Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Typical Fallacy from Hugh Fitzgerald

In an essay today at Jihad Watch, Fitzgerald: Keep them out, Mr. Fitzgerald continues issuing his jussives, either to the choir, who don’t need to hear him—or to those who cannot heed him anyway.

Also in this essay, he exhibits another of his regular fallacies—the fallacy of putting most of the onus of explanation for the powerful insinuation into the West of the Muslim agenda upon the Muslims themselves, when the problem is just the reverse: most of that onus should be relocated squarely upon our shoulders. Then after it has been relocated here, where it belongs, the intelligent Western analyst will be moved to ask why it is here at all, and why it is moreover so dominant and mainstream. That intelligent analyst, being intelligent, will of course not be satisfied with the vulgar conspiracy theory du jour (whether emanating from the Left or from the Right). Nor will that intelligent analyst be satisfied with merely personal foibles and character flaws to explain such a dominant and mainstream sociological phenomenon.

Mr. Fitzgerald writes:

“And think of the Storm-Trooper tactics of ‘Palestinians’ on North American campuses everywhere, as they shout down speakers, intimidate pro-Israel students, and crush on campus much free speech, as they scare administrators into banning whatever Arab Muslims wish to have banned...or else. There have been examples from the University of San Francisco all the way to Concordia in Montreal. How much more evidence does one need of the effect of a large Muslim or especially ‘Palestinian’ presence on free speech in the United States, or Canada, or anywhere? Is there not a duty to take note of this, and to limit this malevolence and this violence, threatened or actual?”

Here, once again Mr. Fitzgerald is implying that Muslims (in this case “Palestinian” activists) actually wield and generate all the power that is demonstrated by their influence. But this is absurd. Most of the power which Muslims wield in Western societies is given to them by the West, and nourished by these same Western societies. And this gift, and this nourishment, are scandalous evidence of some widespread sociopolitical disease that afflicts the West, and that obstructs a rational view of the pernicious ideology the West is so generously granting influence and power to propagandize and operate within its borders. We need to name this disease as we need to identify its existence and effects, so we may the better appropriately analyze it and begin to dismantle it. And “Political Correctness” is as good a name as any other—a better name than most, in fact, since it is so well known, and since it serves to avoid any tendentious polarization into “Left” and “Right”.

While this name may in some respects seem a bit ragged and amorphous, and may slip a bit too trippingly and glibly from the lips of certain pundits, and may pose the danger of soiling Mr. Fitzgerald’s snow-white suit, its advantages nevertheless outweigh its flaws. We will not be able to do much about the dismal fact Mr. Fitzgerald is decrying—the fact of the outrageously undue influence of Muslim groups in the West—if we do not first do something about our own sociopolitical predisposition to enable those Muslim groups and the Islam which motivates them.

No comments: