Klavan On The Culture

The Jesting Pilate Brigade

“WHAT is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer….  It is not only the difficulty and labor which men take in finding out of truth, nor again that when it is found it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. ” Francis Bacon

We all remember the episode of the British sitcom Fawlty Towers where hotelier Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese, entertains some German guests while repeatedly warning all his employees: “Don’t mention the war!” Hilarity ensues as the repressed subject keeps bubbling unbidden out of Fawlty’s own mouth.

It’s like that with Islam now, with Muslim murderers murdering for Muslim reasons. Don’t mention it. Don’t say the word. As if silence will make it invisible rather than more insistently present.

Hillary Clinton made the Fawlty effort during the Democrat debate over the weekend: “That was one of the real contributions, despite all the other problems, that George W. Bush made after 9/11, when he basically said, after going to a mosque in Washington, we are not at war with Islam or Muslims. We are at war with violent extremism, we are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression and yes we are at war with those people. But I don’t want us to be painting with too broad a brush.”

At least Mrs. Clinton made it sound as if she were speaking about a certain PR strategy. Too many others sound simply deluded. Including our president, who refuses to use the word Islam when describing terrorism and will only refer to it as “violent extremism.” His Department of Homeland Security head, Jeh Johnson, went even further: “I believe strongly – and I hear this over and over again from Muslim leaders in this country – that to refer to ISIL as ‘Islamic extremism’ concedes too much. It dignifies them as occupying some part of the Islamic faith, which is about peace.”

What makes these people experts on what is and isn’t Islamic anyway? I ask because the head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, reportedly has a P.H.D. in Islamic studies from an Islamic university — and he seems to feel what he’s doing fits in very neatly with Islamic beliefs. And in fact, just the other day, I was holding my breath waiting for the Million Muslim March of Muslim people protesting the Islamic terrorism around the world…  but I must’ve passed out since that’s the last thing I remember.

Is it just fear that causes our politicians and commentators to go the full Fawlty on this issue? Is it just strategy: don’t alienate the peaceful ones while you kill the violent ones? No, I don’t think so.

For the left to accept that the precepts of Islam may not be reconcilable with western values would be for them to accept that multi-culturalism is wrong, that the moral relativism that underpins multi-culturalism is wrong, that the values of the west, which they have disparaged so long, are not, in fact, values at all but morals — the human expression of an objective moral order — and that that moral order was discovered in the west through the grace of (eek!) a religion not to be named, and that that religion comes closer to the moral truth than Islam and indeed maybe closer to the moral truth than any other religion, which in turn raises the possibility that that religion (not to be named) is actually a true religion…

In other words, simply to say “The terrorists are Muslims” is to undermine every lie the left has been selling us and themselves for the last fifty years.

It would be a bitter pill for them to swallow. A bitter, suspiciously Jesus-shaped pill.