Monday, October 24, 2016

Raw Deal 10 - On Muslims versus Jihadis

Michael Lumish

Heya guys,

I want to talk to you this moning about a matter of some importance for the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish / pro democracy movement.

(And, really, the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish part is redundant because if one is not pro-Israel then, pretty much by definition, one is anti-democratic and, although vocal anti-Zionists may disagree, we can get into the nitty-gritty on that question some other time.)

First, it needs to be stressed that this is not just about Jews or just about Israel, but about a political, religious, non-democratic ideological trend that is spreading throughout the Middle East and the West grounded in the movement to spread al-Sharia, which we typically call Jihadism or Islamism or Political Islam, or whatever.

For now I want to discuss the tendency within pro-Israel circles to sometimes conflate all self-identified Muslims with Jihadis.

We must, in my opinion, draw a distinction between self-identified Muslims and Jihadis. A Jihadi (or Islamist) is anyone who uses violence, or who justifies the use of violence, for the purpose of establishing an Islamic Caliphate. A Muslim, on the other hand, is simply a person who grew up in the community, or within a Muslim family, who self-identifies as Muslim.

Now we can criticize my Muslim pharmacist buddy down the street for not being vocal enough against the Jihad, but what would you have him do? He’s just a married guy, working a job and raising some kids.

I understand, of course, that devout Muslims consider the Koran to be the unalterable and true word of Allah before it was corrupted by the Jews and the Christians.

And I understand that the Koran calls for Jihad and not just the quiet meditative type - or the nonsensical type found on buses in New York reading things like “My Jihad is loving my children,” or however those ads read – but the real kind, which is to say, the physical kind wherein the Holy Shaheed seeks to murder Jews and Christians simply because we are Jews and Christians.

But the point is that we cannot hold people accountable for thought crimes.

It would be exceedingly helpful – and to no one more so than the Muslim people – if more regular non-Jihadi-type Muslims, just regular people, spoke out forcefully against Political Islam as it spreads throughout the Middle East and Europe.

I do not know about you guys, however, but I am certainly not ready to condemn anyone for NOT putting forth a political opinion.

I recognize, of course, that Islam is not merely a religion but is a total system of human regulation and is political in its essence.

However, one is either engaging directly in the violent Jihad, or one justifies the Jihadi trend, or one doesn’t. Our fight should not be with those who do not, but those who do.

It should also be noted, tho, that any Muslim who claims to work social justice – such as our friends at San Francisco State - yet who refuse to loudly and consistently condemn the Jihad, or the more vicious practices of Islamic jurisprudence, such as the hacking off of body parts as a matter of holy religious law, is a hypocrite because social justice and al-Sharia are mutually exclusive categories.

Any such Muslim would be something akin to the kind of western-progressives who claims to stand for social justice yet who, likewise, cannot find it in their hearts to condemn the Jihad lest they be smeared as “Islamophobes” and thereby alienate their political-social compadres.

In both cases the advocates integrity is undermined by the tension between holding certain views on social justice, while refusing to express those views, or necessarily even able to think about those views, when it comes to the Jihad.

Finally, partly as a nod to Graham Coffey’s personal experiences throughout the Muslim world, as he describes them in commentary beneath my piece Myopia and Dismissiveness, the Islamic world is very diverse. A Muslim who grows up poor in Pakistan is likely to come to adulthood with a set of religious / ideological tendencies that are very different from a Muslim born and bred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Thus - as I am sure Graham is well-aware - the Muslims he talked with in Indonesia, in sub-Saharan Africa, in the Middle East, and elsewhere in the Muslim world, presumably reflect ideological trends and forms of bigotry common to that part of the world.

In fact, there seems to be a positive correlation between vocal pro-Jihadi sentiment among Muslims in majority Muslim countries versus countries like the United States with, for the moment, a very small Muslim demographic.

In any case, pro-Israel / pro-Jewish / and pro-democracy advocates should not put ourselves into the position of taking on the entire Muslim world. Aside from the fact of sheer numbers, it is simply unjust to call out regular people, who are not political advocates, for not expressing political opinions.

That, I think, is a very dangerous road to drive onto.


  1. I don't wish to detract from your thoughtful piece, but I always thought Milwaukee was in Wisconsin.
    While we're at it, could you explain the difference between "self-identifying as" and just simply "identifying as?"
    I can't see into people's hearts and minds. There are plenty of idiots everywhere, but if they leave me alone I can certainly leave them alone.

    1. Aghghghg!!!

      Of course, Milwaukee is in Wisconsin!

      Jesus H. Christ.

      As for "self-identifying" versus "identifying" they mean the same thing.

    2. Wow! That was a prompt response!

  2. The goal of 'multiculti' was akin to early childhood psychologists' notion of "parallel play". Children don't play together so much as play by themselves next to one another. The hope, or delusion, was that, since integration was hopeless, and, post-1950's Frantz Fanon "Third Worldism", vaguely awful to demand them to integrate at all, that these exotic people's with weird hats and stranger customs would go be on their own.

