How do we do it?
Thankfully I gave myself a few seconds to calm down and thought again. I thought I might call the Police and have them handle it. But what is there to handle? Where is the crime? He'd insulted my sensibilities and the memory of millions of dead but that wasn't a crime. Besides, wouldn't it do more good for me to personally discuss the matter man to man with the owner? Then we can identify each other as people rather than only as ideological opponents. I finally resolved to pray for the young fella and try to discuss the matter with him when I could. I realised that the Swastika to him was merely some sort of symbol of rebellion and self-determination. He couldn't see what it actually was: a symbol of arrogance, murder and subjugation.
Talking could make all the difference. I just might bring him round using facts, ideas and history. Or he might never "get it" but, because it's important, I had to at least try.
Islamophobia is supposedly some kind of hatred for Muslims. In usage it gets conflated with hating a culture or a group of people who have a different skin colour - racism. As far as I can tell, those who accuse others of it seem to be able to read minds yet have a problem with simple English. Never mind what the critics of the religion & ideology of Islam actually say or think, our opponents somehow know the truth: you're a racist.
So Islamophobes are lots of things apparently - racists, xenophobes, hate filled bigots - but until now nobody has actually given a decent definition of the term. When well educated people cannot even provide a clear and simple definition of the term you know the criticism is based on feelings rather than evidence.
This problem is highlighted in this item from the Gates of Vienna where someone is finally trying to define the term and yet fails miserably:~
One of the early-warning shots comes from a paper entitled “Towards a Working Definition of Islamophobia”, published earlier this year by Chris Allen, a lecturer in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Birmingham.
Dr. Allen accepted the challenge: he devised a tentative definition of the contested term “Islamophobia”... Here’s the new working definition of “Islamophobia”:
“Islamophobia is a certain perception of Muslims, which may be expressed as hatred toward Muslims. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Islamophobia are directed toward Muslim or non-Muslim individuals and/or their property, toward Muslim community institutions and religious facilities”
When time permits, I’ll write more about this confection of vague, nebulous descriptors, but for the moment I’ll just state the bleedin’ obvious: this isn’t a definition of Islamophobia, it’s a definition of Muslimophobia. Islam is not involved at all. The words “Islam” and “Islamic” do not appear in the text. To paraphrase Monty Python, it’s certainly uncontaminated by “Islam”.
The wording of this definition deals entirely with the fear or hatred of Muslims, and nothing else. Therefore the definition is inaccurate, incoherent, and inappropriate as a gloss on “Islamophobia”.
As it happens, Islam — which is what we “Islamophobes” of the Counterjihad oppose — is a political ideology that includes juridical and religious components. It is not a people, and it is most certainly not a race. Any definition of “Islamophobia” that fails to mention the ideological aspect does not even begin to engage the issue.
Quite. Remember these are very clever people we're talking about here. Very clever people that have been forced to try & define a fabricated, pejorative term that has no basis in fact. I don't care how smart you are, you still get nowhere beating a dead horse.
Such problems in defining issues is wide spread. The focus on group identity rather than individual identity is muddying the waters. Take the recent Charlottesville riot. Few seem to be encouraging a rational analysis of what happened there and what is happened in the West.
As Melanie Phillips notes
But here’s the awful thing. The more the mainstream establishment abandons or undermines western national identity, the more the fascist right postures that it alone is defending it. The more the fascist right flexes its muscles, the more the left seizes on those people as cultural aggressors, falsely presents the totalitarian left along with the Islamists as their victims and the heroic defenders of freedom, and assassinates the character of anyone who dares protest that the left along with the Islamists are in fact the twin destroyers of freedom and the major threat to it. The more mainstream society flees in terror from this cultural battleground, the greater the vacuum into which the fascist right will increasingly march. If mainstream society doesn’t get its act together, totalitarianism will win.
This fearsome situation is the reason Donald J Trump came to power. The west has simply come off the cultural rails. Conservatism, the attitude of mind which conserves what is valuable in a society and defends it as the cultural legacy to be handed down to generations as yet unborn, no longer knows what it is supposed to be defending. Faced with the focused and implacable onslaught of secularism and left-wing ideology aimed at undermining and destroying the cultural legacy of the west, conservatives have scattered in total bewilderment, confusion and fear.
As a result the west, the crucible of reason, freedom and order, is repudiating these altogether and reverting to a Hobbesian war of all against all.
I have repeatedly stated my concern about Trump’s psychological flaws and his patent inadequacy for the great office he holds. But I separate the man from what he represents: the promotion and defence of American and western core values. That’s what his 63 million voters were saying they wanted when they elected him.
Those ranged against him are the apogee of what has been happening for the past fifty years: the willed undermining of the west by the totalitarian left. The gross and suicidal disorder of the age has thrown up a president who stands outside the boundaries of what is acceptable because western society itself has inverted truth and lies, right and wrong, justice and injustice. Trump is the creation of the left – and the more ugly their attempt to destroy him, the more they remind us just why this man was elected.
Trump is very far from what I would have chosen as the holder of any public office. But when I see the contempt for democracy shown by those trying to lever him out, the vicious lies and frankly deranged character assassination deployed against him and his team, the violence and intimidation used by his opponents – and the way in which the media keep the public in widespread ignorance of all this because the media, along with the rest of the intelligentsia, have their minds hermetically sealed by the same group-think – I know who frightens me more.
When feelings take the place of facts we all lose. This is a little like the old gag about a preacher who scribbled on his sermon notes "argument weak here - SHOUT!" But shouting bad ideas doesn't magically turn them into good ideas.
I must say that I encourage Communists, Anarchists, Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Neo-Nazis and Islamists to hold rallies and demonstrations. I want to read their placards. I want to hear them speak (and kindly identify themselves for the cameras while they're at it). Tell me who & what you hate. Tell me what you want to see replace what we currently have. Thank you, now that we can clearly hear & see what you stand for we can form a response.
Rarely are people all bad. But there are some very bad arguments out there which can easily be pulled apart. We do need to hear the arguments though. What do these people believe? How can we shed some light?
This is our job gentle reader - to insist on hearing the arguments of the hateful, including those who are excluded and vilified - all of them - and to calmly, patiently and respectfully present our own positions. We might learn something. We have the ability to build. We can make things better based on relationships and human empathy. So we really have to build bridges, clear things up and sort things out - if we can. Of course some matters we may never sort out - if my neighbour doesn't turn against National Socialism I will still never agree that it is a good thing - but we have the obligation to try.
Like my experience with my neighbour - I can't forget he is an individual and that he misunderstands some things. I can't lose my opportunity to help us both learn. Simply applying a label & stigmatising him will not proceed the argument or better the world. I will pray for him and I will look for an opportunity to help him know better.