Monday, August 13, 2007
Hugh Fitzgerald’s Non-Solutions
In the same Jihad Watch article which served as the springboard of our lambaste of Robert Spencer for his arrogantly fastidious chariness with regard to a politely pointing probe from a loyal, intelligent and well-mannered reader of his website—not to mention his subsequent utter disregard of a second equally politely pointing probe from another loyal, intelligent and well-mannered reader of his website—we neglected to mention a comment by Spencer’s right-hand man, Hugh Fitzgerald, that amplifies, without shedding any light on, the problem of Jihad Watch’s dearth of solutions to the most urgent and dire problem of Islam it otherwise has been, for over three years now, copiously and excellently documenting and analyzing.
In Fitzgerald’s comment, he basically reiterates what he and Spencer are not doing, and offers only elliptical close-but-no-cigars as to what they might be venturing to suggest we do with regard to solutions to the problem of Islam.
I quote it now at length in italics, with a couple of bracketed corrections as well as comments of mine, followed by my analysis:
In fact, this website [i.e., Jihad Watch]. . . has steadily argued against the folly of “engaging” the Islamic world by attempting to bring “freedom” to “ordinary moms and dads” in the Middle East, has steadily opposed the war in Iraq, and would like as little contact as possible [with Islam]—an end to the disugised Jizyah of Infidel aid given to every Muslim state. . . an end to the naive belief that we Infidels can somehow “reform” Islam, either by the use of military power. . . or by the impossible task of “winning hearts and minds”. . .
[Okay, so Jihad Watch is against engaging the Islamic world in order to try to reform it. Great. I agree. Though, of course, before we get to the point of ceasing this idiotic policy of quasi-Wilsonian engagement, we will have to dismantle our own PC Multiculturalism which dictates that most problems of the Islamic world are our fault which it is our obligation to try to ameliorate by further interference that, of course, is the wrong kind of interference, calculated to help Islam, not hinder it.]
Far from wishing to “kill all Muslims” or put them in camps, or whatever other idiocy is falsely charged above, the main participants in this website share, at this point, the notion that Infidels must learn all they can about the contents of Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, that they should read what they need to read of the necessary guides (hint: not espositos and armstrongs), in order to comprehend such matters as the interpretive doctrine of “naskh,” that they should be especially attentive to the history of Jihad-conquest and of the subsequent treatment, from Spain to East Asia, of the non-Muslims—Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and others—whose lands Muslims conquered and then dominated, a treatment, or mistreatment, unsurprisingly quite similar in time and in space.
[Great, Hugh. When are you and Robert Spencer going to help those of us who want to put a Booklet together—a Booklet of all the main relevant criticisms of Islam as well as refutations of all the main relevant claims and counter-arguments which Muslim apologists routinely trot out? Such a Booklet is absolutely de rigueur in our time. It should be the #1 priority. A mountain of essays and articles as Jihad Watch churns out daily, week after week, month after month, year after year—periodically punctuated by books by Spencer—, all told represents simply too much information, in a state of too much disorganization, for the common man as well as the professional man to use in our most exigent situation of a war of ideas. Hugh and Robert are being seriously derelict in their duty by ignoring the need for a single, comprehensive, and definitive Booklet, and for not lending their considerable influence and resources toward the creation of such a Booklet.]
Why do they not accuse this website of the main charge? Not that we wish to have much to do with Islam at all. . . but that we wish rather to force Muslims, by making them aware that we recognize and understand the immutability of the texts, and what those texts teach (including the division of the world between Believer and Infidel, and the need for the former to remain in a permanent state of war, if not open warfare, with the latter), and that we also realize that it is not poverty, nor whatever Infidels do, that explain Muslim behavior, but rather the teachings of this Total System, with its Complete Regulation of Life and Total Explanation of the Universe.
[Incomplete sentence and thought: “. . .we wish rather to force Muslims. . .” to do what, Hugh? Your subsequent amplification above failed to finish your articulation of Jihad Watch’s “wish”. Is it to force Muslims to know that Infidels are wise to their game now? Great. Then what do we do? Sit back and wait for Muslims who are already in the West by the millions to continue to plot horrific attacks?]
