Skip to comments.Misunderstanding the Enemy: the Islamic Threat and the U.S. Media
Posted on 09/22/2004 7:50:44 PM PDT by MegaSilver
On September 19 the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune published an article entitled Struggle for the Soul of Islam: A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America. This 5,000-word feature sought to reveal the existence, methods and ultimate goals of the American offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group." The Tribune story is important for revealing the magnitude of the threat America faces no less than for revealing the underlying misunderstanding of that threat by the American elite class in general and the media in particular.
The Brotherhood's slogan, ever since it was founded in Egypt in 1928, has been unambiguous: "Allah is our goal; the Messenger [Muhammad] is our model; the Koran is our constitution; jihad is our means; and martyrdom in the way of Allah is our aspiration." It has had a major impact on Islam in America by establishing mosques, Islamic schools, summer youth camps and Muslim organizations. Since 1993 it has operated under the name of Muslim American Society (MAS), a "charitable, religious, social, cultural and educational not-for-profit organization" with 10,000 members in 53 chapters nationwide.
The article claims that "because of its hard-line beliefs, the U.S. Brotherhood has been an increasingly divisive force within Islam in America, fueling the often bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims." While separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of American democracy, the article says, "the international Brotherhood preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic."
Other facts of the case concerning the Brotherhood, as revealed by the Tribune, can be summarized in seven key points:
1. Its long-term goal is the establishment of a world-wide Islamic state.
2. It does not seek "the overthrow of the U.S. government" but wants to convert the nation to Islam so that one day Americans will choose to be governed by Islamic law.
3. It endeavors to "save" the younger generations of Muslims in the United States from "melting into the American lifestyle."
4. Its ideologues believe "the Koran justified violence to overthrow un-Islamic governments."
5. Its current leaders praise Palestinian and Iraqi suicide bombers, call for the destruction of Israel and assert that the U.S. has no proof that Al Qaeda was to blame for 9-11.
6. Its leaders scout mosques, Islamic classes and Muslim organizations for those "with orthodox religious beliefs consistent with Brotherhood views."
7. Its proselytizing in the U.S. is backed financially by the Saudi Arabian government, "which shares the Brotherhood's fundamentalist goals."
The problem with the Tribune story is not faulty research but flawed editorial paradigm. "Muslims [are] divided on Brotherhood," the sub-headline asserts, and the story itself suggests that the group's goals are "controversial" and that its "hard-line views" have "alienated many moderate Muslims." The claim that the Brotherhood is in tension or even conflict with the Islamic "mainstream" is a figment of the liberal mind, however. In reality the tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood, its methods and its goalsas enumerated by the Tribuneare in full accordance with standard Islamic teaching and practice. Such editorial slant reflects a structural problem: the refusal of the American opinion-forming elite to accept that Islam as such poses a threat, and not some allegedly aberrant variety of it.
The failure to come to grips with the message and implications of Islam, its sacred texts and teaching, its historical record and its contemporary political ambitions, is not limited to the media. It is endemic to the American elite class, which is prone to interpret the world by "Americanizing" reality. All religions are supposedly equally peaceful and tolerant, Islam is a religion, ergo it is also peaceful and tolerant. A blatant casuistic fallacy has become establishmentarian orthodoxy.
The most serious security implication of such mindset is manifest in the failure of the elite to examine the implications of Muslim immigration in the United States. It is evident that the existence of that multi-million-strong Muslim presence in the Western world is essential in providing the terrorists with the recruits, the infrastructure, the mobility, and the relative invisibility without which they would not be able to operate. Terrorist plots involving Muslim immigrants and their children or native-born converts are on the notable increase both in the United States and in Western Europe. That there is a correlation between the presence of a Muslim population in a country and the danger that it or some other Western country will be subjected to a terrorist attack is a demonstrable fact. Muslims are the only group, in Western Europe or North America, that harbors a substantial segment of individuals who share the key objectives with the terrorists, even if they do not all approve of all of their methods.
The Tribune asserts that the Brotherhood is in tension with the Muslim mainstream in America, but that claim is at odds with recent studies. In a survey of newly naturalized citizens, 90 percent of Muslim immigrants said that if there were a conflict between the United States and their country of origin, they would be inclined to support their country of origin. In Detroit 81 percent of Muslims "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" that Shari'a should be the law of the land. This internal threat to America is increasing. Between 1987 and 1997 8 percent of all immigrantstwo millioncame from Muslim countries, but that proportion is rapidly increasing. While overall immigration (legal and illegal) has grown by 300 percent since 1970, growth of immigration from the Middle East has gone up 700 percent, from under 200,000 in 1970 to 1.5 million in 2000. Expected number of immigrants from the Middle East in 2010 will be 2,500,000. These figures are matched and likely to be exceeded by the number of Muslim immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh). Currently Muslims account for close to one-tenth of all naturalizations, and their birth rates exceed those of any other significant immigrant group. Even a conservative estimate of their number of three million, or one-percent of the population, has alarming security implications and the potential for disproportionate growth. A coherent long-term counter-terrorist strategy therefore must entail denying Islam the foothold inside the United States. The application of ideological and political criteria in determining the eligibility of prospective visitors or immigrants has been and remains an essential ingredient of any anti-terrorist strategy, whereby Islamic activism would be treated as eminently political rather than "religious" activity.
The problem of Muslim influx is inseparable from the phenomenon of Islam itself, and in particular from that faith's impact on its adherents as a political ideology and a program of action. The notion that terrorism is an aberration of Islam, and not a predictable consequence of the ideology of Jihad that is inseparable from it, reflects an elite consensus that is ideological in nature and dogmatic in application. That elite consensus is flawed, and it costs lives and treasure. Three years after the worst terrorist outrage in history the "war against terror" needs to be rethought before it is effectively lost. As it is currently conceived it cannot be won.
The enemy is well aware of the opportunity. The Tribune article quotes the MAS Chicago chapter's Web site as saying that Western secularism and materialism are evil and that Muslims should "pursue this evil force to its own lands" and "invade its Western heartland." Ultimately the outcome of the war against terrorists will depend on our ability to halt this ongoing invasion. That will demand a more acute understanding of the nature of the threatthat the violent message of the Kuran is the problem, and not the Brotherhood's reinterpretation of Muhammad's "revelations." That message is a huge problem for all Muslims. We cannot solve it for them, and we should not be asked to pretend that the Kuran is a pacifist tract. Those who submit to that faith must solve the problem they set themselves.
