Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Call Me Mom on the Islam problem

This problem with the incompatibility of Islam with Western civilization is, of course, a subject of intense interest to yours truly. Indeed, I created, a couple of years back, a webpage dedicated entirely to this very problem, and I've written about the subject numerous times since this blog has been in existence.

Frequent commenter here and sole proprietor of Irate Tireless Minority Call Me Mom has a new and interesting perspective on this problem, here. Don't neglect Lawrence Auster's Separationism-consistent solution to the Islam problem here, here, and here.

7 comments:

chiu_chunling said...

I think that there is a serious danger involved in setting up Islam as somehow being a unique problem. Islam is no more inherently dangerous than Trekkiedom.

I would hold that the answer to the problem of Islam is to refuse to admit any special treatment for it. Send the message clearly and consistently, "you can cite the Koran all you want, we'd be just as impressed were you to quote Captain Kirk."

The principle of freedom of religion is fundamentally very simple. You can believe whatever you want, no matter how silly anyone else may think it. We only care what you actually do.

You refuse to attend classes unless the doors make a "swoosh" noise and open automatically? Well then, good luck on that. Oh, it's having a washing basin at the entrance? Same thing. If we happen to have them, then you're in luck. If not...it's not like we're discriminating against your beliefs. It may be that important to you...but that doesn't make it important to us.

You want to spend history class arguing over which timeline we live in according to TOS? Fine, but we aren't changing which answers will be marked as correct on the test. Same for your completely fictional account of the deeds of he-who-had-a-million-perfectly-legitimate-excuses-for-everything.

No special treatment cuts both ways, of course. I don't believe in singling people out for deportation because they express admiration for the poetic quality of Muhammad's confrontation with the futility of belief in things he made up as he went. If someone associates with or funds active terrorists, "I'm Muslim" isn't a justification, nor is it the crime.

I realize that this principle is very difficult in practice. Humans want others to believe as they do. But an intelligent understanding of the nature of belief indicates that expressions of 'belief' motivated by material rewards are generally not sincere. Hence the policy of letting people express whatever belief they wish, and rewarding or punishing actions without regard to expressions of belief.

Terry Morris said...

Well, most horrorcore rappers don't go and act out on the message of their lyrics either, but that doesn't change the message of their lyrics and its incompatibility with civilized behavior. The same applies to Islam.

chiu_chunling said...

Well, I'm not in favor of banning horrorcore either. I don't see any problem with making it probable cause to scrutinize someone a little more closely (part of the practical reason for taking freedom of speech seriously is how much easier it makes it to determine people's real proclivities), but I would have real trouble with any law against it.

There is a fine line with the use of enforcement mechanisms to harass those who advocate criminal activity...at some point it starts to have the effect of a de facto ban. And that is counterproductive, because it 'legitimizes' the message. When you make a habit of closely examining those who promote such ideas, but only arrest them if for explicitly criminal actions, you powerfully delegitimize the messenger.

In effect, by carefully examining them for evidence of whether they practice what they preach, you can promote an environment in which everyone who preaches is provably a poser. When everyone knows that all the preachers are insincere....

I don't like the sophistical nature of 'moderate' Islam. But it has its uses in fighting Islamist violence. Unfortunately, nobody seems much inclined to understand or implement those uses.

Call Me Mom said...

Thanks for the link Terry.
Chiu,
The more I read, the less I believe there is such a thing as "moderate Islam". It seems to me that there are only those who support the jihadis through their silence, lack of open opposition and money, and those who are apostate and therefore not Muslims at all.

chiu_chunling said...

A lot of those who embrace Islam as a 'path to spiritual reconciliation with God' (i.e. a religion)--rather than a justification for unlimited oppression of women and infidels--place peculiar emphasis on the exact elements of Islam which your or I might regard as grounds for rejecting it utterly.

Which is to say...yes, your characterization of moderate muslims is not altogether without merit. Those who identify with Islam out of a poetic (or personal) affinity with Muhammad's struggle to found a religion without any definite help from above (or even a firm belief that God really existed) cannot qualify as what you might call 'devout'.

