Where are the Moderate Muslims?

Ilan Halimi’s revolting torture and murder at the hands of Muslims who called his family and read texts from the Quran as their child screamed in the background has revealed two further problems (beyond the sadistic anti-Semitism of some “extremist” Muslims).

  • The extreme reluctance of French officials, and more broadly the media to discuss the Muslim anti-Semitic dimension to this crime. Mark Steyn and Nidra Poller have, among other commentators, made the point. But the MSM continues to under-report the case. At most one can now hope that the media will report that Ilan was Jewish (hard to leave out after the massive demonstrations in Paris), but, as the BBC just did, one cannot expect them to mention that the perpetrators are Muslims. If this sounds like a form of Human Rights Complex — look to the perp, not the victim to know how much outrage to expect — then that’s because it probably is.
  • The utter silence of the Muslim community: Where are the cries of outrage? Where’s the eagerness of moderate, law-abiding Muslims to distance themselves from this horrific display of Islamic sadism? Where are the fatwas against this behavior from the imams of the Religion of Peace?
  • There is an interesting irony here. We’ve just seen Muslims the world over riot at the mere suggestion that Islam is a religion of violence, at the merest hint of criticism. And now, when Muslims have dishonered the name of peaceful Islam, not a peep. There are two possible readings to this, not mutually exclusive.

    First, this kind of behavior Muslims do not consider shameful or humiliating. It is an expression of that primal aggression and “will to dominance” that Jihad tries so hard to tap into. This means that, in true demopathic style, some Muslims object to their image sullied by criticism, but not to the sentiments that are criticized; they want us not to discriminate against them, while they feel free to do far worse to us. The shame is not in the deeds, the shame is in the loss of face that comes from being criticized for the deeds.

    Second, there are Muslims who are deeply troubled and shamed by this behavior, but they remain silent because they are intimidated by their fellow Muslims on the one hand, and because we infidels spare them any embarrassment by not highlighting the role of their religion in these awful deeds.

    The more we continue to spare Muslims the shame they deserve, and offer them the absolution they need in order to continue morally badgering us about “stereotyping them,” the worse it’s going to get. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes it clear: we are afraid to criticize Islam and we need to criticize Islam. Islamophobia is not irrational.

    8 Responses to Where are the Moderate Muslims?

    1. Mazin says:

      Although i must point out that the gang members included, Arabs, Blacks and “white” French, there is no doubt that this hideous crime was motivated by anti-semitism. I must say, i won’t be waiting for the “shocked” and “dismayed” reactions from the “moderate majority”…I mean come on, they’re still in shock from the Mo cartoons! This will just break their blessed little hearts!!

    2. Al Tira says:

      I don’t think that Moslems are afraid to criticize Islam … just that they feel that it is morally wrong and will lead to further unjustified criticism of their religion. There is an element of cohesion that binds Moslems together (as with other religions) in which problems are to be solved internally and out of the spotlight (where egos and other influences can come to bear, and where the authenticity of their religion might be questioned as a result).

      Many Jews have a similar defensiveness when it comes to policies of the state of Israel or acts of fellow Jews (except that it typically result in exactly the opposite effects, where they try to publicly and unreasonably denounce and disgrace the behavior of the “other Jews”).

      Idealists are always on a personal PR campaign to support their ideals in the face of (i) a hostile world constantly trying to prove them wrong and (ii) their own self doubts. How ironic it is then that the most substantive feats of humanity have come directly as a result of such naivete.

    3. RL says:

      there are two issues here: first, the understandable reluctance to wash dirty linen in public, especially for fear that any admission of fault will be used against you. second, the specifically “honor-shame” mechanism that says, my tribe/clan/family/religion right or wrong.

      this is where we begin to see the workings of demopathy. muslims want us to apologize, self-criticize, admit our failings and faults towards them… but nothing in return — except, as you say, using our self-criticism as a weapon against us.

      as for your comment on the jews, i’m not sure i understand. how do you get “similar defensiveness” leading to the opposite affect. as i outline in our essay on self criticism, jews/israelis are so self-critical they tend towards pathological manifestations (MOS), and most people who listen to “both sides” systematically misread the situation because they don’t weight the remarks in terms of whether they come from a hyper-selfcritical side or a demonizing one.

      i’m not sure i get your final point about the most substantive feats of humanity. i’d attribute the most substantive to self-criticism and the learning curve that follows.

