Friday, August 27, 2010

Klavan, Islamaphobia, and the motivation of the Left

The above is an article by Andrew Klavan entitled "Name-Calling" and subtitled "'Islamophobia': the latest charge to try to stifle legitimate debate."

Klavan makes a couple of points I haven't heard presented quite like Klavan does. I'll leave them in context:

"Recently, in defending an imam’s proposal to build a triumphalist “Muslim Cultural Center” near Manhattan’s Ground Zero—where, we may remember, so many innocents were slaughtered in the name of Allah—the Left has outdone itself. Rather than engage in serious debate with the vast majority of New Yorkers and Americans who oppose the project, the mosque’s defenders have simply dubbed the opposing viewpoint “Islamophobia.” As ever when this naming device is used, the left-wing media seem to rally as one. Within the space of a single week, Time put the word on its cover, Maureen Dowd accused the entire nation of it in her column, and CBS News trotted out the charge in reporting on mosque opposition.

"For anyone born with the gift of laughter, the term is absurd to the point of hilarity. A phobia, after all, is an irrational fear. Given that Islam is cancerous with violence in virtually every corner of the globe, given the oppressive and exclusionary nature of many Islamic governments, given the insidious Islamist inroads against long-held freedoms in western Europe, and given those aspects of sharia that seem, to an outsider at least, to prohibit democracy, free speech, and the fair treatment of the female half of our species, those who love peace and liberty would, in fact, be irrational not to harbor at least a measure of concern."

And in response to the Left's constant hammering of everyone else over the Islamic right to build a Mosque at Ground Zero because of the hallowed "Freedom of Religion" guaranteed by the First Amendment, Klavan writes, "With a hostility toward Christianity second only to Dracula’s, the Left has no credibility on the subject of freedom of religion."

"Which is to say that perhaps opponents of the mosque should question the motives of those who question their motives. In any case, they should greet the designation of Islamophobia with the derision that it deserves."

Here is something from Wikipedia on "Phobias" "A phobia . . . is an irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus. When the fear is beyond one's control, and if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.

"This is caused by what are called, neutral, unconditioned, and conditioned stimuli, which trigger either conditioned or unconditioned responses . . ."

"Phobias are a common form of anxiety disorders. An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that between 8.7% and 18.1% of Americans suffer from phobias. Broken down by age and gender, the study found that phobias were the most common mental illness among women in all age groups and the second most common illness among men older than 25. . ."

"Phobias are generally caused by an event recorded by the amygdala and hippocampus and labeled as deadly or dangerous; thus whenever a specific situation is approached again the body reacts as if the event were happening repeatedly afterward. Treatment comes in some way or another as a replacing of the memory and reaction to the previous event perceived as deadly with something more realistic and based more rationally. In reality most phobias are irrational, in the sense that they are thought to be dangerous, but in reality are not threatening to survival in any way."

COMMENT: Given the above definition of "phobia" we should seek to replace our "irrational" fear of Radical Islam with a picture of Radical Islam that is benign, but alas, such a picture does not exist. It is relentlessly opposed to Liberal Democracy and bent upon replacing it by fair means or foul with Islam. How much does one need to read about Rauf, the force behind the Cordoban Mosque, to be suspicious of him? He is described as a "moderate" because he says that the American Constitution is "Sharia compliant." That doesn't sound moderate to me. It sounds as though he wants to make America more and more "Sharia compliant."

And what of the Arabic title of his book about America: " A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11." Doesn't that title indicate that the American Constitution isn't the primary concern in his desire to establish a Mosque on the site of the former Trade Center? How paranoid must an objective observe be to imagine that Rauf is proud to be standing in the "World Trade Center Rubble," and not because he is seeking to bridge a gap between "Moderate Islam" and "American Liberal Democracy." American Liberal Democracy has proved itself well capable of tolerating all other points of view willing to tolerate the others view held in America. The one thing Ameican has never tolerated until now is "intolerance." But now, the Left, has decided, for reasons never made clear, to embrace this intolerant position that slides between Radical and Moderate Islam as the Islamic spirit moves it.

Klavan wonders, "Does the Left really cherish the rights of Islam, or is theirs but a short-sighted alliance with the enemy of their enemies?"

I have wondered the same thing. I have been criticized for my numerous opinions by the Left, but I have never heard an argument or explanation, at least not a credible one, for why they so vociferously support Radical Islam. Since the Left won't or can't explain itself on this matter, it is left for the "opponents of the mosque" [and opponents of Radical Islam in general] to "question their motives."

This issue continues to puzzle me. Anyone who has read the writings of Sayyid Qutb or any of his derivative acolytes must know that if Radical Islam succeeds as it hopes to, the Left will be the first to have their heads chopped off. Those of us on the Right who are also Christian or Jewish will be given the opportunity to become Dhimmi, but not those of the Left who have no religion. They are hopeless and deserve to be executed at once. Would you like a hood, Mr. Blogblather?

There are several groups that seek to expose the association of the Left with Radical Islam. Jihad Watch is one that comes to mind. Another is Front Page Mag : It is depressing to read these Blogs. Issue after issue deals with the same sort of thing, and the evidence is overwhelming that there is collusion between the Left and Radical Islam and that Radical Islam is bent on world conquest. The Leftist response is invariably puerile: You are all Islamophobic!

David Horowitz wrote a book entitled, Unholy Alliance, Radical Islam and the American Left. I have on more than one occasion asked someone on the Left what they thought of Horowitz's evidence. "Horowitz?" They would respond and sneer in ASCII. Horowitz is a . . . . I must admit that they have an interesting collection of attributes to apply to Islamophobic people like Horowitz. These attributes will be applied to Klavan on the basis of my title. But they never answer my question. Calling Horowitz, Klavan and me "Islamophobic" is all they can do.

No self-respecting Leftist is actually going to read my blog note, but if one, in a moment of weakness were to read it, I would ask him if he understood the meaning of "phobia." During the hot months I walk my dogs (two Rhodesian Ridgebacks) at night. I'm reminded of the Army motto: "we own the night." When my Ridgeback girls and I walk at night it is as though we own it. We might as well own it because no one else is out there. Do all those who stay indoors have a "phobia" about "the night"? Is their fear of going out for a walk at night "irrational"? I don't think so. The night would be the time that muggers might be lurking about. The papers have frequent accounts of people being robbed, beaten, raped and murdered, primarily at night.

Now if we move back to the subject of Islamophobia, we might very well find an equal number of newspaper accounts describing the excesses of Radical Islam: people being murdered, beheaded, scalded with acid, raped, and bombed -- at night and in the day-time. So if the fear of walking at night is not a phobia, the fear of Radical Islam isn't either. Both fears are rational.

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