David Thompson
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March 30, 2008

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Alcuin

I am probably not the first to note that the film bears closest resemblance to those made by jihadis to promote their own agenda of eternal war. Put a few clips of balaclava clad thugs waving AK47s and change the music to a warlike Arabic chant and Al Qaeda could have made this film. The only difference is Wilders' plea at the end that Muslims remove the verses from the Koran that promote the violence.

I don't see Wilders as "an objectionable self-regarding oaf", in fact he seems to me somewhat more moderate than was Oriana Fallaci. Faced with the coming war (and the way things are going, I don't see how we are going to avoid it), some will be complacent and some will be agitated. I think the complacent are in for a rude shock. I hope the rest of us will be up to the task.

Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech was intended to awaken us to the issues of immigration. It failed spectacularly, in fact it had the opposite effect to that he wanted, making us feel guilty about our xenophobia and we opened the doors to Multiculturalism in order to assuage our shame. If this film has a similar effect, we are in trouble.

Dean Esmay

Perhaps those of us who are very much hawks in the War On Terror are disgusted with Islamophobic films like this precisely because they are irrational and harmful toward our allies in that struggle--the Muslim mainstream.

They make the Jihadis look like they are the real Muslims and all the others are fake. This is terribly depressing and terribly corrosive. That it's also intellectually shallow and often intellectually dishonest should be equally disturbing.

It is not at all an evasion to point these things out, and it's an intellectual cop-out to suggest that it's a neutral moral equivalency. You really can use the Bible in much the same way that the Jihadis use the Koran, which is something too many so-called "critics" of Islam ignore, or even take umbrage with when you suggest it. Indeed, just pointing out the violent and oppressive parts of the Bible will get you labled as "attacking Christianity" and/or an anti-semite. How do I know? It's happened to me repeatedly.

This discussion goes nowhere until some of you on the right start to admit to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there is such a thing as irrational, ill-informed fear of Islam. Until you do, there's no possibility of greater dialog here.

David

Dean,

Rather than repeat myself at eye-watering length, I refer you to the essay linked below, and in the post above, which addresses in detail the supposed equivalence of religions and their potential for exploitation with violence and coercion.

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2007/02/blunting_the_se.html

“They make the Jihadis look like they are the real Muslims and all the others are fake.”

I wouldn’t presume to know what the “real” Islam is, and I could only guess at what Islam means to any of its billion or so adherents. Doubtless there are countless shades of emphasis and degrees of observance, and all manner of omissions and mental contortions will take place among believers. But, as Spencer, Warraq and Bostom have pointed out, it is the jihadists, clerics and Islamists themselves who’ve made explicit connections between Islam, Muhammad and violence. And it is the foundational texts of Islam and centuries of Islamic jurisprudence that codify those connections. These things are not some malicious fabrication of the infidels who point them out, with varying degrees of skill.

“This discussion goes nowhere until some of you on the right start to admit to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there is such a thing as irrational, ill-informed fear of Islam. Until you do, there’s no possibility of greater dialog here.”

This is, I think, a strange stance to take; it’s almost an ultimatum. Actually, I don’t know anyone who’s claimed that irrational and ugly sentiment has never been directed at a particular Muslim, or Muslims generally, or people mistaken for Muslims. (Perhaps some have made such implausible claims, but not, I hope, here.) Given events, it would be remarkable if that kind of fear and generalisation hadn’t been expressed, since sentiments of that kind are directed by someone, somewhere at just about everything. However, the point remains that “Islamophobia” is very often used as a question-begging device and a means to short-circuit legitimate debate by depicting those who disagree, or who state basic facts, as *by definition* bigoted and irrational. (See almost any edition of the Guardian, or rummage through the archives here for dozens of examples where it’s confidently implied that no rational, evidential grounds for disliking Islam could possibly exist. It’s a remarkable phenomenon.)

The Thin Man

"This discussion goes nowhere until some of you on the right start to admit to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there is such a thing as irrational, ill-informed fear of Islam. Until you do, there's no possibility of greater dialog here."

Monthly Jihad Report February 2008
Jihad Attacks: 174
Countries: 14
Religions: 5
Dead Bodies: 1318
Critically Injured: 1460

So 2778 people were killed or critically injured in February and people expressing concern about Islamic terrorist activity have an irrational, ill-informed fear of Islam?

In 2007 Islam and Judaism's holiest holidays overlapped for 10 days.
Muslims racked up 397 dead bodies in 94 terror attacks across 10
countries during this time... (while Jews worked on their 159th Nobel Prize) - and people expressing concern about Islamic terrorist activity have an irrational, ill-informed fear of Islam?

