Saturday, April 26, 2008

Warning Labels on Islam: which label would Spencer support?





Readers of my last nine essays on this blog (or of any one of them) will know what my answer is to this question: obviously, the milder and more lenient warning label above, the latter. This makes Spencer an asymptotic analyst of the problem of Islamand that is unacceptable. He should stop playing analyst, and keep his day job of reporter.

For cogent argumentation based on copious evidence, please see my previous nine essays on this blog.

One reader of my blog recently proposed an interesting analogy, which inspired me to put up this post today. That analogy involved warning labels on foods, and the logic of such labels:

[It is] useful to add that the allegedly neutral and/or positive aspects of Islam are part of the problem, at least in terms of Westerners' ability to perceive and comprehend the threat. We have discussed this before. An analogy: A package labeled “Cereal” that contains mostly edible bits but also contains some toxic bits is more dangerous than a package containing the exact same mixture that is labeled “Danger! Toxic!”

Indeed, to all who can read, a package that contains 100% toxic material and is labeled as such is safer, by virtue of the warning label, than a package labeled “Cereal” that contains a lower percentage of the same toxin. (The latter is more likely to cause injury or death).

To which I responded:

The force of your analogy is further strengthened by two features of the “cereal” in question, Islam:

1) The systemically coherent nature of Islam, by which parts cohere unto the whole to a sufficient degree to be systemic. Spencer seems to disagree that there is a systemic whole to a sufficient degree (else why would he bring up the exculpatory “millions of Muslims who are not interested in, or even aware of, the jihadist agenda”and more importantly, why did he affirm in no uncertain terms that he is “not anti-Islam”?). Spencer seems to subscribe to the notion that there is no Islam there, only multiple spheres, no one of which is coherent enough to be aggregately condemned: hence, in the Spencerian model, there is no box of cereal per se, and any attempt to apply a warning label to “Islam” is plain wrong (if not immoral in the context of his Christian humanism). That is why I think that not only is he soft on the problem of Islam, his softness is perilously counter-productivefor he is massively laying the groundwork, on a theoretical analytical level, for helping to dispose ourselves to avoid applying that warning label. If we fail to apply that warning label appropriatelyon Islam itselfthen how would that reluctance translate concretely in terms of our policy with regard to the dangers posed by Muslims inspired by Islam?

2) With Islam, we cannot tell which spoonfull, or which box, is non-toxic, and which is toxic: in this way too, your analogy is helpful, because it's the same with food products about which there is a general warning. When a few e-coli cases happen, the USDA shuts down all beef production and/or distribution for a time in order to sort out the problem & threat. The vast majority of beef during such shut-downs are “innocent”. What possible concrete relevance, then, does Spencer's protestation have that there are “millions of Muslims who are not interested in, or even aware of, the jihadist agenda”? That would be like a consumer activist who otherwise spends all of his time documenting the dangerously lax standards of the beef industry also, out of the other side of his mouth, saying with reference to a beef shut-down to protect consumers, that there are “millions of beef products that are completely safe”. What's the point in saying that, when there are times and situations when you have to treat ALL beef as a potential threat?

And yet, Spencer spends virtually all his time on Islam reporting on the ever-growing mountain of Islamic horrors, a mountain of dangerous filth which would move any reasonably intelligent person (except Spencer, apparently) to connect the dots and with screaminglly rational alacrity apply the appropriate warning label onto Islam itself, and onto all Muslims. Thus the paradox of Spencer.

A second reader added:

Erich hits the nail right on the head when he points out that whenever there are problems with food items, be it beef, spinach, cauliflower or anything else, either all beef is quarantined, or all spinach from a certain maker is quarantined: nobody makes the argument of how a majority of the food in question is harmless.

To which I must add this caveat:

Only one problem remains, however. As is well known, “analogiae claudicant”—i.e., analogies are all imperfect in some way, if only because they by necessity cannot avoid being different, to one degree or another, from the thing they are illustrating.

The way that Islam differs from the cereal (or the recalled food) in the food warning label analogy is that Islam is sufficiently complex to allow people to exploit fudge factors by which there is no Islam there, per se, to target in a coherently comprehensive way. The exploiters of these fudge factors, therefore, try to particularize the problem into more manageable (i.e., more PC-palatable) bite-sized chunks rather than the Whole Enchilada—Spencer’s “elements of Islam”, for example—and not Islam itself. The more radical of these exploiters won't even settle for bite-sized chunks, of course: their way of exploiting the fudge factors is to atomize the problem virtually out of existence. While Spencer does not do the latter, what he does do—when he puts on his Analyst hat, that is (as opposed to his Reporter hat, which daily documents the grotesquely ghoulish and ever-growing mountain of Islamic horror)—serves to enable those whose goal is to exculpate Islam altogether.

It is a shame to see that Spencer is decidedly on the side of the particularizers who seek to only target chunks off of Islam, as though Islam were not a coherently systemic entity—at least not sufficiently so to warrant treating it as a whole entity to target with a warning label.

As that Jihad Watch reader “neverpayretail” indicated, his exchanges with Spencer (documented in my recent post Spencer: Pussycat or Lion?) revealed this to him as sort of an epiphany: he had not realized that Spencer was one of those who insist on not condemning Islam; but he learned from their exchange that indeed he is.

And the reason why “neverpayretail” was surprised by this epiphany of Spencer's real position is the exceedingly odd “day job” of Spencer's by which he spends all day shovelling the staggeringly mountainous shit of Islam into people's faces.

One would reasonably expect Spencer to answer questions like neverpayretail and others asked him with relatively simple and clear answers—

“Oh yes, I am against Islam. Yes, I am against all Muslims who either passively enable Islam or who actively support Islam. Well, while I disagree with the bald statement that all Muslims are loyal to Islam, I would nevertheless affirm that because we cannot tell the difference between whatever number of Muslims out there who might be harmless, and those who pose an Islamic danger to us, we must practically speaking act as though indeed, as you say, all Muslims are loyal to Islam.”

This is what Spencer should be saying when he is addressing this particular issue. But he is not. In fact, he unfailingly shows himself to be bending over backwards doing Cirque du Soleil gymnastics in order to avoid making the tough decision that the very mountain of shit about Islam he reports daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, would compel any reasonably intelligent person to make—at least anyone whose mind has not been clouded by either PC MC, a confused Christian humanism, or a little of both.

Spencer should keep his day job, and let the appropriate analysts
—those who have matriculated beyond the asymptote—do theirs.

54 comments:

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

Something to keep in mind in the labeling: The difference between Islam (excluding Ahmadi Islam) and Muslims in making these analogies.

It must be remembered that some Muslims are on our side in opposing sharia, and that some non-Muslims are enabling or actively helping the jihadists to implement sharia.

This is one of the limitations of the analogy.

Erich said...

kab,

"The difference between Islam (excluding Ahmadi Islam)"

Ahmadi Islam is not Islamic -- any more than Tom Haidonism is Islamic (just as nobody who has the minimal amount of knowledge about Christianity would consider Mormonism "Christian", since it dogmatically contradicts most of the essential tenets of orthodox Christianity that all three major branches -- Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox -- follow).

"Something to keep in mind in the labeling: The difference between Islam... and Muslims in making these analogies."

The difference between Islam and Muslims is the final asymptotic increment to be overcome in order to graduate from the Learning Curve of the problem of Islam.

Again, as I have stipulated many times on my blog, I am not arguing that all Muslims are in fact dangerous; I am arguing that we cannot sufficiently distinguish the harmless Muslims from the dangerous Muslims to render the harmless of any use to us in our direly exigent requirements for self-defense against an indeterminate, trans-national diaspora of innumerable Muslims bent on mass-murdering as many of us as they can and wreaking as much damage to our infrastructure as they can (not to mention their larger grand plan of conquering the world by hook or by crook, a grand desire that unconsciously and consciously inspires and energizes the more noticeable spearheads of violence they perpetrate).

And it is not merely a matter of our inability to sufficiently distinguish the harmless Muslims from the dangerous Muslims; other important factors, singular (if not unique) to the Islamic threat, make this inability even worse:

* the supportive and enabling effect that sheer numbers of Muslims have upon the collective force of Islam and its supremacist expansionism -- in this dynamic, any and all Muslims, no matter how much they may seem to be on our side and do things like oppose sharia, play their role

* the uniquely coherent nature of Islam, with a self-consciousness of being a trans-national family superior to, and perpetually victimized by, Kafirs, against which they must perpetually array themselves psychologically, socioculturally, and militarily (in a variety of flavors ranging from the military value of raping European girls on the street, to rioting in streets, to brandishing violent threats at protest rallies, to intimidating critics with death threats, to passively enabling jihadists in a variety of ways, to more and more degrees of actively supporting jihadists, etc.).

* The unique culture of deceit in Islam, which has a complex variety of flavors, and which is sufficiently prevalent and central that by that feature alone, no given Muslim who continues to identify himself as a Muslim should be trusted (and even ex-Muslims should be watched with suspicion).

* the unavoidable incoherence and self-contradiction manifested in any given Muslim who supports us by opposing any given bad aspect of Islam (whether sharia, or violent jihad, or terrorism, etc.) -- if we were talking about "double agents" who are working undercover, this would be one thing; but in fact we are talking about schizophrenics who with full sincerity are maintaining a screaming contradiction: aside from the fact that they are hated by their fellow Muslims as traitors and that they are a tiny almost insignificant minority, what kind of a useful ally is a schizophrenic? Add in the aforementioned facts, and they become worthless.

* The sociopolitical effect of Muslim reformers (to the extent that their tiny numbers have an effect) on the public consciousness is precisely to enable what your Cereal Analogy cautioned against! I quote the relevant part of your argument:

"Indeed, to all who can read, a package that contains 100% toxic material and is labeled as such is safer, by virtue of the warning label, than a package labeled “Cereal” that contains a lower percentage of the same toxin. (The latter is more likely to cause injury or death)."

Muslim reformers tend to have this effect because

a) they become more or less confused in the general pool of Muslim reformers which contain probably a majority of pseudo-reformers of varying flavors and degrees

b) even if clearly and discernibly genuine, they lend an aura of legitimacy to Islam and the hope that there can be a viably harmless Islam, and therefore they undermine the first imperative of the Warning Label -- to damn all of Islam, not just parts.

"It must be remembered that some Muslims are on our side in opposing sharia"

Practically speaking, they are at best useless to our requirements for self-defense, and at worst, a positive hindrance. Given the unique nature of the risks we face, we should only avail ourselves of such reformers through the most utterly minimal expenditure of energy, time and attention -- and furthermore limit this by treating them with equal suspicion as any other Muslim. It is conceivable that here and there, now and then, very rarely there will be occasions where a Muslim reformer or two can be useful to us WITHOUT our use of them impeding our self-defense requirements. Of course, I am not against such rare situations. What I oppose is erecting a principle whereby we start engaging the machinery of policy that leads to crippling certain aspects of our self-defense requirements in the name of some abstract "group of Muslim reformers" out there. Such a sociopolitical machinery would be all too easy to develop, and must be ruthlessly cut off at the knees, by in fact erecting the opposite principle: All Muslims are suspect -- and if an occasional exception that presents ZERO interference in our self-defense requirements presents itself, fine. Otherwise, zero tolerance for all Muslims.

"and that some non-Muslims are enabling or actively helping the jihadists to implement sharia."

This is a separate issue and can be rationally addressed without impinging at all on what we need to do with regard to Muslims: the Muslims by analogy are actual German Nazis; the non-Muslim enablers are traitors among us. What possible helpful effect could the dangers posed by the latter have on the measures we need to take to manage the former? I can think of one UNhelpful effect: highlighting the fact of non-Muslim enablers in order to oppose racial profiling at crucial public hubs.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

Just to be absolutely clear, my cereal box analogy was in reference to Islam (the memeplex), not Muslims (those who hold various aspects of the memeplex).

There is not a good analogy, to my knowledge, for Muslims collectively because the available examples for comparison among religious and political ideologies differ from the Muslim ummah in key respects. I agree with Spencer that there is a spectrum of belief among Muslims, and that to be factually accurate one cannot tar all Muslims with the same brush. This highly variegated and contradictory nature of the distribution of belief sets is partly what makes the problem we face so difficult.

