Muslims' Complicity With Violence

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Max Boot has a good opinion piece in the LAT which frames the issue of "moderate" muslims rather well. I have no doubt that the vast majority of muslims are in fact "moderate" - if by moderate on means "willing to submit to anything". It would hard to imagine otherwise about adherents to a creed whose central tenet was so ably expressed by the murderous thief who started it: "I was ordered to fight all men until they say, 'There is no god but Allah' ".

Given the choice between accepting subjugation or being killed, the vast majority of humanity will always choose survival. Every petty tyrant in the muslim world knows this for a fact and uses that fact in conjunction with control of his pet mullahs and imams (and secret police) every day. Islam is an excellent tool for a tyrant - just as good as Marxism and sometimes better. There is no mystery as to why the left admires and seeks partnership with the tyrants of the Middle East for they have long recognized that terror, forced conversion and the threat of violence are required achieve the state of slavery over which they long to be masters. Islam and the left are very good partners and will remain so.

The tyrants (and the leftists) know that democracy and capitalism will destroy their regimes, they know that people will choose freedom, although they won't necessarily fight for it, they know that opportunity and choice are antithetical to the maintenance of their power just as Islam's 'theological' know that, without the threat of the sword, their 'religion' will die.

The main thing to keep foremost in our minds is that while moderate muslims are not enemies, they are also not allies. They have chosen the role of pawn and are deserving of treatment as such. We shouldn't look for knights to arise from among them because the bravery required to become a knight has been thoroughly extinguished through the conditioning so ably expressed in the phrase 'inshallah'.

The best thing that the West can do is to leave them as they are. A null force that may turn positive - if we kill enough of the tyrants and their mullahs and imams to free them from their fear.

13 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

In the latest Weekly Standard Lee Harris gives a good summing up of what the Pope was saying in his recent speech entitled "Faith, Reason, and the University", one small part of which caused outrage in the Moslem world. The Pope described a supposed conversation between a Byzantine Emperor, Manuel II Paleologos and a Persian scholar in which the Emperor stated -

Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

Given the limited intellectual vocabulary of the New York Times, they produced a headline reading "Pope Assails Secularism, with a Note on Jihad". Of course, it was nothing of the sort.

Harris gives us the famous quote by Tertullian, a second century theologian, who scorned the ancients with "What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?" Well, quite a bit actually, over more than a thousand years. Ratzinger alludes to this in his speech, describing Christendom as a kind of fusion between Christian and Hellenistic thought. The modern de-coupling of faith and reason is to him profoundly dangerous "as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it".

But of most interest to us at this blog and in this context is Harris' sentence:

The New York Times expressed dismay that Pope Benedict XVI, by quoting the words of Manuel II Paleologus, had betrayed the ecumenical tradition of John Paul II, who insisted that all of us, including both Christians and Muslims, worship the same God. Many others have joined in the criticism of the Regensburg address; Ratzinger, in his role as the Roman pontiff, has apologized if his remarks offended Muslim sensibilities. Perhaps, as Pope Benedict, he was wise to do so. But Ratzinger, the man of reason, the critical thinker, owes no one an apology. He spoke his mind, and he challenged his listeners and the world to ponder questions that have haunted thoughtful men from the first age of Greek philosophic inquiry. He has thrown out an immense challenge to modern reason and to the modern world. Is it really a matter of subjective choice whether men follow a religion that respects human reason and that refuses to use violence to convert others? Can even the most committed atheist be completely indifferent to the imaginary gods that the other members of his community continue to worship? If modern reason cannot persuade men to defend their own communities of reason against the eruption of "disturbing pathologies of religion and reason," then what can persuade them to do so?

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

Knucklehead said...

Skook,

The thing that troubles me most about My Fellow Atheists is precisely this:

The modern de-coupling of faith and reason is to him profoundly dangerous "as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it".

When one rejects faith in the religious sense one must find something with which to replace it to develope the values necessary to conduct one's life in a civil and "moral" manner.

Ethics are much easier than morals. Ethics are bounded by context and do not require "religion" or "faith" (although neither of those is excludes ethics). One cannot develepe ethics without careful thought but it does not require anything remotely approaching deep thought. There is no great challenge in developing one's ethics for "being a" neighbor, or citizen, or businessman, or traveler upon the world's highways and biways. Heck, even without thinking much about matters of ethics one can simply adhere to laws and come to a reasonable (although far from perfect) approximation of ethical behavior.

Developing a morality, on the other hand, requires some significant level of thought (some, I suppose, would call it "reason"). In my own knuckleheaded fashion it has required, essentially, replacing that space within the intellect that is occupied by faith in those who accept faith. Once one has cobbled such a thing together and polished it to fit it then requires something of a leap of faith to embrace it and allow it to become the values by which one insists upon living (to the smallest degree of imperfection and violation that an imperfect human can manage).

Quite odd how rejecting faith requires faith.

I will not show up in any of the churches Ratzinger leads, nor accept the dogma for which he is the ultimate authority. He makes a great deal of sense, though, I gotta give him that.

Rick Ballard said...

Skook,

Thanks for the pointer. That's the best explanatory piece that I've seen concerning the Pope's speech. I wonder if Socrates had been given the choice of reading Kant or taking the hemlock if he wouldn't have insisted on a double dose of hemlock.

It is interesting that 'scienticity' is used by Harris - I wonder if that is a correct translation or an approximation. In either case it is a fairly clear reference to Hayek's refutation of the historicist's laughable adoption of what Hayek referred to as 'scientistic' language to lend an aura of authority to assertions made within the social 'sciences'.

