Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Another September 11.
The Counter-Jihad Mainstream as usual is pointing fingers at the broader Western Mainstream for its failure, still, to wake up to the problem of Islam.
So, Robert Spencer puts up this headline on Jihad Watch today:
9/11 Commission top dogs say “terrorism needs to be prevented at the source,” ignore its source
Well, when the Counter-Jihad Mainstream regularly invokes the term "political Islam" as the problem (see for example here, here, and here), rather than plain old Islam, are we that much ahead of the broader Western Mainstream...?
Over the years on my old blog, The Hesperado, I alluded to this trope many, many times. For example, as I put it a little more than 2 years ago:
“ Robert Spencer, the éminence grise of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream (CJM), actually used the term 'political Islam' with a straight face. That's how you know he's part of the CJM. And he will remain so, comfortably and arrogantly, until enough of his civilian supporters call him on it (I wouldn't hold my breath on this).”
A particularly good essay on this point (if I don't say so myself) I wrote a little more than 3 years ago:
Better Cops Watch, Cont.
Sunday, September 1, 2019
The Counter-Jihad Mainstream dips its big toe ever so briefly into the shallow end of Paradigm Shift
By the term "Counter-Jihad Mainstream" I mean that this still minuscule, albeit growing, sociopolitical movement often called "the Counter-Jihad" has a "mainstream" which in many ways resembles the "mainstream" of the MSM -- soft on Islam and hostile to internal quality control & self-criticism. Sure, the CJM is much tougher on, and much more literate about, Islam than is the MSM; but that doesn't mean the CJM doesn't have deficiencies in this department.
One of the bastions of the CJM is Jihad Watch and, as it's quite an industriously active venue, it's a good laboratory to study these deficiencies.
One deficiency I've written about and analyzed at length in previous essays on this blog and at my former blog (The Hesperado) is the failure to shift paradigms from "Islam is the problem" to "Islam is the problem and all Muslims enable that problem". An incomplete list of my essays in this regard, but one which should get the reader started, may be found here.
Recently, a leading member of the Jihad Watch team, Hugh Fitzgerald, wrote an essay which, for the first time as far as I can tell, dipped a cautious toe into the dangerous waters of this paradigm shift. Of course, Hugh, in his arrogance, writes as though what he's saying is perfectly sensible and hasn't been a controversial direction to take the Counter-Jihad, as evidenced by countless instances of various leaders of the CJM -- including his own esteemed colleague, Robert Spencer -- timidly shrinking back from drawing the logical conclusion Hugh in his essay articulates so matter-of-factly:
[Richard] Dawkins frequently claims that Islam is the sole object of his criticism, not Muslims, and those who label Islam’s critics, such as himself, as “bigots,” are failing to recognize the distinction he makes between Islam and Muslims. Some may think Dawkins is too soft on the adherents of Islam, as he depicts them as victims of brainwashing; he claims endlessly that Muslims are the “greatest sufferers” from Islam as a way of justifying, quite unnecessarily, his criticism of the faith; over the past 1,400 years, on the receiving end of Muslim aggression and murder, many Infidels would disagree. Does one find fault only with the ideology of Nazism and give members of the Nazi Party a pass, as victims of brainwashing who do not deserve criticism?
Hugh goes on to explain why one should expand one's fault-finding from the ideology to its members, but for some strange reason fails to mention two of the most glaring reasons why it applies searingly to Islam:
Members of Islam -- i.e., Muslims -- are not merely, as Hugh says, choosing freely to belong to the faith that Dawkins calls the “greatest force for evil in the world today”; they are more importantly regularly defending it, either through sophistry in order to fend off criticism of Islam, or by actively promoting it. The tiny number of Muslim "reformers" out there who affect to be criticizing Islam (but really, when one examines their rhetoric closely are only criticizing an artificial "Islamism" ingeniously in order to protect Islam) should be condemned no less than the garden-variety taqiyya more Muslims purvey, when they try to sell the idea that "Islam is peace" and "Islam does not condone terrorism" etc. But I've noted many times how many in the CJM have soft spots for one or more of these "Better Cop" Muslims.
Secondly -- and closely related to my first point above -- the CJM should know by now that Muslims are not merely a problem because of the terrorism-slash-(pun intended)-jihad which a relatively small minority of them pursue in our present time, but also because of the impetus & goal of that terrorism/jihad, firmly ensconced in the mainstream Islam of all Muslims: the conquest of the world. This goal of mainstream Islam will not be realized by Muslims solely through terrorism now, but through a coordinated strategy of terrorism plus deceit, where the deceit is a diverse combination platter of tactics, primarily consisting of Muslims lying and pretending that they and their Islam have nothing to do with the terrorism and the expansionist, supremacist jihad that is its guiding framework & context.