A major problem we face is the non-violent jihad, waged by Muslim propagandists, against non-Muslims. I also agree with Bill Warner that a major problem in dealing with Islam has to do with all the various "dhimmi" concessions and appeasements; non-Muslims' reflexive defenses of Islam. Islam would be much easier to defeat if we did not have most politicians, most academics (i.e., those in Islamic and Islam-related fields), most of the media, and most religious leaders all actively working to protect Islam. Surely you would agree, in your terms, that the major problem is PC MC (though we may differ in our opinions on its relative extent in the general populace vs the "elite").

As for labeling Islam, I'm afraid my analogy was not really adequate. This is clear once we see that the main goal of our efforts should be to educate the general public, while exposing and criticizing dhimmi and Muslim apologists for Islam. Presenting, up front, labels such as "Islam is evil" and so on are going to be resisted and classified as hyperbole by rational non-Muslims who have not seen the key evidence yet (i.e., that the problem is not merely a tiny minority of extremists who are hijacking a good religion, and so on). Simply declaring that "Islam is evil" is a weak approach that comes across as absurdly, wildly over-the-top that is easily refuted by dhimmi and Muslim apologists in the normal everyday superficial contexts in which such information is processed. The Handbook for refuting Islam apologetics scrupulously avoids such wild-seeming declarations, and sticks to presenting factual information and thorough rebuttals.

I've never seen the need to exaggerate anything about Islam. It's bad enough as is. Just present the facts and the key, critical pieces of evidence, and people will form their own mental "labels" or appropriately emotionally aversive tags to it.

The bottom line is that you're not going to convince anyone who still needs to be convinced by claiming that "Islam is evil" and so on. Indeed, such pronouncements are likely to scare off reasonable-but-as-yet-ignorant people.

Erich said...

kab,

"Just to be absolutely clear, my cereal box analogy was in reference to Islam (the memeplex), not Muslims (those who hold various aspects of the memeplex)."

Islam is inert, and therefore harmless, until activated by human agents (Muslims). A parallel analogy to the Cereal analogy in this regard would be a warning label about hypothetically toxic cereals, and the simultaneous refusal to apply warning labels to actual cereal boxes -- and refusing to quarantine or recall ALL boxes because only a few have been found to be toxic (as is the normal practice when a few food items have been found to be toxic, as I pointed out with the e-coli example with beef: ALL beef is recalled until the problem is sorted out. The "all beef" refers to concrete instances of beef -- i.e., Muslims -- not to the hypothetical IDEA of tainted beef (Islam), which does not harm anybody UNTIL an actual steak is found to have e-coli. At that point, the IDEA of tainted beef is actualized. We have sufficient actual Muslims, sufficiently disparate and difficult to identify and distinguish from harmless ones, to warrant a TOTAL recall (i.e., treating them en bloc).

"There is not a good analogy, to my knowledge, for Muslims collectively because the available examples for comparison among religious and political ideologies differ from the Muslim ummah in key respects."

I don't see how this disables us from appropriately gauging the threats posed by Islam and its human agents. A good approach is simply to take less-than-good analogies (Nazism, Communism, Fascism, pathological bouts of Puritanism from the 17th century, brainwashing cults, etc.) and simply saying "Islam resembles these in many respects, only it is WORSE."

"I agree with Spencer that there is a spectrum of belief among Muslims, and that to be factually accurate one cannot tar all Muslims with the same brush."

You apparently did not read my long previous comment carefully. I did not tar all Muslims with the same brush. I pointed out, exhaustively and articulately, why we are compelled, rationally, to treat Muslims as though they were tarred with the same brush. Their wonderful tapestry of diversity, even if it exists, becomes irrelevant to the exigencies of our self-defense -- for the reasons I pointed out in my previous comment, which I am not going to repeat.

"This highly variegated and contradictory nature of the distribution of belief sets is partly what makes the problem we face so difficult."

The difficulty involved here has more to do with PC MC than with rationality -- which dictates the tough choices of treating Muslims en bloc, regardless of spectrums. Analogy: When random, temporarily impossible-to-locate snipers start shooting at innocent people in Times Square, the behavior of law enforcement under the extraordinary circumstances of that emergency is to treat innocent people with suspicion and to abrogate civil rights (e.g., SWAT teams will commandeer an entire suite of offices or a floor of an apartment building, kicking everybody out without due process, in order to set up vantage points to try to stop the snipers). When the sniper shots are happening, and even during long lulls when no shots have been fired, nobody in their right mind would say "most of the people in the orbit of this problem are innocent and therefore you can't treat everyone with equal suspicion -- there's a whole spectrum of people here in Times Square!"

My analogy gets better, not worse, when a rudimentary profile is established of the snipers -- making all people who sufficiently fit that profile equally suspicious, irregardless of the likely fact that 99% of people who sufficiently fit that profile are innocent.

Finally, Islam suffers from the use of my above analogy, since Islam with is singular sociological and ideological features makes it MORE likely that an indeterminate number of Muslims will not be innocent anyway -- so the establishment of the collective guilt is not as randomly applied as in the analogy of the people who fit the profile of the sniper type of person.

"Surely you would agree, in your terms, that the major problem is PC MC (though we may differ in our opinions on its relative extent in the general populace vs the "elite")."

PC MC makes the rational measures I espouse more difficult.

"Presenting, up front, labels such as "Islam is evil" and so on are going to be resisted and classified as hyperbole by rational non-Muslims who have not seen the key evidence yet"

Seeing evidence is obviously insufficient. Millions of intelligent people have seen all the evidence they need to see, and they persist in refusing to wake up. Obviously, something more complex than the mere presentation of data to intelligent people is going on here, which I have analyzed exhaustively in at least 100 essays here and in the Hesperado.

"Simply declaring that "Islam is evil" is a weak approach that comes across as absurdly, wildly over-the-top that is easily refuted by dhimmi and Muslim apologists in the normal everyday superficial contexts in which such information is processed."

They also easily refute (within the mental universe of their paradigm) all the more nuanced variations and attenuations of the problem -- and furthermore they would easily tar Spencer and Daniel Pipes with the same brush they would tar somebody like me, who candidly expresses the "absurdly, wildly over-the-top" position.

You are ignoring broader subtler contextual factors -- such as the variety of the anti-Islam movement, which can have a salutary effect on those who are navigating their way through this issue; the cognitive dissonance of essays like mine that seem intellectual and reasoned, yet at the same time espouse radical measures, a dissonance that can also have salutary effects; the longer-term process of the anti-Islam movement, which obviously is not proceeding in a quickly and massively efficient and orderly manner, but partakes more of a messy sociological process going against the general flow and will perforce take a long time, likely many decades to gain sufficient sociopolitical traction (due mainly to the inertia of PC MC), during which time we will likely not avoid horrific casualties and damage by Muslims;
etc.

"The Handbook for refuting Islam apologetics scrupulously avoids such wild-seeming declarations, and sticks to presenting factual information and thorough rebuttals."

The Handbook would avoid abstract general statements on both sides -- it should not espouse the axiom that because Muslims in toto manifest a "spectrum" that therefore we can't treat them en bloc, any more than it should espouse the dictum that we should treat Muslims en bloc.

"Just present the facts and the key, critical pieces of evidence, and people will form their own mental "labels" or appropriately emotionally aversive tags to it."

It's going to be much messier and take much longer than you think, if you think that the mere presentation of data will change people's minds. As I have articulated in a variety of ways over a hundred times on my blogs, the process of presenting data to people who are formed (or deformed) by PC MC is not the simple rational process that occurs, for example, when a person asks a plumber what the problem is with their sink, and the plumber presents the data for the homeowner to make a rational decision about what to do and how much to pay. At worst, the homeowner will consult a second plumber for a second opinion, but fairly quickly will process the data and make a rational decision (even deciding to do nothing about the sink, because of lack of money, is of course a rational decision). But PC MC represents a complex mechanism of ways to handle incoming data. So no matter how much data you present, and no matter how horrific that data is, it gets re-routed in such a way as to sanitize Islam and to sanitize most Muslims. This re-routing process is complex, not simple. I have realized I am tired of finessing the problem and banging my head against the wall of PC MC, and worrying about stepping on the wrong eggshells for fear that the PC MC people will be "offended" or will think I'm a bigot. THEY WILL THINK THAT ANYWAY, EVEN IF I FINESSE AND AFFECT A NUANCED POSITION THAT DOES NOT "TAR ALL MUSLIMS".

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

You claim:
“You are ignoring broader subtler contextual factors -- such as the variety of the anti-Islam movement, which can have a salutary effect on those who are navigating their way through this issue;”

I’m not ignoring any of that at all; you are simply mistaken. I am aware of the variety in the “anti-Islam movement” or anti-jihad, anti-sharia movement, or whatever one chooses to call it. Also, I do not believe that everyone needs to be in uniform, lock-step formation, no do I think that such uniformity would be advantageous generally.

You allege:
“You apparently did not read my long previous comment carefully. I did not tar all Muslims with the same brush.”

Yes, I did read it (I’m probably one of the few people who did read it), and I did not claim that you tarred all Muslims with the same brush (where, anyways, the meaning was tarring descriptively). Yet you yourself state that you prescribe to tar them all with the same brush with regard to actions to be taken—whatever those actions may be. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but your suggestion implies that all Muslims would be subject to harsh punitive measures. I think you need to specify what these actions would be).

I disagree with your approach. Why punish Muslims who are working to oppose sharia? It makes no sense; it is counter-productive. At most, I would counter their Islam apologetics when they arise, with debate, to ensure non-Muslims do not become confused. I don’t suggest anything more needs to be done about Muslims who oppose sharia. Let them work at it.

I wrote: “Presenting, up front, labels such as "Islam is evil" and so on are going to be resisted and classified as hyperbole by rational non-Muslims who have not seen the key evidence yet"

You replied: “Seeing evidence is obviously insufficient. Millions of intelligent people have seen all the evidence they need to see, and they persist in refusing to wake up.”

1. Whether or not evidence alone is sufficient (see below), my point stands that hysterical-seeming calls that “Islam is evil,” which are what you recommend that Spencer make, are not going to convince anyone who’s not already convinced and will scare off (for whatever period of time) those who are not yet knowledgeable.

2. No, they haven’t seen the evidence. Most have seen only some brief news reports about terrorist attacks. “The evidence” includes at least some critical portion of evidence as listed in the template for the Handbook—the key information selected from the primary Islamic texts, Islamic law, Islamic history, current situation in all its aspects, and statistical and other evidence. These are the dots that need to be connected. Most people have not seen these dots. Indeed, most people have not even seen two of the dots presented simultaneously, though some see this at jihadwatch or in Wilders’ Fitna.

A terrorist attack shown on the evening news is not critical evidence. People haven’t seen the evidence that shows that what we are dealing with is more than a tiny minority of extremists, more than terrorism, not a distortion of a peaceful religion, etc. Most people do not read jihadwatch or other such sites. They see an occasional story about a major terrorist attack, but nothing that would provide the evidence to counter the widespread belief that this problem is (at most) anything other than some extremists twisting Islam for their own (non-religious) purposes. Most people simply do not have time to follow Islam-related issues.

Even among the tiny percentage of the Western population who are aware of the problem, such as those who read jihadwatch, many of these people have not even read the Quran. Hence, they may have an aversion to Islam, but they may not have the evidence they need to support their objections in an argument with a well-prepared Islam apologist (of the type who are often presented in the media). If they can't, this makes our side look weak in front of the audience that is not yet convinced.

3. It should be clear by now that I am not only suggesting the mere presentation of evidence. The Handbook consists mostly of carefully-chosen counterarguments, carefully supported by evidence, to popular Islam apologetics. It does not merely consist of evidence.

Nobody said...

"Yes, I did read it (I’m probably one of the few people who did read it), and I did not claim that you tarred all Muslims with the same brush (where, anyways, the meaning was tarring descriptively). Yet you yourself state that you prescribe to tar them all with the same brush with regard to actions to be taken—whatever those actions may be. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but your suggestion implies that all Muslims would be subject to harsh punitive measures. I think you need to specify what these actions would be)."

