Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Derbyshire, the Nation of Islam and Islam

I read Derbyshire's original entry about Nation of Islam etc., again.

Lawrence Auster wrote about it: "[Derbyshire] said that there are homegrown Muslims, like the Nation of Islam, and that separationism, meaning stopping immigration or reversing immigration, won't help us with them."

But Derbyshire says much more than that!

Read the whole thing carefully from the beginning. The overall issue is the poll of the U.S. Muslims. Derbyshire points out the inclusion of the N.o.I. adherents. And then goes on to say "That skews the whole thing, both response-wise and solution-wise.", the "whole thing" here referring to U.S. Muslims in general. And in specifying how the whole thing becomes skewed solution-wise, he says that therefore "none [my emphasis] of the policies proposed by 'separationists' is relevant." Why? Because of Nation of Islam. Because of these guys--who are not even Muslims--none of the real Muslims can be "separated". Yes, this is really what he is saying.

But the last paragraph is even more interesting. Derbyshire takes us through his argument in three steps:

  1. "N.o.I. types seem to be interested mainly in encouraging black racial solidarity and sounding off about the wickedness of whites".
  2. "Giving unpleasant answers to questions asked by pollsters like the Pew Research people, comes under the heading 'sounding off' and probably shouldn't be taken very seriously."
  3. "Excluding N.o.I. respondents from the poll figures would likely give a clearer picture of the actual danger."
So according to Derbyshire the "unpleasant answers" in the Pew poll come excessively from the N.o.I. respondents, and if they were removed, we would get "a clearer picture of the actual danger". That is that there is not as much of an actual danger from Islam, as suggested by the Pew poll, according to Derbyshire. As pointed out by Robert Spencer, we cannot expect more than this from someone who thinks that Karen Armstrong is worth reading.

What would mislead us the first time reading Derbyshire's entry is that he, in the middle of his three-step argument, interleaves the comment about the N.o.I. adherents not being the ones engaging in "martyrdom operations". With a less careful reading this will leave the impression that he means the opposite of what he does when he talks about getting "a clearer picture of the actual danger". As anyone else with a liberal mindset about Islam, Derbyshire is, of course, aware of that suicide bombing and terrorism comes from among the real Muslims, but imagines that this is a fringe, and that proper Islam is not like that.

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