Dallas’s moderate Muslim leaders speak

Recently Rod Dreher, assistant editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News, wrote about his partial agreement with, and reservations about, my Separationist strategy. He followed that up with an account of a remarkable meeting the papers’ editors had with local Muslim leaders that made Dreher doubt whether Muslims could be assimilated into America. He reluctantly admitted that if they were not assimilable, the Separationist position would be correct. Now Dreher has posted a 7,000 word transcript of the meeting. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m told it is a chilling and stunning revelation of the Muslims’ real beliefs.

- end of initial entry -

John D. writes:

It is certainly beneficial to have an ally in someone like Dreher. But, why are those in the media who concede Islam’s true nature (which are very few) always so hesitant fully to sanction the idea that Islam itself is the problem and not some derivative, i.e., Islamism, radical Islam etc.?

Dreher ends his “More on Separationism” with the statement:

“It would help the case made by men and women like those of the delegation if instead of engaging in denial and trying to make journalists feel like heels for even raising questions, they would deal with them straight on. But to do that, I suspect, would amount to conceding that Islam, as they understand it, is incommensurate with basic American values.”

In this statement, is he saying that the delegation does not understand true Islam?

Or is it simply a qualifier for a potential future withdrawal of his support for the idea that Islam is not compatible with basic American values, hence meaning only their brand of it?

LA replies:

“But to do that, I suspect, would amount to conceding that Islam, as they understand it, is incommensurate with basic American values.”

For Dreher to delete the “as they understand it” would be to make himself something of an extremist by contemporary standards. It would be to expose himself in the way that Rep. Virgil Goode has done. Dreher does not need to do that at this point. He’s still feeling his way into the issue.

I see it as a reasonable way for him to put it and to protect his place in the mainstream. Also, for him to take out the “as they understand it” would be to set himself up as the authority, pronouncing on the nature of Islam, which he may very well not feel that sure about. But leaving the phrase in, puts the burden on the Muslims, rather than on Dreher. He is not asserting anything; rather, they are admitting something about themselves. It’s always a good idea in an argument to use your opponents’ own statements to prove your point.

However, having said all that, I do believe that in the long run, if one is to be truly serious on this issue, the qualifying phrases (which as you point out are also potential escape hatches) must be dropped.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 27, 2006 04:27 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):