Kaab

I agree w/ Erich on this. Islam, by itself, is pretty benign and worthless until it gains members. As I pointed out in a previously cited post on JW, the Hutus of Rwanda could have a grand plan for world genocide, but since their numbers are so miniscule, containing them wouldn't be an issue at all. What makes Muslims so dangerous is their numbers, not just the number of variations that exist within the ummah.

"It must be remembered that some Muslims are on our side in opposing sharia, and that some non-Muslims are enabling or actively helping the jihadists to implement sharia.

I disagree with your approach. Why punish Muslims who are working to oppose sharia? It makes no sense; it is counter-productive. At most, I would counter their Islam apologetics when they arise, with debate, to ensure non-Muslims do not become confused. I don’t suggest anything more needs to be done about Muslims who oppose sharia. Let them work at it."


I'm assuming that you're referring to people like Tom Haidon or Massoud Khalili, rather than people who have apostatized all the way, like the Ali Sinas and Wafa Sultans. While they may be undoubtedly genuine, don't forget that there can be any number of Jihadis who could fake a moderation profile (and for that matter, even an apostasy), and thereby remain unscathed. Like the food example earlier, if and when one decides to run a counter Jihad campaign, first one would have to do a blanket expulsion, and later formulate a screening process as to which Muslims to let in for various purposes (e.g. translators).

"I wrote: “Presenting, up front, labels such as "Islam is evil" and so on are going to be resisted and classified as hyperbole by rational non-Muslims who have not seen the key evidence yet"

But that's exactly what separates JW from other anti-Jihad groups that try to distinguish between Islam and Jihad, such as Daniel Pipes' Islamist Watch and just about everyone who uses the term 'Islamo-Fascism'. Main problem we have today is the inability or the refusal of most people to trace the roots of all these activities in Islam itself. Once Islam itself is identified and recognized as the source of these evils, the statement 'Islam is evil' is no longer hyperbolic.

"2. No, they haven’t seen the evidence. Most have seen only some brief news reports about terrorist attacks. “The evidence” includes at least some critical portion of evidence as listed in the template for the Handbook—the key information selected from the primary Islamic texts, Islamic law, Islamic history, current situation in all its aspects, and statistical and other evidence. These are the dots that need to be connected. Most people have not seen these dots. Indeed, most people have not even seen two of the dots presented simultaneously, though some see this at jihadwatch or in Wilders’ Fitna."

More accurately, they see a million instances of the evidence, but fail to connect the dots, due to a variety of masks on the data when it is presented to them. Like the attempts to take over Somalia is seen at best as al Qaeda trying to take over, the Jihads against Israel is seen as an 'Arab-Israeli' conflict, and any recognition of the religious aspect of the conflict is usually put down to Israel existing for the sake of Judaism, the Jihad in Kashmir is seen as an India vs Pakistan issue, the Jihad in Thailand and Philippines is ignored.

Point is that they have seen the evidence through masks which some may well attribute as PCMC, and others may well attribute to intellectual lethargy. Seeing the evidence might mean actually viewing a movie such as 'Islam: What the West needs to know'. (It would have to be a visual form: a handbook wouldn't do it. A handbook would be useful for those of us already engaged in the debate, and needing material to butress our arguments, not for a generally uninterested public, who would need movies or at best documentaries to highlight the issues at hand)

smith said...

kab,

"I did not claim that you tarred all Muslims with the same brush (where, anyways, the meaning was tarring descriptively)."

The implication was there:

"I agree with Spencer that there is a spectrum of belief among Muslims, and that to be factually accurate one cannot tar all Muslims with the same brush."

You were agreeing with Spencer and disagreeing with me; therefore it is reasonable to suppose you were claiming I am tarring all Muslims with the same brush. If you were not claiming that, my objection still stands -- namely, that the "spectrum" of Muslims is of little value to our exigent self-defense needs. Indeed, the value it is given by various incompetent analysts out there is more often than not positively harmful to our self-defense needs.

"Yet you yourself state that you prescribe to tar them all with the same brush with regard to actions to be taken—whatever those actions may be."

Only because, practically speaking, the "spectrum" is of little use, if not a hindrance to our exigent self-defense needs. When, for example, intelligence profilers have determined that a certain type of person is most likely to be one that has already bombed ten different public places, and the profile they have developed is of a white man in his 50s who is either an army veteran, most likely a Marine, or a police officer, and when there are credible threats that Grand Central Station is going to be bombed, then law enforcement would be unacceptably irresponsible were it to fail to treat ALL men who fit that profile with equal suspicion and abridge their rights in whatever ways necessary -- given further data that comes in along the way -- to protect masses of innocents and infrastructure destruction. The broader and messier amplitude of the category "all Muslims" (+ the more amorphous nature of the threat) only makes such a type of self-defense posture more difficult -- but that difficulty should not be compounded by superimposing abstract ethical rules (often cloaked in neutrally objective language).

"(Correct me if I’m wrong, but your suggestion implies that all Muslims would be subject to harsh punitive measures. I think you need to specify what these actions would be)."

The measures I espouse are not punitive, but calculated to maximize proactive self-defense -- i.e., doing what it takes to prevent one of our cities getting nuked. Given the nature of the Islamic threat (and factoring in all the complexities I detailed before -- many of them unique to the sociopolitico-cultural nature of Islam in addition to the unprecedented flavor of fanaticism cultivated by Muslims), nothing short of mass deportations of all Muslims will do. The staggering obstacles to this because of PC MC are not relevant to whether or not it is necessary to ensure our proactive safety.

"I disagree with your approach. Why punish Muslims who are working to oppose sharia?"

I don't believe in "punishing" them. I believe that, given all the complex factors I detailed before -- a) we cannot trust them; and b) even if we could trust some of them, the complex machinery of policy and the enabling of certain attitudinal postures that would eventuate from such support (if that support is going to be meaningfully substantial and widespread) would serve to hobble our exigent self-defense needs (and/or perpetuate our PC MC apparatus that currently hobbles them).

"It makes no sense; it is counter-productive."

It is counter-productive if one's view of what is "productive" involves trusting Muslims and refusing to take ruthless measures such as mass deportation, and racial profiling to protect all public places, and similar things.

"1. Whether or not evidence alone is sufficient (see below), my point stands that hysterical-seeming calls that “Islam is evil,” "

They only seem "hysterical" to a type of person who won't be persuaded by anything less extreme and seemingly more nuanced. My essays are hardly "hysterical". (I know you don't think of them that way, but you do seem to think that the perception of them as such is one to take seriously.) Anyone who would sincerely characterize them as such has been so ideologically deformed by PC MC, little or nothing else would be able to persuade him anyway -- short of him seeing with his own eyes masses of Muslims lynching women and gays and blacks repeatedly and in many different places -- a baseline threshhold for changing one's mind about the problem of Islam that is, needless to say, unacceptably high.

"2. No, they haven’t seen the evidence. Most have seen only some brief news reports about terrorist attacks."

I have had too many conversations with sincere, intelligent PC MC people. I know that presentation of the data is not enough. You sorely underestimate the nature and dimensions of the PC MC paradigm.

"These are the dots that need to be connected. Most people have not seen these dots."

This way of phrasing the problem and process of solution indicate a simplistic grasp of the problem: except in contexts where the connection of dots is iron-clad, clear and devoid of ideological overlay, the process of connecting dots is not a simple matter of having the dots presented, and the recipient concluding, "Ah, I see what you mean now!" There is no blank slate in the recipient's mind. Rather, there is a psychosocially powerful, influential, rich and complex paradigm in place which has 1) alternative schemata of dot-connection; and 2) sophisticated ways of refuting, or evading, any schema of dot-connection that undermines theirs. Because the problem of Islam is both extraordinarily complex and fraught with lacunae -- the presentation of the dots is highly vulnerable to the mechanisms of the PC MC paradigm. Even if our dot-connection were more solid, it would still run up against profound interference from PC MC believers -- for the main reason that PC MC is irrational (albeit logical): it functions more or less like a brainwashing cult. Have you ever tried to refute a conspiracy theorist? Their minds are like an inexorable machine that is capable of devouring all your data and all your logical arguments, digesting all that data and logic, and still maintain their position. Indeed, feeding the PC MC machine with opposing data often makes it stronger.

"Indeed, most people have not even seen two of the dots presented simultaneously, though some see this at jihadwatch or in Wilders’ Fitna."

Most people in the West who have not seen two or three of the dots, after seeing them, will not behave like innocents whose minds were heretofore open, blank slates: No: immediately after the dots are presented, their PC MC machinery -- which was in their minds all along -- will kick in, either refuse to ingest the data, or will ingest it -- but either way, will excrete its responses that manage somehow to redeem Islam and most Muslims while throwing in some condemnation of the West for good measure icing on the cake.

"A terrorist attack shown on the evening news is not critical evidence. People haven’t seen the evidence that shows that what we are dealing with is more than a tiny minority of extremists, more than terrorism, not a distortion of a peaceful religion"

Yes, but these things --

1) that what we are dealing with is more than a tiny minority of extremists

2) not a distortion of a peaceful religion

(and dozens more like them)

-- are not "facts"; they are interpretations of facts (reasonable ones, of course, to you and me).

The passage from the facts we could marshall and string together into coherent bundles (laborious processes in and of themselves), to those interpretations is, for you and me, relatively a no-brainer. Why you and I can readily come to this conclusion, while others who are similarly sane, intelligent, logical people, cannot, is a mystery. But that mystery is a massive, dominant and mainstream fact all around us. And the mechanics of why the others cannot come to that conclusion are not a mystery: they are the mechanics of the PC MC paradigm, and those mechanics exploit the unavoidably imperfect state of our information, by which we cannot avoid having large holes in our information connections. Of course, that is not the only reason for the efficiency of the PC MC paradigm: as I have explicated in copious detail, it also has to do with (among other things) a complex ideological logic based in a morbidly pathological self-criticism of the West by Westerners, coupled with a dominant doctrine of Reverse Racism.

"Even among the tiny percentage of the Western population who are aware of the problem, such as those who read jihadwatch, many of these people have not even read the Quran. Hence, they may have an aversion to Islam, but they may not have the evidence they need to support their objections in an argument with a well-prepared Islam apologist (of the type who are often presented in the media). If they can't, this makes our side look weak in front of the audience that is not yet convinced."

No disagreement there.

"It should be clear by now that I am not only suggesting the mere presentation of evidence. The Handbook consists mostly of carefully-chosen counterarguments, carefully supported by evidence, to popular Islam apologetics. It does not merely consist of evidence."

My objection stands, ratcheted up to include argumentation. I.e., everything I have said about the PC MC mechanism and how it deals with evidence, of course also applies to arguments and counterarguments -- even more so, since the arguments and counterarguments suffer from lacunae. Debates likes these -- between us and the PC MC defenders of Islam -- can literally go on forever. At any rate, I am not disputing the value of the Handbook, as you should know by now. Its value, however, will not entail a massive effect; at best, and hopefully, it will (if it ever gets realized, that is) have one small but important part to play in the larger arc of the downfall of PC MC, which will happen sooner or later, but most likely not without horrific losses of life and terrible damage to infrastructure on our side, at the hands of Muslims.

nobody wrote:

"the Hutus of Rwanda could have a grand plan for world genocide, but since their numbers are so miniscule, containing them wouldn't be an issue at all."

It's not only the small numbers of Hutus, but also their lack of a trans-national consciousness and brotherhood, energized by an ideology of supremacism to be concretized through violent actions (coupled with covert non-violent subterfuge), all with the dead-serious, fanatical goal of attaining an eschaton.

"What makes Muslims so dangerous is their numbers, not just the number of variations that exist within the ummah."

Plus the aforementioned qualities of their culture I listed (which the Hutus lack), which makes those higher numbers of Muslims (and trans-national dispersal) even more dangerous.

"While [certain Muslim reformers] may be undoubtedly genuine, don't forget that there can be any number of Jihadis who could fake a moderation profile (and for that matter, even an apostasy)"

Also, the al Qaeda manual explicitly states posing as a Kafir, or at least posing as a "non-observant Muslim" as a tactic. Who thinks they wouldn't advocate posing as an "anti-Sharia" Muslim too, if they found it expedient? The risks are too high. Methinks kab still doesn't see the gravity of the situation. I guess he'll have to wait until after a city is nuked before he gets serious about our self-defense.

