Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Miguel de Unamuno

Quotes from Unamuno:
Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.

Life is doubt, and faith without doubt is nothing but death.
If a person never contradicts himself, it must be that he says nothing.
It is sad not to love, but it is much sadder not to be able to love.
Man dies of cold, not of darkness.
Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.

֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍

Friday, February 19, 2016

Daniel Greenfield

Notice Greenfield's snarky reply to my comment (and scroll around see my other comments to his article on FrontPageMag).

If it weren't for a diverse critical mass of non-Leftists throughout the West enabling basically the same result (perhaps sometimes under different assumptions, but all leading to the same exoneration/justification/"explanation" that assumes innumerable multitdes of Muslims are somehow not promoting "extremist" Islam -- *cough cough* Daniel Pipes), the Left would lose traction.
The reason why there apparently is no such critical mass of non-Leftists throughout the West then points to a subtler more complex sociocultural phenomenon than one that locates all significant blame for the Problem of the Problem (the primary Problem being Islam, the secondary Problem being the West's persistent myopia with regard to the primary Problem) on Leftists is a flawed hypothesis.
You're assuming the existence of non-leftists.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Analysis of a Dennis Prager essay

When the better and the brighter succumb to the disease of the Age -- particularly when that disease is in many complex ways rendering us vulnerable to an unprecedented (and inveterate) enemy -- one is sorely tempted to pack it up and give up hope for one's civilization. Dennis Prager is one of those better and brighter souls who, alas, has so succumbed.

Were the reader to substitute "Nazi" for the word "Muslim" in his piece, he would see the preposterous tragicomedy unintentionally constructed by Prager. Let us try that little experiment (with a couple of minor tweaks here and there for consistency), shall we...?

 It is not to "prove [her] patriotism" that people ask her [a Nazi who admires Der Fuhrer as the "best model of conduct for all mankind" and who treats Mein Kampf as holy writ and as a guide for a good society] to condemn Nazi mass murder, torture and sexual enslavement. It has nothing to do with patriotism.  

Decent people (including many decent Nazis) make this request for three other reasons: One is to ascertain the moral views of that Nazis. The second is to ascertain how widespread Nazi views are among Nazis. And the third reason is to have as many Nazis as possible condemn Nazi violence in the hope that Nazis considering supporting or engaging in terror will think twice about doing so. It is the most logical request people of goodwill can make when they ask Nazi spokespeople to react to atrocities committed by Nazis in the name of Nazism. How else are non-Nazis to assess Nazism and Nazis? [bold emphasis added]

After this simple exercise, Prager’s entire argument falls apart. The only way to salvage it would be to insist that the proper SAT analogy would be – INTOLERABLE MUSLIM : MUSLIM :: Nazi : German. The situation of analytical incoherence in the Counter-Jihad is sufficiently complex such that it necessitates some explanation of terms before we can fully clarify the usefulness of the SAT analogy.

First of all, we have the problem that in the contextual meaning of the analogy, “Germans” were indeed our enemy in WW2, not merely “Nazis”, and tragically we were forced to kill hundreds of thousands of ordinary German people during the war. So, if the Counter-Jihad Softy (defined, for starters, as a morosoph who glibly lets slip such asinine phrases as “decent Muslims”) would try to salvage Prager’s argument by appealing to a distinction analogous to the “German/Nazi” distinction in its WW2 context, he would run up against the formidable, if not impossible problem the Allies actually faced (and, needless to say, any attempts at 20/20 hindsight would be specious in this regard) when fighting the enemy presenting itself as a fusion of those two categories.

