist & analyst Dennis Prager.  Neither Ridley nor Prager are geniuses on a par with Shakespeare, Dante, or Einstein, of course; but they represent what ought to be the talented cutting edge of a culture -- which makes their failure in hitting the mark on the problem of Islam that much more regrettable.  And symptomatic of a dying civilization.

Even worse -- and more telling -- Prager, rarely in the Mainstream, has made a point of criticizing Islam.  Yet for all that, he hasn't graduated on the LCPOI (the Learning Curve on the Problem of Islam) to the point of abandoning specious terms such as "Islamism" along with an anxious taxonomy of Muslims whereby some (many? a majority? even a vast majority? or just enough to provide a powerful incentive to allowing innumerable minions to settle deeply and permanently within our societies?) are exempt from his critical analysis of "Islamism".  As if the normative, mainstream, garden-variety Islam of ordinary Muslims is any different from this artificial construct Western analysts have developed, "Islamism".

For my more detailed analysis of a recent Prager essay -- in which, among other egregious howlers, he refers positively to a viable demographic of "decent Muslims" -- see here.  Prager's essay is published in that increasingly central Counter-Jihad forum, FrontPage Mag, which I've noticed over the years often tends to promote a soft, nougaty approach riddled with such specious distinctions as "Islamism" and "radical extremism", etc.

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So many other owls come to mind, hooting in our benighted dusk:  Frank Gaffney's trust in the pseudo-reformer Zuhdi Jasser (and Robert Spencer and Andrew Bostom refusing to condemn him); Sam Harris holding hands with pseudo-reformer Maajid Nawaz (and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Douglas Murray treating him as a respectable ally); Bill Maher fawning over pseudo-moderates Irshad Manji and Asra Nomani; et cetera, ad Islamonauseam...

When even the Canaries in the Coalmine are blind as bats, the Owl of Minerva is on the wing, and we're in deep guano...

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Desperado

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When I began this blog back in the summer of 2006, over a thousand posts ago, I introduced my general ambition for this blog, and based my philosophy on hope for the West (indeed, my masthead all along has contained that sentiment).  Thus, in that very first post all those years ago, The reverberations in the name, I wrote:

The name of this blog implies a few associations: the first that comes to mind, of course, is the desperado—the gunslinger whose Spanish sobriquet meant literally “a guy who’s lost hope”. The hesperado, by contrast, and by its assonancy with esperance (hope), would be a guy who has hope.
 

Well, given my recent heartbreak, I guess I should change the name of my blog, to The Desperado. Or else discontinue it altogether.  I'll have to think about what it means to continue, not only with the blog, but with my other life, Art (I'm a fiction writer and musician).  What meaning does Art have, when it no longer has a civilizational cosmion (at least one that's not stupidly doomed, as ours is) in which to exercise the tension between Art and Reality?  But that may be the subject of a future essay.

In all the time I've written my essays here (not to mention the voluminous discussions and debates I've had elsewhere on Internet forums and chat rooms over the years, and with friends and a close relative in that charmingly named real life), only once did I express such deep misgivings.  It was three years ago, in the wake of the Boston Marathon attack, in an essay titled Islamonnui.

Its resonance with how I feel these days deserves an extended quote:

The definition for the French word ennui includes:  annoyance, trouble, boredom, tedium, depression, gloom.  Hence my contribution: Islamonnui.

That's how I feel after Boston.  It frankly has less to do with Islam than it does with my society's persisting myopia to the danger of Islam.  A careful reading of Jihad Watch reports and Debbie Schlussel's blog this past week documenting the response in the mainstream news media, in politics, among intelligence and police spokesmen, and among other cultural pundits and analysts throughout the West reveals -- once again, for the umpteenth time -- a Body Politic whose mind suffers from a mass neurosis taking on the dimensions, and effects, of a mass psychosis.  Once I was angry, even infuriated by this.  Now I'm exhausted with ennui.

I cannot calculate how far I am, in spirit, from the solemnly appalled feeling that the West -- this kind of West that madly avoids the Camel in the Room even while that beast of the desert is waging violent war against us -- no longer deserves to be defended; that in fact it deserves to be destroyed, and let the Mohammedans have us.  But now after Boston, viscerally sickened past Islamonausea into an advanced state of Islamonnui, I can sense the distance there closing.

