Sunday, 24 January 2016

What is a bigot?

Another of the common accusations thrown at opponents of Islamisation is that they are bigots. With its usual smugness, the Left is now apt to call a bigot anyone with opinions that they dislike. But if you look at the real meaning of the word it has more to do with the way that opinions are held and one's attitude towards opinions different to one's own.

Let's start by looking at dictionary definitions of the word bigot:

Using the dictionaries that I have available in my home and looking at online sources I have found the following definitions of bigot:
  1. [Oxford Illustrated Dictionary, pub. 1962] - one who holds irrespective of reason, and attaches disproportionate weight to, some creed or view.
  2. [Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, pub. 1966] :
    • hypocritical or superstitious professor of religion circa 1600-1700
    • obstinate adherent of a creed or opinion 1700 onwards
  3. [The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, pub. 1973]
    • circa 1598, a hypocrite
    • to 1664, a superstitious person
    • 1661 onwards, a person obstinately and unreasonably wedded to a creed, opinion, or ritual
    • Bigoted: Obstinately or blindly attached to some creed, opinion, or party, and intolerant towards others
  4. Current online dictionaries:
    • A ​person who has ​strong, ​unreasonable ​beliefs and who does not like other ​people who have different ​beliefs or a different way of ​life. [Dictionary.Cambridge.org]
    • A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions [OxfordDictionaries.com]
    • A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own - [Vocabulary.com]
    • A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own - [TheFreeDictionary.com]
The Left seems to be in the process of shifting the definition of "bigot" so that it means anyone unsympathetic to the Left's agenda, that is so say someone who seeks to avoid societal suicide. So anyone with conservative opinions who seeks to preserve their way of life is now classed as a bigot. In particular, anyone determined to protect their society and way of life from the predatory advances of Islam is a bigot. Thus counter-jihadists are portrayed by the Left as bigots.

But when we look at what is really going on today I think the Left's definition of bigot cannot withstand scrutiny. On the contrary, it seems to be the Left itself that most successfully fits the historical meanings of the word. Ex-Muslim Sarah Haider describes them as "benevolent bigots".

Meaning #1: hypcrite. A hypocrite is someone who does not practice what they claim to believe in.

Those on the Left like to see themselves as the champions of human rights, equality, social justice, peace, and that nebulous, undefined good known as "diversity".  The Left fails to live up to these claims because they surrender to the demands of Islam whenever it conflicts with their ideals. They capitulate to Islamic norms with respect to women thereby allowing gender apartheid; they are ready to accommodate Sharia courts and other instruments of Islamic control thereby enshrining all the inequalities of the Sharia in our societies; they fail to protect the peace by allowing the growth of jihadist elements and the almost unavoidable prospect of civil wars within western societies.

Even the stupid notion of diversity will eventually come unstuck as Islam transforms societies into closer and closer approximations of Islamic State.

The Left tests positive on definition #1.

Meaning #2: Obstinacy of opinion or unreasonable adherence to a belief

Since 9/11 many of us have taken the trouble to put our cultural assumptions to one side and try to understand the nature of Islam in its own terms. We have learned about the Koran and read it in whole or in part; we have learned about the central importance of Mohammed and his life; we have learned that his example is a key component in the development of Sharia law and that his moral example offers some appalling examples of deception, betrayal, enslavement, conquest, the murder of non-violent opponents such as poets, marriage to a child of six, sex with a child of nine, genocide, banditry, and that Islam's prime imperative (derived from Mohammed) is the subjugation of all to the belief that Mohammed is the last messenger of God and all should submit to the laws derived from his teaching and personal example.

In order to do this we have had to counter a natural tendency within all of us to cling to opinions and existing beliefs. We have a had to constantly revise our worldview in the light of what we found and had to come to terms with the painful recognition that Islam is a wholly different and aggressive worldview which is in direct and permanent conflict with our civilization. We have not sought this information because we like it but have had to come to terms with its existence in spite of the dread it inspires in us.

The Left, on the contrary, has remained obstinately wedded to its pre-existing worldview that all cultures are harmless and colorful additions to the fabric of our societies; that Muslims are not inspired and committed in varying degrees to a creed that is divisive and discriminatory; that we can coexist with any number of Muslims and preserve a tolerant, open, and rational society based on the principles of human rights.

