March 17, 2011
New York Times Mag Shills For Avowed Islamofascist (bumped)
Yasir Qadhi, the face of the new America-friendly Islamist movement in America. I think of a guy like Qadhi as pretty much a shill for the official Salafism of Saudi Arabia. The kind of movement which preaches extreme hate, but then carves out certain excpetions -- against tyranny, but not the al Saud family; against oppression, but only if by "oppression" you mean Palestinians oppressed by Jews, but not Palestinians oppressed by Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, or Jordanians; etc, etc.
The problem with rhetoric like that is that people aren't stupid, they see the logical flaws inherent in moderating what is in fact an extremist viewpoint. Complaining about American oppression of Muslims in one breath and then in the next breath saying that America is the best place for Muslims to live just doesn't make anything like sense. For instance, in the accompanying multimedia presentation Qadhi warns Muslims not to say the word "jihad" out loud because the FBI will come knocking at their door .... even while telling them not to support al Qaeda.
The Saudis, and Qadhi, want to have it both ways. They claim that Islamic law is the only just system, the Muslims have an obligation to fight in "defensive jihad", that blasphemy against Islam should be meted out with the death penalty, etc. The typical anti-Western Salafi Islamist rhetoric. Yet, they act surprised and offended when Muslims act upon these very beliefs through agitating for sharia, joining insurgencies against "invaders and their apostate puppets", or joining terrorist groups.
You know who else claims that his jihad is defensive? Osama bin Laden.
And simply condemning al Qaeda does not a moderate make. There are dozens of other violent Salafi jihadist organizations that aren't al Qaeda.
Qadhi himself has four former students who have been arrested on terror related charges. Four! He somehow has the cajones to tell the New York Times that all four of them misunderstood his message. That's an awful lot of misunderstanders you got there:
Yet even as he has denounced Islamist violence — too late, some say — a handful of AlMaghrib’s former students have heeded the call. In addition to the underwear-bomb suspect [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab], the 36,000 current and former students of Qadhi’s institute include Daniel Maldonado, a New Hampshire convert who was convicted in 2007 of training with an Al Qaeda-linked militia in Somalia; Tarek Mehanna, a 28-year-old pharmacist arrested for conspiring to attack Americans; and two young Virginia men [Waqar Hussain Khan & Ahmed Abdullah Minni] held in Pakistan in 2009 for seeking to train with militants.To the author's credit, the NYT's seems to see the cognitive dissonance here:
While the dozens of AlMaghrib students I interviewed condemned the tactics of militant groups, many share their basic grievances.But people like Qadhi aren't the solution, they are the problem. The problem lies with the narrative itself, not with how the individual responds to the narrative.
Placing Qadhi on a pedestal because he condemns the tactics of al Qaeda would be like declaring the KKK's first official leader Nathan Bedford Forrest to be a hero because, you know, he didn't like all that lynching and stuff.
The radicalization process for the average Salafi jihadist begins with people like Qadhi who's worldview they share. It's a world full of oppression for Muslims and which only has one solution: political Islam.
To expect them to absorb Qadhi's worldview but stop short of the logically inevitable conclusion drawn from it -- violent jihad -- is to expect Muslims to be superhuman.
We have no problem decrying white supremacism without elevating the leaders in the white supremacy movement to hero status simply for denouncing violence. Yet somehow Muslims like Qadhi who are essentially advocates for a Saudi style legal system are immune from the normal media criticisms which naturally follow such extremist views.
Good work New York Times magazine for showing us once again the liberal penchant for the soft bigotry of low expectations.