Muslim immigrants to America may draw very different things from their religion, its scripture and traditions, but anti-infidel violence is a hardy perennial. The challenge is how to prevent theocratic terror from sheltering behind secular-liberal toleration. While it is too much to hope that our elites will become pro-Christian any time soon, for the sake of survival they should rethink the refusal to legislate the practice of any religion in any way. Islam should be treated as a special case because it is, on its own admission, much more than "just a religion." It needs to be understood as, and subjected to the same supervision and legal restrains that apply to other cults prone to violence, and to violent political hate groups whose avowed aim is the destruction of our order of life.
Muslim activists in non-Muslim countries invoke those institutions when they clamor for every kind of indulgence for their own beliefs and customs. They demand full democratic privileges to organize and propagate their views, while acknowledging to each other that, given the power to do so, they would impose their own beliefs and customs, and eliminate all others. Once it is accepted that "true Islam" does not recognize a priori the right of any other religion or world outlook to existleast of all the atheistic secular humanisma serious anti-terrorist strategy will finally become possible.
Joe McCarthy ... where are you?
You're right Anne ... Joe was right.
I pray to God that after he is re-elected, George Bush will be inclined and able to address these facts frankly, without fear of the PC that keeps the whole truth cloaked.
Thanks for posting this.
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
"Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."
-- Winston Churchill
From the post: "Islamic schools"
Does anyone know how many there are of these "schools" and is this the only form of education the children get? Is the American government in any way involved - funding - etc - ?
Is anyone in government allowed to check what is being taught? Just wondering -
How many from Japan were in America at the start of our involvement in WWII - ? It's easy to mistrust - but to mistrust a whole - ?
Japan has been velly nice to us since they were "dealt" with.
Really well written! Great piece!
And Its Nazi Roots
By Dr. Matthias Küntzel
What kind of ideology pushed the 9/11 perpetrators into acting the way they did? Information from the first trial, of a core member of the Hamburg al Qaida cell which took place between October 2002 and February 2003 in Hamburg, Germany gives a crucial answer to this question. The accused, Mounir el Motassadeq, had been a close friend of Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 perpetrators. He had held in trust the bank account of Marwan al-Shehhi who had steered the plane into the second Twin Tower. The testimony of many of the witnesses presented a breath-taking insight into the perpetrators' minds but the international media paid scant attention to their revealing testimony.
One witness, Shahid Nickels, a member of Mohammed Atta's core group between 1998 and 2000, said the following: "Atta's weltanschauung was based on a National Socialist way of thinking. He was convinced that 'the Jews' are determined to achieve world domination. He considered New York City to be the center of world Jewry which was, in his opinion, Enemy Number One." Sharid Nickels further testified about the perpetrator's core group:
"They were convinced that Jews control the American government as well as the media and the economy of the United States. Motassadeq shared Atta's attitude in believing that a world-wide conspiracy of Jews exists. According to him, Americans want to dominate the world so that Jews can pile up capital."
Another witness, Ahmed Maglad, who frequently joined the group's meetings, testified:
"For us, Israel didn't have any right to exist as a state. ... We believed that German and French policies were designed to suit Arab countries whereas the USA is considered to be the mother of Israel."
Finally, Ralf Götsche who lived in the same student dormitory with the accused, recalled:
"Motassadeq once said: 'What Hitler did to the Jews was not at all bad.' His [Motassadeq's] attitude was blatantly antisemitic". (2)
Recognizing this obsessive hatred of Jews enables us to draw a preliminary conclusion: The concept of Americans as enemies which motivated the 9/11 perpetrators is clearly not based on sound or even a partially reasonable perception of reality but is an obvious phantasmagoria and reveals an antisemitism which strikingly parallels several central concepts of Nazi ideology.
This essay will investigate the specifics of this antisemitism by exposing its history, its meaning and its specific dangers. First: I will give a brief overview of the historical roots of Islamism. Second: I will explore its meaning by analyzing how Jews are perceived by Islamists. Third: I will point to the current dangers which Islamism represents in the post cold war order as well as in the future. Before proceeding I would like to emphasize two points:
1) Probing into the minds and motives of Islamist perpetrators should not lead us to attribute 'murder in the name of jihad' to Islam as a whole. Instead, we should attribute this particular kind of jihad only to Islamism as a separate political tendency within Islam. It is critical to make this distinction so as to be able to pointedly criticize Islamism and to avoid, at the same time, any hint of a racist discourse.
2) Probing the minds and motives of Islamist perpetrators requires that we avoid using our Western understanding of the world. If we stick exclusively to our Western modes of reasoning - such as the law of cause- and-effect or the importance we place on the survival instinct - this may lead to the mistaken belief that hopelessness and deep desperation are at the root of murder-suicide. Under close inspection, however, this reasoning does not hold up. There are many people in the world who have every reason to feel desperate about their wretched and indeed hopeless lives. None of them, however, resort to killing people by entering overcrowded buses or by hijacking planes with the sole purpose of blowing themselves up with the intention of killing as many innocent people as possible. This is definitely not a method of how people respond to misery. By studying the testamentary videos which so-called 'Palestinian martyrs' produce[d] before setting off on their deadly missions, we will find no evidence of desperation or hopelessness but will instead find an enormous amount of pride and even joy, a joy close to rapture. Thus, the motives of the perpetrators can be explained neither by applying our theories of cause-and-effect, nor can the motives be attributed to 'evil-doers'. These men do not consider themselves as evil, but see themselves instead as being courageous liberators and as the God-fearing avant-garde of the best. Probing into the minds of Islamist perpetrators, therefore, requires our readiness to take literally and seriously a weltanschauung which seems alien and even bordering on madness to us.
In order to understand what the similarities between Islamist and Nazi imaginations are based on, we have to look at the history of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood which was founded in 1928 and which established Islamism as a mass movement.
The continuing significance of the Muslim Brotherhood for Islamism is comparable to the significance of the Bolshevik party for Communism in the 20th century: The Muslim Brotherhood is the organizational as well as the ideological core which successfully inspired all subsequent Islamist groups and tendencies. No other organization has influenced the ideology of the al Qaida cadres more strongly than the Brotherhood and its leading members Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam have.
In addition, the Moslem Brotherhood has been the organization which first created the concept of a belligerent jihad for our modern times and which turned the longing for death into an Islamic ideal. This is of particular importance, since Islamism stands for a fundamentalist understanding of Islam combined with the explicit purpose of creating a belligerent jihad.
