August 26, 2010

Roy Edroso imagines that Leslie Savan had the courage to "dispute Muslim articles of faith."

He's presenting something I wrote to his readers, who follow his direction and call me an idiot, but he's got it wrong. I blogged (and agreed with much of) Savan's piece in The Nation and tweaked her by asking if she was "paying enough attention the the way she is expressing contempt for Muslim beliefs?" I also snarked that "I didn't know you could do that in The Nation."

Roy Edroso pretends to laugh at my joke ("Tee hee") and lobs the sarcasm: "Because libs are so cowardly they cannot dispute Muslim articles of faith. Which Savan proves by just having done so."

But Savan did NOT do so in the paragraph that precedes my joke. Savan savaged Americans. First, she said:
Regardless of what the Muslim world may or may not believe, this whole seed fixation is profoundly un-American. 
In other words: Put the beliefs of Muslims to the side; I want to talk about American values. Then:
It says that genealogy is destiny, that a man is Muslim regardless of what he espouses or believes. It’s all about descent—and nauseatingly close to the “one drop rule” of the post-Reconstruction South. That rule held that if a person had any African or Indian ancestry whatsoever, he or she was classified as “colored” and subject to anti-miscegenation laws, voter disenfranchisement, and segregation at large. At least eighteen states adopted some form of the rule; Virginia’s 1924 law, for instance, was called the Racial Integrity Act.
Having purported to limit herself to American values (as opposed to universal truths), she goes through a litany of historical wrongs, committed by Americans, a comfortable and familiar place for readers of The Nation. This is the point at which I asked my question whether she's "paying enough attention the the way she is expressing contempt for Muslim beliefs."

I think she thought that she'd limited her inquiry at that point to American values and American racism. Although some Muslims are Americans and could presumably be swept up into an inquiry about American values, Savan has specifically set aside what Muslims believe. Plus, she's switched to talking about race. What interested me is something I don't think she meant to do but only unwittingly implied.

Did Edroso even understand my point? I deliberately write in an elliptical style sometimes. You have to think a minute to get it, and I don't think Edroso did. The writing may look simple, but there is a challenge in that simplicity that you'd better be sure you see and meet before you decide you've done the easy reading and are now in a fine position to call me stupid.

I'll be heavy-handed so he can rethink his insolent attitude toward me. I think that Savan didn't mean to say that the Muslims are repellent if they believe that a person is a Muslim because his father is a Muslim. She only meant that Americans violate American values if they perceive someone — such as Obama — as Muslim because his father is a Muslim. I would guess that she subscribes to the cultural relativism that accepts Muslims (even American Muslims) viewing their religion as a genetic matter. I don't think she wanted to deal in higher level philosophy about individual freedom and autonomy (which is the subject that I went on to talk about, quoting James Madison).

So, Roy, imagine that an editor at The Nation had responded to Savan's draft with these direct questions: Did you mean to imply that you are disgusted by a Muslim's belief that religion is inborn? Did you mean to say that that Muslim belief is like racism, because it looks like you may have implied that? I think you probably meant to say that Muslims should be judged by Muslim values and that you are leaving that judgment for other Muslims, and that you only mean to say that Americans are judged by American values and that you are all about being very critical of Americans who say that Obama was a Muslim — right?

Do you think Savan would have answered yes or no to those questions? If she answered yes, don't you think the editor would be likely to say: Could you rewrite this to make that really clear? And if she said no and wanted to make that absolutely clear, don't you think that the editor would have killed the piece?

46 comments:

AC245 said...

Did Edroso even understand my point? I deliberately write in an elliptical style sometimes. You have to think a minute to get it, and I don't think Edroso did. The writing may look simple, but there is a challenge in that simplicity that you'd better be sure you see and meet before you decide you've done the easy reading and are now in a fine position to call me stupid.

Quickly!

Deploy the hypotheticals!

rhhardin said...

I deliberately write in an elliptical style sometimes.

Less ink spilled.

Michael said...

Well I am heading off the the Piss Mohammed exhibit in a while and wonder if the brave Roy and Leslie will be joining me there for this edgy exhibit speaking truth to Muslim power.

YoungHegelian said...

Once again, the left deploys a racial analogy to try and explain a completely non-racial social phenomenon, in this case a theological issue.

For the new left, the prism of race has replaced the marxist prism of class consciousness as the filter for all social reality.

The discourse of gay rights as being completely analogous to racial rights has been used for so long that it has now hardened into epistemic cement. You can't even get proponents to admit it's even an analogy anymore! "It's just obvious! What sort of an asshole, are you anyway?"

dbp said...

