27 August 2007

All God's Warriors

Ever since CNN's "God's Warriors" series was announced, I expected someone to complain about it. By devoting equal segments to Jewish and Christian extremists as well as Muslim extremists, the network was just asking for someone to accuse them of "moral equivalence" or something along those lines. Well, Dan Abrams is on MSNBC right now, as I write, to make that charge, and here's an article (http://hnn.us/articles/42197.html) along the same lines. The complaint is predicatable: Christians and Jews are not committing acts of mass terrorism, the critics say (not counting military bombings, of course), so how can you discuss them in the same breath as the Muslims? This complaint misses the point of the series, which was that Muslims are not the only people on earth driven by what they take to be God's command. The author of the article notes that Christians in the US seek legal redress rather than resort to terrorism. Besides noting bombings of abortion clinics to correct his view, we might note that legal redress is often not available to Islamist dissidents. Americans like to imagine that they could never be driven to terrorism, but that only shows their failure of imagination, which in turn explains their stubborness in the face of Muslim opposition. But keeping the topic to religion, part of the complaint against Islamists (or jihadis, or caliphists if I can coin a term) is that theirs is a totalitarian worldview. To the extent that "totalitarian" is a valid term, I concede the point, if only to note that Christians, at least, must also be termed totalitarian if they hope to have the whole world governed by the Gospels. Totalitarianism is about ends, not means. The Christian and Jewish "warriors" on CNN may not be terrorists, but in their totalitarian aspirations they belong in the same category as their Muslim cousins.

Abrams says that CNN was "defending" Islamic terrorists by equating them with Jewish and Christian extremists. He accuses Christiane Amanpour of a "pro-Muslim bias" and moral relativism, and takes offense that any Jews or Christians might be called "God's Warriors." He objects to her efforts to explain why Muslims feel aggrieved, and takes umbrage at her apprarent skepticism toward Christian grievances. Abrams apparently wants us to believe that Islamic terrorism is a unique, incomparable force of evil, as if that alone were the source of all the world's trouble. He brings on noted Islamophobe Steve Emerson to second his objections. Emerson says that to call a Christian lawyer group "God's Warriors" is to demonize them, but I would think devout monotheists of any persuasion would be proud of such a label. Now there's nothing wrong with Islamophobia unless you're irrationally exclusive about it. Monotheism everywhere is a thing to be feared and fought against, and if Islam seems more extreme, that's only because they're the most extremely monotheist or "totalitarian" of the three groups at this moment in history. Monotheism itself, however, is totalitarianism in its original form.


crhymethinc said...

Although it was long ago, I would imagine that what the Spanish conquistadors did to the Incas, Aztecs, etc. might be construed as terrorism - if the idea of "accept our religion and god or die" might be considered a terrorist credo. For that matter, the crusades in general, not to mention the various inquisitions might be considered along the lines of religious terrorism...Of course, if the bible is to be taken as literal, then the first religious terrorist in existence were the Hebrews.

Anonymous said...

Emerson, a Jew who gets it
A perspective of a moderate Muslim

At the risk of sounding anti-Semitic, I want to say this: either American Jews are completely clueless about the internal struggle inside Islam or they are so cowardly, that they are even afraid to voice their opinion. Or maybe it's a combination of both.

Every time there is a development that involves radical Islam, be it a Mayor of New York attending an Islamist parade, DOJ's officials attending an Islamist conference, or a protester being sued for having the balls to expose an Islamist-sponsored event at an amusement park, the American Jewish community is as quiet as a church mouse. It's like it is not even there.

The effect of this silence is devastating. Not for the Jewish community, not yet. That time is still to come. The silence affects the American Muslim community. Every time moderate Muslims are ignored and Islamists are legitimized (by either direct support from government representatives or silent support of the ADL), radicals gain ground. In the current PC climate, moderate Muslims have pretty much no choice but to keep their mouths shut.

Luckily for us, not everyone in the Jewish community is like that. There are some Jews that are speaking out. One of them is Steven Emerson, who has been warning the West about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism since before PanAm 103. Most of his current work is focused on exposing the radicals masquerading as the moderates – those radicals who are embraced by the DOJ and the Pentagon, by the mayor of New York Bloomberg (Rudy would never get into bed with terrorist supporters) and the Treasury Department, by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, by the Congress and the White House.

There is a war of ideas within Islam, and moderate Muslims are losing. Most of Muslim clergy and Muslim establishment are paid for by the Wahhabis. Moderate Muslims are being run out of Mosques and community centers, and in many cases are physically threatened. Moderate Muslims have no place in the media or public debate, because the place reserved for Muslims is filled by Islamic radicals, who attempt to make criticizing anything Islamic a taboo. According to the Islamists, a Muslim can do no wrong.
1. When a non-Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslims, he/she is an Islamophobe.
2. When a Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslim, he/she is not a real Muslim, therefore see #1.

This is a tactic used by "moderate" Muslims, the darlings of the government and the media. But how can you call someone who praises bin Laden, or has ties to Hamas, or calls for the elimination of Israel, or wants to replace the Constitution with the Koran a moderate? They are anything but moderates, however nobody except for a few people like Steven Emerson seems to notice that. But even when the Emersons of America appeal to the public, they are often being dismissed as alarmists and racists. Well, they are anything, but. You don't have to be a clairvoyant to predict the future when it comes to expansion of radical Islam and extinction of moderate Muslims. All you need to do is get your heads out of the sand.

Why our government is so forgiving and forgetful when it comes to individuals or organizations with known terrorist ties and anti-American views is beyond me. Why the Jewish leaders are so timid when it comes to the subject of radical Islam is incomprehensible.

I thank God every day for people like Steven Emerson, because they are the last glimmer of hope for moderate Muslims.


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