Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Islamic terrorism

Robert Spencer, discussing a recent interview with Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal:
Elizabeth Holmes interviewed me at some length for this article, and I
explained to her that the linkage between Islam and terrorism did not come from
Republican presidential candidates, but from the terrorists themselves, who
consistently point to Islamic teachings to explain and justify their actions. If
we refuse to explore this, and to speak about it honestly, we are voluntarily
declining to make use of the only key that they themselves have given us to
understanding their own motives and goals. And without understanding the motives
and goals of an opponent, you cannot defeat him.

Does speaking of "Islamic terrorism" defame or demean all Muslims? Not unless speaking of "Italian fascism" classified all Italians as followers of Mussolini. In fact, if groups like CAIR really wanted to fight against the use of Islamic texts and teachings by jihad terrorists, they would not ignore that use, and criticize those who
note it, but would confront it head-on and develop comprehensive programs for
mosques and Islamic schools in America to teach against it.
Please read the entire post on Jihad Watch.

1 comment:

Robert said...

It's hard for me to place too much blame on Ms Holmes considering how many students are taught.

Consider this:

In many universities in the liberal arts courses, it's pretty normal to see students stake out a position and find evidence to support that position when writing a paper. I'll be the first to admit that this process isn't particularly valid when it comes to journalism (that's assuming you're trying to take an unbiased look). Considering the strong feelings of many in academia, they’ve taken certain tenets to be undeniable fact. For example, “global warming” is one area where many journalists have firmly decided that it is real, it is manmade, and that by reporting opposing view points you are irresponsibly supporting something that will cause confusion and the likelihood we’ll delay our response (thereby causing our own doom).

In this case, I can almost guarantee that Ms. Holmes was following the same things she was taught in college by her learned professors. She already believed the jihad threat (as indicated by Spencer) to be undeniably false. I suspect that since he did not provide her with the support she was looking for, she continued on with other sources. If you truly believed that what Spencer was saying was total and complete hooey, you probably wouldn’t include it. It would also color your perception of Republican candidates as either uninformed or outright misleading.

When confronted with Spencer’s criticism of her work, she automatically recoiled to safety. First, she’s not going to get into it with some guy via email because she knows it’s going to be published. I would bet that she’s not allowed to do that just because of her employer (they don’t want to go on record period). Secondly, I bet she believes that Spencer is a kook, so nothing he says is going to carry any weight with her. In her case, she’d be best off hiding behind the newspaper’s policy and just ignoring Spencer all together.

I don’t argue this because I’m defending her actions or that I think it’s a great idea to totally block out the other side of the argument, but I do believe it’s part of human nature. I think the trick for Spencer is finding a way to reach these people because if we lose the information war, the rest of the war is going to be all uphill.