The BBC has excellent news! The Gallup Study of the Muslim World suggests that the problem of Islamist violence is easy to solve. All we have to do is concentrate on thinking happy thoughts about Muslims and all the problems will go away.
Well, actually, it does require four other little things:
1. Believe all the self delusion and lies Muslims tell pollsters
2. Pointedly ignore the gaping holes in their perception of reality that the
pollsters forget to ask about
3. Revile anyone who notices the inconsistencies as an “extreme right winger”
4. Be willing to blame Western Civilization, America, President Bush and The
Jews for everything
Here’s how it works:
Last week I followed a link from LGF to the BBC Web Site and for a few seconds, I thought I had clicked onto The Onion by mistake. The article was titled Most Muslims 'desire democracy' “Yeah, sure, democracy and Sharia law, what a natural combination!” I thought, to myself, “They go together like feminism and burkhas; this is going to be good”
The first paragraph was only one sentence long- but what a breath-taking little stanza:
“The largest survey to date of Muslims worldwide suggests the vast majority want Western democracy and freedoms, but do not want them to be imposed.”
“Exactly!”, I thought, “..Great Irony! Terrific deadpan delivery! In all one thousand five hundred years of Muslim history- there have been Caliphates, Dictatorships, Empires, totalitarian states and chaotic free-for-all wars among tribal warlords and not a single democracy and somehow they really think that they are just going to sprout a democracy spontaneously. Right! the Saud family, Ahmadinejad, Abbas, Haniyah, Qaddafi, Assad, Nasrallah, and all the other tin-pot dictators, Imams, Sheiks, fiends and mullahs of the Islamic world are going to just decide one day that since everybody is yearning for democracy its probably a good thing to do and without a word or any sort of help from the western democracies (two hundred thirty two successful years in business here in America alone), will just announce national conventions, write up constitutions and hold elections.”
So, as I read the next sentence/paragraph I’m waiting for the punch line- and the smile begins to fade on my face…
The poll by Gallup of more than 50,000 Muslims in 35 nations found most wanted the West to instead focus on changing its negative view of Muslims and Islam.
What? A Gallup Poll? You mean this is serious? Muslims are actually saying this kind of stuff, pollsters are recording it, journalists are writing it down and their editors are allowing it to be printed? Never mind 9/11, London, Madrid, Beslan, Bali, the USS Cole, Buenos Aires, the continuing slave trade, Darfour, the ongoing attempted genocide of Israel, the suicide recruitment of the vulnerable (including women, children and people with downs syndrome) as suicide bombers, the teaching of hatred to children, the endemic child abuse the beating and honor killing of women and so very many other little matters of conscience, we need to cheer up and get a perky little smile on our faces towards good old Islam before there will be an improvement in relations. Are we supposed to just nod our heads and agree, “oh yes, we really must change our opinions of those poor misunderstood folks.”
So let’s review the first two sentences. Not only do Muslims claim to desire democracy, not only do they think they can (in fact, have to) do it by themselves but they also seem to think that we should just ignore their cultural sanction of violence, hateful rhetoric, anti-western, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, misogynist, repugnantly sexually exploitive behavior, entirely unjustified attitude of superiority toward every other people on earth and their parasitic oil cartel and just “change” our perfectly justified “negative view of them.
A little further down in the article there is a quote from one of the authors of the book that analizes the poll. John Esposito the well known academic shill who, as a professor at Georgetown University, has positioned himself at the business end of a serious pipeline of oil money with which the Saud royal family have bankrolled a pseudo-academic propaganda machine they call The Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Esposito says "Muslims want self-determination, but not an American-imposed and defined democracy. They don't want secularism or theocracy". Since any model of democracy that has ever worked for any length of time has been predicated on some sort of seperation between church and state the aversion to secularism might be a problem. Also, since we already know that Islam only approves of the Caliphate, the disavowel theocracy leaves one wondering exactly what kinf of democracy they might have in mind? No wonder they always have to put up with what ever travesty the next bloodthirsty despot wants to subject them to, they obviously have no intellectual tools or civic understanding that would enable them to support a democratic society; and they refuse the help necessary to develop them.
I almost wrote down the following old saying as a metaphor for this dilemma: “Everyone wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die.” Ooops, sorry, when you are always longing for things that your own behavior prohibit, you might very well want to die. In Islamist culture they are caught in so many of these impossible binds, contradictions that fly in the face of reason and reality, that suicide seems to them to be a hero’s way to get to heaven. The Islamic variation on that old saying should rather be, “Everyone wants to get to heaven but there are only so many suicide belts to go around”.
The new Gallup Poll of the Muslim World asked a lot questions of a lot of people and there is a lot of information about the responses those people gave in the study but there is something missing from the analysis- something, like, oh, say, honesty and reality. They never address the logical difficulty of rationalizing the existence of two such incompatible (and mutually contradictory) opinions in one mind. Even more incredible than this, is how can they do it and not be exposed and challenged by the purportedly scientific pollsters or the supposedly impartial and objective journalists.
It is the behavior of those analysts and journalists that I find most disturbing. When the BBC implies that we should care about what The Muslim World thinks about us and that the only way to have peace with them is to believe Esposito’s conclusion that, “Those polled also said the most important thing the West could do to improve relations with Muslim societies was to change its negative views towards Muslims and respect Islam.” they are actually advancing a utopian philosophy that is often mislabeled as “multiculturalism”.
They are not “just reporting” that, “Muslims want democracy” alongside the other opinions by which the Muslims simultaneously set preconditions that absolutely guarantee they can never achieve democracy, without posing the revealing and discomforting questions about how such illogicality is possible, pollsters and journalists are intentionally betraying the standards of their professions. They are conspiring to cloak the fact that the Muslim world has a different idea of what democracy is than we do and that many of their responses are colored by immense cultural differences. Their behavior in not understandable unless you consider culture and attach a value to it. And this is something that has become forbidden by the ethic of what most people call “Multiculturalism”.
When I say “what most people call Multiculturalism”, I include myself. I’ve been writing about Multiculturalism a lot lately and the more I do the more I realize that it may have started out as a way of “understanding” and “tolerating” the behavior of other cultures but it has, in common practice, morphed into a denial that there are any useful distinctions that can be made in the ethical value, moral viability and economic strength of differing cultures. It has become a way for the misinformed, poorly educated disenchanted and the nihilistic to target and disparage their own culture while preventing any criticism of any exotic one. I have begun to believe that what I have been writing about is actually a form of nihilism which would be more accurately called Anticulturalism or Cultural Nihilism.
I know this will sound harsh to many of you who are still partially under the influence of the peaceful, Aquarian-Age lure of multiculturalism but our culture is better ethically, morally, economically, intellectually and spiritually than any other culture in the world. This does not meant that there is no room for improvement or need for criticism. There are many things we can learn from other cultures. One of the strengths of the Judeo Christian West is that, even if the evolution, growth and spread of the culture has, at times been ugly and rough, it has learned and expanded through openness and tolerance- in spite of the (sometimes disastrous) periodic retreats into ignorance and intolerance.
Other cultures, by comparison, have not grown greatly or created much that is new or of real value in the five hundred years since the renaissance. Even today The Muslim World, for example, often appears to be nothing more than a bedlam of deluded, ignorant, bigoted rageaholics who, when they are not busy repressing, persecuting and murdering each other in their own countries, are found in the west- protesting in the streets, blowing themselves and innocent bystanders up and generally trying to screw up the western world in the name of Allah. This is not to say that all Muslims behave this way- only the ones who are the most firmly embedded in Islamic culture. The ones who have adopted western cultural values and are willing to become citizens of western civilization are some of the finest and most productive people on earth.
Culture is the problem. Muslims are embedded in a system that leaves them very little choice- not nearly as much choice as ours leaves us. Of course, not all Muslims are like this but all of their leaders are. Esposito the supreme apologist writes:
“The unfortunate news is that there is a large number of politically radicalized Muslims (the 7 percent previously mentioned, which translates to approximately 91 million individuals) that could be pushed to support or perpetrate violence against civilians.”
Esposito plays on our Western sensibilities here. The violence, rage and intellectual barrenness of the Islamic world inspires tremendous anxiety in us. We cannot comprehend it. It is a force that we would like to control or ameliorate. When Esposito here implies that the “radicalized Muslims” have been in some way pushed to that point and then he warns us that more could be pushed to support or perpetrate violence, he gives the weak-minded and easily manipulated the soothing option- All we have to do is stop pushing them and they will be happy with us. Many in the west are ready to sign up for that one.
So when Esposito and the BBC archly keep repeating that we forget about how culture-bound, benighted and violent they are and “focus on changing our negative view of Muslims and Islam.” They make it sound as though this will solve the whole problem. It would be an act of suicide to listen to them.
They, for a multiplicity of reasons, have used the freedom of choice given them by our culture to become tools of the Caliphate Islamists- what Esposito refers to as politically radicalized Muslims. You see, even his name for them is designed to avoid the fact that this is a cultural conflict. When he calls them politically radicalized Muslims, it makes them appear to be actors within a political system we might recognize. But they are not just western political radicals they wish to destroy the western system of politics and put in its place a world-wide Islamic Caliphate. The great danger is that they have learned to use our democratic principals against us. The Caliphate Islamists have become expert in co-opting the language and principals of the democratic world in ways that twist its strengths into weapons to be used against it. This is what my friend and mentor Richard Landes calls demopathy- using democratic language and invoking human rights only when it serves their interests. One who behaves this way is a demopath.
The name demopath is very well chosen as this behavior is a strong cultural analog of the criminal sociopath. A sociopath is an outsider to human society who does not feel bound by the commonly felt restraints of social integration and is very adept at manipulating the restraints that others labor under for his own (usually) pernicious purposes. A demopath does the same thing at a cultural level. In the case of the Caliphate Islamists, with their hyper-emotional rage at imagined slights, their wild rhetoric, capacity for mass violence and their refusal to indulge any self-examination or criticism from the outside, they use our principals as a cudgel against our honesty, take advantage of our propensity for self-criticism and, ultimately, damage our ability to defend ourselves. They make our easy tolerance and open intellectual curiosity work against us.
Just as sociopaths are defined as antisocial deviants, we need to identify demopaths as anticultural deviants. We need to take appropriate protective measures. One of the first and most important measures needed is to isolate them so that they cannot work on the structure of the culture. This requires that we find ways to address the way the Gallup organization, John Esposito and the BBC pass this cultural poison through their filters and feed it into our information stream.
The analysis of The Gallup Poll of the Muslim World and the coverage of it by the BBC are not just bad science and sloppy reporting. By choosing not to compare these opinions to the historical record and by refusing to make observations of the ways in which they might not reflect the contemporary realities, they have allowed the demopathic argument to go unchallenged.
They look through the morally relativistic anticultural lens of multiculturalism, and see no reason (or way) to challenge or examine these opinions- after all, if right and wrong are relative, so is true and false. In their world, there is no meaningful difference between the values of Muslim Society and Western Society. An opinion is just as valid and means the same thing on either side of the divide. The cultural gulf that yawns between the opinions in the survey and the western audience to whom the book is addressed is ignored. The raw opinions are presented without explantion of the cultural matrix out of which they are being expressed.
I have written before many times about how the rage and anguish of the Muslim World is a product of Muslim Culture. It is the fruit of honor-shame, intellectual and religious intolerance and the civic inability to support any sort of democratic system. So, as the BBC article says, they “desire democracy” and refuse the only way they could ever get it- by having it introduced from the outside.
Too many well-intentioned but culturally naïve people in the west react to the dissonance created by the alternately plaintive, angry, aggressive and contradictory nature of the opinions of Muslims by taking Esposito’s treacherous but soothing lozenge of poisoned advice- “focus on changing your negative view of Muslims and Islam”. The BBC and Esposito are, wittingly or not, what Landes might call “demopathic dupes” they are enabling the demopaths of Caliphate Islam to paralyze the public and keep it unaware of the danger we face with these soothing but hopelessly inaccurate misinterpretations of the situation.