Secondly, the Counter-Jihad Softy who rejects the elementary comparison of “Muslim : Nazi” would be obliged to give us good reasons why we should play Muslim Roulette – trusting innumerable Muslims as “decent” partners (and/or as innocents we are supposed to respect and protect) in our frightfully exigent project to manage the dangerous evils which their Islam is causing the world -- given the mountain of data we already have indicating the formidable, if not impossible problem of taqiyya and the False Moderate. Additionally, this problem, bad enough as it is, is exacerbated by the related, subtler problem of the function of various modalities of Stealth Jihad and their overarching goal & effect of lulling us over a long arc of time into a complacent willingness to accept the modus vivendi fait accompli of innumerable terrorists hidden and swimming among seas of millions of Muslims circulating like cancer cells throughout our Body Politic and its more general socio-cultural organs (not to mention that we reasonably assume that this problem, alarming enough as it is, is metastasizing at an exponential rate we cannot fully calculate in order to manage or prevent).

Thus, for example, we see in Prager’s argument the term useful for all Counter-Jihad Softies – “Islamist”. It’s a term that denotes a non-existent category in the actual Muslim world; a term that has been generated by anxious Westerners trying to grapple with the out-of-control problem of 1.5 billion members of a psychotic cult dedicated to our destruction – whether by hook (visible violence & incitements thereof), or by crook (pretending to be “decent Muslims” and fooling people like Prager) – by artificially articulating a taxonomy of Muslims in order to conceptually exempt vast (but never pinned down, numerically) swaths of Muslims from the judgement of our rational self-defense.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Not Everybody Loves Raymond


There are at least five different types of pedagogy at a site, like Jihad Watch, which is involved in trying to educate the public about the dangers of Islam:

1) reporting news about Muslims and about PC MC dhimmis

2) information about Islamic ideology, law, texts and history

3) exposing flawed and/or fraudulent propaganda or argumentation by influential Islam apologists (whether they be Muslims or non-Muslims)

4) rhetorical preaching-to-the-choir inspiration

5) analysis on a theoretical level concerning broader issues, including the nature of Islam, the psychology of Muslims, the nature of PC MC, the psychology of PC MC, and constructive criticism of various anti-Islamic approaches.

It is with regard to #3 where the problem with Raymond Ibrahim comes in most pertinently.
Ibrahim, as most people familiar with Jihad Watch know, is a graduate student in fields related to Middle East studies and is, according to his bio at Jihad Watch, "currently studying toward his doctorate in medieval Islamic history at Catholic University" -- one assumes the one in Washington, D.C. He joined the staff of Jihad Watch over a year ago, if my memory serves me correctly (his bio on Jihad Watch does not provide that information).

The types of pedagogy characterized by #3 as well as #1 depend centrally and crucially on primary source citation and verification. The problem with Ibrahim with regard to #3 (which constitutes most of his contributions thus far to Jihad Watch) is that from what I can gather, most of the time he either does not provide primary source citation, or what he does provide tends to be flawed and therefore virtually worthless as primary source citation.

Without primary source citation, no single claim we make about Islamic ideology, law, texts or history can be verified. And if it remains unverified, the claim is worthless -- or, more precisely, the claim remains in a state of limbo where its effectiveness cannot be utilized, except demagogically, until such time as verification can be provided.

This is not rocket science: if the primary sources that substantiate any given claim Ibrahim makes exist out there, and if Ibrahim has read them for himself, then why does he not provide them with sufficient completeness? What is he waiting for? Some indeterminate time in the future when he will not be so busy with his other projects that he can give his work at Jihad Watch the requisite documentation its readers (including innumerable persons of varying degrees of political and social influence) have a right to expect?

As it stands, Ibrahim's reportorial/scholarly conduct tends to conflate type #3 with type #4 -- i.e., telling the typical pro-Jihad Watch reader what he or she wants to hear about how bad Islam is in varying ways, but not bothering to actually (i.e., sufficiently) substantiate any one of the claims upon which that anti-Islamic message, in its particulars at any given moment, depends. This is fine and dandy for rallying the troops and infusing them with inspiration, but what is any given Jihad Watch reader supposed to do, for example, when they want to use the information Ibrahim is providing them in order to try to persuade a wider circle of strangers, acquaintences, work colleagues, friends, family, their local newspaper editors, their local or national politicians? Is that Jihad Watch reader supposed to repeat the claim they read in one of Ibrahim's pieces on Jihad Watch, and then when asked for verification, after the reference Ibrahim provided in his article turns out to be inadequate, are they just supposed to say -- "Umm. . . well, Raymond told me so. . ." ? The problem with this is that, well, not everyone out there loves Raymond.