"I wrote: “Presenting, up front, labels such as "Islam is evil" and so on are going to be resisted and classified as hyperbole by rational non-Muslims who have not seen the key evidence yet"

"But that's exactly what separates JW from other anti-Jihad groups that try to distinguish between Islam and Jihad, such as Daniel Pipes' Islamist Watch and just about everyone who uses the term 'Islamo-Fascism'. "

nobody: You're wrong. If you measure JW by the formal pronouncements of Spencer and Fitzgerald -- they also distinguish Islam from Jihad. Read my last 10 essays on JWW to see copious argumentation and evidence.

smith said...

kab and nobody -- my last comment was under a name "smith" which I didn't realize would show up. It's me, hesp.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Guys,

The above looks like a very lengthy exercise in miscommunication. I began by trying to clarify something, in responding to Hesp's article above, about my analogy referring to Islam and not Muslims. That's all. In any case, I will try to be explicit about my views, even though I thought, by now, you both had a better understanding of my views.

Nobody said:

"I agree w/ Erich on this. Islam, by itself, is pretty benign and worthless until it gains members."

I agree. Nothing I wrote suggests otherwise. As I've said before in citing polls, I believe that the majority of Muslims worldwide today hold an interpretation of Islam that is inimical to certain basic values and laws in the West (e.g., especially re freedom of expression and freedom of conscience). That, and their large-scale and growing presence in the West, makes them dangerous. The reason I support proven moderate Muslims (i.e., the small minority who've actively opposed sharia and helped block its partial implementation in some jurisdictions in Canada, for example) is that they will help weaken Islam as a political, legal, and militaristic entity. At the same time, I think it is appropriate to correct anything these moderates may say about Islam that might confuse non-Muslims.

In the larger scheme of things, I see the actions of moderate Muslims who actively oppose sharia as a good but minor thing. The major goal, as I’ve said all along, is to educate non-Muslims. Islam as a legal, political, and militaristic entity will not be deactivated sufficiently until non-Muslims decide to deactivate it. Once it is so deactivated, the task will be to reduce sufficiently the likelihood of future reactivations.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Nobody (N) said:

"I'm assuming that you're referring to people like Tom Haidon or Massoud Khalili, rather than people who have apostatized all the way, like the Ali Sinas and Wafa Sultans."

I think you've got me correct here, but just to be totally clear, Tom Haidon seems a bit luke warm and flip-floppy to me as someone who opposes sharia...sure I can believe he's received death threats from hard-liners but that doesn't mean he's much help to us...he seems to support some long drawn-out reinterpretation process, and always seems to postpone an explanation of how he plans to handle all the problems in Islam.

I'm thinking more along the lines of people like Tarek Fatah, who've actually stuck their necks out (also in the face of death threats) and campaigned against sharia in a public, loud, aggressive, and well-organized way that gets the attention of the media, the general public, and the government. I also support those few Muslims who've risked their lives going into hard-line mosques and getting undercover video of Muslims clerics' incendiary speeches, and then presenting this material to the media and the police. Of course, I support those few Muslims who've actually fought on our side in our various military operations.

Even in these cases of real active moderates, though, I'd want to correct anything unduly positive they'd say about Islam to the broader public.

N: "While they may be undoubtedly genuine, don't forget that there can be any number of Jihadis who could fake a moderation profile (and for that matter, even an apostasy), and thereby remain unscathed."

I agree. I don't support the false moderates, and do believe we need to be vigilant.

(Note: Even if there was a sweeping policy to deport all Muslims, some Muslims would claim to be non-Muslims. That kind of deception is, of course, less likely than stealth jihadists pretending to be moderates).

N: "Like the food example earlier, if and when one decides to run a counter Jihad campaign, first one would have to do a blanket expulsion, and later formulate a screening process as to which Muslims to let in for various purposes (e.g. translators)."

Those who support sharia should be expelled, I agree. I would prefer not expelling the genuine moderates who've actively opposed sharia. Whether one wants a mass expulsion of all Muslims or not, there is the issue of the reality of actually doing this. I don't think it can be done, practically. There are legal and constitutional hurdles that will not likely be by-passed or altered. There is also the complication that some non-Muslims for various bizarre political ideological and religious reasons actually want sharia law and Islamic schools. In absolute numbers, there may be more of these pro-sharia non-Muslims than there are pro-sharia Muslims. What do we do with all those non-Muslims? Do we deport them to Saudi Arabia and Iran, or what? This highlights a problem with the blanket expulsion-of-Muslims approach; non-Muslims encouraging sharia would still be there to cause problems, including obstructing all of our anti-sharia measures. But if we keep the "against-sharia" Muslims here, then they would oppose remnants of non-Muslim pro-sharia people or pro-sharia Muslims who were not expelled.

I believe the first step is to educate the non-Muslim public. Once they get the information and the correctives to all the misinformation, the next step will be to ban Islam that has the following characteristics, all of which constitute major criminal, and/or unconstitutional, subversive, seditious, and/or treasonous elements in the West:

-apostasy penalty
-blasphemy penalty
-lack of equal status viz gender
-lack of equal status viz mere religious belief
-lack of separation of religion and state
-classical jihad policy
-da'wa policies tied to the jihad policy or other threatened punishments
-criminalization of adultery, fornication, homosexuality
-leniencies or exemptions in so-called honor killings
-religious restrictions on marriage
-marriage to or sex with underage persons
-the goal to establish Islam as a legal, political, or militaristic entity
-any other policy that is criminal or unconstitutional in a Western jurisdiction

Any "Islam" that has one or more of the above elements, in my view, is a subversive criminal organization that should be banned. (Note: I am aware of some wrinkles in the above, e.g., plenty of non-Muslims want blasphemy laws and agree that Islam should never be "insulted"; and we still have vestiges of Christian blasphemy laws that can be exploited by Muslims. That's another obstacle we'll have to overcome). Any moderate Muslim interpretation of "Islam" that does not contain these illegal and unconstitutional elements (i.e., merely a cherry-picked moderate "Islam" that is a matter of personal faith only), and which explicitly rejects the above-listed illegal elements, does not need to be banned.

Now suppose Islam, i.e., classical mainstream Islam, is banned. What then?

Some Muslims will leave the West voluntarily. Other Muslims (stealth jihadists) will feign to accept the conditions of the "moderate Islam" and stay on in the West to continue the various jihads--propaganda, demographic conquest, etc. Still other Muslims, the genuine active moderates, will remain in the West and will continue to help expose and cause problems for those remaining stealth jihadists.

Something more significant will have to be done about the stealth jihadists, of course. There must be a continual monitoring process, but that is inadequate. The major problem in the West, as I've said all along, is demographic jihad. To deal with the growing population of stealth jihadists, or those just biding their time until the Muslim population grows larger, we need to bring in new legislation to deal with the problem of demographic conquest. I am not optimistic that we'll ever be able to do that, but I believe it would be more feasible to get the general non-Muslim public to agree to general laws that prevent demographic conquest by any political-ethnic group than it would be to get them to accept (a) an ad hoc law or policy to specifically remove all Muslims, or (b) an ad hoc restriction specifically to limit demographic conquest by Muslims. The scale we should use to measure the threat that any demographic group poses could be multifactorial and could include such factors as the content of the law and constitution in countries where such demographic groups are in power. For example, where Islam is in power in Muslim majority countries, what sorts of policies and laws are in place? That should be an indicator of what that demographic group is likely to do if it forms a majority and takes power in a Western country. As for Islamic countries, these clearly implement policies that are illegal and unconstitutional in the West. Therefore Western countries have potential legal and constitutional bases for preventing Muslims from implementing such policies and laws at a future time, and therefore the Muslim population must be kept under a certain percentage by law (e.g., perhaps 1% or 2% of the population, maximum, such that they cannot influence public policy as a block).

Of course, we have such a long way to go on all of these self-protective policies that I am not optimistic that we'll win this long term defence of our civilization. (The same goes, by the way, for the much simpler policy of blanket deportations of all Muslims: By the time the non-Muslim public fully understands and accepts such a solution is needed, it will be too late). The U.S., China, South America, and possibly Australia and New Zealand have a chance to survive this century, though not unscathed. But I believe most of the other countries, particularly Russia, Europe, and Canada, will be under sharia law by the end of the century. One can only guess at the possibility of large-scale wars between these countries, and the outcome.

Improbable as it is that Canada and Europe would stop the self-Islamization in the long-term, of course I would continue to struggle against it.

I see only two major possibilities that would prevent the Islamization of Canada and Europe, and these are (1) my suggestions of first banning mainstream Islam, deporting all Muslims who support sharia, and introducing and then enacting policy that counters demographic conquest or demographic trends that could lead to such conquest, or (2) banning Islam period and deporting all Muslims regardless of their stated beliefs.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

"...and therefore the Muslim population must be kept under a certain percentage by law (e.g., perhaps 1% or 2% of the population, maximum, such that they cannot influence public policy as a block)."

That is, the population of the "moderate Muslims" in the West would not be allowed to increase beyond about 1 or 2%* until such a time as Islamic countries world-wide rejected classical mainstream Islam and ceased to be Islamic polities, and adopted laws in line with Western laws and constitutions.

* I realize, of course, that this entails some corrective whereby the Western countries such as France, Holland, and others, must enact policies to deport most of their Muslims as of right now. We're not anywhere near being able to implement such policies, because the general public for the most part doesn't understand what we're dealing with.

(The general public is, as it has been for the past decade or two, in majority opposed to immigration and multiculturalism. I suspect that Muslim immigration, particularly in Europe, is a major reason for this aversion. The majority of the Dutch, for example, believe that Islam poses a threat and that massive immigration was the "worst mistake in Dutch history").

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Nobody said: "More accurately, they see a million instances of the evidence, but fail to connect the dots, due to a variety of masks on the data when it is presented to them."

The data is partly masked. One of the goals of the Handbook is to remove the masking by addressing it directly and refuting it with counterarguments supported by evidence (i.e., carefully-chosen dots, dots situated to best reveal the figure). I assume we're all agreed on that much.

I don't agree that people have seen that much evidence. Most people barely have an inkling of anything to do with Islam. They're too busy with their day-to-day lives and interests. They may oppose Islam as merely one part of a general opposition to multiculturalism and massive immigration, but they don't understand the extent of the problem.

Re films, etc., and more graphic, interest-grabbing methods, I think simply reporting on the latest (daily) Islamic outrages is enough,, but much of this information doesn't make prominent headlines in the mainstream news.

Re Islam: What the West Needs to Know, informationally it is good though I would agree with those who said that it is largely ineffective because the dry talking-head format will not hold the attention of those who need to know, and, as you suggested, there is not much (besides the historical map) to allow people to connect the dots. If there was, I forgot it, and thus so would some others.

Organization and presentation of the information is a major challenge. What Spencer does daily, for some of his posts, is to try and connect some latest Islamic outrage or mayhem to Islamic doctrine. Othertimes he links it to Islamic law. Less often he links the events to law, and primary texts. I've yet to see Spencer of anyone else present the full schematic figure, as it were, in a single article. The only time I've seen the full schematic outline, anywhere in a relatively brief format, is in the Handbook. (The full schematic has been shown in Spencer's Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, but that is a book).

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

"I think simply reporting on the latest (daily) Islamic outrages is enough,"

i.e., for grabbing attention. The additional dots nevertheless must be added to the story. Spencer adds these dots more than anyone else does, but each story still needs more dots added (particularly, statistics and up-to-date Islamic laws and policies)

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Nobody: "Once Islam itself is identified and recognized as the source of these evils, the statement 'Islam is evil' is no longer hyperbolic."

The point stands that to say "Islam is evil" up front is hyperbolic and counterproductive.

Here is an analogy: Trying to jump from the first floor to the second is very expensive, dangerous, and practically impossible with high ceilings. Here we are dealing with a high ceiling. We need stairs, not wild flailing and jumping.

