Dymphna posted last night about Rebecca Bynum’s new book, Allah is Dead: Why Islam is not a Religion. Some of the commenters on the thread argued that the author’s premise is not true, that Islam is a religion, since its schema includes major elements — a creator, demons, angels, heaven, hell, the end times, etc. — common to Christianity, Judaism, and other religions.
I don’t usually weigh in on such discussions, but I feel compelled to explain why Ms. Bynum is right, and why it important to get her message out in its simplified form.
My primary job is to be a propagandist: that is, my aim as an activist in the Counterjihad cause is to move the meme. Or, more fully, to move multiple memes.
Only by breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes will we bring down the hegemony of the PC/MC establishment which rules the government, the academy, the media, and the culture at large.
Political correctness currently has an absolute lock on the major media, so propagating memes is extremely difficult. Yes, it helps us to get one of our people on TV as a talking head, but the setup in such situations is almost always rigged to make the interviewee look nutty or dangerous, so the value of such appearances is limited.
For large-scale effectiveness, we must proceed more stealthily, and with more limited goals. Each step is small, and seems inconsequential, but when aggregated our tiny successes have an effect, and will accelerate the change in our direction when things go sideways for the oligarchs.
To do the job, we must insert many, many memelets into common discourse. This must be accomplished at a level well below that of the celebrities and famous pundits, because action on that battlefield invites a massive and well-funded counterattack by CAIR, ISNA, the OIC, etc.
I’ve been paying close attention for the last seven years, and during that time there have been numerous changes in the common discourse at the samizdat level, below what is officially permitted in public discourse. For example, the phrase “Mohammed the pedophile” is now common — almost universal — in popular forums and discussion groups. It even pops up at the higher levels occasionally, and gets people like Susanne Winter and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff charged and tried. This meme was very rare until well after 9-11.
You might say, “But, strictly speaking, it’s not true — Mohammed’s marriage to a child was a commonly accepted practice in his day, among both Muslims and non-Muslims. It was not considered pedophilia back then. Asserting this is an example of the fallacy of ‘presentism’.”
These counterarguments are reasonable, and they may well be true. But they don’t advance the meme.
It’s the same with “Islam is not a religion.” This concept was all but unheard of just six or seven years ago. But now it is common currency.
To push memes like these into mass circulation, they must be oversold. If we spend all our time fine-tuning them, they won’t emerge into popular consciousness. If we include the historical background, the comparative theology, the philosophical references, and all the subtle nuances of the whole truth, the meme will never spread.
As a propagandist, my task is to spread the meme and not to sweat the nuances. Nuances can be argued about and nailed down by scholars in the centuries after Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion — is totally destroyed. We don’t have the luxury for such finicky scholasticism right now.
If I wanted to be totally accurate, I might say something like this: “Islam contains religious, political, and cultural ideologies that are fused into a unitary system. Unlike Christianity and Judaism, its political elements have never been separated from its theological ones. Those elements are supremacist, totalitarian, and expansionist.”
Now, that’s fairly accurate, and it’s about as short a statement as you can craft and still include the nuances of the situation. But as a meme, it’s a bust. You can squeeze the trigger on that particular rhetorical gun, and the bullet will just roll out of the barrel and plop into the dust at your feet.
Ordinary people understand the essence of what is intended when someone says, “Islam is not a religion.” They know that it means that Islam is not like modern Christianity. They understand that it refers to the fact that Muslim zealots will lie, steal, cheat, rape, torture, murder, and blow up trains and airplanes to attain political ends. That’s not what they consider a religion.
They know all these things already. Despite the intensive indoctrination they’ve been subjected to for forty years, the truth comes through: they see the dismembered bodies and the burning buildings and the disfigured women, and they understand that “Allahu Akhbar” is involved in virtually every single incident.
So the meme works, because it is true at an essential level.
But we have to oversell it to get it out there on everyone’s lips.
Our propaganda is aimed at changing minds at the margin, at affecting the thinking of those whose opinions are not yet fully formed. If we wait until we get every jot and tittle of our message perfect, the scimitar will be at our throats before we change even a single mind.