    4. Al Tira says:

      Many Jews have a similar defensiveness when it comes to policies of the state of Israel or acts of fellow Jews (except that it typically result in exactly the opposite effects, where they try to publicly and unreasonably denounce and disgrace the behavior of the “other Jews”).

      Jews are so ashamed of how Judaism will look to the rest of the world that they make a point of savage public criticism to distance a group from their perception of how Judaism should be viewed by the world.

      My point about idealism is that what ultimately drives the lack of public moderation by Muslims is idealism – the idea that Islam is the correct religion for all, and that anything that publicly denigrates it threatens this concept. As such, others’ self-criticism is expected and appropriate (they have the wrong religion).

      My final point was simply that idealism drives invention and creative thinking. The ability to ignore reality is intrinsic in modeling and then effecting a new future.

    5. RL says:

      Mazin wrote:

      Although i must point out that the gang members included, Arabs, Blacks and “white” French, there is no doubt that this hideous crime was motivated by anti-semitism.

      this is one of the more interesting phenomena that has thrown a number of observers off the track. many french commentators emphasized this as a way of insisting that the ramadan frantifada of 2006 was not islamic in origin.

      my sense is that this is street islam, and it has hangers-on who admire its aggression and defiance. the islamic component is not yet “disciplined” in the sense of mosque-going, hallal meat eating, islamic exclusivists. right now, the “gang” is made up of defiant bullies looking to assert their manhood.

      tightening the screws religiously can wait. right now, putting whitey and his evil manipulator, the jews in their place is the first priority.

    6. RL says:

      Al Tira wrote:

      Jews are so ashamed of how Judaism will look to the rest of the world that they make a point of savage public criticism to distance a group from their perception of how Judaism should be viewed by the world.

      that’s the exact opposite reaction: instead of circling the wagons and saying “my people right or wrong,” the jews want desperately to get others to approve of them, and eagerly distance themselves from the people (Sharon used to be the favorite) who embarrass them in front of their liberal friends.

      muslims, on the other hand, seem far more concerned with what their own in-group thinks, and while they care about what the rest of the world thinks, they prefer intimidation and demonization, rather than self-criticism and the hope that others will voluntarily respect them for it.

      My point about idealism is that what ultimately drives the lack of public moderation by Muslims is idealism – the idea that Islam is the correct religion for all, and that anything that publicly denigrates it threatens this concept. As such, others’ self-criticism is expected and appropriate (they have the wrong religion).

      i think i understand. it’s a strange and coercive form of idealism — i’m right, and if you disagree i’ll knock you for a loop. this is ultimately linked to the problem of control. Machiavelli argued that the prince should be feared not loved because one can predict the responses of those who fear you, but when one counts on love, one can’t control others.

      chosenness can mean either you have the responsibility to behave well and influence people by the example you set. or it can mean you have the privilege of having the “truth” and the right to cram it down the throat of others.

      My final point was simply that idealism drives invention and creative thinking. The ability to ignore reality is intrinsic in modeling and then effecting a new future.

      if i understand you correctly, you mean that people who can abstract/model can get at underlying dynamics that escape people too fixed on the surface manifestations. but i’m not sure i’d attribute that to idealism, and certainly not the brutal and coercive idealism you’ve been alluding to in describing current muslim behavior. when idealism is a cover for giving free reign to your desire to dominate others at any cost, i don’t think i’d call that creative.

      rl

    7. Al Tira says:

      I agree with your comments – creativity, though it usually has a positive sense to it, can be evil (think of the “creativity” of those who chop of heads as a means of intimidation). Similarly, idealism can be dangerous and coercive, as it is with the current radical Muslim behavior. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that these are transformative forces and that they have the capability of transforming us if we don’t react appropriately.

    8. RL says:

      i understand your point, but i think that “creativity” normally has positive connotations, and i’m not sure it’s clear what you mean when you use it to describe paranoid behavior intended to spread the paranoia. if anything what so sadly characterizes much of Muslim behavior in the last generation has been its preference for (self-) destruction.

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