The issue is not the nature of Muslims, but the nature of Islam

A reader asked me if I was going to answer the criticism of me by an Istanbul man posted at Steve Sailerís site. I looked for it and didnít find it, until I realized, from an obscure reference buried deep in the post, that I was the person Sailer was referring to when he introduced the post this way:

My man in Istanbul writes thatís heís unimpressed by another authorís arguments that Muslims are inherently prickly and violent.

I canít imagine why Sailer didnít provide the name of the person being criticized and perhaps the title or link of the article being discussed. Indeed, the letter from the Istanbul man is 650 words long, with numerous references to myself as ďhe,Ē but no references to my name. Also, the reader who initially told me about the post said that she had seen my name in it. So itís clear that, for whatever reason, Sailer excised my name from the letter. A likely explanation is that Sailer is angry about my recent strong critiques of his biodiversity philosophy, even though he had linked those articles at his website along with a compliment to me, so go figure.

In any event, I sent the following e-mail to Sailer:

Your Istanbul correspondent is discussing an author, unnamed by you or by him, who is plainly me, but which I only realized several paragraphs into his e-mail because of a reference to my debate with Daniel Pipes about nominalism vs essentialism as they relate to understanding Islam.

The correspondentís criticisms are completely off base. Heís talking about ethnic and national traits, and arguing that in my article, ďThe Search for Moderate Islam,Ē I mistakenly assume the existence of a single ethnic essence for all Muslim people. But Iím not talking about people’s ethnic or personal traits and their supposed essence; Iím talking about Islam and its essence and what it commands its followers to do. His discussion trivializes the issue.

You share his trivializing view when you introduce his letter this way:

ďDoes Islam make its adherents violent? My man in Istanbul writes thatís heís unimpressed by another authorís arguments that Muslims are inherently prickly and violent.Ē

Iíve never said Muslims are inherently prickly and violent. I donít discuss Muslimsí characteristics at all. I discuss Islam, which is inherently violent, warlike, aiming at global conquest and sharia. As long as Muslims remain Muslims, even if they are not personally devout and followers of Jihad, they remain always liable to return to a genuine version of the faith, and then they will be supporters of jihad violence.

Moreover, as long as one is a Muslim, one cannot renounce such things as the death sentence pronounced on apostates, or the command to kill infidels. These are the final and absolute command of Allah. Your correspondent says that he and his family are not personally violent. But the point is that they cannot separate themselves from the terrorists who are their fellow believers, because those terrorists are good Muslims. This solidarity is what makes Islam, in radio host Michael Grahamís immortal words, ďa terrorist organization.Ē

Finally, I would note that the way you mischaracterized my views (ďMuslims are inherently pricklyĒ) is a good example of the limitations of the biodiversity approach to social and political problems. The issue, as Iíve said, is not peopleís traits, itís Islam, as stated in the Koran, the biographies of Muhammad, the Traditions, and the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence of the early Middle Ages which are the source of sharia and are still authoritative today. To understand the real nature of Islam and the threat it poses to the world, itís necessary to put biodiversity aside for a while and look at the teachings of Islam.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 14, 2005 07:05 PM | Send

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