Convert to Islam for Peace? A Daily Kos Diary

There’s a post at Daily Kos that LGF noted. I’m trying to figure out if the writer is just kidding, offering his version of Swift’s A Modest Proposal. I detect nothing to indicate that he is aware of how fatuous his suggestion is, nor can I imagine how so self-critical a satire would make it on to Daily Kos. Is this guy Daily Kos’ version of Colbert?

This does not compute, except as an extraordinary illustration of how “liberal cognitive egocentrism” is incapable of understanding what’s going on. (The comments at Daily Kos suggest that even when they disagree, commenters take this proposal seriously. What are these folks accustomed to taking seriously enough to argue about?)

I invite my readers — some of whom may be moved to do some research on this fellow, and to read the comments both at Daily Kos and at LGF — to weigh in.

A Simple Way to End the War on Terror
by Yacka Jah Yacka

Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 09:03:20 PM PDT

While it appears from more than one point of view that the War in Iraq and the War on Terror are situations from which we may never be able to extricate ourselves, from the mountains of Pakistan comes a very simple solution: convert to Islam.

Before we reject this out of hand, lets seriously consider it for a moment: Osama Bin Laden promised the wars would be over if Americans convert to Islam.

This may sound like a lot to ask from the most religious country in the industrialized world. But of all the Christians in America today who profess to be religious, how many of us are seriously devout?

How many of us are really just religious lightweights, happy to simply go to church every Sunday, attend church socials, knock back a drink or two every Christmas and not worry ourselves about the deeper implications of our faith?

Given the way most of us pay any real attention to the tenets of our faith, life really wouldn’t be that different if we were to exchange one faith for another. The prayers would be different, but we would recite them just as mindlessly as we do today. The sermons would in all likelihood be exactly the same, and we’d continue to snore through them.

Sure, there are a few people here and there who take religion seriously, but they are in such a small minority that their protests can be easily ignored.

All in all, converting to Islam would be a small price to pay for an end to the killing and maiming of our sons and daughters, not to mention the billions of dollars we could put to better use than fighting this perpetual war.

So let’s do away with our religious pretences, adopt Islam as our new faith, add a few extra holidays to our calendar, and get down to the real business at hand: pumping oil.

Will you convert to Islam in order to stop the terrorist threat?

Yes, I will convert to Islam
| 270 votes | Results

Note how there’s no option to vote no. Come on, this has to be self satire. It can’t be that ludicrous.

13 Responses to Convert to Islam for Peace? A Daily Kos Diary

  1. Joanne says:

    He may not be kidding; he may really be an idiot. For an even more fatuous example, look at this article from the London TimeOut magazine last June. It was from a special issue on Muslims in London. You won’t believe it, but it appears that this writer was serious:

  2. Rob says:

    I don’t think either case is intended as a joke. When faced with hostile force, one option is always to surrender. These guys favour that option.

  3. Stan says:

    In your “bash liberals at every opportunity” paradigm you have hit a new high. You have taken an article by a completely unknown source (possibly a parody), that is undoubtedly not even written under a real name, and are using it in a serious article and touting it to prove your point about “liberal cognitive egocentrism”.
    I do think your work in exposing Pallywood is excellent, but this kind of non credible bashing only serves to lower your credibility.


  4. Michael N says:

    No option to vote no – the punchline to what seems to me a nice joke. The only thing this proves is that the Kos crowd are not particularly alert.

  5. RL says:

    to Stan:

    so, i don’t understand. do you think this is a spoof? if it isn’t, doesn’t its presence (pseudonym or not) at a major “progressive” website represent a significant post.

    meanwhile,i haven’t said its serious. i’ve asked a question which you haven’t weighed in on. i still hold out hope it’s a spoof. but if it is meant seriously (as is the article Joanne links to) — and there’s reason to believe that it might be — then doesn’t it illustrate liberal cognitive egocentrism, projecting our lack of religious commitment onto muslims and assuming that they would be as tolerant of our sloth and cynicism as Christians in the USA?

    as for my “bash liberals at every opportunity” — consider it a form of self-criticism. i am a liberal; i believe in all the things liberals believe in, including the supreme value of living in a nation commited to freedom of speech and assembly and equality before the law, and even progressive values like going out of one’s way to give the underdog a better chance. i just refuse to become islamism’s useful idiot.