They have stubbornly resisted the evidence that this is not a reasonable view in light of what we know about Islamic doctrines, Mohammed's character, the history of Islamic culture hitherto, and the practice of Islam today as shown in the 57 Muslim countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

They have stubbornly resisted the evidence of 27,670 terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam since 9/11.

They have stubbornly resisted the evidence of Christian persecution that anyone genuinely concerned for human rights would be interested to know.

They have stubbornly resisted the evidence of creeping Sharia and stealth jihad in one Western society after another - the same pattern, the same process, the same outcomes.

Instead of undertaking any revision of their opinions informed by reason and evidence they have clung to childish slogans and beliefs.

The Left tests positive on definition #2.

Meaning #3: Intolerance of beliefs or opinions different to one's own

The Left have demonstrated time and time again just how intolerant they are of opinions that differ from their own. Today's university campuses, dominated as they are by left-wing thought, have become places where conservative opinions can seriously impede one's career.

The current "safe spaces" fiasco on university campuses is another manifestation of this intolerance of contrary opinion. Students are demanding places where they can feel safe from the threat of opinions they dislike.

Another university phenomenon that has been gradually normalized by the Left is the "no platform" to speakers they disapprove of. Even a secular ex-Muslim such as Maryam Namazie has been barred from speaking at Warwick University in the UK.

Time and again the Left demonstrates its hostility to "free speech" when others refuse to intone the acceptable leftist platitudes. They also shut down the voices of others by labeling as "hate speech" the speech that they hate.

The Left tests positive on definition #3.

As you can see, it's not even a question of the pot calling the kettle black when the Left accuses the counter-jihad of bigotry. It's more like demons tearing at the flesh of innocents. They test positive on each meaning of bigotry outlined above and should be addressing it.

As a start they might consider taking seriously their avowed commitment to human rights and acknowledge the threat that Islam poses to these. They might study the Koran and the life of Mohammed and the theological doctrines derived from them and revise their worldview accordingly. They could also try allowing people to voice their concerns about the most intolerant religion on earth instead of shouting "bigot!" at all who take truth seriously and go by the evidence.

And, contrary to what the Left may like to believe, someone holding opinions that the Left does not like cannot for this reason alone be defined as a bigot. In today's context, those on the Left show far more of the attributes of bigots.

What makes opposition to Islam far-right?

We often hear the label "far-right" applied to those groups and individuals who oppose the Islamisation of their societies. The mainstream media does this all the time. But how justified is this? The term elicits images of storm-troopers, Hitler, huge gatherings at Nuremberg, persecution of Jews, Mussolini, South American dictators etc. The far-right label is an effective means of frightening many of those concerned about Islamisation from being more involved in the counter-jihad.

The characteristics of far-right thinking are reasonably easy to ascertain:

  1. Authoritarianism. The view that people should do as they are told by those in authority over them. The state and its institutions can tell people what to do and they are not allowed to protest their decisions.
  2. Traditional roles for women. Women should bear children and mind the home; they should be married and avoid involvement with the workplace. Their role is to support and please their husband.
  3. Hostility to out-groups. The far-right have a strong sense of in-group solidarity based on group values and norms; they revile and despise outsiders.
  4. The out-group most despised by the far-right is probably the Jews. Hatred towards Jews and persecution of them are key attributes of the far-right.
  5. Jews may be the out-group most despised but any minority, as an out-group, is subject to hatred and persecution.
  6. The far-right has low tolerance both for those outside the in-group and for those less conforming inside the in-group. High conformity is rewarded, low conformity is punished.
  7. Homosexuality and other forms of non-conformity attract intolerance and violence from the far-right.
  8. Imposing authority through violence. Perhaps the hallmark of far-right behavior is the belief that imposing their views through violence is fully justified - "the only way to get things done". 
Are counter-jihadists wishing to bring about social changes that fit this description? Absolutely not. They are actually trying to prevent social changes that fit this description. They are people who are acutely aware of the "far-right" nature of Islam and wish to combat it.