The CJM should know by now that the only reason Muslims aren't simply waging frank warfare against the West (as they did for the first millennium after they stormed out of the Arabian desert, from the 7th century clear through to the 17th century) is because Muslims (correctly) perceive themselves as far too weak relative to their enemy (the West). What this means is that innumerable, and largely indistinguishable millions of Muslims among their total population in its complex and alarmingly kinetic diaspora post-911, expanding into the West in unprecedented numbers, are pursuing various forms of stealth jihad to lay the ground over many decades for the day (I estimate 100 years or so) when they feel they will be able to take off the mask and pursue jihad more honestly against us.
This is why the Counter-Jihad -- whose primary programme should be to try to wake up the West about the problem of Islam -- needs to undergo the paradigm shift I mentioned at the beginning. Hugh's essay -- so far an anomaly in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream -- is probably more like too little, too late, than a sign of hope.
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Holy Toledo, I see that my last posting here was August 2, over three weeks ago! Maybe I should change the name of this blog to The Monthly Decaf...
What I've said more than a few times in the past I fear is true: My concern to be scrupulous about a posting -- not only to back up (or amplify) key claims with links, but also to flesh out the "connective tissue" (as Frank Gaffney has put it) amongst the complex of dots being palpated -- inevitably causes me to spend more time at the drafting board than I wanted to, and thus inhibits me the next time. If I could only learn to be punchy with my postings...
Let's try it now (don't hold your breath):
Egypt: President lets Muslim cleric who promotes violence against women and infidels to preach at Alexandria mosque
So runs a headline Robert Spencer put up on Jihad Watch today. The first thing I thought was, "So much for the new and improved Egyptian leader, the Moderate Al-Sisi". Then I see Robert's editorial remarks, which even surprised me, a long-time Spencer critic, with their retrograde learning curve:
Sisi generally stands against the Salafists, but he also recognizes that they constitute a major portion of Egypt’s population. So he, like many other Egyptian Presidents before him, has to practice steam control, allowing them to have their way enough to pacify them somewhat and keep the whole country from exploding.
The first error that glares at us (or at which we should glare) is the Counter-Jihad howler Robert seriously employs, "Salafists" (a term as misleading as the previously fashionable one, "Wahhabists", and possessing no useful function beyond what other terms offer -- terms often (and aptly) derided by the Counter-Jihad: "extremists", "radicals", "Islamists"), about which we could ask rhetorically -- "What's a 'Salafist' and how is he or she different from any standard-issue garden-variety Muslim?"
More broadly, while Robert may be technically and superficially correct in his description quoted above, he provides not even one sentence indicating the deeper problem -- the stealth jihad. Does Robert honestly think Sisi is not a stealth jihadist? That he's a sincere "reformer" with a zebibah on his forehead who reveres Mohammed, Islam and the Koran? (I.e., that he's the same square-circle any Muslim is whom one is claiming just wants to have a sandwich...).
Not to mention that Robert's own Jihad Watch has a growing paper trail indicating the dubiousness of Sisi's so-called "reform".
And that Robert's off-and-on-again colleague, Andrew Bostom, about five years ago collected information indicating Sisi's stealth jihad. As my former self put it on a Jihad Watch comments thread back in early January of 2015:
On Sisi, in another JW thread I adverted to an important Andrew Bostom report from August that provides sound interpretation of evidence that Sisi is a normative Islamic jihadist and not some kind of “reformist” (and shame on any JWer for entertaining the notion that someone as learned in Islam as Sisi must be could possibly be a “reformist”!).
֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍
On second thought, I could just keep my blog name, The Daily Decaf, and blithely post only once a month (or once in a blue crescent moon), under the Spencerian fiat that what is monthly can (without any explanation needed) be called "daily" -- just as Al-Sisi can be called a "bulwark against political Islam" (as Robert indeed, with a straight face, has) .
Friday, August 2, 2019
I've suspected that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has softened up in terms of her critical stance against Islam. And I further suspect that behind this decaffeination of Ayaan, there lurks the wily effects of Maajid Nawaz, that snake posturing as a "reformer". I've written before on my old blog, The Hesperado, about how he seems to have "turned" Sam Harris from something resembling a robust cup of black espresso (in terms of Islam) into (at best) a cup of weak coffee with milk
Soon, I will see if he may have done the same with Ayaan. Three YouTube videos may help my investigation by plotting the stages of the "Maajidization of Ayaan": All are round table debates/discussions on the problem of Islam where Ayaan and Maajid are featured. The first one is clearly a debate by Ayaan against Maajid (on Ayaan's team is also Douglas Murray, another anti-Islam analyst who seems to have been "turned" by Maajid, about which I may write in the future). My prediction is that by the time I start analyzing the third video, from 2016, I will already see the effects of Ayaan's Maajidization, whereby she will have transformed from being his opponent on this issue, into his partner.
The 2010 video is over 3 hours, and I suspect the other two are no less than about 2 hours; so this will take some time for my to process. Stay tuned.
Maajid having a grand old time with Douglas Murray in 2017?