  6. RL says:

    to Michael N.

    so you think it’s a spoof? i must say, the final line about pumping petrol seems like the man has a sense of sarcasm, i just don’t know how much of that sarcasm is available for targeting oneself…

  7. Richard Landes says:

    i just went back to the daily kos and read more in the comments. yacka jah yacka has a series of responses to comments that certainly seem to defend his idea. (which isn’t proof of anything, since he could be sustaining the spoof), but they look earnest.

    on the other hand, there’s a comment from sura that’s approved of by yjy:

    To all the good LGFbots who followed the link from this story at a certain wingnut site — greetings, and welcome to Daily Kos.

    This diary is an example of what we adults call “snark.” You’ve got to read between the lines to get at what the diarist is really saying. No one is seriously calling for anyone to convert to Islam.

    And indeed as I noted over at your little wingnut gated community before Chucky declared me persona non grata, an Emirate of Washington is unlikely to live in peace with the other Muslim countries. Radical Islam combined with American exceptionalism might well make “Islamofascism” a reality.

    Osama has killed his thousands, and Bush his tens of thousands.

    now neither sura, nor anyone else, explains just what the meaning of this snark is.

    i’m still puzzled.

  8. Michael N says:

    Hmmm… me too. Anyway, the offer still stands: Rl, you fancy converting? It sure would make your life and thought-processes more… how shall we put it?? – streamlined?

    Plus, you’d always know you were 100% in the right. That has to feel good.

    i’m the kind of person who runs out to buy a banned book; but also someone who’s not going to take it seriously just because it’s been banned. as for streamlining, you know what Blake said about the roads of improvement and the crooked roads…

  9. Jonathan Levy says:

    Well, I had a look at comments over there, and I had trouble finding even one that took the idea seriously, or was went out on a limb to defend it.

    Mind you, I’m not a regular reader of Daily Kos, to say the least, so I can’t judge this in its context. But on the face of it, it seems like a moderately witty satire, of the type you might find on The Onion or Scrappleface. I don’t think I would agree that “This does not compute, except as an extraordinary illustration of how “liberal cognitive egocentrism””

  10. Richard Landes says:

    to JL (#9)
    i think anyone arguing against it took it seriously. very few suggested that it was, or treated it as, a snark. that, in and of itself, is worrisome, no?

    if it’s a witty satire, then it’s taking the mickey out of the folks at Daily Kos who seem to be overwhelmingly committed to the idea that we should take the overtures from the other side as sincere. if it’s a satire, it makes fun of people who are dupes to the demopathic claims of jihadis (for example Gabrielle Rifkind).

    somehow that seems something of a stretch. am i wrong? if so, where?

  11. Michael N says:

    RL – I’d be interested in your take on Blake generally. Would it not be possible to argue (not that I am) that Blake is an early example of a progressive, anti-establishment, free-thinker, who became at one stage virtually a mouthpiece for a “revolutionary” foreign ideology that promised freedom and justice but descended into grotesque bloodletting in the name of ideological purity?

    Obviously, he was also an astonishing genius; that goes without saying. I’d be interested in your take on him, but perhaps this is not the forum for that?

  12. RL says:

    i admire Blake for two reasons on this subject:
    1) despite being a deep Endlish patriot, he sided with the Americans during the revolution;
    2) despite having risked arrest during the French Revolution (he wore a tricolor on his hat), when the Terror came, he denounced it.

    one of the best books on Blake’s politics is E. P. THompson’s Witness against the Beast, in which he places Blake in a long line of commoner radicals stretching back to the English Civil War.

  13. Michael N says:

    RL, thanks for that. I find the relationship of the Romantics to the French Revolution interesting; I’ll seek out that book. It was perhaps the greatest cultural disenchantment Western intellectuals ever had to face up to.

    Well, until the Clinton presidency, at any rate.


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