And yet, they hunger for an explanation of why God is not present in their lives. The puerile, unassimilated savagery of the Koran and Islam's historical narrative provides that answer...God doesn't speak to them because they aren't insane.

The 'wise but imperfect teacher' which Jesus obstinately refuses to be is brilliantly realized in Muhammad, who (according to the best available interpretations of the contemporary evidence) set out to create a religious tradition because he envied the order and civilization which the Jews and Christians were able to enjoy through their belief in a divine lawgiver. His terribly earnest fakery, deceptions, betrayals, and the bloody consequences; all speak to the soul determined to hold up their inability to find God as proof that they are better and wiser than others.

No "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine" here. Belonging to a religion which enjoins what only fools or villains would ever consider doing, the wise Muslim demonstrates his humility and virtue by looking beyond the obvious commandments of his 'faith' to contemplate what such commandments teach him about the nature of religion and humanity's striving to understand or please God.

The smug comparison to those who naively act out the literal demands of Muhammad's 'revelations' is essential in supporting the enlightened Muslim's place as one of those blessed with greater wisdom and grace. It is 'understandable' that the less spiritually advanced would become confused by the explicit injunctions of Islam's foundational scriptures.

Simply by resisting the allure of such barbarism while others succumb, the great native virtue and insight of the 'seeking' Muslim is amply demonstrated.

Okay, I'm slamming on Muslim's pretty hard now, but there is a real appeal in Islam to the person who wants to be really moderate in their religious beliefs without being simply hypocritical.

There is a real pull to Islam for those who want to be virtuous by resisting the claims of their professed religion. And the really strange thing is, I actually admire this quality...in a purely aesthetic sense. I understand that these are not good people, but there is something beautiful about their spiritual despair which is really lacking in simple existentialism.

I remember once, watching a PBS special about religion, hearing the most touching rendition of "O come, Emanuel" I've ever heard...from a committed atheist, an Atheist, talking about her sense of loss at no longer believing in God. She sang only the first measures, but I feel a tear just remembering the desperate quality of her plea to a savior she was certain didn't exist.

"O come, O come, Emanuel. And ransom captive Israel."

I know that it cost the soul of one of God's precious daughters to produce that moment of beauty. Would I have the virtue to surrender that memory if it could save her?

I do not claim to be evil as an affectation, or to be funny. I know what I am. For what it's worth, I think that a bloody and very final chapter in the history of Fundamentalist Islam could be the start of something really beautiful. And I mean that.

Unfortunately, there is simply no longer time.

Terry Morris said...

Well, I have to disagree with your assertion above, Chiu, that Islam is no more inherently dangerous than Trekkiedom. Islam may well be, comparatively speaking, as far-fetched and illegitimate a belief system as Trekkieism, all other things being equal, but then again I don't see any indication that Trekkies -- even the true-believers, if in fact there are any -- pose any serious threat to Western civilization. Whereas...

chiu_chunling said...

Well, the really 'serious' Trekkies do some things we like (MRI/CT scanning technology, cell phones) but don't really need. But a lot of those less serious about the core message of 'Trek' (all problems can eventually be solved using technology) are fairly significant in the forces of progressivism and multi-culturalism which are a far greater threat to Western civilization than anything the Islamists can ever hope to be.

One only has to peruse the literature outlining the Islamist strategy for defeating America to see instantly that all their plans depend absolutely on a significant proportion of Americans responding as multi-cultural progressives rather than Americans. They have a more or less traditional idea of what to do with these traitors after bringing down the West, but they do not ignore the fact that the Islamist cause would be futile without the "love not war" crowd.

So...to some extent, Islam is only dangerous because of Trekkiedom. That may seem to be stretching the point, but mine is simply that these various literatures (one of which has quite a bit more aesthetic appeal than the other) are not harmful in and of themselves. It is more the circumstances and individual proclivities of the follower of either which causes the dangers.

It was a hypothetical comparison anyway. Even in the ranks of 'forward looking' intelligentsia, Trekkies are a tiny and despised minority. The technology Trekkies will always be more influential because of the simple fact that they actually invent things people can use.