And of course, on my old blog The Hesperado, I devoted two or three essays to the Maajidization of Sam Harris.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Over the years, when I have tried to "push the meme" of the D word (Deportation of all Muslims from the West) at Jihad Watch comments -- a major venue, one would think, of "the Counter-Jihad" -- I have experienced either various forms of pushback, or apparently disinterested silence. And, need it be said, the instances of other people pushing the meme have been as dismally few and far between as a good, robust cup of decaf.
What's ironic is that the most common form of pushback I have experienced from the broader Western Mainstream (against which the Counter-Jihad tilts on a daily basis) has been leveled at me by Counter-Jihadists -- indeed, by such lofty Counter-Jihadists as those in the "Rabbit Pack". I've mentioned the "Rabbit Pack" many times before on my old blog, The Hesperado -- as for example this rather pithy summation:
...Jihad Watch comments regulars (the "Rabbit Pack" as I've dubbed them, a lynch-mob-cum-high-school-clique, whose leading member, Angemon (if only because he has been so indefatigably active, like an Energizer Bunny, in pestering & policing those who don't abide by the lockstep rules of the aforementioned Rabbit Pack) -- including gravenimage, Mirren, dumbledoresarmy, Wellington, Western Canadian, PRCS, JayBoo, mortimer, and Philip Jihadski...
And so, what was this pushback to the Deportation meme which I've seen coming from the Rabbit Pack (at least two of its lofty members, Angemon and Philip Jihadski)? Glad you asked, Pepe. It consists of a series of rhetorical questions posed to the proponent of Deportation of all Muslims. A better example of this would be hard to find than from the very figurative pen of Angemon, addressing our old friend, "The Big W", who had recently, in a Jihad Watch comments thread, in his typically hamfisted (but lovable) way, pushed the Deportation meme. Let's take a gander at that little exchange:
Jul 13, 2019 at 3:51 pm
I’ll see ya and RAISE ya: All Muslims should be shipped outta the West. All Muslims, every damn one of ’em.
Reply Angemon says
Jul 13, 2019 at 4:22 pm
How would you go about identifying who’s a muslim and who isn’t? What of native converts? Where would you “deport” them to and under which laws?
Angemon's list of rhetorical questions, by the way, seems to come from roughly the same general template as the one used by his Rabbit Pack buddy, Philip Jihadski (commenting as "Anonymous" on my old blog 3 years ago):
...we have to change our laws FIRST. You cannot simply go out and "round 'em up", because you first must identify them - and to do that, you have to be a mind reader, or institute lie-detector tests on each and every fucking "suspect".
Now - you go ahead and tell us - EXACTLY - how this can be done; tell us EXACTLY how our immigration laws must be changed, then - and only then - will I give you one shred of credibility...basically, because you're an asshole first, and a poor thinker second; finally, I just think you're crazy.
My response to this rhetorical template is, first, weary exasperation that one has to respond at all, especially to others who are supposedly in the Counter-Jihad. Secondly, girding my groin for the umpteenth time, I roll up my shirtsleeves, spit on my palms, take hold of the sledgehammer, and repeat:
How would you go about identifying who’s a muslim and who isn’t?
Answer: The same way we identify who's a Muslim and who isn't now.
What of native converts? Where would you “deport” them to ...
Answer: We would deport native converts to the same general place we deport other Muslims -- the Dar-al-Islam.
...and under which laws?
Answer: Under the same laws we use now to deport natural born citizens who pose a sufficient threat.
Friday, July 19, 2019
Since Robert Spencer is, one can reasonably assume, virtually the éminence grise of the Counter-Jihad, what he pronounces is pretty much the party line of the Counter-Jihad (to a great deal because the movement remains incoherent and inchoate).
Recently, Robert editorialized:
“Mohammed Amin, until recently chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, told the newspaper [Boris] Johnson’s analysis risked ‘actively promoting hatred of Muslims.’” Why? Johnson’s statement — which, by the way, he made in 2007, but there is no statute of limitations on Leftist/Islamic rage — was about Islam, not Muslims.
This insistence that the problem is Islam and not Muslims shows that Robert has not only failed to school the Counter-Jihad toward a paradigm shift (where we realize that the problem is also Muslims, since if there were no Muslims, there would be no Islam, since Muslims put Islam into practice), he is actively retarding such a shift.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Compared to Islam which is probably the most powerful religion in the world today, egalitarian liberalism is probably second most powerful religion. It's when people are absorbed by this idea they cease to think in terms of facts -- the facts don't matter, they can ignore the facts or if they discover the facts they're perfectly happy to suppress them. ... All of these people who are trained to hate themselves they seem to take a real pleasure in it, these white people do. A friend of mine points out that white people love to feel good about themselves by feeling bad about being white -- this is a source of great virtue, of self exaltation for them. [Jared Taylor, from a conversation with Stephen Molyneaux]
I would substitute "Western" for "white" (or add the two together); but other than that, it's a salutary little thought process Jared Taylor expressed there. It reminds me of the much longer thought process the great poet, philosopher and statesman, Michel de Montaigne (16th century), articulated in his essay, On Cannibalism -- which I analyzed in an old essay on my former blog, The Hesperado -- in which that paradox of, essentially, "loving to feel good about yourself by feeling bad about being who you are" is developed to an exquisite absurdity, the perverse clarity at the heart of it:
We are worse because we are better!
