Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I'm an Anti-Genocidal Bigot.

Dean Obeidallah writes in The Daily Beast

Yeah, and anti-Nazi bigotry is going strong too.

You know what good, decent Germans did after the Nazis were deposed? They condemned and outlawed the Nazis. Sadly, that didn't happen until after the entire world was dragged into a destructive and deadly war.

Good and decent Muslims have the opportunity to prevent that kind of conflict by standing up and doing the same to radical jihadists. But the vast majority do not, and contrary to Obeidallah's claims, it's not just because of a lack of media coverage... I go out of my way to view Arabic sources for assurances that the radicals are a minority, and the very best explanations offered by the very best of them fall short... and that's when they're trying to show that Islam is peaceful at its core.

Oh, they cry, look at the horrible Americans, who are so "bigoted" against poor, peaceful pious people!
This is completely non-factual and misses the point, which is this: In WWII, our Allied parents didn't fight the Germans simply because they were German; they did it to defeat the NAZIS who were fucking up their world. Likewise, people with eyes and ears and working brains aren't denouncing Muslims for being Muslim; they're denouncing terrorist Jihadists who are fucking up OUR world. Jihadists who are hateful, intolerant, homicidal maniacs. Terrorist jihadists who, by the way, are in Western countries trying very diligently to disguise the fact that they are terrorist jihadists. It's a bit much to expect someone who is unfamiliar with your religion and culture to grasp subtlety and nuance, so if you don't want to be painted with that brush, it's your own responsibility to stand up and declare your side.

Like Obeidallah, they may toss out a mildly pejorative adjective when describing a specific act (e.g. "grisly beheading"). But note that he doesn't actually condemn the practice any more than the very "civilized" imam who reluctantly admitted to Richard Dawkins that the penalty for apostasy is death; or the girl who coldly told David Horowitz, a Jew, that she was for having all the Jews gathered in one place so the Muslims didn't have to hunt them down:

Keep in mind, please, that she was there to speak in defense of her religion. Likewise does this speaker, who prompts an entire audience of Muslims to placidly assented that death as prescribed by sharia law was "the best possible punishment".

I'll update this with a link to video for that one if I can find another one.  Det Islamske Nettverk.had it removed, claiming "copyright violation", although to my knowledge they haven't enforced this against other videos that didn't accidentally make Islam look terrible. This was not only a case of someone botching an explanation of sharia, but doing so horrifically. By "botched" I don't mean that he got it wrong... he didn't. But it certainly could never have the effect on a non-Muslim audience that they had hoped for. Nevertheless, a sheikh present asserted on-camera that it was the very best explanation he had ever heard.

The charter of the popularly-elected Hamas government in Gaza that unambiguously promotes genocide. [link to full text]. At almost every turn an opportunity for condemnation becomes an exercise in apologetics aimed at convincing us that being put to death for choosing a religion other than theirs is not a "radical" view.

This is the sort of things that non-Muslims see, and this is the sort of thing they oppose. Not Muslims for being Muslim; but killers for being killers. If you really want to combat "Islamophobia", then Islam cannot defend these killers, and cannot deflect opposition. Muslims have to do a much better job of opposing radicals. "We're not all like that" is not "I'm against them, too". "I'm against them, too" shows us that you're not like that, and that your differences don't stop at your choice of weapons.

Fortunately, there is opposition, and it may be growing. I was encouraged to see this clip from Iraqi television [via MEMRI] in which one of the participant broke down and cried at the plight of Iraqi Christians at the hands of ISIS, and the young Muslims who have chosen to identify themselves with the #notinmyname declaration.Sadly, many of these people chose to post in a way that they cannot be identified; not for fear of Western society, but from fear of their own.

Salim Bolat declares that it is absurd to protest against ISIS because there is no one to protest to. ISIS doesn't have an embassy, and his country already opposes them, so there is nothing to protest... except the Israelis, the Iraq War, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and education. He misses the point of such protest. This isn't about something happening on the far side of the planet. It's about what's happening and could happen in your neighborhood. Terrorists have invaded the UK and other countries... the US; Germany; France; Australia; etc. in the guise of students, law-abiding citizens, and tourists, in having entered they have bombed, killed, and destroyed. Buddhists monks aren't doing that. Not bad lads from Chad, either. A protest against radicalism and terrorism is not for the benefit of ISIS. It's for your neighbors in the country in which you live, and if you can't set aside your pride long enough to assure your neighbor that you mean him no harm, then what kind of Muslim are you?

We need to see more speeches like those given by Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman
"I don't have the right to abide or not, I have to abide by [my country's] laws. This is what Islam teaches us, or else walk out of this country. Get out of here. Go to your Muslim country."
Remember, most "good" Germans didn't publicly condemn the Nazis until after the war was lost, and it was their consent through silence that brought the Nazis to power. Given every opportunity and every prompting, it seems that most "good" Muslims, excepting a vocal minority, are ready and willing to sit through a repeat of that disaster. Mere silence is not enough.

I'm a libertarian. I believe that the law should be such that you can practice your religion and I can practice mine, so long as we each respect the other. I believe that the wielding of force by a government should be limited to one notable exception -- against aggressors, in defense of innocents. These radicals will never be defeated by diplomacy, and will never back down from platitudes. If these radicals will not be defeated from within by Muslims, then they must be defeated by overwhelming outside force, in order to save the millions of lives that will otherwise be lost in the inevitable larger conflict. And what happens to innocent Muslims then? To innocent Christians, Jews, and all others?  Stand up. Speak out.

More later.

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