John Guardiano “confront[s]…the Right’s anti-Islam ‘extremists’” in this recent essay on the Frum Forum. If you check his bio, there is no indication Mr. Guardiano has any particular expertise about Islam. Having served as a Marine in Iraq might give one some perspective, but it hardly makes him an Islamic scholar.
Unfortunately this lack is obvious in the arguments Mr. Guardiano assembles against the purported extremists who attack Islam’s foundational supremacist doctrines. His essay never moves past the superficial talking points doled out by the Muslim Brotherhood to the useful idiots in America. That reason alone would mark this piece as a giant FAIL in the same way that similar screeds are rejected.
What Mr. Guardiano does not address, cannot address, is the central argument which most of the Counterjihad uses against this fifth column marching through our culture:
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1. The foundation of Islam is built on an Islamically defined “justice”.
2. This Islamic version of justice is enacted via the tenets of Sharia Law.
3. Sharia Law is Allah’s will for the world’s submission to Islam. Inviolable and unchangeable, it is not and never will be a “living document”, nor will it vary much, at least not among the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence.
4. The foundational Shariah Laws on which Islam rests are in direct opposition to most of the Articles in the American Constitution.
5. No “melding” of the two versions of jurisprudence is possible, nor would such a fusion ever be considered desirable by Islamic theologians.
6. The ultimate goal of Sharia Law is the world-wide Caliphate.
Comprehension of those points, including the actual contents of Sharia Law (and its special definitions of common words), the meaning of the Ummah and the Caliphate, the five pillars, the three duties, etc., is essential to any cogent discussion of the opposition of the Counterjihad to Islam in the U.S.
The American Constitution is central to our vision of what is meant by the United States of America. That does not hold true for Islam, even American Islam, though there are many folks like Mr. Guardiano who haven’t drilled down past the pleasant façade to the reality of Islamically-ordered relationships.
Perhaps many of the people Mr. Guardiano criticizes in his essay can be faulted for their lack of precise language in addressing our deep concerns about the challenge Islam represents to us and to Western culture in general. However, the learning curve on this issue is a steep one, as Mr. Guardiano’s essay itself demonstrates only too well. Thus, if we speak less than precisely, this doesn’t take away from the truth of the matter: sharia is inimical to the American Constitution and to the Western culture from which it arose.
The semantic confusion so apparent in the quotes Mr. Guardiano uses is intentionally caused by the Muslim Brotherhood. Their rulebook dictates provocation, smoke and mirrors, and deflection — that whole bag of tricks known as taqiyya and kitman. Duplicity acts as a spanner in the spokes of honest dialogue; the longer the Muslim Brotherhood can poke at semantics the more chaos they can wreak among the ranks of their opponents. This chaos in turn generates further opportunities to create divisions among those whose natural inclination otherwise would be to work together against a common enemy. This is a clever, efficient strategy; it will be addressed in more detail later.
Let us grant that some of the criticisms Mr. Guardiano levels are valid. However — and this is a large “but” — let us stipulate that the words he objects to are simply awkward formulations by people who face a steep learning curve. We are dealing with foreign invaders who have more than a thousand years of deceptive practices behind them.
In no case prior to this one has Islam ever invaded and conquered by peaceful means. It would not be possible to do so now were not the West so fragmented and riven with fierce conflict over its own raison d’être. As Benjamin Franklin so wearily warned: if we cannot hang together, we shall surely hang separately. Now, as then, that is not a figurative turn of phrase. One has only to look at a few pictures of the millions of dead who perished at the hands of Islam to know quite well what fate has in store for us…or is it to be for our grandchildren? Our great-grandchildren?
No matter: The Muslim Brotherhood is patient and it works for long-term victory. Their goal is simply the Caliphate, that utopian vision of a whole world subjugated in dhimmified peace and living under Sharia Law. Given the fact Muslims kill one another off in greater numbers than they kill infidels, this is an unrealistic vision indeed.
Mr. Guardiano marshals his instances of the ways in which the “Islamophobes” offend:
…unfortunately, when it comes to Islam, many conservatives are at risk of conforming to the left-wing stereotype. Consider, for example, the Washington Examiner’s recent headline, “Muslims, not Americans, are religious bigots.” Substitute any other minority group for Muslims and consider the sensibility that the headline then conveys.
“Blacks, not Americans, are religious bigots.” Or: “Jews, not Americans, are religious bigots.” How about: “Hispanics, not Americans, are religious bigots”?
Just to make certain there is an agreement on the definition of “bigot”, here’s what the Free Online Dictionary says:
a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, politics, or race…
[from Old French: name applied contemptuously to the Normans by the French, of obscure origin]
Provided we’re in agreement on terminology, let’s move on to a common categorical error made by Mr. Guardiano: comparing so-called religious minorities with other smaller groupings of people. This only serves to confuse the issue. Blacks and Hispanics are not religious minorities, they are ethnic groups (of a sort). Only some Jews would consider themselves a religion. Like Muslims and Mexicans, they come in many varieties.
