D’Souza blames Muslim hatred of America on … Lawrence Auster
Talk about a non-Islam theory of Islamic extremism! In his blog at AOL News, the irrepressible Dinesh D’Liar, excuse me, D’Souza, relying on the authority of Islam apologist John Esposito and co-author Dalia Mogahed, says, ho hum, that only a tiny minority of Muslims support terrorism. He admits, however, that large numbers of Muslims hate the United States. Still citing the Islam apologists, D’Souza gives three reasons why Muslims hate the U.S.—all of them being our fault, and, in one of the three cases, my fault.
The larger concern for Esposito and Mogahed is Muslims who reject terrorism of the 9/11 type but nevertheless hate the United States. This hatred, however, is not mainly derived from American support for Israel or America’s alleged imperialist history. Nor is it because, as President Bush once put it, “they hate us for our freedom.” Rather, Esposito and Mogahed trace Muslim anti-Americanism to the belief that the West in general, and America in particular, are conducting a “war with Islam.” And when Muslims are asked why they think this, they point to three things.Here is my response:
1. I am not a lawyer, and D’Souza’s calling me one is typical of his amazing penchant for getting the most basic facts wrong and even inventing facts out of thin air. To see how wrong he gets things, see my 1995 letter to his publisher, the Free Press, in which I pointed out so many falsities in the chapter of his book The End of Racism about the 1994 American Renaissance conference that the publisher threw out the entire first print run of the book and made D’Souza rewrite the chapter.
2. My aim is not to start a “secular crusade to undermine or transform the religious beliefs of Muslims,” but rather to remove Muslims from the West and contain them within the historic Muslim lands. I have said, oh, a hundred times, that any change in Muslim beliefs is beyond our power (though it would be nice), and that what is indispensable for our own safety and freedom is that we take away Muslims’ external ability to wage jihad on us, by isolating and containing Islam. Yet D’Souza attributes to me an agenda to transform the religious beliefs of Muslims, something I have repeatedly said is beyond our power to do. Think of a man who can’t get the most basic facts right, AND who gets his understanding of Islam from Islam apologists.
3. D’Souza is wholly unaware of the single most important feature of Islam in its relations with non-Muslims, that the Koran and other authoritative Islamic texts declare that all non-Muslims are enemies of Allah, and command Muslims to wage aggressive war against all non-Muslims until they are subdued. For him to suggest that Muslims would cease posing a mortal danger to the West if people like me stopped saying that Islam poses a mortal danger to the West, is to encourage our complete surrender to Islam.
4. Contrary to what D’Souza says, no Muslims, as far as I am aware, have mentioned my writings about Islam or said that my opinions are what inflame Muslims against America. Indeed, my views are still so far off from the mainstream that Muslims have probably never noticed me. But even if they had, it’s questionable that they would be very angry at me, since as a general matter I do not attack Islam as such, and I never say that Muslims must give up their beliefs. Rather, I state the truth—which no serious Muslim can deny—that Islam commands our subjugation to Islam. And I also say that since we have no intention of being subjugated to Islam (sorry, Mahmoud, that’s just the way it is), and since we do not have the ability to change Islam, or assimilate it, or democratize it, or destroy it, the only way we can assure our safety from Islam is physically to separate it from ourselves, so that it can have no influence over us. So, when I say that Islam is the problem, I do not mean that Islam is a problem for Muslims; I mean that it is a problem for us.
But wouldn’t such a statement enrage Muslims? It might, in the present situation. As things are now, we of the liberal West are constantly telling the Muslims that we tolerate everyone, we welcome diversity, we see Islam as a great religion. Muslims take these statements as a grant of an entitlement to them to move into our society and start gaining power. So, when an isolated Islam critic suddenly says that Islam is the problem, it enrages the entitled Muslims who are accustomed to total Western accommodationism and cowardice. (See below example of how I speak about the need to exclude Islam without condemning Muslims as people.)
