Monday, December 13, 2010

Radical Islam: From Right to Left

When I think about Radical Islam and the chopping off of Daniel Pearl's head and the taking down of the Twin Towers and the various Islamist attacks throughout Europe and India and Israel and throughout the Middle East, I realize that... oh... we have a little problem here.

And then when I think about American and western politics and the various approaches, from Right to Left, taken by westerners toward Radical Islam I realize that the problem becomes even more complex than the problem of Radical Islam, itself.

In a nutshell, both the Right and Left suck when it comes to Radical Islam.

Here's why:

The Right tends to think that the problem is not just Radical Islam, or Islamism, but Islam, if not Muslims, in general. Not everyone on the Right feels that way, but plenty of them do or use language that leans in that direction. For example, this is why Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set of The View when conservative / libertarian political commentator, Bill O'Reilly, claimed that "Muslims killed us on 9/11."

On the one hand, of course, O'Reilly is correct. The people who attacked the World Trade Center were Muslims. Thus it is more or less correct to say that "Muslims killed us on 9/11." Or, really, Muslims attacked us on 9/11.

The problem, obviously, is that by saying "Muslims killed us on 9/11" O'Reilly makes it sound like it was Muslims, as a group, as a whole, who did the killing. As I often say, the vast majority of Muslims, here, there, and everywhere, are simply not in the Jihadi Business. Most Muslims are too busy putting bread on the table to bother themselves with hatin' on Jews and the West.

Therefore, to lay the blame for Islamist violence at the feet of Muslims, in general, or Islam, in its entirety, is not only false, and not only entirely unjust to both Muslims and Islam, but it sets up a situation in which America and the West must be in conflict with 1.5 billion Muslims. Those on the Right who finger Islam, rather than Radical Islam, drag us into a fight that we cannot possibly win and that we should not want to have to begin with.

We cannot fight 1.5 billion Muslims and we shouldn't want to, anyway. Would it be nice if more moderate Muslims came out against Radical Islam? Certainly. Radical Islam's foremost enemies are not westerners, but moderate Muslims. Radical Muslims think of regular Muslims as "hypocrites" or the "near enemy." And it is the near enemy that is the foremost foe of the Islamists.

So, this is primarily a fight within Islam, not between Islam and the West. The solution will come primarily from the Islamic world, because we cannot impose a solution on a problem as massive as this. Or, if we can, no one has yet put forward a practicable way of doing so.

In this way the Right tends to have their heads almost entirely up their asses when it comes to the problem of Radical Islam. The only people on the planet who are even more screwed up when it comes to Radical Islam than the political right-wing in the West is the political left-wing in the West.

If the Right often views the problem as a problem with Islam, the Left tends to go all Ostrich on us, sticking their heads in the sand. The Left sees no evil and it hears no evil. The Left is not whistling past the graveyard, it seems not even to realize that the graveyard actually exists. The Left is even more worthless than the Right when it comes to the problem of Radical Islam because they refuse to really acknowledge that Radical Islam is a genuine problem and then when people who do recognize this problem speak up, the Left starts screaming their heads off about "Racism!" and "Islamophobia!"

Taken as a whole, this is why we cannot even begin to reasonably approach the problem, because the Right tends to misdiagnose and the Left is in denial.

Thus to my friends on the Right, I say:

Calm down. The problem is emphatically NOT 1.5 billion Muslims.

And to my friends on the Left, I say:

Snap out of your coma, your vegetable torpor, and, yes, Wake the Fuck Up.

{That is all.}

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