Because we extremists are extremely concerned with laws rather than religious beliefs, our annoyance at some of these groups Mr. Guardiano chose as examples is based on our ‘faith’ in the concept of the rule of law. We believe in the primacy of the obligations which liberty imposes, not the entitlements or rights which it may bestow. In that respect, we share a common feature with Islam — i.e., a belief in one basic Law which underlies the rest of them. Our Constitutional laws are founded on liberty. Sharia Law is based on submission. Can there possibly be a more fundamental difference than the existential chasm lying between liberty and submission?
But back to Mr. Guardiano’s minority groups. Leave aside his categorical error of confusing religions and ethnicities (or, as some members of those groups would prefer, “races”), let’s unpack his propositions and deal with each one of them as they deserve to be: separately and at length.
First we have this imaginary proposal:
1. “Blacks, not Americans, are
Let’s proceed inductively. Ask most of the edgier blacks if anyone besides Whitey can be a bigot. The honest ones will tell you straight up: blacks cannot be bigots, not ever. If they can only ever be Victims, who, then, is the default Villain in their mythology?
I walked out of the last racism “workshop” I ever attended because its whole program was based on this malicious proposition. Sorry, dude, but someone else will have to volunteer for your villain role. I’m not ever (willingly) going to be a prop in someone else’s drama. The awful truth is that this idea may be the single most condescending lie to emerge from the fever swamps of racial hatred in many generations. A true racist couldn’t have picked a better dictum to impose on any group to insure its self-fulfilling failure.
Such pernicious claptrap functions with machine-like inexorability: it generates an eternal sense of grievance, establishes a need for “Victimology” studies in academic ghettoes, and institutes racially based set-asides. Worst of all, it puts competent blacks forever one-down in their own eyes. By design or by default this spiteful propaganda is killing our black underclass; it poisons even middle and upper class blacks. One has only to look at the bitter attitudes of our President and his wife to see the damage. And you can bet they are passing on this sad propaganda to their children.
Or how about the demand for reparations which arose in the wake of the Equal Rights Amendment? Again, even our purported post racial president succumbs to this delusional thinking. There are audio tapes of his reflections on the flaws in the Constitution and of the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment to pay those who fought to attain it, not to mention payment owed to all the descendants of those who suffered under slavery. That is one tar baby not even Solomon could apportion fairly. The whole notion of reparations is just another self-generating grievance machine designed to generate failure and a sense of scarcity.
If Obama’s statements above are too far in the past (2001), then let us observe his knee-jerk reverse racism last summer in the case of the Cambridge policeman versus Obama’s “good friend”, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. The latter is a prime example of a member of the educated elite who has raised his deep, instinctive grievances from the pathology of characterological flaws (which is where they belong) to a professional level of academic expertise. These faux-justice “issues” have morphed into aspects of his identity, not to mention fattening his bank account and assuring his tenure.
President Obama’s message to the American people regarding the arrest of Dr. Gates was needlessly inflammatory; it was also factually and ethically wrong. As a purported legal scholar, his lecture to us was precipitate and unprofessional. Notwithstanding his own rise to the pinnacle of success (at least in American heroic terms), Obama demonstrated the sad fact that his feet remain mired in those muddy, miserable resentments he ought to have outgrown. As our president his reactive anger fouled the atmosphere in the public square. Obama still owes America an apology for that mess, one he created all by himself. An honest broker would have made sure to be seen cleaning it up, but we gave up on ever witnessing such integrity as we watched that fatuous, limp-wristed beer summit. At least some of us were embarrassed for him, especially when the camera caught Mr. Obama walking away from Dr. Gates while the Cambridge policeman was left to assist Obama’s “good friend” down the stairs.
But that’s so 2009. Instead, we could wander through this year’s summer camp for racists being held by the New Black Panthers and the NAACP, both of them exposed while wearing their racist pants. But the whole exercise was wash-rinse-repeat, so why bother? These incidents are drearily predictable by now.
Just as we must endure white bigots, we also have to put up with the disgruntled black bigots who see the whole of their life experience through the prism of race. Both groups are as pitiable as they are banal. The rest of us will continue to refuse to be defined by their hatreds, but we won’t pretend the hatreds aren’t there or that they don’t drive important decisions among black-only groups like the (liberals only) Congressional Black Caucus.
What a shame that the potential for good is turned into searching for Whitey under the bed, ever vigilant against the imagined power of evil whites to determine (read “limit”) the existence of blacks.