These days, it's bad enough to tell people outside of the anti-Islamic portion of the Blogosphere (let alone out in the "real world") that you got some piece of information from Jihad Watch at all. This unfortunate situation is only compounded by the situation we find ourselves in where Ibrahim's poor scholarship on Jihad Watch forces us, more often than not, to provide inadequately referenced claims, at best.

Some cases in point:

Ibrahim's multi-part series on Zakaria Boutros (currently up to Part V), an Egyptian Coptic priest who exposes and mocks the seamy underside of Islam on his television show. Apparently, Boutros televises his episodes in Arabic, and Ibrahim in his reports has relied upon his own translations from Arabic to English. This by itself raises concerns, but since those programs are available online, anyone who knows Arabic and who wants to check on Ibrahim's translation can do the comparison himself. This doesn't do those in the still inchoate anti-Islam movement who are not fluent in Arabic any good, however. The whole point of Ibrahim's series is to bridge this gap from Arabic to English. If Zakaria Boutros is going to be used at all in the War of Ideas, a more rigorous translation system needs to be established, and part of that would require independent verification of Ibrahim's renderings into English by at least two other Arabic speakers. Should there be any disputes, there can be thus established a medium through which such disputes can be discussed on an ongoing basis.

Furthermore, the most glaring problem with Ibrahim's Boutros series is that a veritable cornucopia of claims are reported, and virtually no documentation at all is provided. These are not claims about a book like the Koran where the reader can rather easily cross-check, or even hunt down a verse if the verse number wasn't given in the original report, since the Koran is available on-line in multiple translations into English and after all, it is only one book, with a relatively uniform numbering system (perhaps with minor variations here and there).

Most of the claims of Boutros, however, refer to the Hadiths, and the situation there quickly becomes formidably, if not intolerably, complex. Thus, compounding the problem that we have Ibrahim rendering the Arabic quotations of the Hadiths by Boutros into English -- English renderings, thus, likely to be at variance with the paltry few English translations of the Hadiths into English the reader can scare up -- we have the problem that it becomes enormously difficult for the reader to try to pinpoint the exact source of any particular Hadith quote reported by Ibrahim/Boutros. Needless to say, all that work should be done by both Boutros and Ibrahim, not their audience. The pathetic situation of Western knowledge of Islam can be gleaned from the fact that the best online source of English translations of Hadiths is on the website of the Muslim Students Association based in the University of Southern California. This source has a number of problems:

a) They only provide the three "sahih" (most reliable) collections of Hadiths: Bukhari, Muslim and Dawood. There are also four other sahih collections that should be available to the English readership, aside from numerous others besides these.

b) The reader has no way of telling whether the collections this site provides are in fact complete -- indeed, there are elusive indications that in fact they are not complete, such as apparently large lacunae between volume numbers.

c) But the preceding problem becomes dwarfed now that the site in question has morphed into a new format that apparently does not provide a presentation of the hadith text content for browsing through but only enables access to the text through exact word searches.

d) The more general problem with the Hadith collections of Islam is that they seem to suffer from that amusing problem of bewilderingly complex and irrational annotation systems (if "system" is even the appropriate word and not rather "jungle") characteristic of Oriental compilations of texts in general (afflicting the corpuses of Hinduism and Buddhism as well). This is compounded by the fact that the Hadiths are, in the West, still considered to be mostly only the province of dusty academic scholars who do their assiduously meticulous ant-colony work in their dusty old libraries and publish them in dusty journals difficult to access. Only in the last few years with the still-inchoate anti-Islam movement post-911 realizing it has to know its enemy and realizing that a prodigious source of its enemy's fanatical supremacism and murderousness grows out of the Sunna and that the major core of the Sunna are the Hadiths -- has there become available such sources at all (along with, of course, the chillingly parallel activity of Muslims providing such information on the Internet in their pursuit of Daw'a and Jihad).