And that was in 2013.  The situation -- the problem, and the general denial about the problem -- has only gotten worse -- ludicrously worse, to the point of fucking surreal -- in the meantime.

As I wrote in a comment to a reader fairly recently (post-Paris), alluding to that 2013 essay:

I often forget how fed up I've already been in the past; when I revisit some of my writings from long ago, I really wonder how I've kept going at all.

Only a few days ago, I noted, with ironically flat affect in my recent essay -- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum -- that I lost my hope and faith in the West.  For all that, I didn't lose the third of the three theological virtues: love.  I still love the West, with all her warts and bumps; she's still the fairest of them all.  

Too fair for her own good, apparently... But hey, as Joe E. Brown said to the dolled-up, unwigged yet still lipstuck Jack Lemmon at the end of Some Like It Hot -- “Nobody's perfect!”  

Kind of the mirror image of the ending of another movie, The Candidate (1972), in which, after the purposefully phony candidate played by Robert Redford, pushing unabashed candor beyond what any other politician had ever done, and therefore of course expecting to lose, actually wins the election -- and in the hotel room he and his trusted aide have escaped to in the rush of his victory -- he turns to Peter Boyle and says, "Now what...!?"

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At any rate, it was fun while it lasted.  I raise a glass to my dear old West.  Here's looking at you, kid.

Monday, January 04, 2016

The owl of Minerva

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-- ...the Owl of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall (Hegel)

No civilization is immortal.  All civilizations, like the humans who comprise them, die.  One of the subtler, yet most searing, signs of a civilization's imminent demise is when its better & brighter succumb to the disease of the Age.

One example out of thousands one could cite in this regard, marking the knell of the latest and greatest civilization in human history (our dear old West):  Matt Ridley, a remarkably sharp analyst of various trends, ideas -- and problems.  More specifically, he's a science journalist, Oxford graduate, and a member of the House of Lords.  His essay, The Climate Wars' Damage to Science, is an amazingly concerted stroke of brilliant diagnosis of a complex problem -- all the more admirable for the fact that Ridley is not a "denier" of the climate change thesis per se, only what he calls a more reasonable "lukewarmer" (who agrees that climate change is happening, and that some of it is man-made -- but that it is not a dire emergency requiring radical reconfiguration of geopolitical & economic policy).  His TED talk, When Ideas Have Sex, would give the reader a good glimpse into his capability sufficiently superb as to merit a flirtation with the compliment of genius.

And for all that, what do we find when we search his website using that dreaded key term islam...?

An entry, for example, dating from 2013 in the aftermath of the grotesquely alarming beheading of a young off-duty English soldier Lee Rigby on a pleasant afternoon in a pleasant suburb of London, followed immediately by the Muslim zombie filming himself on a phone cam holding the bloody knife, blood spattered on his jacket, informing his viewers, the world, that he did this in the name of Allah and Muhammad; then followed months later by the English judge who sentenced him subjecting him to a scolding lecture in order to officially disabuse him of his silly notion that his assassination of Rigby had anything to do with Islam.  And what does Matt Ridley glibly opine, in the context of his rosy title, "The Civilising Process"...?  Let us see:

"...Anjem Choudary and Michael Adebolajo are similarly caught out of time — both wanting to push the moral clock back to a time when eye-for-eye revenge against the innocent was honourable or pious. The question responsible Muslims need to answer is why some followers of Islam are so keen on reversing this inexorable, progressive evolution of morality."

That is why the West is done, burnt, toast:  the self-replicating phenomenon of Quantum Ignorance, a kind of beneficent cancer of fooling oneself, a willful Denial of the full catastrophe of Islam.  I used to think, as I plodded along these past 14 years on the H.M.S. Hesperado hoping for the West, that this mass neurosis otherwise known as PC MC would eventually decompose in time in order to save the West from the global revival of Mohammedanism.  

I've realized like a slap of cold water to the face that I was fooling myself, vastly underestimating the extent of this Denial, since it feeds itself on a loop and has become a closed system -- a system of such complex stability interlocked with its ethical narcissism about Itself and the Other, that only a cataclysmic shock -- in the form of a concatenation of attacks by Muslims so numerous and horrific it amounted to the edge of the blade of existential mortality -- could deconstruct it.  

