Saturday, December 01, 2007

Is Islam a Mental Illness? How to Reason with your Favorite Mob

Truepeers and I are having a debate of sorts over what to do about Islam and Muslims generally. Peers argues we cannot simply write them off as incorrigible and then resort to apocalyptic visions of revenge, stalking after the Muslim world and defeating it as bloodily as we may, expecting it to stay down eternally, our problems forever thereafter solved.

I have been putting forth that Islam is an Irrationality, and that those who are Muslims are something like insane, which I use for lack of a better term. Peers argues that "insanity" is a sure way of alienating the reasonable Muslim who wants nothing more or less than what any other person wants, and that to dismiss him, the normal Muslim, without trying to negotiate with him a common understanding of a covenant between disparate groups is to give in to -- I would guess-- and innate blood-lust and viciousness. Peers argues that debate and reason are the best ways to approach our problem with Islam, and that until all other reasonable avenues are show to be closed we cannot rightly resort to force. Calling the Muslim world "insane" does nothing to further the talks we must have with the Muslims we can deal with. Calling them all insane is merely to foreclose debate even with the most normal of Muslims, writing them off as not worth talking to at all, just being worth fighting. If we refuse to accept any Muslim as anything other than insane, then we begin with war and end with some utopian idea that we will stop all of the insanity and life will be perfect afterward.

Peers is, as our readers know well, an extremely sophisticated writer and debater. My point in posting the two short editorial pieces below is not to foreclose debate or to try to add legitimacy to anything I argue, but to show there is a side to the West that agrees with me in the mainstream. Regarding the particular debate between me and Peers, one may read it at Covenant Zone and see just how severely I blew the doors off his arguments today. Wow.

WEBCommentary Contributor
Author: Sher Zieve
Date: December 1, 2007

Does Islam Cause Mental Illness?

With resumed violent riots in France, the Saudi Arabian woman who was recently convicted of having been gang-raped by seven men and has been sentenced by the Islamic Shari'a court to 200 lashes with a whip (a virtual death sentence) and 6-months in prison, assuming she survives the beating, and the case of Muslims calling for the execution of British teacher in Sudan Gillian Gibbons (who allowed her students to name the classroom teddy bear Muhammad) the insanity occupying the Islamic world is once again slapping the rest of the world in its face. Although she was convicted by the fundamentalist Islamic court system of "insulting Islam" and sentenced to jail time, over 10,000 Sudanese Muslims have taken to the streets and are reported to still be screaming for Gibbons� death with: "No tolerance! Execution! Kill her, kill her by firing squad!"

Apparently not satisfied with last year's worldwide riots over the infamous Muhammad cartoons and the multiple videos of Islamist beheadings, not to mention the genocide of non-Muslims that is still being perpetrated in the Darfur area of Sudan, portions of the Muslim word are at it once again. As these types of extraordinarily brutal, sadistic and bizarre behaviors do not occur within the Jewish or Christian communities of the world, I believe that I must ask: Is it Islam, itself, that is causing this mental illness amongst its adherents?

In the mainstream reportage of these continuing and violent incidents, once again the bulk of the leftist media, the same media that vilifies virtually everything democracies affect to protect their citizens and bring down these regimes of terrorism, are offering "o opinion" on these recent Muslim atrocities. Note: Unfortunately, not all of the recent so-called extremism in the Muslim world is coming strictly from the Islamist factions. But, it does appear that an increasing number of non-Muslims are finally beginning to realize that violence against them is built into and commanded by the Surah verses (the latter stanzas) of the Qur'an.

" Islamic Rage-Boy Photo credit."

Getting back to the Gibbons debacle, an ostensibly mainstream Muslim cleric Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karour in Khartoum worked to incense Muslims in his Mosque on Friday with: "This is an arrogant woman who came to our country, cashing her salary in dollars, teaching our children hatred of our Prophet Muhammad!" The fact that the children chose the teddy bear's name still seems to have escaped the attention of this cleric and others in these repressive Islamic systems. Instead a favorite theme on Islamic television continues to be "the proper way to beat one�s wife". In the below video link, women are compared to camels and donkeys and Muslim men are instructed not to beat their wives in the face but, to beat them "where it won't leave marks." Whew! That's helpful, unless you're a woman. Note: Western feminists still continue to ignore this and other Islamic atrocities committed against their "sisters." It's mind-boggling that they still pretend that none of this is actually occurring. Or, could it be that as it doesn't directly impact them, these "humane" feminists simply don't care about women half a world away? I vote for the latter.

Spurred on by its Imams, the Muslim world is becoming more and more violent each and every day. And it is now creating "insulting" situations when they have not occurred. Like the Leftists, Muslims attack before they are assaulted and then claim "victimhood". Note: This is another example of homicidal children killing their parents and then asking for sympathy because they're now orphans.

Like the recent riots in France, brought on by two Muslim teens running a red light with their motorbike and then hitting a police car, when these immigrants to Europe have nothing else to fall back on, they create false situations themselves. In this instance, Muslim "youth" in France torched cars, libraries and homes then claimed, even though it was the fault of the two teens, that the police were to blame!

So, I ask again: Is it in the interpretation or does Islam�itself�cause mental illness? Take a look at what's happening around the world and draw own conclusion.

Muslim Video on How to beat your wife�:

Sher Zieve

Mobs rule and bullies dictate

David Warren
The Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Let us not be timid in the face of bullying. I am thinking of the mob that formed in Khartoum yesterday, after Friday prayers in the mosques, demanding the execution of a British schoolteacher who was arrested by Sudan's ruling Islamist junta. Gillian Gibbons has already been "tried," and jailed 15 days, by one of this regime's kangaroo courts.

She was found guilty of "insulting Islam," and barely escaped 40 lashes or worse -- for what? For having named a class teddy bear "Mohammed," in complete innocence, at the suggestion of one of her pupils, whose own name is Mohammed, and who bravely stood up to defend her. In other words, a wilful misunderstanding, in which the wilful misunderstanders are calling for blood.

From the BBC's reports, we read the signs and hear the shouts from that mass rally: "No tolerance." "Execution." "Kill her." "Kill her by firing squad," etc. The paradox is that the idea of "zero tolerance" came from the politically-correct West, just as the idea of "tolerance" came from the civilized West before the era of political correctness.

The British Foreign Office is naturally on the case, and doing what it can to free Mrs. Gibbons, and get her out of that murderously dysfunctional country, which anyone of charitable intention (teachers, missionaries, the deliverers of food aid, invited foreign "peacekeeping" troops) enters at his own risk. A country in which slavery is still openly practised, and slave raids against Christians and Animists have been documented. Let us not be diplomatic when speaking of Sudan, or of the vicious government that has created not only the conditions for massacre and rapine, but also, the administrative problems that have followed from these. And which expects the world to solve its problems.

Alternatively, I am thinking of the violent mobs that have formed repeatedly in Calcutta, demanding the execution, or in the case of some moderates only the flogging and incarceration, of Taslima Nasreem. She is a witty feminist author from Bangladesh, whose memoir, Dwikhondito ("Split in Two," published in 2003) contained several remarks which fanatics consider to be derogatory to Islam. The government of West Bengal had already banned the book, in deference to the state's Muslim minority. And now, at the demand of the union government in Delhi, Ms. Nasreem has agreed to remove two pages from editions of the book available elsewhere. She has required heavy security and been whisked from one hiding place to another, around India.

Yet as the eminent Bengali artist, Shuvaprassana, has said: "This is a compromise that she has been forced into for the sake of getting refuge. But if she can drop two pages to get refuge in India, she can drop three pages and go back to Bangladesh."

This remark conveys more than first appears. Obviously, no matter what Ms Nasreem does, she cannot return to Bangladesh. The point to be read between Shuvaprassana's lines is that if we don't make our stand where we are standing, there is no end to retreat. The defence of freedom demands that we make no concessions -- no concessions at all -- to a bullying mob. And should people in the mob wish to impale themselves on the pikes of lawful authority, let them.

My third example of bullying is a more subtle one. It is from the conference at Annapolis this week, and could be seen on television, by any perceptive person. Naturally, it was widely noticed in Israel, but not elsewhere. The royal Saudi delegates not only did not politely applaud, as is the genteel custom, after the Israeli delegate spoke. They had declined to put in their earphones, to hear the translation while that delegate spoke. From a party to actual peace negotiations comes this rude gesture to announce that nothing a representative of Israel could say would be worth hearing.

