How D’Souza came to his knowledge of Islam
Remember when I said that Dinesh D’Souza’s remarks at NRO were the most stunningly ignorant string of clichés about Islam I had ever heard? Stuff like this?
… I’m saying it’s foolish to blame Islam when Islam has been around for 1,300 years and Islamic terrorism has been a problem for the past 25 years. So is it even reasonable to blame Mohammad or the Koran?…There were Christians and Jews who lived under the various Muslim dynasties, from the Abbasid to the Ottoman. In fact, Jews were much safer in the Ottoman empire than in just about any of the Christian kingdoms, such as that of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain.But what about the Muslim treatment of Jews who lived in Muslim countries besides the hallowed Turkey of Bernard Lewis? What about the Muslim treatment of Zoroastrians in Persia? What about the Muslim treatment of Christians? And why compare the Muslim country that treated Jews the least bad, Turkey, with the European Christian country, Spain, that treated them the worst? Such thoughts aren’t on D’Souza’s radar screen.
But still, he’s not stupid, right? Wasn’t he embarrassed to trot out these clichés that are word-for word identical to what you hear from every ignorant person who has never spent thinking five minutes about Islam, but just trots out the received clichés?
Well, let me tell you. I was wrong. Dinesh did not come by his views lightly. He’s not just repeating clichés. We know this because, under fire from radio host Glenn Beck, D’Souza answered:
… you’ve done five minutes of Internet research but I`ve been researching this for four years. I look at all these thinkers. I look at their impact on action. [Emphasis added.]See? D’Souza has studied Islam deeply. For four years. That’s how he arrived at thoughts like:
I realize that you can fish out this passage or that passage and make it sound like the Muslims want to convert or kill everybody. But that would be like taking passages out of the Old Testament to make Moses sound like Hitler.Of course I am being ironic. This is not about D’Souza’s lack of intelligence. It is about his total lack of intellectual conscience.
LA replies:… I’m saying it’s foolish to blame Islam when Islam has been around for 1,300 years and Islamic terrorism has been a problem for the past 25 years. So is it even reasonable to blame Mohammad or the Koran?…There were Christians and Jews who lived under the various Muslim dynasties, from the Abbasid to the Ottoman. In fact, Jews were much safer in the Ottoman empire than in just about any of the Christian kingdoms, such as that of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain.What is terrorism? It’s just a new weapon in a war that has been going on for 1300 years. Terrorism is not an ideology, it is a weapon! Also, the only reason this weapon can be used in the West is due to modern liberalism and their non-discriminatory immigration policies. Terrorism being an ideology is a point George Bush has tried to make over the last 6 years and he is just repeating this nonsense.
There’s another blatant contradiction by D’Souza. He, like innumerable other commentators, correctly criticizes the label “war on terror.” However, in the passage quoted above, D’Souza turns around and defines our enemy solely in terms of the enemy’s use of terror, saying that prior to the terror attacks of the last few decades, this enemy did not exist.(See continuation of this topic here.)
Derek C. writes:
A good rule in any discussion about Islam is simply to ignore anyone who acts as if the Koran and the Bible hold an equivalent place in their respective religions. That person is either an ignoramus or a liar. (I’ve come to believer that Lewis is the latter, D’Souza may still be the former.) As I’m sure you and your readers already know, unlike the Bible, the Koran is held to be the uncreated word of God. It’s more like the Incarnation of God in Jesus is to Christians. The acts described in the Bible are distressingly violent, but even the most fundamentalist of Christians recognizes these things as historical events, contained in time. The same is true of the laws in the Old Testament. How many Fundamentalists, aside from people like Phelps, are calling for the execution of homosexuals, witches or adulterers? This is not the case with Koran. A verse like 9:29, which commands the subjugation of Christians and Jews, is a command from God Himself, and all Muslims must obey it. Period, paragraph, end of story. There’s no ands, ifs or but about it, nor any interpretation, or searching for context, or hidden meaning waiting to be teased out by some brilliant scholar.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 23, 2007 11:44 AM | Send