Friday, September 08, 2006

Ralph Peters Strikes Out

I have the greatest respect for Ralph Peters and praised him in the past. This time he strikes out.

Peters claims that a “really ugly 'domestic insurgency' is among right-wing extremists bent on discrediting honorable conservatism. … By insisting that Islam can never reform, that the violent conquest and subjugation of unbelievers is the faith's primary agenda - and, when you read between the lines, that all Muslims are evil and subhuman. … Web sites list no end of extracts from historical documents and Islamic jurisprudence 'proving' that holy war against Christians and Jews is the alpha and omega of the Muslim faith. The message between the lines: Muslims are Untermenschen.”

Peters conflates honest criticism of Islam with a complete vilification of a vast demographic group, Muslims, who range from devout jihadi to nominal non-practicing honest hardworking individuals. But as Ibn Warraq says, "there are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam." Here lies a profound statement that I'd wish Peters could understand. Instead he engages in some of the most vicious bigotry-baiting around:

I'll never sign up for your "Protocols of the Elders of Mecca." You're just the Ku Klux Klan with higher-thread-count sheets.) . … We are in a knife-fight to the death with fanatics who've perverted a great religion. But those who warn of Muslims in general are heirs of the creeps who once told us Jews can never be real Americans and JFK will serve the Vatican.

Please, Mr. Peters, take a deep breath. I agree with you that “obviously, there's a moral reason for not condemning all Muslims. Real Americans judge men and women by their individual characters and actions ...” I’ve made the point before that those critical of Islam should be careful not to get trapped into a whole-sale vilification of a nominal demographic group. But please learn about the ideology and don’t blind yourself to the fact that fundamentalism is rife in Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, Egypt, Algeria, etc. It has either gained control, come close to taking over, or is poised to take over if given a chance in those areas. The Pew Center shows that bin Laden is a hero with majority support in some Muslim countries.

Perhaps, Mr. Peters it is you, sir, who has a prejudice. I have too high regard for your intelligence to conclude that so quickly but I request that you ask for help in learning about the threat that we face. It isn’t just a few fanatics.

Jason Pappas, Liberty and Culture


Anonymous said...

who've perverted a great religion

Is he ready to list the greatness of this "great religion"? NEWSFLASH RALPH PETERS: Repeating that phrase won't magically make it the eternal truth.

Snouck said...

Interestingly Ralph Peters wrote an opinion piece recently in which he advocated redrawing the Middle East Political map using religion and ethnicity as boundary settings. The piece is entitled: blood borders.

It would appear that Peters has a realistic apraissal of the ability of people to live in the same political entity with people they are not culturally and ethnically related to, but he still denies the same realism to unnamed others, who he accuses of the usual: racism, KKK, Nazism, bigotry.

The man is clearly confused. He has lowered his level of reasoning to that of the Left.

Pastorius said...

I don't understand your comment there.

You say Peters has "a realistic apraissal of the ability of people to live in the same political entity with people they are not culturally and ethnically related to"

How is that true?

In the U.S. we live with people we are not ethnically related to and we don't have a problem with that.

The problem in Iraq is, in my opinion, that the people do not function on the level of ideas, but instead function as members of tribes.

Demosthenes said...

I'm an atheist who likes to argue, and one amusing thing I've discovered is that there are a good many fundamentalists Christians--perhaps even a majority--in the United States who don't know very much about the Bible. I've even met a church-going fundamentalist Christian of normal intelligence who could not identify the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), though she was opposed to gay marriage. So, yes, beyond any doubt there exist many "moderate muslims" in the sense of Islam not penetrating their world view. There are also "liberal" Christian, who make up before hand what a religion has to say and then read the Bible selectively to make the Bible say what they already believe. Besides the blood lust of orthodox muslims, there is no obstacle to "liberal" Islam in that "liberal" methods of interpretation could make the "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" or Curious George Rides a Bicyclesay exactly the same thing as "liberal" methods of interpretation make the Bible say.
I could rant for ages on why "liberal" Christianity, a form of idiocy, has nothing to do with the political philosophy of liberalism. Instead, permit me a small story about the attention that liberal Christianity pays to the actual facts of the Bible. In the Biblical Garden of my childhood Reformed Synagogue--Reformed Judaism is merely a flavour of liberal Christianity--there was corn and tomatoes. These happen to be native American plants as I learned in third grade. I was offended by this and told adults. No one seemed to mind. (I now oppose Biblical Gardens, because I think we need to concentrate on ecological restoration and plant the native plants of a region.)

