May 6, 2014

Middle East Paradoxes - Paul Eidelberg

Middle East Paradoxes

Paul Eidelberg

1. Has it ever occurred to you that the explosion of information produced by Internet cannot but result in an explosion of disinformation, hence, of mendacity? This is especially true now that Internet is spreading in the Arab-Islamic world.

2. Is it not ironic that when speaking of Islam, whose faithful are skilled in the art of taqiyya—dissimulation—one must be "politically correct" and therefore engage in dissimulation?

3. That "political correctness" has entered into the vocabulary of public discourse concerning the Middle East world suggests that current discourse about this region is permeated by mendacity.

4.  Since it's impolite to say so and so is being "insincere or intellectually dishonest" about Islam, you need only say he's being "politically correct."  But if you say he's being "politically correct" about Islam when you really mean he's being insincere or intellectually dishonest, you too are insincere or intellectually dishonest.

5.  Have you noticed how many ways one can avoid calling a spade a spade when it comes to talking about Islam?  Since you don’t want to suggest that Islam per se is abhorrent, you employ a variety of soft substitutes such as "radical" Islam, "fundamentalist" Islam, or "militant" Islam, and you refer to its practitioners as "Islamists" or "extremists" who have "hijacked" Islam.  Hardly anyone wants to say that Islam and Islamism and Islamic extremism are one and the same thing. That's politically incorrect.

6.  It has been said by the intrepid Middle East expert Daniel Pipes that Islam is compatible with democracy?  If this is true, why is it so difficult to persuade Muslim leaders of this truth?

7.  What's the difference between "Islamophobes" and "Islamophiles"?  Islamophobes contend that 50 percent of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims support Jihad, whereas Islamophiles reassure us it's only 10 percent.

8. Whereas Muslims believe in "concealment"—witness the veil—Americans believe in "transparency"—witness the mini.  Even though this makes any negotiations between the two indecisive, the outcome cannot but favor the veiled over the transparent.

9.  With 72 virgins awaiting them in Paradise, Muslims like Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon boast, "We shall win because you [infidels] love life while we [Muslims] love death."  If so, why don't we make them happy?

10.  Besides, since Muslims believe in predestination, they ought not play the victimization card—but then, that too is predestined.

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