Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A shift from Islam to Muslims


I’ve been writing this blog since June of 2006, and over the years (including the five years before that post-911) my sense and understanding of the problem of Islam has changed, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in more significant ways.

One modification I have made of late is to see that the problem really shifts, or should shift in our conception, from Islam to Muslims.  Whether this constitutes a paradigm shift or not, I’m not sure.

Of course, my shift doesn't mean that Islam is no longer the problem; it means a shift from an exclusive focus on Islam, one that pretends that Muslims are not the chief enablers of that problem, that they are not the agents that put problematic Islam into practice -- and that, by extension, they are not the problem.

At any rate, to understand the PC MC Mainstream, we must keep this in mind -- that the issue for them is not really Islam, but rather Muslims. One can impugn Islam till the cows come home, and base the condemnation solidly on the texts and teachings; and Lord knows the Counter-Jihad has been massively and assiduously focused on this for years.  But this is a separate issue from whether Muslims following their Islam are a problem — how many of them are, and which ones are (as clearly distinguished from those who aren’t).

Many in the Counter-Jihad may well think the PC MC paradigm is illogical; but what saves it from illogic is the distinction between the Tiny Minority of Extremists and the Vast Majority of Muslims who are supposed to be innocent of terrorism. The concern to protect that latter demographic from broad brush policies that would harm them is what drives the PC MC logic.

This concern is furthermore augmented by a more or less implicit Reverse Racism, whereby Muslims are more or less implicitly deemed by PC MCs to be an Ethnic People (or a wonderful tapestry, mosaic, stir-fry, quilt of Ethnic Peoples), adding an extra hot button to the concern to protect them, since PC MCs are so powerfully anxious to redress White Guilt and to be on guard against "racism".

Furthermore, many in the Counter-Jihad don’t seem to realize that they share essentially the same anxiety to protect Muslims that runs so broadly and deeply through PC MC culture and psychology (and this should be no surprise, since the folks in the Counter-Jihad didn't arrive on Earth from Neptune, but grew organically out of the broader Western societies around them -- societies which are thoroughly besotted with PC MC).  They think that because their no-nonsense anti-Islam stance so markedly distinguishes them from PC MC, they can’t possibly share anything with it.  However, when one notices how they talk and when one pushes them on certain points, one sees they do indeed have a concern to protect a certain indeterminable number of Muslims.  And while they may deride the concept of the "Moderate Muslim", they have found ways to sneak that concept in the back door under other names (see my essay, The Mutation of the "Moderate Muslim"); and it is these classes of Muslim whom they would want to spare from the ethical indignities of Deportation, for example.  As I have noted in another essay, many (if not most) in the Counter-Jihad are phobic about the dreaded A word -- All (Muslims, that is).  They, any more than the PC MC Mainstream, however, have not really thought through what exactly they propose the West do about the metastasizing problem of Muslims following their Islam in the Muslim world -- and increasingly in the West.  When they are not incoherently avoiding this most exigent aspect of the problem, they are whittling the problem down to manageable size (in their heads, that is, not in reality).

This overall concern, on the part of the PC MC Mainstream, to distinguish the Innocent Demographic from the Dangerous Demographic and protect the former from our policies addressing the latter, only differs in degree (a putatively larger Majority of harmless Muslims) -- not in kind -- from what Counter-Jihad Softies think & feel in their asymptotic confusion of mind.


Kind readers, note my response to an "Anonymous" in the comments section below, which adds a bit more frosting (if not nutrition) to the argument.


Anonymous said...

They are making a terrible mistake because their distinction is without merit. It's meaningless. They neglect the fact that jihad is hardwired into Islam and once they have numbers or political influence in a region they will revert back to type as sure as the sun rises.

At best they are making excuses for a indigestible alien minority whose values run in complete opposition to Western mores and laws.

If I were to hazard a guess as to why this view is so mainstream among JW crowd, I would chalk it up to cowardice. They are genuinely afraid of being labeled racist, xenophobic, etc.


Hesperado said...

Well Anonymous, I don't think it's merely cowardice. I think we make the mistake when analyzing problematic sociopolitical processes of neglecting to factor in the *positive* ideological motivation, while we tend to impute only *negative* factors (cowardice, stupidity, greed, etc.).

Those negative factors may well play their part, but along with that is the genuine & sincere sense the PC MC (and his Counter-Jihad cousin the Asymptotic) has that he is ethically on the side of the angels in his defense of "diversity" along with the virtue of Protecting the Innocent (a virtue that, for the Westerner still nursing a semi-conscious White Guilt, becomes even more hallowed by a halo of self-righteous sanctity when that Innocent is a Brown Person).

Fiqh said...

I've been into this since around 2004. On September 11, 2001, I had no idea what Islam was.

When I started to figure it out, and what an enormous problem it is, like any sane person would, I thought, 'People need to know the truth,' so I started telling them.

I must admit that when I first started, when I talked with people, I took the Spencer approach of separating 'Islam' from 'individual Muslims.' I only did this for tactical reasons, because when I talked about Islam, people would immediately freak out and say, 'OMG You're trying to blame all Muslims for terrorism!!'

I thought that if I scaled it back to just Islam, maybe they would be less resistant to hearing some facts.

Never once has that tactic ever worked for me. I've never once had someone say, 'Oh, yes, now I see: you're right, there is a difference between an ideology and the adherents of that ideology.' I've learned from experience that anyone who freaks out over a criticism of Islam separated from a criticism of individual Muslims is going to freak out anyway, so it's a waste of time. We may as well simply tell the full truth.

The Spencer tactic is also a wide open vulnerability for anti-Islam (or anti-jihad, or whatever anyone wants to call it) critics. Because the go-to logical question is always 'how can you criticize Islam without criticizing individual Muslims.'

When asked this, Spencer dances around the subject. But what the reader or viewer sees is a clearly illogical position, so their reflexive position is to discount all of what he is saying about Islam in general.

Hesperado said...

Exactly, Fiqh, I couldn't agree more. I wish more people in the Counter-Jihad would reflect this type of common sense.