Monday, June 20, 2016

How to discuss Islam

Sar Shalom

Much has been made about President Barack Obama's refusal to name Islam as a culprit in the attack at an Orlando night club last week. While Obama, and to lesser extent Bush before him, does leave this gap in his description of the threat, ignoring the valid motivation for doing so does nothing to address this shortcoming. What's needed is language that will define who we are at war with and that will let everyone not in that group that we are not at war with them. Failing to include those who are not a threat on our side both decreases our potential base of support and increases the needed work in order to prevail in the war, which provides a reason not to be overly broad in defining the threat.

With that said, the threat that the West faces is those who think that avenging the honor of Islam is a valid action. For instance, insulting Islam's prophet Mohammed is considered an affront to Islam's honor as is the existence of Jews living in dignity in the middle of Dar-al-Islam, which incites a rage that something must be done. In contrast, the practice of Islam, whether consisting of fasting on Ramadan, attending mosque daily, or wearing the hijab or even niqab, just so long as it does not include support for avenging Islam's honor is not a threat. Thus, when Obama, and before him Bush, try to convey the message that we do not consider the mere practice of Islam to be a threat, it is altogether proper to do so.

The proper criticism of Obama's treatment of Islam is that while he is correct to limit opprobrium to the vengeance of Islam's honor, Obama's definition of vengeance of Islam's honor is too narrow. It seems to be that Obama's proscriptions would be limited to those who either pick up arms for the sake of Islam's honor or who explicitly call upon others to do so. While Obama goes to the ends of the earth to confront those two categories of Islamists, and saying otherwise simply displays your ignorance of actions like the drone strike against Anwar al-Awlaki, there are other categories of those who provide tacit support for avenging Islam's honor. This quiet support for avenging Islam's honor comes most notable from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and related organizations that deploy rhetoric to conflate exposure of those who take action for the sake of Islam's honor with simple practitioners of the religion. A frequent feature of such groups is that they are constitutionally incapable of condemning violence on behalf of Islam's honor without also condemning "Islamophobia" in a manner that puts Islamophobia on a par with Islamicly motivated violence.

A further category of action for the sake of Islam's honor is the deployment of various forms of thought control such as that which prevails at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. While not including any violence, the creation of such cultures undermines the free flow of information that is the basis of Western civilization.

In conclusion, the language we need to discuss Islam is one which will say that avenging the honor of Islam is unacceptable. This includes not just directly engaging in violence for the cause or explicit advocacy or direction to do so, but also apologia for those such actions or saying that one would not personally engage in such actions but that doing so is a legitimate path within sharia. However, any practitioner of Islam who uncategorically portrays avenging Islam's honor as illegitimate will be welcomed with open arms as a citizen of the West.


  1. No. We should play the contract lawyer's game and carefully parse our words into Clintonese.

    We are not at war with the German people we are war with Nazism.

    No we were at war with both.

    We are not at war with the Soviet people only the people who practice Soviet expansionism.

    No, even more wrong we were at war with all communists be they Soviet Russians, Africans, Peruvians, Chinese, Korea or whathaveyou.

    We're not at war with Islam we're at war with the people who exhibit violent facets of it.

    No, non sequitur. We're at war with people who are at war with us. How they define themselves in the prosecution of that war is irrelevant. If you say you're a Muslim warrior for Allah, that's good enough for me.

    The key point is that this is a war and only one side realizes it. This is a war and you fight a war to win. If you can't do that or won't do that at least fight for a draw. But if you're not going to fight at all - if you're going to declare neutrality and hope it's a civilian police matter like the 11 people murdered in Chicago on Father's day then you will lose that war and you should prepare to be an occupied nation on its knees in defeat. Perhaps living in the former USA occupied rump state of the wider caliphate is something you can tolerate. Most of Eastern Europe reluctantly went along in a dreary half life existence during the Cold War. It wasn't completely awful as long as you didn't care about freedom, rights, comfort, liberty, consumer goods, reliable services and a government that wasn't 100% completely broken and corrupt except for the secret police. Maybe your life in UISSIA will be acceptably dull. I don't know. When they start throwing gays off the roof in St. Louis and they build concentration camps for Jews in Montana maybe they won't be all bad. Maybe living on your knees is ok after a while, maybe you can even eek out a semi-existence after you convert to Islam.