    It hasn't turned out that way. That belief belied the human desire to conquer, conquest and expand. You can't maintain a ghetto except with force. You can't leave the people you read about in Smithsonian magazine to be happy to live in those ghettos and not want and get more power unless you suppress them. And sine qua Third Worldism, you're not going to suppress them. You're going to pander and patronize.

    So perhaps in theory that wasn't a bad idea. I won't help you slaughter sheep for Eid et Fitah and you don't have to march in this year's Polish day parade. If Muslims in the west don't want to drain their swamp - so what? Would that it was this simple. Being the weak stupid craven petty creatures we are, if my rights are expanding at your expense it must be because you’re oppressing me in some way that I have to fight.

    Unless everyone has to celebrate Ramadan/Easter/Ba’al/Pagan Orgy there’s something wrong. So the natural tendency is go tell all those critics to get stuffed. To them, ‘don’t tell me how to run my house, in fact, while we’re at it why CAN’T everyone celebrate Ramadan/Easter/Ba’al/Pagan Orgy? Who the hell are you to regulate that? You want me to report to you on our crazies? Sod off!”

    It spirals ever upward until they want us dead and we’re amusing ourselves to death debating the point. At which point we get Islamic Autonomous Regions independent of civil law and our own customs, mores and societal standards.

  3. No hateration Mike, but it seems like what you're doing is justifying the 'good German' stance we're all too familiar with.

    When a Jew does something even remotely evil and/or non PC, especially an Israeli Jew, Jews all over are expected to wring their hands, make horrified public noises and roundly condemn them...many times, before all the facts are in, AKA a 'Pallywood production.'

    Why do you seem to embrace this the double standard? I fully expect every decent Muslim to reject and unequivocally condemn Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamism generally along with quaint customs like Female genital mutilation, honor killings, wife beating, gay bashing, Jew hatred and jihad against the infidel in general.

    Decent people no matter what their faith should do that automatically and vocally. And it's particularly important for Muslims to differentiate themselves from the others, to show that these inhuman monsters DON'T represent them.

    If they can't or won't do that, then they simply aren't any more decent then the Germans and other Europeans who sat there and watched their Jewish neighbors be dragged away during Shoah and in many cases even helped once they saw which way the wind was blowing. They had no thought other than grabbing their share of the loot if possible.

    And they were most definitely NOT decent people.

    1. Rob,

      thank you for that thoughtful comment.

      If I am going to answer it I need to discuss your application of the Good German paradigm as a counter to my insistence that we should not condemn non-politically vocal people for not speaking about politics.

      This is the crux of the matter and you make a good case.

      I mean, you're right. There are G-d knows how many millions of "ordinary Muslims" who approve of al-Sharia, and therefore Jihad, but who essentially keep their mouths shut about it.

      The Good German model also suggests that it is these people who hold the lion's share of the blame for the foreseeable consequences of their failure to speak up.

      This means we have violent Jihadis, their vocal backers, their non-vocal backers, and the tiny Muslim dissident population, including people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

      The violent Jihadis and their backers are the foremost enemies of liberal Democracy in the world today and they cannot do what they do without the acquiesence of the silent.

      But... and this is a rather damn big "but"!... the inclination to condemn people for what they have not said is in complete violation of liberal Democratic values to begin with.

      Once such a thing becomes institutionalized in law, then we move into the fascistic realm of prosecuting people for "thought crimes."

      And therein lies the danger.

      This is a tough nut, so thank for pointing it out and I'll look forward to considering your further thoughts on the question.

    2. Jacob, the answer is "no."

      Islam is, according to the primary sources, authoritarian.

      Devout Muslims would never create a democracy and one thing is certain, Islam is the most devout of the the Big Three in the Levant.

    3. Hi Mike,
      Thanks for the kind words and here's some further food for thought,if you like.

      I have several Muslims in my life I count as friends. One of them,the biggest donor to my website is a Turkish Muslim who came to America at 18, joined the Marines to earn his U.S. citizenship, was so good at it the sent him to OCS and he retired a Lt. Colonel with a number of decs. Another is from Sri Lanka, and owns the wonderful pre-school where my daughter went, and we've been friends ever since. Then there's the Iranian baker and his family who apprenticed in Iran with a Jewish baker and makes killer challah, rugelah and humentashen.

      All of them know I'm Jewish, and all of them have some things in common. To the extent they worship, they all practice the Mecca Qur'an instead of the hateful, anti-semitic and violent Medina Qur'an, none of them have anything good to say about Sunni Islamism, the Muslim Brotherhood or Khomeinism, and all of them are scared witless about the kind of jihadis Bush and Obama have imported into America. None of them want any more of these 'refugees' here, because they're smart enough to understand that they're going to be tarred with the same foul brush.

      The Colonel is a bigger Trump supporter than I am, the pre-school principal is voting for him as well, and the baker is too, although his daughter is not.

      I realize this is anecdotal, but it jibes with what I think a lot of people experience and get confused by.

