The silliest man in America


The name Dennis Prager hadn’t entered my consciousness for a long time (well, actually it entered it this past June), and when it did, as a result of a reader’s critical e-mail to me about a recent Prager discussion on Islam, I asked myself: Is Prager really—and is he still after all these years—as silly and fatuous as I’ve always said he is? Isn’t he supposed to be some kind of heavy-duty Jewish thinker? And could a heavy-duty Jewish thinker actually be as unthinking as Prager has always appeared to be, at least to me?

So, wanting to perform a brief reality check, I did a Google search for “Islam” at, and came upon an August 2011 column by him entitled, “Can Islam Be Reformed”? In the first half of the article, he realistically catalogues many of the long-standing horrors of Islam, showing that Islam unquestionably needs to be reformed. Then he asks, Can Islam be reformed? And here’s how he gets to the bottom of the issue. He cites the opinions of a handful of “moderate” Muslims in the U.S. who argue for a reformed Islam, chiefly the supremely ridiculous Zuhdi Jasser, and on that basis Prager concludes that, yes, Islam can be reformed.

So I had the answer to my question: Yes, Prager really is as silly as I’ve always said he is.

- end of initial entry -

Chris K., the reader whose e-mail about Prager got me to thinking about him, writes:

It is precisely this quality of Prager’s that has led to my disenchantment with him. His consistent half seriousness does more damage than outright liberalism, because it mistakenly gives people the impression that he is a conservative, when he clearly isn’t. His advocacy of the “American Trinity” is at first glance, a good idea. On further reflection though, it presumes that all people everywhere are the same. Which is of course an insane bedrock liberal idea, making Prager a stealth liberal.

Robert B. writes:

While reading today’s musings, my wife and I just had to laugh at your analysis of Rice and in particular Prager. We both just laughed at the same time. Prager is a buffoon. Keep up the good work.

Peter F. writes:

I was once a devoted listener to Dennis Prager’s radio show and bought one of his books, but, like you, eventually saw the light concerning his worldview. Prager has some traditional values and seems to be a nice enough man, but his feet are made of clay. The tipping point for me came when he refused to discuss anything having to do with Obama’s murky origins or the many lies Obama and his supporters told to get him into the Oval Office. Another tip-off was his refusal to speak honestly about the dangers Islam presents to Western civilization. Dennis is one of those “liberal-conservatives” who uses the unprincipled exception all the time. You can set your watch by him; anytime Prager speaks on Islam or Muslims, he gives the obligatory, “Not all Muslims are bad people, etc.” I still like Prager as a human being, but no longer respect or trust him the way I did five or six years ago.

Regarding your comment,

He cites the opinions of a handful of “moderate” Muslims in the U.S. who argue for a reformed Islam, chiefly the supremely ridiculous Zuhdi Jasser, and on that basis Prager concludes that, yes, Islam can be reformed.

I do not know Jasser’s work well; I have not read any of his books, for example. His latest effort has perhaps the most-pompous title of any book I can remember: “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” Have you ever seen such nonsense? When I look at Zuhdi Jasser, I see either a prominent Muslim committing taqiyya, or perhaps a man in deep denial about the belief system of which he is a follower. I am inclined to lean towards the taqiyya hypothesis myself—but then, I do not trust Muslims at all. In any case, the Constitution and Islam are irreconcilable. Last but not least, I do not believe that a Muslim can also be “an American patriot,” not if those words still have any meaning that our forefathers would have understood. At any rate, on what basis do you label him (Jasser) as “supremely ridiculous”? What are your experiences of him?

LA replies:

I linked VFR entries that mention him. My first experience of him was at the screening of the movie about Islam made by Frank Gaffney and others several years ago. He is the unnamed “moderate Muslim” I speak of in that entry.

But for the real information on Jasser’s total emptiness and fraudulence as a supposed opponent of radical Islam, see the September 2009 entry, “Zuhdi Jasser and The Third Jihad.”

As for whether he is a Prager-type fool or a taqqiya-practicing Muslim, it doesn’t matter. However, one thing is clear. Anyone who reads Jasser and takes him seriously as an ally of the West and as an opponent of radical Islam is an idiot.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 14, 2012 12:08 PM | Send

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