Don’t Infidels do what Believers do, asks Cathy Young? Don’t Infidels urinate and micturate in public sometimes, just as Believers do? And Robert answers, as I did before, that there is a difference between those who deliberately, even though there are alternatives, defecate on the floors in churches that they squat in, where they have been given refuge, or urinate — as they have, on the walls of the Battistero in Florence, which is what an enraged Oriana Fallaci, as she mentioned in The Rage and the Pride.
Young appears not to know very much about the behavior of Muslims in Europe, and especially in Italy, where every corner of every Umbrian or Tuscan village, and in every city, appears to be the site of a work of Western art, differing only in what layer of the palimpsest — Etruscan here (in Perugia or Viterbo or other of the Twelve Cities), Greek there (in Magna Graecia), Roman all over, and then finally Christian — the work of Western man, sculpting and painting and drawing the human form.
She does the same with this business of Muslims simply “snapping.” [How often is it merely a matter of “snapping”?] Here is how she puts it:
Because, as we all know, non-Muslims never snap and go on shooting sprees at work or at school. But, of course, when Muslims do it, it’s different.
Well, in fact it is different. And let us explain why. When non-Muslims, Infidels, “snap,” they have any number of people or things to blame, and they may, or may not, seek to wreak revenge, to “even the score,” with all kinds of people.
But Muslims have been provided the mental grid of Islam, and on that grid the world is laid, uncompromisingly divided between Believer and Infidel, between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. And if a Muslim “snaps,” or is simply depressed, then he has the Infidel to blame, to find fault with. For the Nazis, it was Treitschke’s “Die Juden sind unser Ungluck.” For Muslims, it is, in a less hideously violent key, the Infidels who are “unser Ungluck.” Cathy Young, knowing almost nothing of Islam, but presumably having plausible, friendly, affable, possibly ignorant-of-Islam Muslim friends (raised in the United States, unfamiliar with the texts, unfamiliar with what effect those texts ordinarily have on people who take them seriously and are raised in Muslim societies where nothing else gets through), prefers not to see this.
The problem is that in any society, millions and millions of people at one time or another fall into depressions. In the United States, more than 15 million people at any one time are said to be severely depressed. When this happens to Infidels, they can blame all sorts of things: their parents, their children, their siblings, Amerika, The System, the Republicans, the Democrats, immigration, affirmative action, lack of affirmative action, crooked financial analysts, Wall Street speculators, Chinese and Indian competition, Fate, the stars in their alignment, their cholesterol level, their serotonin level — even, at times, themselves.
What happens when a Muslim finds himself in disarray? You are Muhammad Atta, and things are not working out in Hamburg, where you set off to study urban planning, and you are not the great success you were supposed to be, and the Western world is so baffling, so confusing. You are Albanna, dancing the night away in cocaine-soaked clubs of West Hollywood, and you are piling failure upon failure, for you failed to establish a practice as a lawyer in Jordan, and you need to find a solution more permanent and steady than that offered by that cocaine, those girls, that music by Nine Inch Nails.
When “Mike” Hawash, an Intel engineer with an American wife and three American children, earning $360,000 a year and the respect of his colleagues, turned to Islam, and more Islam, and then to deed over his house to his wife, and to make plans to fight the Americans in Afghanistan, after the Al Qaeda attacks in New York and Washington, was he a “nut case”? Or was he someone who, in his recent return to Islam, only reflecting his need for Islam and more Islam as a stay against confusion and depression? And if the Answer for Muslims, even those who are not especially observant, those who seem to be thoroughly Westernized and to have been the recipients of the best the West has to offer, is Islam and more Islam, then the Western world, the world of Infidels, owes it to itself to protect its own legacy, and to keep out those who, in moments of the kind of doubt or depression that come on all of us, will always and everywhere turn, or re-turn, to Islam.
And who are these Muslims who, in Cathy Young’s phrase, simply “snap”? Did “Mike” Hawash “snap”? Or did he over a very long time become more religious, and then systematically deed over his house to his wife, write his will, and make other plans before going off, hoping to kill Americans in Afghanistan? Did Richard Reid simply “snap”? Did Jose Padilla? Did the people in Lackawanna, or in Texas, or in Oregon, or in Virginia, “snap” in their plotting? How many of the attacks planned, or then carried out, are those of Muslims who simply “snapped”? Did Taheri-azar, the student who had been raised in the United States by parents who had fled Iran, and who by all accounts were largely indifferent to Islam? Taheri-azar in his mental disarray and ill-digested bits of philosophizing (in his pages of handwritten explanation explaining his motivation, in between his perfectly doctrinaire citing of Islamic tenets and Qur’anic passages, he also manages to repeat, as if to show he was a deep thinker, a single phrase from Descartes, no doubt picked up in some Intro to Western Phil. course — “clear and distinct ideas.”) Did he “snap”? No. He planned for quite a while.
But let us posit that the single case Cathy Young describes as unfair to mention — that of the man who killed fellow workers because they teased him about being a Muslim. Does this tell us anything? How many people are teased about this or that, and how many of them “snap” and then try to kill those teasing them? And is it not important to note that the target of Muslim blame for all possible setbacks, of the kind we all experience, is always and everywhere the Infidel?
This is one point that Cathy Young fails to grasp. There are so many others.