The Western denial of the reality of Islam, taken to the max

Normally I ignore the mentally disturbed political journalist Andrew Sullivan. But his graph of Islam, done in the form of a Venn diagram, is worth copying, as an example of how far Western liberals will go to deny the reality of the Islamic threat.



FL writes:

The diagram needs at least one change: part of the “Muslim” circle should be shaded to show the percentage of Muslims who are sympathetic to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

Hannon writes:

That diagram reminded me of a counter-argument I saw in a recent comment somewhere [not on VFR?]. This was to the effect that virtually no one suggested at the time that we were fighting a “tiny extremist minority” of Japanese Imperialists, or a minute faction of “extremist” Nazis who were unrepresentative of Japanese or Germans at large. When a whole polity is explicitly or tacitly supportive of its most severe political proponents there is no practical sense in trying to differentiate these “groups” from each other. Sullivan’s graphic is gutter-level over-simplification.

LA replies:

But Islam is not a polity. The situation is obviously more complicated than simply our nation being at war with another nation state.

N. writes:

A more apt comparison between the demented Sullivan’s graphic and the real world would be to look back in time some 20-plus years to the Cold War. At that time, it was clear the that USSR intended to obtain military superiority over Western Europe as a lever to dismantle NATO and bring Germany, France and Italy under the sway of the Warsaw Pact. That’s what the SS-20 short-range nuclear capable missiles were all about, to put Western Europe under the threat of nuclear attack in a matter of minutes. And that’s what Reagan’s placement of Pershing II missiles in NATO was about; to put the Warsaw Pact capitals under the exact, same threat. These intermediate range missiles, as noted, could reach their targets in a matter of 15 minutes or even less, making destruction essentially instant.

At that time liberals on the one hand would accept that there was an issue with the SS-20s being deployed within parts of Eastern Europe, but at the same time would insist that dialog could solve all those issues, and that countering with Pershing IIs was too provocative, too warlike, and so forth. As part of the Soviet campaign, all their surrogates in various “peace” groups were activated; women camped out in Britain near certain NATO airfields, propaganda about NATO wishing a nuclear first strike was spread in Germany and Italy, French “peace” groups urged further distance between France and NATO, and of course in the US massive marches were organized in cities such as New York by various Communist groups as well as fronts like the World Peace Council.

Now here is the point: when talking with liberals of some degree of good will, it was impossible to get them to accept that all the “peace” and unilateral disarmament groups were simply a part of the overall strategy of the USSR. They refused to accept it. They denied that a march in New York could be funded by the same Soviet intelligence agencies that were also bankrolling West German spy rings. It was literally incomprehensible to them, and I recall being told right out that while there certainly was a problem with Soviet spies and saber rattling, that had nothing to do with the vast majority of Socialists in the world, and absolutely nothing to do with the likes of the World Peace Council.

The long, shadowy conflict with Communism is thus a better analogy to our current situation than anything from World War II. Because we battle an ideology, a system of organizing society that comes with a religious facet, and thus with a whole panoply of apologists. Note that the cold war with the Soviets lasted for decades, while the hot war against Imperial Japan was over in less than 4 years. That suggests a long struggle, unfortunately.

Andrew E. writes:

Back in early September the Catholic blogger Mark Shea, in response to a post by Jeff Culbreath at What’s Wrong With the World (4W) in which the subsequent discussion called for drastically reducing the Muslim presence in America, used this same Venn diagram as the substance of his rebuttal to the 4W post. In the comment section of Shea’s post, frequent 4W commenter The Duece really nailed it. (The green circle referenced by The Duece is meant to the represent the worldwide Muslim population even though the diagram in Shea’s post shows this population as a large red circle, but the point he’s making is clear.) Lydia McGrew highlighted this comment in a followup post to Shea here:

I’d be interested to see how much of that green circle is made up of terrorists in general, not just Al Queda (which isn’t even the biggest terrorist group by a longshot). I’d also like to see how many have engaged in non-terroristic acts of characteristically Muslim violence (chopping off hands, cutting of womens’ noses or stoning them to death, honor killings, etc). I’d also like to see how much of the green circle is made up of Muslims who believe jihad is justifiable, even if they haven’t engaged in it themselves. Finally, I’d like to see how many of them are in favor of sharia law. I suspect the numbers would be far more unsettling.

Jonathan L. writes:

The first set of World Trade Center bombings were not carried out by “al Qaeda”; Nidal Hassan was not “al Qaeda”. I could go on all day, but here is a more decisive point: in a Zogby poll taken right after the 9/11 attacks, 50% of American Muslims said they opposed the U.S. attacking Afghanistan. In other words, after the worst attack on American soil in the U.S.’s entire history, at least half of our Muslim “fellow citizens” felt the U.S. had no right to defend itself.

Sullivan is a sad case. Though he was once a “to-the-hilt” style Bush neoconservative, the ugliness and incompetence of our Iraq invasion permanently cracked his mind, much as happened with “crunchy-con” Rod Dreher. Sullivan is one of those public intellectuals who derives his entire sense of self-worth from the correctness and righteousness of his ideological commitments. And since he had gone so astray with his support of Bush’s foreign policy, Sullivan (with his typical knack for moderation) figured everything he had once thought true was false, and everything he had once held false was true. Muslims were no longer our victimizers; they are now our victims, and if we seem in conflict with them it is only because of bellicose neoconservatives. Indeed Sullivan now regularly flirts with antisemitism, taking as fact—for example—the conclusions of the Walt-Mearsheimer report.

LA replies:

It’s a lamentably common syndrome. When a person switches to that degree, he shows that he has nothing stable in himself, intellectually and morally; that he is a creature of emotions. Thus (to use an example I’ve mentioned before) Scott McConnell, who went out of his way to describe himself to me as a “philo-Semite” in the mid-1990s, by the early 2000s was trafficking in classic anti-Semitic statements at the magazine he founded, The Paleostinian Conservative.

October 19

Ron L. writes:

The chart Sullivan uses is ridiculous. Al Qaeda is hardly the only Islamic terrorist group at war with us. It isn’t even the only Sunni group at war with us. And the issue is not just official members. There are the people who fund terrorists and allow them to operate. His number also doesn’t include the Muslim Brotherhood as well as less organized supporters. That is tens of millions of Muslims outside of terrorist-supporting regimes like those of Iran, Syria and Lebanon. And it does not include the significant percentage of Muslims who support the goals of Al Qaeda et all, but have tactical differences.

Jonathan L. is correct that Al Qaeda did not bomb us in February 1993, but it is a distinction without a difference. The cell was made up of members of Al-Gama’a al Islamiyya (EIG). EIG joined Al Qeada in 1998. Moreover the cell were fundraisers for Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), which Osama bin Laden ran. In 1998, Bin Laden formed Al Qaeda from MAK. Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman fatwa was the theological excuse for Al Qaeda’s war on all Americans including civilians.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 18, 2010 10:23 AM | Send

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