Skuespilleren Ben Afflecks udfald mod Bill Maher og Sam Harris jeg omtalte forleden demonstrerede et skisma hos venstrefløjen i forhold til realiteternes verden og egne værdier. Maher og Harris prøvede at stille venstrefløjen (liberals) til ansvar for deres svigt af deres egne liberale værdier når det ikke handlede om arvefjenderne blandt kristne og konservative hvide amerikanere og andre vesterlændinge. Som svar fik de en vred dosis argumentresistent udskamning (så kan de prøve det til en forandring). Vist er det amerikanske forhold, men deres venstrefløj er blot mere moderne end vores, der i højere grad hænger fast i marxisme og socialisme. Den danske venstrefløj står i samme realitetskrise så det amerikanske eksempel er lidt interessant at se på.
Den venstresnoede Peter Beinart kommer nemlig Ben Affleck til undsætning og advarer mod “Bill Maher’s Dangerous Critique of Islam”. Beinart trækker på Harvard professor Schlesingers manifest fra 1949 The Vital Center, hvori Schlesinger, som Bill Maher, opfordrer til ikke at stirre sig blind på nogen fløj, men bekæmpe antiliberale holdninger, hvor end de er. Som venstrefløjen svigter ved kritikken af islamisk praksis, svigtede den tidligere ved at holde hånden over kommunismen. Men, for der er ifølge Beinart et men
Where Maher goes wrong is in forgetting two other lessons of the liberal anti-totalitarian tradition. The first is to be precise about what you’re opposing. The second, to not get so carried away with your own virtue that you end up justifying terrible crimes.
Dette er to overraskende indvendinger og som viser at Breinart ikke har forstået eller ikke vil acceptere Maher og Harris kritik, blot på et højere plan end Afflecks . For Maher og Harris var netop meget specifikke med at det var en specifik religion og de angreb den kyndigt og specifik, så langt som debatten ikke blev forsøgt udskammet af Affleck. For det andet er det en uretfærdig anklage mod netop Maher, hvis eneste ideologiske selvkritik synes at være venstrefløjens blinde islamvinkel. Resten af Maher virke er et langt udfald mod kristne, konservative og mennesker der ved noget om klimaet.
Men Beinart uddyber sin pseudokritik af hvad han opfatter som Mahers og Harris manglende præcision
As Graham Greene wrote of Alden Pyle, the idealistic CIA agent in his novel, The Quiet American, “He was impregnably armoured by his good intentions and his ignorance.”
Maher is similarly armored today. It’s one thing to denounce the Saudi monarchy for its fanatical illiberalism. Like Stalin’s dictatorship, it’s a particular regime in a particular place. But to imply that Islamism—and by extension organizations such as Tunisia’s Ennahda Party or Turkey’s AKP, both of which have won democratic elections—are just milder versions of ISIS is dangerously sloppy. As Kennan insisted again and again, national circumstances often play a larger role in determining how cultures and political systems function than do transnational beliefs.
That’s especially true when the ideology isn’t even Islamism but Islam. Maher wants Americans to denounce Islam because while “all religions are stupid, Islam just happens to be the one right now, in this century, that’s most dangerous and violent.” That’s a wild overgeneralization. “Islam” is not violent or peaceful, dangerous or benign. Like every great religion, it includes a vast array of diverse and often contradictory teachings, which different people interpret in different ways in different places and times. Yes, in some Muslim-majority countries, women and religious minorities are treated brutally. But that has far more to do with their particular national circumstances than with the fact that Muslims populate them. After all, other Muslim-majority countries have elected female heads of state. To lump together Indonesia and Yemen because both countries are mostly Muslim makes about as much sense as lumping together Ireland and the Dominican Republic because both countries are mostly Catholic.
Restraining the evil that lurks within our own culture requires facing our own history of terrible crimes.
Men igen, det var især Harris og Mahers pointe at islam og muslimer ikke er synonyme, den pointe som Affleck heller ikke fangede da promte han kaldte det racisme. Islam er et manifest, som Schesingers manifest af 1949 er et manifest. Muslimer er mange, som venstreorienterede er mange. “Are you the person who understands the officially codified doctrine of Islam? You’re the interpreter of that?” udbrød Affleck udner debatten med Maher og Harris uanfægtet af den banalitet at der er en udlægning af islam - og af The Vital Center i øvrigt - uafhængigt af Mahers og Harris mening. Eller en vox-pop af bymuslimer et sted i verden for den sags skyld.
