More on Islamophobia

Just before leaving on my first vacation since 1873, I produced a Klavan on the Culture video on the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, asking the musical question:  Does Islam Suck? KOC, of course, is satire, but I addressed some of the same issues more seriously and precisely in a City Journal article entitled “Name-Calling:”

Whether radical Islamic violence, sexism, religious bigotry, and triumphalism are the natural outgrowths of its dogma or a series of aberrations is a perfectly valid question. Likewise the question of Islamic intentions toward Western culture in general and, by extension, the intentions of those behind the Ground Zero Mosque proposal…  None of these questions will be answered by simply condemning as phobic those who bring them to the fore.

Checking around the internet on some of the reactions to these pieces, I found a couple of responses I’d like to respond to.

First of all, repeated charges that I’m hateful, racist (against which race???) and Islamophobic deserve a response in kind, so I would just like to say:  “Oh yeah?  Well, you stink!  I’m telling Mom!”   Or to put it another way, the fact that leftists think anyone outside the mainstream media is fooled by childish name-calling is a sad comment on the mainstream media.  And on leftists.

The slightly more serious charge that I’m “lumping all Muslims together,” is just simply incorrect.  In fact, I’m not lumping anyone with anyone – I’m questioning the worth and effect of certain ideas.  All ideas should be up for question and examination, including Islam’s.  For instance, those who responded with that leftist tit-for-tat silliness about Catholic priest child-molesting being as bad as Islamic violence (as if!), are at least scratching the surface of a legitimate issue.  Do Catholic ideas and practices involving sexuality and celibacy encourage priestly abuse?  Yes or no, it’s a valid question.  As are the questions about Islam listed above.

Finally, one commenter on this website who identified himself as a politically conservative Muslim suggests that the problem isn’t Islam at all – it’s leftism.  I have to say, that’s an argument I’ve never heard before and, as the commenter seemed intelligent and articulate, I encourage him to research it and write it up for publication.   I’m skeptical – but it’s possible, and it’s certainly an interesting notion worth exploring.

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  • K

    the problem isn’t Islam at all – it’s leftism.

    I can see this. When you’re dominant culture is “no culture is dominant” , and you install firewalls to keep the old stronger culture from coming back (abortion okay, no God in schools, no 10 commandments in the courthouse) then you create opportunities for fanatics (present in every religion) that are outside the firewall to invade your culture and expand their power until there’s pushback, and they’ll get precious little from the left.

    Internationally, the Khomeini revolution was successful in some part due to the conquest of sexualized western culture via mass media and remains a major reason for opposition to the west and western culture.

  • Debra King

    Dinesh D’Souza’s book, The Enemy at Home, covers the topic of how the shameless display of immorality seen throughout western culture is used to some extent in Islamic cultures to justify the hostility of western culture. I think we are so immuned to sexual images and language that we have either forgotten how much our culture has changed or are too young to know any better. D’Souza says:

    “First, the cultural left has fostered a decadent American culture that angers and repulses traditional societies, especially those in the Islamic world, that are being overwhelmed with this culture.”

  • Bea M. Garcia

    Yes to Dinesh but we must go a step further. Our “porn nation” is no accident. Our adversary knows the weapons that will weaken even the the greatest warrior amongst us. Human kind( but especially the loony the left) underestimates the power of unrestrained sexuality. Porn has devastated a huge segment of the population into absolute numbness. These captured, helpless, addicted souls (sadly, even in the Church) are useless cowards & gutless wonders that have no power or desire to fight. The majority of men in the west are weak, mild, & so very manageable. Their inability to fight their own demons of lust, degradation, and filth renders impotent (no pun intended) to fight anything else. Especially radical Islam. The eat, drink & be merry mantra the left is no enamored with (especially and most IMPORTANTLY unlimited availability to sex real, or imagined) has finished off the West for good. (The band is warming up and the fat lady is just about finished with the Jenny Craig.) The creator God, in His mercy, has allowed a remnant to remain who courageously fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other horrible places but the vast majority of our warrior men are passive, irresponsible and too easily distracted. I live in the UK were men (sometimes boys of 13) impregnate women and leave the tax-payer to pick-up the tab. Unfortunately, it is for a lifetime as many of these poor souls end up in prison. Could there be anything more repugnant than a society who encourages and applauds this dead-end behavior? Civilization’s only hope (before we are completely destroyed) is a true Christian revival. An upheaval of our deepest soul, where we encounter a living, all-mighty God who does, indeed, deliver and renew. We MUST reclaim our sexual morality with the joy only found in the marriage bed before there is no one at all left to fight. The Trojan horse is in the camp. We can either bow down to the hedonistic god (turn on the video game, porn, shopping, cooking, outdoor, nature channel ) or the MEN can deal with the horse and its contents while the MRS. stays home and bakes a chocolate-cream cheese-almond cake to celebrate the victory. We better hurry, the fat lady just picked up a toothpick.

  • Brianna

    Well, I think part of the problem, and the reason for the union between Islam and Leftism, is the fact that at root, Islam and Leftism are the same thing. Both are a comprehensive worldview. Both encourage sacrifice and subordination to a higher power, Islam to God, and the Left to government. Both discourage individual thinking and judgement, the Left because doing so is selfish and Islam because doing so means you are failing to submit to God. Both tell man that he is incapable of governing himself and must instead be ruled by others, the Left deferring to philosopher-kings and Islam deferring to those who claim to speak for God, the mullahs and the fanatics. No free speech, it interferes with the worldview. No independent thought, it interferes with the worldview. No individual rights; possession of individual rights means you have the right to hold yourself above and apart from the group. Such a thing is intolerable to Leftism and Islamism.

    It’s true that there are really only two basic ideas in the world, and you have to be on one side or the other, but they aren’t religion and secularism, or conservatiism and liberalism, or socialism and fascism. They’re individualism and collectivism, whether you believe in the supremacy of the individual or the supremacy of society/the state. And since collectivism doesn’t work and must therefore be taken on faith, religions (such as Islam) tend to fall under the heading of and in the same category as the secular forms of collectivism, such as fasicsm, socialism and communism. It’s not necessarily true of every religion, and it’s certainly not true of all religious people (you are clearly an individualist, whatever your faith). It’s as possible for someone to take the truth (individualism) on faith as it is to take a lie (collectivism) on faith. But Islam is definitely a collectivist religion, and despite its claim to secular rationality Leftism is equally collectivist and faith-based. So while I don’t think Islamism and Leftism are literally the same things, I think it’s fair to claim the devils are in the details.

  • Brianna

    Read this book. It explores the connection between Islamism and Leftism, and it is quite good.

    It was written by someone born in the USSR. His parents were dissidents who managed to get out with him in the 70s. Predictably, his family took a dim view of those in the universities who, instead of praising their freedom and their nation to the skies, instead damned it and extolled the virtues of the oppressive Soviet state and the oppressive ideas behind the Soviet state.