Sunday, January 08, 2006

Islam and our Denial

Islam’s threat and our denial.

There is widespread denial, across the political spectrum, of Islam’s threat to our civilization. The far left has become so consumed by its hatred of our culture that it has abandoned its traditional hostility towards religion in the face of the revival of one of the most barbaric and oppressive religious ideologies in history. Having assumed a policy of anti-anti-Islam, the left has made what Horowitz calls an Unholy Alliance with our enemy, defending it at every opportunity. The anti-rational nihilistic post-modern left is a heavy weight on the whole left side of the spectrum, drowning out any sane voice of moderation. Such fashionable academic nonsense has already corrupted popular politics.

The problem, however, isn’t confined to the left. The right is split, with some having great difficulty facing the fact that a long-standing religious tradition, such as Islam, can be fundamentally inimical to our civilization to such a degree that it rivals the dangers of the last century. The ecumenical right can be as relativistic, at times, as the left by treating any religious-based ideology as just another path to God.

Denial: comparisons to the past.

Our inability to face the current threat is similar to our past difficulties facing the threat of secular totalitarianism. The left, in particular, denied or downplayed the threat of communism during the Red Decade of the 1930s and again during the 1970s and 80s. Most people failed to see the full gravity of Hitler’s rise. Firsthand accounts describe how good people blinded themselves to Hitler’s evil ideology. Some have drawn parallels between then and now.

Not everything has changed.

Today there is an eerie complacency. Most people go about their lives as if the problem has disappeared. New York housing prices sore despite any real effort to secure the city against nuclear attack. Several planned attacks of a conventional nature have been prevented but the unreality of the danger continues. Like a surreal dream, New York editorialists make urgent appeals to hamstring our intelligence agencies as they were before 9/11. Los Angles film producers see the terrorists as sympathetic and America as over-reacting if not the real villain. Good books and documentaries explain the threat, of course. But the press is obsessively focused on slight or imagined problems in military management that makes the unreality even more bizarre.

Both political parties have adopted the policy of lying about Islam and Saudi Arabia, as a tactical maneuver to deal with then enemy; however, a sustained lie only destroys the liar’s confidence in his insight and weakens his resolve. It is that lie which underwrites the unreality of the threat. Speaking the truth is the first requirement of rallying the nation to the cause. Speaking in silent hushed tones betrays the intellectual and moral uncertainty of a cause headed for defeat. Our hesitancy is apparent as we return to the 9/10 mindset.

Islam, the enemy’s ideology, is the only taboo subject, today. Radio talk-show host Michael Graham was fired for being critical of Islam. Instead, America is vilified and put on the defensive. Just one week prior to 9/11, the U.N. sponsored a hate-fest directed at America and Israel and it continues to disparage America rather than the Islamic world for the irrational hate in the world today. The left joins this chorus and instead of its usual antipathy towards religion, it uses the Islamic threat as a springboard to vilify America.

Our intellectual surrender, in the face of a conceptual confusion, is the greatest threat to winning the war. Moral appeasement and the continual rationalizations, that have exempted Islamic savagery from unequivocal condemnation, have weaken our resolve and emboldened the enemy. Intellectual cowardice prevents us from considering the truth as we maintain a positive disposition to see Islam in a way that won’t offend.

A prerequisite to an appropriate response that is neither an under-reaction nor an over-reaction is an honest and open discussion. Laws that prohibit free speech, such as those against the “vilification of a religion,” only hinder a proper response and as a result may become a self-fulfilling prophesy. To surrender freedom of speech to avoid hurting the enemy’s feelings is a sign of the surreal state of affairs.

Conservatives who don’t get it.

There is a broad strain of conservatism that defined its posture against the secular ideology of communism; these conservatives have difficulty seeing a religious ideology as a serious threat. They have misidentified the problem in the past as the lack of God instead of the lack of reason; and are not able to deal with the current threat. Even staunch Cold Warriors are soft on the Islamic threat. National Review, founded during the Cold War, often gives Islam undue respect and is otherwise silent with a few exceptions.

The inability to understand that we are dealing with a political ideology has severe repercussions. Often today’s conservatives advocate a utopian transformation that can be achieved by a simple structural change in the process of selecting government leaders. But democracy isn’t enough. Establishing Islamic theocracy via the ballot box is not the solution but just another manifestation of the problem. Indeed, Jihadists thrive in Western democracies. Europe, in particular Germany, has incubated a generation of jihadists including those of 9/11 infamy. The recent problems in France prove how tolerance of intolerance only begets more intolerance, just as England recently discovered that appeasement doesn’t help.

Dogmatically anti-ideological, some conservatives believe that beliefs don’t matter. They expect Muslims in Iraq and those in the West Bank to just behave sensibly once they can vote. The depth of the vast difference in values, tradition, and culture just doesn’t register on the Pragmatists of the right. This doesn’t mean there isn’t progress as the winds of democracy kindle a flicker of hope in Muslim countries. But without a fundamental change from a dogmatic supremacist ideology to a liberal disposition that welcomes debate, evidence and rational consideration, the flame of liberty will blow out with the slightest draft. Until Islam is challenged, liberty will be a fragile implant in a patient perpetually in critical care. One must address the ideology of Islam.

Finally, some conservatives are actually sympathetic to fundamentalist Islamic concerns! They see the Islamic Revival as kindred spirit in its opposition to atheistic materialism. Others see no problem with the concept of an Islamic democracy.