If one is looking for it, if one attunes one's frequency on the wearily jaded & cynical dial while watching the aforementioned TED talk by Matt Ridley, looking beyond & behind the glint of brilliance in his wire-rimmed spectacles of genius to the Fukuyamish foolhardiness invigorating it, one sees that closed loop in action, exuberant with vital verve, built to last precisely by virtue of its intelligent élan -- a superiority amazingly adaptable for progress, with only one flaw, one Achilles heel:  its inability to break free of its phobia of "bigotry", rendering it paralyzed when it comes to facing the horrible prospect that 1.3 billion people on this planet -- all of them, every last one, including the nice, friendly, clean-shaven and unhijabbed ones (including the "responsible Muslims" of Matt Ridley's preposterous phrase) -- are members of a psychotic cult dedicated -- by hook (overt violence) or by crook (feigning moderation) -- to our destruction.

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The only and slenderest hope, as I say, for that desideratum of destruction to effect our wake-up call, rather than our ultimate demise, would be if it happened at just the right time and in just the right way.  For such a concatenation of shocks to work that way, however, is an implausible scenario.  Much likelier will be the destruction of this precious civilization we worked so hard to build for so long, overrun by a metastasizing vortex of forces worse than mere Barbarism -- a sophisticated Savagery singularly networked, infused by psychotic fanaticism, an enemy invited in, uniquely in mass numbers and trusted to be friends, to settle deep within the gates of our societies.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

1,001 Eurabian Nights

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Europe is the Mother of the West.  When she dies at the hands of the Mohammedan fanatics she has invited in -- the host she hosts -- her prodigal sons (not least that fabulous invalid, America) will be betrayed to the same doom.

There are 1,001 reasons why I've given up the ghost, hope for the West.  And for each of those reasons there are 1,001 more, like some maddening, Oriental jigsaw puzzle.

One of those reasons is the stupidity of the Counter-Jihad, as became clear to me recently when I removed not so much my rose-colored glasses, as my blue glasses (the color of secular hope, hope for the Age) and saw that stupidity with regard to the pseudo-reformer with the good hair, clean-shaven face, nice Western suits, and seductively moderate rhetoric, Zuhdi Jasser.

Stupidity times three:  Frank Gaffney, Diana West, and Baron Bodissey (of the Gates of Vienna blog).

1) Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney's reckless naivete is on display on his Secure Freedom Radio podcasts, where he has featured Jasser numerous times, and where he makes clear how profoundly he respects and trusts that emollient snake who every time he talks about the problem of Islam, cannot mask the torturous incoherence engendered by the immiscible oil & water of the Islam he's essentially defending juxtaposed to the Secular Reform he's claiming to support. One of many examples occurs at the 29-minute mark of this long interview (scroll down to the December 17th podcast) where Gaffney begins to ask Jasser pointed (albeit softball) questions about Muhammad himself.  Gaffney pretends to ask him tough questions, all the while couched in the utmost respect, almost as though he were handling a precious objet d'art.  Gaffney's ignorance of Islam 101 is painfully clear in his failure to spot the sophistry in Jasser's replies (example: right out of the box, where Jasser deflects the question of Muhammad's pernicious character -- which Gaffney broaches far too timidly -- with the kitman red herring "Muslims don't worship Muhammad") .  UPDATE: I finally got around to writing a detailed analysis of just one part of that Gaffney interview with Jasser.

2) Diana West

Knowing that Diana West is a close colleague and longtime friend of Frank Gaffney, and having received a few email replies from her before, I thought I'd ask her point-blank about this problem.  Here's our exchange:

[Me:]

Hello Diana,

I'm just curious where you stand on Zuhdi Jasser.  I keep seeing (i.e., hearing) Frank Gaffney feature Jasser on his Secure Freedom ratio show and treat him with the utmost, unctuously gingerly respect; when it's clear that Jasser must be either clinically insane or lying to us -- there is no third alternative. 

