Ralph Peters comes out from behind the tree and names names. I first wrote a post on on the spineless editorial Peters' penned for the New York Post. What exactly caused Peters to do such a 180 and criticize legitimate scholars of Islam remains a mystery.
It seems to me that in his new found haste to distance himself from those critical of Islam, he has thrown our finest Islamic scholars in with Muslim haters. Not wise, not smart, and downright dangerous, irresponsible even -- considering what is at stake in these critical times.
Andrew Bostom wrote a scathing historical critique to Peters panting pandering, Ralph Peters Unhinged at The American Thinker. Bostom examined and questioned the "columnist, novelist, and retired United States Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters [who] has earned a reputation as an often insightful and provocative analyst of military affairs and geopolitics. But of late, he has taken to vilifying those who examine the theology and practice of Jihad in Islam."
During his interview with Ms. Ingraham, Peters held up Indonesia “the world’s most populous Muslim country” as a paragon of moderate Islam. This is the same Indonesia that in the mid-1960s, Sukarno fatwa in hand, waged a murderous jihad against its own Chinese non-Muslim population which killed at least 100,000 ethnic Chinese. In the 1980s a frankly genocidal jihad was waged by the Indonesian government against the Christians of East Timor, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. For at least the past decade, there have been intermittent Indonesian jihadist pogroms against the Christians of the Moluccas which have also killed thousands.
Lastly, with regard to Indonesia, in present day Aceh, where Sharia Law officially prevails, this past week Muslim mobs razed a church in response to a forged (i.e., by a Muslim) advertisement inviting Muslims to a Christian revival service. Here is a published account of what transpired:
Witnesses said there were over 100 [Muslim] men present, many of them carrying swords. The mob poured gasoline over the building and set fire to it; they also attempted to burn a second building that was used as a church kindergarten. Some of the attackers came looking for Saragih and Netty at their home, which is nearby. The couple escaped into the nearby jungle and stayed hidden in the undergrowth. Many thought the couple had been consumed in the flames of the church buildings, but a friend found them at around 4 a.m. Christians in a neighboring province have provided shelter for Saragih [the pastor of the Mission Church which was attacked] and his wife, following reports that local police and Muslim leaders are still searching for the couple. It is uncertain when – or if – they will be free to return home.
But it was Mr. Peter’s confabulatory response to an e-mail question asking him about the number of fatwas issued to condemn the forced conversion of kidnapped Fox News reporters Centanni and Wiig, that was most revealing. Peter’s stated, that he didn’t know of any such fatwas issued, specifically, but he was certain there must have been many. I have written about the forced conversions of Centanni and Wiig, and the day before Mr. Peters appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show, my essay describing the burgeoning problem of violent Muslim Jew hatred in Western Europe was published. It is ironic (and depressing) that what I called for (Vatican II style reforms of Islam itself) is reiterated by Mr. Peters himself , in a slightly different (and less specific, less informed) idiom,
“The long overdue liberal reformation within the Islamic world can only be carried out by Muslims themselves”.
Yet for expressing the same sentiments as Peters’, his repugnant innuendo labels unnamed others as hatemongering bigots, fomenting genocide.
Finally, I have two questions for Mr. Peters regarding the obscene immoral equivalence he made in a February 2006 essay published in the Weekly Standard, which gives the appearance of glorifying jihad terrorists. Peters wrote,
We write off the suicide bomber as a criminal, a wanton butcher, a terrorist. Yet, within his spiritual universe, he’s more heroic than the American soldier who throws himself atop a grenade to spare his comrades: He isn’t merely protecting other men, but defending his god.
1) Who is Peters to say that the American soldier’s act of true self-sacrifice isn’t “defending his god” by Loving His Neighbor?
2) Is saving comrades really comparable to killing and maiming innocents, the latter in pursuit of an imagined heavenly harem of compliant Muslim virgins?
Peters comparison of jihad terrorists and American soldiers in this thoughtless essay is dangerously unhinged—about as unhinged as the crude innuendos in his New York Post piece, which the Council on American-Islamic Relations enjoyed enough to include in its “American Muslim New Briefs” of 9/8/06.
So said Dr. Bostom. I'd say he made his case. Further in an ongoing exchange of emails, Bill Narvey writes;
Something or someone has set off Peters to want to very publicly separate himself from some others who write critically of Muslims or Islam.
To be sure there are some who might fairly be described as bigots who write and speak of Islam being a religion of war and speak out against radical Islam without being careful to draw a distinction between radical Muslims and Muslims who truly do not want any part of radical Islam.
Peters however in his frantic self serving effort to publicly paint himself the fair minded and responsible critic of radical Islam and its adherents has himself negligently failed to make a distinction between responsible critics of Islam and Islamofacists and outright Muslim haters.
In his desperation to publicly cleanse himself of any suggestion that he might be a bigot for his writings, his diatribe against Muslim haters goes on to make a number of allegations that he wrongly and very negligently presents as facts.
