Islamists and their Symbolic Struggle Against Reality (and Real Struggle Against Irony)
Did you hear the latest horror (HT Dr. Sanity) about the two journalists kidnapped by the Palestinian beasts? According to the story, they were videotaped in long Muslim robes reading a statement announcing that they had converted to Islam.
If it weren’t so serious, what with two men’s lives at stake, you would almost have to laugh at the preposterousness of this stunt. It’s like a bad Monty Python skit. Imagine the brilliant discussion that went into it, probably not dissimilar to the dozen or so leftist revolutionaries in Life of Brian who spend the movie plotting how they are going to overthrow the Roman empire. In one scene, in the interest of diversity, they debate whether a man should be able to call himself Loretta and have babies:
LORETTA: It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
REG: But... you can't have babies.
LORETTA: Don't you oppress me.
REG: I'm not oppressing you, Stan. You haven't got a womb! -- Where's the fetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!
JUDITH: Here! I-- I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies.
FRANCIS: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
REG: What's the point?
REG: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?!
FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
REG: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.
PALESTINIAN #1: Let’s kidnap some infidel journalists and force them to convert to Islam on video!
PALESTINIAN #2: Why? What's the point?
PALESTINIAN #1: Huh?
PALESTINIAN #2: Oh, I get it. This is brilliant, Hassan. Just brilliant. Once they convert, the journalists can hold themselves hostage, so they can negotiate with themselves for their own release and leave us out of it. Maybe while they're at it they can hold a knife to their own throats unless the infidels vote for Ned Lamont.
PALESTINIAN #1: It is symbolic of our struggle against the Zionist occupation!
PALESTINIAN #2: Yeah, right. Symbolic of your struggle against reality is more like it.
In a recent editorial, Roger Scruton suggests that the Muslims' habitual readiness to take offense is just one step removed from terrorism. It is
“not yet terrorism--but it is a sign of the deep-down insecurity of the Muslim psyche in the modern world. In the presence of Islam, we all feel, you have to tread carefully, as though humoring a dangerous animal. The Koran must never be questioned; Islam must be described as a religion of peace--isn't that the meaning of the word?--and jokes about the prophet are an absolute no-no. If religion comes up in conversation, best to slip quietly away, accompanying your departure with abject apologies for the Crusades. And in Europe this pussyfooting is now being transcribed into law, with 'Islamophobia' already a crime in Belgium and movements across the continent to censor everything at which a Muslim might take offense, including articles like this one.”
In short, seriousness is a serious problem for Muslims--and therefore, for us. Scruton concludes his piece by noting that “Whenever I consider this matter I am struck by a singular fact about the Christian religion..., which is that it is informed by a spirit of irony. Irony means accepting ‘the other', as someone other than you. It was irony that led Christ to declare that his ‘kingdom is not of this world,’ not to be achieved through politics. Such irony is a long way from the humorless incantations of the Koran. Yet it is from a posture of irony that every real negotiation, every offer of peace, every acceptance of the other, begins. The way forward, it seems to me, is to encourage the re-emergence of an ironical Islam, of the kind you find in the philosophy of Averroës, in Persian poetry and in ‘The Thousand and One Nights.’ We should also encourage those ethnic and religious jokes which did so much to defuse tension in the days before political correctness. And maybe, one day, the rigid face of some puritanical mullah will crack open in a hesitant smile, and negotiations can at last begin.
Amen. We can’t just smoke ‘em out of their holes. We have to joke ‘em out of their holes.
The comedic “hands off” attitude toward Islam betrays more than a "soft bigotry of low expectations.” Rather, it is a hard bigotry of no expectations toward the Muslim world. The Palestinians receive no criticism from the left (and the world community at large), not because they think so highly of them, but because they think so badly about them--in fact, they actually have no expectations whatsoever about them. In other words, it is not because the Palestinians are so wonderful that they are immune from criticism and mockery, but because everyone knows that it would be absurd to hold Muslims to the same standards as Christians, or Jews, or Zen Buddhists--to any standards of decency at all, really. No one is shocked at the barbarity of the Islamic world, whether it is committed by terrorists, or perpetrated in the name of the Saudi or Iranian governments.
Why is there a blackout on jokes about Palestinians, who are so eminently jokeworthy, perhaps the most laughably dysfunctional culture on earth? Likewise, the MSM goes out of its way to treat Islam not just the same as other religions, but better than other religions (and yet, somehow more fragile at the same time). This is so ironic, because it obviously has nothing to do with the secular left's affinity for religion, which they otherwise despise. In other words, Islam is not a protected species because it is a religion. It is protected because it is anti-Western, because its adherents tend to have slightly darker skin than caucasians, and because it has been granted victim status. Therefore it is untouchable.
As far as I'm concerned, the fact that we don't mercilessly make fun of our enemies is part of the same syndrome that has prevented Hollywood from making any movies about the war on terror, for fear of insulting Muslims (and, of course, because they don't want to show our military engaged in a heroic struggle against evil). We live in a morally upside down world, in which making fun of the Islamist ideology is forbidden, but committing mass murder in the name of Islam is explained away. Humorless bigots such as Juan Cole heap scorn on the United States but make every excuse imaginable for the moral failings of Islam. We will know that Muslims have come a long way when they can start making fun of themselves in the same way that Americans have always made fun of themselves, their institutions, their politicians, and their religions.
Oh well. What can you do but laugh about the situation, with a compendium pre-enjoyed One Cosmos gags from the past several months?
Do you remember when Arafat died, how his wife, Suha, rushed from Paris to be by his side? Turns out that was actually part of the pre-nup: they had agreed to be together over his dead body.
Jeopardy answer: "Thuggery, buggery, and skullduggery."
Question: "What were Yasser Arafat's favorite activities?"
At least the Palestinians are trying to do something to rid their classrooms of the psychotic anti-Semitism. I don't know if I like that idea. It means their children will end pick up bits and pieces of genocidal ideology from each other, instead of from an expert.
But anti-Semites have it so easy. If you want to boycott the Palestinians, what are you supposed to do, put off purchasing that new suicide belt? And now the Palestinians even use teenage girls for suicide bombers. In fact, the girls don't actually use suicide belts. Rather, they call them "chastity belts," because it's the only way to be certain they'll never be seen holding hands with a Christian boy.
Bottom line: in Palestine, it's every parent's nightmare to die before their children. But I give the Palestinians credit. They've evolved from primitive kinship structures to barbarous gang affiliations. With luck, they can eventually became a racket, and then perhaps a crime syndicate. Evolution doesn't happen over night.
Now the Palestinians are complaining that it's unfair for us to withhold funds until Abbas institutes some meaningful reforms. I guess they have a point. It's like we're biting the hand that steals from us. At least with Abbas, they finally have a moderate in there. Sure, he's a holocaust denier, but at least he's a moderate holocaust denier. That is, he believes that six million Jews were genuinely inconvenienced in WWII.
So much conversion to the Nation of Islam goes on in American prisons, it's more accurate to call it them "Islamic gated communities." It's making some judges a little concerned. One guy was sentenced to eleven years behind bars, double that for good Muslim behavior.
But we need to be fair. According to CAIR, when Muslims give money to charity that ends up in the hands of terrorists, it's no different than when charitable donations end up in the hands of the military wing of the Salvation Army. On the positive side, CAIR has issued a strongly worded statement that unambiguously condemns kidnapping journalists by either side.
But I think I have a solution to the problem: we could just kidnap one of their journalists, say, Christiane Amanpour, and arrange a hostage exchange. Of course, first we’d have to get her on video confessing her love for the United States.... but only as a symbol of our grasp of irony.