Friday, February 2, 2018
...it is “fundamentally wrong” to use the phrase “Islamist terrorism,” because it is actually “Islamic terrorism,” no steps removed from Islam as such.
So intones Robert Spencer, the éminence grise of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, at that bastion of same, Jihad Watch. One of his customers (moi, who has purchased one of his books and found it, frankly, a rather lackluster cut-and-paste job) asks from on low:
How is the “fundamentally wrong” phrase “Islamist terrorism” any worse than the “radical Islam” of Jihad Watch contributor Raymond Ibrahim?
And the question becomes (as William F. Buckley used to say), why can't the Counter-Jihad get its rhetoric together? If one were to do a survey of the last few years since “Islamist” and “Islamism” became fashionable in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream (e.g., Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of many Counter-Jihad Mainstreamers who have lauded Robert Spencer's new book), one would find those dysphemisms sprinkled throughout like coconut flakes at a Starbuck's.
One would think, then, that in an essay titled -- Why We Don't Need Words Like 'Islamist' -- in which author Robert Spencer is critiquing Raymond Ibrahim's positively titled -- Why We Need Words Like 'Islamist' -- Spencer wouldn't commit any gaffes. Unfortunately, I tripped over one glaring one, twice: his use with an utterly sincere straight face, of the dysphemism “political Islam” as though it were any better than “Islamism”. As Robert Spencer's other self (the more robustly anti-Islam Mr. Hyde, as opposed to his “I am not 'anti-Islam' ” Dr. Jekyl) might say to himself (on a rare good day when he's not feeling the need to double-virtue-signal):
...it is “fundamentally wrong” to use the phrase “political Islam,” because actually all of Islam, from top to bottom, the whole kit and fucking kaboodle, is “political”.
He even has the gall to specify with an example, of what kind of Muslim would not be an adherent of this curious fantasy concept:
...many analysts use the term “Islamist” to mean an adherent of the tenets of political Islam. And certainly, as Raymond points out in his piece here, some term is needed for such people: for example, a follower of Mubarak in Egypt would likely be a Muslim but not an “Islamist”: i.e., not a proponent of Sharia rule.
Is that as clear as the mud on the banks of De Nile...?
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
A member of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream Readership (i.e., an anti-Islam commenter on Jihad Watch) named "tim gallagher" complains:
Islam is ferociously repressive and far right wing ( well, 7th century barbarism really) in every regard and it’s staggering the way the left wingers side with it. It defies any logic.
Well, tim wouldn't find this so "staggering" and logic-defying if he paused to consider (or if he read outside the Counter-Jihad Mainstream Reservation once in a while -- oh, say, at The Hesperado blog). The answer to tim's aggravating bafflement is that Leftists perceive Muslims as Brown People, and this in turn triggers the psycho-cultural mechanism analyzed by blogger Lawrence Auster (and further clarified by moi) as "Auster's First Law of Majority-Minority Relations".
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Actually, my title should be: "Why did the decaf suddenly turn into a quintuple espresso...?"
As I analyzed in Part 1, Hugh Fitzgerald's guesses are inadequate to explain why an anti-Islam politician in Germany, Arthur Wagner, converted recently to Islam. Hugh is presented with a German political activist who 4 years ago left the more Left-leaning CDU party to join the more Islam-savvy AfD party which opposes Islamization of Germany -- and yet who has lately converted to Islam. Hugh guesses Wagner must have converted to Islam either for sex or for money; or both. (Hugh's first guess he tosses off as unlikely, that Wagner was actually convinced of the beauty of Islam.)
The problem with the sex and/or money explanation is not that it's impossible; sure, that's always possible, but it would perforce require either 1) ignorance of Islam, or 2) evil.
#2: If a Westerner is not ignorant of Islam, but knows Islam (and hence knows it's evil), then if he joins Islam for sex or money, he's also being evil.
#1: The ignorance explanation becomes strange, given that Wagner was in an anti-Islamization party for 4 years, and actively joined it in the first place.