But some conservatives do!

I’ve addressed the conservative failure in detail because I believe those on the right have the greatest chance of coming to grips with the Islamic threat. Let me now point out, via links to my past posts, those whom I’ve praised: Victor Davis Hanson, Bruce Thornton, Jack Wheeler, Michael Ledeen, Ralph Peters, and Paul Sperry. Those who’ve specifically focus on Islam are Bat Ye’or, Robert Spencer, and Ibn Warraq.
(This is part II of my blog summary. Part I focused on Islam.)


Blogger makdom said...

You really do not know 'Islam'. I suggest you pick up the "quran" (with English translation) and read it.

Its the best way to know 'Islam'.

Making asumptions or comming up with a theory of your own or that from a non Islamic scholar will not help you at all.

I pray to the one 'God' that creates the universe, the world we live in with everything in it including you and me, that He might show you the way to the righteous path.

1/8/06, 12:48 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Oh, we understand Islam, all right. And we are telling others.

1/8/06, 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, excellent post. I enjoy reading Dr Jack Wheeler. He recently wrote an excellent piece on the often underrated power of envy and the fear of many in the west of being envied - very insightful. I don't know what it will take for people to understand the seriousness of the situation. I have this vision of certain liberals, leftists and libertarians standing in the rubble of a terrorist strike declaring "ah yes, terrible event but well at least no-one was offended in trying to prevent it."

1/8/06, 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had no interest in Islam until 911, thats when we received the message that an EVIL was at our gates and within our country. Makdom, I did read the Koranimal along with it's accompanying 'Death-Cult' teachings. I personally found not a thing within Islam worthy of destroying trees for paper. NO ISLAM KNOW PEACE. I Spread Lies And Misery = ISLAM.

1/9/06, 10:04 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason: Speaking in silent hushed tones betrays the intellectual and moral uncertainty of a cause headed for defeat. Our hesitancy is apparent as we return to the 9/10 mindset.

Does it all come down to two divisions--post-9/11 awakening and pre-9/11 slumber?

Like Anonymous, I didn't pay much attention to Islam until 9/11. For a time, I didn't want to believe the evil was really there. But it is! All the platitudes to the contrary are a bunch of lies--or at best, supreme and inexcusable ignorance or denial.

These indexes you're creating are valuable. Thank you for taking the time to accomplish the task.

1/9/06, 12:28 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

From this source:
Author Walid Phares on his book Future Jihad with Ike Seamans on NBC6 from Miami: "Academia's wahabi funding was behind the failure in warning America from al Qaida and other Jihadi threats."

1/9/06, 1:24 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

It seems that the Duck-man is pushing his anti-anti-Islam party line. Can't face the harsh reality? By the way, the Fletcher book that you recommended, while not being a white-wash of Islam, tends to minimized or omitted the harsh reality. Most of his references are from the last 15 years except for the curious but important fact that he admits to relying heavily on Bernard Lewis. He, of course, cherry picks Lewis so that his PC-proof book can earn the accolades of Karen Armstrong (whose praise is on the book jacket.) Nice try, Ducky but read the truth.

1/9/06, 3:30 PM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Grant is right on! Looks like Makdom or is it Martyrdom hasn’t had the courage to return.

Thanks, Lee, I read that Wheeler piece and it is powerful.

Thanks, AOW, I think some of us, who were motivated by 9/11 to learn about the threat, find it incomprehensible how so many others are in denial. (I can't read that link here at work, I’ll wait until I get home.)

1/9/06, 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the risk of incurring Mr Ducky's wrath, and I'm agnostic, but I believe Islam is the enemy and I quite like Daniel Pipes. I also liked Ronald Reagan though disagreed on a number of his policies. I wonder how he would take on the Jihad if he were President now. He had an analogy of up and down politics rather than left and right. Up being ten toward capitalism, individualism and freedom, down being one toward totalitarianism, communism, fascism. Islam is about minus three, and that's being generous. Did anyone read Reagan's description of "The Shining City"? worth a look.

1/9/06, 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never confront Islamists

just let them push you around
change your culture to fit them

1/4/07, 7:40 PM  
Blogger L said...

Great article Jason, I have become quite a regular on your blog, as you seem to be one of the few with the courage to tell truths, however inconvenient.

One point I would like to make though is that propensity to ignore or mistreat serious threats is not just endemic to Liberal democracies such as US, Canada or the UK, but to all peoples in general.

It seems there is a very human trait that when encountered with threats to our existence freedom or way of life, the mind will withdraw into a self created reality. It seems that people's willpower, upbringing, intelligence and other factors play a part in how the person will react to a very real danger.

Some people are actually more infuriated by the messenger that reveals this threat then at the actual danger. These people will go very far to banish kill or demoralize those that sound an alarm, just so they do not interfere with this reality they have created for themselves.


Johnny Bambasero

4/5/07, 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam is Injustice.

Islam is the most vile religion on the planet. No religion is more primitive, barbaric and cruel than Islam. Islam is an abomination to the world and mankind.

Islam loves Hitler and Hitler loved Islam. They both hate the jews - same old story, and I'm not buying it.


Islam is the religion that lets the rapists go , and then they whip and even kill the woman that got raped.


Nothing is worse than Islam.

7/16/07, 5:24 PM  

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