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February 13, 2006

'Misundering Muslims'??

Or just another exercise in How to write an essay in excusing Islamist fanaticism and Blame America in Twelve Easy Steps

WHEN THE KORAN was said to have been denigrated by American guards at Guantanamo last year, Muslims reacted with rage, but most observers in the West misunderstood why.
Start off with an unsupported assertion. ding
Non-Muslims tend to think that the Prophet is to Islam something like what Jesus is to Christianity (which is why non-Muslims have mistakenly called the religion ''Mohammedanism"), but it is the Koran that holds such a central place. Hence, Islamic visual celebration is calligraphy, not images. Therefore when the Koran is disrespected, the insult Muslims feel is nothing less than insult to God.
Explain the obvious as if it were a revelation. ding
One need not excuse the indiscriminate violence of mobs in the streets, nor dismiss the good question of why such rage is not directed against the blasphemy of suicide-murders carried out in the name of Allah to take a lesson from what has happened.
Obligatory disclaimer. ding
The Islamic world seems astoundingly united in sending a stern message to ''the West," and instead of focusing again on ''what went wrong" with Islam Europeans and Americans would do well to take that message in.
Ah, the set-up of the to-be-imparted wisdom is about to begin. ding
Thinking of deep history, for example, we might recall that the very structures of politics, culture, and thought that define western civilization were expressly erected in opposition to Islam more than 1,000 years ago.
Remember to delegitimize Western civilization while never exploring the subjugation of much of Europe by Islamists. ding
What we call ''the West" was born in the clash of civilizations that climaxed in the Crusades, with Muslims assigned the role of the external ''negative other" against which Christendom defined itself positively (The internal ''negative other" were the Jews). Among Europeans, and then Americans, that intellectual polarity was sublimated over the centuries, but its insult remained current among Muslims, and was powerfully resuscitated by the assault of colonialism.
After establishing that Western Civilization's roots are tainted, continue to demonstate continuing moral culpability of Europeans and Americans in not prostrating themselves before the righteously aggrieved moslems. ding
The economics of oil, including the creation of an oppressive local class of Western-sponsored oligarchs, locked the grievous insult in place.
Never forget to add, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OOOIIIILLLLL!!! ding
And then the United States launched its wars. One of the major disconnects in the present conflict is the way in which European and American analysis obsesses with the apparently anarchic outbursts of violence in the ''Arab street" without taking in how brutally violent the post-9/11 ''coalition" assault has been, not only physically but psychologically.
Reinforce the blamelessness of Islamist jihadist groups and theocracies by framing America's response to acts of war as unjustified. ding
Mobs throw stones through the windows of European consulate offices, and the legion of CNN watchers recoils with horror. Meanwhile, unmanned drones fly across stretches of desert to drop loads of fire on the heads of subsistence farmers in their villages; children die, but CNN is not there.
Add points of moral equivalency, no matter how absurd. ding
Muslims, that is, understand the new reality far better than non-Muslims do -- the state of open cultural warfare that ''the West" imagines is a narrowly targeted war against ''terrorism." Muslims, as Muslims, experience themselves as on the receiving end of a savage -- but, alas, not unprecedented -- assault.
As the leadup to the final paragraph of excusing moslem violence, always portray Westerners as hopelessly mired in denial over their own [racist] motivations while the poor, misunderstood moslems are the enlightened ones. ding
Why are we killing them?
Never, ever let someone make the argument that radical Islamists and terrorists are separate from other, non-radical moslems. ding
As with multiple problems today, this one comes back to the misbegotten American war. It threatens to ignite the century, and must be stopped.
Wrap it up with the main point of your essay. America is to blame -- Surrender now.

Ding Ding Ding

James Carroll needs a Twelve Step of his own.

Posted by Darleen at February 13, 2006 11:53 AM


Carroll's article is pretty bad. Bad history, too.

Can't believe they actually pay people to write that kinda stuff.

US foreign policy is partly to blame for much that has happened; he's right on that count.

I'm not certain that the US has any business in the Middle East. Except for the oil, of course.

Posted by: Carl W. Goss at February 14, 2006 01:05 AM

What are we thinking, we civilized Western cultural giants, allowing anyone to use their own free will to interpret and analyze the seismic shifts occuring in the history we're living.

We have the Authoritarian Cult of Bush to tell us all what to think...and little waddling water carriers like darleen to smack our knuckles the minute we get out of line. Metaphorical knuckle smacking of course, basically insults, dismissiveness and ridicule. There is absolutely NO need for any of those "Western civilization" vestiges like critical thinking or individual interpretation.

We really don't need any multiplicity of viewpoints to confuse us, do we? It's very simple. Western civilization is the apogee of God's creation, and we are the pure, valiant, flawless vessels of its perfection. What the hell is wrong with this guy?

Posted by: A Friend at February 14, 2006 03:33 AM


Panties in a knot because you have no Valentine?

Small wonder, dear. Work on your 'tude and your misbegotten grasp of reality.

Posted by: Darleen at February 14, 2006 06:21 AM

I didn't get one either. I gave the Mrs some See's candies though.

Ah, that choco.

Ain't nothin in the world like choco.

Posted by: Carl W. Goss at February 14, 2006 07:30 AM


See's is the best. We may disagree but that you bought the Mrs. See's today has me offering you kudos!!

Hubby got me See's and I bought him a mushy card. Nice dinner planned tonight.

Posted by: Darleen at February 14, 2006 01:12 PM

Aww, darleen, embodying the spirit of Valentine's Day with her usual churlishness...what a lovely little wingnut you are, and how sweet of you to constantly pimp your second marriage for public comsumption. What's next? Porn videos to show us how hot middle aged divorced/reremarried wingnut sex can be?

But thanks so much for caring. Just remember, not everyone has to protest too much the way you clearly have the need to. (What is that, anyway? Wingnut psychology is such an intriguing paradox.)

Posted by: A Friend at February 15, 2006 03:22 AM

They say you can tell a Liberal fucktwit even before hes born. Just look at the sonogram and see if his head is already stuck up his ass and there you are... a moonbat in the making....

Posted by: Big Bang Hunter at February 17, 2006 11:46 PM