Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Why Would Anyone Want to Blow Up Times Square?

Asks Daniel Pipes, whereupon he provides a depressing litany of predictable prattle by those who fear giving credence to non-liberals more than they fear those determined to wipe out the last vestiges of classical liberalism.
When news comes of Muslims engaging in violence, politicians, law enforcement, and the media invariably presume that the perpetrator suffers from some mental or emotional incapacity. (For a quick listing of examples, see my collection at “Sudden Jihad or ‘Inordinate Stress’ at Ft. Hood?”)

Instead, they should begin with a presumption of jihadi intent. That is, the default expectation should be ideological passion, not insanity. Spreading Islam and applying Islamic law are the goals. Of course, some insane Muslims exist and they do engage in violence, but they constitute a microscopic percentage of the 15,247 Muslim terrorist incidents since 9/11, as counted here.
 
The failed effort to blow up an SUV in New York’s Times Square prompted speculation about the would-be bomber’s motives even before the identity of Faisal Shahzad, an immigrant from Pakistan, had been made public. The Nation’s Robert Dreyfuss discounted the possibility of a jihadi from the Pakistan-based Taliban: “It seems far more likely to me [he] was either a lone nut job or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right.”

Then, just hours after Shahzad had been arrested, authorities rushed to assure the public his action had nothing to do with Islam. Examples from May 4:

· Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City: The bomb could have been placed by “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”

· Mahkdoom Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister: “This is a blow back [for U.S. military activities in Pakistan]. This is a reaction. This is retaliation. And you could expect that. Let’s not be naive. They’re not going to sort of sit and welcome you eliminate them. They’re going to fight back.”

· Nadeem Haider Kiani, spokesman for the Pakistani embassy in Washington: It’s too soon to tell exactly what motivated the bomber, but early indications suggest he is “a disturbed individual.”

· Cable News Network: “It can confirmed that his house has been foreclosed in recent years. I mean, one would have to imagine that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family.”

· CBS News: “It isn’t clear if more suspects are at large or what the motive could be.”

· The Washington Post: Under the title, “The economic crisis meets terrorism,” Ezra Klein notes that Shahzad’s house was foreclosed and comments: “This guy is like string theory for the media: He brings together the seemingly incompatible stories that drove the past decade. That said, you of course don’t want to speculate on why someone ‘really’ did something. The hearts of men are opaque, and motives are complex.”

And here’s a collection from today’s papers:

· Law enforcement (as reported by NY1): “Investigators say they still have no motive for Shahzad’s actions.” (May 5, 2010)

· Kifyat Ali, a relative of Shahzad’s: “We are shocked. He had no connection with any political party or jihadi group.” (May 5, 2010)

· Associated Press headline: “NY car bomb suspect cooperates, but motive mystery.” (May 5, 2010)

· Associated Press story: “Federal officials aren’t talking about a motive in the arrest of a naturalized U.S. citizen charged with attempting to set off a bomb in New York’s Times Square.” (May 5, 2010)

· New York Post “exclusive”: Shahzad “said he was driven to evil by the slew of deaths among leaders of the terror group, law-enforcement sources revealed yesterday. Sources said he was an eyewitness to the onslaught throughout the eight months he spent in Pakistan beginning last summer.” (May 5, 2010)

· USA Today headline: “Motive of NYC car bomb suspect remains a mystery.” (May 5, 2010)

· The Guardian headline: “Times Square bomb: Pakistanis puzzled by bomber’s motives.” (May 5, 2010)

Comments:
1. Some of these interpretations say the motives are mysterious, some of them speculate about one thing or another — but all assiduously avoid the elephant in the room.
2. You can’t win a war if you don’t have the courage to name the enemy.

3. Naming the enemy means changing some of the more pleasant aspects of Western life, and so is tough to do.

4. I expect that naming the enemy will occur only after a cataclysm ends our patience with minced words.
Is it any wonder that people have abandoned the old media and the commentariat it turns to for this kind of analysis?

Source: National Review Online: The Corner

7 comments:

Margy said...

Gil,

You are the double, the shadow bumbing into itself. You are your own rival. You stumble and are offended; you cause others to stumble and be offended.

Margy

Steve said...

Isn't a reticence to name the enemy, even in its cartoonish secular form, also a legacy of Christianity, which teaches us to love our enemies? What's the difference between eager naming of the enemy and being the accuser? Why not just come out and say "Exterminate the brutes"? Even from a crudely pragmatic point of view, reticence to name the enemy makes a lot of sense, as jihadists seek to provoke just such a label in order to dignify their own resentment.