Arguing with the New Black Panthers or the NAACP is an exercise in futility. People cannot be reasoned out of beliefs which Reason had little part in forming. Professional race mongers make money at their calling. The rest of us — black and white and all the colors in-between — can get on with living while the pros gnash their teeth in the outer darkness where dwell those other outmoded True Believers, say, the Flat Earth Society and The Feminists.
Let’s return to Mr. Guardiano’s reductio ad absurdum argument about the minorities he thinks we wouldn’t speak against. After blacks, he moves on to this:
“Jews, not Americans, are religious bigots.”
Remember, our author thinks that conservatives (or right wing folks, however they define themselves) would never say something like that.
Well, sir, you may think this is a third rail, but you’re wrong. Even we, ardent Israelophiles that we are, recognize Israel as a democratic theocracy, or, if you prefer, a theocratic democracy. They are proof that such a system can work if the overarching world view for everyone who adheres to the system remains in synch.
In Israel, Jews have rights which non-Jews are stipulated ahead of time not to possess. Even Jews living outside the boundaries of Israel have those rights. Yes, Israel is meticulous in exempting non-Jews from the burdens Jewish citizens bear, but non-Jews in Israel can feel the difference. Some are wise and simply shrug it off as “that’s how things are; I choose to live here anyway”. Others are more sullen about the fact of their diminished status. But you won’t find them leaving. No, I don’t understand why this second group would stay.
If Islam could only learn how a functional democratic theocracy operates, the world would be a more peaceful place. But many adherents of the various factions of Islam have banded together to attempt to annihilate the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel is successful, functional and creative. It has a Western culture that thrives in that otherwise misery-ridden desert. Sure, some of the Arabs are petro-wealthy but how does that translate for the average Arab in the Middle East?
Fifteen percent of Israel’s residents are Muslims. How many Jews reside in neighboring Islamic countries? And how much of the terrorism and death in Israel comes from Islam? How much of it comes from other religions or regions?
That said, many Americans do indeed think Jews are bigoted because…well, because they claim an exceptionalism for Jewish people. Funny, we Americans like our own exceptionalism — except for those who don’t like it and think we ought to spend the rest of our existence apologizing for our audacity. Obama, Clinton and Carter are all about apologizing to the rest of the world for our grievous sins. Not their own personal offenses, mind you. No, their narrative is devoted to expounding upon the shameful history of the shameful people who elected them.
Finally, Mr. Guardiano suggests another group which is supposed to be untouchable.
How about: “Hispanics, not Americans, are
Yes, how about some of them, indeed.
Let’s start with The Council of La Raza. Any group self-labeled as “The Race” is what, if not essentially ‘racist’? Any group, Hispanic or otherwise, which adopts such a supremacist attitude is bigoted. Which is okay, as long as those definitions aren’t required reading for the rest of us, or as long as the Mexican flag doesn’t replace the American flag on U.S. soil. La Raza, which received a nice hefty sum from Bill Gates, is bigoted. So are the folks behind the utopian fantasy, Aztlan.
Or perhaps this group of young idealists?
Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan (MEChA), one of the most anti-American groups in the country, which has permeated U.S. campuses since the 1960s, and continues its push to carve a racist nation out of the American West.
“Chicano is our identity; it defines who we are as people. It rejects the notion that we…should assimilate into the Anglo-American melting pot…Aztlan was the legendary homeland of the Aztecas … It became synonymous with the vast territories of the Southwest, brutally stolen from a Mexican people marginalized and betrayed by the hostile custodians of the Manifest Destiny.” (Statement on University of Oregon MEChA Website, Jan. 3, 2006)
We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan. For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.”
Nada yourself, children.
There is much more to examine in Mr. Guardiano’s essay, particularly his misunderstanding of Sharia Law and his facile comparisons between Islam and Judaism or Islam and Christianity, not to mention his gloss on Islamic democracy. Unfortunately, fatigue prevents any further examination of his claims. I’m plumb tuckered out. However, note some of the things he says:
Yet, it’s curious: Few of the anti-Islamic militants ever articulate a program for dealing with this omnipresent and insidious terrorist threat.
Oh, but we do “articulate a program”, sir. You just haven’t been paying attention.
Next time around, we’ll look at his misrepresentations of Islam and his lack of understanding about some conservatives’ “articulated program” against the tenets of Islam. The adumbrations of such a program are already present in this post. In Part II we’ll spell them out (if fatigue doesn’t interfere).
Meanwhile, has anyone asked Mr. Guardiano about the American laws which were enacted against the Mormon practice of polygamy?
Does he think we ought to rescind those laws?
Do the laws violate Mormons’ religious freedoms?
Were we bigoted when we enacted those laws?
Are we bigoted when we continue to enforce them?
Is bigotry in the eye of the beholder?
Hat Tip: Diana West
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