Once we palpate #1 further, we begin to open up an avenue of a subtler, more intelligent speculation. Are there degrees of ignorance of Islam? There do seem to be. I've written probably hundreds of essays (out of a total of 1,400 plus) analyzing this welter of a problem. The more interesting end of the spectrum, to me, is the person who actually knows about Islam, or who is learning more and more about the horror, the full catastrophe of Islam, but can't quite fully follow the logic to where their growing familiarity with the data of Islam leads them.
Why can't they follow the logic of the data? Because they are afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of the thread that leads from condemning Islam to condemning Muslims. Why is that something to be afraid of? Because it would mean they would succumb to "racism".
This thought process I am unraveling is the thought process of PCMC; and it is present even in the Counter-Jihad. A fear of enacting the paradigm shift from a problem of Islam to a problem of Muslims. It seems to me this thought process is quite prevalent and motivates all forms of Denial in this regard. Interestingly, this dynamic becomes more pronounced the more, not the less, one knows about Islam. The PC MC majority in the West knows less about Islam than the person who has chosen to be "in the Counter-Jihad", but they know enough -- from the pressure of the news -- to realize, if only subliminally, that it's a horrible problem. But two factors allow them to remain in a state of relatively stable, comfortable Denial (at least consciously): 1) their habit -- reinforced by the peer pressure of their surrounding culture, suffused as it is with PC MC, of not taking the time to investigate past the PC MC mainstream whitewashing of Islam to uncover the seamier underside of Islam; and 2) their dominant PC MC sensibilities which, among other things, keeps their internal Censor strong out of a deep, peculiarly Western phobia about being "racist".
The Westerner who has embarked upon the long, complex journey of being "in the Counter-Jihad", however, doesn't suffer from these two factors, at least not in such a marked way. But #2 does still exert its unconscious force on him; and because it does, it comes into psychological conflict with his growing awareness (through his self-education) of the horrors of Islam and the obvious logical connection this has to Muslims. The result is an incoherent attempt to have his cake (of being anti-Islam) while eating it too ("I'm not against Muslims" or some even more elliptical version of this).
Now, I am not trying to say that Arthur Wagner was "in the Counter-Jihad" per se; there is no delimited definition of that state (to a great extent because the movement itself remains incoherent). Some are halfway in / halfway out (e.g., Sam Harris). The psychological dynamic is the same, variantly, depending on the degree of PC MC in the heart and mind of the person involved.
So my guess as to why Arthur Wagner converted to Islam may not be as colorfully specific as two of Hugh's guesses (women and/or money), but I argue it's more reasonable. In a word -- 4 words, to be more precise -- Arthur Wagner converted to Islam because of PC MC: Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism. But wait, my readers may counter, Wagner four years ago had joined the anti-Islamization party opposed to the disastrous Angela Merkel policy of Muslim immigration; how could he be affected by PC MC...? If my readers, or anyone "in the Counter-Jihad" has to ask that question, he hasn't fully grasped the Problem of the Problem. This secondary problem (persistent Western myopia to the primary problem, Islam) reflects a complex paradox of fear and admiration of Islam, centrally motivated by the twin Dogma of PC MC:
Respect for the Other / Self-Criticism of the West Bordering on Self-Hatred.
The second thing to know is that this PC MC neurosis that cripples any critical understanding of the primary Problem of Islam is not merely the province of "Leftists" over there: it is, in various degrees, in all Westerners, including those who are "in the Counter-Jihad". And as we know from Psychology 101, if you don't realize you have a neurosis, you'll be less able to overcome it. Those who are "in the Counter-Jihad" are particularly vulnerable to this kind of Denial, mainly because their self-identity is so dependant upon a bravado about being oh so tough on Islam. Arthur Wagner, a political activist in the German anti-Islamization party AfD qualifies as being vulnerable in this way, even if he may not be, strictly speaking, "in the Counter-Jihad". His previous allegiance to the party of Merkel, before he joined the AfD, likely continued to be present deep in his heart & mind; as PC MC is present in the heart & mind of nearly everyone "in the Counter-Jihad". We can reasonably assume that Wagner's PC MC was a stronger psychological force than his new career as an "anti-Islamization" activist. So, rather than spend years developing incoherent ways of pretending to be anti-Islam while avoiding a condemnation of Muslims (as most in the Counter-Jihad seem to like to do), he found psychological release by going all the way, one way: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
On Jihad Watch, that bastion of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the curious case of a German politician, Arthur Wagner, who for the last 4 years has been a member of the supposedly tougher, more conservative and anti-Muslim Immigration party, the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland or "Alternative for Germany") -- a party that is routinely labeled "far right" probably mainly because of its stance against "Islamization" -- has himself converted to Islam.