As Jared Taylor is mulling over this paradox in his discussion with Stephen Molyneaux, he confesses:
Where this comes from for me is in fact a mystery...
I think he's quite right to wrestle with this as essentially a mystery; for all too often, Westerners in understandable frustration and exasperation leap to Real-Problemerist explanations to fill the explanatory vacuum. As he's conjecturing why it may have come about, he alludes to what I have many times concluded, that these almost freakish (and certainly deleterious) facets of politically correct multiculturalism seem to have evolved as hectic aberrations out of our Judaeo-Christian/Graeco-Roman virtues. Of course, this doesn't really dispel the mystery; it just peers more closely at its odd entrails.
Monday, July 15, 2019
It's exceedingly rare for "the Counter-Jihad" to be self-critical -- this being, in fact, one main feature of why I say there is a "problem of the problem of the problem" (where problem 1 is Islam, problem 2 is the mainstream West's inability to deal rationally with problem 1, and problem 3 is the Counter-Jihad's inadequacy with relation to problems 1 and 2).
How would this tertiary problem be ameliorated? By, among other things, the ability to spot nougaty softness in the rhetoric of fellow members of the Counter-Jihad (whether of the Readership or the Leadership); calling attention to such softness (and NOT attacking such "whistleblowers" for their modest contribution to quality control); and presenting critical analyses of such softness to demonstrate why it's bad for the general mission of waking up our fellow Westerners to the long-term threat from Islam.
Recently on Jihad Watch, Spencer published a report by Andrew Bostom that was a welcome exception to this deficiency in the Counter-Jihad -- a report that called the sainted Ayaan Hirsi Ali into question. As usual (but not always), Bostom's analysis is cogent and useful. Essentially, his report involves a panel discussion held at the prestigiously "conservative" Hoover Institution at Stanford hosting Ayaan Hirsi Ali, her husband Niall Ferguson, and H.R. McMaster. And what Bostom zeroes in on is how this prestigious panel treated a woman in the audience who during Q&A expressed her genuine heartfelt concerns about the danger of Islam and the frustration of trying to bring this into the light in our Western culture, dominated as it is by a politically correct deference to Islam (and hostility to criticism of Islam). And how did this prestigious panel treat this woman? As Andrew Bostom characterizes it:
The woman's “poignant, and accurate observations about Islam are dismissed with a toxic brew of derisive laughter, and crude apologetics.”
Most in the Counter-Jihad know who Ayaan is and what constitutes her Counter-Jihad Street Cred. Fewer know the other two. Niall Ferguson, Wikipedia tells us, is
...a Scottish historian and works as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Previously, he was a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, a visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities, and also taught at Harvard University and New York University.
What Wikipedia only informs its reader obliquely is that Niall is a "conservative" who signals his distaste for politically correct multi-culturalism. For example:
He is known for his contrarian views, like his defense of the British Empire.
Not to mention that he has been pro-Brexit, and has been, for a mainstreamer, leaning towards a criticism of Islam and the mass immigration into the West.
And if one Googles him, one finds today one of his tweets:
Terrific satire by @offpiste9 : “Anglo-Saxons deserve reparations for the Norman Conquest”
And of course, the fact that Niall would have married a markedly black African woman like Ayaan in the first place -- especially back in 2011, when she seemed to have been more anti-Islam than she is now (we'll get to that in a minute) -- indicates he certainly isn't a Leftist (even if he does exhibit various signs & symptoms of the PC MC virus -- notwithstanding that he would likely protest that he isn't PC at all!).
As for the other person on that Hoover Institution panel, H.R. McMaster, Wikipedia says that he:
...is a retired United States Army general. In 2017, he became the 26th National Security Advisor, serving under President Donald Trump. He is also known for his roles in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
While there isn't much of a Jihad Watch paper trail on Niall, there is a sufficiently damning one on H.R. For example:
McMaster tells NSC staff that label “radical Islamic terrorism” not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic”
“But I think it’s important that, whatever we call it, we recognize that [Muslim extremists] are not religious people.”
One can find the links to those -- and much more that is disquieting about this bloated war general thoroughly besotted with politically correct multi-culturalism -- at this Google page of related Jihad Watch articles.
