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Response to Alain Jean-Mairet

Reader comment on item: [The Search for Moderate Islam:] A Reply to Lawrence Auster
in response to reader comment: A take at Mr. Auster's response

Submitted by Lawrence Auster (United States), Feb 5, 2005 at 20:08

Alain Jean-Mairet demonstrates exactly the attitude I warned against in my article. To oppose and push back Islam per se, he believes, would generate too much hatred and opposition on the other side, making everything worse. So what to do?

"We just need those wise and silent people. We have to put them into light, to put them to work, to power."

Notice what he's saying, WE have to find and locate THEM. WE have to put THEM into the light, to put THEM to work, and to give THEM power.

It's all up to us. This is liberal ameliorationism to the nth degree, this is the well-meant but utopian fantasy that we have the power, through our interventions, to remake an entire civilization. I spent 10,000 words in my article explaining why I don't think this can work and will only weaken the West's position.

On a second point, M. Jean-Mairet is simply wrong when he imagines a benevolent historical Islam. He writes: "And the first step on that way is to realize that they [the moderate, good Muslims] do exist, and that they were able, at some periods of history, to inspire the bulk of Islam. We have to understand how they did that."

This is false. There was never any time in history when the organized, official body of Islam, wherever it ruled, was not the Islam of sharia, jihad, and dhimmitude. That lots of ordinary people through the ages were not involved in these things says nothing about the nature of the Islamic community AS an organized community.

He concludes: "Or we will just stir at hatred, and thus prepare ourselves some future woes."

As I said in my article, Europe saved itself from Muslim conquest by fighting back against Islam for a thousand years, because it recognized Islam, correctly, as its total enemy. Had Europe taken M. Jean-Mairet's position, it would have been Islamized long ago, and there would have been no Western civilization—no high Middle Ages, no Renaissance, no Enlightenment, no modern world.
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