Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ignorin’ on a Friday afternoon

Aside from their blindness to the nature and dimensions of Political Correctness—the main factor that is hindering the West from rationally analyzing the problem of Islam and taking rational actions therefrom—the good Captain Spencer of Jihad Watch and his First Mate Fitzgerald continue to demonstrate another egregious ineptitude: their insouciant disregard for the pressing need, in our currently embattled position in the War of Ideas against Islam and its enabler Political Correctness, for a comprehensive and definitive manual that would list all the claims & arguments made by Muslim Apologists (whether Muslims themselves or their Politically Correct enablers) in support of Islam, along with all the pertinent rebuttals to those arguments.

The egregious ineptitude of this disregard by Spencer and Fitzgerald is rather exacerbated—not ameliorated, as one might hastily assume—by a recent essay that the former dashed off on Jihad Watch entitled Refutin’ on a Friday afternoon.

To those who might counterpose that—“Well, at least Spencer wrote an article about this and gave it some attention...”—the appropriate response would be: “This issue is too crucial to be the subject of one casual thread on a Friday afternoon, soon to be buried in oblivion by all the unrelated threads that will quickly follow.”

Spencer’s dashed-off thread in question was prompted by a comment someone sent him, in which some Muslim apologist out in the world-wide Web made very typical claims about Spencer’s (and others’) ignorance of Islam.

Spencer’s musings on that lazy Friday afternoon then moved him to go on to adumbrate a rather rudimentary list of typical claims by Muslim apologists, after which he opens up the floor to the general population of Jihad Watch readers and solicits them to augment his list. The spirit in which he tenders this solicitation is what annoys:

“Post your own answers. There are plenty of good ways all of these can be approached. And the more we have published, the better equipped we will all be to refute the next jihadist apologist who drags out these tired arguments.”

What annoys here is the surreality of it all. Spencer is acting like this second thought of his, that happened to strike him on a Friday afternoon, is something that can be casually cobbled together with a little help from his friends. And then, perhaps in a couple of days, Spencer will sift through the 100+ comments to the threads and patch together some new thread that tackles these typical claims. That new thread will likely not be definitive nor comprehensive, as it should be: it will likely be provisional and incomplete, and it will in turn become buried in oblivion under a mountain of new threads to come. Spencer is also evidently underscoring the fact that a manual of such rebuttals is not a crucial priority for him, but just one important afterthought on a Friday afternoon, among other more important things on his agenda.

Spencer writes: “It can also come in handy in debate.” To which the nonplussed reader must shake his head and say, incredulously: “Gee, ya think!?” Spencer has just now, on a Friday afternoon in the year 2007, realized that this could be “handy” for debates with Muslim apologists? Where has he been all this time? This is not just “handy”; nor is this just a fun exercise for all of us to get together to play on a Friday afternoon: it is a direly exigent tactic in our War of Ideas—a war we are continuing to show signs of losing.

Directly related to this annoyance is the fact that at least three of the regular readers and commentors of Jihad Watch have, over the past year, posted comments in various threads that have directly advertised their project for just such a manual—or “Booklet” as they call it. And yet, I have never seen Hugh or Spencer even once acknowledge their comments. One of those Jihad Watch readers (“Infidel Pride”) has commented on this latest thread of Spencer’s and has yet again formally advertised their project, so only time will tell whether Spencer or Hugh will notice and at the very least give formal acknowledgement of it. Even a crumb from either of them showing that they saw the comment and think it’s a good idea would be welcome. But, of course, much more is to be expected from Hugh and Spencer. This is their chance to notice the comment by “Infidel Pride”, check out the link he provided to the Booklet project, and then formally put his comment and the Booklet site front and center on Jihad Watch. Alas, I doubt they will do so.

Such a manual should be the #1 priority for the West to develop as the crux of our War of Ideas. And who better to help construct such a manual than Spencer?

It is my opinion, as I have expressed on my other blog (The Hesperado)—particularly in one essay there—, that such a manual should be preceded by a long public debate over its style and content (and in the aforementioned and linked essays I have also expressed my dissatisfaction for the “Booklet” in its current form and conceptualization). I therefore neither expect Spencer to construct one on his own, nor would I want him to. What I think Spencer should do is formally advert to this most pressing need, define it as the #1 priority in our War of Ideas, and repeteadly and centrally stimulate concern for it, thereby steering the amorphous community of anti-Islamic citizens out there to the debate that should precede the actual construction of the manual. At that point, Spencer should definitely contribute to the content of the manual, though there are plenty of others who are also qualified to participate as well.

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