Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The myopic nature of the whole Jihad Watch enterprise

One can glean how Robert Spencer conceives of the problem of PC Multiculturalism by the scattered parenthetical remarks with which he now and then peppers his essays and his commentaries that introduce the articles he provides on Jihad Watch. Indeed, part of the problem with Spencer’s conception of the problem of PC Multiculturalism is that one usually has no choice but to glean it—since he has been sorely remiss in providing an analysis of the problem of PC Multiculturalism.

One of today’s Jihad Watch posts by him provides an example—parenthetically fleeting, as usual—of his conception of the problem of PC Multiculturalism. In his introduction to an article about the recent Pew poll on American Muslims, which included the disturbing finding that “younger Muslims support suicide bombing in greater numbers than do their elders”, he writes:

“This just illustrates the suicidal nature of the whole multiculturalist enterprise.”

This remark of Spencer’s illustrates the myopic nature of the whole Jihad Watch enterprise.

While certainly PC Multiculturalism has involved policies and programs which, collectively, one could characterize as an “enterprise”, it is obviously a much broader and deeper sociopolitical phenomenon: its depth and breadth is indicative of a systemic sea change in the collective psyche over an arc of time—a systemic psychosociopolitical reconfiguration that enables this “enterprise” that has been picked up by Spencer’s delimited radar screen; a paradigm shift without which no such “enterprise” and its multitudes of policies and programs would have been sociopolitically effective.

Thus, with Spencer’s focus calibrated to a delimited perspective, his cursory analysis of the findings of the Pew poll:

“One reason for [the radicalization of younger Muslims] is the suicidal multiculturalist policies that each of these states [America, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain] has pursued relentlessly. While earlier immigrants may have been encouraged by the societies to which they had come to become members of those societies—that is, to assimilate—now their children are being told exactly the opposite. When Muslims are encouraged to hold fast to their cultural traditions rather than assimilate, all too often they end up embracing the ideology of Islamic supremacism as it is taught by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.”

Of course, this is a pertinent analysis, within the confines of its delimitation. But it ignores the deeper and broader problem of why these “multiculturalist policies” were conceived, and how they were able to be effectively pursued and implemented. Spencer’s undue delimitation of focus—thereby implying there exists no breadth or depth beyond that delimitation (or at least none worth being concerned about)—lends itself all too easily to a resting point on that level, with the logical conclusion of some sinister or stupid cabal of sociopolitical manipulators in Western societies who have had, and continue to have, extraordinary powers over public populations who are, in turn, assumed to be easily manipulable sheep. This logical conclusion is an insult to the greatness and wonder of modern Western democracy and modern Western progress—indeed, an insult to the modern West itself. But it’s not merely a problem of being insulting: this logical conclusion betrays a darker pessimism and cynicism about the modern West with certain affinities to the modern Gnostic pathos.

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