For every point above Islam tests positive:
  1. It is highly authoritarian. Sharia law is derived from scripture and the model of Mohammed. It is unchangeable and impossible to protest against decisions made as this would invoke a charge of blasphemy or apostasy, both equally fatal. The rules of society are rigid and total obedience to them is expected. Deviance is punished in a draconian manner. The rules cannot even be subjected to change via democratic consensus.
  2. Islam gives women second class status. The testimony of a woman in law is worth half of a man's; her religiosity is inferior to a man's and her role is to be married and obey and please her husband in all matters. There are many other ways in which Islam degrades women and makes them vulnerable.
  3. Islam is intensely hostile to out-groups. It is predicated on the division between believers and non-believers and holds as a central article of faith that non-believers are inferior and should be attacked until they submit to Islam's authoritarian order.
  4. Islam is intensely hostile to Jews. Mohammed expressed his hostility to Jews and killed many himself. He oversaw the slaying of the Jewish tribe the Banu Qurayza in which 800 men were beheaded in the market place of Medina in March 627. Their wives, daughters and prepubescent boys were sold into slavery. This event is not a source of shame within Islam but one of celebration and triumph.
  5. Islam is hostile to any out-group. This is because Islam bisects the world in such a binary manner - believers/non-believers, House of Islam/House of War. Witness the persecution of Buddhists, Ba'hais, Jews, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Animists, Christians, etc, etc throughout its 1400 year history.
  6. Islam has extremely low tolerance for any deviance from its authoritarian system. We see this in Muslim majority countries and increasingly in non-Muslim countries with Muslim minorities. The tail has an impressive ability to wag the dog in these latter societies because Muslims express their intolerance in violent and intimidating ways. Even with populations between 5% and 10% Muslim, non-Muslim countries are under increasing pressure to bend to the demands of Islamic intolerance.
  7. Muslims, following the teachings of Islam and the example of Mohammed, are very intolerant of homosexuality and other forms of non-conformity. In fact, the degree of conformity and the detail in which it is specified within Islam is so great that there is little that can escape the notice of vigilant and pious Muslims.
  8. Islamic doctrine is replete with justifications for using violence against unbelievers in the pursuit of Islam's prime directive - to enforce the adoption of Islamic belief worldwide.
How then can opposing social change which tends towards this authoritarianism be justifiably called "far-right"? It is patently ridiculous.

The real "far-right" is sometimes hostile to Muslims because they are generally hostile to out-groups. But the real far-right is actually sympathetic to Islam because they approve of its Jew-hatred. 

The far-left has also joined this chorus of Islam-praisers because they have adopted a Jew-hatred of their own. Seduced by Palestinianism and convinced that tiny Israel is an imperialistic, colonising state that oppresses what it likes to call the Palestinians and unable to see any fault in the sworn enemies of Israel and the Jewish people, they now march in lockstep with Muslims and the real far-right but at different times. Having abused rationality and language for so long in politically motivated campaigns of "solidarity" with genocidal Muslims they can no longer discriminate between "far-right" and real far-right.

The mainstream needs to understand that Islam is a far-right doctrine, as can be seen from the list of far-right characteristics above, and that those who oppose it because of this cannot be "far-right".

Truly Faithful Mohammedan

Having raised the question of a better way of referring to the fully committed Muslim in my last post, I have been thinking of better expressions for summarizing the problem. Terms like authentic, devout, pious have come into greater use to describe the character of jihadists and this is a positive development - positive because more truthful.

The phrase I have decided to use is "Truly Faithful Mohammedan". As I see it this has many points in its favor.
  1. It points the listener to the fundamental problem - Mohammed himself
  2. It points to a person and not an abstract concept such as Sharia or Islamic theology. It takes us away from the thicket of theological abstractions to the behaviour of people, particularly Mohammed.
  3. It points to the fact that the most ruthless Muslims are emulating Mohammed, they are faithful copies of his example.
  4. It therefore pushes the listener towards the dissonant reality of his example.
  5. Faith is viewed as a positive in many circles. To be full of faith, to have total belief is seen as good. "Faithful" in itself does not therefore sound like a slur; it's an inoffensive way of pointing out that violent jihadists are following Mohammed's example and instructions more closely than anyone else.
  6. Jihadists are the most faithful to the brutal teachings of Islam; the most unflinching in their obedience to them; they are misguided, of course, but only in so far as the whole of Islam is misguided. They are the Waffen SS of Islam.
  7. The monstrous behaviour associated with jihadists is the result of their total faithfulness to the teachings of a monster.
As for "extremism", it is a word devoid of clear meaning yet loaded with unexamined assumptions.

P.S. Having seen Pamela Geller's use of the phrase "devout Muslim", I think "devout Mohammedan" would be a better expression.