Pipes approaching nearer the truth about Islam, while still covering it up

Two days ago, noting that terrorism and jihad are not the main threat we face from Islam, but the spread of sharia, I said there needed to be a website called Sharia Watch. In fact, something very like that already exists, though not under that name. Today I received a Daniel Pipes e-mail in which he is seeking an assistant director for a something called “Islamist Watch.” I had not heard of this organization before, and checked it out:

Summary: Launched in April 2006, Islamist Watch combats the ideas and institutions of nonviolent, radical Islam in the United States and other Western countries. It exposes the far-reaching goals of Islamists, works to reduce their power, and seeks to strengthen moderate Muslims.

Introduction: The Threat of Lawful Islamism

Islamists ultimately seek hegemonic control via a worldwide caliphate that applies the Islamic law in full.[Italics added.] Afghanistan under the Taliban offers one model of what they would establish globally.

Terrorism is one method to advance these projects but it is not the only one. Indeed, the activities of nonviolent Islamists arguably will prove a more effective tactic in the long term. For while the public intuitively understands the threat of terrorism and is mobilized by it, and while states have well-developed institutions (law enforcement, intelligence agencies, the military, the justice system) to protect and fight against it, the activities of nonviolent extremists are not alarming and institutions do not exist to deal with this problem. And how can terrorists impose their will on whole societies?

My response:

On one hand, it’s good to know that Pipes is aware that the peaceful spread of Islamic law, sharia, ultimately poses a greater threat to our civilization than terrorism.

On the other hand, it’s ludicrous that he calls belief in Islamic law—which is, after all, what standard, orthodox Islam is all about—“Islamism.” The whole point of the word Islamism over the last several years is that it’s an inoffensive phrase for radical Islam, a euphemism that avoids blaming Islam for Islamic radicalism. Of course, the usage is misleading and absurd, since in reality there is no radical Islam that is separate from Islam itself. But now Pipes takes the absurdity even further and applies the euphemism “Islamism” to standard Islam, and further announces that he’s looking for “moderate Muslims” to oppose standard Islam! The doublethink is astounding. In the very act of tacitly admitting that standard Islam—i.e. the Islamic law—is a major danger to our society, Pipes renames this standard Islam as “nonviolent, radical Islam,” then he further renames it “Islamism,” ending up with a label that is as distant from the reality as possible. It’s all part of his continuing campaign to make people believe that something other than Islam is the problem.

Of course Pipes for the last six years has continually criticized President Bush’s phrase, “War on Terror,” correctly arguing that we cannot successfully oppose something if we refuse to name it. Which brings a couple of biblical paraphrases to mind:

Mr. Pipes, heal thyself.

Or, better,

Mr. Pipes, get that beam out of thine eye.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
— Matt 7:3-5.

* * *

There is a further irony in the name “Islamist Watch.” The other day we talked about how such names as “Jihad Watch,” “Dhimmi Watch,” and “terrorism watch list,” suggested that we are watching these dangerous things, without doing anything about them. But the name “Islamist Watch” takes us even further away from reality. Instead of watching a real danger, such as jihad and dhimmitude, and not doing anything about it, this new organization is watching a euphemism and not doing anything about it.

Which reminds of the old joke:

Question: What do you get if you cross a Unitarian with a Jehovah’s Witness?

Answer: Someone who goes from door to door with nothing to say.

- end of initial entry -

Paul G. writes:

For keeping tabs on the progress of sharia in the West there’s also the website Creeping Sharia. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it looks decent.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 16, 2008 08:11 PM | Send

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