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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Apolemogetics

After taking a look at some of the more odious doctrines of Islam, in Pop Quiz, one might form some rather harsh conclusions about Islam in general. But of course those points were cherry-picked - selected out of a wide body of evidence to demonstrate a point: Islam has violent, expansionist tenets. The evidence has been handled fairly, in that context and usage are honored, but even so it is a one-sided picture. We might equally hunt and peck our way through the Koran and select passages that urge nobility and compassion. Likewise, the pages of whatever holy text we might call our own could be scoured to reveal troubling, odd, weird passages which someone might attempt to use against our faith. Skillful apologists can make almost anything sound reasonable, as the skillful polemicist can make things sound vile, to the casual listener.

Jihad is a mandate upon Moslems to convert the world, by whatever means, to Islam. Moses and Joshua were given mandates, to conquer the land of Canaan, to exterminate utterly the populations of certain towns. My, how brutal these two faiths are, and how harsh, their gods. The salient difference, though, is that the genocidal mandate upon Joshua has expired, some 3500 years ago. Notice that the doctrine is not, "Kill them all, whenever you conquer any city." Those were ad hoc commandments, directly relevant only to that time and place (and, by the way, for good reason. What good reason could there possibly be, you wonder? Alas, you didn't speak loudly enough for me to hear you). In direct contrast to this, the commandment to Jihad is universal and eternal. It seems to me, then, that in this instance Moses recommends himself to apologetics, and Mohammad to polemics.

As I conclude in Oil and Semen, "That Islam has been quiescent ... for the past few centuries, reflects no change in philosophy, but only its failure to master modern technology. Oil has provided a remedy to that backwardness..." Modern Islam, as the pairing of oil and semen implies, has two resources, petro-dollars and a hoard of poor, uneducated, young desperate radicals. One of the several recommendations for Islam is its clarity. It's not a tough religion to follow. Good marketing. The unfortunate thing is that part of Islam's clarity is that the infidel must be brought under submission. The two major resources of Islam are turned to that end.

America can be conquered. It can fail, and fall, and lose its unique status in world history. But Americans - some large part of the population of America - will never be conquered. Is this just some rah-rah-rah cheerleading on my part? We're number one! Yeehaw! From someone else, it might be. But I'm not a cheerleader. From observing my own frightening and rather inhuman character, I believe that if no one else at all stood firm, I would be the lone gunman - metaphorically speaking, of course, in almost all scenarios. But a ferocious love of nobility and self-sacrifice and liberty is not in short supply, in this nation. So I calculate. So even if the society about us crumbles, melts into a soft gooey mound of indolence, entitlement and vice, there will still be found in the slag, a backbone. That would be us. How is this relevant?

Islam had better make peace with us. We are not unacquainted with decimation, in our history and our holy books. We have had our clinton and Carter, and our Jackson and our Bush. The talkers, and the doers. The ugly truth is that we are nowhere near waging a full-out war. As I pointed out in Credible Threat, we are certainly capable of it - Dresden burned, down to the women and children and animals. Make peace with us, you young radical Islamists, you oil-rich potentates, you ranting imams and mullahs, because we will continue to die, and die, and die, and then we will rise up and annihilate you. Utterly. Mohammad can become Sabbatai Zevi - Islam can become a secret and outlaw sect. This might be your fate, in the absence of a Moslem Reformation. For Islam, too, can be conquered.

The worldwide sway of Islam will never occur, as long as America remains what it is. And if you continue to define us as the enemy that we do not wish to be, we will destroy you, so completely that the fondest wish of your heart will turn to ashes, and your faith will be seen, before all the world and all the ages, to have been a shadow. Your culture, like every culture, has much to recommend it. You - your princes - had indoor plumbing in the Middle Ages. Pretty good. Our princes ate huge greasy mutton chops with their hands. Your scholars utilized the zero and preserved Plato. Thanks for that. Our scholars pondered puzzles of angels and pins. It would be good, now, to reclaim some of that, frankly, lost intelligence, no? - that lost refinement and rationality.

War or rationality. Polemics or apologetics. Take your pick, and live by it, or die by it. You love death more than we love life? We are agreed in this. But you imagine your death ushers you into an oasis of gentle breezes and laughing waters and tender caresses. This is what you mean by death, and I cannot argue with your faith. The evidence of your faith is a failed Caliphate and a poverty-ridden culture. You cannot argue with that. So much for your love of death. As for us, for all the flaws and vices that our culture shows openly to the world, yet our love of life is manifest, and our liberty no mere promise. Added to this, we, too, most of us, look forward to a promised reward. Do the math, and our love of life yields immediate and positive good. Your love of death sums up to zero. Or so I calculate the matter.



J

2 comments:

dilys said...

All I could say to my husband on the night of 9.11.01 (he worked for years on Wall Street, and we met in the World Trade Center), was, They can kill us all and they've still failed. Freedom and creativity are already out in the world, and they can't put them back in the bottle.

Love the blog, having followed you over from a Neo-neocon comment. I've never seen so much learning, feeling, and wry passion in the service of intelligent Biblical (small-o) orthodoxy.

Jack H said...

Sometimes we're just along for the ride, in life. History takes us where it will, and we have no control over direction, only over ourselves. I felt no dismay, over 9/11. It was no trauma, to me. I know - odd. But it was very clear ... can't do anything about the past. Let's take care of the business at hand. Find them, and kill them. Brutal, of course. But if Buddhism works at all, it works only for Buddhists. Moslems understand and are cowed, by strength. If we kill one, ten more will not rise to take his place. Ten will rise to bury the one, and they will respect our might.

Because no sane person thinks killing innocents is right, in itself. Every sane Moslem knew 9/11 was wrong. They celebrated not the act, but the fact that they thought they'd get away with it. So we need to demonstate the inexorablity of justice. That's the point of my "What You Should Think about 9/11."

http://forgottenprophets.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-you-should-think-about-911.html

Thanks for the kind words. They are very gratifying. "Wry passion" is exactly the phrase I'd use, too. Thanks, for that.

Best,


Jack H