Why Is It So Hard To Speak The Truth?

Someone must have seen that Iraqi comedian making fun of us for not being able to call ISIS "Islamic," and decided they needed to push back really hard.

Really hard.

So now George W. Bush is the spokesman for the Democratic Party? On the right attitude towards the war?

People can't seem to distinguish between the following claims:

1) "ISIS is essentially Islamic."

2) "Islam is essentially like ISIS."

Claim 1 is demonstrably, empirically true. ISIS -- like a number of other Islamic organizations to include Hizb-ut Tahrir and of course al Qaeda -- is founded for no other reason than to realize a particular vision of Islamic law on earth. They have put a tremendous amount of work into developing their visions. Many of their leaders are lifelong religious students. ISIS leader Baghdadi was a cleric before he became a revolutionary. These organizations have published decades' worth of material explaining exactly how their vision aligns with sha'riah law and the life of the Prophet and his companions.

Furthermore -- whether you like it or not -- their interpretations of sha'riah law are not absurd. They are often the most obvious readings of those laws.

Claim 2 is not obviously true.

For one thing, there are a lot of different schools of sha'riah law. Most of the Islamic world doesn't live under any interpretation similar to this, however obvious these interpretations may be, and haven't historically. That makes perfect sense. Catholics have the Bible, and we also have the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas -- a huge series of densely-argued Aristotelian philosophy about how to interpret the Bible, as well as a long history of earlier Catholic philosophers. The results they come up with are not always the most obvious readings of the Bible. Some Protestant schools prefer more obvious and literal readings. That doesn't make Protestants un-Christian, nor Catholics either.

Jews, by the same token, have on the one hand the Torah; and on the other, a vast collection of Rabbinical scholarship that tries to interpret and understand. Islam, for its own sake, has a similar tradition in its history. One of Thomas Aquinas' chief sources was Averroes, also known as Ibn Rushd, who was an Islamic law judge as well as a philosopher and whose reading of Islamic law was fairly humane (especially in his treatment of women).

So, are we at war with Islam? No. Are we at war with a radical Islamic group? Yes. Are they Muslims? Yes. Are all Muslims them? No. Is ISIS Islamic? Yes, essentially so. Is Islam like ISIS? Not all of it, not by far. Does Islam have anything to do with ISIS? Yes, obviously.

Speak the truth.


raven said...

Every day Richard Fernandez's Three Conjectures gets closer and closer.

William said...

It's difficult to speak truth when everything you know is false. But then, life is difficult at times. If all we have access to is US "media" where are we to get truth? (Rhetorical)

William sends

Assistant Village Idiot said...

There are certainly some Americans who do count the two as equivalent, and it is to combat this that the foolishness arises such as to claim that the two are not even related. One could argue about which came first.

Yet I wonder if the extremes do not indeed perpetuate each other. If someone exclaims that ISIS and Islam are identical, it forces the counterclaim that they are not even remotely related.

Grim said...

It may imply the gambit, but I'd stop short of saying that it 'forced the claim.' Some gambits are unwisely accepted, and you do have a choice. You can draw the distinction and insist upon it, can't you?

Ymar Sakar said...

So, are we at war with Islam?

Was Spain at war with Islamin 780 AD?

Was Constantinople?

Did they get conquered eventually? Sure, that's because you don't need to be at war with them, for them to win their war against you. I'm sure you know this in some fashion.

Ymar Sakar said...

The problem is people aren't educated enough on the Islamic hierarchy to understand how they wage war or jihad to begin with. Most of what they have to go on comes from the Left and from modern wars, which are ahistorical in terms of how normal people fought Islamic hordes back then.

Things like the Caliphate or the Caliph are just abstract words to people, they do not truly grasp what it means. Then again humanity doesn't understand the Left either. So I try not to have high expectations. Or any expectations.

Ymar Sakar said...

So now George W. Bush is the spokesman for the Democratic Party? On the right attitude towards the war?

That's not what the propaganda is pushing. The Propaganda is pushing 2 main points.

1. You all who supported his war are hypocrites.

2. Anyone who obeys Bush, will shut up now that their God King Messiah has spoken. But that's merely projection, because the Left thinks of Hussein as their God King Messiah, they think the rest of you are the same way. A little bit of projection there.

The idea that people wanted OIF succeed for their own personal or patriotic reasons, that had little to nothing to do with what Bush II or the UN said, isn't comprehensible by zombies or Leftists. At this time point.