Manifester som koranen er skrevet så de ikke skal misforstås. Islam påstår en simpel udlægning, det er Allahs sidste klare befaling til hans slaver og for at udrydde enhver tvivl har han sendt Muhammed som budbringer så man har et pratisk eksempel til at forstå teorien. Hvor der er modstrid abrogerer de nyeste vers de ældste ud fra den klokkeklare logik at Muhammeds befalinger var stadigt mindre slørede af en fjendtlig omverden efterhånden som hans magt steg mod det absolutte. Af det følger logisk at det ikke giver mening at tale om at overgeneralisere islam da islam er et - i modsætning til mennesker, der er mange. Derfor er det ikke variationer i islam man kan observere når brutaliteten varier i islamiske samfund men variationer i de islamiske samfund.
Men hvorfor insisterer venstrefløjsere som Affleck og Beinart på at afvise banale sandheder og rationaler? Daniel Greenfield giver en hård analyse af venstrefløjens patologiske totalitarister og deres instinktive hang til overgangskrav i Frontpage Magazine
Ben Affleck isn’t a liberal. He’s an enthusiast of revisionist Communist historian Howard Zinn. The modern liberal of today is uninterested in identifying “illiberalism” since he is an illiberal man of the left. The most significant difference between the two is not simply political, but psychological. Liberals used to think about issues. Leftists respond to ideological cues while operating on a purely tribal wavelength.
Affleck’s assertion that criticizing Islam is racist is impossible to argue with. It’s completely wrong on multiple levels, but it’s not an argument. It’s a denunciation. It doesn’t advance an argument; it rejects the argument and the arguer as illegitimate. And it’s an ideological cue telling everyone else to follow.
Leftists don’t debate issues. That would be a liberal thing to do. Instead they seek to affirm a consensus. The consensus is reinforced by in-group flattery which convinces members that they are empathetic and enlightened people, while those outside the consensus are subjected to constant contempt and abuse. The denunciation places the target outside the consensus. Calling Maher a “racist” makes him a Tea Party member no matter how much he clings to a liberal identification. It makes him an outsider.
Gays, feminists and Muslims are a means to the left. They are not the reason why the left does things.
The left builds coalitions of disruption with interest groups. It doesn’t care about those groups. It’s just using them to get what it really wants which is a totalitarian state in which the consensus can implement all of its horrible ideas without any interference. Muslims are the newest coalition member and their disruption skills are impressive. Just look at how they managed to turn the Bush Administration around.
That doesn’t mean that the left cares about Muslims. It would toss them under the bus before they could shout “Allah Akhbar” if it suited the consensus. The liberal defenders of Islam have chosen not to read the Koran. They know next to nothing about Islam except that it’s a minority group. And that’s how they like it. That way they can shout down any criticism with cries of “Racism” because they’re too lazy to even bother stringing enough letters together to shout “Islamophobe”. That’s how little they care.
Leftists don’t value equality, they value disruption. If they can disrupt by promoting equality, they will do it. If they can disrupt by promoting inequality, they will do that. If they can disrupt by promoting gay marriage, promoting Islamists, promoting the environment, promoting unregulated industry, promoting freedom of speech or promoting hate speech laws, they will do those things in order of opportunism.
Their underlying goal is to replace existing ideas and systems with their own. Anything that serves that purpose is good. Anything that maintains the existing order is bad.
The very concept of universal standards that Maher is appealing to is foreign to the modern liberal. He doesn’t believe that there is a universal standard. He views the world as tribally as a Taliban. He can’t see behaviors as good or evil in isolation, but only in relation to ideological cues. He derives his heroes and villains from the tribal affinities of the left, not from the things that they actually do.
That’s why he wears a Che t-shirt while calling Rush Limbaugh unpatriotic for opposing Obama.
På den baggrund forstår man bedre en anekdote Raymond Ibrahim fortæller i et glimrende indlæg om Affleck -Maher i Frontpage Magazine
Towards the end, a frustrated Affleck, unable to respond, exclaimed, “What is your solution? To condemn Islam? To do what?”
These are interesting questions in that they reveal the true position of the apologist. I have encountered this phenomenon often, most memorably in a public debate with Columbia professor Hamid Dabashi. Towards the end of the debate, he declared “You can sit here and talk about jihad from here to doomsday, what will it do? Suppose you prove beyond any shadow of doubt that Islam is constitutionally violent, where do you go from there?”
What this line of reasoning suggests is that the apologist believes there is no other recourse than to be an apologist; that the best policy is to ignore Islam’s violence and intolerance, since the alternative—open acknowledgement—will lead to something worse, a clash of civilizations. War. And that must be avoided at all costs—so let us pretend.