Hugh's essay is an exercise in educated speculation on why Arthur Wagner, a member of an essentially anti-Islam political party (or more likely "anti-Islamist" or "anti-political Islam" party) would himself convert to Islam. The reason Hugh has to speculate is because Wagner has refused to answer questions about his conversion, maintaining it is none of the public's business.
Hugh's speculative diagnosis is more revealing of Hugh, and of the schizophrenia about Islam indulged by the Counter-Jihad Mainstream (tough on the outside, nougaty soft on the inside) to which Hugh can be said (based on hundreds of essays he has written, which I've analyzed over the years) to belong. Here's how Hugh handles this curious conversion to Islam by a formerly anti-Islam guy:
"It seems to me that there are three possible reasons why Arthur Wagner decided to convert to Islam."
So begins Hugh, and I cringe and brace myself for the subtly asymptotic locutions to come.
The first is the most obvious: that having been dead set against more Muslim immigrants, he decided to have a look into the faith whose adherents, according to his own party, “have no place in Germany,” and was struck by the sheer wonderfulness of Islam. After all, the refugees he’d been assisting were mostly Muslims, and inclined to sing the praises of their faith. To do what Wagner did out of genuine belief is not impossible — strange things happen every day.
No Hugh, that's not an explanation for Why; it's just a rephrasing of the What, without providing any insight leading from that What to the Why. Let's see what his other two, supposedly more substantial guesses are:
But there are two other conceivable explanations for Arthur Wagner’s behavior. The first may be called the “cherchez-la-femme” (look for the woman) theme. Among the refugees Wagner had been helping, there might well have been a Muslimah who caught his fancy. And if she responded, well, since he’s not exactly Gregory Peck, he might have been thrilled. As a female refugee, she would of course see a solution to all her problems if she could land this particular fish, and he, in turn, would be delighted to have such a mate. Of course, given that in Islam, men are superior to women, it would be unthinkable for a Muslim wife to submit to a non-Muslim husband. Before getting married, the non-Muslim husband-to-be must, therefore, convert to Islam. Which Arthur Wagner may have been perfectly willing to do. There is still another conceivable variant. Muslims in Brandenburg, knowing of Arthur Wagner’s work with Muslim refugees, and of his desire for a mate, might have persuaded a Muslim woman, refugee or not, to respond to him, all in the path of Allah of course, and then to demand that he convert so that they might marry. What a coup for Islam that would be — and has now turned out, in fact, to be. You can just imagine how often Muslims will be bringing up the case of Arthur Wagner, as proof of Islam’s greatness, for it can “overcome even the worst sort of islamophobia.”
Okay, that speculative guess at least has some meat to it. However, it still begs the question a bit; unless Hugh is trying to say that the mere motivation of an older guy feeling unattractive and needing female companionship suffices, completely, to explain why he would convert to Islam -- which is what his rather verbose paragraph certainly seems to imply. This would be a variant on Hugh's "Esdrujula Elves", trying to explain the West's seduction to Islam (whether all the way, to conversion, or short of that, to its mainstream tendency toward fawning adulation) by recourse to vaguely human foibles, such as greed, stupidity, or timidity (not sure what "-idity" would apply here, as another facile label for Hugh to slap onto the midlife crisis of a horny guy as the sole motivation for his conversion to Islam; but the specious principle would be the same). It goes without saying, then, that this second guess is pretty flimsy (for those who can't see why Hugh's thesis is specious, my link just given may help them).