It's deeply dismaying to me when I see even stalwart, intelligent people in the Counter-Jihad get fooled by pseudo-reformers like Jasser -- or like Maajid Nawaz (Sam Harris, Douglas Murray, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali all throwing caution to the winds in that regard).  Please give me a shred of hope for the West.  I'm hanging on by my fingernails.  Tell me you see through Jasser, and that you have, or will have, a talk with your friend Frank about his reckless naivete.

Regards,
Hesp

[Diana:]
 
Hi, Hesp —
I sure do. Talking doesn’t always change things!
Best,
Diana

[Me:]

Thanks Diana, and Happy New Year!

"Talking doesn’t always change things!"

Since the most important facet of this war we are in is the war-of-ideas theater by which the few of us canaries-in-a-coalmine are trying to wake up the vast majority around us (including those who pat themselves on the back for being canaries but who are on one level no less asleep), talking is all we have.  And if it won't change things, I fear the West is ultimately doomed to be overrun by Mohammedans.  And shame, ultimately, on the Counter-Jihad, for betraying its great-grandchildren and their children.  On its epitaph it can carve (or scratch):  "At least I wasn't prejudiced against All Muslims!"

Cheers,
Hesp

[No answer from Diana, two days later.  UPDATE:  No answer from Diana, weeks later...]

So apparently, Diana doesn't think the issue is that urgent that she needs to talk to Frank more assertively about this.  Wow.

3) Baron Bodissey

When Bodissey featured an exposé of Maajid Nawaz by Vikram Chatterjee on his Gates of Vienna blog, I pointed out what a couple of others noticed -- namely, that Chatterjee was curiously soft on Jasser contrasted to how cynically critical he was of Nawaz.  I wrote:

"Just for starters, I would ask Baron Bodissey and Vikram Chatterjee to listen to how Zuhdi Jasser resonds to the oh-so gingerly and respectfully polite Frank Gaffney’s gentle questions about the Koran and Muhammad — beginning at the 29 minute mark of his interview of Dec. 17:

http://securefreedomradio.podbean.com/

Tell me that Zuhdi isn’t responding with the same kind of tissue of sophistry Maajid routinely indulges in."

[Baron Bodissey replied:]

As I said, I don’t know enough about Zuhdi Jasser to have an opinion on whether or not he is a “stealth jihadist”. 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.


[Mustering all my patience to restrain my rational fury, I wrote:]

The mere fact that Jasser is Muslim makes him suspect. Add to that the sophistry he responds with when articulating his supposed “moderation” and ideas for “reform” and that should clinch it. As for his influence, he is regularly featured on mainstream news media soliciting his opinion; and he has fooled major figures of the Counter-Jihad. His influence thus is significant enough quantitatively; and qualitatively, it serves to tend to lull the Counter-Jihad (the members of it fooled by him) into an attitude reinforcing their feeling that the ongoing presence of multitudes of Muslims in the West is a fait accompli modus vivendi about which we cannot do anything, and perhaps don’t need to do anything, since most of those Muslims “just wanna have a sandwich” and are not presenting a demographic out of which an exponential, metastasizing threat of terror attacks throughout the West, numerous and far worse than 911 in the coming decades of this 21st century will not devolve (and do not require precisely the presence of that demographic).

Conclusion:

The point is, Baron Bodissey was still waiting for more data on Jasser.  That's why the West is doomed.  We're sitting around waiting for more data on Muslims.  There is no more data to expect.  Jasser is a Muslim.  We should damn him for that.  Bodissey and his Gates of Vienna community are too cowardly to go there; instead they fulminate against the "Leftists" and "Marxists" of our society without any of the restraints they accord to the likes of Jasser.


Friday, January 01, 2016

A Funny Thing Happend on the Way to the Forum

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The other day, a friend I hadn't seen in a while asked me, as soon as I got in his car.  "Well, anything new?  Any headlines?"  (He proceeded to tell me that he meant "headlines" in one's life, meaning anything new and fairly momentous in one's personal life.)

I didn't tell my friend how, in the past few days, I had lost my hope & faith in Western Civilization, a hope and a faith I'd held dearly and for the last 14 years had worked tirelessly to share in the context of doing my small part to help rally the West to its defense against the global rise of Islam.

Instead, I just shrugged my shoulders, looked out the window at the partly cloudy sky, and gave my stock answer, "No, nothing much."

More to come...