The Democrats Need to Square Up on "Islamophobia"

A phobia is an irrational fear. In the wake of regular worldwide terrorist attacks in the name of numerous interpretations of Islam, it's hard to see how concerns about Islam and political power are any sort of "phobia." But let's accept for a moment that it can be possible to be unfairly concerned about a particular Muslim, even so.

That still leaves two questions:

1) At what point does a concern become valid? Vox defends Ellison against charges arising from his association with worse characters, especially Louis Farrakhan. What we have learned about radicalization indicates that much less close contact than this is necessary for it, though. Perhaps it's not fair to hold Ellison to blame for his associations, but there has to be a point at which it would be fair. At what point would it become fair? That's a question I'd like to have answered.

2) If we're to be excessively careful not to criticize individual Muslims for associations with others who may be more radical than they, why doesn't this point apply -- say -- to Hindus? Consider Tulsi Gabbard. Isn't she being treated exactly the same way, by the left, that they're concerned that Ellison is being treated by the right?

What's the difference? Gabbard is a Hindu, and she knows lots of other Hindus (and Indian Americans) who have inherited or developed concerns about Islam and/or Muslims. Ellison is a Muslim, and he knows lots of other Muslims (and African Americans) who have inherited or developed concerns about Judaism and/or Jews. These seem like parallel cases to me. So why promote Ellison to the leadership of the DNC, and run down Gabbard?

I suppose you could reverse the polarity on that question, and ask me why I'm more inclined to defend Gabbard. But I know why: because she's an Iraq War veteran. She's earned a space for considering her unpopular opinions, whatever they are. I don't have to agree with her every time to know we're on the same side when it counts. Ellison offers no such evidence of service that would counteract his associations.


E Hines said...

Perhaps it's not fair to hold Ellison to blame for his associations, but there has to be a point at which it would be fair. At what point would it become fair?

On the one hand, Ellison was a grown, adult human being when he was associating with the likes of Farrakhan; that association was his carefully considered, deliberate choice.

On the other hand, when did that association end; if it ended, which of them ended it; and if it was Ellison who ended it, why did he end it? Answers to these questions bear directly on when it ceases (not becomes; that's the nature of the Farrakhans of the world) to be fair.

Eric Hines

Gringo said...

Vox defends Ellison against charges arising from his association with worse characters, especially Louis Farrakhan.

But would Vox ever defend a Republican against association with worse characters? Methinks not.

Texan99 said...

I don't mind someone's associating with jerks. I do pay attention to what he seems to have concluded about them by associating with them. If Ellison hung out with Farrakhan enthusiasts without, even today, being able to articulate where they went wrong, it has the same effect on me as someone who used to enjoy himself at KKK rallies and can't quite comprehend what harm anyone sees in them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm still somewhat heated up, so I'm not sticking to topic well.

Something that's been nagging at me is that the frame of our argument may be incorrect. The left currently doesn't rationalize. It emotes. Starting at what they say and rationally trying to step them to understanding doesn't seem to work.

I lurked on John C. Wrights blog for a while. He had an entry titled "Empire of Lies" At the time, the post and the first comment were a bit mind-blowing to me.

The short of it is God is and logically must be.

Given that foundation, I would say that the culture and the nation should be re-built/restored to reflect that fact. We aren't Israel, so I'm not advocating for theocracy. Something like our Constitution, should work well as it acknowledges the spiritual facts.

So, yes the Democratic Party is likely not living up to its oft stated goals. Yes, Grim is right that they smear an honorable woman over a questionable man (war on women!) but they know they mean well in their own minds and that they aren't evil. Trying to argue them over to that their actions lead to evil gets one yelled at.

In our short respite from the fast down-ward slide, I wonder if it would not work better to build our own house on a solid foundation. We then let those who will honorably come under that aegis, come. If it works, it might be a more powerful argument. Having said those big words... I have no idea what to do next.

-Short time commentor Michael

Grim said...

Avicenna has a proof of God I've always found compelling. Kant didn't like proofs of the sort, although I don't know that he ever encountered Avicenna's unique take on it. Still, I think it's quite right -- at least, I haven't yet seen anything wrong with it.

Ymar Sakar said...

The problem with philosophical proofs about God is that it is limited by the law of causality: which is an adjunct of time as a dimension we cannot control but merely go along with.