Now, back to Ayaan. I used to be like most of the Readership (and Leadership) of the Counter-Jihad in praising her to the skies, and I recall one very long and heated Jihad Watch comments thread many years ago in which some upstart was maligning her, and I and many other Jihad Watchers pitched in for a pitched battle against this upstart in defense of Ayaan -- though granted, the upstart's critiques of Ayaan didn't really have much to do with the problem of Islam, per se (and indeed, that upstart tended to be rather soft on Islam in various subtle ways). However, over the last couple of years I've noticed disquieting signs of asymptotic slippage. Two years ago, for example, Andrew Harrod wrote a (somewhat) critical review of Ayaan's book, The Challenge of Dawa, in which he (more or less wittingly) highlights the crux of her problem: her facile (and historically illiterate and/or revisionist) distinction between Islam and that recent artificial construct, "Islamism". That review incidentally has some revealing details about her career, whatever that is exactly, involving networking with Muslim reformers (i.e., Better Cops) like Asra Nomani and Zuhdi Jasser (and as we know, Maajid Nawaz; and no doubt others). Furthermore, Harrod notes that Ayaan
...differentiates between “Mecca Muslims, who prefer the religion originally promoted by Muhammad in Mecca” and “Medina Muslims, who embrace the militant political ideology adopted by Muhammad in Medina”...
And if that isn't bad enough, she
...questionably asserts that “Mecca Muslims” are the “clear majority throughout the Muslim world.” They “are loyal to the core religious creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence or even intolerance toward non-Muslims.”
Finally, Ayaan cooks up a third category of Muslims: “Muslim reformers” or “modifying Muslims”.
So the Ayaanite framework here is:
1) Muslims who just wanna have a sandwich: the “clear majority”
2) "Islamists" who are endangering the world with jihad: a minority
3) "Reformist" Muslims who are trying to reform Islam: a minority.
Does Ayaan specify how small (or how large) of a minority these Muslims behind Door #2 and Door #3 are? Not that she could specify anyway, since not only are any attempts at statistics in this regard difficult to pin down, such efforts also are disastrously undermined by the problem of taqiyya and stealth jihad (a problem Ayaan seems unconcerned with).
Secondly, if Sandwich Muslims are a "clear majority" and of the minority left over, half (?) are "Reformist", then why is there such a dire problem? Surely this overwhelming number of decent Muslims should have been able to neutralize their few bad apples long ago, no...?
For my analytical misgivings about Andrew Harrod (and Ayaan and others), see this old Hesperado essay, Signs of Intelligent Life on Planet Jihad Watch? Le Part Deux. There, I note three problems with Ayaan:
1) her friendship with -- and thus her lack of appropriate condemnation of -- the pseudo-"Reformer" snake-oil taqiyya artist, Maajid Nawaz, which is one likely reason why she has seemed to adopt the spurious distinction between "Islam" and "Islamism";
2) her curiously misplaced concern about Vlaams Belang and Geert Wilders being as bad as "Islamists"; and finally,
3) her grandiose dream of Islamic Reform to solve the metastasizing global problem of Islam which Muslims are causing.
Note: My second misgiving about Ayaan in the list above began some eleven years ago (concerning Vlaams Belang), way back in the mists of 2008 -- likely long before Ayaan became friendly with Maajid Nawaz; so we may surmise that if indeed Maajid "turned" her (as he turned Sam Harris), he did so by exploiting pre-existing tendencies.
And so now in the summer of 2019, we find Ayaan on a distinguished panel with H.R. McMaster -- who is on record asseverating that Islamic terrorists are "not Islamic" and that Islamic terrorists are "not religious people" -- dismissively laughing at a person who is deeply concerned about the threat of Islam and the West's hostility to such concern. And the participation of Ayaan's husband, Niall Ferguson, is all the more ironic, given that in 2005, he praised one of the seminal works sounding the alarm of the invasion of Islam into the modern West, Bat Ye'or's book, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis. Here was his encomium, printed on the back cover of the book:
“No writer has done more than Bat Ye”or to draw attention to the menacing character of Islamic extremism. Future historians will one day regard her coinage of the term “˜Eurabia” as prophetic. Those who wish to live in a free society must be eternally vigilant: Bat Ye”or’s vigilance is unrivalled.”
Why are Niall and his wife Ayaan now teaming up with Neanderthals like H.R. McMaster and deriding that same concern about Islam?
P.S.: And of course, what was the response of the Readership as reflected by Jihad Watch comments? Less than 50 comments, consisting mostly of mild concern, incomprehension of the broader problem (of the problem of the problem), and yawns.
Monday, July 8, 2019
Sometimes in my near daily wading through news relating to the problem (of Islam) and the problem of the problem (the mainstream West's inability to grapple rationally with the problem of Islam), I come upon crystalisations of the full catastrophe, in a nutshell.
Such as this quote from a story posted on Jihad Watch, concerning an area in Sweden where the young children of immigrants (most likely from Muslim countries, and some as young as 8 years old) have been routinely abusing, threatening, and terrorizing many of the non-Muslim children and adults living there.
The quote is from the local Swedish Union of Tenants in the small town where this is happening. While the official union statement shows concern about the problem, it also demonstrates the irrational fear typical of the Western mainstream:
“The ones who cause the problems and violence are children of new-coming migrants. That is why neighbours start to make connections between the problems and xenophobic views. In the long term, this will result in a very segregated vicinity where neighbours speak in terms of “us and them”, which will escalate if this is not stopped very soon”, the Union writes in its letter.
Notice the anxiety in the letter that casts the problem as a collective problem on both sides, rather than rationally blaming the one side that is belligerently instigating and thus creating the problem in the first place. This misplaced anxiety may be (and has been) worded in many different ways, but is all boils down to a concern that our Western response to Islamic expansion will be as bad, if not indeed worse than that Islamic expansion.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
It's as good as donuts, but not as simple. I refer to Deportation (of all Muslims from the West). For years as I read and participated in the comments community of Jihad Watch, I noticed the vast majority of Jihad Watchers either avoid the D word altogether or, when cornered, either deny it (when some outsider accuses them of wanting to deport all Muslims) or attack it when some fellow Jihad Watcher (like me) presses them on the validity of the D meme.
One essay in particular on my former blog, The Hesperado, which I wrote three summers ago (in August of 2016), analyzed this phenomenon at length and in depth: The D Word. Fast-forward to June of this year, in the comments field of a Jihad Watch article on how CNN demonized Jihad Watch, we see the same pattern of denial-cum-attack of the D meme.
Reading through the comments, it's like seeing a lab rat experiment, where an outsider known to be a Leftist critic of Jihad Watch, some commenter named "lebel" (whom our good friend The Big W calls "Patti Labelle") is accusing Jihad Watch (mainly through Jihad Watch writer Hugh Fitzgerald) and by extension of ethical responsibility the Jihad Watcher Civilian community (what I have called "the Readership") of both advocating the Deportation of Muslims and of trying to weasel out of that.
What this lebel character provokes from the Readership is one D word for another: their Denial of supporting Deportation. It's fascinating to watch the Readership of the Counter-Jihad squirm when faced with someone accusing them of desiring the Deportation of Muslims from the West. Instead of saying, with unanimity -- "Yeah, we want all Muslims deported from the West. So what? Next question..." -- they torture themselves into knots and go after non sequiturs and red herrings. A good place to start is this opening salvo from lebel, and then watch, as you scroll down, the Jihad Watchers stumble all over themselves insisting, anxiously, that they do not want to deport Muslims from the West.
If my readers follow the crumb-trail of links I provide somewhere above, you will find an old Jihad Watch comments field from January of 2013, where I expressed my dismay and frustration at my fellow Counter-Jihadists in this regard:
Many in the Counter Jihad, on reading my final paragraph above, would protest and insist they are not soft on Muslims -- until I raise the question "What are we supposed to do about the problem?", and provide a substantive proposal: Round up all Muslims, quickly process them, and deport them. Then suddenly these no-nonsense Counter-Jihadists undergo an amazing transmogrification: They suddenly become PC MCs before our very eyes, and throw up any number of hurdles and anxious rhetorical questions and assumptions: "But we can't do that! It would be illegal! It goes against the Constitution! Besides, where would you deport them to?"
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
I've noticed Robert Spencer doing this for years. Now I've seen it crop up at least 3 or 4 times this month of June. What is this niggling rhetorical meme of which you speak, my 3.5 readers may ask...? Well, Pepe (all my readers, strangely enough, are named Pepe), glad you asked. Here are a couple of recent examples, and they all involve Muslims who were found out -- by the Western country they happened to be inhabiting -- to be plotting some kind of terror attack, and were arrested:
Five years. And he will be out way before that. What will be done in prison to disabuse him of his jihadist sentiments? Nothing, of course. To do anything like that would be “Islamophobic.”
Ashiqul Alam may cop a plea and walk free fairly soon, no doubt after expressing remorse and asserting, now that he faces jail time, that he now rejects his previous understanding of his peaceful religion. But what steps will be taken to ensure that he will not act again upon the murderous ideology that led him to plot a jihad massacre in Times Square? It is virtually certain that nothing will be done in that regard. To take such steps would be “Islamophobic.”
Moreover, if we want to see more examples of Robert's rhetorical meme over time, we can search for the word "disabused" (a word Robert likes to use for this particular rhetorical meme) and specify only Jihad Watch in our search, and doing so, we find many similar stories:
South Carolina: Muslim teen plotted jihad murder of military personnel ...
But what was done while he was in juvi to disabuse him of his jihadist beliefs? Nothing at all, of course. To have attempted such a thing would have been “Islamophobic.” And now he will go to prison, and once again, the views that led him to wage jihad in the first place will not be challenged. If anything, they’ll be reinforced.
UK: Muslim gets life in prison (i.e. 16 1/2 years) for plotting jihad
Will he emerge from prison disabused of his jihadist proclivities? That's extremely unlikely. Prisons are hotbeds of jihadist recruitment.
UK: Five Muslim leaders linked to London Bridge jihad attack to be released from prison by the end of the year
After all, haven't they been disabused of their jihad sentiments and “deradicalized” while in prison? What's that? No attempt was made to do that whatsoever? Now, why is that?
Texas: Jailed jihadi, just freed, discussed bomb-making procedures
All that time in prison clearly did him good and disabused him of his jihad sentiments. In reality, nothing was done to change his mindset ...