    But it's a war. It's a war of something, prosecuted somehow. If you don't get that or don't want to accept it then it leaves you with but a single option - capitulation.

    1. "If you say you're a Muslim warrior for Allah, that's good enough for me."

      That's exactly the point I make in identifying the problem as "avenging Islam's honor." Anybody who consistently deems that avenging Islam's honor, without relativizing such actions to Islamophobia, is not a warrior for Allah, no how often such a person attends mosque or observes any other ritual of Islam.

  2. It surpasses honor. It's supremacist overall.

    The need to make this about anything but Islam has become necessary because otherwise it acknowledges just how wrong the "smart" people that mislead us are.

    The idiocy of their view is apparent. Guns are a problem, no question. However, the intention of Islamist is to wreak havoc by any means. Interesting that the worst shooting and killing events in US history are in the name of Islam.

    Imagine these guys with dirty bombs or chemicals or bacteria. How far away is that prospect? That is why it’s important to understand the motivation. Most mass shooters are sick people satisfied with their gun, not purposeful zealots looking for weapons of mass destruction.

    Not to mention that taking a stand against the actual practice of hatred toward women, gays, Jews and infidels will promote decent people of ALL faiths, including Muslims, to speak out and join in the movement to fight what this terrorist was about.

    Most people know the reality, but are afraid of the stigma, or more, that comes from confronting the poison of identity and PC that has taken over the culture, but reality cannot be escape forever, and human nature cannot be denied.

    1. Could you clarify what you mean by "It surpasses honor"? I gave something of a definition of what the terrorists and their supporters consider honor in saying that insulting the prophet or Jews living in dignity violate Islamic honor. Essentially anything that demonstrates that Islam is not the master faith and conspicuously withholds tribute from what should be the master faith is an insult to Islam's honor.

      What I would say about PC culture is that they defend those who avenge Islam's honor, allowing the most trifling slight against the "master faith" to be an attack on its honor that must be avenged. They try to claim that they are only interested in protecting the right to practice Islam, but somehow never show any more respect to those who respect the right to wear the hijab while pursuing preachers who justify killing gays than they do for those who would outlaw the hijab.

    2. You answered your own question. They see it as a master faith.

      Defending honor is a by-product, not the source of all the violence performed in the name of Islam.

      Islamic imperialism, for example, is not honor driven. Coercion and the laws of Sharia have little to do with honor, but much to do with the master faith.

  3. Being generally antisocial and indifferent I don't bother paying attention to what anyone else believes wants does says or needs unless it harms me personally. The fact that liberals can say 'some of my best friends are gentle Muslims' is of zero import to me. I don't care, I don't worry about it. I give it zero thought. I don't need to measure up to someone else's version of tolerance. I AM tolerant. I tol-er-ate others. They're not my friends or family. I don't care if they live or burst into flames. I don't need anyone to like me. I don't need multicultural friends. I don't need a punchlist of requirements-met that I can wave in someone else's face.

    Anything else devolves eventually into what we like to call 'the tragedy of the commons'. You might think I've got it backwards but you're wrong. The tragedy of the commons doesn't arrive from self interest it arise from the basic assumption that everyone must use the same limited and unsustainable shared resource. Your goats and my goats and her chickens and his cow. That is multiculturalism in a nutshell. Everyone shoved onto the same pasture and told to use it but somehow to share it and to make sure you use less than you want so someone else who's clearly in a position of want, more, for free. No thanks, I'll take my goats down the road.

  4. "Self-identify" as Muslim? Come on. lol

  5. "so long as they don't tell me that I cannot criticize the faith or draw satirical cartoons concerning their original warlord"

    Those are all manifestations of what I am calling "avenging the honor of Islam." The term is meant to be interpreted broadly. Protesting that the Uighirs face consequences for fasting during Ramadan is entirely legitimate. Offense that others, including nominal Muslims, openly disregard Ramadan is a claim that disregarding Ramadan slights Islam's honor. We can't control anyone from having such sensibilities, but acting out, or advocating for/defending those who do, is what I call avenging the honor.