Allowing extremists to set the limits of conversation validates and entrenches the extremists' premises. That was true in the criticism of Charlie Hebdo's covers, and it's even truer in today's crimes.Thus, the responsibility rests with the individuals. Not with their belief system. Not with their environment. That quickly puts us in contested territory. George Packer in The New Yorker elaborates.
These murders can't be explained by a close read of an editorial product, and they needn't be condemned on free speech grounds. They can only be explained by the madness of the perpetrators, who did something horrible and evil that almost no human beings anywhere ever do, and the condemnation doesn't need to be any more complex than saying unprovoked mass slaughter is wrong.
A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents. Islam today includes a substantial minority of believers who countenance, if they don’t actually carry out, a degree of violence in the application of their convictions that is currently unique. Charlie Hebdo had been nondenominational in its satire, sticking its finger into the sensitivities of Jews and Christians, too—but only Muslims responded with threats and acts of terrorism. For some believers, the violence serves a will to absolute power in the name of God, which is a form of totalitarianism called Islamism—politics as religion, religion as politics. “Allahu Akbar!” the killers shouted in the street outside Charlie Hebdo. They, at any rate, know what they’re about.I believe the same principle applies to any other attempt to call out entire populations for the sins of a few. Consider #notallmen, and compare and contrast. Here's an Uncle Tim, reacting to a massacre perpetrated by a frustrated trustafarian late last spring. I do a little word substitution.
These thoughts don’t offer a guide to mitigating the astonishing surge in Islamist killing around the world. Rage and condemnation don’t do the job, nor is it helpful to alienate the millions of Muslims who dislike what’s being done in the name of their religion. Many of them immediately condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo, in tones of anguish particular to those whose deepest beliefs have been tainted. The answer always has to be careful, thoughtful, and tailored to particular circumstances.
The murderer was active onHard choice: treat jihadi discussion boards as subversive per se, or pickup artist discussion boards as threatening per se, or work to identify the individuals most prone to act on the nastiest impulses encouraged thereon. Back to the Uncle Tim.
men’s rights,jihadi fora, where womeninfidels are highly objectifiedotherized, to say the very least. They are seen as nonhuman by many such groups, and at the very least lesser than menMoslems — sometimes nothing more than targets or things to acquire. What these menjihadi write puts them, to me, in the same category as White Power movements, or any other horribly bigoted group that “others” anyone else. While it may not be possible to blame the men’s rightsjihadi groups for what happened, from the reports we’ve seen they certainly provided an atmosphere of support.
Why is it not helpful to say “not allOK, so what's the more productive strategy, whether the objective is to encourage boorish men to behave like gentlemen, or jihadis to respect the pacific traditions of their faith?
menMoslems are like that”? For lots of reasons. For one, womenEverybody know this. They already know not every manMoslem is a rapist, or a murderer, or violent. They don’t need you to tell them.
Second, it’s defensive. When people are defensive, they aren’t listening to the other person; they’re busy thinking of ways to defend themselves. I watched this happen on Twitter, over and again.
Earlier, I mentioned that the conversation is about thePerhaps, although it's ultimately about what individuals do. Perhaps in the rabbit culture, it's the saner guys not egging on the predatory guys. What is the generalization?
menMoslems who are the problem, not the ones who aren’t. Well, at this point, a conversation needs to be had about them, too. Even though we may not be the direct problem, we still participate in the cultural problem. If we’re quiet, we’re part of the problem. If we don’t listen, if we don’t help, if we let things slide for whatever reason, then we’re part of the problem, too.
menMoslems need to do better.
Or let's do the same word substitution on a rant by a self-described guerrilla feminist.
You are acting like because you neverWhen I first responded to the Elliot Rodger story, I gave the final word to Cathy Young. With word substitution, it still works. "But the worst possible answer is a toxic version of
raped or beat a womanengaged in a terrorist act that you are not participating in rape culture or misogynyjihad [I could have let the original words stand]. The fact that you are exempting yourself from a conversation about how menMoslems treat womennonbelievers and how patriarchyjihad operates means that you ARE part of the problem.
When you say ‘not all
menMoslems!’ you are completely shirking responsibility for how you benefit from patriarchyjihad. You are evading accountability for your participation in a cultureworld-view that systematically privileges your genderbelief system. When you silence womencritics and derail feministresponsive conversations with your ‘but not all menMoslems!’ bullshit, you are exposing yourself as one of “those menMoslems” that you purportedly abhor so much that you feel the need to distance yourself from them in the first place. Hate to break it to you, turkey, but if you’re silencing womencritics and derailing feministpointed conversations to make them all about you and your feelings than you ARE one of THOSE MENJIHADIS. You are revealing yourself as the true antifeminist faux-allyuseful idiot you really are.
So, you never
raped a womancommitted an act of terrorism. What do you want? A cookie? A medal? A goddamn Nobel Peace Prize? You want feminists everywherethinking people to stop doing the critical work they’re doing to pat you on the back for never raping anyoneengaging in terrorist acts? Do have any idea how unbelievably fucked [c.q.] up that is? Also, as I’ve stated before, here’s a pro-tip: if you don’t want womenother people to think of you as a potential rapistterrorist, then maybe you should start by working to end rapeterrorism by educating men not to rape womenengage in terrorism, rather than attacking womencritics for implicating all menMoslems in rape culturejihad. MenMoslems are the people doing the majority of the raping in this countryglobal terrorism. Acknowledging this reality is not anti-maleIslamophobia, its simply stating a fact [No, I'm not going to do the same word substitution at the link. That's left as an exercise.].