As early as 1938, Hassan al-Banna, the charismatic founder of the Brotherhood, presented his own version of jihad in an essay called "The industry of death". In this article, he did not describe the horror of death but instead depicted death as an ideal to long for. Hassan al-Banna wrote:
"To a nation that perfects the industry of death and which knows how to die nobly, God gives proud life in this world and eternal grace in the life to come." (3)
The concept of belligerent jihad was welcome with enthusiasm by the "Troops of God" as the Brotherhood referred to itself. Whenever their battalions marched down the boulevards of Cairo in semi-fascist formation, they sang:
"We are not afraid of death, we desire it... Let us die in redemption for Muslims."
This particular interpretation of the meaning of jihad did not come about until the 1930´s. It should be noted that its concurrence with the arrival of a newly virulent antisemitism is verified in no uncertain terms. Originally, the British colonial policies triggered the call for a Sharia-based new order and produced Islamism as a social movement and as a means of resisting "cultural modernity". But the Brotherhood did not conduct its jihad primarily against the British, against the French or against the Egyptian elite who had collaborated with the British. Instead, up to 1951 the jihad movement of the Brotherhood was almost exclusively focused on Zionism and Jews.
While the membership of the Brotherhood had been eight hundred in May 1936, by August 1938 it had increased to an amazing two hundred thousand - not counting its many non-member supporters. (4) However, in these two years only one large campaign took place in Egypt which exclusively targeted Zionism and the Jews.
The campaign itself was initiated by the so-called "Arab Revolt" in Palestine which the notorious Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, had incited. "Down with the Jews!" - "Jews get out of Egypt and Palestine!" were the slogans of the mass demonstrations which the Brotherhood organized in Egyptian cities in 1936. Their leaflets called for a boycott of Jewish goods and Jewish shops.
Their newspaper al-Nadhir published a regular column called "The danger of the Jews of Egypt". They also published the names and addresses of Jewish businessmen and the publishers of allegedly Jewish newspapers all over the world, attributing every evil - from communism to prostitution - to the "Jewish menace." (5)
Obviously, many of their actions as well as the rhetoric and the slogans used in this antisemitic campaign were clearly taken over from Nazi Germany. The Brotherhood, however, included Islamic roots of hatred against Jews as well.
They used and disseminated a quotation from the Koran that Jews are to be considered 'the worst enemy of the believers.' In addition, they evoked old stories of the early history of Islam by pointing to the example set by Mohammed who, as legend has it, succeeded not only in expelling two Jewish tribes from Medina during the 7th century, but killed the entire male population of the third tribe and sold all the women and children into slavery.
And they stressed (and still consider) Palestine as an Islamic territory (''Dar al-Islam") where Jews should never be allowed to govern a single village let alone an entire state.
Indeed, most decisively in contributing to and in shaping these first anti-Jewish rallies in Egypt's history was the status quo as well as the presence of one man in Palestine. The Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, who later became infamous for his collaboration with Germany's Nazi government, had held the highest political and religious posts in Palestine since 1921.
There was nobody who instigated the conflict between Muslims and Jews in Palestine more successfully than did this Mufti. As early as 1929, a Mufti-led pogrom killed 133 autochthonous Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron. Shortly thereafter, the Mufti declared the relentless fight against the Jews as the most important responsibility of all believers. Those who dared to resist his anti-Jewish orders were publicly denounced and publicly threatened in the mosques during Friday prayers.
Nevertheless, the Mufti had to deal with powerful adversaries such as the clan of the Nashashibis and the Christian minority in Palestine. In contrast to the Mufti, the Nashashibis tried to get along with Jews as well as with the British in a more pragmatic way by negotiating rather than by engaging in fighting and killing. (6)
The controversy between the Husseini clan and the Nashashibis came to a head during the "Arab Revolt" of 1936 which had at its goal to put a complete stop to Jewish immigration. This particular revolt was "a major turning point in the modern, and ultimately tragic history of Palestine, of Zionism and of the Middle East," as Aaron S. Klieman wrote, because it created and substantially shaped the developing movement of Islamism. (7)
The Mufti used this uprising to get rid of all those Palestinians who disagreed with him and who were willing to negotiate with Jews. The German scholar Abraham Ashkenasi writes:
"The Mufti killed his opponents within the Palestinian camp with extreme cruelty. There was more murder and manslaughter within the Palestinian camp than against the Jews or against the British." (8)
It is noteworthy that the very first Islamist reign of terror was established in those territories of Palestine which the Mufti controlled during the revolt.
Palestinians who did not abide by the Mufti's anti-Western dress code or who did not strictly obey the Sharia law, were immediately and ruthlessly killed. (9)
Finally, the Mufti used this revolt to make the Palestine issue the focal point of the Arab world as a whole for the first time in Middle East history. In a letter to Adolf Hitler, the Mufti emphasized his unflagging and successful efforts to use the "the Palestine question'' in order
"to coalesce all Arab countries in a common hatred against the British and the Jews." (10)
Nowhere, however, had the hatred against Jews become more deeply entrenched than in Egypt where the Muslim Brothers called on the Palestinians to kill the Nashashibis in the name of God and who mobilized the masses in support of the Mufti against Jews.
I would like to point out that the Mufti's so-called "Arab Revolt" took place against the background of the swastika: Arab leaflets and signs on walls were prominently marked with this Nazi symbol; the youth organization of the Mufti´s political party paraded as "Nazi-scouts", and Arab children greeted each other with the Nazi salute. Those who had to pass through the rebellious quarters of Palestine attached a flag bearing the swastika to their vehicles so as to insure protection against assaults by the Mufti's volunteers. (11)
Starting in 1933, the Mufti repeatedly offered to serve the German Nazi government. In the beginning, however, the Mufti's fight against Jews was supported in terms of ideology alone. It was not until 1937 that the Mufti's "Holy War" received substantive support from Nazi Germany in the form of financial assistance and the shipment of weapons. Klaus Gensicke writes in his dissertation on the Mufti's collaboration with the Nazis:
"The Mufti himself admitted that it was entirely due to the money contributed by the Germans that allowed him at that time to carry out the uprising in Palestine." (12)
Thus, Hitler's agents incited the anti-Jewish hatred of the Islamists in Palestine with slogans, weapons and money thereby encouraging the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
It was not until May 8, 1945, however, that the ideological approach between the Mufti, the Muslim Brothers and the Nazis reached its peak. This became obvious as early as November 1945. During this very month, the Muslim Brothers committed the worst anti-Jewish pogroms in all of Egypt´s history: The core of antisemitism had thus begun to shift from Germany to the Arab world. On the anniversary of the Balfour-declaration, demonstrators rampaged the Jewish quarters of Cairo. They plundered houses and shops, attacked non-Muslims, devastated the synagogues and then set them on fire. Six people were killed, several hundred more were injured.