Avicenna apparently made good use of his talents, since for a primitive human he was able to infer and deduce much of the foundations without any support. God's existence is indeed independent of time, and the frontier pullers are getting to that point as well. However, gods the plural, are not independent of time for they were created afterwards. To use the Hebrew, elohim or gods, makes reference to all divine level entities, including Satan or angels. The giants of the various Norse or the titans of the Greeks, would be half gods. In the Old Testament Genesis, after the creation of mankind some angels were given the task of watching over humanity, without interfering. Much like the Prime Directive. They disobeyed this divine law and took physical form, much like the story of Job, and used human women to create the Nephilim. Giants as such, half god, half man. Gilgamesh was one of the older mentions, in the apkallu Mesopotamian legends.

To Muslims, spirits and angels would be jinn. Spirits of the air. Paul in the New Testament, also mentioned that it is "due to the angels" that he writes his tract on the head coverings for women.

Some of Avicenna's metaphysics sounds like he is describing the Trinity, or rather the Two Powers in Heaven doctrine that the Old Testament Jews believed in. This was removed soon after the New Testament came into being, now that Judaism was competing with Christianity for the old historical allegiances and traditions. Some notable instances in the old Hebrew that had this was during Genesis when it was said that "let us create humans in our image". To whom was that "us" directed at? It's either the dual powers at work or it is addressed to the sons of God (angels and other first creations, in the royal family pov it would be the inheritors and first borns). Then there was the burning bush and Moses, plus God and another special angel that had God's "name in him".

John C Wright is a pretty good thinker. I usually don't qualify people like that so that's rather unusual. His novels were pretty brilliant and refreshing as well, and that is how I first came to know him, not his Alt Right connections.

Anonymous said...

I found an outline of the proof you mentioned at, section 5, second paragraph. It is a good and succinct proof for that-thing-that-is-but-is-more. A little passing sentence twigged me to a life very foreign: "Based in Isfahan, he was widely recognized as a philosopher and physician and often accompanied his patron on campaign." Was campaign like barely-passed-present day English big game hunting in Africa except with troops as the weapon and towns as the game? "Avicenna, good chap, talk to my captain to fire off the troops to sack the town."

-Stc Michael

Grim said...

Well, accompanied him qua physician. His metaphysics are in the 13th book of a larger work called The Healing, which was a leading text on medicine of the day. Only at the end does he undertake to explain the foundations of all the rest, and how we can know there is a God, and that this God is beyond comprehension; but yet also why we can say with confidence that all the things we call "good" (or anything similar) refer to similarities to that being.

It's a really interesting argument, and quite dense. It may be one of the most challenging of all philosophical arguments. Parts of it are wrong -- the Aristotelian parts -- but parts of it remain quite plausible, at least to me.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grim:

It's funny you clarified to physician. I had temptation in my flippancy to say "who takes his philosopher on campaign?". This is ignorance on on my part. I have no handle on what life going on campaign looks like, who his patron was, etc. Being able to have a solid discussion in the evening of the camp may have been some of the best money his patron spent. The concept of frequent campaign is also foreign. Other than the small segment of the US in the armed forces who deploys to war zones, who of us have a handle on armed conflict and battle? To live a life where this is a central facet of life is... alike to fiction. (?!)

I've spent an hour or so poking around the intertubes trying to find that 13th book. I found PDFs of the first four, published by BYU Press, and then others that refer to his works, but not his direct words. Having said that, it may not be a great loss as my background in Aristotelian logic is limited to lurking at yours and Mr. Wright's blogs off and on over the years. That, while interesting and enjoyable, is not the rigor needed to understand correctly something you call dense and challenging.

Mr Sakar:
The various mainstream churches haven't found agreement on what the Trinity is, much less the more other points you bring up. As a head game, do you suppose Abram from Ur was much like what we are calling a philosopher and reasoned out near the truth, and(but?) God found a use for him? Finally, something I've found interesting is that Mr. Wright was an atheist and unhappy where his logic was leading.

-Stc Michael

Grim said...

Try this one.

Who takes his philosopher on campaign? Only the wisest. Alexander the Great was trained by Aristotle; Sun Tzu was his own; von Clausewitz beat Napoleon. I might be tempted to mention Bedford Forrest as well, although Ymar likes to run down Confederates. He had the sense of the thing, though.

Anonymous said...

Thank you sir.

-Stc Michael

Ymar Sakar said...

The various mainstream churches haven't found agreement on what the Trinity is, much less the more other points you bring up.

The mainstream churches have been historically waging holy wars against Christians, burning heretics, finding witches to blame and kill like Jean De Arc, and also promoting slavery + corruption. Organized religion in the Christian sense is as blind as organized science is. For lack of a fundamental trait: individual virtues. An organization, by definition, cannot have individual virtues, and the Holy Spirit is something drawn to individuals.

