Saturday, October 02, 2010

'What Would Mohammed Do?'

In his autobiographical, “Surprised by Joy,” C.S. Lewis described his momentous first meeting with the influential schoolmaster, Kirk (or “the Great Knock”). Kirk was a rationalist and an atheist, a rigorous logician. On his first encounter with Kirk while de-training in Surrey, the young Lewis, lost for anything better to discuss, off-handedly noted his surprise at the “wildness” of the Surrey countryside. Kirk promptly pounced on the description, wanting to know exactly what Lewis meant by the proposition, and upon what his expectations of the flora and fauna of Surrey had been based. Lewis was soon admitting it hadn’t been based on anything -- not “maps, or photographs or books” -- or anything else. Whereupon Lewis learned his first lesson on the hazards of baseless opinions.
“Do you not see, then,” concluded the Great Knock, “that your remark was meaningless? Do you not see, then, that you had no right to have any opinion whatever on the subject?”
A couple of recent incidents have revealed that Henry Payne, Detroit News editorial cartoonist and sometime commentator, has made friends with CAIR’s Dawud Walid. I don’t begrudge either man his friends, surely. It’s still a free country.

Wrote Payne on Friday:
A leading Detroit-area Muslim has condemned the threats against a Seattle Weekly cartoonist who has been forced into hiding for drawing Mohammed.

"This is unacceptable," says Dawud Walid, president of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR). "We like to ask 'What would Mohammed do?', referring to the Muslim prophet's own pleading for tolerance when he was condemned for his point of view.
(“Free speech thwarted in U.S. as cartoonist forced to hide”).
Here’s the thing: I’m no more going to buy that Walid believes in a Mohammed “pleading for tolerance when he was condemned for his point of view,” or that CAIR champions free speech, than I’m going to buy the Brooklyn Bridge. Both the Qu-ran and Mohammed’s biographers have left no doubt that he exacted cruel, bloody revenge against those who criticized him, and inspired his followers to do the same.

It is a perennial CAIR propaganda point -- trotted out whenever Islam’s insatiable need for bloody revenge hits the news -- that the Prophet didn’t have an angry bone in his body. In this case it’s the insane calls for revenge against former Seattle Weekly cartoonist, Molly Norris, now in hiding, that has Walid painting Mohammed as an exemplar of Christian forbearance. A few years back CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper tried to deflect world Islam’s irrational rage over the Mohammed cartoons by telling the media, knowingly full well it was a lie, that the Prophet always responded to attacks on himself with kindness. (“Muhammad's Dead Poets Society — Peaceful Non-assassinations of Critics”).

Walid may well say that he and his brothers in the Ikhwan “like to ask ‘What would Mohammed do?,’” but the Ikhwan sure doesn’t like it when nonMuslims ask, because the answer isn’t very nice. CAIR is dedicated to slandering critics as Islamophobes and bigots in an attempt to shut them up. CAIR’s primary tactic is to silence criticism of Islam, whether it’s in the media, in law enforcement agencies, or even from terrified airline passengers who overhear Ikhwan agents staging a terrorist dry run.

Anyone from that organization taking a stand for free expression is prima facie proof of lying.

Henry Payne seems to have taken a liking to Walid: he believes he’s sincere, even patriotic (!). Consequently, Payne is giving Walid (and CAIR, naturally) credibility by puffing him in his columns.

Payne has a right to do that, if we’re speaking in terms of his right to associate with, or hold an opinion of, or speak, about, anyone or anything he pleases. Payne is, after all, an opinion journalist, and cartoonist. Nor, unlike Dawid Walid, do I have any doubts about Payne’s sincerity.

But he is sincerely misinformed. His opinions that Walid is a straight shooter, that CAIR is a benevolent civil rights organization, that Mohammed was a preacher of tolerance and free speech, are simply all wet.

He cannot have done his homework. Payne can start with finding out what CAIR really is, and what the Muslim Brotherhood has in mind, and what really happened to people who crossed Mohammed.

And until he has done so, as Old Knock would surely say to him, Payne really has no right to have any opinion whatever on the subject of what Mohammed or his followers would do.


Max said...

Bearing in mind my belief that Islam is fundamentally different from any religion anticipated in the Constitution and therefore has no right to build a mosque at ground zero or anywhere else, I would suggest Muslims could better prove their commitment to universal brotherhood by using a few billion petrodollars to rebuild the World Trade Center rather than insisting on building what looks exactly like a victory mosque.

'nuff already said...

Well said! I also thought it would be a nice gesture if Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf stopped in to see Ahmadinejad on his recent world tour...the purpose of the visit to secure the release of the remaining two male hikers. If a ransom is to be paid for their release, perhaps he would be good enough to collect donations from US Muslims...