The Islamist's newspapers attacked Egyptian Jews by slandering them as Zionists, Communists, capitalists and bloodsuckers, as traffickers in women and as merchants of war, as subversive elements in all countries and in all societies. (13)
One year later, in 1946, the Brotherhood made sure that the Mufti Amin el-Husseini who had become a close friend of Heinrich Himmler, was granted asylum and was given a new political domain in Egypt. Since 1945, the Mufti of Jerusalem had been searched for as a war criminal by Yugoslavia as well as by Great Britain. France, however, where he had been kept in comfortable so-called 'custody', rejected all demands for extradition. With the support of the Brotherhood , the Mufti managed to escape in disguise in May 1946. After arriving in Egypt, the Mufti was declared al-Banna's official representative and personal supervisor of the Brotherhood's activities in Palestine.
"By virtue of his nomination as the Brotherhood's local leader in Palestine, the Mufti continued to be recognised as the national leader by most of the Palestinian Arab population." (14)
Let's keep in mind that the Mufti, had revealed himself as the most ardent Arab supporter of the annihilation of European Jews. during World War II. Therefore, granting this prominent Islamic figure amnesty, was consequently seen in most of the Arab world as explicit acceptance of his antisemitic attitude and of his antisemitic actions. From this point on, as Bernard Lewis put it,
"a pro-Nazi past was a source of pride, not shame". (15)
The powerful collaboration of the Muslim Brothers with the Mufti and the pogroms against Jews a few months after the world learned about Auschwitz clearly showed that the Brotherhood either ignored or even justified Hitler´s extermination of European Jews. The consequences of this attitude, however, continue to be far-reaching and characterize the Arabic-Jewish conflict to this day. (23)
How then did Islamists in 1947 explain to themselves international support of the creation of Israel? By completely ignoring the murder of six million European Jews by Nazi Germany, they reverted to antisemitic conspiracy theories. In this vein, the Brotherhood considered the UN-decision of 1947 to partition Palestine to be an
"international plot carried out by the Americans, the Russians and the British, under the influence of Zionism." (16)
Shortly after the liberation of Auschwitz and the recognition that most of European Jews had been too powerless to prevent their murder, the Islamists branded Jews as the true world-ruling power. The Nazi belief in a world-wide Jewish conspiracy had not only survived the collapse of the Hitler regime, but was eagerly adopted in 1947 in an Arabic world where the Muslim Brotherhood had by now succeeded in mustering a million supporters.
Tens of thousands of Arab copies of one of the most repugnant anti-Jewish publication, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, were published in the following decades by two well-known former members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar al-Sadat. (17) Hundreds of thousands copies of the essay by Sayyid Qutb - Our struggle with the Jews - written in 1950, were distributed throughout the Muslim World in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-days-war.
The new impact of the Nazi-like conspiracy theories becomes particularly obvious if we take a look at the Charta of the Muslim Brotherhood of Palestine which calls itself Hamas. This Charta, created in 1988, represents one of the most important Islamist programs of today. Here, Hamas pointedly makes use of the antisemitic rhetoric of the Mufti of Jerusalem which he in turn had adopted from the Nazis. The Brotherhood of Palestine defines itself as a "universal movement" whose jihad was "the spearhead and the avant-garde" in their struggle against "world Zionism".
The charta clearly indicates that they were heavily influenced by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. According to this Charta
"the Jews were behind the French Revolution as well as the Communist Revolutions."
"behind World War I so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate ... and also were behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading in war materials and prepared for the establishment of their state."
"inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council ... in order to rule the world through their intermediaries. There was no war anywhere without their [the Jews'] fingerprints on them."
The original text of this Charta is clearly stated in Article 32: The intentions of the Zionists
"has been laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what is said there." (18)
It is tempting to ridicule this distorted ideology as lunacy, just like Hitler´s jabbering was ridiculed in the past. But let's remember the history of European antisemitism in the years before World War II. Isn't this precisely the story of how a grossly delusional view of the world, based on infantile fears and ancient hatreds, led to denigration, torture and murder of such magnitute that it still strains our imagination?
As the renowned scholar of antisemitism, Jehuda Bauer, says:
"The language of Islamism is plainly and clearly a genocidal one. They are striving for a repetition of the mass murder of Jews. That's written down black on white." (19)
It is indeed this insane picture of Jews as the evil ones and as the villains of the world which is at the root of the mass-murder of civilians in Israel and in the USA. By committing their murderous operations against people who they consider to be Jews, Islamists in their own understanding do not commit crimes but acts of liberation for which God will reward them in heaven. This is the reason why the testamentary videos of Palestinian Islamists do not express desperation but express instead pride and joy.
With this background in mind, it shouldn't surprise us that witnesses in the trial of Motassadeq in Hamburg, Germany, testified to the existence of antisemitism and Mohammed Atta's belief in Nazi concepts. Should it further surprise us that Osama bin Laden accuses
"the Jews" of "holding America and the West hostage"
given the fact, that the founder of Hamas, the Palestinian Abdullah Azzam, was at the same time the most important teacher and patron of al Qaida's leader? (20) With the Islamists' delusional perception of the "enemy" in mind, let's look at their delusional image of utopia.
Why are the Islamists so singlemindedly focused on Jews or, more specifically, on their hatred of Jews? Again, Palestine's history will provide an answer - though not in the popular sense by putting the blame on Zionist policy. It is a well known fact that antisemitic ideologists from the very beginning have identified Jews with the threatening aspects of modern times. Not surprisingly, these ideologists did not hesitate to distort reality in order to justify their claims.
In Palestine, however, the approach of modern life took place in quite a different way. Here, the correlation between the arrival of the Jews and the arrival of rapid modernization was not a fantasy but a fact.