Let's see if Hugh's third guess gets any warmer:
The third possible explanation is of the filthy-lucre sort.
Oh God; he's still stuck on the Esdrujula Explanation -- this time having recourse to Greed. Will he stay stuck on that level or expand it to something more substantive? Let us see:
He might have thought of it himself, or someone may have suggested to him that, by turning Turk, there was money to be made. Think of all the speaking engagements now available to Arthur Wagner, throughout the deepest-pocketed Muslim lands — in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar — or even audiences of Muslims in Germany. His subject would be the one that every devout Muslim wants to hear: “Why I Became A Muslim.” That triumphalist topic ought to be worth 50-100,000 dollars per speech, given that he was a high-ranking official in the AfD, the most unlikely, and therefore the most valuable, kind of convert. And after all, Wagner would have done nothing wrong. He became a Muslim, and now he’s speaking about it. Why shouldn’t he? How dare anyone question his motives? Is he any worse than so many of our past presidents, secretaries of state, national security advisors, big shots of every sort, who once out of office head out to the Gulf (Persian, Arabian, take your pick) to pocket most generous honoraria? Arthur Wagner has a story, he wants to tell it, and there are people, his fellow Muslims, who want to hear it. Eventually we’ll find out what led Arthur Wagner to the One True Faith. If there’s a woman involved, he’s not going to keep her waiting. If it’s money he is after, just keep track of his speaking schedule. And if, mirabile dictu, he actually went from warning about Islam to becoming a Muslim, because he has indeed become a True Believer, then not just in Houston, but in Germany, Europe, the entire Western world, mein damen und herren, we have ein großes Problem.
As I guessed, Hugh's third guess remains stuck on the level of his Esdrujula Elf, Cupidity. Completely unexplored by Hugh's speculative discursus on this most curious phenomenon -- of a formerly anti-Islam person converting to Islam -- are more positive reasons having to do with ideology. Such as, for example, the virtues of the dominant worldview of the West in our time, Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism -- virtues such as Respect for the Other and its other side of the same coin, Excessive Self-Criticism about our own Western civilization. And many other related phenomena which I have analyzed at length over the years. Instead, Hugh serves up a simple-minded analysis, at this late stage of the game. It's 2018, for Crissakes. You'd think the Counter-Jihad would have evolved by now beyond its flawed template. The dismaying reality seems to be that it has fossilized into a Counter-Jihad Mainstream.
Part 2 to come, for my guess, which probes more deeply this issue than Hugh does.
For now, I hazard a guess explaining Hugh's curious analytical deficiency: It's probably because, as a member of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream and its asymptotic tendencies, Hugh can't see how he himself shares with Arthur Wagner an underlying PC MC that disposed the latter to convert to Islam. Hugh's myopia to the PC MC inside himself thus blinds him to its presence in, and key influence on, not only the Arthur Grants of the West who "go native" by conversion to Islam, but the much more numerous Westerners (the majority, in fact) who stop short of that by fawning all over Islam like it's the best thing since sliced falafel.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
"Get your Mo Joes here... Iced Muslim with milk, Mohammedan Venti, Grande, Trenti, Blonde Roast Revert, Decaf Moderate, Triple Decaf Reformer (the "Tarek Fatah"), Shia Latté, Sunni Black, Extremist Espresso..."
One of the staunchly anti-Islam Civilians from the Readership commenting in that flagship of the Leadership of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, Jihad Watch, boldly writes:
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
The Counter-Jihad Mainstream reporter, Christine Douglass-Williams (CDW) editorialized on a recent Jihad Watch notice:
Last January, one of Charlie Hebdo’s most outspoken journalists quit her job because “it has gone soft on Islamist extremism. Zineb El Rhazoui accused the weekly of bowing to Islamist extremists and no longer daring to draw the Prophet Mohammed.” Then she was threatened by Islamic State supporters who called for her murder by “lone wolves.”
