Nothing Whatsoever: Hillary Clinton’s ‘No True Scotsman’

Hillary Clinton, last week:

The bottom line is that we are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate, and we have to win. Let’s be clear, though, Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. The obsession in some quarters with a clash of civilization, or repeating the specific words radical Islamic terrorism isn’t just a distraction, it gives these criminals, these murderers more standing than they deserve. It actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side.

Let’s take this one sentence at a time.

The bottom line is that we are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate, and we have to win.

No, we are at war with radical Islamism, which long ago declared war on us. “Contest of ideas” plays into it, insofar as we seek to dissuade would-be jihadists from joining the ranks of, or otherwise giving aid and comfort to, those waging war on the West, but this is not a Presidential primary debate–it is war.

And if we are to win that war, as Clinton says we must, then we should (1) understand that it is a war, and (2) understand who and what we are at war with.

Let’s be clear, though, Islam is not our adversary.

If Ms. Clinton were seeking clarity, she would not rely so heavily on weasel-words, like “adversary.” But yes, let us be clear.

What Ms. Clinton might have said, if she were inclined toward clarity rather than obfuscation, was that we are not at war with Islam, but this would have left the impression that we are at war with something else–perhaps with an “ideology of hate,” as she put it.

But no, we are apparently trying to win a “contest of ideas” against an unspecified “adversary,” the latter being a word that can mean anything from an opponent in a chess match, to a foreign invader hell-bent on committing genocide on your group.

So yes, let’s be clear, Ms. Clinton: We are at war with global radical Islamism–Islamism being a subset, but not the totality, of Islam. Put simply, then, we are at war with radical Islamism, but we are not at war with Islam per se.

Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.

Nonsense. On stilts.

A better way to state the reality:

  1. Many Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
  2. Many Muslims are intolerant, but have nothing to do terrorism.
  3. Many Muslims are intolerant and support terrorism, but do not participate in it directly.
  4. Many Muslims are intolerant, support terrorism, and participate in it directly.

In other words, Islam is not all One Big Thing. Anyone who says it is One Big Thing is lying, or is a moron. The Religion of Peace narrative is just as specious and unsupported by reality as the All Muslims Are Terrorists (or terrorist sympathizers) narrative is. A pox on both narratives.

The facts are that Islam is multifaceted, and its adherents’ behavior ranges from benign to evil–all of which behavior can be justified by their particular (and sometimes, largely regional) interpretation of Islam.

If you doubt the diversity of Islam, check out Pew’s “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society” (2013).

And a footnote: There are moderate (and liberal) Muslims, and then there are fake moderates like the favorite go-to Muslim spokespeople of the media (and Hamas front group), CAIR. When the media consistently holds up obvious wolves like CAIR as sheep, it’s little wonder that some people conclude that the term “moderate Muslim” is a fantasy–but it is not.

The obsession in some quarters with a clash of civilization, or repeating the specific words radical Islamic terrorism isn’t just a distraction, it gives these criminals, these murderers more standing than they deserve.

Ms. Clinton may have meant to say “civilizations,” plural.

Obsession? OK, Ms. Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Lady. 😀

I dislike the term “clash of civilizations,” if only because it confuses what’s actually going on. Islamism is at war with the West, but it is also at war with what it considers illegitimate, “apostate” regimes in the Muslim world. For example,

[Abu Musab] Al-Zarqawi started [Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, which evolved into ISIS] with the intention of overthrowing the “apostate” Kingdom of Jordan, which he considered to be un-Islamic. After toppling Jordan’s monarchy, presumably he would turn to the rest of the Levant.

As for “the obsession…with repeating the specific words radical Islamic terrorism” being a “distraction,” Ms. Clinton is, as they say on the Interwebs, FOS. As I noted earlier, if we are to win the war that Ms. Clinton calls a “contest,” but nevertheless says we must win, then we should (1) understand that it is a war, and (2) understand who and what we are at war with. Repeatedly attempting to force Leftists to stop playing word games is not an obsession on our part, so much as an obsession, on the part of Leftists, with avoiding speaking the plain truth.

Ms. Clinton resents the fact that murderous jihadi Islamists are motivated by their particular interpretation of Islam. I’m sure that millions of Muslims the world over are similarly exercised. But an Islamist who is motivated by a particular interpretation of Islam is still a Muslim, and still part of Islam. To state the obvious, this is Islam’s problem, not Christianity’s, or Judaism’s, etc.

Playing word games about what motivates radical Islamists does nothing to help anyone other than Islamists; denying their religious motivation is an absurd exercise.

It actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side.

Playing the Religion of Peace game is what hurts moderate and liberal Muslims.

Nobody with half a brain hears about a Muslim homicide bomber praising Allah before he blows up innocents and thinks, well this obviously has nothing to do with Islam, because Islam is a Religion of Peace.

But when the obvious fact that an atrocity was motivated by Islamist fervor is denied out of Western squeamishness; when the proverbial No True Scotsman card is played; when the intellectual towel is thrown in, and we pretend that Islam is in no need of reform, because “terrorists” are mere “criminals,” and are not Muslims–that’s when, as the saying goes, “the terrorists win,” because Islam and Islamism–Muslim faith versus Muslim theocracy–are lazily assumed to be one and the same.

Playing word games get us nowhere. If Hillary Clinton is elected President, we will likely be subjected to eight more years of such word games, and the consequences will be deadly for many.

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