Certainly our Western governments cannot be bothered to do its job in the War of Ideas and allocate funding to finance a team of scholars to make the welter of sources revolving around the Sunna available in English to analysts.

The other sources of Boutros quotes and indirect allusions are the Sira and various Tafsirs. The same problems beset these sources as do the Hadiths -- if these more abstruse and recondite writings are not even in a worse condition.

I went to the trouble of going over all five parts of Ibrahim's Boutros series and tallying up the total number of problematic claims -- dividing them into claims for which Ibrahim supplied no reference at all, claims for which he supplied insufficient references, claims with reference citations but referencing books unavailable to readers, :

Part I:

Insufficient References:
5 (example: Another curious hadith contained in Sunan Bayhaqi and which traces to Sunan Abu Dawud (one of the six canonical hadith collections), has Muhammad lifting up his shirt for a man who proceeded to kiss his entire torso, “from his bellybutton to his armpits.”)

No References at all: 2

References to unavailable works: 2

Part I had not one claim (other than references to Koran verses) that provided sufficient referencing.

Part II:

Insufficient References: 4 (example: "a hadith relayed by Abu Hurreira (deemed an extremely reliable narrator), where Muhammad sucked on the tongues of his cousin (and future caliph) Ali’s two boys, Hassan and Hussein. . .")

No references at all: 5 (example: "he moved on to a hadith depicting Muhammad lying next to a dead woman in her grave. . .") [This is a particularly vexing hadith, one I have been trying with frustrating lack of success for years to track down.]

Seemingly complete references to unavailable works: 0.

As with Part I, Part II had not one claim that provided sufficient referencing.

Part III:

Insufficient References: 8

No References at all: "several" ("no less than 32" that purport to support Boutros's claim that Mohammed had transvestite tendencies), in addition to 1

References to unavailable works:

Apparentlly sufficient reference: 3 (example: from Sahih Bukhari (2/911), which records Muhammad saying, “Revelations [i.e., the Koran] never come to me when I’m dressed in women’s clothing—except when I’m dressed in Aisha’s. . .” -- this citation number, of course, will probably lead the reader down a bewildering path of being unable to pinpoint the citation when he tries to find it at the MSA USC site of Bukhari hadiths)

Part IV:

Insufficient References: 2; 1 ("He then read a hadith, narrated by Aisha, and contained in the canonical six. . ."); 8; 1;

No References at all: 32 (Ibrahim reports that Boutros claims that no less than 34 books, including the Tafsir of al-Qurtubi and Sahih Muslim, record that Muhammad used to “fondle”—Botros scowled at the screen—“kiss and have sex while fasting, though he forbade others from doing so.” [thus I put 32 in this category and located the two insufficient references of al-Qurtubi and Sahih Muslimin their appropriate category]; 1; "He went on to quote from a number of hadiths. . ."; "He read from a number of other hadiths, all demonstrative of Muhammad’s sexual proclivities toward menstruating women. . .";

References to unavailable works:

Apparently complete references: 1 (affirming that Muhammad freely had sex with menstruating women, including from Sahih Bukhari (v.5, p. 350). . . [-- another of those references numbers that will probably lead the reader down a dead end in his attempt to verify it]); 2

Part V:

[To be continued, someday...]

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The Multifarious Strategy of Jihad

Not only is ISIS not the only danger of violent jihad, but violent jihadists are not the only danger in the broader picture.

Which leads me to Daniel Greenfield's oddly mild description of the Hijra: "Syrian migrants, the vast majority of whom are Sunni Muslim economic migrants, not refugees..." This locution underplays the invasion that is going on -- no less military than a conventional military invasion, but of course, seeming to be non-military. For the Counter-Jihad to think this isn't a military invasion -- just because it doesn't look like any military invasions we know from our own world & history -- they would have to consider most Muslims to be non-soldiers in the Umma. That would be a serious error, reflecting a curiously unimaginative (let alone uninformed) thought process. "Oh, those Muslims look like non-combatants who just wanna have a sandwich, so therefore they are not soldiers because they do not fit the parameters of the only definition of a "soldier" I know..."

