Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We Don't Need 1,001 "Islam 101"s

A couple of years ago on the Jihad Watch site, a recently inducted member of the Jihad Watch team at the time, Greg Davis, offered up a post titled “Introducing Islam 101”. 

He proffered this lengthy post (in two parts) in the pedagogical spirit of providing “an educational tool for people to become more educated about the fundamentals of Islam and to help the more knowledgeable better convey the facts to the uninitiated.” Prof. Davis further refined his intentions in his subsidiary Introduction, describing his Islam 101 as an organic compendium of “concise explanations” which will serve as “remedies to the often confused, misleading, and cluttered public discussions of Islam, which tend to leave the layman as much in the dark as to Islam’s nature and intentions as he was before.”

Had Prof. Davis not stated that ambitious claim, I would fault him less and merely chalk his contribution up as one more in a long line or tall pile of additions to our Infidel curriculum that, although submitted with good intentions, are only adding to the bewildering and chaotic glut of information out there on the Problem of Islam. The fact that Prof. Davis specifically claims to be helping to remedy that bewildering situation, however, is ironic at best and myopically irresponsible at worst—for he is actually helping to make matters worse in offering up one more poorly crafted synopsis of Islam to add to the mountain of information that already is clogging our system, rather than making matters better, as he thinks he is doing.

As I have suggested on several occasions on my blog, one of our priorities in the War of Ideas should be a synopsis of the Problem of Islam -- in the form of a hardcopy and digital manual -- that has the following qualities:

1) Definitive.  It must be definitive (it must become the only source -- The Bible -- for the anti-Islam movement).

2) Complete.  It must be as complete as possible.

3) Concise. 
Yet, it must be as concise as possible.

One of the worst things we are doing is producing TMI -- Too Much Information -- which tends to cause ETGO -- Eyes To Glaze Over.  And glazed eyes, in turn, become especially distracting when the audience is already wary of the Counter-Jihad as being possibly "extremist", if not "bigoted".

Our pedagogy should not have some vague goal of “educating people about Islam”: it must be a ruthlessly efficient machine where every moving part, every gear, every joint, every button, and every nut and bolt, is specifically calibrated to deliver a solid, substantive punch. 

The Islam 101 of Prof. Davis, regrettably, is just another poorly conceived and poorly executed tray of variegated mush containing far too much fat and sugary fluff and not enough lean and mean protein and carbs, plopped on the conveyor belt leading to the unmanageably burgeoning restaurant industry of anti-Islamic literature out on the Net and throughout the media world of books, pamphlets and videos. 

As such, it will just add to the problem of the glut of information, rather than serve to help to streamline and maximize the efficiency we sorely need. And it is regrettable that Robert Spencer, rather than finding a way to help this problem by supporting a project to produce an anti-Islam manual, only tends to add to the problem by blessing with his imprimatur this misleadingly packaged primer piled on top of a mountain of the thousand other primers before it—this 1,001st Islam 101.

In the great fable, A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, each of the “nights” or stories was calculated to put off, for one more day, the beheading of the Muslim Sultan’s new wife, only by virtue of the fact that these stories—each one an incomplete cliff-hanger leading to the next to be continued—made up by the talented Sheherazade so engrossed the Sultan that he kept delaying her execution so that he could hear the continuation of the plot. 

In our grim reality, on the other hand, the metastasizing proliferation of more and more essays and articles and studies and books and forums and blogs and informational websites on the Problem of Islam is not so much deferring our Islamic beheading as it is recklessly and irresponsibly putting off our most exigent need to relocate our collective head—so that we may use it to manage that horrible Problem of Islam sooner, rather than later, thereby at least minimizing the terrible losses of life and materiel that are sure to come either way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, where is YOUR version of 'Islam 101' for us to evaluate? Without it your spiteful waffle Including 'bible' reference shows a religious agenda as worthless & repugnant as Islam & all other religions.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Hesperado said...

Angry Ant's hostile retort has two problems:

1) As I indicate in my essay, a proper Anti-Islam Manual requires a team effort which would include professionals & experts (in Islamic texts, in Arabic, etc.) -- which, perforce, would likely cost money to support such a project. So I, a solitary individual with not much money and not much time, am ill-suited to do this all by my lonesome.

2) What I can do, however, is articulate the need for it, so that others in the Counter-Jihad will begin to create noise about it which, big enough and lasting long enough, may finally catch the attention of the Counter-Jihad Leadership (e.g., Robert Spencver, et al.() to notice and do something about it -- i.e., to use their considerable influence and money to help get this project started.

As I wrote in another essay "Push the wake-up call-button":

"...like Florence Nightingale—who, upon being sent to the Crimean War theater to manage the field hospital there took a look and said, “I don’t know how to manage a hospital, but I do know this is not how to manage a hospital”—I know where not to begin..."

3:15 PM  

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