“By insisting that Islam can never reform, that the violent conquest and subjugation of unbelievers is the faith's primary agenda - and, when you read between the lines, that all Muslims are evil and subhuman.
The first part is true in varying degrees. The second underlined part is Peters invented pure bull shit which he generously spreads on all critics of Islam. Bigots are hardly that subtle that they are going to expect their audience to read between the lines.
“Convinced that I'm naive because I defend American Muslims and refuse to "see" that Islam is 100 percent evil, the writers warn that I'm a foolish "dhimmi," blind to the conspiratorial nature of Islam.”
Here Peters engages in self aggrandizement as being the fair reasonable person to not say all Muslims are evil, implying the other critics of Islam and Muslims say otherwise. This is totally self serving and dishonest.
What Peters fails to address however is that Moderate Islam is not homogenous, nor is it necessarily static. There are those who might be described as coming within the ambit of moderate Islam, but who only disguised their radicalism with the false cloak of moderation. There are those so called moderates who decided to become radical.
As for Peters saying Islam can only be reformed from within by Muslims, has Peters noticed that there are not a whole lot of so called moderate Muslims marching in the streets to protest radical Islam and there are not a whole lot of Moderate Muslims publicly denouncing radical Islam.
Finally how are authorities to distinguish between radical and moderate Muslims unless they profile all Muslims or is Peters suggesting that Westerners must accept risks by avoiding profiling Muslims?
“And as a believing Christian, I must acknowledge that there's nothing in the Koran as merciless as God's behavior in the Book of Joshua.”
Peters, by proclaiming himself a believing Christian seeks to cloak himself in a superior morality than the Muslim critics he tries to distinguish himself from. I guess he just could not resist taking a swipe at the Jews by referencing the Book of Joshua and God’s commandment to destroy all the Canaanites and saying there is nothing as merciless in the Koran.
From what I have read quoted in the Koran both singular passages and passages taken together, Peters at the very least is expressing as certain that which is debatable and that which many would say is outright nonsense that he is spewing.
Peters is quite disingenuous, either deliberately or through carelessness, for not even in the Book of Joshua as I recall is any edict by God to destroy all who do not believe in the Jewish God then and for all time.
There is more I could take issue with, but I will stop it there.
I find Peters has gone off the deep end of reason in his efforts to wash himself clean of any suggestion that he is a bigot (and I suspect that is what he is reacting to) for whatever he has thus far written to criticize and condemn radical Islam and its Muslim adherents.
Unlike [Andrew] Bostom and his ilk, who exaggerate all negatives and ignore all contrary evidence, I’ve spent a great deal of time in the Muslim world, in multiple countries on multiple continents. And while I don’t think much of most versions of Islam—or have any real hope for the Middle East—I can’t condemn every last individual as Bostom and Co. do.
And while I don’t think much of most versions of Islam—or have any real hope for the Middle East—I can’t condemn every last individual as Bostom and Co. do
I have no patience with bigotry, whether it comes from the right or the left. And, by the way, having done a good bit of research in Indonesia, for one example, I can tell you that Bostom’s giving you the Mein Kampf version.
Should we agree to hate a billion people and to fear them all? Should we put American Muslims in concentration camps? What, exactly, is Bostom’s answer?
The hate-speech running around the Internet on this subject makes me want to vomit. I’m all for killing terrorists—but these guys strike me as cowards who dream of slaughtering the innocents.
So now we know for sure what was obvious before. Peters’s attack is aimed at the Islam critics such as Bostom, Robert Spencer, and Bat Ye’or, who all argue that jihad and dhimmitude are built-in features of Islam. Other than adding Bostom’s name, Peter’s argument is the same as in his published articles. He jumps, with no transition, with a total absence of logic, from the Islam critics’ general statements about the nature of Islam as a religion to concluding that the critics
condemn every last [Muslim] individual … I have no patience with bigotry.… Should we agree to hate a billion people and to fear them all? Should we put American Muslims in concentration camps? … these guys strike me as cowards who dream of slaughtering the innocents.
This is insane. How could anyone look at the writings of Bostom, Spencer, and Bat Ye’or and draw such a conclusion about these writers’s feelings and intentions? MORE…Posted by Lawrence Auster at 12:43 PMRalph Peters, Islam-hater
Here’s something remarkable. It turns out that Ralph Peters, who has been on a one-man jihad against Islam critics, whom he repeatedly describes as Nazi-like genocidal bigots, has stated the same kinds of views about Islam for which he has attacked others.
I am grateful to VFR reader Justin T. for digging up the revealing quotes. He writes:
When I read Peters’ column in the New York Post, I, too, was stunned by how incredibly politically correct and utterly wrong it was. I have yet to determine why he even wrote it. He was basically repeating leftist talking points, word for word.
But what was even more appalling to me is that it represents a 180 degree turn from comments he has made in the past. I have here a book he published in 1991, while he was still a foreign area officer in the Army, titled The War in 2020. In the appendix, he makes the following remarks about Islam: MORE…
Posted by Lawrence Auster at 01:56 AM
And so one is compelled to ask? Who got to Peters and for how much?