      There's a formula I use for this kind of thing, based on my knowledge of Hitler's Germany,Vichy France and similar situations. 20% of the population is rabidly in favor, 20% is horrified and staunchly against and 60% start out like the guy you describe...just an average joe it seems, trying to get along like the rest of us. But humans love to be on the winning team, and if one side or the other seems to be winning, that part of the equation grows. And right now, the part that seems to be winning is the jihadis and Islamists. Which is exactly why you're seeing it grow here and in the EU.

      Our government isn't listening to the kind of Muslims I mentioned, because the big money is with the Saudis and the Emirates, as the Bushes, the Clintons and Barack Hussein Obama discovered to their glee. Follow the money and you'll see how radical Islam came to America.

      If you want exact details, I'm happy to supply them but I think you know exactly what I'm talking about.

      The problem is that at this point it's so entrenched
      that we have to stop importing it to eliminate it, and that essentially means curtailing all migration from certain countries unless we want the virus to spread, among other steps.

      It never ceases to astound me that so many Jews support s singularly corrupt candidate who has received millions from these countries and who has pledged to bring in boatloads of 'refugees' from the most misogynist, anti-semitic and gay hating countries in the world. That will change life for Jews, women and homosexuals forever, just as it has in Europe.

      Islam is indeed going through a reformation, just not the one some people thought it would.


  4. I tend to look at it like an actuary or economist would. Since I am one. What is the rate of change of risk attendant vs the cost of ameliorating it at any given time. As counter terrorism people are want to tell you, 'we have to be right all the time they have to be right once'. But that's a weird answer to me. You 'have' to NOT die in a car crash all the time too. Yet people do every day. Not dying in a crash is worth approximately what everyone spends in time, effort and money for safety, training, equipment, etc given the small # of people who DO die versus the passenger miles driven. In fact if no one ever died in a car crash then you're working too hard to avoid dying. You're overcompensating.

    Once you divorce emotions from this, from epidemics, from airplane disasters, food poisonings or even war it becomes an econometric model. What is Islamic violence actually 'worth' in that sense? Is it worth putting armed guards everywhere? Is it worth having an Uber-DHS that actually screens everyone and quarantines them like animals before they can enter the country? Set aside the ethics of it. Does it weigh out in total costs - both tangible and intangible?

    If yes then by all means that's the decision you've made. If no then where you are is resetting the 'water level' in terms of acceptable losses. In one way that's the dilemma Israel is in. The cost of 'mowing the weeds' in response to rockets and other violent acts vs society's desire to erase them all from the planet and all that would require and cost. When Israel abandoned Gaza everyone understood that this was a political move that it would result in more not less violence. The trick was to not allow that violence to exceed a given acceptable level. If the violence that erupted from leaving Gaza was 2 or 3x worse then Israel's response would have not been more drastic ad severe it would have been a strategic trap. It would have committed them to returning to Gaza and running it like the zoo it is.

    Do we want to run a zoo here? In France, in Flanders, in London? Nope. We're not eager to run that zoo. We'll inconvenience ourselves, we'll spy on ourselves we'll even lock a few of us up for made up crimes. But we're not opening a zoo. So we'll have to embrace and console ourselves with whatever the cost of the fear of something worse happening entails

    1. I think that now I understand just why they call economics "the dismal science"

    2. Hello Trudy,
      I'm afraid I have to differ with you a bit about Gaza. Arik Sharon went along with this because he was given firm guarantees by the UN, President George W. Bush and even the 'Palestinian Authority' that they would see to it that Gaza never became a security problem for Israel. This was also the basis for Bush's guaranties in writing and in a famous speech that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would be part of Israel in any peace settlement and that any settlement would have to be by negotiation between the two parties, something part of both Oslo and the Road Map that was signed as part of the arrangement.

      So rather than an expectation of violence (that came later, with Olmert), the idea was that it was a way of settling problems on the Southern border. A lot of Israelis, especially on the Left continually complained about the Tzahal (the IDF) being in Gaza 'protecting the ##@# settlers.'

      Actually, as we've seen, they were there to protect all Israelis, even in Tel Aviv.

      The real hint how wrong they were was the behavior of the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians right after the inhabitants of places like Gush Katif were removed. They burned down synagogues,houses, even looted and destroyed the greenhouses that were actually purchased by the IMF and left intact to help them provide a living for themselves. Sheer, hysterical hatred.

      When Hamas took over the area, the UN peacekeepers ran like rats for the Israeli border and Gaza became the security risk Israel was guaranteed it never would become. Those guarantees/ They never meant squat to begin with.

      I'm personally convinced that Arik knew Gaza would become a hellhole that the Tzahal would have to clean out, but I think he wanted to prove it to the Israeli left and the 'international community' while pocketing the concessions on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

      Bush's guarantees on Judea and Samaria didn't mean anything either, pledged word of not. Once Obama and Mrs. Clinton took over, they both lied and said those concessions never existed. Sharon, of course, was in a coma and George W. Bush showed the manner of man he was by not speaking out when he knew Sharon, a man he called his friend was unable to.

      Rob Miller

  5. As I have to remind people, Dr Swift was Irish. That makes 'A Modest Proposal' the angriest prose ever written in English.

    1. The longest sustained and most vicious piece of irony in history.