After the conference, the Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, whose national affiliation is compounded by the fact she is a woman, made an unprecedented public complaint. She said that none of the Arab foreign ministers would shake her hand; that she was treated as a pariah. Or as Frans Timmermans put it -- a Dutch government minister who was in attendance -- they "shun her like she is Count Dracula's younger sister."

The questions should ask themselves: Why do we treat Arab foreign ministers diplomatically, who are themselves incapable of diplomacy? Why do we confer dignities upon Saudi royalty who will confer no dignity upon our friends?

These are naive questions, to be asked boldly.

David Warren's column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2007

I know a great deal about Islam and its history. I don't know everything. I do know that i might have missed something that would lead me to believe Islam has a chance to reform itslef to become in time something like other religions of the Earth. I know too that no one currently speaking on this topic has spoken the right words to make it convincing. I hear nothing but uninformed platitudes, rehashed cliches, hopeful bursting bubbles, and taqiyyah. No proof, no evidence based in Islam as it is, no verifiable hints at a possible peaceful Islam.

Of those who claim that not all Muslims are violent jihadis, I agree. I argue though that the non-violent Muslims are either engaged in passive jihad as supporters or by-standers willing to aid and comfort jihadis in the field without actually going to violent lengths; or they are not really Muslims in any legitimate and meaningful sense at all in th e eyes of Muslims generally. I base that on my own and on the studies of others into orthodox Islam over the centuries, not on any ill-will toward Muslims. I accept the need for force to restrain and de-Islamise the world for the sake of the safety or Muslims. I see non-Islamic aggression against Islamic areas as the best hope of saving most Muslims from retaliation for the provocations they now instigate. That's me. There are others who see things more or less as I do. There is also much time to discuss the future, given that we aren't rushing off from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli any time soon. Feel free to leave a comment, a fatwah, a thinwah, a dagwah, or a deathwah. I'm easy.


truepeers said...

With all due respect, Dag, I don't think you are engaging my argument; that is probably my fault because I have trouble articulating it; it is still in formation.

I am not making any arguments about "Islam, as it is". I am leaving that question aside. I am not interested in trying to define anything because the attempt to define reality is always a denial of the reality that what something is and what it means is an open book. The process of finding real-world confirmations for relgious imperatives written down 1400 years ago is anything but a straightforward process. It is simply not possible, even in the most totalitarian of circumstances, to simply live by the book as if it were transparent to reality. I think it's important to understand the anthropology behind why that is so... But that's what I have trouble articulating... it will improve in time...

Having said that, I am saying there is a hell of a lot of evil in the Islamic world that we can't negotiate with. You seem to misunderstand me on this basic point. But at the end of the day if there is one guy in the middle of that evil who wants to do good, I want to stand by him, or make him an ally, without being blinded by someone who thinks he has a water tight argument that you can't negotiate or deal with Muslims because the good guys aren't the real Muslims and they are dominated, inevitably, by the real Muslims. But I'm not in an argument to define Islam. So I don't care if I'm not negotiating with the "real Muslims". I only care about those who want freedom and doing what we can to pressure the evil doers to change.

In other words, deal with people as human beings, and don't get in a fight about what reality is or must be. i'm not interested in metaphysics.

I am much less interested in any model of reality, of "islam as it is", as in the question of why is it not possible for anyone anywhere to live up to any normative model - long story short, the means are always incompatible with the proposed ends. You, Dag, have an idealized view of Islam, one that is not critical about the fact that much of Islam is a fantasy or heresy that can never be what it wants to be, however much evil it gets into in the trying.

It's late, and I have just come across this post. I won't say more now. Why don't you go back and read that post at Covenant Zone I wrote about Bruce Tefft, on your request, and tell me what you think of the fuller, if still half-formed, argument there...

And remember, I don't care whether or not "Islam" is reformable. I care about how we can deal with human beings who want to be freer than they have been, and how we can help them defeat their oppressors. If that involves their thinking they are reforming "Islam", who am I to say they aren't? Why should we ever belive that Islam can be taken "literally"? What on earth can that mean? Explain to me the process by which reality comes into being... as some literal, ahem, interpretation, of a text

Tim Singleton said...

The issue of whether or not Islam is a mental illness based on activities is an interesting question.

My short answer is no, though I admit I have not looked at it from that direction.

But the real problem is that liberals who practice the politics of envy rearing up a generation of voters to believe that just by birth they have a right to a piece of my paycheck and who want at all costs and with the aid of all enemies to dismantle our republic.