Feelings, nothing but feelings….

Who’s Destroying Western Civilization?

by EDWARD CLINE

Not many people realize that showing respect and deference to Muslim practices and sensitivities outside of Muslim countries is a form of submission to Islam, regardless of the Islamic holiday or the day of the year. This is especially true of those who know little about Islam and have not grasped the implications of granting such respect. They are more concerned with not wanting to hurt Muslim “feelings” than they are with the content of those feelings.

According to the cultural relativism most Westerners are indoctrinated with today, Muslim “feelings” are sacrosanct and not to be troubled or offended. “Feelings,” they are taught, are a tool of cognition, in themselves and in Muslims, so to offend Muslim feelings is to question a Muslim’s world view, and a Muslim’s world view – in which Allah owns everything and everyone and Mohammad was his prophet – is just as good as anyone else’s. Showing disrespect for a Muslim’s feelings implies that one’s own feelings are somehow superior to his. So a Muslim’s feelings must be respected.

In his “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,” Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Akram wrote:

Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic state, wherever it is.

The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism notes:

This May 1991 memo was written by Mohamed Akram, a.k.a. Mohamed Adlouni, for the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the introductory letter, Akram referenced a “long-term plan…approved and adopted” by the Shura Council in 1987 and proposed this memo as a supplement to that plan and requested that the memo be added to the agenda for an upcoming Council meeting. Appended to the document is a list of all Muslim Brotherhood organizations in North America as of 1991.

There are many fine, important, and informative essays and books on just how antithetical Islam is to Western values – to individualism, to private property, to freedom of speech – and on just how insidious and anti-life it is. But few are the books and essays on why Islam seems to be making progress in its “grand jihad” against the West.

Who or what is actually destroying Western Civilization from within? The Islamists? Or the West? What contributes to the Islamists’ hubris, what encourages them and instills them with confidence that they can “conquer” the West, and especially the United States. Whose “hands” are working together with those of the “believers” to bring down Western civilization and establish Sharia law here and everywhere?

Islam would be as impotent as Scientology, or of a cult that ascribed mystical powers to pyramids, or a diet of bottles of Shaklee vitamins. Is Islam imbued with some inexorable and ineluctable power to conquer the West?

One thing is that Islamists are shrewd enough to exploit the corrosive policies of cultural relativism, multiculturalism, the commitment to “diversity,” indiscriminate “tolerance,” subjectivism, and a host of other policies that assault or negate reason and all standards of measurement of value, superiority and inferiority. Islam is as bankrupt of formal philosophy as is the culture it is “sabotaging.” The intelligence exhibited by Islamists is merely a feral, predatory intelligence. Islam allows no other kind. Islam does not permit independent thought, only agreement with arbitrary assertions.

A wolf may be predatory, but that is how it is programmed by nature. It has no choice in the matter. A Muslim is a man imbued with volition and the capacity for choice; he chooses to limit himself to an ideology that permits him to be merely feral and predatory and submissive. His mind merely detects his enemy’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities – weaknesses and vulnerabilities that are as self-inflicted as choosing to be a Muslim – and plots to exploit them.

Those weaknesses and vulnerabilities are the West’s policies, noted above. And what are the philosophical foundations of those policies? The reigning philosophy is that one cannot know anything, either for certain or at all, that all values are relative, or subjective, that reality is whatever one wishes it to be. On one or more of those premises, there are no absolutes that a defender of the West can repair to or uphold.

The Seattle Times reprinted an Associated Press item about a Saudi religious figure warning Muslims and non-Muslims to “respect” the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Saudi authorities warned non-Muslim expatriates on Friday, the first day of Ramadan, not to eat, drink, or smoke in public until the end of the Muslim holy month’s sunrise-to-sunset fast – or face expulsion…. The prince newly appointed to handle most aspects of law enforcement is known as a strict adherent to religious rules. Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was governor of the holy city of Mecca before becoming Interior Minister.

I do not think very many people realize that showing respect and deference to Muslim practices and sensitivities outside of Muslim countries is a form of submission to Islam, regardless of the Islamic holiday or the day of the year. This is especially true of those who know little about Islam and have not grasped the implications of granting such respect. They are more concerned with not wanting to hurt Muslim “feelings” than they are with the content of those feelings.

