Lawrence Auster has weighed in by commenting in my blog, and also posted this comment at his site under the title Kalb vs. Conservative Swede on Islam, with Auster taking a middle position.
As suggested by his title, Auster's idea here is to take a middle position (once again with his now almost ubiquitous "on one hand"/"on the other hand" act). As I have already described: since Auster presents himself as a traditionalist conservative, and this label is connected to Jim Kalb (who was also the founder of VFR), Auster is in need--for the show--not to repudiate the position of Jim Kalb, but to try to wiggle some balance into the discourse; thusly aiming at saving enough of Jim Kalb in order to save the concept of traditionalist conservatism.
But considering that Jim Kalb's position is a "fifth columnist waiting to happen", this is not an easy task. The only way to accomplish it is to grossly mischaracterize my position. Which Auster proceeded to do. Most notably when he writes:
Leaving the details of the rhetoric mastery aside for a second: In order to find a middle weight between my position and the ignorant and treasonous stance of Jim Kalb, my position has to be captured by Auster as a position of wanting to kill all the Muslims. Never mind that this is not at all my position. Nice work, Auster.
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Now Lawrence will of course claim that he didn't explicitly say that my position is that all Muslims should be killed, that he merely associated me with neocon web commenters who said things of the kind (and this is what I attribute to the account of rhetoric mastery, so we can leave it aside right here). Apart from being impudent in itself, it must take quite a lot of stomach for Auster to first complain about my comparison between Powerline and VFR, and then come up with this thing himself.
Even so, I expect Auster to try to fall back on his rhetoric figure, claiming that he has been all fair an not at all disingenuous. But please note that regarding my position of how to deal with Islam (a position that Auster is familiar with), nothing else is written except for this lumping me together with the idea of killing all Muslims (which Auster knows is disingenuous).
Apparently the idea of "no friends to the right of me" is not alien to Auster. He takes a strong position on Islam. But when someone takes a stronger position than him, he does not hesitate to mischaracterize it as a "killing all Muslims" opinion. All while he's apologetic to the objectionable opinion of Jim Kalb. So typical of the society we live in.
Regarding the other idea that Auster wants to glue upon me, that Muslims are monsters: I would say Islam is monstrous, and that Muhammad was a monster. But I know Islam too well to see the Muslims themselves as monsters. The Muslims are the first victims of the horrors of Islam, they are prisoners in this mental prison. And most Muslims have not read the Koran, most of them can't because they do not understand Arabic, and the Koran is never translated in Muslim countries. The average Muslim makes up his own stories of what Islam is about, it becomes oral traditions. And since humanity springs inside every human being, these stories are much more benign than real Islam. Muslims are only monsters to the degree that they follow the commands of the Koran and the example of Muhammad. But most Muslims are unaware of this, and have only tacit knowledge. Their main purpose is in being part of the head count. Islam builds its strength by numbers, both mentally and practically. The tacit knowledge of these Muslims is important for the social cohesion. They all know deep inside e.g. about the Islamic death penalty for apostasy. And if they would forget, there are many triggers for reminding them.
We will find that the degree to which the Muslims in general follow the command of the Koran will depend on the current strength of Islamic imperialism, and whether they are in the center or in the periphery of the empire. Mid 20th century was a good period for these poor prisoners of Islam. Islamic imperialism was at its low and they could live their lives more as they wished. But now when Islam is in the middle of a surge, the true ideas of Islam are spread widely and deeply across the Islamic world. I have been in contact with Muslims in the periphery who told me they fear how the Saudi and Pakistani mullah would soon come to their land, which would mean the end of the good life. They know it.
Also Auster claims that I describe Islam as a "system of sexual perversion". This is a false description. But what should I expect at this point? How could Islam be a system of sexual perversion? How could a system of sexual perversion expand and subdue other cultures for 1400 years? With idea that Auster introduces here of reducing Islam to a "system of sexual perversion", Islam gets reduced into a nothing. Auster appears to be blind to the genius of Muhammad. Islam is a very well-tailored set of formulas. The different parts fit well together into a giant machine that is still running and expanding. As I wrote:
Most of the time when I describe Islam as perverted I'm not referring to sexual perversion. Islam is perverse in all its aspects. Take for example the punishment of stoning to death. Apart from being an atrocious penalty as such, let's look at what the Sharia law specifies about it. First we have the thing about the size of the stones (which I think most people already know about): not too big so they would kill too soon, and not too small. They should have the perfect size for causing maximal pain and damage, to make the process as tortuous as possible. The condemned is wrapped in a sheet and partially buried; male convicts are buried from the waist down, women up to the neck. It is part of the Sharia law that if the convict manages to struggle free and escape, he may go away as a free man and continue his life. This is why women are buried up to the neck. I heard a story from Iran of a case of a woman, who in spite of the virtually impossible odds had managed to struggle herself free, from the position of being buried up to the neck. But next thing a man came out from the crowd sticking a knife into her back, all while the crowd was cheering.
To call this as mysogynic doesn't quite describe it. This is perversely misogynic. In fact, every aspect of Islam is perverse as described above. I challenge both Auster and Kalb to find an aspect of Islam that is not perverse (that is not some peripheral aspect). Everything is perverse: criminal law, civil law, man-woman relations, warfare, heaven, etc.
I've been forced, by his way of acting, to criticize Auster strongly here. But I should add that in spite of Auster's serious flaws at display here, he's still at the overall level a person that encourages debate, and wants to play it fair, and is open to differing opinions. This has not changed. But I think Lawrence has been a bit shocked and shaken by some of the things I have said. So this whole thing might take some time.