The supreme irony here once again on display -- what I call the Nawazian Voldemort Effect after Maajid Nawaz's clever (and quite successful) attempt at it:
Namely, the subtle usage of the dysphemism "Islamist" (buttressed by "extremism" as though mainstream, ordinary Islam isn't already by nature extremist) is already telegraphing, and reinforcing, a soft position on the problem of Islam -- even as it is couched in a seemingly robust stance against the problem of Islam. Essentially, trying to pass off a cup of decaf as a robustly caffeinated espresso.
How many people in the Counter-Jihad are fooled by this? How many of the Readership agree with their Leadership to soften their stance on the problem of Islam this way? How many care either way?
P.S.: This is not to say that the Moroccan apostate upon whom CDW relies, Zineb El Rhazoui, would herself frame the issue this way. It's difficult for me to tell, as I only have, as yet, a cursory familiarity with her writings and interviews and analyses by others on her. For example, Zineb has said: "I am against Islam and Islam is against me" ("Je suis contre l'islam et l'islam est contre moi.") -- no "Islamism" there. On the other hand, she sometimes slips in the Ism, and sometimes seems to take care to distinguish Islam from Muslims: As the French feminist 'Elisseievna' reports: "She explains that "to realize that Islamism is a fascism allows us to stigmatize the ideology but not the individuals of the Islamic culture." (Elle explique que « prendre conscience que l’islamisme est un fascisme permettra de stigmatiser l’idéologie et non les individus issus de la culture islamique »). Then there's the further complication that, apparently, in French, as in English of an older time (perhaps the early 20th century at the latest, but certainly earlier), the "-ism" ending is not necessarily a decaffeination of Islam at all, not a truncation to dilute the Islamophobic caffeine as it has become for the likes of Sam Harris (under the tutelage of his partner-in-bromance, Maajid Nawaz), but merely a denotation of it, largely redundant. However, do the millions of Americans and modern English-speaking people of the world who read Jihad Watch know this -- that when CDW quotes Zinab's "Islamist extremism" approvingly, this may not mean it in the veritably soft way intended by CDW and her colleague Robert Spencer?
Saturday, January 13, 2018
"Barista-terrorista, I'm allergic to raisins, and there are clearly at least 4 raisins in this cinnamon scone......"
I was pleased to see a post by Cinnamon Stillwell featured on Jihad Watch this morning -- she's a writer who (notwithstanding her occasional asymptotic raisins) deserves a wider audience (and years ago I put her on my blogroll over at The Hesperado).
Her piece on Jihad Watch involved a Good Cop Muslim (defined as such because he would easily fool the broader Western Mainstream, but not the Counter-Jihad Mainstream), an academic named Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, senior lecturer in history at King’s College London, invited to deliver his taqiyya to a select Harvard audience. As Cinnamon Stillwell reports it and mostly ably analyzes it, his lecture at Harvard was an exercise in Equivalencism and Tu Quoque -- more specially, the claim that "Islamophobia" is equivalent to anti-Semitism, and that both are in effect racism.
The raisins in the otherwise scrumptious & nutritious cinnamon scone Stillwell served up may be spotted in this sentence of hers:
Never once did Zia-Ebrahimi address the reality of such practices within Islam, nor the fact that Islamists advocate Islamic supremacism and are implacably hostile to Europe – seen as Christendom. In his eagerness to whitewash all things Islamist, Zia-Ebrahimi ignored the multiple terrorist attacks throughout Europe and the often-contorted Western reaction to Islamist aggression.
That's three raisins. And, after I carefully extracted them out of my cinnamon scone with my fork, I almost bit into one more after I thought I was in the clear:
That Harvard would host an Islamist apologist masquerading as a champion of virtue exposes the intellectual weakness, duplicity, and true intents of scholars who charge their opponents with “Islamophobia.”
If the "Counter-Jihad" doesn't stop using these dysphemisms that have the effect of reinforcing our reflexes to exonerate Islam itself by locating the problem in some other entity ("Islamism", "radical Islam", "political Islam", etc.), we will be failing in our ultimate duty to wake up our West to the problem of all Muslims in diverse ways enabling their Islamic imperative to conquer the world.