At the beginning of the 20th century when the immigration of Russian Jews took place, large parts of the Arab community in Palestine were still leading mostly pre-modern lives dominated by patriarchy, the subordination of women, the strict loyalty to one's clan, and the unquestioning adherence to one's religion. The Russian Jewish immigrants, however, including many Socialists, were embarking on quite another way of life.
In Palestine, they personified the subversive and therefore threatening aspects of modernism such as secularisation, the individual pursuit of happiness, freethinking and the equality of women to most of the local population. There is hardly any other region in the world where such different life-styles and social ideas have clashed together at one place.
Rejection of the Modern World
At first glance, the conflict between Zionism and anti-Zionism appears to deal primarily with the possession of land. On a deeper level, however, the acceptance or rejection of the modern world was at stake. At that time, not a few Arabs considered the modernising effects of Zionist immigration as favorable. During the 1920's, for example, prominent leaders in Egypt believed
"that the progress of Zionism might help to secure the development of a new Eastern civilisation"
as Mr. Kisch who was at that time Chairman of the Palestine Zionist Executive noted in his diary after visiting Cairo in 1924. (21)
In Palestine, the members of the Nashashibi family as well as parts of the Christian minority tended to lean toward this point of view. But the conservatism of the Mufti, supported by the Muslim Brotherhood as well as by the National Socialists in Germany, prevailed.
It is revealing how Giselher Wirsing, a leading German Nazi journalist and admirer of the Mufti, described this situation after visiting Palestine on behalf of the SS in 1937 and 1939.
"In Palestine, the capitalist way of thinking and living (as well as its Marxist equivalent) is exclusively embodied in Jewry." However, as far as Islam is concerned, "the ideas of the West have not succeeded in casting doubt on the essence of the traditional way of life."
In Palestine, due to the rule of the Mufti,
"the breakthrough of liberalistic ideas has barely taken place. Apparently, for those ideas, only the Nashashibis family would have been suitable, and for this reason - they received support from England, in particular." (22)
During the course of the "Arab Revolt" which caused a turning point in the history of Palestine, the defeat of the Nashashibis and the birth of Islamism coincided.
There is no doubt that this outcome of the revolt has proven to be catastrophic for the entire Arab world. Since then, hatred of Jews has been whipped up relentlessly, because Jews represented the danger of threatening change, and resistance against modernization was multiplied because change itself was seen as being quintessentially Jewish. This antisemitic distortion of facts has spread throughout the entire Arab world and has more or less impeded its development to the present day. It is against this background that the rapid proliferation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in this region is taking place.
The wording of these Protocols is primarily directed against any influence of Liberalism by depicting it as a secret tool of the Jews. Consequently, this book, fabricated by the secret agents of the Tsar in the 1890s, is distributed by the royal successors of Ibn Saud, to this day. Why did Osama bin Laden's Letter to the American people of October 2002 accuse the United States of being
"the worst civilization witnessed in the history of mankind"?
Osama bin Laden himself provides the answer:
"Because you are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Consitution and Laws, have chosen to invent your own laws as your will and desire."
The core reason behind any Islamistic attack is the accusation of propagating heresy which is seen by giving people political and personal freedom. In order to make a better case against the freedom of the individual, Islamists connect it to a Jewish conspiracy. In his Letter to the American people bin Laden continued:
"The Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and they now control all aspects of your life - making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense."
The means of this allegedly Jewish control and infiltration are, according to bin Laden's letter,
"the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and trading with interest." (24)
This may sound like madness to most of us. For Islamists, however, it is precisely this mission of purification and salvation which provides the eliminatory ingredient of Islamistic antisemitism. The hatred of Jews as a hatred against the challenges of modern life is the underlying reason why innocent people were killed on 9/11 - Islamists consider New York City to be the center of World Jewry, as was clearly corroborated at the Hamburg trial of Motassadeq.
The Islamist's distorted image of themselves is shaped by claiming superiority and dominance over the rest of the world.
According to a statement of al Qaida's spokesman, Suleiman Abu Gheith, the Muslim nation
"was created to stand at the center - of hegemony and rule" for it is "the divine rule, that the entire earth must be subject to the religion of Allah." (25)
Their characteristic trait is
their hatred of accepting distinct differences.
The "humane" has been developed in the course of centuries by accepting and valuing distinctions, and the acknowledgement of equality between women and men has always been the starting point of that acceptance.
The utopia of Islamism, however, is aimed at revoking acceptance of differences so as to extinguish individuality and to submit everybody to the binding force of the clan and their religion again. The Islamists' distorted image of the enemy is directed at civilizations which do not believe that real life only starts after death, and who instead value life here on earth thus thwarting the Islamists' belief of eternal justice by employing such "perfidious" means as reason and doubt, engaging in fornication and by changing the ancient structure of the family.
It is precisely this combination of the Islamists' image of themselves and their distorted image of the enemy which has resulted in such an insane mission, namely the annihilation of evil - and this evil is mostly declared as being Jewish - in order to purify society and to save mankind. It is this mission that creates a hatred of evil that exceeds the fear of death itself. Just like National Socialism was propelled by a utopia which advocated salvation through destruction, Islamism is propelled forward by a similar utopia. In both cases, it is the distorted image of a perceived enemy which provides the perpetrator with his own identiy. In both cases, the annihilation of evil is considered to be the precondition for the realization of an idealized dream of homogeneity. In both cases this evil is projected onto 'the Jew'.
There is an underlying connection between 9/11/2001 - the al Qaida attack - and 11/9/1989 - the fall of the Berlin Wall which has provided fertile ground to the powerful attraction of today's Islamism. Until 1989, capitalism was criticized not only by Islamists but more relevantly by the Soviet Union and her allies. Since 1990, however, Islamism is the only remaining movement that combines three critical ingredients:
1. a comprehensive ideology to challenge capitalist societies,
2. enormous financial resources,
3. global spreading..
Ruled by Maddness
Many people in the world have ample reason to be dissatisfied with their wretched conditions of life which are connected to the relentless law of the market economy throughout the world. Islamism, however, is a world-wide rebellion which channels this discontent either against Israel, which is supposedly dominated by Americans, or against the United States, which is allegedly ruled by Jews. This particular movement does not fight under the flag of anti-colonialism but under the flag of antisemitism; it does not strive for emancipation but for oppression; it is not ruled by a concept of reason, but by madness.