Because Mohammedans are unable to mount conventional military invasions, given the astronomic asymmetry between Islam and the West on all levels one could measure parity on, they must pull out every other stop and use a combination platter of a strategy short of conventional military invasion. Well, they could try a conventional military invasion; but it's reasonable to suppose that even Muslims aren't stupid enough not to know that they would be put down in a Constantinopolitan Minute if they did.

So merely perform an elementary thought experiment. If you were a member of a Billion-Man Army that

a) wants to conquer a superior enemy, but
b) can't do it in the conventional manner, and
c) you know that
i) merely terror attacks by themselves, or
ii) taqiyya-dawa-immigration by itself

would not likely suffice to chip away at this vastly superior enemy, what would you do?

You would bring in everything but the kitchen sink (or hell, throw in the kitchen sink too...).  To wit:

Jihad of the Sword -- an ongoing concatenation of terror attacks -- just enough to wear down the psyche of the enemy, but not so many that they wise up and shut you down

Jihad of Criminality -- under the radar of "terrorism" but still having the subliminal effect, along with the Jihad of the Sword, of making us jittery like a battered wife (and even the PC MCs in Denial deep down feel it too; they just manage to suppress the thought crime of letting it rise into their rational consciousness)

Jihad of the Pen & Mouth (all the various styles & flavors of taqiyya, from public propaganda to interpersonal relations amongst the Infidel populations being infiltrated in various ways)

Jihad of the Feet -- immigration (they must be thanking Allah for how the West has been opening up the gates more and more after 911). This has been going on since the 1960s -- at first it was a slow trickle, then in the 80s and 90s it began to pick up; then after 911, the West didn't do the normal thing and shut off the water, but rather paradoxically & perversely turned the spigot way over to allow a gush of immigration, and kept it going for years as though it were running a nice big, long bubble bath. Then, after the logical devolution of the Arab Spring into the metastasizing train wreck of ISIS, it's like the West took a sledgehammer to the water pipes, or backed up a van to knock over the fire hydrant, or actively pitched in to topple levees to help this Mohammedan Katrina devastate our societies.

Jihad of Lawfare

Jihad of the Publicity Stunt

Jihad of Grievance

And, perhaps the subtlest Jihad of all, the Jihad of Just Being Here -- merely settling in, setting down roots, getting jobs, raising families, having sandwiches, walking around in the streets, shopping, going to school, attending college, joining gyms, etc., all non-verbally telegraphing the overall message: "We're here, we are insinuating our threads into your cultural fabric, get used to it."

(Of course, these are all intertwined and I may be making some fine distinctions. Also, there may be more flavors of Jihad that have escaped my mind at the moment...)

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is a dynamic which I notice typically seems to elude many Counter-Jihadists. Apparently, they haven't thought things through. Because the Jihads I listed above that follow the first two -- Jihad of the Sword & Jihad of Criminality -- are all ostensibly non-violent, some in the Counter-Jihad conclude that Muslims are taking over "without a shot being fired" or "taking over without guns and bombs". In fact, what we've seen from the 911 attacks forward right up to today, is that, to put it bluntly, the more that Muslims explode, the more -- not the less -- we bend over to try to respect and accommodate them. This may seem strangely counter-intuitive -- but that's precisely how incoherently irrational Western PC MC is. While it's irrational, it does have its own logic, which I have analyzed at length in dozens of essays on my blog over the years. (For a partial list, see: http://tiny.cc/zn9u6x -- and for the best introduction to this subtopic, see: http://tiny.cc/rp9u6x )

And by now, as intellectually compromised as Muslims may be, they must have noticed this dynamic; they must have noticed that punctuating the West with terror attacks now and then -- and keeping the threat as cracklingly alive as a live wire poised above a bathtub with a baby splashing around in it -- actually facilitates their ongoing stealth jihad.  And vice-versa.