Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Islamophobes and Islamists locked in an embrace of mutual hatred

Islamophobes  and Islamist jihadists are locked together in an embrace of mutual self-sustaining hatred.

Melanie Phillips, Pamela Geller, and the mad mullahs with whom they are obsessed are in a state of mutual paranoia, based on absolutist ideology.

The Tao te Ching says (chapter 60):

Governing a large country
is like frying a small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking.

Center your country in the Tao
and evil will have no power.
Not that it isn't there,
but you'll be able to step out of its way.

Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.

Mrs Thatcher quoted the first lines as support for her Conservative doctrine of small government, but clearly had no understanding of the last lines. Fundamentalist religion thrives on  persecution - it confirms their world view, that they alone have the Truth, and the world (which is going to hell) is Out to Get Them.

Clearly we have to defend ourselves against terrorism (Defined as the use of violence against civilians in order to achieve political gains). To do that we need intelligent intelligence and police work. Military action against Islamic countries (perceived to be) badly infected with Islamist extremists is counter-productive. Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have arguably pushed vulnerable Muslims towards the extremist mentality.

Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.

This sounds too good to be true, but I can tell you from personal childhood experience, being a fundamentalist is very boring. Left to themselves in an open society, the young will drift away from routine prayers and oppressive, pointless restrictions. Bomb their co-religionists, and they will find the motivation to join what they perceive to be the resistance.

Breivik, Phillips and Geller are obsessed with the Islamic threat to our Western democratic culture. Theirs is an overvalued idea:

Figures compiled by Europol, the European police agency, suggest that the threat of Islamist terrorism is minimal compared with “ethno-nationalist” and “separatist” terrorism – terrorism committed by white people, in other words. According to Europol, in 2006, one out of 498 documented terrorist attacks across Europe could be classed as “Islamist”; in 2007, the figure rose to just four out of 583 – that’s less than 1 per cent of the total. By contrast, 517 attacks across the continent were claimed by or attributed to nationalist or separatist terrorist groups, such as ETA in Spain. (Source)

Even granting, for the sake of argument, that the influx of Muslims into Europe, (and more to the point their irrational birth control policies, shared with Catholics) is a problem, it is one problem among many, and anti-jihadists (their own term for Islamophobes)  demonstrate their lack of balance by ignoring and sometimes denying other, more important, problems.

W B Yates had it in a nutshell:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity.

The "best" need to get their act together. We need to realise that the major problem that we face is ecological collapse, and that in addressing that problem, all the other problems we face will both pale into insignificance and be lost in the cooperative effort of making the transition to a sustainable society and economy.

[update] Just found that Breivik is a climate change denier. 


Anonymous said...

I disagree about islamists being 'pushed to extremism' by 'our' foreign policy. The problem is that a bit like freemasons islamists can seem to be loyal to other islamists before any thoughts come into play. The problem to me seems to be religious dogmatism. If being 'islamist' were a purely political idea rather than a religious one, I suspect that many in the left would view it much more harshly. I view them much as I would have viewed Hitler's mob in 1933 with their anti-semitism and draconian laws. Like the EDL etc we ignore them at our peril.

DocRichard said...

I am not exonerating or defending Islamists. Just agreeing that Blair's wars have created more of them.

I think some on the left think in terms of "my enemy's enemy is my friend". Which is not great reasoning.

I'd chat more, but I must go.