In spite of this, there is today no other anti-capitalist or anti-Western movement that is able to influence, to mobilize, to muster so many people. It should be noted that in the aftermath of 9/11, Islamists were extremely successful in elections in Bahrain, Morocco and Pakistan. (26) The result of a poll of 38,000 people in 44 Islamic countries, which was conducted in the summer of 2002, presented a frightening picture: More than 25 per cent of the people polled in Ghana, Indonesia, Senegal and Uganda said that suicide bombing was justifiable as a means to defend Islam; more than 33 per cent in Pakistan and Mali said the same; more than 40 per cent in Jordan, Bangladesh and Nigeria agreed; and so did more than 50 per cent in the Ivory Coast; and 73 per cent in Lebanon. (27)
It was precisely 9/11 which has given the Islamists this enormous boost.
But that is not all. The burning towers of the World Trade Center turned out to be the sign of fire which announced "the reawakening of antisemitism in its new globalized form." (28)
In the spring of 2002, two million people participated in mass demonstrations which took place in every Arab capital in favor of Hamas suicide bombings.
In Europe, at the same time, we witnessed the most severe antisemite riots against Jewish life since Germany's Reichskristallnacht of 1938.
This antisemitism was enthusiastically adopted by Nazi-oriented organizations throughout the world who openly expressed joy at the destruction of the World Trade Center and the death of thousands of innocent civilians. These people are attempting to make formal alliances with the Islamists. Informally, however, the anti-Jewish sentiment is more and more becoming the cement of a new coalition which includes huge parts of the contemporary Left, who do not loathe Israel and Jews for racist or religious reasons, but for so-called 'universalist' ones.
Over the centuries, antisemitism has continually mutated into new forms. Now it seems to change again, into a shape which requires a new way of thinking and a new vocabulary. The movement against globalization, for instance, appears to degenerate into a breeding ground for a modern version of antisemitism. Their activists wear T-shirts printed with "Burn, Israel, Burn" without any awareness of breaking a taboo, because they are on the Left. (29)
The present mutation claims that the worst crimes of antisemites in the past are now attributed to Jews and the state of Israel, so that if you are against Nazism, you must ipso facto be opposed to Jews.
As Melanie Phillips accurately wrote:
"This has produced an Orwellian situation in which hatred of the Jews now marches behind the Left's banner of anti-racism and human rights, giving rise even to mainstream articles discussing the malign power of the Jews over America and world policy." (30)
Conspiracy theories have clearly gone beyond the adherents of Islamism. In France, a book claiming that no plane crashed into the Pentagon, became a best-seller. In Germany, a similar book claims that 9/11 was nothing more than a secret maneuver of the CIA. An example:
"If George W. Bush, his father, other important decision-makers and top bankers are the members of an elitist secret lodge which had armed Hitler and Stalin and had thus provoked World War II, then it seems only logical that they are having a hand in preparing for World War III as well." (31)
This book, which turns historic facts upside down, went through 28 editions within five months. It was written by a former editor of the Green Party-oriented daily newspaper, the "Tageszeitung" or "taz" as it is known in Germany, and was published by a left-wing publishing house. The above is obviously the German version of the well-known lie about the 4000 Jews who thanks to having been informed by the Mossad beforehand, allegedly did not go to work at the WTC on 9/11. This lie which originated in the Middle East and is based on theories from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was spread around the world at breakneck speed right after 9/11. For the first time, an event of enormous global relevance was interpreted in a blatantly antisemitic way and has been sold successfully as fact. As if being steered by the invisible hands of an al Qaida leader, the 9/11 catastrophe contributed to serious damage of Israel's image and blamed the United States for its own losses of human life.
In the United States it was apparently not an isolated case that pro-Israel students at San Francisco State University were confronted with a mob of students shouting "Hitler didn't finish the job". According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were more than 100 antisemitic incidents on America's campuses between January and May 2002. Students and faculty at a growing number of universities are joining in a rising movement to pressure colleges into divesting themselves of holdings in companies that do business with and in Israel, (32) whereas nobody seems to be concerned about those companies that do business in Iran and Syria and did business in Iraq.
Antisemitism is a disease with no single cause. There seems to exist a deep-seated psychological need to discard the burden of German and European guilt about the Holocaust by defaming its victims posthumously. Others feel a pressing need to atone for European colonialism and imperialism by embracing Islamism and casting Israel as the world's worst colonial power.
Elsewhere, antisemitism is gathering strength from all sorts of misplaced discontent and from resentments. As is amply documented, antisemitism doesn't need reasoned substance for its existance, because it is not based on opinions or on prejudice, but is part of an infrastructure of emotions which are the foundation of the antisemist's own distorted identity.
Thus, contrasting sharply with all the facts I have presented, we have to conclude that, although al Qaida' s attack has its roots in antisemitism, this has not lead to wholesale condemnation of antisemtism in so-called civilized countries.
Actually, the opposite is happening. At present, we are experiencing an unprecedented rise in antisemtism all over the world.
Fighting Terrorism Requires ZERO-Tolerance
In the first part of this essay, I pointed out that from the very beginning Islamism and the hatred of Jews have been closely linked. It should follow that fighting Islamism demands zero-tolerance of antisemitism.
If antisemitic propaganda and antisemitic acts would be made socially as well as politically unacceptable and would result in severe consequences, Islamism and Jihadism would lose its main impetus.
In the second part, I discussed modernization and its relationship to Jews in the Middle East. Promoting democracy in this region obviously requires a determined effort to combat antisemitism simultaneously, In the third part, I tried to explain the urgency for critical decisions to be made. As I mentioned in the beginning:, we cannot use our Western modes of reasoning to comprehend Islamist ideology and their suicide murder. However, we have to make use of our knowledge of Islamist's consciousness, in order to combat a deadly irrationality and to draw an unassailable demarcation between a concept of change based on the traditions of the Enlightenment, and a concept of change that doesn't hesitate to utilise fascist means to destroy individuality and to prevent the development and emancipation of societies.
Dr. Matthias Küntzel
Dr. Matthias Küntzel, a political scientist and author, lives in Hamburg, Germany. His new book "Djihad und Judenhass. Über den neuen antijüdischen Krieg", was published in 2002. (Ca ira-pubs., Freiburg, Germany, 180 pages - For orders contact www.ca-ira.net )
With American liberals they're halfway there. Liberals, like the French, will appease anyone to save their butts.
Middle America is another story, and unlike Europeans, they have guns, love their freedoms, and are rabid Christians.