And, on a story about the infamous Anjem Choudhary:
In prison nothing whatsoever was done to disabuse him of his jihadist notions. Any such action would have been “Islamophobic.”
So what's the problem, exactly, with Robert's niggling meme? Well, the most obvious flaw is that it seems based upon an expectation that efforts to try to "disabuse" jihadists of their Islam will work. Closely on the heels of this flaw is the lack of specificity that surrounds Robert's meme like a vague gauze: What exactly would an effective attempt of "disabusing" jihadists look like? What procedures would be applied? Surely, Robert knows that there is no version of Islam that does not affirm the goal and tactics (other than technical matters of tangential details) of the jihadists; so on what basis would authorities "disabuse" these jihadists of Islam? What Robert is so casually (and frequently) calling for are efforts to convince jihadists to apostasize from Islam. If anyone touts this as easy (let alone practical), they should not be taken seriously. Sure, such efforts might work with a tiny fraction of the mujahideen captured and in Western prisons. But a tiny fraction does not make for a workable management of the macro problem.
Even worse, the repetition of this meme by Robert, who holds an influential position in the (still incoherent) Counter-Jihad, reinforces the tendencies of too many even in the Counter-Jihad to think that the problem isn't as bad as it is -- where the management of it is not a matter of unrealistically persuading Muslims to cease their fanaticism, but of persuading our fellow Westerners that nothing short of deportation of Muslims will save the West in the long run.
Related to the above, we have Robert's editorial remark, after this headline posted at Jihad Watch --
Illinois: Muslim migrant worked at O’Hare Airport, sent tactical gear to ISIS, wanted to “bury unbelievers alive”
-- where he observes the following:
And any O’Hare Airport official who questioned her about her thoughts regarding jihad against unbelievers would have been denounced as “Islamophobic,” and probably would have been fired.
Robert's meme here is that vetting Muslims is still a viable goal, implying that we just have to get used to their numbers aggrandizing in our societies and if we only implement vetting procedures -- like asking Muslims what their thoughts are about "jihad against unbelievers" -- this is going to be successful in whacking the only moles who mean us harm amongst the millions of Muslims flooding into the West in our century.
Friday, June 28, 2019
Diana West is a rare bird in our muddy waters of sociopolitical reality these days; she often writes and says things that ring of "conspiracy theory" (CT) yet fall short of the red flags -- which border on if not cross the line which separates reality from ludicrous and hyperventilating speculation -- that often reveal themselves in the rhetoric of typical "conspiracy theorists". That's one of the main reasons why I keep reading her (aside from the fact that she's a very good writer and investigator in the sense of the "historian as detective").
Despite the title of my posting, I won't go into this intriguing phenomenon at any great length today, but will touch on one or two key points.
First, there seems to be a paradox in conspiracy ventilations -- a kind of vacillating equivocation between an implied characterization of the dastardly evil Conspirators as having seemingly limitless power and resources, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, implying there are, in fact, limitations on their power. (And another peculiar tendency of CT is the assumption that the motives of the Conspirators are as thoroughly sordid and diabolical as the Devil himself, apparently serenely uncomplicated by ambivalence or conflicted emotions).
So, concrete case in point, we have this description from Diana West, in a recent article --The Phony Paper Trail Through the Anti-Trump Conspiracy -- concerning what she calls the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, specifically about the Crowdstrike report on the DNC server supposedly being hacked by Russians (thus kicking off the whole saga against Trump & the Russians):
...the DNC did not permit the FBI to investigate, which, of course, doesn’t sound fishy at all. Further, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI blithely accepted the (redacted) findings that “Russia hacked the DNC” from Crowdstrike and then told the American people to do the same.
Now, if the Conspirators had limitless power, they wouldn't need a scenario where the DNC has to withhold evidence from the FBI, and then the FBI has to go along with this and thereby exhibit the strange behavior of the preeminent criminal investigation organization allowing some group to tell them what they can and cannot investigate. No, they would just have the power to manufacture the evidence, go through the charade of having the DNC hand over the servers to the FBI, and have the FBI report the desired (false) conclusion. Indeed, even what I described still has problem of paradox: for, if they actually had limitless power, they wouldn't need to go through any charade at all, since their totalitarian hold on society would already be in place, and Trump would never have won in the first place and continued to serve as President (unless, of course, he were a mere puppet under their thrall). So, evidently, the fact that it went down the way it did, shows that if there are Conspirators, they don't have limitless power, but have to pursue their anti-Trump activities while maneuvering around various obstacles.