"Indeed, just pointing out the violent and oppressive parts of the Bible will get you labled as "attacking Christianity" and/or an anti-semite. How do I know? It's happened to me repeatedly."

So being labelled anti-christian is the same as some jihadi lopping off heads or blowing up children. Please explain in what moral universe you exist - cause while it might be a nice place to visit, I wouldn't want to live there.

EBD

Thin Man, you *can't* live there. You're not nearly flexible enough. But you gotta love how the fold-and-smooch approach is now embedded in our culture as a form of wisdom. See, if our backbones were just soft and flexible enough, they could become circular, and then all we'll need to do is just gun 'er for our own dilated disappearing point, and then everything would be fine. Once we're firmly embedded, we can give endless muffled lectures to those unfortunates whose eyeballs are still exposed to the harsh light.

It's a bit like this: your town is invaded by bikers to announce on megaphones that they consider the area residents to be less than human. Several of the bikers, who receive communications from the central head-office chapter, are committing atrocities against your neighbours and following up in each instance by announcing their intention to continue to do so at every opportunity. You and your neighbours get together to mindfully consider what should be done, but it's almost impossible due to the constant, reiterative interjections of inane, one-note neighbours who insist "any action plan is illegitimate and groundless, for you are implying, as the very basis for your argument, that everyone who's ever ridden a motorcycle is a bad person."

You respond "No, no, not at all, that has nothing to do with it. We're not doing that at all. We're just trying to figure out what to do about these bikers..."

"See? You're doing it again. Sorry, but you have left us no choice but to throw our support behind the bikers -- but only in effect; we don't hesitate to remind you that our decision is entirely a response to your careless statements casting aspersions on cyclists of all stripes. (A window shatters) Our position is necessary in order to ameliorate the moral harm inherent in your approach to language. (The door frame is splintering) We hereby announce our intention to hinder you from taking action until you admit that your use of the term biker is a slur against innocent people, and is an egregious violation that invalidates any action you take."

The best response to that, in a ideal world, would involve a feeding tube and masking tape.

/:>0>

Ric Locke

This discussion goes nowhere until some of you on the right start to admit to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there is such a thing as irrational, ill-informed fear of Islam. Until you do, there's no possibility of greater dialog here.

Y'know what, Dean? There has never been any denial that there might be "...such a thing as irrational, ill-informed fear of Islam." Suggesting -- or, in this case, flat-out declaring -- that such denial exists is a bald-faced lie, and David is correct: it constitutes an ultimatum: Esmay is totally right and expresses Revealed TRVTH, and until you wingnuts genuflect to that we will block you whenever possible." I have read your blog on and off for some years now, and that is flatly and blackly disappointing. I'd thought you at least a little better than that.

So how'bout a return ultimatum? This discussion goes nowhere until some of you on the left start to admit to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there is such a thing as a rational, well-informed criticism of some aspects of Islam. Until you do, there's no possibility of greater dialog here. You won't, of course. You and your buddies will continue to reply to (e.g.) any mention of such things as "bedwetting Islamophobia". It cuts off the discussion because it's designed to cut off the discussion.

Regards,
Ric

David

On a lighter note, Umbrage and Flummery would be a good name for a firm of solicitors or chartered accountants. Hokum, Bunkum and Bogus would be quite good too. Sorry, just a thought.

Alcuin

How very Dickensian and redolent of Private Eye's Sue, Grabbit and Runne.

melk

Legal action may be forthcoming.

Dewey,Cheetham&Howe, Esq.

David

Or the builders, Bodgit and Scarper.

Andy

Sorry to be a pedant, I thought it was 'Bodgit and Legit'.

AntiCitizenOne

Leftists seem to have...

PhobiaPhobia The irrational fear of people who have rational fears.
Reciprocatophobia The irrational fear of free exchange.
Empathyphobia The irrational fear that someone would be quite happy living their lives differently to them.

Lovernios

I think "Muffled Lectures" would be a great title for a book or music CD.

AntiCitizenOne

Maybe you could suggest it to REM for their new anti-Bush album?

Lovernios

Yes, that would be appropriate since that's the position they take. I believe the medical term for that condition is rectal-cranial inversion.

John D

So... is Dean coming back for his "greater dialogue"?

David

Meanwhile, some music.

http://fp.ignatz.plus.com/stickyfingers.mp3

AntiCitizenOne

REM are warning of the dangers of Bush and of other people telling them who they should be scared of.

Irony is never a strong point of the left.

TDK

REM are the only band in history who stopped making decent albums when they changed their drummer.

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