After reading my article Islam—perverted parasitical psychopathy, you wrote to me:
I was surprised to get this answer from you. You had appeared to me as a person who knows Islam really well. But recently it has struck me that you have mainly looked at Islam from the outside, as an external enemy, and not taken enough interest in looking at Islam from the inside, about what makes it tick, and how it is to live in a Muslim society. My view of Islam is shaped by years of dialog with ex-Muslim telling about life in Muslim societies. Their stories are very strong, and it is quite possible that you would react to them in the same way, that it "seems awfully extreme, cartoonish, taking elements of Islam and then turning up the volume to the maximum". But this is the life they live. And by hearing their stories while in parallel reading the Koran and the Hadiths, where all of this is meticulously described and regulated, the connection between the stories and the sources--and the full picture--becomes very clear.
The part about "taking elements of Islam and then turning up the volume to the maximum" sounds like something Dinesh D'Souza would say to Robert Spencer. Let's take a key section of my article, and you tell me what is wrong with it, Lawrence:
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What specific things I bring up in this paragraph do you consider cherry-picking and/or "turning up the volume to the maximum"? What part of it is not an accurate and detached description of Islam?
And regarding your question:
Your question is a surprising one since it comes as a reaction to an article that makes the effort to describe key elements of what makes Islam function well. E.g. expansion and parasitism are things that make Islam thrive. Your confusion to take my description as ground for implying that this couldn't function, suggests to me that, quite as Jim Kalb, you apply your moral standards of good and bad to the issue of whether something "works". You seem to think that if it's bad--bad to the core--it cannot work. I consider this a very misguided way of thinking. A system can work very well, even if it is bad into its essence--according to your or my moral standards. Islam definitely doesn't trigger the sides of human nature that we would like to see encouraged. But it definitely works.
Furthermore, I do not describe Islam as pathological. As long as there is opportunity for expansion and parasitism it is very vital. And its aggressiveness keeps enemies away in the fallow periods. Islam is perverted, parasitical and psychopathic. But it's not pathological. I describe Muhammad's invention as the closest thing we've seen to a perpetuum mobile. This the opposite of saying that it is pathological.