Why “conservatives” are useless when it comes to Islam, and why moderate Muslims are worse than useless
One of the participants in the National Review Online symposium on the Fort Dix terror plot is M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate Muslim who is chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Here is his proffered remedy to the jihad threat:
More Muslims, more media, and more government officials should be noting that:According to Jasser, the solution to radical Islam is the “separation of spiritual Islam from political Islam.” Unfortunately, this solution resides in Cloud Cuckoo Land, since the union of spiritual Islam and political Islam IS Islam. It is the very essence of Islam, and has been since the M man entered Medina and became its political and spiritual ruler in 622. So, by the very nature of Islam, the separation that Jasser hopes for can never come about. Or rather, it can come about only through despotism, such as that of Kemal Ataturk who de-Islamized public life in Turkey (and the moment the despotism lets go its grip, Islam comes rushing back, as we see in today’s Turkey). Do the moderate Muslims look like Ataturk? The question answers itself.
Jasser concludes that until this (utopian and impossible) separation of spiritual from political Islam comes about, “We will only be left waiting, praying, for the FBI to help us, yet again, dodge the next bullet.” Jasser thinks, quite sensibly, that it is folly to do nothing more than pray that we have the good luck to dodge the next bullet. But what is his alternative to the inexcusable folly of depending on good luck? The far worse folly of depending on something that is literally impossible.
In sum, Jasser calls on America to put all its hopes for safety in the prospect that moderate Muslims can reform unreformable Islam, which is impossible, rather than calling on America to defend itself from unreformable Islam, which is possible.
And this is why I say that the moderate Muslims are worse than useless.
Here is a brief look at the contributions by the other four NRO symposiasts.
1. Mary Habeck makes the useful point that “Muslims around the world” are following the advise of Abu Musab al-Suri that they engage in de-centralized jihad.
2. Victor Hanson mostly says nothing, except to blame the left. But at the end he makes a provocative point. Referring to the fact that the U.S. helped the Muslims in Yugoslavia, he writes: “At some point, we see how insidious are the effect of Middle East [and Balkan] ingratitude, and how the envy and hatred of that region permeates its expatriates, the more so the United States has tried to help them.”
If Hanson stayed with this insight, it would lead him to abandon his idea that exporting tolerance and freedom and other American goodies to the Muslims is the way to pacify them. But Hanson will inevitably revert to form, just as he accuses the left of doing.
3. Robert Spencer approaches the truth when he says that the Fort Dix plot results from America’ support for the “Kosovo jihad,” followed by America’s admission of jihadists into the U.S. “with little or no scrutiny.”
But the lesson Spencer derives from this is “how foolish it is for the U.S. to assume that it can ally with jihadists.” While that is self-evidently true, he doesn’t derive the more important lesson that we should stop or at least drastically reduce Muslim immigration into America.
4. Finally, there is Daniel Pipes, who makes two points. First, he says that we should “grill” immigrants for anti-Western attitudes.
This problem with this is, of course: What would prevent the Muslims from lying? (They are commanded by Islamic law to lie.) Further, even if they told the truth, what would prevent their attitudes from changing once they came here? Further, what would prevent their children who are born here from becoming jihadists? The “Let them fill out a questionaire” approach to national defense is about as useful as calling on starving French peasants to eat cake.
But Pipes has yet another great suggestion. He says that “[t]errorists can be counted on to make dumb mistakes.”
Fantastic. While Jasser tells us to put our hopes of safety in the Cloud Cuckoo Land of a separation of spiritual and political Islam, Pipes tells us to put our hopes of safety in the prospect that terrorists will keep making mistakes.
If there is a definition of intellectual exhaustion, Pipes has just provided it.
Or, to paraphrase Bob Dylan’s “Queen Jane Approximately”:
When you’re tired of yourself and all of your creations,
LA to Jeff in England:
I finally posted a bit of my “Queen Jane” adaptation on Pipes.Jeff replies:
I’ve been waiting for your Queen Jane to go public.LA replies:
Yes, I know, I listened to it, and you wouldn’t accept the fact that I didn’t like it.Jeff replies:
It’s your Achilles heel in Dylan listening. You don’t recognise the greatness of the 1994-2007 part of the Never Ending Tour.LA replies:
Ha ha ha. I love being put down by you, with your beatster position that the sound of a dead dog croaking is “profound” and “mature”!Laura G. writes:
Is there ANYONE else who is willing/capable of stating these thoughts out loud? WHY NOT??? Never mind … I know the answer already, and faintheartedness is just the beginning.LA replies:
Your story is great. You actually got down to the real issue with this editor. Basically you got him to rub up against the point that I showed Pipes rubbing up against in my big article on him, where he admits that recognizing the truth about Islam means recognizing that Islam is our eternal adversary, and that is just totally unacceptable him. Now with your newspaper editor, he’s not going to be ready to agree with us, but the point is, the issue has been clarified to him in a way it never was before, namely that he and other Westerners refuse to recognize the truth, not because it’s not true, but because it’s unacceptable to them. How long can they live with the consciousness that they are denying something, something vitally important, that they know is true?Sage McLaughlin writes:
Question: “How long can they live with the consciousness that they are denying something, something vitally important, they know is true?”LA replies:
Aah, but from the point of view of the Spencers of the world, it is not a free choice. If one speaks up now, when almost nobody is speaking up, then one is a racist. If one speaks up later, after everybody has started to speak up, then one is not a racist. Since not being a racist is the Prime Ruling Directive of our world, there are absolutely compelling reasons for not speaking up until later.Laura G. replies:
Thanks, Larry. You know, the fact is that I signed the letter (had to to have it published), but had a tiny attack of wondering if I might possibly be volunteering for danger in doing so. My husband was quite worried after he found out what I had done. So, all in all, a tiny whiff of dhimmification. I was definitely aware that the letter was not simply a statement of my thoughts about a principle of news reporting, and that some people have repercussions from making statements of this, very mild, sort. In areas in which Muslims are on the march, I can easily imagine the temptation to sort of forget to send a letter like mine. I have just discovered, by the way, that ____ is a “sanctuary city,” of all insanities. How I am going to approach that issue is beyond me, but I probably will.A reader writes:
Just out of curiosity, have you reviewed the St. Petersburg Declaration?LA replies:
I believe this is my only comment on it:Russell Wardlow writes:
Sage McLaughlin wrote:
Question: “How long can they live with the consciousness that they are denying something, something vitally important, that they know is true?”What a lamentable truth. It made me realize that in a sort of sad, sick way, liberalism and Islam are perfectly matched. The Left seeks a kind of self-destruction (or perhaps immolation is more apt) in favor of the Other, and Islam is only too happy to be that Other, with the added plus that the destruction they would like to impose is not figurative, such as with displacement or ascendancy, but literal. They literally want to destroy us. To Leftists, I guess I would only say, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 09, 2007 04:10 PM | Send