Det amerikanske netmagasin Think Progress misforstod i første omgang Bill Mahers og Sam Harris kritik og mente at Maher gjorde sig skyld i “generalizing Islam“.
Yet in using the same kind of reasoning that officials have espoused to perpetuate Islamophobia, Maher and Harris mixes the violent actions of a few with millions of Muslims who are leading the initiative to show Islam as a peaceful religion.
Countering the conflation of the actions of a terrorist organization to millions of Muslim adherents, the brother of David Haines, who was beheaded by ISIS, reiterated the point that Islam is about peace and love. Even Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has said that the group is “not a true form of Islam.” As ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky and Jack Jenkins previously argued, the Islamic State is not Islamic: the terrorist organization does not abide by many of its fundamental tenets of Islam, like committing to peace or giving regard to the welfare of women and children. Instead, the terrorist group has committed systematic, gruesome violence, while a United Nations report released Thursday found that the group sold women and girls into sex slavery and forced children to become child soldiers. What’s more, nearly every American Muslim organization has roundly condemned the ideology and actions of the terrorist group, with some petitioning the name of the terrorist group be changed to “Unislamic State.”
Flere læsere udtrykte deres skuffelse på Facebook over at Think Progress ikke forstod, hverken Harris og Mahers pointer som de ikke vidste noget om islam. Efter mere end en uges debat er Think Progress ikke kommet videre, men holder stædigt fast i deres støtte til Afflecks position. Her omtaler
A Fox News host became visibly angry on Monday while trying to defend comedian Bill Maher’s comments about Islam. On Friday, the “Real Time” host argued that Islam “is the only religion that acts like the mafia” as he expanded on his claim that the “vast numbers of Muslims want humans to die for holding a different idea.”
In a segment about those remarks, Fox News host Bill Hemmer battled with two guests who took issue with Maher’s broad characterization. As they condemned the HBO host for painting the world’s one billion Muslims with too broad a brush, Hemmer insisted that Maher was accurate in his characterization.
“How do you define what’s bigotry and what’s just reality?” he asked, defending Maher’s position. After both guests criticized Maher’s comments, Hemmer interjected, telling them that they were “missing the point here.” “[Maher] is arguing about 2014,” he explained, implying that the religion is currently overflowing with terrorists.
As guest Bernard Whitman pointed out that “[Maher] indicted a billion Muslims with that comment,” Hemmer interrupted in frustration. “I can’t believe I’m defending Bill Maher!” he exclaimed, before insisting that the comedian was only referring to “radical Islam.”
Watch the exchange:
“The issue is not the religion of Islam, the issue is the politicization in the Islamic organizations that are using Islam as a crutch and as a shield to hide their true terrorist nature,” Whitman told Hemmer. Indeed, nearly every American Muslim organization and Muslim leaders around the world have condemned the ideology and actions of terrorists and ISIS, with some petitioning the name of the terrorist group be changed to “Unislamic State.”
Fox News has a lot history of trying to conflate terrorists with Islam. Fox host Steve Doocy has claimed that President Obama went to a “madrassa” and was possibly a Muslim extremist, Brian Kilmeade suggested “special screenings” for Muslim American soldiers after the Fort Hood shootings in 2009 and linked a commonly-used Arabic phrase to terrorism. Most recently, Bill O’Reilly criticized Bowe Bergdahl’s dad for looking too much like a Muslim.
ISIS er en sandhedens time ikke blot for den muslimske verden, en også for venstrefløjen. Islam er ikke længere en eksotisk abstrakt størrelse, hvis handlinger kan bortforklares med at den er underlagt allehånde politiske, imperialistiske og sociale strukturer. Nu har islam sit eget ubesmittede land at udleve sine grusomheder på, nu får alle syn for sagn. Seeing is believing, som man siger.
BEN AFFLECK: How about more than a billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray 5 times a day, and don’t do any of the things you’re saying of all Muslims. It’s stereotyping.
SAM HARRIS, AUTHOR: I’m not saying all Muslims –
AFFLECK: Some of them do bad things and you’re painting the whole religion with that broad brush.
MAHER: Wait, let’s get down to who has the right answer here. A billion people, you say.
AFFLECK: A billion five.
MAHER: All these billion people don’t hold these pernicious beliefs?
AFFLECK: They don’t.
MAHER: That’s just not true, Ben. That’s just not true. You’re trying to say that these few people, that’s all the problem is, these few bad apples. The idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic
AFFLECK: That’s horrible.
MAHER: But you’re saying the idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic religion is just a few bad apples?