This is where it gets interesting, and raises numerous questions: If the Conspirators are limited in their power, exactly how are they limited? This is not only a general abstract question, but also applicable to any given Conspiracy, such as the Anti-Trump Conspiracy. One gets the sense that this particular Conspiracy reflects a cabal (Diana West uses that word in a recent posting) operating within a larger environment that is not Conspiratorial. More questions: How do they operate? How do they manage to hide their Conspiratorial behaviors amongst their fellows with whom they have to work on a daily basis? To make this plausible -- especially given the gravity of the conspiracy (an effective and unprecedented coup against an elected, and then sitting, President) -- one would have to impute a remarkable and broadly distributed degree of naivete and/or useful idiocy. I'm not saying this couldn't, and didn't, happen; I'm only saying that in palpating the contours of this phenomenon of Trump Derangement Syndrome reaching into the heart of Washington in the specific form of this mainstream memeplex of "Russian collusion", one runs the risk of a kind of complex No True Scotsman fallacy, where simultaneously, all nefarious implications are imputed to the dastardly cabal, while all apparent, logically discernible, limitations to the cabal's power (e.g., my example above about the FBI and the DNC) are imputed to naivete and useful idiocy in the sociopolitical environment in which the Conspirators swim.
A closely related No True Scotsman fallacy: How are the Conspirators able to pull off anything big (like an assassination of JFK, or a "Russian collusion" meme that goes viral, or a 911 attack) at all, given that they are limited? Well, the No True Scotsman answer would be, whatever happened that we are calling a conspiracy just so happened to be what the Conspirators were able to get away with. But the question remains.
Depending on the conspiracy claimed, these questions reveal more or less plausible scenarios. The most flagrant one with regard to the 911 Truther conspiracy (granted that there are variants on that theme) is, if the motive of the Conspirators was to make the American public think that Muslims were behind the attacks, why would they go to all the trouble of simulating airplane crashes into buildings (or, perhaps more credulity-straining, synchronize actual plane crashes into buildings with "controlled demolitions" of the buildings), when, as a dastardly cabal able to pull grandiose things off like this with their control of institutions and mass media, they could have just massacred 3,000 New Yorkers (or why not 10,000 or 50,000?) through a series of bombs on the ground and manufactured the culprits as Muslims? (And even more preposterous would be the clear implication that, because of the limitations of the Conspirators, they felt they had to concoct an even more elaborate & implausible coordination of terror attacks -- i.e., the one that actually transpired on September 11, 2001.)
Sunday, June 23, 2019
I've written about Shazia Hobbs at least once before as a possible "Best Cop" -- and it doesn't necessarily matter if she is an actual "ex-Muslim", since unfortunately I have had sufficient experience with ex-Muslims who continue to defend Islam (go here then scroll down to "My 2009 interactions with ex-Muslims at the CEMB discussion forum"), even if only elliptically and sideways (while using rhetoric that sounds robustly anti-Islam until one examines it more closely). Shazia has become known for telling her story in an autobiography, The Gori's Daughter, and in her activism to raise awareness of the Muslim rape gangs. The term gori is a racist slang term used by Pakistanis to refer to white girls -- which Shazia, as the daughter of a Scottish woman and a Pakistani father, was (at least half white; enough for Muslim racists). Significant for my brief excerpt below is Shazia's experience of not only living as a Muslim in a half-Pakistani family, but also spending her formative years in Pakistan with her parents and extended Muslim family and neighbors, before her parents moved back to the UK.
Her interviewer from which I culled this excerpt, Hashim Almadani, I had not heard of before. He seems to be one of a growing multitude of Internet pundits who have an active Twitter life, have many YouTube videos, interview people, get interviewed by other people -- all while generally weighing in on sociopolitical issues of the day, often alluding to, if not revolving around, the problem of Islam. Even after perusing Almadani's blog, while I learn that he was born in Iraq and raised there, and finally left there in 2009 to emigrate to the UK, I can't tell whether he's a "secular" Muslim, or an ex-Muslim (the only truly, coherently secular way to be).
At any rate, they had an interesting exchange at one point in the interview, where we had a glimpse of how we really are, as Bill Maher refreshingly likes to say with pointed verve, "better than they are".
Shazia Hobbs: One bad day in the UK was better than ten good days in Pakistan because [in the UK] if you have no money if you have no job you can still eat; if you have no job and you have no money and you're ill, you can still get treated, your children can get an education. But if you live in Pakistan and you have no money. you don't eat --
Hashim Almadani: Yeah, you're dead!
Shazia Hobbs: Yeah. So here in the UK, it's different
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Our old friend The Big W smoked out a common blind spot in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, expressed by one of the luminaries of the Readership, one "Wellington":
Jun 14, 2019 at 10:30 pm
Wellington says, “Ironically Muslims who are peaceful and good people are actually engaged in a distortion of Islam.” Not if they’re doin’ taqiyya. How dya know when they’re not doin’ taqiyya? Ya don’t.
The Big W's typically trenchant point, put as usual with admirably blunt eloquence, leads us logically to wonder why it is that a robustly counter-jihad person like Wellington would bring up that elusive demographic, the Moderate Muslim (by another name), whose moderation is, on the macro level -- the only level that matters with regard to the survival of the West -- impossible to vet and verify. This blind spot is also a mortal soft spot that tends to reinforce our dominant reflex and instinct, in America and throughout the West in general, to inhibit & suppress, rather than encourage, a rational prejudice against all Muslims -- the only thing that (one may reasonably suppose) will save the West in the long run, in the distant future.