Prager walks the walk, then gets cold feet
Dennis Prager starts out his latest column by saying that we’re not in a war with “terror” (okay), but a war with “Islamic fascism” (oy vey). But it gets much better after that. He says Islam has always been an imperialistic religion, conquering other lands and peoples, and that this is based on the Koran. He then does the kind of thing that critics of Islam should do repeatedly. He establishes the actual connection between Islamic sacred writings (the Koran and the Hadith) and actual Muslim practice, by showing how Muhammad’s command of total war on humanity has been quoted and followed by respected Muslim leaders over the centuries:
The Prophet Muhammad in his farewell address: “I was ordered to fight all men until they say, ‘There is no god but Allah.’”But then having made this powerful and decisive point about Islam, Prager half-throws it away:
We pray that there arises a strong Muslim group that is guided by the Quranic verse, “There shall be no coercion in matters of faith.”But of course the non-coercion phrase was abrogated by the M-man himself. And Prager’s final line about a war against an “ideology” is a piece of intellectual cowardice. It is discouraging that Prager could not bring himself to say that we are at war with Islam, period. Nevertheless, this column is still better than 99 percent of what is written in the West about Islam.
Gary M. writes:
Prager is sometimes right, but inasmuch as the WOT is intertwined with the immigration issue, I have some very deep misgivings about the man.LA replies:
Malkin’s experience with him does not surprise me. Prager is bright but extremely uneven with lots of unrecontructed liberal ideas, especially on race. For example, he says if white people prefer to marry white people, that makes them racist. He often seemed to be writing his own torah; for example, years ago he was promoting prostitution, with a dogmatic approach to it that was just wacky. That’s why I stopped reading him regularly years ago. I agree with your unstated point that when approvingly quoting Prager, I should add a qualification that this is not someone who can be depended on from a conservative point of view.Russell W. writes:
Prager is very fond of repeating that he considers himself a “John F. Kennedy liberal.” [LA says: You’re kidding, right?]LA replies:
I was just talking with a Jewish friend the last couple of days who has the same absolute opposition to the slightest hint that “blood,” i.e., descent, matters in the definition of a people, particularly the Jewish people. He said this rejection of any racial or ethnic component is central to Judaism, since what makes a Jew is the covenant with God. To non-Jews, of course, this staunch Jewish rejection of ethnic tribalism seems risible, as Jews are the oldest and most famous tribal people on earth. Now, to be fair, let’s stipulate that from inside their community and its laws, Jews have the right to define Judaism as they do. But externally, from the point of view of the rest of the world, Jews, whatever the phenotypic variations of actual Jews, are obviously an ethnic group. But Jews absolutely refuse see it that way, or even to acknowledge that such a point of view has any validity. I guess they’re the original Propositional Nation.A reader caught another foolish thing in Prager’s article:
Prager: “No one should have a problem with Muslims wanting the whole world Muslim. After all, Christians would like the whole world to come to Christ. What should matter to all people is the answer to one question: What are you prepared to do to bring the world to your religion? For virtually every living Christian, the answer is through modeling and verbal persuasion (and Jews never believed the world needs to be Jewish).”LA replies:
Right. Even if Muslims did not gain the whole world by bin Laden-type means (which Prager opposes) but by peaceable means, once they controlled the whole world, the whole world would be under the quasi-totalitarian regime of sharia. That Prager doesn’t see this is appalling. It’s a typical example of how unreconstructed liberal dispositions and ideas co-exist in his head with some very conservative-sounding ideas.RB writes:
Re Prager. I seem to recall how in the mid nineties when (recently retired) talk show host Bob Grant ran afoul of the PC crowd, Prager turned on him. This despite the fact that Grant was very friendly toward him and had him on his program a number of times. Ever since, I’ve always been wary of Prager, even when he appears to be saying the right things.LA replies:
That’s the problem with single-issue publications, like Jihad Watch or American Renaissance. If your sole interest is a subject such as race differences or the badness of Islam, that doesn’t give you a basis for thinking about politics, and thus you are left even without a basis for thinking politically about the single issue you care about.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 09, 2006 02:48 PM | Send