Skip to comments.Islam and the Liberal West: a Fatal Complementarity
Posted on 06/02/2005 7:02:11 PM PDT by rmlew
Declaring that some of the words used by Orianna Fallaci in her book about Islam were "without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith," an Italian judge has ordered her to stand trial for anti-Islamic defamation. Meanwhile, Condoleezza Rice has in effect accused all of America of anti-Islamic defamation, saying that a single mishandling by a single U.S. serviceman of a single copy of the Koran is a terrible offense that tarnishes the image of our country. Yet even as our Secretary of State condemns America for its bigotry, the Saudi government funds the massive distribution of anti-American hate literature at U.S. mosquesand the Saudi Crown Prince, far from being criticized, let alone indicted, for spreading defamation of Christians and Jews, is invited to President Bushs ranch for a chummy get-together. At the same time, the main cleric of the Palestinian Authority issues Hitlerian calls for the utter destruction of America and the Jewsand Secretary Rice praises the Palestinians for their march to peace and democracy and the U.S. government gives the Palestinians hundreds of millions more in U.S. taxpayer dollars.
People have pointed to all this recent kow-towing to Muslims as evidence of dhimmitude, the subjection of non-Muslims to a humiliated, second-class status under Muslim rule. But looking at the total pattern described above, I wonder if dhimmitude is an adequate description of it. The condition of dhimmitude, as miserable as it is, is relatively straightforward: dhimmis have no power, they're in a defeated, subordinate position, and they have no choice but to accept the harsh treatment meted out to them by their Muslim overlords. But what we have now is in a sense worse than dhimmitude. After all, we are the more powerful party. We are the ones who bestride the world like a colossus. We are the country that arrogantly or idealistically claims to be setting standards for all the nations of the earth. And yet, from our superior position of unquestioned military power and insufferable moral pretentiousness, we engage in a vicious double standard against ourselves, in which we condemn and punish our fellow Westerners for using critical language about Islam (let us remember that Americans as well as Europeans have been threatened with legal action for condemning Islam), while we reward our Muslim enemies who are openly engaged in a war of vilification and civilizational destruction against us.
What is it that leads us to accept the use of this spectacular double standard against ourselves? Why are we rushing to surrender to those who hate us and everything we cherish?
The answer is simple. In resurgent Islam the liberal West has met its fate. Islam is a non-Western religion set on conquering and converting non-Muslims, while liberalism is a Western ideology set on tolerating and including non-Westerners. They are predators, we are prey. This complementarity spells the death of the West, unless there is a radical awakening on our part to the true nature of Islam and a willingness to oppose it.
But there's a further twist to this complementarity that makes it even harder for us to extricate ourselves from the dhimmi-like trap in which our own ideology has placed us.
As I said, Muslims seek to turn the whole human race into Muslims. We are the demonic and tempting Other, whom they must subvert and convert, and against whom any deception or double standard that may be used to accomplish those ends is sanctioned by God. But liberal Westerners and particularly liberal Americans (which, when we understand the word "liberal" correctly, means basically all Americans, including most conservatives) remain for the most part indefeasibly naïve about the nature and goals of Islam. We imagine that the Muslimsexcept for a "tiny minority" of extremistsare more-or-less similar to ourselves, citizens-in-making of a democratic world order. Just as the Muslims' hard-boiled view of us as the infidel Other stems from their very being and faith as Muslims, liberal Americans' naïve view of the Muslims as people "just like us" stems from our very being and faith as liberal Americans. Being a liberal American means being non-judgmental of other cultures and civilizations, seeing other people as individuals, and putting group differences into the background.
For our liberal American identity to be sustainable, we must go on believing that all people are essentially like us. If we became convinced that a billion Muslims are not like us but are irreconcilably different from us and dangerous to us, then, instead of being open and accepting toward them, we would have to become closed and defensive. We would lose our very being as liberal Americans, as well as our hope of a harmonious, unified, equal world. And that is why we stubbornly ignore the Muslims' actual qualities. We don't do it simply because we are "naïve." We do it in order to maintain our own identity, our liberal identity which is based on our believing that humanity consists of nice people like ourselves, and that discrimination against anyone on the basis of religion, nationality, or ethnicity is always wrong.