According to the cultural relativism most Westerners are indoctrinated with today, Muslim “feelings” are sacrosanct and not to be troubled or offended. “Feelings,” they are taught, are a tool of cognition, in themselves and in Muslims, so to offend Muslim feelings is to question a Muslim’s world view, and a Muslim’s world view – in which Allah owns everything and everyone and Mohammad was his prophet – is just as good as anyone else’s. Showing disrespect for a Muslim’s feelings implies that one’s own feelings are somehow superior to his. So a Muslim’s feelings must be respected.

There is no such thing as an absolute, goes the line, only perceptions of things filtered by a person’s bias or prepossession or taste, and molded by one’s culture, and so a Muslim’s perceptions are just as valid as anyone else’s. These perceptions cannot be judged because there are no absolutes by which to judge them. A host of Western philosophers have said so, such as Descartes and Kant and Hegel, and vetted by thinkers such as William James, Sartre, and John Dewey and many lesser lights.

Who knows, ask the dhimmis-by-default when they bother to ponder the question, and who perhaps have never heard of Hegel or Kant or Descartes, Muslims might be right. “Muslims feel, therefore they exist,” is how they might parody Descartes and characterize the Islamic mindset, if they dared to carry the thought to that point. Who is any non-Muslim to judge a Muslim, or what a Muslim believes? While what works for Muslims may not work for non-Muslims, that’s just a matter of feeling and up-bringing. It just isn’t practical to offend a Muslim’s feelings. Who can blame them for rioting and killing when the cultures Muslims immigrate to are hostile to their confidence that theirs is the only true religion and that are not natural environments in which to practice their creed? It is irrelevant that Islam is antithetical and hostile to the notion of individual rights. Muslims must be cut some slack, and be accommodated whenever possible. Civilizational clashes must be avoided. How else can non-Muslims prove they are tolerant and civilized except by respecting Muslims on bent knee and with bowed head?

The rumors that Islam is “eliminating” Western civilization by “sabotaging” it from within it are only half true. Thanks to a philosophy of unreason, promulgated by Western thinkers and taught in the best schools in the West over the course of two centuries, Western civilization is destroying itself “by its own hand.” And the United States is proving to be very, very accommodating. It has even elected an unbroken succession of Accommodators-in-Chief, beginning with the Peanut Farmer.

That Brotherhood fellow Mohamed Akram was on to something.

Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann dared to call for an investigation of Muslims in the federal government, especially of Muslims closely or remotely connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. She was immediately attacked by the “gangster government” from all quarters, including that of the mainstream media.

Rep. Michele Bachmann says the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamist movement that recently came to power in Egypt, has made “deep penetration” within the U.S. government, and she wants an investigation of its influence within five federal agencies.

The Muslim Brotherhood, perhaps the world’s most influential Islamist organization, has long sought to unite traditional Islam with modern democracy in Middle Eastern nations. Its global influence further increased when one of its candidates, Mohamed Morsi, was declared winner of Egypt’s 2012 presidential election. But Bachmann, R-Stillwater, and four other members of Congress see the Muslim Brotherhood as a domestic threat.

The lawmakers singled out the movement last month in letters to federal defense, diplomatic, intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, requesting investigations into whether – and through whom – the Muslim Brotherhood is exerting influence within President Barack Obama’s administration.

Bachmann, who serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, ratcheted up the rhetoric in an interview last month with radio host Sandy Rios.

“It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann said. “It appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions, in our Department of Justice, our Department of Homeland Security, potentially even in the National Intelligence Agency.”

One of those individuals is Huma Abedin. Abedin is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s long-time personal advisor, especially on things Islamic.

Robert Spencer wrote about the controversy:

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is at the center of a firestorm over her request that the State, Homeland Security, Defense and Justice Departments, investigate potential “policies and activities that appear to be the result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.” This is an entirely legitimate call, as Bachmann abundantly illustrated in a 16-page letter to Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), laying out the reasons for her concerns. Yet even Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who should know better, has upbraided Bachmann, criticizing her for including Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, among those she noted for having Brotherhood ties.

