We have expressed our differences with Clifford May before, and once again in his latest article, Mr. May succeeds in rousing our collective ire. Lawrence Auster takes on this article at the View from the Right, with thanks to Looney Tunes.
Your article makes good and welcome points about the actual extremism of today”s Islam, and even about the roots of Islamic violence in the Prophet himself, but I”m surprised at some of the things you say along the way. For example, you argue that the IRA (a leftist, pro-Communist, terrorist organization!) was motivated by Christian belief! This is just ridiculous.
And then you include Timothy McVeigh in your list of Christian extremists. There was nothing Christian about McVeigh, except perhaps by heritage. He was angry at the U.S. government for its acts in Waco, Texas, and conceived a desire to strike back at what he saw as a tyrannical government. He was a sick nihilist. He didn’t represent Christianity in any way whatsoever. I don’t think he said anything indicating that he felt he represented Christianity. As far as I’m aware, he never said anything about his motivations at all, but remained stoically silent from the time of his arrest until his execution.
And John Brown, another of your Christian extremists, did call himself a Christian, but he was not taken by any mainstream people as a representative of Christianity, he was seen as a violent fanatic, though some in the North did say they “understood” (though they didn’t condone) his actions at Harper’s Ferry.
Fortunately, after starting out with these false equivalencies between a supposed Christian extremism and Muslim extremism, you then turn around and show (though you don’t explicitly say so) that there is no equivalence at all, since the Muslim extremism is not extreme within the terms of Islam, but is a normative and dominant voice of Islam. So there’s a complete disjunction between your “equivalence” argument, and the facts you actually adduce about Islam.
And that’s not the end of the confusion. After giving a lot of evidence showing that there is no effectively existing moderate Islam that speaks for Islam, you then call for this non-existent moderate Islam to take the leadership of Islam and banish the extremists! This does not strike me as a serious argument.
So, why tout an equivalence between Christianity and Islam, a false idea that only confuses the issue? Why go searching for Christian and Jewish extremism, when the problem is Islam? And why point out the normative violence in Islam and the normative support for extremism in Islam, and then act as though this normative violence and extremism can be cured by promoting “moderation”?.
The whole point is that Islam is not a religion in the sense that Christianity is a religion. In fact, Islam is not a religion in the usual sense of the word at all. It is, from its inception, along with being a religion, a world-conquering totalitarian movement…