AFFLECK: The people who would actually believe in that you murder someone if they leave Islam is not the majority of Muslims at all…
SAM HARRIS: Just imagine you have some concentric circles. You have at the center, you have jihadists, these are people who wake up wanting to kill apostates, wanting to die trying. They believe in paradise, they believe in martyrdom. Outside of them, we have Islamists, these are people who are just as convinced of martyrdom and paradise and wanting to foist their religion on the rest of humanity but they want to work within the system. They’re not going to blow themselves up on a bus. They want to change governments, they want to use democracy against itself. Those two circles arguably are 20% of the Muslim world.
BEN AFFLECK: What are you basing that research on?
HARRIS: There are a bunch of poll results that we can talk about. To give you one point of contact: 78% of British Muslims think that the Danish cartoonist should have been prosecuted. 78%. So, I’m being conservative when I roll this back to 20%. But outside of that circle you have conservative Muslims who can honestly look at ISIS and say that does not represent us, we’re horrified by that but they hold views about human rights, and about women, and about homosexuals that are deeply troubling. So, these are not Islamists, they are not jihadists, but they often keep women and homosexuals immiserated in these cultures and we have to empower the true reformers in the Muslim world to change it. And lying about doctrine and this behavior is not going to do that…
MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR: So having said that, even if that is true, statistically or otherwise, the key thing to recognize that I don’t think is part of the argument but I think should be is that there are voices that are oftentimes raised in opposition to these jihadists and to these extreme acts but, guess what, they don’t covered, they don’t get exposed. And they’re not on the same level platform that we see jihadists get.
BILL MAHER: One reason they don’t get exposed is because they’re afraid to speak out because it’s the only religion that acts like the mafia that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book. There’s a reason why Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs bodyguards 24/7…
AFFLECK: What is your solution? To condemn Islam? To do what? We’ve killed more Muslims than they’ve killed us by an awful lot. We’ve invaded more –
MAHER: I’m not for more dead Muslims.
AFFLECK: And somehow we’re exempt from these things because they’re not really a reflection of what we believe in. We did it by accident, that’s why we invaded Iraq.
MAHER: We’re not convincing anybody here.
AFFLECK: I’m simply telling you that I disagree with you.
MAHER: I understand, and we’re obviously not convincing anybody here.
HARRIS: You don’t understand my argument.
AFFLECK: Your argument is, “You know, black people, they shoot each other” –
MAHER: It’s not! No, it’s not. It’s based on facts. I can show you a Pew poll of Egyptians. They are not outliers in the Muslims world. It’s like 90% of them believe death is the appropriate response to leaving the religion. If 90% of Brazilians thought that death was the appropriate response to leaving Catholicism you would think it was a bigger deal.
AFFLECK: I would think it’s a big deal no matter what.
MAHER: Okay, well, that’s the facts.
AFFLECK: I wouldn’t say it’s all Brazilians, or I wouldn’t say, “Well, Ted Bundy did this. God damn these gays, they’re all trying to eat each other.”
HARRIS: Let me just give you what you want. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims who are nominal Muslims who don’t take the faith siresly, who don’t want to kill apostates, who are horrified by ISIS and we need to defend these people, prop them up and let them reform their faith.
AFFLECK: ISIS couldn’t couldn’t full a AA ballpark in Charleston, West Virginia and you want to make a career out of ISIS, ISIS, ISIS.
MAHER: No we’re not. That’s the opposite.
HARRIS: No, it’s not just ISIS, it’s all jihadists. It’s a phenomenon of global jihad.
MAHER: I think that’s the opposite of what we’re doing.
AFFLECK: There is those things. There is ISIS, there is global jihadists. The question is the degree to which you’re willing to say, because I’ve witnessed this behavior, which we all object to on part of these people, I’m willing to flatly condemn those of you I don’t know and never met.
MAHER: They’re not willing. This is based on reality.
HARRIS: It’s not condemning people, it’s ideas.
MAHER: It’s based on reality, Ben. We’re not take it up that in the Muslim world it is mainstream belief.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF: This is such a caricature of Indonesia, of Malaysia, of so much of the world. And this does have a tinge a little bit of how white racists talk about African-American and define blacks by –
MAHER: What you’re saying is because they are a minority, we shouldn’t criticize.
AFFLECK: It’s not a minority, it’s the second biggest religion in the world.
MAHER: Exactly, but you’re treating them like a minority. I mean if Filipinos were capturing teenagers and sending them into white slavery, we would criticize that. We wouldn’t say, oh, well, they’re Filipinos.
AFFLECK: You would criticize the people who are doing it, not the Philippines. A Filipino kid who lives on the streets has nothing to do with that. These are different things.
Cirka samtidig i New Yorks gader flasher muslimerne en flig af deres muslimske sentiment