Saturday, March 1, 2008

With friends like these...

In an update to a
post on today’s Dhimmi Watch, Robert Spencer thanks a “friend” for further information on the recent story of an art gallery in Berlin that shut down due to threats from a group of Muslims.

Spencer quotes the “friend”:

The key point herewhich you are always warning about, as in the story on Front Pageis the expansion of demands. There is now a demand that no picture of Muhammad be shown. Now this is a COMPLETELY NEW demand and one even less grounded in Islam: that the Kaaba not be shown. No doubt more will be added in future. A point worth making, this isn't just a demonstration against an art exhibit but an additional demand never heard before.

Aside from the apparently irrepressible urge to use ALL CAPS for emphasis, there is the ulterior implication in the quote of Spencer’s “friend” that the menacing problems we are seeing emanate out of the Muslim world are something “new”—as though they are not firmly, centrally and inveterately grounded in Islam itself. For, the other ulterior implication here, closely related to the one just mentioned, is the definition of Islam as that which can be pinpointed in a text—thereby bracketing out the broader and deeper psychosocially cohesive system in which factors in the atmospherics, however amorphous they may seem, are every bit as substantive and galvanic for intolerance & violence as is Islam’s more visible culture of slavish and Pharisaic inerrancy to the letter of the law.

Such bracketing out is crucial for the project of protecting the vast majority of Muslims from the evil bigotry of the West
, and the slippery slope to genocide that will inexorably follow if it is not stemmed at its source—since a good and harmless Islam can thereby be bracketed out, an Islam by which those Muslims can be saved from us, and us from our own demons. Nice in theory, but in the face of the facts of history and of current news, it seems more likely to be a polite fiction that is positively harmful to our proactive self-defense against the escalating menace of an Islam Redivivus.

Both of these qualities in the quote above do not leave much doubt as to the identity of the writer; and it comes only as slightly surprising (though no less unconscionably unacceptable) to see Spencer characterize that writer in such amicable terms and to accord that writer’s opinion—unremarkably trivial at best, positively counter-productive at worst—such prominence.

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