It is true that we could live with moderate muslims and "liberal" muslims--especially since the only difference between "liberal muslims" and "liberal "christians" will be holidays and they would think themselves noble to celebrate each others. Still, just as moderate and liberal factions in any large religion are unavoidable--however tiny "liberal islam" is--a conservative faction is also unavoidable. And that conservative faction must act just as we say, because Islam is a religion created by the leader of a criminal mob.

Anonymous said...

It may be theoretically possible to live alongside large numbers of moderate moslems. The problem is they can get radicalized any time, and then what do you do. Besides, if you take a risk, there should be some chance of benefit, otherwise it's a stupid risk.

Jason Pappas said...

Good point, Demosthenes, many people don’t know much about their own religion. I read the Gospel according to Mathew this past Sunday (no, I’m not religious in the slightest) and it was quite interesting to get the whole story in context. If Christians returned to a literal interpretation of Mathew, I’d worry about them becoming pacifist.

Mathew says “those that live by the sword; die by the sword.” The other three Gospels don’t. Of course, that could be seen as merely a contextual statement to admonish the futile resistance to the Roman state. Add some history and it becomes clear; Mathew was addressing a Jewish audience (unlike Luke) and it was written after the fall of the temple in Jerusalem. Besides, the end of the world was imminent, what difference does it make to fight?

Still, it would be easy to see Christians embrace a pacifist ethos if they took Mathew literally in a simplistic manner. I’m damn glad they don’t. The problem with Islam, as you point out, is that it is easy to see Muslims embrace a warrior supremacist ethos, if they take Mo’s example even half literally. I’m sorry to see many do. But we have to do what we have to do.

Peters is a good guy and I’m just giving him some “tough love.” After the Army, I sure he’s tough enough to take it. C’mon Ralph, take the challenge and read some of the literature we’d recommend.

Anonymous said...

If ome, er, "reads between the lines", it is obvious that there is little substance in Peters' silly complaints. Just have a look at this:

By insisting that Islam can never reform, that the violent conquest and subjugation of unbelievers is the faith's primary agenda - and, when you read between the lines, that all Muslims are evil and subhuman. (My emphasis.)

There is nothing in pointing out the fact that "Islam can never reform, [and] that the violent conquest and subjugation of unbelievers is the faith's primary agenda" that in any way suggests that all Muslims are evil and subhuman!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for highlighting this clown even more. He's a retired army officer; go figure. I worked with the army a while back during my naval career. The officers were always the last to know about anything.

I discovered your blog through Robert Spencer's site, and I must say, this one's very good indeed; keep up the good work, fellow Kafir. The list of infidels grows even more. I'm a close friend of Andy Whitehead, author/creator of Anti-CAIR. I will give Andy a shout tonight and tell him about your excellent blog.

Rather than post a link to my recent article (in good anti-Islamist faith, mind you), I'd prefer that you drop me an email at and I'll send it to you from there.

Again, excellent work!

Snouck said...

"In the U.S. we live with people we are not ethnically related to and we don't have a problem with that."

The Rabbi Snouckowitz replies with a question:
who are the "we" you mention in your statement?

Pastorius said...

Well, me for instance. I am white. My wife is Filipino. So, half my family is not white. My sisters kids are not white. My best friend is a black guy. I live next to Mexicans and get along with them fine. There are people from over twenty different nations working for the company I work for (less than 100 employees), and most of them have been working for the company for well over ten years, and we all get along.

I have good friends who are Chinese, Viet Namese, Korean, Jewish, Armenian, Peruvian.

Now, you may say this is all anecdotal, but the thing is, all these people get along with me, so my stories represent their anecdotes as well.

And, it multiplies outward from there, because I am not the rare white guy who gets along with people of other races.

In fact, I think I'll do a post on this, and we can get the testimonies of Americans.

This is the way it is in America.

Pastorius said...

Anyway, Snouck, I don't think the problem is race, I think it is Islam. My Armenian friend is from Iran, but he is Christian. I have only been friends with two Muslims in my life, and when they got older they both became more religious and after that I never saw them anymore.

The problem it seems you guys have in Europe is that your experience with people from other cultures is mostly people who are Islamic.

Most Muslims that I meet don't seem to like us Infidels much.