Ad bellum purificandum,

Steve

John said...

Margy, I guess because I agree with Gil--and the sentiments expressed in the Pipes piece--that my reaction to your comment was a befuddled "Huh"??

Mike O'Malley said...

Can you explain what you are talking about Margy. Your reprimand of Gil seems heartfelt but unwarranted. Like John I find it befuddling.

Mike O'Malley said...

Steve said: "Isn't a reticence to name the enemy, even in its cartoonish secular form, also a legacy of Christianity, which teaches us to love our enemies?"

No.

.

Steve said: What's the difference between eager naming of the enemy and being the accuser?

Dude! The first World Trade Center bombing took place in February 1993. After almost two decades we are well past "eager" and well into pathological denial.

.

Steve said: :Why not just come out and say "Exterminate the brutes"?"

Why the straw man argument Steve?

.


Steve said: "Even from a crudely pragmatic point of view, reticence to name the enemy makes a lot of sense, as jihadists seek to provoke just such a label in order to dignify their own resentment."

The Arabic word "Islam" only has one root. That root word is "al-Silm," which means "submission" or "surrender."

Jihadists seek your "submission" and "surrender" Steve. Prohibitions against criticism of Mohammed, Islam and Islamic abuse of dhimmis are a vital parts of the classical submission and surrender and life as a dhimmi. Your helplessness and silent acceptance of humiliating and deadly abuse validates and ratifies the Jihadist's sense of superiority, entitlement and self righteousness.



الله أكب

Allah is Greater...

http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Allahu_Akbar

Steve said...

Mike: I didn't think readers of this blog would fail to see that my first sentence was a rhetorical question, but then, I've been reading it less and less as it has become more strident and less thoughtful. (Margy seems to have noticed too.) Since I was mistaken, I'll be blunt in disappointing you with the update that the answer to my query, historically and philosophically, is not "no" but absolutely "yes." Your flat "no" and what follows exemplify the non-thinking that is spurred by, attends, and perpetuates scapegoating behavior. Like Pipes, you sound as if you'd rather be a victimizer than a victim. But there is a remedy: "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father."

Mike O'Malley said...

I can’t tell you Steve that I’m moved by the ‘disappointment’ of one who casts me among the pandemonium of the ‘victimizers’ on the basis of my response to you above. However, it is good to see that you rose to the bait to clarify that you meant what you said, rhetorical flourish or not. Now I can offer you an opportunity to explain yourself further. It seems we agree the Christianity teaches us to love our enemies. (What Islam teaches should be done to Jews and kaffir isn’t suitable of polite consumption.) Perhaps I’ve missed something during my twenty some years of education in Roman Catholic schools, but your claim that “a reticence to name the enemy, even in its cartoonish secular form, also a legacy of Christianity” seems to be without factual basis. Do you draw on a Christian tradition with which I am unacquainted? If so please identify that tradition and support your claim. Otherwise tell me your basis in the Church Fathers, the Magisterium or Church history.

Mimesis is ubiquitous, and so none should be surprised that “a mimetic desire effect” of the sort Rene Girard speaks about fully informs Islamofascism’s genocidal animus against Israel. See page 73 and 74 of Strong Religion: The Rise of Fundamentalisms around the World, by Marty Martin’s Fundamentalisms Project.

Dr. Marty Martin, in the view of the Daniel Pipes is something of an apologist for Islam.

Now what seems to rattle you most was my explanation:
“The Arabic word "Islam" only has one root. That root word is "al-Silm," which means "submission" or "surrender."

Jihadists seek your "submission" and "surrender" Steve. Prohibitions against criticism of Mohammed, Islam and Islamic abuse of dhimmis are a vital parts of the classical submission and surrender and life as a dhimmi. Your helplessness and silent acceptance of humiliating and deadly abuse validates and ratifies the Jihadist's sense of superiority, entitlement and self righteousness.



الله أكب

Allah is Greater...”

Now I assure you Steve that I didn’t think that all up on my own. I invested sufficient time reading English translations of primary Islamic historical documents authored by the following:
Al-Suyuti
Al-Zamakhshari
Al-Tabari
AL-Beidawi
Ibn Kathir
Malik b. Anas
Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani
Averroes
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Qudama
Ibn Taymiyya
Abu Yusuf
Shaybani
Sheikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan
Al-Shafi’i
Al-Mawardi
Ziauddin Barani
Al-Ghazali
Sirhindi
Shas Wali-Allah
Al-Hilli
Muhammad al-Amili
Muhammad Al-Majlisi
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Sayyid Qutb
Yusuf al-Qaradawi