June 19, 2010

If "Extremists" Are a Minority, Does That Make Them Irrelevant?

Robert Spencer, in an article entitled Trashing a Freedom Fighter, quotes Pankaj Mishra:

The anarchic vivacity of contemporary Muslim societies–featuring such figures as Ali Saleem, Pakistan’s cross-dressing television host, and Cairo’s hijab-wearing sex therapist Heba Kotb, whose talk show is beamed across the Arab world–does not quite match Hirsi Ali’s description of an incurably medieval people busy devising ever-harsher laws for themselves while plotting mayhem for the infidels.

And then Spencer responds to Mishra's quote:

This kind of shoddy analysis is sadly widespread. Mishra seems to assume that if one points out that there are jihadis and Islamic supremacists in Islamic countries, then there are only jihadis and Islamic supremacists in those countries. Obviously that is absurd, but the existence of cross-dressing TV hosts and hijab-wearing sex therapists is irrelevant, because it does nothing to militate against the activity of those jihadis. In Russia, the Bolsheviks were never a majority, but they were an organized, energetic, ideologically motivated vanguard. And that’s all they needed to be in order to gain control of the country

No comments:

Post a Comment