The following post was published on Monday at Keith Burgess-Jackson’s blog.

Logic and Politics

Suppose S has a link to Jihad Watch on his blogroll because S is anti-Jihadist. T, who is always on the alert for Islamophobia, calls S “anti-Muslim.” What must T think about Muslims in order for this to follow? There are five possible relationships between Muslims and Jihadists:

1.   No Muslims are Jihadists. (In other words, the classes are disjoint.)
2.   All and only Muslims are Jihadists. (In other words, the classes are identical.)
3.   All Muslims are Jihadists, but not all Jihadists are Muslims. (In other words, the class of Muslims is a proper subset of the class of Jihadists.)
4.   All Jihadists are Muslims, but not all Muslims are Jihadists. (In other words, the class of Jihadists is a proper subset of the class of Muslims.)
5.   Some and only some Muslims are Jihadists. (In other words, the classes overlap, but only in part.)

In order for “S is anti-Muslim” to follow from “S is anti-Jihadist,” either 2 or 3 must be true. But notice that in both of them, all Muslims are Jihadists. So T, unwittingly, is saying that all Muslims are Jihadists! It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. It’s even sadder if T is a college student.

Hat tip: Mark Spahn.

10 thoughts on “Syllogislam

    • I think 5 leaves open the possibility the there could be a non-Muslim Jihadist.

      • OFTQO is right there.

        4. may be true also if viewed in the sense that Muslims foster the Jihadi subset – ” You are talking of Jihadi, you are definitely talking of a Muslim, you are talking against Muslims”

        Of interest is the actual meaning of Jihad – originally effort or struggle in everyday context. This could be (was/is) applied to religious/spiritual struggle, and by extension was allocated outwards to physical combat with disbelievers. That combat can be seen as being defensive ( territorially and of spiritual meaning) to being offensive-defensive ( pre-emptive) to being invasive and of conquest. The Koran seems to leave open the choice of interpretation, so at the least it could be said that all Muslims have at hand a religious pretext for expansive Jihad if they so choose to understand the word of the Koran that way.

        Studies this from a critical western perspective.

    • Think of Venn diagrams, like in the illustration above. Let J be a circle (or other shape) representing all jihadists, and M be a circle representing all Muslims. In case 4, circle J lies completely within circle M, but circle M is bigger than circle J. In case 5, part, but not all, of the M circle lies within the J circle, but some of the J circle lies outside the M circle (this latter condition is not explicitly stated); that is the M and J circles overlap like the S and P circles in the illustration above. In case 5, there are non-jihadist Muslims, and non-Muslim jihadists. (In the real world, *are* there any non-Muslim jihadists?)

      • (In the real world, *are* there any non-Muslim jihadists?) No, but I think the conversion of violent young men is based on the attraction of Islamic-based murderous tenets.

        The 2011 study done by the Middle East Forum did find that 20% of American mosques do not preach jihad. And current day jihad is largely driven by Wahhabist doctrine.

        Here’s one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood:

        His grandson, Tariq Ramadan, (or “Taqiyyah” Ramadan as he is fondly known by the counterjihad) has been jailed for various counts of sexual assault in Paris. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    • I appreciate the comment others have left.

      In my mind, and I believe in reality, there are no non-muzlim jihadists, so the the set of all jihadists is identical with a subset of all muzlims. I believe that the set of non-muzlim jihadists is the null set.

  1. When a “moderate” muslim pays the zakat (religious tax) in the mosque and the money is used for Jihad, what’s the conclusion with the sets?

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