Goldberg says that Islam is the problem—and the solution (hmm, isn’t that where all this started?)
Malcolm Pollack writes:
I response to recent events, and the reluctance even of prominent conservative voices (in particular Jonah Goldberg) to identify Islam itself as a problem, I’ve just written a post that I think you might find yourself in broad agreement with, here.In the second half of Mr. Pollack’s long blog entry he critiques Goldberg’s position. Goldberg writes:
People who say Islam is The Problem often overlook the fact that there are millions of Muslims who are peaceful, do not support terrorist Jihad, and so on. If all of a sudden you claim their faith in and of itself is a threat to us, you push them toward the Jihadists. The Kurds in Kurdistan are Muslims, should we stop working with them? There are millions of moderate Muslims in Pakistan, should we send the signal that they are indistinguishable from the terrorists because they share the same faith?To which Pollack replies:
This is a serious and valid objection. I have no doubt whatsoever that he is right about this: that if the West were to acknowledge, clearly and forthrightly, the fact that Islam itself is fundamentally at odds with the core principles of our modern post-Enlightenment civilization, it would make enemies of many who might otherwise co-exist with us in peace.But, Pollack continues:
Goldberg makes a very common error … he assumes that the existence of “moderate” Muslims indicates that there is a possible evolution of Islam that would lead, in time, to a complete extinction of fundamentalist extremism, or at least to such a broad rejection of hard-core Islamist ideology that it would be reduced to a negligible irritant. If some Muslims can be like this, goes the thinking, then in principle all of them can someday be.He quotes Goldberg again:
… In short, I think those who insist that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Islam are befogged by a political correctness that blinds them to a real threat. But I also think that some of the people saying Islam is the problem often fail to recognize—or at least acknowledge—that Islam will have to be the solution as well.He comments:
I wish Goldberg were right about this, but after years of study and reflection I think that, although there will always be modernizing influences within Islam, and millions of peaceable and non-confrontational Muslims, it is naive to imagine that the Ummah will ever extirpate its totalizing, expansionist core; to do so would be to cut out the very heart of Islam itself.
Malcolm Pollack writes:
Well, let’s not underestimate what a difficult, momentous thing this is for people to accept: to accept that this is the truth means permanently defining a fifth of the human race as a danger to us, and acting accordingly.Malcolm Pollack replies:
We knew this in the past, however; Charles Martel, for example, certainly understood it! After all, we’ve had 1,400 years to figure it out, and Islam has behaved with remarkable consistency throughout. It is we who have changed, and rather recently so. But so deep is the reprogramming our culture has undergone in our lifetime that what was for centuries common knowledge throughout Western civilization now seems a startling (and deeply offensive) revelation.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 15, 2009 05:50 PM | Send