A Core Delusion

Filed under:It's the Jihad,Language Barrier — posted by Anwyn on January 26, 2008 @ 9:36 am

That using words to define something as other than its inherent characteristics will make it other.

So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated “anti-Islamic activity” Britain’s home secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. “There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief,” she told her audience. “Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic.”

Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be “anti-Islamic” — in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an “anti-German activity.”

This is not even the position of Humpty Dumpty that one can make words mean whatever one chooses. It is worse–it is the attempt to change the nature of a thing by the words one calls it.

What the people who choose to engage in this inverse name-calling apparently refuse to realize is that as with Germany and its WWII “German” actions, acts of jihadist terrorism are only “Islamic” as long as nothing rises up to take away either a) the right or b) the power to carry them out. And ironically, the delusion that the English government can alter the facts by their choice of words contains a single grain of glittering truth: Muslims could take away the right by engaging in a little inverse naming themselves. If enough Muslims would rise and alter their governments and radically reform their mosques so as not to permit or encourage this activity in the name of Allah–i.e. take away the jihadists’ right to call their actions righteous or Islamic–it would indeed cease to be Islamic terrorism and turn into something anti-Islamic. If enough of the governments of the nations from which the jihadists spring would be more aggressive in detecting and rooting them out, they would lose much of their power.

In the absence of either of these courses, nations that must defend themselves from the outrage can only engage in taking away the power–because until and unless the religion being represented declares itself opposed without reservation to the tactics being used by these jihadists, no amount of inverse name-calling or kow-towing by Western nations will bring about the desired result. Ever. Steyn:

If the Three Little Pigs are verboten when Muslims do not yet comprise ten percent of the British population, what else will be on the blacklist by the time they’re, say, 20 percent?

You remember the Three Little Pigs? One builds a house of straw, and another of sticks, and both get blown down by the Big Bad Wolf. Western civilization is a mighty house of bricks, but who needs a Big Bad Wolf when the pig’s so eager to demolish it himself?

(H/t: Hot Air headlines.)

PS: Imagine a black leader referring to Klan violence as “anti-white activity.”

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace