Obama’s outreach to Muslims fails—or has it actually succeeded?
I have several times criticized mainstream conservative commentators for calling Obama a lazy, inexperienced incompetent rather than a highly determined, anti-American leftist.
Here is further food for thought on that subject. Larry Elder writes at TownHall:
A 2008 Zogby International poll surveyed those in the “friendly” Arab countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Eighty-three percent viewed the United States “somewhat” or “very” unfavorably….So, Obama set out to win Muslim hearts and minds, and failed. That would tend to support the mainstream conservative case that Obama is incompetent, rather than anti-American.
Except that Obama has succeeded in making America more unpopular with Muslims than it was under Bush. Which suggests that he is a competent anti-American.
Vivek G. writes (August 12, 4:30 p.m.):
There are two things to be kept in mind and understood here.LA replies:
Very well put. And why is the situation as you describe it? The non-Muslim and the Muslim are operating from two different sets of assumptions. The non-Muslim is a liberal, who thinks that all men can get along on the basis of reason, good will, and mutual concessions. He thinks that the Muslim has some genuine or at least sincerely felt grievances against him, and that if he makes moves to appease Muslim’s sense of grievance, the Muslim will feel better disposed toward him and drop his hostility. But the Muslim, unbenownst to the non-Muslim, is not a liberal; he does not believe in a world of mutual concessions based on reason and good will; he believes in Islam and in the rule of the world by Islam. Therefore the moment the non-Muslim makes a concession to the Muslim, the Muslim knows that the non-Muslim is moving in the right direction, toward dhimmitude, but that he still has further to go before before he reaches full dhimmitude. Therefore, in response to the non-Muslim’s concession, the Muslim will not reduce his hostile demands on the non-Muslim, but increase them. (The story is as old as modern liberalism itself; its locus classicus is in Allen Drury’s Cold War novel Come Ninevah, Come Tyre, as described here.)Ben W. writes:
LA: “This drama of dhimmitude, fatal to the non-Muslim, will not cease until he finally recognizes the simple truth about Islam: that Islam is in a state of permanent war with all non-Muslims, and therefore that no material concessions should ever be made to it.”LA replies:
Yes, but I don’t feel the virus metaphor goes far enough. By now, liberalism has advanced so far that we can no longer think of it as merely a disease attacking the body of the West or inside the body of the West. Rather, the West has, in large part, become that disease. That is why recovery from liberalism, if it’s possible at all, will be much harder than recovery from previous Western crises. Only a fundamental alteration of the thinking of modern Western people can save the West. Which leads us back to the importance of Alan Roebuck’s idea that the only way to save the West is to persuade enough Westerners that liberalism is wrong.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 12, 2010 01:52 AM | Send