LINKS OF INTEREST
This was done mainly through picking an isolatable subject (black males), struggling with lower education access, lower pay scales, a sense of lack of respect from others not of the same skin color, and being imprisoned.
Searching for meaning during interrment, they were easy marks for Islamic based ministering. Offering a method to gain respect for ones-self, from others, and restart a bad life, it seemed a wonderful rehabilitation for many young black (or any ethnic group) men.
It turned out that the wonderful leader that brought this to America, was a hypocrite as far as following the mandates of his own religion, but that happens everywhere.
The problem we perceive now is that this was just a means to establish an organized and trained and used to following orders!, physically fit militia within the United States borders, at command able to be hostile to "the man"... whomever it is decided that label goes on at the time.
THIS, my friends, is likely the window that much of the other nations view us.
A view artificially supported by the entertainment known as THE OLDSTYLE MEDIA (I know, MSM works, but I like The OM.)
The old media, the outdated media, YEAH. ILIKEIT.
Radical Islam's 'plan' to take over America - Arab-American author outlines secret 20-year strategy to undermine country
Interestins article. It is no surprise about the Muslim/Nazis alliance. Of course this has been around before the Nazis and Communists existed. They've been like that since day one. Don't forget that Arab Muslims rushed in defense of Adolf Eichmann, when he was caught, tried, and executed. Also, Heinrich Himmler wished Germany was a Muslim country and wanted a Muslim empire.
I would urge you to read the whole thing.
Tolerance is not tolerance for things judged to be good or true. Such things do not need tolerance. Tolerance is tolerance for error, or it does not merit the name. The reason we tolerate error is error is the natural state of mankind, and to require lack of error on the part of men (1) condemns must men to justified punishment and (2) requires an infalliable judge to decide what is and what is not error. Such a judge does not exist in this world. Governments are least of all capable of it. Governments are no arbiters of truth. Their record in the matter is abysmal, a river of blood spilled for the grossest superstitions and the most patent errors.
We tolerate because we prefer the danger of misguided fellow citizens to the danger of an omnipotent government that claims the sole possession of the truth. Not because there is no danger in the first. We keep the right to bear arms to protect from either. We aren't scared of wicked private individuals because we fully expect to defend ourselves against them if they appear, not because we think they do not exist. When individuals engage in criminal acts we throw the book at them, judging them ourselves in our capacity as jurors, not trusting anybody else to do so with our interests in view.
Freedom is not based on the desire for safety in the first place. It is independently desired even if it brings danger, as preferably to living as a ward of paternalistic states arrogating all judgment of truth, necessity, danger, or guilt to themselves. We expect and get no assurances we won't be endangered by doing so. We will be dangerous ourselves, right back, when the occasion demands.
In the case of militant Islam, we consider preposterous the notion that millions of fellow Americans will prefer so ridiculous and unjust an ideology. But if they do, we will fight against them. We have put up with idiocies from our domestic left that are at least as dangerous - including people who gave atom bombs to Joe Stalin and lobbied for the Khmer Rogue. We tolerate not in ignorance but in majestic strength. Even when they do their worst, they will not stop us. We will re-elect W and wage our war, in contempt of anything either Muslim radicals or the international left can do about it.
Don't confuse the general politics of a state with the folks who live in it. There's a huge difference between the mind-set of people in Manhattan and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They may both vote Democratic, but the folks in Iowa, the Dakotas, and Southern Illinois are fiercely independent.
Middle America is what liberals like to call fly-over country, but it's the heartland of America. If you take a look at those red and blue states you can get a good idea of where it is. There's only one.
In this part of Tennessee we see muslims in headscarfs passing through, and although they're treated civilly the looks from the locals lets them know they're not wanted here. If they start to proselytize here I can forsee trouble. The rural Christian South is no place for mulims.
Which is why they chose to separate Church from State. They reasoned that the religious conflicts of Old Europe came from the mixing of religion and politics.
Islam not only mixes the two, it does not draw distinctions between them. It can be argued that allowing an Islamic foothold in the United States is akin to allowing foreign embassies to a government whose raison d'etre is to overthrow us entirely.
Freedom is not based on the desire for safety in the first place. It is independently desired even if it brings danger, as preferably to living as a ward of paternalistic states arrogating all judgment of truth, necessity, danger, or guilt to themselves. We expect and get no assurances we won't be endangered by doing so. We will be dangerous ourselves, right back, when the occasion demands.
The inevitable consequence of allowing Islam the freedom of having a foothold in the West WILL be the loss of our own freedom, and many of our lives, as well. It is not a matter of "if," but "when."
If freedom as you define it in the end leads to more--and worse--oppression, then is freedom really worth it?
What have we done to counter this threat? Dubya has made a start but where are the leaders in Congress, the press, the academy and elsewhere who have come up with effective ways to stop this mortal threat? We should both make clear that those with good ideas are praised and those who support the attack on the United States are identified. FR is helping. What other groups are? We can help knit them together into an effective force. I would like to start by pointing to the Hudson Institute; they have transitioned from their former focus on "thinking the unthinkable" to very good programs on this threat. There are others. Let us bring them to the fore.
Thanks for the post and the ping. I wonder what Lunatic Fringe and the rest of the Dhimmis will have to say to this.
That is their plan for America, just as it is with Europe!
Europe is being overrun with Islam fanatics!
Therein lies the problem with your argument. Did you even read the article I posted?
This internal threat to America is increasing. Between 1987 and 1997 8 percent of all immigrantstwo millioncame from Muslim countries, but that proportion is rapidly increasing. While overall immigration (legal and illegal) has grown by 300 percent since 1970, growth of immigration from the Middle East has gone up 700 percent, from under 200,000 in 1970 to 1.5 million in 2000. Expected number of immigrants from the Middle East in 2010 will be 2,500,000. These figures are matched and likely to be exceeded by the number of Muslim immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh). Currently Muslims account for close to one-tenth of all naturalizations, and their birth rates exceed those of any other significant immigrant group. Even a conservative estimate of their number of three million, or one-percent of the population, has alarming security implications and the potential for disproportionate growth.
They are not halfway around the world. They are here. In the West. Our ridiculous immigration policies provide terrorists with a fresh Western Muslim diaspora--and therefore all the recruits and manpower they could possibly want.
The idea that Jewish people seem to dominate business and money concerns is like telling me that black men are trying to dominate the world by excelling in sports.
Both have foundations in tendency, but are still stereotyping.
