The most proximate source of the problem may be chalked up to what, in earlier essays on this blog, we have called PC Multiculturalism.
One of the main paradigms in the template of PC Multiculturalism is the axiomatic separation of
1) a “small minority of extremists motivated mostly by non-Islamic factors”
2) a harmless and peaceful Islam.
Most of the other paradigms in the template of PC Multiculturalism are not directly related to Islam but do help to underpin and strengthen the aforementioned paradigm.
Without going into detail here, we can say that generally speaking, the other paradigms more or less collectively elaborate a modern mythology of the Third World as the realm of “Noble Savages” who are perpetually innocent children in the care of the West which also cruelly mistreated them during Colonialism, and continues to cruelly mistreat them through our current era of American post-Colonialist crypto-Imperialism. The peoples of the Third World can do no wrong, are forever victims of evil Western policies, and therefore have perpetually renewable grievances which the West is obliged to remedy for them. Since the peoples of the Muslim world are also of the Third World, this common motif of the other paradigms of the template of PC Multiculturalism applies to them and undergirds the aforementioned paradigm directly related to Islam. Indeed, since 911, the Muslim has become sort of the “poster child” of the Third World—certainly the Third World member who is perceived to be the most vulnerable to the Western evils of bigotry, racism, crypto-Imperialism, and the looming specter of genocide.
To answer the next logical question, we may say that PC Multiculturalism derives from Political Correctness—PC—of which it represents one wing or department, specifically constellating around issues pertaining to non-Western cultures.
Where, then, did PC come from?
PC is an amorphous combination of sociopolitical ideas and trends that coalesced out of the Leftist orbit in the West in the second half of the 20th century.
This Leftist orbit, in turn, has had a complex career of merging more or less coherently with broader and deeper movements of modern Gnosticism in the modern West, going as far back as the movements of the latter part of the 18th century leading to the French Revolution, unfolding and percolating in relatively harmless manner throughout the 19th century, then erupting in spectacularly horrific outbursts in the 20th century after the first World War, in the grand pathologies of Communism, Nazism and Fascism. While this overarching process of modern Gnosticism has roots further back in the West, they are of little relevance to our thesis here (those interested in them can spend a few hours perusing Eric Voegelin’s multi-volume work History of Political Ideas, with his single volume follow-up book, From Enlightenment to Revolution, providing a segue onto the territory of our thesis here).
Where Leftism differs from the larger nebula of modern Gnosticism that has been its nutritive matrix, is in the following characteristics:
1. Leftism is milder: it is more ideologically and sociopolitically atomized, whereas modern Gnosticism has had more powerful concrete impacts and has had more coherent ideological and sociopolitical vehicles.
2. Leftism is more insidiously pervasive: its influence has spread its gas and tentacles throughout modern Western societies and politics in ultimately a more lasting and manipulative way than did the modern Gnostic pathologies of Communism, Nazism and Fascism, although, per #1 above, its power has been less dramatic and less brutally efficient.
Extrapolating from #2 above, we may say that Leftism’s pervasive influence has, so to say, morphed into PC, and meanwhile PC has enabled Leftism to become even more pervasive than it could have been by itself—since PC has extended this influence of Leftism into the vast mainstream throughout the societies of the West, and significantly influences the majority of conservatives on the Right. But, at the same time, PC is more more ideologically and sociopolitically atomized than Leftism was (this, perhaps, is the price of achieving mainstream dominance in society).
In a nutshell, Leftism (by extension bringing with it some of the substance of modern Gnosticism) has become predominantly mainstream—albeit in a watered-down form—through its spawn, PC.
Just as PC can be said to be ‘Leftism Lite’, so Leftism can be said to be ‘modern Gnosticism Lite’.
To read Part 4, click on the blue text: What can we do to begin to solve the problem?
Quite a few of my previous posts on this blog address this question from many angles, massaging it with multiple variations on the same theme. For those who wish to more deeply inform and enrich today’s blog essay, I hereby provide a list of the more important ones:
PC Multiculturalism and Non-Western Cultures
The PC Multiculturalist Paradigm
Spelunking the Leftist Psyche
The Crypto-Racism of PC Multiculturalism
The ‘Other Islam’: A Holographic Reduplication
The PC Filter Decaffeinates Islam
The Problem of the West