Jihad-watchers beclowning themselves over Perry/Ismaili thing. [Updated]

Yeah. I’m kicking it Old School here: “anti-Idiotarian” is one of those terms of art from the far-off dawn of the blogosphere (which is to say, 2003 or so). Then again, a lot of the people who are going to be talked about here have been in the ‘sphere for that long; so keep that in mind. There’s a history here, and it’s not always a nice one.


Give you the background: Pamela Geller – who has been hysterically screaming at the top of her lungs about Islam (admittedly, not always unreasonably) for as long as I can remember – has picked for her latest digital jihad* Governor Rick Perry’s** association with the Ismailis. At issue (aside from Perry being friendly with Grover Norquist, which apparently is intolerable right there***) is a curriculum that Perry had his education people put together about Islam that involved input from Ismaili groups in Texas: oddly enough, Geller goes off on this curriculum in the American Thinker without actually linking to it.

Remember that Old School thing from the last paragraph? Well, when you’ve been doing this sort of thing for a while you tend to recognize the tell-tale signs of a snow job. One of the prime ones? Not linking to what you’re complaining about.

Fortunately, there’s a blog called CounterContempt (written by David Stein) that did read the curriculum – and went to town on Geller for it. Readers of MoeLane.com may remember this, as I referenced it in passing while going off on CAIR and ThinkProgress for historical illiteracy****. This sparked what is shaping up to be an extremely bitter debate among the section of the right-blogosphere that focuses on Islam: see here for Geller ally Robert Spencer’s response, and here for David Stein’s response to Spencer (and here for his response to Geller).


Without going too far into the weeds on this… Stein actually went to the original curriculum and interviewed the guy who put it together for Gov. Perry’s administration [UPDATE, since Ace feels the need to correct this point himself {link added}: it’s more accurate to say that this was one lesson plan drawn from the curriculum; the author of said lesson plan indicated that the original materials were not offensive, which was the underlying point], and Stein came to the conclusion that a curriculum that included concepts like:

  • “Countries of Islamic Civilization for the most part either have religiously dominated governments or demands to make them more religious, which mean less toleration of cultural and religious differences.”
  • “While Westerners studied Islamic culture, Muslims showed almost no interest in Western culture, remaining ignorant of modernity and its impact.”
  • “The failure of Islam to adopt modern ways and adapt them to Islamic values, put Islam at a great disadvantage when dealing with the West.”
  • “Muslims often lack respect for Western traditions and points of view. The Muslim relationship to the West is colored by the belief that Western beliefs [whether Christian or atheist] are defective and therefore inferior to Islam.”

…is not precisely a whitewash (Geller’s term) of Islam. Or, as Ace of Ace of Spades HQ more succinctly (and profanely) put it:

Are you [expletive deleted] me?

Gellar’s attacking this?

This reads like her [expletive deleted] blog for [expletive deleted] sake.

In Texas, they’re [expletive deleted] reading “Atlas Shrugs” to the kids, and Geller’s complaining. Maybe it’s because she thinks she’s owed royalties.


As I said… the discussion rages on, largely by people who are frankly stuck in the same rhetorical trap that the bitter-ender Birthers are finding themselves in with regard to Marco Rubio: to wit, they are being forced to argue increasingly stupid [expletive deleted] in order to keep their pet talking points. For just one example, there’s probably somebody right now who’s eager to start pounding the table and duckspeaking “Habib Bank!” – and the fact that that particular argument requires simultaneous time travel and telepathy t0 work (seriously, click all the links and read them before you comment on this post) will faze them not at all.

Which is why I’m bringing it all up. Governor Perry is not going to be particularly harmed by this story, if recent polling is any indication; and he’s a big boy who can take care of himself anyway. Who will be harmed by this story are, ironically, the people who have been writing about and discussing the very real twin problems of: radical Islamist terrorism; and the reluctance of our existing institutions to frankly face the implications of radical Islamist terrorism. Because if you don’t think that the Left will not cheerfully paint every one of those people with the Geller brush, then you have not been paying attention to the Left lately.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Yes. Term used with malice aforethought.

**Full disclosure: Rick Perry did RedState a heck of a favor with announcing his campaign at our recent gathering, and now that Tim Pawlenty’s out of the race I’m provisionally supporting him for the nomination as the current best blend of traits overall.


***And if it is, we might as well give up on the 2012 election right now, right down to the county level: Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform is a major player in Republican politics, and as such is friendly with a lot of diverse groups and politicians. Heck, I’ve had a beer or three on ATR’s tab.

****Please note for the record that my implicit sneer towards people freaking out about the Ismaili thing took place before the RS Gathering; which is to say, before I was forced to switch my preferred candidate from Pawlenty to Perry.


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