I'm not sure why Harris brought the NYT into his piece. It has been some time since any evidence has been offered that anyone employed there has the mental capacity to do more than regurgitate a party line. Missing the point seems to be a feature at the Times, it may have been a bug at one time but now it's part of the business plan.

Skookumchuk said...

Rick:

Well, they aren't Christians for one thing but more importantly the Christian and Hellenistic derived corpus of thought that began with Clement of Alexandria and evolved into classical Western higher education has been replaced by the multi-culti dogmas of the relativists. The editors of the NYT, and millions of others, simply were never educated in a manner that allows them to grasp the historical connection.

What Harris says is correct. But I believe that what Ratzinger is also attempting to do - if you can hear it - is to highlight the importance of building a kind of bridge between people like us who believe and our fellow Westerners who dont, a bridge that must be built if we are to triumph in this struggle.

Skookumchuk said...

Rick:

Dollars to donuts he was making a conscious reference to Hayek.

To continue the culinary references (I haven't had breakfast) Ratzinger is one sharp cookie.

truepeers said...

Dollars to donuts... how much longer will damned inflation permit this beautiful phrase?

Well, I don't have much time to comment, but I will go through the day pondering whether the fundamental difference Rick sees between allies and pawns can hold up without a Christian point of view - with faith in one's allies as those freed by the truth of Christ, or at least someone more akin to him than Mohammed - and whether an officially liberal society, such as we now are, can ever war with such a Christian outlook. We need Muslims in the ME to be either our pawns or our allies, but whichever they are, can we really think of them or treat them as simply one or the other? If we want them to become freer, don't we have to give them at least some degree of respect as "allies", even as our sense of reality will know they have their limits? Somewhere here perhaps we need to bring in Knuck's distinction between morality and ethics, a distinction that is more surely part of the Judeo-Christian than Muslim worldview.

Pastorius said...

Rick,
I like your idea about leaving them alone. I would like to create a situation which would cause the moderate Muslims to begin to like Western culture. However, in order to wake up the moderate leftists, it seems to me, we need to smoke out all the radicals in our midst. And, the best tool we have for doing this is, in my opinion, to mock them.

It seems the moderates do not understand the difference between mocking Jihadis - and their insane notions of Allah and Mohammed - and mocking all human beings who are Muslim.

Rick Ballard said...

"can we really think of them or treat them as simply one or the other?"

Absolutely not. They are forever our equals in God's sight and our treatment of them has to reflect that fact. It also has to reflect the fact that encouraging them to act in accordance with the values of a civilization which they do not share is no kindness. We don't expect great paintings from the blind or beautiful arias to be sung by the deaf and we should not expect heroism in defense of liberty from slaves. If we can get the boot off their neck it will be enough for now. Perhaps our grandchildren (in my case great-grandchildren) will see a time when we will be allies for more than the time it takes to reach a common objective.

The existence of the French makes even that an exercise in unwarranted optimism, I'm afraid.

Skookumchuk said...

Ratzinger had a sly didactic purpose here as well, I'm thinkin'.

He wanted to illustrate the complexity of the Christian past. You know, before people got enlightened and then socialized and liberated they were walking around with an ecclesiastical bootheel on their necks, as they lay in the Monty Pythonesque mire, not thinking anything, not wondering anything, not inventing anything. Unchanging all through the gray centuries. I once had a dinner table debate about American attitudes to war, such as today, versus, say, World War II or the Civil War, with a liberal friend. Her take was "but people saw things so much more simply back then". Mine was "No. No, they didn't".

So in the face of this kind of thinking, Ratzinger goes in to the curio cabinet and - well, what have we here - a Byzantine Emperor, pondering a question that sounds as if it could have been asked yesterday - only it was asked back in 1391.

gumshoe1 said...

"Quite odd how rejecting faith requires faith."

Knuck -

you just lit up the
observation that being human requires "a metaphysic"...
an explanation of life and living (and dying),and how to conduct oneself,whether one's metaphysic is theistically-based, or not.

many in the PoMo/Whackademia
world like to ignore this human reality,or gloss over it with
hand-waving about "narratives".

imo,this human need is closely linked with "better"...ie
why some ideas and worldviews
are better than others...being mortal,we humans don't have forever to "find our path",
let alone the right one.

unfortunately arguments about "better" do seem
to result in the ultimate ugly:
religious wars.


i enjoyed your post.

terrye said...

Rick;

That was an interesting post and leaving them alone might be a good idea.

Syl said...

Hello?

The Iraqis are fighting for their own freedom and not sitting around waiting for the Americans to do it all for them.

Sistani is admired by the vast majority of Iraqis. Sistani is fully on board with government not subsumed by sharia.

Sistani has studied Jefferson and Voltaire.

Besides 'inshallah' and 'submission' do not dominate the thinking and lives of all muslims.

Hell, I remember here in Richmond a few years ago a local report about an old woman who was losing the home she had lived in for 60 some years. She had no money, no relatives, yet she wasn't worried because 'God would provide'.

I really love the way some of you recognize differences in level of faith among Christians, yet ignore it among Muslims.

terrye said...

Syl:

I was thinking of a poll I saw. On one hand they don't like Americans very muchk, but they really don't like AlQaida and they want us to leave, but then again they want more from us, but then again they want their own military to take care of them but then again half of them say their military will still need help in six months.

I think the Iraqis just want some peace and quiet. I think that a lot of Muslims want that. I say that because they are people and people get tired of the constant strife.

Now this does not mean I don't think there are differences, there are. In fact just think of what different men Musharaff and Karzai are and yet they are both Muslims.

It is too easy to see people as flat characters in a novel, but in truth no one is like that.