I do believe I understand the basic premise of the article. The Islamic threat, though based on a corruption of the Koran, by a human designated prophet named Mohammed, is real. What is has turned into is similar to the top echelon of what is called the Democratic Party. And just as difficult to stop.
To date, out of 3 million US Muslims, 2 snipers and one LAX El Al attacker, one US sergeant (in Kuwait, not here), and a handful more of failed attempters, have listened to Bin Laden over our laws. We've had more treason from lily white liberals. There have been hundreds of terrorist attacks in the same period that have killed and wounded several thousand additional victims. Most of them in Iraq, others from Russia to Israel to Nigeria to India to Indonesia. They are indeed half way around the world, and they can't organize their way out of a paper bag. As for refugees, lots of people flee Islamic countries for the obvious reasons. Before them, lots of people fled from communist countries. We took in a million Vietnamese refugees; was this an invasion by commies?
We don't do bigot oppression, sell it to somebody stupider. It isn't because we think Islam is true; it isn't. We let Nazis march in Skokie. We just don't listen to them.
So which is more dangerous? Militant PCism or Militant Islam? The Libs with their head in the sand attitude are the biggest danger, because they refuse to recognise a problem, much less fight against it.
1. Most people don't even know it is happening.
2. And even if they did, they wouldn't know what to do about it.
Okay, three reasons: We have a conflict between two principles we value very strongly in America: Tolerance on the one hand, and self-protection on the other.
When you talk to people about the violent nature of Islam, what happens? People who know nothing about it and who are not Muslims defend the religion. Why? Because it is a fundamental principle in this country that you have a right to worship as you wish. And in their faith in multiculturalism, some go even further than that and feel that no religion is better than any other.
So when you start trashing on Islam, they defend it vigorously.
I hope you persist, though, because ultimately this is where the war on terrorism is won or lost. If we who know about this stuff cannot change enough opinions, we're doomed.
This is a war of memes and we are on the front line.
Below is an article on citizenwarrior.com that begins to approach how this war might be won:
A MEME IS ANYTHING that can be copied from one mind to another. An idea is a meme. A melody is a meme. The custom of shaking hands when you meet is a meme. The word "meme" is a meme and it has just been copied from my mind to yours. Read more about memes here.
The most dangerous kind of terrorism on the planet is Islamic terrorism. The memetic source of Islamic terrorism is a collection of memes called the Koran. Muslims believe the Koran is the word of Allah. They believe this because it says so in the Koran. It also says that a good Muslim must make continual war on all unbelievers until the entire world is Islamic. Quite a few memes within the Koran enhance and support this premise, and those who follow its teachings to the letter are a threat to freedom and democracy everywhere.
But memes outside the Koran also help the terrorists memes that exist in non-Muslim minds. For example, the widespread belief that Islam is a religion of peace diverts effort and attention away from the real source of the problem and toward things that will not solve the problem. That's where you come in.
If you will help us spread the word about the Koran, international attention can eventually be turned to solving the real problem. But when you do this, you will get resistance. People will argue with you. An argument is a battle of memes and I want to help you win these battles. I'm not talking about arguing with Muslims about their faith. That is probably close to impossible because the memeplex itself has its own protection, its own "memetic immune system." But the people you know who are not Muslims and live in a free society probably think Islam is a religion of peace. And they probably don't know much about Islam. What you can do is learn about it (start here) and then tell others about it, and sometimes they will argue with you. Then you can use the principles below.
So here are some rules of engagement that will help us win the long-term war of memes:
1. Don't argue. Don't even think of it as argument. What you're doing is trying to persuade. The responses you think of when you're arguing are sharp and hurtful and belittling. Persuasion responses avoid that and try to win someone over to your way of thinking. That's very different and much more effective. One of the reasons people don't like to discuss things with conflicting opinions is that they argue. Arguing tends to be upsetting. Persuasion can be fun. Read more about the fine art of persuading others here.
2. Use facts. Give your sources. Memorize key facts so you can quote them and say where you got those facts. Facts are the most important weapon in your arsenal. A good way to memorize facts is to mark the pages with little post-it notes as you read (or copy and paste if you're reading online). Then record those passages onto a cassette tape or digital recorder, and listen to it while you drive. When you've listened to something six or seven times, you will be able to bring the exact facts to a discussion with confidence.
3. Remain calm. Cultivate calmness and tranquility. When you find yourself getting fired up, remember this is not an argument. You are persuading, and you can't force acceptance of your ideas. They have to be willingly accepted by the other. And people are more swayed by calm understatement than intensity and overstatement. In order to truly stay calm, you will have to be calm in your life, not just in the moment. Read more about becoming a calm person here. When you are calm, you are more persuasive.
4. Good conduct. Use social grace. Good manners. Conduct yourself with class. It is more persuasive.
5. Know what meme you want them to accept. People throw in all kinds of sidetracks and diversions into conversations. Keep clear on one or two simple memes you want them to accept and stay on course.
6. Build concessions slowly, piece by piece. Take smaller parts of the meme that they don't agree with, and convince them with facts that the new understanding is better than the old. Build up these concessions until you can get them to accept the meme you're aiming for. The first concession is your source of facts. Say where you got them and get the other's agreement that your sources are legitimate and authoritative.
7. Be specific. Define your terms. This will make it much easier to stay on track and get partial concessions.
8. Tell them your story. When they say they disagree, simply tell them that you once believed as they do (if this is true and it probably is), and that you slowly and with skepticism were convinced by the facts to change your point of view. This kind of story is very persuasive and prevents you from accidentally making them feel like a fool for not already believing as you do.
9. Be humble. Make it clear you know you don't know it all. Insults or sharp rebukes or anything that seems to imply that "I know it all and you are grossly uneducated" has no place in persuasion. It puts emotion up as a defense so new memes cannot can get through. It causes hatred, one-sidedness, and self-righteousness. It even causes wars.
10. Work on one point at a time. Ask "Do you agree with about this small point?
11. Concede those points you agree with. Make it perfectly clear you agree with those points. There is a kind of give-and-take in discussions, and a kind of commerce or reciprocity. If you are willing to concede legitimate points they make and say so, they are more willing to concede legitimate points you make and say so, and so your conversation can get somewhere.
What Makes a Meme Successful? This is a technical paper, by a professor at the University of Brussels, writing about the four factors that influence the success of memes.
Read more about memes:
You have a great web site. Thanks for your work.
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