And finally, the prinicpals of this site believe that the best way to deal with the menace of Islam and the Jihad is to create those conditions that will no longer allow Muslims to be supplied with all the goods and services of the West, be allowed to settle deep behind what Muslims themselves (not Infidels), are taught to regard as enemy lines, and that will force Muslims, in that much-ballyhooed but never detailed “war of ideas” to recognize, as Infidels will have recognized, that the political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures of Muslim societies and peoples are a direct result, and easily show to be such, of Islam itself.
[Here, Hugh is apparently calling for the West to 1) stop supporting Muslim countries; 2) stop allowing Muslims to settle deep behind enemy lines (i.e., the West as perceived in Islam); and 3) create conditions that will provoke Muslims to recognize that Islam is a system that causes Muslims to fail in the world rather than succeed. This is the meatiest prescription I have seen from Jihad Watch for what we should do about the problem of Islam. But it remains defective because of 1) vagueness; because 2) it ignores the impediments of PC Multiculturalism that stand in the way of implementing them; because 3) it ignores the problem of the millions of Muslims who are already behind “enemy lines” in the West; and—with respect to provoking Muslims to think rationally—because 4) it is far too optimistic about the capacity for a sufficient number of Muslims to shake off their uniquely profound brainwashing.
Our third point brings us to something Hugh has hinted at many a time on Jihad Watch (and always only in the Comments field of various thread, never presented as an official article), but whose prescriptive implications he has never sufficiently explicated. I refer to Hugh’s repeated informal essays on the expulsion of Germans from a region of Czechoslovakia in 1946 under what is known as the Benes Decree. Recently, Hugh reiterated this yet again—as a comment in a Comments field out of the light of official essays on Jihad Watch, of course. While Hugh has written more voluminous and in-depth comments about this subject in previous Comments fields of various threads, I quote this latest one because it is most recent and because it fairly well encapsulates the points relevant to our essay today:
Benes and Masaryk were wise, tolerant, advanced statesmen, two who belonged to an older and better educated generation. They had no hesitation in implementing the Benes Decree(s) of 1946, and in banishing the Sudeten Germans who had proved to be such a threat. For them, for the Czechs, Germany lay prostrate, but they were not about to take another chance. And no one at the time, and no one since, has thought what the Czechs then did was immoral—save for a handful of German revanchists and those who have a particular soft-spot, one that deserves to be examined, for the treatment of Germans after the war.
Why should the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, and the other countries of Europe not recognize a siimilar permanent danger in their midst? And if Germany was prostrate in 1946, the world of Islam is hardly prostrate today, but feels itself, with that ten trillion dollars in OPEC money received since 1973, with all the aid, a disguised Jizyah, that is received, almost as tribute, by Muslim states and nascent statelets that have no oil or gas, but are able to count on the foreign aid—a disguised Jizyah—that the Infidels provide. Study the threats, and the intelligent response to recognized threats, in the not-so-distant past.
So what is Hugh saying here, exactly? And why does he only limit his rhetorical questions to “the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, and the other countries of Europe” and not also include the entire West (Europe, Australia, India as pro-West inheritor of the British Empire, North America and those countries of Central and South America not nursing so much anti-Americanism that they do not wish to be on the right side in this global struggle)? Why does Hugh elsewhere, rather often, couch his implied prescriptions in such a way as to limit them to measures only against new Muslim immigrants and Muslim denizens in the West who are currently non-citizens, when the centrally dramatic and daring thrust of the Benes Decree was precisely to expel all Germans from certain areas, including German who had been citizens in Czechoslovakia and whose families could trace a lineage of citizenship in Czechoslovakia for generations? This curious lacuna in Hugh’s frequent commentaries about the Benes Decree with specific reference, obviously, to the problem of Islam, only serves to underscore his, and Robert’s, unnecessarily gingerly timidity in just stating plainly and clearly what they are hedging their bets around.
Again, as I said in my recent essay of which these later postscripts are “Addendums”, Hugh and Robert can inject all the prevaricating curlicues and subtle flourishes they wish in their prefatory explanations that introduce their prescriptions and/or solutions, to ward off the usual inane misunderstandings that are sure to follow; but the prescriptions and/or solutions themselves need to be presented, and presented plainly and clearly—for the simple reason that all people in the public square need to weigh in on this most important aspect of the overall problem of Islam, for the fruitful enrichment of the public discussion thereof.