A Jihad Watch commenter recently defended Colin Powell’s remarks, assailed by Wafa Sultan here and by me here, by saying this: “If Muslims are held in disregard, why not Catholics, or Jews, or whatever religion is out of favor at the moment.”
What an absurd remark. Islam is not like these other faiths called religions. It purports to, and does, offer a politics and a geopolitics. Jihad, in its primary meaning, is all about land — the taking over, or dominating, of large land areas, by Islam, and the imposition of rule by Muslims, and ideally of the Shari’a. Just because this or that faith is called a “religion” does not make it equivalent to Judaism or Christianity or Hinduism or Buddhism. This is the mistake of the sentimental, the lazy, the weak-minded, for whom All Religions Are The Same and People Are The Same The Whole World Over. It’s nonsense.
Simply replace the word “Muslims” in the statement above to create variants that will put into relief (bas or haut, take your pick) the silliness of the remark. E.g.: “If Communists are held in disregard, why not Democrats or Republicans?” or “If Nazis are held in disregard, why not Freemasons”?
Furthermore, that phrase “whatever religion is out of favor at the moment” is an equally idiotic way to refer to Islam, which is hardly “out of favor” despite the most fantastic crimes committed by Muslims, against Infidels, everywhere in the world, and which show no signs of letting up. It is not a question of Islam being in or out of favor. It is, rather, a question of Infidels learning about the contents and meaning of Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira, and relating the perceived behavior of Muslims, today and over the past 1350 years, wherever Muslims have come into contact with or lorded it over non-Muslims, to the doctrines, the texts, the tenets, of Islam. This is not a matter of simply passing fancy, some kind of temporary aberration. Islam is not out of favor enough, but as the doctrines and practice of Islam are more and more understood, it will be.
And as for Powell himself, another commenter asserts that “he was a C student at a marginal school.”
I don’t know how Powell did in college, nor if it should count for much. There are many people who are as mindless on this matter as Powell, but who have done splendidly, been straight-A students, at the so-called best schools. And besides, Colin Powell did attend a very good high school — the Bronx High School of Science — that is, until he flunked out.
But that’s not the main point. The point is that Powell speaks with assurance on a matter — Islam — that he obviously has not studied. And in doing so, he relies on anecdotal evidence (that photograph) to make assumptions about Islam based on a mother’s grief, and a handful of Muslims who have enrolled in the American military (I am excluding Black Muslims, who are a special case), and who as a result have not been lionized by other Muslims but rather ostracized. Compare, for example, the highly-decorated 442nd Regiment of Japanese-Americans who fought up and down Italy, and of whom much was made, and rightly, by Japanese-Americans at home, or the proud displays in barbershops and shops in Little Italies all over the country, displaying front and center photographs of uniformed boys from the area who were fighting — in the Pacific Theatre, or the European. That is what counts: celebration and pride in one case, ostracism (even worries about physical security) in the case of the nearly infinitesimal group of American (non-Black) Muslims who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. This tells us a good deal about loyalties. In pious Muslims the inculcated, highest and even sole loyalty is to Islam and fellow Muslims. There is nearly non-existent loyalty to an Infidel nation-state if that nation-state is seen to be fighting Muslims or Islam.
Colin Powell merely expressed the sentimentality and feel-good banalities of the age, but this kind of thing can be found all over Official Washington, and elsewhere too, and among those who were good students at schools that are so good at marketing their own presumed prestige. Wafa Sultan knows about Islam. She has grown up within Islam, and in America discovered a different world. And so she asks Powell, rhetorically and sweetly, on what basis he made his statements. I made the same point in the piece I posted here in October, in immediate response to Powell, but did so in an unsweetened version. Wafa Sultan supplied the sweetened one. The menu here offers everything.