Saturday, April 18, 2015

Why the good Muslims make little difference

Charles Steele left the following comment to my previous post Muslim illegals throw Christian fellow passengers into the sea:

"America's "National Public Radio" headlined this story as "conflict between Christians and Muslims turns bloody." I was expecting to hear how some street confrontation between two groups got out of hand. But the subsequent report detailed how some Muslims unilaterally murdered some Christians just for being "not-Muslim", and the remaining Christians formed a human chain to peacefully thwart the continuing attempts of the Muslims to murder them.

Never mind the Muslims who committed the murders, why did the other Muslims stand by and watch? I think it is because that's just what Muslims do when other Muslims commit evil acts.

The last two lines of this comment touch something so important that I wish to devote this post to it.

I wouldn't blame the other Muslims on the fateful boat who stood by. I don't know how I would behave if I were in their shoes. It is very likely that I would have been petrified from fear and only later would regret that I haven't done anything to stop the murders. Because those Muslims who try to defend the non-Muslim victims of Islam are routinely killed along with those they are trying to protect, sometimes even before them. Steele himself gave an example: "An impoverished illiterate woman, Aasiya Noreen (a.k.a. Asia Bibi) languishes on death row in Pakistan for blaspheming the so-called prophet Mohammed... Noreen, a Christian, was working as a farmhand with a number of other women, largely Muslims... Since she's a Christian and therefore "unclean," the members of the "religion of peace" began berating her and insulting her religion, to which she replied "I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?"... She was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. Multiple appeals to higher courts have all failed to date. The governor for Punjab Province, Salmaan Taseer, spoke up on her behalf, for which he was subsequently assassinated.  Pakistan's Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, spoke up on her behalf, for which he was subsequently assassinated." (Emphasis mine - M.M.)

As the end of World War II was coming near, Ludwig von Mises wrote in his Omnipotent Government: "The Kellogg Pact outlawed war. Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, and Romania signed this document. If there was any meaning at all in this compact, then it was that aggressors are guilty of an illegal act and must bear the responsibility for it. Those citizens of these nations who did not openly oppose the dictators cannot plead their innocence." This otherwise great author implies that openly opposing the dictators was trivial decent behavior, while in fact it was a heroic, self-sacrificing behavior that would doom the opposing citizen to death. It is unfair to demand from others to be heroes, even if you are one yourself. And Mises wasn't. Instead of openly opposing the dictators from their territory, he fled: "In 1934, Mises left Austria for Geneva, Switzerland... In 1940 Mises and his wife fled the German advance in Europe and emigrated to New York City."

Once a totalitarian ideology takes hold over a society, it is almost impossible to be defeated from within. Many if not most Germans in the 1930s and early 1940s were good people; after all, Hitler was elected by a minority. However, these millions of good Germans were unable to make a difference. The millions of good Russians who love their children did not make a difference under Lenin, Stalin and their successors, and do not make a difference under Putin now. The millions of good Iranians cannot make a difference, either (perhaps they could if the free world had supported them when they were struggling in 2009).

Only those who are outside the totalitarian realm can make a difference, by relentlessly opposing its ideology. Only this way the free world can save first itself and then the subjects of the totalitarian societies, often by forcibly subduing them for some period. So the good Muslims should not be offended when Westerners look at them with suspicion... and Westerners should not allow their healthy suspicion to grow into outright blame. Because the Muslims have not chosen where to be born.


Charles N. Steele said...

Very thoughtful post, but I disagree. At some point, every one of us does have a responsibility to oppose and resist evil. Solzhenitsyn points out that had the people of the USSR simply banded together every time the NKVD arrived, the terror campaigns could have been stopped. Perhaps he was wrong, but standing by in fear while evil rules does mean that passively observing evil is just what one does.

And it isn't a matter of "can we affix guilt to them," (which is pointless) but "can they be trusted?" I think not. Mainstream Islam strikes me as something we should be worried about.

Keep in mind, too, we're talking about a majority that stands by. I believe Anschluss was popular in Austria. I wouldn't expect a 59 year old Jewish economist to single-handedly oppose the Wehrmacht... but more to the point, he did not concede or acquiesce to Nazism. (Incidentally, he'd done the same in 1920 with respect to Bolshevism, and in fact did persuade -- nearly single-handedly -- Austrian premier Otto Bauer not to take Austria into Marxism.)

I am quite certain there are Muslims opposing Islamism. But Islam

Maya M said...

First, on the head of your blog, there is a passionate affirmation of the right of ordinary citizens to own firearms. So you seem to be implicitly admitting that, if unarmed, the majority of citizens can do nothing but stand by if an armed minority, be it the security forces (e.g. NKVD) or Talibans or ISIS, decides to take freedom away. Solzhenitsyn was wrong of course. Every time when NKVD failed, the army was called. What happened when the Ukrainians banded together in the 1930s? The Holodomor. What happened when the Chechens banded together in the 1990s? The two Chechen wars, that would more accurately be called genocides.

Second, it is very difficult to count majorities and minorities in non-democratic societies. We cannot really know how popular the Anschluss was in Austria, given that those who were against it could not express their opinions safely, and that the plebiscite registered 99.7% support. (I remember well the time when elections in my country had similar results. Any result exceeding - say - 75% is suspicious for this very reason, and any result exceeding 90% crosses the looking-glass of ordinary falsification and lands into the surreal realm of totalitarianism.)
Now, it is being said that the Russians support Putin. It is of course possible, after all they are brainwashed members of a society that never enjoyed true capitalism and, hence, true freedom. However, let's keep in mind that these same Russians regularly see how criticism of Putin dramatically shortens life expectancy. If I were a Russian, and if some stranger asked me on the phone to give my opinion about Putin, I'd think thrice whether to say something that could destroy my entire family without achieving anything in practical terms.
I am a fan of Mises and have translated several of his books to Bulgarian. Nevertheless, I find that quote odious.

You are right that Muslims in general cannot be trusted, and that mainstream Islam is worrying.
I think that Americans should restrict Muslim immigration and accept mainly those who are nominally Muslim but are actually fleeing Islam.
Things are different in Europe. In our refugee camps, there are (headscarved) Syrian mothers saying how happy they are, after having a child killed, to bring their other children to a peaceful country. Would you send them back? There are limits to what one can do for his safety without losing his humanity.