Diane Rehm Show: Paul Pillar And Akbar Ahmed Show Their Hand

The Diane Rehm show today was devoted to the topic of terror and the global response. There were several guests. Not much of value was said. Paul Pillar, who — like Michael Scheuer, with whom he has affinities — was once at the C.I.A., and supposed to understand enough about Islam to grasp the nature of the Jihad being waged, using various instruments including qital (combat) and terrorism, against the Western world. On the show, he found ways not to applaud the heroism, and the sacrifice, of the members of Charlie-Hebdo who were well aware of the dangers they were passing, and that were, every day, to come, but to explain that they really should not have so offended a billion-and-a-half (his figures) people, that we always should take into account our audience — in other words, the Western world should allow itself to be cowed by Muslim threats and Muslim violence. He even invoked, inappositely, the famous Holmesian phrase, as part of his pious attempt to curtail freedom of the press and speech through self-censorship, that there is no right to shout fire in a crowded theater.

Smooth-tongued sober soft-voiced taqiyya-and-kitman Akbar Ahmed, of the conveniently-located-to-NPR-offices-in-Washington Washington University, of course deplored the murders, but he assured everyone that no serious Musliim scholar found any support for such violence in Islam, in the hope, I supppose, that listeners would never have heard of the Hadith or Sira, and would not have known about the extensive record of Muhammad’s ordering, or being delighted to find out about even if he didn’t order, the killing of those who mocked him. I am quite sure that Akbar Ahmed knows all about Ka’f bin al-Ashraf, Asma bint Marwan, and Abu ‘Akaf, and just as sure that he would prefer that those names never be mentioned, or their significance discussed, before unwary Infidels.

Then there was a man, one Karim Amnallah(sp? a name to that effect), who managed somehow — possibly as a result of the affirmative-action policies of the late unlammented Richard Descoings (dissected so wonderfully by Eric Zemmour in “Le Suicide francais”) — to obtain a job at Sciences Po(lytechnique). Every time he had a chance, every time he was asked about, for example, the attacks on Jews, he gave a pro-forma yes, of course, as a citizen (but he distinguished being a “citizen” from being a “Muslim”) he deplored the killings,but then he immediately, within a second, began discussing islamophobia, and the terrible double-standard in France, as he and so many Muslims saw it, whereby everything bad said about Jews is punished (he is apparently unaware of how Charlie-Hebdo mocked Jews and elements of Judaism, all the time, without the slightest fear), and how in unfair France everyone can go around saying whatever they want about Muslims. He apparently thinks that negationism – negationnisme — that is, denial of the Holocaust — is equivalent to, say, taking apart and holding up for inspection the texts and tenets of Islam, of criticising the figure of Muhammad (a figure who may or may not have existed, but what is being criticised are those sayings and deeds attributed to Muhammad by Muslims, on the basis of what is in the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira). His constant self-pity, his pretense that in France it is the Muslims who are subject to irrational attack, his attempt to make us think that all criticism of Islam, no matter how rooted in the texts themselves, is the same thing as “islamophobia” — that is, always and everywhere constitutes an “irrational” fear of Islam — this was all telling.

You can listen to PaulĀ  Pillar, and Akbar Ahmed, and the Karim from Sciences Po, and perfectly reasonable Robin Wright (not an apologist) if you’d like to analyze further the rhetorical ways and wiles, by now so familiar and so transparent, of the apologists and the Defenders of the Faith, of the guests who appeared today on the Diane Rehm show, here.