The Arab Spring, the Palestinian Peace Process and every similar bid to transform the region presumed that disempowerment was the cause of Muslim violence and that, conversely, empowerment was the solution. Give the poor dears some weapons, a country, a ballot box, free and open elections, and they’ll be less likely to blow themselves up while seeking 72 virgins on the downtown express. Instead, empowering people who were violent while disempowered only made them more violent. Some of the best minds in two hemispheres are engaged in seeking a solution to this paradox, which isn’t a paradox at all but rather a straight-line projection.
If Abdul is beheading people when all he has to work with is a sword then, if you give him a gun, he will start shooting them instead. If he’s blowing up buses when he only has a terrorist group, he will blow up countries when he has a country. Empowering Abdul does not diminish his grievances, because his grievances are a function of his capacity for violence. Increasing his capacity will increase his grievances until the entire world is on the wrong end of his empowerment scimitar.
The liberal projection that “Abdul + Power + Money + Bigger Guns = Peace” made as much sense, as Prince Ngobo’s story about his transfer fees being cursed by witches, but, as the song goes, “You gotta have faith.” Some of the things that we have faith in are bigger than us and some are just us. Those who put their faith in Prince Ngobo and in the benign nature of Islam are really putting their faith in their own instincts, trusting that they are right, even while looking into the eye of the wrongness.
We rarely know a thing for what it is. For the most part we know it only for what we want it to be. Our knowledge of the world is inseparable from our worldview, and the machine of the ego which casts the shadows that projects our inner world on the outer world. The only way to avoid that trap is by studying consequences, by creating theories based on actual events, rather than manufacturing events based on theories.
Most people project their own desires and motivations on to others. Americans assumed that Muslims just wanted democracy, free enterprise and apple pie. Muslims assume that Americans are conspiring to undermine them and destroy them through a byzantine series of plots and conspiracies, because that is what they would do in our place… and that is what they are trying to do. The Eurocrats assume that Muslims wanted to be good multicultural socialists, because that is what they want them to be. They assumed that the Arab Spring was the equivalent of Europe’s own socialist monarchist movements, after having wrongly assumed the same thing about Arab Socialist movements generations earlier. They assumed those things, because just like Prince Ngobo’s business partners trying to figure out how to call up Lagos, they wanted them to be true because of their own desires.
The sunk cost of the free world into the illusion that Islam is benign, that it is a positive influence and that it can be coexisted with is enormous. Even the dollar, euro and shekel costs make the wildest frauds seem tame. The cultural cost is even greater.
The mechanism of denial is that sunk cost. That faith which our political, cultural and academic superiors have in themselves—in their probity, their insight and their rational tools of scientific governance. Muslims dare not question Islam because they fear Allah. Liberals dare not question Islam because they fear being fools. If they were completely wrong about Islam, then what else were they also wrong about? Pull at one thread and the whole dreamcoat dissolves leaving behind a very naked emperor.
The longer the fraud goes on, the more impossible it is for them to admit that they were wrong. What could have been tossed out after a year is an article of faith after twenty and undeniable after forty. To admit that you made a mistake right away is bearable, but to admit that your policy for generations has been utter moon-baked lunacy is inconceivable.
The trouble with naked emperors is that everyone knows they are naked. Give people permission to point out the obvious and they will commence pointing and laughing. The only way to keep from being made a mockery is by desperately maintaining the consensus that everyone knows the pants are there; even if you can’t see them. Everyone knows that Islam is violent in the deeper parts of their minds, where common sense observations directly gathered from experience go. Give people permission to point out the obvious and they will turn angrily on those who lied to them and manipulated them for decades. Worse still, they will brand them incompetent fools who cannot be trusted with the reins of government.