In any case, there is no need to even say "Islam is evil," and as I've said the statement is misleading. It's just gratuituous and is not in the class of things that are going to convince anyone who needs to be convinced. People do not need something to be labelled evil. Just show them what the policies are, refute the apologetics, and they'll develop a healthy aversion to Islam.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

You said/quoted:

[start excerpt]
"I did not claim that you tarred all Muslims with the same brush (where, anyways, the meaning was tarring descriptively)."

The implication was there:

"I agree with Spencer that there is a spectrum of belief among Muslims, and that to be factually accurate one cannot tar all Muslims with the same brush."

You were agreeing with Spencer and disagreeing with me; therefore it is reasonable to suppose you were claiming I am tarring all Muslims with the same brush. If you were not claiming that, my objection still stands -- namely, that the "spectrum" of Muslims is of little value to our exigent self-defense needs. Indeed, the value it is given by various incompetent analysts out there is more often than not positively harmful to our self-defense needs."

[end excerpt]

I didn't state anything of the sort and in any case I've clarified, so why are you continuing to claim that I said something that I did not say?

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"They only seem "hysterical" to a type of person who won't be persuaded by anything less extreme and seemingly more nuanced."

I disagree. You have to view this from the perspective of someone who doesn't know what we know. I'm not "PC MC," but I would automatically be suspicious of anyone making such wild claims about an entire ideological system. I'd assume the person making the claim wasn't interested in facts and the normal procedures for presenting evidence and building a case--that is, things that give you the impression that the claimant respects the intelligence of the audience. I'd assume the person making the claim was an ideologue with an axe to grind, barely able to contain himself.

"My essays are hardly "hysterical"."

I would suggest you try a thought experiment, if you have not already done so. You have been advocating that Spencer use lines such as "Islam is evil". 1. What do you think would happen if he did? 2. Would the public know anything more about Islam if he said it?

I'm asking you to consider how this would play out in the real world.

But hey, if you don't want to take my advice, and avoid these kinds of wild statements, I'm not going to waste further time trying to convince you of that.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

hesp,

"Anyone who would sincerely characterize them as such has been so ideologically deformed by PC MC, little or nothing else would be able to persuade him anyway -- short of him seeing with his own eyes masses of Muslims lynching women and gays and blacks repeatedly and in many different places --"

Some of the information includes what Muslims have done to blacks and gays historically and at present (Iran, Sudan, etc.), but this can be decoupled from Islam if the necessary dots aren't added, i.e., information from Islamic doctrine that shows the basis for these actions and with further counterargument to refute the apologetics that separate these acts from Islam.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

I said "I disagree with your approach. Why punish Muslims who are working to oppose sharia?"

You said: "I don't believe in "punishing" them."

Well, use whatever euphemism you like, but deporting someone against their will is a punishment. The question is whether that punishment is justified. I don't think it is justified in the case of Muslims who oppose sharia. I do think deportation is justified legally and constitutionally in the case of Muslims who favour sharia.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

Your favourite refrain:

"You sorely underestimate the nature and dimensions of the PC MC paradigm."

I base my opinions on polls and surveys, not on conversations with a small number of unrepresentative people on the internet. What you call "PC MC" is a problem, of course, particularly in certain areas of academia, in most of the media, among religious leaders, and among practically all politicians. Not so much among the general public.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"Most people in the West"

Empirical evidence is required to support this claim.

"who have not seen two or three of the dots, after seeing them, will not behave like innocents whose minds were heretofore open, blank slates:"

I didn't claim anything about blank slates.

"No: immediately after the dots are presented, their PC MC machinery -- which was in their minds all along -- will kick in, either refuse to ingest the data, or will ingest it -- but either way, will excrete its responses that manage somehow to redeem Islam and most Muslims while throwing in some condemnation of the West for good measure icing on the cake."

Do you have evidence that the majority of the general public will respond this way? I doubt it. This is all very speculative, because instances of more than one dot being presented simultaneously are very rare. I don't doubt that some people will behave much as you've suggested, but these would be a very small minority of the general public. The people who would respond similar to the way you suggest, I suspect, would be those who are already ideologically primed to do this (yes, you claim this of the general public but have no evidence to support a claim about the general public), or indeed already had an established history of doing this, which puts us back to those in the media, the academics in certain departments, the politicians, et al.

However, even if what you're saying is true about the general public, i.e., that most of them are members of what you call the cult of PC MC, not all of them are and so we need to keep trying to present the dots (together) to those people.

If the majority of the general public is really as stuck in the PC MC cult as you say, how do you think calling out "Islam is evil" or calling for a deportation of all Muslims regardless of their individual beliefs, is going to play with those people? They'll resist it even more easily, and with more justification.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

You write:

"Yes, but these things --

1) that what we are dealing with is more than a tiny minority of extremists

2) not a distortion of a peaceful religion

(and dozens more like them)

-- are not "facts"; they are interpretations of facts (reasonable ones, of course, to you and me)."

Those are propositions. I didn't say they were facts. I referred to "evidence" that "shows" that these apologist propositions are not true or not valid or not supported, or whatever terms one might use.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

I said: "It should be clear by now that I am not only suggesting the mere presentation of evidence. The Handbook consists mostly of carefully-chosen counterarguments, carefully supported by evidence, to popular Islam apologetics. It does not merely consist of evidence."

You said: "My objection stands, ratcheted up to include argumentation. I.e., everything I have said about the PC MC mechanism and how it deals with evidence, of course also applies to arguments and counterarguments -- even more so, since the arguments and counterarguments suffer from lacunae."

I don't understand why you would "ratchet up" the objection, though at this point I don't care and this is taking far too much time. I post one brief post simply to clarify that my analogy referred to Islam and not Muslims, and now look where we are, as I continue to counter and clarify the proliferating unfounded assumptions and claims about my views.

I cited argumentation, see "carefully-chosen counterarguments," to your prior claim that suggested I was advocating only presenting facts. Now you are shifting goal posts, claiming I did not include provisions for PC MC, or that I am somehow overestimating the effectiveness of the Handbook, etc.

The carefully-chosen counterarguments deal with PC myths and apologetics about Islam, so I think I had that covered.

Erich said...

kab,

Just one comment for now:

You wrote:

"Of course, I support those few Muslims who've actually fought on our side in our various military operations."

The problem with this is that, up until the moment that Muslim-American Sergeant Hasan K. Akbar (fighting for us in the Iraq theater of operations) rolled three grenades into a tent to murder fellow officers (succeeding in murdering two), you probably would not have been able to distinguish him from those Muslims who've fought on our side that you support. Given the nature of Islam and all the complex features of its menace, I say that one Sergeant Akbar represents one too many of a type of incident warranting us to treat all Muslims with suspicion, no matter how nice and supportive and patriotic they seem. We should not wait for a second incident like his, much less some higher threshhold.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02E5D81138F93AA25755C0A9659C8B63

Erich said...

kab,

You wrote:

"use whatever euphemism you like, but deporting someone against their will is a punishment."

The word "punishment" (in its 1st and 2nd definitions in the dictionary) specifically and necessarily includes the meaning of penalty for sins or faults. I'm not generally nor centrally interested in penalizing Muslims for being bad people (though that isn't to say that I would necessarily sneeze at a serendipitous opportunity to torture the Muslims who beheaded those Indonesian girls, to pick one example out of thousands from a turban); only in preventing them from harming me, my loved ones, my fellow Westerners, and the fabric of my Western society.

Erich said...

kab,

you wrote:

"The question is whether that punishment is justified. I don't think it is justified in the case of Muslims who oppose sharia."

I don't think "punishment" is justified for Muslims who oppose sharia; since, if they are sincere (and not covertly pretending), they are schizophrenics irrationally meaning well, and pity would be more appropriate than "punishment". As I said immediately above, my intent is not to punish, since punishment means to penalize for being bad. My intent is rather to maximize our self-defense. The stakes are too high to trust any Muslim. It's that simple.

Plus there is the unique sociological feature of Islam, whereby the spectral variety of the entire Umma, by virtue of it all being under the rubric of "Muslim", sustains and inspires the monster's imperialistic voracity and supremacist conceit -- even when that variety includes things that seem, through our Western spectacles, mild or "moderate" or even reformist.

Erich said...

kab,

Re: the "tarring" of Muslims, you wrote:

"I didn't state anything of the sort and in any case I've clarified, so why are you continuing to claim that I said something that I did not say?"

Why, then, did you initially even raise your opinion that tarring Muslims with one brush is a bad thing in your comment to me, if you think it has nothing to do with me? Surely it's reasonable to suppose you raised it to me initially because you thought I am doing it.

As I said, my position is not that all Muslims are necessarily dangerous, but rather that we are forced, because of

a) our complex lack of key knowledge about Muslim terrorists (due in great part to unique features of Islamic sociology)

and

b) the high stakes of the threat we face from Muslim terrorists

to assume that they are all dangerous.

The distinction here is analogous to that between

1) A racist who thinks all blacks are dangerous

2) A police profiler who is not racist but who casuistically tars all blacks with the same brush in the context of a profile developed with regard to a specific threat.

1 and 2 share at least one feature: they both would treat all blacks as dangerous. (They might also share certain ways of handling that danger, while disagreeing about other ways.)

It is the indiscriminate and irrational lumping together of 1 and 2 which is part of the PC MC dogma, and when this is coupled with the implicity Reverse Racism by which "Brown" Muslims are endowed with the halo of being oppressed just like blacks by Big Bad Whitey, you have a mainstream recipe for obstructing our rational public discussion, -- let alone rational actions we could take therefrom -- about the menace of Islam.

Sorry, but I see any objections to "tarring with the same brush" to be unavoidably tainted with the sticky tar of PC MC -- that tars all generalizations about Islam with the same brush with which they tar "Racists", "Bigots", "Facists" and "genocidal Nazis".

Nobody said...

Erich: "nobody: You're wrong. If you measure JW by the formal pronouncements of Spencer and Fitzgerald -- they also distinguish Islam from Jihad. Read my last 10 essays on JWW to see copious argumentation and evidence."

I guess I could have worded it differently. Other analysts, such as Pipes, imagine/pretend that there is a difference between the real Islam and the one practiced by the Jihadis. For all your criticism of Spencer, that's one thing you can't accuse him of. The problem most @ JW have is with the mainstream analysts distinguishing between 'Islamo-Fascism' and Islam. The problem you have is with Spencer extrapolating the fact that he has no issues w/ the non-threatening parts of Islam to his opposition to the assertion that 'Islam is evil'.

Kab:"I agree. Nothing I wrote suggests otherwise. As I've said before in citing polls, I believe that the majority of Muslims worldwide today hold an interpretation of Islam that is inimical to certain basic values and laws in the West (e.g., especially re freedom of expression and freedom of conscience). That, and their large-scale and growing presence in the West, makes them dangerous. The reason I support proven moderate Muslims (i.e., the small minority who've actively opposed sharia and helped block its partial implementation in some jurisdictions in Canada, for example) is that they will help weaken Islam as a political, legal, and militaristic entity. At the same time, I think it is appropriate to correct anything these moderates may say about Islam that might confuse non-Muslims."

The numbers you cited about the majority of Muslims who support Shariah and other dangerous consequences of Islam is exactly what makes the distinction you seemed to be drawing earlier between Islam and Muslims rather irrelevant. In any case, distinguishing between moderate and radical Muslims is in no way similar to distinguishing between Islam and Muslims.

As for the moderate Muslims you cite above, it's fine and dandy to support them, but recognize that in the larger scheme of things, they are not going to change Islam one bit. Even the Ali Sinas have, and will have, a minimal influence, but at least in the case of apostates, they are trying to draw MINOs away from Islam, without interfering in how Muslims get regulated in the West, except when they get pandered to.

Kab: "Whether one wants a mass expulsion of all Muslims or not, there is the issue of the reality of actually doing this. I don't think it can be done, practically."

The goal here is to put the will in place, so that people recognize that this is a problem, and act accordingly. Of course, the solutions that would have to follow can vary between treating Muslims like members of NAMBLA to cracking down on them like in the case of the FLDS followers in TX. I think both you and Erich will agree that if the will itself was there, the follow-up actions would be actions that people would be largely comfortable with, regardless of their intensity.

