Gingrich on the cutting edge of the Islam issue—NOT
I wonder if you’re aware of Newt Gingrich’s growing awareness about Islam? Robert Spencer discusses it here, also quoting Gingrich directly:
Newt Gingrich has become the first major politician to acknowledge that the problem America faces today from Islamic jihadists is not simply one of terrorism, but of a larger attempt to insinuate elements of Islamic law (sharia) into American society, and to assert the principle that where sharia and American law conflict, it is American law that must give way.
And now Gingrich has become the first national politician to take notice of this threat. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday, he said: “This is not a war on terrorism. Terrorism is an activity. This is a struggle with radical Islamists in both their militant and their stealth form.”
How Gingrich might distinguish “radical Islamists” from Muslims who simply believe in the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad, who declared that “Islam must dominate, and not be dominated,” is unclear. But his words are remarkable not for his maintaining the artificial and arbitrary distinction between Islam and Islamism, but because of his explanation of the stealth jihad: “The stealth form believes in using cultural, intellectual, and political [means]. But their end goal is exactly the same.”
I’m not going to get excited by, or invest a single ounce of energy in, anything Gingrich says, no matter how positive or good it may seem. If something comes from Gingrich, it’s not going to go anywhere, one, because he will simultaneously take a position that utterly contradicts the “good” position he takes, and two, because he will soon abandon the good position in any case. This is as predictable as that if you drop an object out a window, it will fall to the earth.
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As an example, consider the contradiction that Spencer points out. Even as Gingrich warns that jihadists are pushing sharia, he also speaks of the people who push sharia as “radical Islamists.” The phrase “radical Islamists” means that sharia is not the work of Islam, but only of “radical Islamism,” which is mad on two counts. First, sharia in reality is simply the word for the Islamic law, not the Islamist law; Islam as an operating belief system and way of life is defined by sharia. Wherever Islam comes into power, sharia comes into power. So in reality there is no practical distinction between Islam and sharia, and to separate sharia from Islam is to present a grossly false picture of Islam. Second, “radical Islamism,” by itself, is a nonsensical phrase. Since the word Islamism means radical Islam, “radical Islamism” means “radical radical Islam.” Therefore to say that “radical radical Islam” is the problem is to say that plain old radical Islam is no longer a problem. It is to say that Islamism is no longer the problem—it must be radical Islamism to be a problem, and ordinary Islamists are now A-OK. A person who promotes such grossly false, confusing, and self-contradictory ideas is a person who is using words without thought. Such a person cannot produce true and useful thoughts. To praise Gingrich for saying that radical Islamists are pushing sharia, would be like praising a person who is promoting a mathetical theorem half of which is true (i.e., that half which says that there is this thing called sharia which has something to do with Islam) and half of which violates all mathematical law and shows him to be mindless (i.e., that half which separates Islam from sharia and promotes the nonsensical term “radical Islamism”).
As Gingrich recently said of himself,
There’s a large part of me that’s four years old. I wake up in the morning and I know that somewhere there’s a cookie. I don’t know where it is but I know it’s mine and I have to go find it. That’s how I live my life. My life is amazingly filled with fun.About which I commented:
The “cookie” is, of course, Gingrich’s latest “big idea,” his latest “ten point plan,” whatever it is, which he wakes up each morning all excited about, and gets other people (namely conservatives who ought to know better) all excited about, and he has lots of fun with that cookie, for about one day, and then you never hear about it again, because he’s gone on to his next cookie, his next toy.
You may say I’m being too hard on Gingrich. But I’ve seen the utter emptiness, phoniness, and fruitlessness of Gingrich’s “big ideas” so many times that I have been permanently innoculated against him and them.
Jack from Long Island writes:
Newt’s next “cookie” is what most would call a mistress.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 13, 2010 10:33 AM | Send