It was individuals like Newton who dragged the rest of humanity along with him, although his ideas weren't all that new metaphysically. What separates a follower of Christ from some other god or Allah, is the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. Those who are not ready for enlightenment, will not see the truth. This can easily be seen in the New Testament, where the apostles were flawed humans before the Holy Ghost came to them, and then afterwards. They didn't transform based on their own reason or virtues, they were given a higher power that was able to transform their human flaws. Peter, the guy who was so scared of being arrested, denied his mentor and God three times in public, is a notable one. So is Saul to Paul. Comparing their life before and after the crucifixion is like looking at Glenn Beck's finding God and comparing it to his drunken Clinton like rampages before.

There are plenty of other individual stories like that which are even more extreme, such as African warlords and sociopaths who basically act like satanic demons before their conversion, but afterwards they now have a conscience. That's not something Human Reason or science or the Authorities of this earth can provide. As for the Trinity, Christians were killing each other after the Council of Chalcedon precisely because of disagreements like that. They also lost some of the Bible and also translated/interpreted it incorrectly, because of the changes in Hebrew.

They also ignore the text in theology classes and don't teach the congregation much about actual theology. Priests and bishops even admit to fellow Christian peers, that they feel confused on doctrine, yet they are expected to be confident and faithful in transmitting doctrine to the congregation.

The modern day Church of Nice as the Alt Right likes to call them, is a mainstream, mass marketed, opiate for the masses. Very different from primitive or 1st AD Christianity.

I might be tempted to mention Bedford Forrest as well, although Ymar likes to run down Confederates.

I would remind people that I was one of the only people who listed Forrest's actual record with the KKK, instead of the Leftist propaganda that everyone liked to believe in. Also nobody in the Southern States likes to talk about Robert E Lee's treatment by his fellow compatriots after the war, but there's another story there too. (Other than his descendants)

The Confeds, like Mohammed, no longer exist as physical beings, but what they have taught and left behind, still exists. Much is shrouded in mystery and lies, including even the Old Testament, by the hands of humans. It matters not to me what the world demands that I believe, for the world is damned. I chose not to go along with that some time ago.

As for Sun Tzu, in the Ancient Chinese traditions, a noble was a master of both literature and martial arts, with some specializing in tactics, others strategy, and still others logistics. Every mercenary general or loyal retainer, was expected to know this, which is why peasants didn't go all that high in the chain of command, unless they kill an enemy general on the field of battle. Grim claimed that the liberal arts only existed in the US military academies, which is true if one considers the Greek conception of "liberal arts" as combining martial and scholarly pursuits. The modern Western idea that "geeks" are not "jocks" is something even the Japanese have discarded.

Ymar Sakar said...

As a head game, do you suppose Abram from Ur was much like what we are calling a philosopher and reasoned out near the truth, and(but?) God found a use for him?

The legend or myth, so to speak, is that the Book of Raziel and the angel Raziel was used to teach Adam and other prophets concerning God's mysteries. Basically the universe and biology.

As the story goes in the Book of Enoch and in Genesis, the Flood was God's way of getting rid of all the apkallu or giants/Nephilim, which the angels had corrupted the blood line and genetics of mankind with. The Flood was not merely a test or trial for humanity, it was partially or primarily about damage control and a first reaction or action to the sins of the angels, what are called the Watchers or grigori. After the Flood during Noah's time, the Tower of Babel was then humanity's chief sin, comparable to a samurai disobeying his master and who also refused seppuko to atone for it. God probably fired a bunch of Watchers, put them into prison, the way people think Trum was going to do with his buddy Clinton. Then as punishment for humanity wanting to do whatever it wanted, humanity was given under the care of new angels, new gods, new Watchers. Abram was then God's choice to create his own people, pure of contamination from the angels. Since Abram and his wife was too old to have children, God created a minor miracle as a way of imprinting into the record of truth that this was his people and everybody else was somebody else's problem.

Looking through the records, The Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price written by Joseph Smith is a consistent apocryphal concerning what Abraham might have learned from God. Many religions won't talk about their internal mysteries, because of various policies or just because the common human understands not theology. With the internet and transparency, that's less of an issue these days to find out what people think they got that is true or special.

The Full book of Enoch, for example, comes from the Egyptian coptic Church. Which is against the Orthodox Christian church as well as the Roman Catholic church. The B of E is considered Apocryphal. Meaning, some holy war was waged to determine what should be in the Bible and the winners were not the Egyptian churches. I, of course, like to determine what is true or not, instead of trusting in Religious Authorities on this earth.

As for philosophers using reason to parse out the universe, the greatest known human scientists and philosophers had access to the Holy Spirit. It is that which educates them, along with their natural talents and desire for truth and enlightenment. Socrates, Newton, and a whole line of others qualified.