The Seattle Times also ran an editorial against Bachmann that concludes with a statement that should win the Politically Clueless Award for 2012:

While Abedin’s 20 years of public service should save her reputation from assaults by an unthinking zealot who once equated the national debt to the Holocaust, Bachmann’s latest actions deserve the same censure in Congress that Joseph McCarthy received for his witch hunt for Communists 60 years ago.

Not knowing or evading the fact that men dedicated to communism and totalitarianism are now running the government? This is an instance of either an appalling ignorance of history, or a willful evasion of the facts. But whichever diagnosis is correct, it underscores a critical disconnection from reality. In the first instance, it represents ignorance of reality; in the second, a willful dislike of reality. Mental lethargy can help to explain the first; mental evasion, the second (and evasion does require mental effort).

Leonard Peikoff, in his seminal, 1967 essay, “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy” in the Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by Ayn Rand*, explains this disconnection. After demonstrating the false distinction between “logical” and “empirical” arguments about ice sinking in water, he writes:

This argument confuses Walt Disney with metaphysics. That a man can project an image or draw an animated cartoon at variance with the facts of reality, does not alter the facts….An image of ice sinking in water does not alter the nature of ice [that it floats in water]; it does not constitute evidence that it is possible for ice to sink in water. It is evidence only of man’s capacity to engage in fantasy. Fantasy is not a form of cognition.

“Logically,” Huma Abedin has been in government service since 1996 (beginning with the Clinton administration) and so must be a loyal American and not dedicated to the overthrow or transformation of the government into a totalitarian, Islamic one. “Empirically,” she cannot be a Muslim Brotherhood operative because she has not been seen wearing a suicide vest or caught using a secret decoder ring or photographed using an Islamic drop box to deposit classified government documents. Besides, she is a snappy dresser, something most Muslim women are not. Ergo, it is unconscionable to accuse her of having dangerous and sympathetic Islamic associations.

Peikoff continues:

Further: the fact that man possesses the capacity to fantasize does not mean that the opposite of demonstrated truths is “imaginable” or “conceivable.” In a serious, epistemological sense of the word, a man cannot conceive the opposite of a proposition he knows to be true (as apart from propositions dealing with man-made facts). If a proposition asserting a metaphysical fact has been demonstrated to be true, this means that that fact has been demonstrated to be inherent in the identities of the entities in question, and that any alternative to it would require the existence of a contradiction. Only ignorance or evasion can enable a man to attempt to project such an alternative.If a man does not know that a certain fact has been demonstrated, he will not know that its denial involves a contradiction. If a man does know it, but evades the knowledge and drops his full cognitive context, there is no limit to what he can pretend to conceive. But what one can project by means of ignorance or evasion, is philosophically irrelevant. It does not constitute a basis for instituting two separate categories of possibility. (p. 116, Italics mine)

The illegitimate possibilities? According to Senator John McCain, Speaker of the House John Boehner, the MSM, and all those other dhimmis-by-default, Huma Abedin, a Muslim, may or may not be an influence on Obama’s foreign policy via Hillary Clinton, regardless of her association or her family’s association with an organization dedicated to conquering America and establishing totalitarian rule. As Robert Spencer relates, they are asking Bachmann for evidence now of an investigation that has not been undertaken by those responsible it. That is the “logical” position.

The “empirical” position is: So what if she’s a Muslim? She’s a nice, hard-working person.

The Western hands helping the hands of Islamic believers to “sabotage” the miserable house of Western civilization are many, small, and mean. Their owners’ minds are either permanently lost in a Fantasy Land divorced from reality, or so myopically concrete-bound that they are in pathetic need of the corrective lenses of a rational epistemology.

Ignorant or evasive, together their minds constitute a “brotherhood” of another kind. 

*Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by Ayn Rand. (1966, 1967, 1979) Eds. Harry Binswanger and Leonard Peikoff. New York: Meridian-Penguin. Second Edition, 1990. 314 pp.

Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in England and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and suspense novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all available on Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other publications. He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security Matters, Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications.

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