Kab: "I see only two major possibilities that would prevent the Islamization of Canada and Europe, and these are (1) my suggestions of first banning mainstream Islam, deporting all Muslims who support sharia, and introducing and then enacting policy that counters demographic conquest or demographic trends that could lead to such conquest, or (2) banning Islam period and deporting all Muslims regardless of their stated beliefs."

Exactly. But if people at large do not recognize that Islam is evil, how can that ever be expected to happen? You yourself recognize that a Benes decree like action in the West would have to be enacted to prevent a demographic conquest of the West, but what's the trigger? If a majority of people come to the conclusion that Islam is a threat, that might happen. But if they don't, why would they ever agree to policies that under any normal situation would (wrongly of course) be considered draconian?

Kab: "Re Islam: What the West Needs to Know, informationally it is good though I would agree with those who said that it is largely ineffective because the dry talking-head format will not hold the attention of those who need to know, and, as you suggested, there is not much (besides the historical map) to allow people to connect the dots."

Yeah, I was thinking more about a cross between 'Obsession' and 'Islam: WTWNTN'. Obsession, aside from the credit apologetic that seemed to suggest that a majority of Muslims were opposed to Jihadi activities, seemed to put all the onus on terror groups like Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran, et al, but not draw the connections to Islam. The latter documentary, as you pointed out, was largely a dry group of talking heads, with only some videos of demonstrations in London and NY. Something that has all the shots of Hizbullah, Hamas rallies as well as terror attacks from Casablanca to Bali, as well as featuring turmoil in countries like Malaysia, would be the meat of such a project, while readings of relevant Quran and hadiths (preferably by Islamic preachers themselves) would make the connection.

Kab: "I would suggest you try a thought experiment, if you have not already done so. You have been advocating that Spencer use lines such as "Islam is evil". 1. What do you think would happen if he did? 2. Would the public know anything more about Islam if he said it?"

One thing - I thought the original topic here was

1. Does Spencer (and others like him) view Islam as a threat?

2. If not (as proven by the cited posts), is that a warranted conclusion?

It would have been one thing had we thought that Spencer believes that Islam is evil, but needs to follow an alternate route to actually stating that. But the problem Erich and I have here is that he doesn't seem to share that view. Of course, that's his prerogative, just as it's anyone else's, but it's worth analyzing whether that's a logical conclusion to be drawn from the moutains of news stories that have appeared over the last few years in JW and DW.

Your analysis on what should be done once such a threat is recognized as such by the population at large is an excellent one, but one that would only follow after the public at large is where we are today.

Erich said...

kab,

you wrote:

"I don't understand why you would "ratchet up" the objection [from mere data to argumentation based on data]..."

The phrase "ratchet up" might not be the best one, if it implies a change of mind on my part. What I meant was, at that point in my reading of your comments and my formulation of responses to you, I saw that I had to not only talk about the inadequacy of presentation of data to people whose minds are formed by PC MC, but also saw that I had to include the next higher level of communication -- interpretations of data / argumentation based upon data. That inclusion represents nothing new in my mind; I had just neglected to mention it earlier in this particular bout of comments. So I wasn't "shifting goal posts" -- just noticing another goal post I had neglected to mention before. I saw it was necessary to do so because you seemed to think that the level of argumentation is somehow endowed with less vulnerability than the level of mere data; when, in fact, it tends to be more vulnerable to being exploited for PC MC purposes.

The gap between data and interpretations almost always suffers from lacunae: with the presentation of the menace of Islam, there are many glaring lacunae, and the connecting link between, for example, 1) a "tiny minority of extremists who are twisting Islam is the problem", and 2) "Islam is the problem because it is the prime motivator and vehicle for those so-called extremists" can probably never be established with the kind of certitude which the connecting link between 1) leaving meat out for too long and 2) getting sick, for example, commands.

Erich said...

"I post one brief post simply to clarify that my analogy referred to Islam and not Muslims, and now look where we are, as I continue to counter and clarify the proliferating unfounded assumptions and claims about my views."

At least two assumptions of mine about your views, however, are not wrong are they? To wit, that

1) you do not think Islam is evil

2) you do not think it wise to treat all Muslims en bloc for the purposes of our self-defense.

#2 is particularly pertinent here, since the Cereal/Tainted Beef analogy specifically justifies treating ALL instances as guilty (i.e., as toxic), even though all parties agree that probably 98% (certainly the vast majority) of those instances are very likely innocent (i.e., harmless).

The process of how we treat Muslims is not merely an abstract idea; nor is it reducible to personal ethics or concrete, individual practicalities -- for example, in a specific concrete situation, I might be able to conclude that a given Muslim individual I know either as an acquaintance or as even a friend, can be trusted -- not in some abstractly universal or general way, but in terms of some specific situation or activity.

I might, for example, think that the friendly, personable, gregarious Muslim office colleague I know would be sufficiently trustworthy in terms of his promise to alert me from his cubicle when he sees our boss coming around the corner while I am using the copy machine against office policy for my personal project -- but in terms of the threat of a bomb blowing up the office building we both work in, I would not trust that Muslim, no matter how nice he seems to be, and my mistrust would be rationally effected in a variety of ways: most desirably, by having him fired and deported from the country. Short of that, by treating him with more suspicion than non-Muslim employees -- particularly with any independent unrelated indications of a bomb arising (in the context of my inability to actualize a general suspicion, due to PC MC). I might even personally feel it is a sad thing to feel forced to suspect this friendly office mate, since he seems to be such a nice guy. But that is not only irrelevant to the larger more complex and impersonal cogs of the machine of massive self-defense; it can have dangerously hindering effects.

The personal and individual level is therefore qualitatively different from the enormously complex process of policy on a national and then international level -- on these higher more complex levels, much more generalization becomes unavoidable as "collateral damage", and efforts to try to avoid it often can have obstructing effects -- which, when it comes to our self-defense in the context of our risks (a city getting nuked by Muslim fanatics), are not just a matter of academic complications, but can enable mass deaths.

Here again, the Cereal analogy is helpful: on an individual level, some guy might decide he can figure out if the box of recalled Raisin Bran he managed to buy (on the same day of the recall, within minutes of the ban) is harmless by feeding a few spoonfulls randomly accessing various parts of the cereal in the box to a stray dog. He most likely will find that his box is harmless. But on the massive, complex level of ensuring the safety of millions of people in a sprawling, complex nation, you have to enact measures that will ride roughshod over particularized concerns, sensibilities and distinctions.

Erich said...

Just a general addendum:

My position on the "Islam is evil" topic:

Islam is not merely "evil", it is also

2) unjust

and

3) dangerous.

These three things, while they can be so closely related they seem virtually the same, are not necessarily so. A Satanic cult, for example, can be deemed evil, but not be particularly dangerous (and "nobody"'s earlier example of the Hutus applies too: they are certainly evil and unjust, but they are not dangerous to anybody outside Rwanda).

Islam is more than these three things, of course. It also has, as Spencer likes to point out, a progressive dental plan. :)

Erich said...

kab,

you wrote:

"if what you're saying is true about the general public, i.e., that most of them are members of what you call the cult of PC MC..."

I didn't call PC MC a cult; I said "it functions more or less like a brainwashing cult."

Something that is dominant and mainstream is, by definition, not a cult (that's why I don't like calling Islam a "cult" as many Jihad Watchers relish doing).

Furthermore, my view of PC MC is not simplex: I recognize that there are many people (usually of the Right, less usually but still significantly of the Center) who do not hold PC MC beliefs about many sociopolitical issues. But when it comes to the condemnation of Islam and of all Muslims who enable Islam passively or actively, even most people of the Right and Center follow the PC MC herd.

Erich said...

kab,

You wrote:

"I would automatically be suspicious of anyone making such wild claims about an entire ideological system."

The claim in question is that "Islam is evil". You think that's a "wild claim"? Why?

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"The problem with this is that, up until the moment that Muslim-American Sergeant Hasan K. Akbar (fighting for us in the Iraq theater of operations) rolled three grenades into a tent to murder fellow officers (succeeding in murdering two), you probably would not have been able to distinguish him from those Muslims who've fought on our side that you support."

The question is whether blanket deportations would stop this. I don't think so, because of the possibility that such Muslims who are intent on doing harm may claim to be non-Muslims or to have rejected Islam.

The solution here has to do with intelligence-gathering and monitoring operations, which we are doing anyway. I'm not sure that the undercover jihadist in question would have gotten as far as he did if the proper monitoring and screening processes were in place. We are dealing with a military that assigns its personnel books about Islam by Karen Armstrong and which generally believes that religion is inherently a good thing.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"The word "punishment" (in its 1st and 2nd definitions in the dictionary) specifically and necessarily includes the meaning of penalty for sins or faults. I'm not generally nor centrally interested in penalizing Muslims for being bad people (though that isn't to say that I would necessarily sneeze at a serendipitous opportunity to torture the Muslims who beheaded those Indonesian girls, to pick one example out of thousands from a turban); only in preventing them from harming me, my loved ones, my fellow Westerners, and the fabric of my Western society."

It's still punishment, even if it is done in intending to err on the side of caution.

Moreover, the blanket deportation does not solve the problem of the subpopulation of pro-sharia non-Muslims who are in positions of power and who are much more dangerous than Muslims who oppose sharia. Let's not lose sight of the fact that Bush and Blair and other Western leaders, if not pro-sharia in preference, were pro-sharia in fact by allowing both Iraq and Afghanistan to be ruled by sharia once again (this is explicitly in the constitutions of both countries).

My scheme could easily be adapted to remove the non-Muslim pro-sharia traitors in our midst. Indeed, it barely needs to be adapted at all--anyone who supports any of the illegal and/or treasonous elements mentioned in my list above would be deported.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"Why, then, did you initially even raise your opinion that tarring Muslims with one brush is a bad thing in your comment to me, if you think it has nothing to do with me?"

The point was to clarify my own position. I did not assume you tarred them all with the same brush descriptively. After all, the fact that there are harmless or moderate Muslims is something that we've discussed.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"2) A police profiler who is not racist but who casuistically tars all blacks with the same brush in the context of a profile developed with regard to a specific threat."

I have no problem with profiling that increases the odds of getting the criminal in the shortest possible time. But in blanket deportation, the state and its policing and security organizations would not be merely profiling Muslims (i.e., on religious affiliation). They would be taking an action against all of them.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Nobody,

"But if they don't, why would they ever agree to policies that under any normal situation would (wrongly of course) be considered draconian?"

Deporting all those who support sharia is less Draconian than deporting all those who are Muslims. We could point readily to aspects of our laws and constitutions that are contrary to sharia, i.e., that major elements of sharia are literally criminal, and that, possibly (I'm not an expert on this) mainstream Islam (which retains many elements of classical sharia) can be classified as a criminal organization.

If we don't have legislation that allows us to protect our free democratic societies from Islamization and demographic conquest, surely we (society) need to make such legislation.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"1) you do not think Islam is evil

2) you do not think it wise to treat all Muslims en bloc for the purposes of our self-defense."

1. (a) Mainstream Islam, which contains sharia, as believed and practiced by Muslims, is evil even if it contains some good elements. I say this for the same reason I would say Nazism is evil or Ted Bundy is evil. "Radical" or "fundamentalist" Islam as practiced by Taliban, Hizballah, al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, etc., etc., is obviously evil.

(b) The highly cherry-picked "moderate" (non-sharia)"Islam" that exists in the minds of many Muslims throughout the West is not evil. Such individuals are probably deluding themselves and the general public to some extent. There are logical and moral difficulties with their position in failing to reject Islam as a package*, failing to produce a new Quran (without hatred, terrorism, etc.), and so on. But that doesn't make them significantly evil. Ditto for most Jews and Christians.

*I reject Islam as a package, but don't reject all Muslims who've sampled from that package.

2. (a) Muslims practicing or declaring adherence to the sharia elements listed would be deported. "Moderate" Muslims who reject (for all places and times) all the sharia elements listed would not be deported because there would not be sufficient grounds to do so. The exception to this comes under my proposed defensive legislation against demographic conquest, where in some countries it may be necessary to put a cap on the number or percentage of Muslims in the population.

