Thursday, December 28, 2006

Daniel Pipes does not understand "enemy"

Mr. L. Auster of Amnation has a commentary on an article on Islam authority Daniel Pipes:
The book that most shaped my understanding of modern Muslim life was Wilfred Cantwell Smith’s Islam in Modern History (Princeton, 1957). To reduce Smith’s nuanced thesis to a few sentences, he argues that Muslim military, economic, and cultural success in the premodern period created an expectation that God’s people would be rewarded for their faith in mundane ways. That expectation left Muslims incapable of explaining what happened when, in modern times, they fell behind in those same arenas.
Pipes quotes Smith:
The fundamental malaise of modern Islam is a sense that something has gone wrong with Islamic history. The fundamental problem of modern Muslims is how to rehabilitate that history: to set it going again in full vigour, so that Islamic society may once again flourish as a divinely guided society should and must.

Pipes seems to think here that Muslims attack the West because of their urge to renew the glory of Islam. The idea that Islam attacks the West (and the rest) because it is the nature of Islam to attack Dar-al-Harb does not enter his mind.

Mr. Auster then comments:
Let’s get this straight. Pipes is telling us that when Islam was enjoying “military, economic, and cultural success in the premodern period,” that was good. But when Islam fell behind the rest of the world and remained that way,—externally powerless, beset by internal ills, unsure of its spiritual vocation, and emotionally traumatized by its multitudinous failures—that was bad.

Yes, that’s what Pipes is telling us. Therefore he is looking for ways to help Islam overcome its trauma. How? Well, since the trauma was caused by Islam’s becoming a military, economic, and cultural failure, evidently Islam can only heal the trauma by once again becoming a military, economic, and cultural success. Following his mentor Wildred Smith, Pipes wants Muslims to rehabilitate their history, to set it going again in full vigour, so that Islamic society may once again flourish as a divinely guided society.
Daniel Pipes just want to help those poor dears, the Muslims, who attack us Wsterners.

In other words he want to aid and abbet the enemy.

But in Mr. Pipes' world there is no room for the concept of "enemy". Non-Westerners are either friends or victims. Or both. Thus Mr. Pipes does not call for an end to immigration. He does not call for the expulsion of all Muslims from Western lands, in order to separate the West from its enemies and to safeguard our peoples from the vicious attacks of Muslims living in our lands.

Mr. Pipes is a liberal. His criticism of Islam is essentially liberalism bound. Just as the neo-cons who basically wanted to invade the Middle East in order to free the Muslims only to discover that voting Muslim populations are more radical and hostile to the West than Middle Eastern dictators. A neo-con is an reality-mugged, angry and armed liberal.

Right now the Americans Forces are training and arming Muslim fighters who will only turn their weapons and training on the West in due course, because their holy writ tells them so.

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