We thus have a false view of our own motives, which Sartre would have called bad faith. We think that we disregard other people's negative qualities out of unselfish generosity and tolerance. In reality, we are pursuing an imperial impulse, constructing an image of an Americanist world in which everyone is at least potentially an American, reasonable and easy-going like ourselves, and in which discrimination is therefore unnecessary. Butthe final ironyour imperial agenda is leading to our dhimmi-like subjection to the Muslims' imperial agenda, since our empire is an empire of tolerance and inclusion in which we must open our arms to merciless world-conquering jihadists.
The best way to end war and ensure peace is to kill the enemy.
Unfortunately, most Americans are unwilling to accept the totality of our enemy.
Since when is being offensive against the law?? If that's the case then I want all the secularists to stand trial for defamation of people of faith, I want all the secularist to stand trial for offending me and my opinion about my faith, I want all the democrats to stand trial for the offensive language regarding 9/11...
When will people of good conscience stand-up and stop this lunacy?
I hope the same will hold true for Muslims, the realization that there are no moderate muslims and that our survival will depend on the total destruction of islam as a force in the world.
The realization that you are talking about better happen very SOON, because there is another thread that talks about the NEW islamic jihadist groups in Europe ---acting like Al-queda, but not associated with any main group---
This is quickly getting out of hand, IMHO, and mighty military or not, if our military isn't given enough rein to actually BEAT THE HELL out of the muslims, then they are NOT going to go away...they have "won" too many victorys--in the USA and against the mighty USA...
Anyone who doesn't know how scared you should be, should watch any of the replays that C-span might show of the Progressive convention that has been in Wash. for the last 2 days...THOSE people would bargain away their first-born children if they thought it would bring "peace"...and would get us out of Iraq...
Right on cacique. It's amazing how our national leadership fails to recognize islam for what it is: a cruel, sadistic medieval cult that poses the greatest threat to peace in the world AND must be destroyed.
I've recently become a fan...Thanks for the post!
History shows that there are no enemies more deadly than armed Americans in a scrap.
I'm of the opinion that more Americans than you might think accept it, but are generally too polite to speak their minds. Either that, or they're scared to death of being pilloried as "racists" by the multi-culti pimps.
Great stuff - thanks!
Why is that exactly? Because it doesn't follow. I think the first, without thinking the second.
The missing minor premise is that no one could possibly tolerate an irreconcilably different and dangerous pack of neighbors. But I do it every day. Remarkably few of you are anything like me, nearly all of you are quite dangerous - some more than others it is true. But I do not attempt to live in a mythical world without danger. I live in danger as I live in the corporeal world. It makes courage a virtue, not annihilation of others a necessity. It means I am willing to fight whenever the occasion for it arises, not that I am "closed and defensive".
See, the left only has this problem because they are trying to construct a pacifist existence in a world with real differences and dangerous men. It is the pacifism that is in contradiction with those things, not tolerance. I am perfectly open and accepting of the fact that Muslims are Muslims and wrong, that great bogs of them are unjust, that some of them are even dangerous (while lots of others wish they were, but are impotent).
The left actually only accepts tolerance as a virtue because they are trying to arrive at a mythic state of peace in which all danger has disappeared. Hence this writer's confusion - he thinks tolerance is only chosen if it results in peace, or that safety is the only good to aim at. I tolerate because I recognize the universal state of error mankind is sunk in. I do not remotely think it magically creates safety. I know perfectly well that only strength and courage create safety.
I just also know that intolerance does not bring any increase in strength. Look at those who organize their societies around its absence, and around brutality. They are mostly poor as dust, ignorant, incapable of any lasting achievement, they live off our discarded scraps of technology and any wealth they have comes from us. Why would I want to imitate their stupidities and injustices?