(b) Non-Muslims who support the sharia elements listed are criminals and traitors and should be deported or imprisoned.

Note: Some free expression advocates will object to my proposed criminalization of sharia support. However, it must be realized that sharia contains policies that require killing or punishing people who criticize Islam. Thus, by merely holding these views and expressing them, sharia-supporters are in effect putting a death threat on anyone who criticizes Islam. Death threats are of course illegal, and threats of violence or death do not constitute legitimate use of free expression. Moreover, the support of sharia threatens the freedoms guaranteed under constitutions in the west, thereby hampering the function of government, academia, and the media. Hence to guarantee the freedom of expression, the sharia-based threats must be removed.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"The claim in question is that "Islam is evil". You think that's a "wild claim"? Why?"

...partly because it's the kind of claim one would make after reviewing the data (as a conclusion), not while introducing the data. For most people, we're in the introduction stage. People are hearing bits of conflicting information, to the extent they're hearing about islam at all. If apologists seem well-schooled and well-prepared, calm, citing chapter and verse about Islam as truly peaceful, distinguishing between the vast majority of moderates versus the tiny minority of extremists, and so on, and we come out with stuff like "Islam is evil," we've lost the persuasive battle right then and there.

...there is also the issue of descriptive accuracy. Strictly, its not accurate, leaves too much room for ambiguity and misunderstanding, unless you add a bunch of qualifiers to specify and limit what you mean, e.g., see my suggested wording in the previous post, response 1(a).


If you start by saying "Islam is evil," the audience will have already classified you as a crude ideologue with an axe to grind. Instead, one has to start with an air (and substance) of objectivity and respect for the process of honest persuasion. You have to gain people's trust, you have to win them over, and you cannot do that by alienating them in the first sentence. Someone sees a title or slogan that says "Islam is evil" and they think, "...ah, there's the kind of an "Islamophobe" that I've heard about from those nice-seeming Muslims spokesmen, who--together with the chief of police at the news conference after the recent terrorist attack--assured us that Islam was peaceful (and so on)." The presentation of Islam by Islam critics has to take into account the context of Islam apologia and the limited knowledge (and usually, limited interest) of the general public as regards to Islam.

Even if "Islam is evil" is not shown up front early in the presentation, if it is shown or said anywhere in that exact form, it may be picked out by propaganda jihadists eager to portray Islam critics as a bunch of hysterical Islamophobes. Imagine if Spencer said "Islam is evil". It would be up on CAIR's website the next day and they would use the line (for the next ten years!) to try and convince others including the media and the government not to have any more dealings with Spencer. In a society that processes much of its information in mere soundbites, this would be a major victory for CAIR.

Erich said...

kab,

Going through the JW archives in preperation for my next post here, I found an old comment by myself. I quote first the sentiment from another JW reader (which is pretty much your position as you have reiterated here in our discussion), followed by my response:

"Spenser could alienate those who just do not know enough about Islam by ranting, just like Esmay (whom we’ve already discounted as part of the brains-fell-out sect). So, since we’ve all agreed Esmay is just a ranter…why do we expect Spenser to do exactly the same just because he’s on “our” side?"

To condemn Islam requires no "ranting"; one can do it in a rational, mature, intelligent manner.

[To which I would add, the condemnation can also be buffered with intellectualized language, further removing it from the realm of material to be mined by Spencer critics seeking to smear Spencer. (One technique of this "intellectualizing" is to formulate the condemnation in such a way as to make it impossible for critics to extract a damning "sound bite" -- without of course becoming open to the charge of misquoting or tampering with the original quote. My confidence in Spencer's ability to use language this way, from the many times he has deftly employed weaselly sophistry like the finest defense attorney, is high.)

This will not, of course, serve to exclude all those Spencer critics who don't need any damning material to smear him, since they smear him NOW already, and have been smearing him for YEARS -- even though he is as gingerly and careful as can be!]

Erich said...

kab,

Re: the Muslim-American officer who murdered fellow American officers.

"The question is whether blanket deportations would stop this."

I didn't say they would "stop" them. They would certainly minimize them significantly. On what possible grounds could you be opposed to something that would significantly minimize dangers posed by Muslims? Your stated basis -- that the suggestion is not perfect -- is odd, to say the least.

"...the possibility that such Muslims who are intent on doing harm may claim to be non-Muslims or to have rejected Islam."

Just because this residual problem would remain, does not invalidate the aforementioned management of the larger issue -- by which related problems would in fact be minimized (but not perfectly, since nothing in life is perfect).

"The solution here has to do with intelligence-gathering and monitoring operations, which we are doing anyway."

This is not "the" solution -- this is one good thing to be doing, among others. Better would be to deport all Muslims -- not because it would "solve" the problem for all time, but because it would significantly minimize the problem. Short of such a radical measure, we can certainly increase our general suspicion of Muslims to far greater degrees than pertains presently.

But none of this will happen, as nobody rightly observed somewhere above, until Western societies develop a general condemnation of Islam. If they persist in seeing this as a piece-meal problem, forever detachable from Islam itself, they will never be moved to take more general measures -- even yours based on separating the pro-sharia Muslims from the anti-sharia Muslims -- since the numbers of anti-sharia Muslims are minuscule enough to be deemed a "tiny minority" that don't represent Islam anyway.

Erich said...

kab,

"It's still punishment, even if it is done in intending to err on the side of caution."

The word "punishment" is a tendentious label in this context, when the intent has nothing to do with penalizing the recipients of the measures under discussion.

"Moreover, the blanket deportation does not solve the problem of the subpopulation of pro-sharia non-Muslims who are in positions of power and who are much more dangerous than Muslims who oppose sharia."

Again, that's a separate problem whose problematic nature has nothing to do with the efficacy of deportation of Muslims. I agree with you about the (effectively) pro-sharia non-Muslims. The problems they pose don't make the problems Muslims pose any less problematic. Both are problems; both need to be dealt with.

"My scheme could easily be adapted to remove the non-Muslim pro-sharia traitors in our midst. Indeed, it barely needs to be adapted at all--anyone who supports any of the illegal and/or treasonous elements mentioned in my list above would be deported."

Your scheme has its merits. However, it also has problems:

1) as nobody pointed out, the process by which your scheme can become sociopolitically viable partakes of the same process by which people in sufficient numbers realize that Islam itself is to be condemned -- and, on the flip side of the same coin, if people in sufficient numbers DON'T come to that conclusion, they will likely not be amenable to a sweeping scheme such as yours, however much you think it is more reasonably limited -- because sharia is sufficiently important to Muslims and sufficiently prevalent in Islamic culture to make pro-sharia Muslims at best appear to be practically encompassing most, if not all, of Islam anyway (with a tiny minority able to detach from it).

2) the problem of the culture of deceit in Islam -- you yourself used it against my Sergeant Akbar example, so it's a two-edged sword.

3) the anti-sharia Muslims are a tiny minority, and compounding this problem, many of the ones I've examined hold ridiculously untenable positions characteristic of schizophrenic mentalities (e.g., Koran only Muslim types who try to sell the sincere message that the Koran is a great paragon of humanr rights -- what kind of allies are those for Christ's sake? I don't want flaming fruitcakes for allies -- all the more flaming for the fact that they comport themselves as though they were reasonable people: insane people who act sane are WORSE than when they behave in demonstrably nutty ways.)

Erich said...

kab,

"2) A police profiler who is not racist but who casuistically tars all blacks with the same brush in the context of a profile developed with regard to a specific threat."

You responded:

"I have no problem with profiling that increases the odds of getting the criminal in the shortest possible time. But in blanket deportation, the state and its policing and security organizations would not be merely profiling Muslims (i.e., on religious affiliation). They would be taking an action against all of them."

You are neglecting here the fact that by "profiling", there are two distinct yet closely related activities being intended:

1) The process, during the attempt to locate a specific culprit or culprits, of narrowing down from the obviously unmanageable pool of Everybody to a smaller and therefore more manageable, yet still far from desireable, pool of All People Who Fit Certain Criteria. During this process, the specific "punishment" for the crime that is the whole raison d'etre of the process will only occur when the culprit (or culprits) are finally pinpointed -- thereby excluding all others who fit the profile. In this framework, we are talking about a specific "crime" and/or specific danger (if the culprits are continuing to pose a danger by continuing to try to commit crimes while the profile process is ongoing) that logically excludes from "punishment" all who fit the profile except the actual perpetrators. However:

2) During the profiling process, and before the final pinpointing location and arrest (or killing, if unavoidably necessary) of the culprit, there are intermediate actions taken by law enforcement -- particularly with regard to specific types of crimes/dangers (such as, for example, an ongoing killing spree) -- which can be regarded as "punishment" of otherwise probably innocent people who fit the profile. These intermediate actions which can be regarded as "punishment" include things ranging from inconvenience (stopping and questioning people who fit the profile, searching their cars or homes, detention for a while) to physical restraint, to actual physical harm if police have no choice but to use physical force to stop someone who fits the profile and who appears to be doing something dangerous but who later is found to be innocent. We can term these "punishments" under the rubric of "collateral damage".

When the "crime/danger" in question is by nature rather delimited and relatively simplex (a spree killing in a certain location), the "collateral damage" aspect of profiling will also tend to be delimited and simplex.

When, however, the "crime/danger" is by nature sociologically widespread and complex, then the "collateral damage" aspect of profiling will tend to be less limited and more complex.

The "crime/danger" posed by Islam would arguably be the most undelimited and complex imaginable -- involving over a billion people who furthermore are spread out in a diaspora all over the globe, and who manifest at the very least a superficial diversity of formidably complex variety.

The resistance to this total framework for profiling the culprits of the problem posed by Islamic terrorism is obvious:

a) on the level of pure pragmatism, it represents an unmanageably gargantuan quantity.

b) on the level of ethics, it evokes the unmentionables of "racial discrimination" at best, "internment camps" down the line, and the horrible logical conclusion of genocide at the end.

Since, however, the "crime/danger" posed by Islamic terrorism is (at least to non-PC MC people) arguably an ongoing phenomenon going back centuries, and rooted in the same ideology which more or less, through permutations of diversity, sociopolitically and psychologically influences and orders the entire population of over one billion -- the logical tendency toward framing it as one of Islam itself opens the analysis toward the logical conclusion of a totalism of all Muslims. The very nature of the non-PC analysis opens up a glimpse of the totalism -- and causes many (if not most) of the non-PC people to recoil and resist -- perhaps all the more because, given their non-PC way of thinking, they are more open to that totalistic possibility; and yet, they fear taking what their own open minds lead them to: the logical conclusion. Thus, many of even the most un-PC analysts at every turn try to figure out ways to delimit that totalism in order to avoid imposing "punishment" on all Muslims -- where even the "punishment" of #2 above (the unavoidable "collateral damage" aspect) is feared to blend into the "punishment" of #1 (the actual "punishment" that "fits the crime").

The bottom line, however, is the exigency that is forced upon us by the following:

1) our ignorance -- i.e., our inability to sufficiently winnow out the harmless Muslims from the dangerous ones

coupled with

2) the horrific risks against which we are protecting our societies

futher amplified by

3) the unique nature of the Islam danger (whose uniqueness is comprised by many features, including, for example, the uniquely cohesive nature of Islamic psycho-sociology despite its diversity).

These three factors force an exigency upon us of treating all Muslims in totality.

So, as you said in the quote I provided at the beginning -- "in blanket deportation, the state and its policing and security organizations would not be merely profiling Muslims (i.e., on religious affiliation). They would be taking an action against all of them."

They would indeed be taking action against all of them -- action warranted and forced upon us by the 3 factors that all together describe our exigent situation.

Your solution, of delimiting the profiling population down to Muslims whom we can determine support sharia, might work better if the Islamic Umma were different in nature and comportment than it is -- i.e., if

a) a significant number of Muslims were actually against sharia

b) if their position were not virulently and institutionally and psychosocially opposed by the majority of Muslims who furthermore base their opposition on orthodox legitimacy

c) if a sufficient number of those anti-sharia Muslims were more intellectually credible (and weren't like, for example, Edip Yuksel at worst, Tom Haidon at second worst, or up the line increasing slightly in quality but still not inspiring confidence, Muslims like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Taj Hargey) rather than being strange oddballs claiming that, for example, the Koran is a wonderfully progressive and ethical document and Mohammed was a proto-feminist and peaceful man, etc.

