Sunday, 20 June 2010

"Muslims are the new Jews". Huh?

Author Aayan Hirsi Ali
One of the objections one often hears from one's libera-tolera mates, in objection to one's criticism of one or other aspect of Islamist nonsense, is that the criticism is "demonising Muslims", that the Muslims are being treated like the Jews in 1930s Germany.  Careful, one is warned, this criticism will soon be bigotry, and we all know where that can lead.  Just look at the jews in Germany.  Muslims are the new jews.
This is from the same cloth as those other objections: "the Bible has that same violent texts as the Koran, you can cherry pick from either of them", or "all religions have their extremist nutters, their terrorists".  And so on. All of these evanesce at the most cursory investigation.

The one about "Muslims are the new Jews" seems to be gaining traction, though it's also sheer nonsense.  I was going to write about it, but Robert Spencer has now done so, in his elegant pen.  In an article critical of a New Yorker hatchet piece on Aayan Hirst Ali he says:

Or in short, as the new saying goes, "Muslims are the new Jews." There is just one problem with this ghastly equation, which trivializes the mass-murders of Jews in Europe and defames Hirsi Ali: Jews never carried out terrorist attacks in Europe, and never boasted about how they were one day going to take over (in contrast to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi's boast that Muslims would soon conquer Rome and all of Europe -- a boast that other Islamic leaders have echoed). The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a forgery, and there was no factual basis for all the conspiracy theories about Jews scheming to control the world, any more than there is today.
There is no open-ended, universal imperative in Jewish Scripture calling upon Jews to wage war against non-Jews and subjugate them under their rule (and the verses from Deuteronomy and Joshua that are always invoked to claim that there is such an imperative have never been understood that way by Jewish or Christian exegetes). But there is such an imperative in the Qur'an, and throughout Islamic history the mainstream understanding of that imperative has been that it is something incumbent upon the Islamic community as a whole. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Shari'ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad, in his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad, quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: "Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah." Nyazee concludes: "This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation" of non-Muslims.
I suppose Nyazee is an "Islamophobe"?
What's more, neither Ayaan Hirsi Ali nor anyone else is talking about rounding up Muslims and gassing them to death, or deporting them wholesale, or any such. It is a peculiar leap of logic to say that because one group was falsely accused of supremacist designs and was persecuted as a result, therefore any other group accused of supremacist designs must be falsely accused, with the accusers nursing genocidal aspirations.

Anyone that criticises Hirsi Ali is a bit suspect in my view.  This is a wonderful, brave and eloquent woman.  The fact that she's undergone savage mistreatment at the altar of orthodox Islam, and come out swinging the other side speaks to her courage and integrity.  She ought to be idolized by the Left, but instead -- because of the unspoken pact between the Left and Islam -- she's demonized herself.

Another fellow who peddles this nonsense of Muslims being "demonized" is Anwar Akhtar writing in the Guardian (where else?) and comparing critiques of Islamism with the witch trials dramatised in "The Crucible".  Of course that play was a satire of the McCarthy trials of the 1950s, based on falsified evidence of the alleged existence of "reds under the beds" of Americans.  The criticism of Islamism, by contrast, is based on the sayings, teachings, lobbyings of pollies and lobbing of bombs which are done by their co-religionists.  Those critical of Islamism are pointing out what it says and does; we are not making it up.  And yet the slander of "Islamophobia" is directed as the critics not the perpetrators.  That's the real demonizing.