But suppose that situation were changed. Suppose the spokesmen of the West began saying clearly and consistently to the Muslims: “We know what your religion is about; we know it commands the complete subjugation of humanity to sharia law, and you can’t fool us with your concealment and your claims of moderateness, so don’t even try. We know that you represent a mortal danger to our entire society, our freedoms, our cultural heritage, our way of life, everything we are.” If that happened, Muslims would not become enraged. Instead, they would be impressed by Western leaders who spoke the real truth about Islam to them with seriousness and force. Muslims respect force. They also respect people who have enough respect for Islam to speak the truth about it instead of telling pretty lies. .Do you think they respect Bush and other Western leaders who keep saying how wonderful and tolerant Islam is? Of course not. They despise them, even as they eagerly take advantage of them. If we are strong to Islam, Muslims will see us as a worthy foe. But so long as we coddle and embrace Islam, the odd truth speaker here and there, like Pope Benedict in his disastrous Regensburg address of two years ago, will enrage them, because he is violating the assumed dhimmi arrangement and thus insulting their honor.
5. As for Victor Hanson, whose views D’Souza bizarrely equates with mine, Hanson has never said that we should remove Muslims from the West and isolate them in the historic Muslim lands, or anything within a million miles of such a view. I am also unaware of Hanson having said that we should tranform the religious beliefs of all Muslims, though it’s possible that Hanson, the liberal universalist with a gun, may have called for such a policy at some point.
James P. writes:
What a mighty force you are! You, personally, are the reason tens and hundreds of millions of Muslims hate America! I can just imagine them all up on the roof firing their guns in the air and shouting “Death to America, Death to Auster!” =)Gintas writes:
Remember how Trifkovic exposed that D’Souza hadn’t the most basic knowledge of the Koran, specifically that it is arranged longest-to-shortest?Tommy writes:
D’Souza could be the poster child for immigrants that are smart and yet undesirable. If his brand of conservatism is what open borders Republicans are seeking in order to reinvigorate the country with traditional values, then the immigrants might as well be liberals.Dylan D., who alerted me to the D’Souza article, writes:
Just writing to thank you for the links [this and this] to the story of D’souza’s perfidy. I was particularly appalled by his claim that the conference was characterized by racial epithets, a claim he apparently made up along with everything else. Given that the unscrupulous are used to getting away with murder, he was probably shocked at the vehemence and effectiveness of your defense. Serves him right, though.Alan Roebuck writes:
In the blog entry you linked at VFR, D’Souza claims that Esposito’s Who Speaks for Islam proves you wrong. But in his previous blog post, D’Souza says that the very same book claims thatD. writes:
I saw him and Robert Spencer argue. Dinesh does not argue honestly He is nasty and shifty in his debating style because he figures he has an adoring media while you and Robert Spencer have none. Dinesh knows his lies will get legs in the right wing media.Alex H. writes:
“Distort D’Newsa” (His sobriquet at Dartmouth.)Alan Levine writes:
I was astonished to learn, courtesy of D’Souza, of your mastery of time and space, and amazing role in causing Muslim hatred of us. I was very much impressed.
As an example of how I speak about Islam in a manner that is objective rather than insulting, here is a passage from my February 2007 draft statement, “What is to be done about Islam”:
[I]t is essential to understand that what makes both “radical” and “moderate” Muslims dangerous to non-Muslim societies is not that the Muslims are morally bad people, but that they are Muslims. As Muslims, they are required by their god and their religion to do and believe certain things. As long as they remain Muslims, the things Islam commands them to do and believe are sacred to them. In waging jihad and instituting sharia, they are not being bad people, they are being good Muslims. Thus the question of the moral goodness or badness, the kindness or the meanness, of individual Muslims is utterly irrelevant from the point of view of the threat Islam poses to non-Muslim societies. The issue is not the moral character of individual Muslim persons, but the unchanging and unchangeable character of Islam itself. Therefore in excluding Muslims, we are not discriminating or passing judgment against them as human beings, we are protecting ourselves from the religion to which they, as Muslims, are inextricably linked.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 18, 2008 09:52 PM | Send