I was lamenting the way so many discussions about Islamic terrorism turn out to be not really discussions at all with a friend this morning and he reminded me of a few basics that sometimes slip my mind.
I’m referring to my previous post here. Nick Cohen was not responding to the actual arguments of the other side. He was reading right past the actual words spoken and using them as signals to assess what he believed to be the values, the beliefs, the intentions of the other side of the debate.
The other side is a “regressive left”, they would have us all sympathize with the terrorists and blame the West and limit our freedoms so that no-one offends any Muslim, and anyone who dares criticise the religion of Islam is labelled an Islamophobe. It is not difficult for me to interpret some commenters on Vridar as thinking the same of me on the basis of what I write.
So why are such absurdly false charges made in the first place?
I was reminded of the answer. It is to shut debate down. If the other side is shown (it is believed) to be on the side of the enemy then that settles the matter.
That led me to thinking about my analogy with the study of the rise of Nazism in the Germany of the 1920s and 30s. Continue reading “Why have discussions about Islamic terrorism turned out like this?”