The pleasure of feeling morally superior conservatives is more important than acknowledging radical Islam.
“I think the greatest illusion we have is that denial protects us. It’s actually the biggest distortion and lie. In fact, staying asleep is what’s killing us.” – Eve Ensler
After a recent argument with a close friend regarding radical Islam, and it’s pervasiveness, I have come to several conclusions: first, that one cannot draw blood from a stone, and second, that the reasoning behind the denial of radical Islam is much more complex than I had previously realized. One cannot draw blood from a stone, meaning that if someone is dead-set on their point of view, no amount of rationality will bring them back to reality. And in terms of complexity, it’s not simply a denial based on cultural sensitivity, but one rooted in a sense of self-worth on the part of the denier, and a self-perpetuating cycle of the media.
Max Fisher of Vox titled a recent article with this: “The perfect response to people who say all Muslims are violent, in one tweet.” His article goes on to call into question Bill Maher’s assessment of Islamic radicalism, which painted a large portion of the Muslim world as extremist, or in support of extremism.
“Comedian and HBO talk show host Bill Maher sparked a major debate last week over Islam, arguing that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are actually not extremist outliers but represent the inherent violence and intolerance of Islam itself, and by extension its 1.6 billion followers.”
Fisher’s argument is fallacious, because it does exactly what Fisher accuses Maher of doing: generalizing. Fisher accuses Bill Maher of calling all of Islam extremist, which was not the case. He then calls into question the notion that the extremism of groups like ISIS is widespread in the Muslim world. He rebuts that notion by making an incongruent observation that five of the last twelve Nobel peace prize winners have been Muslims.
“So the next time someone asks you ‘why are so many Muslims violent,’ before you launch into a detailed rebuttal debunking the misconceptions and errors behind the question, simply ask in response, ‘Why are so many Muslims Nobel Peace Prize laureates?'”
This argument is also fallacious. Because several Muslims have won peace prizes doesn’t negate the fact that there is a widespread violence in Islam throughout the world. It does nothing to disprove that idea, but Fisher acts as though he has closed the doors on the debate with his brilliant argumentation.
Allow me to make this clear to anyone who doesn’t understand words very well (and I’ll even put it in bold, just in case): no one is claiming that all Muslims are extremists. Not a single reasonable person is arguing that point. On the other hand, there are those who claim that radical Islam is a fringe practice which twists the true meaning, and intent of the Quran. That is a factual claim. So, let’s deal with facts in regard to those notions from now on, shall we?
According to Pew research via Breitbart:
“Pew did do a worldwide poll of Muslims which included their attitudes toward Sharia law. What the poll found was that 74% of Egyptian Muslims favored making Sharia the law of the land and, among those, 86% believed the death penalty was appropriate in cases of apostasy…If you multiply it out you get 64.5% of Egyptians who believe in killing apostates. Egypt was not alone in that poll. In more populous Muslims countries like Bangladesh, 82% of respondents supported Sharia and of those 44% believed in killing apostates. That works out to 36 percent. In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, 72% supported Sharia but only 18% support death for apostasy. That works out to a total of roughly 13 percent. Still, with more than 204 million Muslims in Indonesia, that’s more than 26.5 million people who express support.”
This survey by Pew is not designed, nor intended to condemn all of the Muslim community. The evidence in the poll distinctly shows that not all Muslims are extremists. The survey later reveals that many Muslims around the world are deeply concerned about extremism in their faith. But that’s not my point, nor the point of those who argue that radicalized Islam is more than a fringe element.
So, what do we have left to say? These are the facts of the case: radical Islam is widespread, as we can see by the research conducted by Pew, and radical Islam is not merely a fringe movement. So why do liberals have such difficulty accepting this reality? Because they are part of a self-perpetuating cycle of lies initiated by the media.
The media—on behalf on their leftist overlords—tells the masses that there is rampant Islamophobia, which is comparable to the Jew-hatred of the 1940’s. They tell the masses that it is conservatives who are perpetuating the argument that radical Islam is widespread, and that anyone who argues that radical Islam is more than just a fringe movement is a bigot. Ipso facto, conservatives are bigots. This leads the masses (by which I mean watchers of CNN, MSNBC, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, the readers of The New York Times, etc) to believe that they are in a culture war, a war between them, and conservatives. In this war, conservatives are the enemy and liberals are the heroes.
These fighters for the left are under the misapprehension that Islam is 99% peaceful, and that conservatives are spreading lies about Islam, calling every Muslim a terrorist, or a terrorist sympathizer. They feel the need to defend Islam from all sides, regardless of the numbers being shown to them, and regardless of the rationality of conservative argumentation. For them, its a freedom fight, analogous to a civil rights war, and they want to be on the right side of history. They feel powerful, and intelligent, and above all, righteous. Fighting alleged Islamophobia is a drug; it’s moral and noble heroin. Their self-righteous “duty” has blinded them to reality.
The media, in turn, feed off of the misconceptions of the people, and pump out more lies regarding conservatives, and radical Islam. The media works for the left, and the left needs to look compassionate at all times. This fight against an imaginary phobia gives the left a righteous war through which they can become heroes. The left becomes heroic, and heroes deserve our votes because heroes are always good, and their opposite is always evil—aka conservatives.
Working in tandem, the leftist elites use the media to encourage the lie that conservatives are perpetuating Islamophobia. This is then picked up by the masses, who wage a self-righteous holy war against conservatives. These masses vote Democrat, and the cycle renews.
Facts are stubborn things, but self-righteousness is a lot more gratifying.