I.e., once you winnow out the flakes and whittle down the already tiny number of anti-sharia Muslims out there, you are left with a number so small you will end up, in taking any actions of self-defense against the remaining vast majority of Muslims, appearing pretty much as though you are doing the totalism that I advocate anyway -- certainly to those Westerners who have a constant tendency to be squeamish about anything that hints of targeting anything larger than a "tiny minority of extremists" as specific culprits of specific crimes, thereby avoiding incriminating the larger sociopolitical webs of the Islamic support system, which would logically lead to an ever-widening dragnet with no logical limit short of virtually "all Muslims".

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"This will not, of course, serve to exclude all those Spencer critics who don't need any damning material to smear him, since they smear him NOW already, and have been smearing him for YEARS -- even though he is as gingerly and careful as can be!]"

True, but to smear him they've got to use other people's quotes such as those of JW posters who vent. To smear Spencer the best they can get are quotes to the effect that Islam is "a false revelation" or something to that effect which Spencer wrote years ago as co-author.

I have no disagreement with what you say about intellectualizing the presentation, making it difficult to pull soundbites out of context. This is just defensive writing, which someone like Spencer (and Islam critics generally) must do.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"Your stated basis -- that the suggestion is not perfect -- is odd, to say the least."

It is odd, but I added that the solution to problems with treasonous Muslims in the military is one of screening; you won't extract jihadists by expelling all Muslims because the secret jihadists will deceptively declare their rejection of Islam.

"...the process by which your scheme can become sociopolitically viable partakes of the same process by which people in sufficient numbers realize that Islam itself is to be condemned"

The vast majority of the population, in Western areas where even a watered-down family law type of sharia has been proposed, is already strongly opposed to sharia. In Ontario, for example, there was approximately 95% opposition to the proposed sharia among the general public. The percentage is going to be much lower if the problem is phrased as an unqualified opposition to Islam as such.

We can use the already-established opposition to effectively eviscerate Islam. An "Islam" without sharia (which in the broad sense also includes jihad) won't hold up, and poses no immediate significant threat.

"The word "punishment" is a tendentious label in this context, when the intent has nothing to do with penalizing the recipients of the measures under discussion."

It's not tenditious at all. Punishment in the broadest sense applies to anything aversive done to a complex organism. You're talking about removing people from places where they've chosen to live. Regardless of the intent or the justification, it's still punishment by definition. This doesn't mean that removing them in all cases is necessarily wrong morally. But it is punishment.

"Again, that's a separate problem whose problematic nature has nothing to do with the efficacy of deportation of Muslims."

In my scheme, it's not a separate problem. It's separate in your scheme because your divding line is Muslim vs non-Muslim. My dividing line is sharia vs non-sharia.

"...Koran only Muslim types who try to sell the sincere message that the Koran is a great paragon of humanr rights -- what kind of allies are those for Christ's sake? I don't want flaming fruitcakes for allies -- all the more flaming for the fact that they comport themselves as though they were reasonable people: insane people who act sane are WORSE than when they behave in demonstrably nutty ways.)"

Lol!

How we deal with them after my "remove sharia" step has been completed is another matter, but I regard them as largely harmless. I regard them as helpful for completing the "remove sharia" step.

"I.e., once you winnow out the flakes and whittle down the already tiny number of anti-sharia Muslims out there, you are left with a number so small..."

Exactly; i.e., if there is no deception (and of course there will be some), most Muslims--I would estimate between about 60-80%--will be removed due to their support of some significant aspect of sharia.

"...you will end up, in taking any actions of self-defense against the remaining vast majority of Muslims, appearing pretty much as though you are doing the totalism that I advocate anyway --"

Right. So non-Muslims are strongly opposed to sharia, and through this process of discovery those who still have reservations about the seemingly drastic measures will see that those measures are not so drastic, given the alternative (eventual Islamization, and increasing problems along the way to it). Those fence-sitters among the non-Muslims will realize that they cannot have their cake and eat it too. Either we don't take this drastic step of massively deporting sharia-supporters, or we resign ourselves to eventual Islamization. There are no two ways about it.

"...certainly to those Westerners who have a constant tendency to be squeamish about anything that hints of targeting anything larger than a "tiny minority of extremists" as specific culprits of specific crimes, thereby avoiding incriminating the larger sociopolitical webs of the Islamic support system, which would logically lead to an ever-widening dragnet with no logical limit short of virtually "all Muslims"."

Indeed. I'd just rather do this by focussing on sharia first, because we already have strong opposition there that we can build on. Tackling all of unwieldy "Islam" first seems unmanageable because of widespread ignorance of Islam, PC MC (some of which is actually written into constitutions of some Western countries), and "Islam is religious, therefore good" sentiment. Tapping into anti-sharia sentiment is a good idea, because it is something that the politicians will be unable to dismiss or ignore. They'll have to oppose it, or they'll be voted out of power. Once we get there, we'll have a better vantage point from which to take further actions as needed.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

"...you will end up, in taking any actions of self-defense against the remaining vast majority of Muslims, appearing pretty much as though you are doing the totalism that I advocate anyway --"

I then said "Right..."

Let me correct that response, because in rereading I see you are referring to a majority of Muslims remaining. I don't think a majority of Muslims would be remaining after the "remove sharia" step. If we remove sharia, thereby eviscerating Islam and depriving Muslims of their superior-to-nonMuslims status in the West, they'll prefer to live where they can "practice their religion" more freely and without the prospect of being busted for practicing sharia--which will be illegal.

However, I recognize that, whatever percentage of Muslims remains after the "remove sharia" step, we will still have to have on-going monitoring of the various problems due to deception and so on.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

error
"Either we don't take this drastic step of massively deporting sharia-supporters, or we resign ourselves to eventual Islamization."

should say "Either we take this drastic step..."

Erich said...

kab,

Fuck Islam and fuck all Muslims.

Nobody said...

Kab

Two more points I realized: your prescriptions to curtail Shariah would again only find acceptance with people who recognize that Islam is evil. Same with demographic jihad.

After all, what is Shariah? It's Islamic law. If Islam itself isn't seen as bad, how can Shariah be so considered? That's the problem with the approach that elements of Islam, rather than Islam itself, is the problem. If a country came under Christian law (and I'm not talking 15th century Spanish inquisition, but rather, more liberal countries like the Netherlands of the time, which despite being Protestant, tolerated both Protestant and Catholic faiths), would we have a major cow (outside the ideological church vs state separation debates that generally go on)? The reason Islamic law would be problematic is that Islam itself is.

On the demographic issue, that's even more difficult. As an example, the US has changed from what was once predominantly a Protestant country to one that is today 50% Catholic. Protestant and other groups don't see this as a problem, since a Catholic majority doesn't threaten to bring in the Spanish inquisition and end the freedom of religion under the first amendment. Since Catholicism is not evil and not seen as such, even if the US were to become 80% Catholic, it wouldn't be a problem.

If you were to try and make a case in public that Muslim demographic domination is different from that of other adherents, I don't see how you can make that case without first convincing people that Islam itself is evil. Whether you do so at the start or end of the conversation is immaterial: point remains that people have to be convinced of that before they can buy into the idea that a Muslim plurality, let alone a majority, is highly undesirable. Because if they don't, then the policy and argument would remain that it's only some Muslims who are problematic, and who have to be screened out from others.

All your suggestions are good, but are non starters until this important threshold is attained.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Nobody,

"After all, what is Shariah? It's Islamic law. If Islam itself isn't seen as bad, how can Shariah be so considered?"

I agree. But regardless of the truth of that, the fact is that the general public in the west is already strongly averse to sharia, even to watered-down proposals for some sharia in family law. They are averse to the package "sharia" in a way that they are not averse to the package "Islam". Moreover, they seem to feel comfortable expressing that aversion. Of course, we (few Islam critics) know that sharia is essential to Islam, but the general public by and large does not seem to believe this, or at least they don't react as though they believe it. I say we take this widespread aversion to sharia and use it to our advantage. Remove sharia and we eviscerate Islam--whether people fully realize that or not.

"I don't see how you can make that case without first convincing people that Islam itself is evil."

Convincing someone of something requires presentation of the evidence and arguments, not presenting sweeping hyperbolic claims. People don't necessarily have to believe Islam is "evil" to act against it. All they need to have is a strong aversion to the essential aspect of it (sharia). Presenting evidence leading to the conclusion that sharia (or, unveiled, mainstream Islam) is evil, bad, whatever, involves presenting examples of sharia.

I observe that most people are already averse to the package labelled "sharia." I also observe that there is considerable difficulty in getting them to be averse to a package labelled "Islam". Whether or not people realize that these are essentially the same packages doesn't concern me all that much. We use the aversion to the one labelled "sharia" to remove it, and in doing so we basically eviscerate Islam. (Much more needs to be done, of course, but going after sharia is the most obvious first step. We don't have to do much convincing; as I said, people are already averse to it in a way that they are not unambiguously averse to Islam as a package).

Erich said...

kab,

"the fact is that the general public in the west is already strongly averse to sharia, even to watered-down proposals for some sharia in family law"

On what evidence do you base this claim?

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

I've already cited that evidence in our discussions. When the sharia issue has been raised in Canada and the U.K.--both of which are more "PC MC" than the U.S.--there was a large majority of opposition. I don't have links to the polls, but they're there somewhere, because this is all a matter of public record and was reported widely in the news in recent years. (In Canada, the issue came to a head in the fall of 2005). Also witness the recent overwhelmingly hostile reaction to the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent musings about the introduction of some sharia law in the U.K. (I've mentioned this in our email exchange, and it was already documented at JW/DW from mainstream news sources).

Anyways, you and Nobody are fixed on the idea that somehow by claiming "Islam is evil" or some such variant statement this is somehow going to improve matters. I disagree, but there is no point in belaboring that discussion further.

Erich said...

kab,

"Also witness the recent overwhelmingly hostile reaction to the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent musings about the introduction of some sharia law in the U.K. (I've mentioned this in our email exchange, and it was already documented at JW/DW from mainstream news sources)."

I went back over the Dhimmi Watch archives for February 2008 (the month when the Archbishop made his statement about sharia law) -- I see only that there was opposition from certain bishops, some representatives of UK political parties, and the Prime Minister. I see nothing about the general public. While it's encouraging that those few influential (and mostly "elite") voices came out vocally to criticize the Archbishop, that does not establish your claim that the general public does not want sharia. At best, one would have to infer such a general public sentiment from the fact that such politico-religious elites in a free democracy (such as the UK) often tend to act on the basis of their solicitousness of the public.

Kab-bin-Ashraf said...

Hesp,

I don't have time to dig up all the sources. I did take a rather lengthy run around the internet trying to get sources for the polls, etc., but can't find anything reliable (what else is new...such is the internet). I'm going on the basis of memory for this; I did not keep files for this the way I keep files for Islamic references. Regarding proposed introduction of sharia in family law, I followed the Canadian cases in Ontario and Quebec closely, and I also followed the U.K. case. In all those cases there was overwhelming opposition from the general public, with opposition over 90%.

The more recent controversy over the Bishop of Canterbury's remarks is something I recall causing quite a stir among the general public, again with widespread opposition to the remarks...the actions of the other Bishops and politicians, if you are correct, were probably driven by public outrage. Britain does not have any Geert Wilders; these leaders will go along with whatever they think they can get away with, so normally they are adjusting themselves to the more "squeaky-wheel" Muslims on the grounds that usually non-Muslims are willing to make concessions. But not on the sharia issue.

Something else, related to this, is that the Conservative candidate in the most recent Ontario election made the politically-suicidal move of proposing to allow "faith-based" Islamic schools. This became a major issue that dogged him throughout the campaign. His party advised him in strong terms to drop the proposal, but he stubbornly held on to it. Many commenters said that this cost him the election, because the Liberal incumbent was otherwise weak due to having made some major broken promises.