Poor Roy!

"Is the author of this piece — Leslie Savan —paying enough attention the the way she is expressing contempt for Muslim beliefs? I didn't know you could do that in The Nation.

Tee hee. Because libs are so cowardly they cannot dispute Muslim articles of faith. Which Savan proves by just having done so.

Roy wants to attack Althouse and defend Savan, but gives up the game in his own telling: Is contempt for Muslim beliefs = dispute Muslim articles of faith?

Any non-Muslim would dispute at least some Muslim articles of faith, or they would be a Muslim. Contempt for Muslim beliefs implies that these beliefs are despicable. You know, like the ones Savan thinks most Americans harbor.

urpower said...

The psychological need here is to identify a parental stand-in as stupid. The compulsive need of all liberals. The adolescent smirk ("tee hee") says it all.

Quayle said...

"I think you probably meant to say that Muslims should be judged by Muslim values and that you are leaving that judgment for other Muslims, and that you only mean to say that Americans are judged by American values and that you are all about being very critical of Americans who say that Obama was a Muslim — right?"

But of course the real issue is what values should a Muslim-American be judged by?

Because a Muslim (and a Mormon) would point out that before there was freedom of religion there was religion.

But, characteristically, the left is having problems resisting the temptation to use the Muslim issue as another opportunity to hammer the right, when (as Hitchens implicitly reminds us) it's the left's social mores that are most abhorrent to Muslims.

Conversely, my guess is that Muslims actually warm to Mitt Romney when they realize that he doesn't drink, doesn't cheat on his wife, opposes gay marriage, and that his anestors had more than one wife.

AST said...

Edroso's post is typical of liberal rhetoric, thin skinned, pointless and essentially name calling. Why do so many of their blogs sound like catty middle-school girls' notes passed in class?

Besides, what kind of man writes "Tee hee?" Everybody knows that real men use "Heh."

And why do Conservatives seem to feel a need to respond to such drivel with lengthy analyses instead of just telling them to shove it?

Allan said...

Not only Islam, but Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Hinduism regard birth into the community as sufficient for membership in the community. Probably Shinto as well. Christianity is unique as regarding religion as being strictly a matter between the individual and God. Some of these religions (certainly, Judaism) accept affirmative repudiation of this commitment as a way to leave the community.

The corollaries of this are that (1) your membership in the religious community does not imply that you believe anything; and (2) that the religious community can consider you a member even if you do not.

American Constitutional guarantees are based, of course, on a Christian conception of the nature of religious affiliation.

How does this matter? If Obama is regarded by normative Islam as Muslim, he enjoys the privileges of being a Muslim. For example, I suppose he can go to Mecca and come back alive. On the other hand, just because they consider him Muslim doesn't mean he considers himself Muslim, or that he believes anything that Muslim authorities say that Muslims are supposed to believe.

edutcher said...

First, I don't believe the idea that one is Moslem because one's father was qualifies as genealogical. It's a little like being born in the Catholic Church.

Granted, one must be baptized, but the assumption is, if the parents are Catholic, so is the child. There is also the Islamic assumption that all are Moslems, some have yet to be brought into the fold, so a genealogical take on this would seem to be mistaken.

All this is on the part of the faith. There is no Moslem race, as one may claim for Judaism, and I've never heard any American claim one. Most Americans don't regard any given individual as part of any specific religion unless he/she proclaims it.

The people at The Nation would seem to be more interested in damning America for a sin she does not commit than facing facts.

PS When Ann starts saying things like 'insolent attitude', she's getting back into Professor mode.

PPS As Barry Fizgerald said to The Duke anent Maureen O'Hara, "That red hair is no lie".

hombre said...

Roy Edroso???

Why bother, Professor?

Flexo said...

a Muslim (and a Mormon) would point out that before there was freedom of religion there was religion

In Islam, worship of Allah is not a matter of religious freedom. It is a matter of obligation, of duty, of "submission" (which is the definition of "Islam").

A Muslim does not worship Allah because "the truth will set you free" (a Christian concept), but because Allah said so. Period. End of discussion.

that-xmas said...

Edutcher,

Being born to Catholic parents doesn't make you Christian. That's why the souls of unbaptized babies end up in limbo.

Flexo said...

There is no Muslim "race," but Allah speaks Arabic and only Arabic, and the Prophet was an Arab. To be sure, even to translate the Koran from Arabic into another language is considered by many to be a form of blasphemy.

Synova said...

Of course my prejudices are that OF COURSE the intent was to excuse the quaint but stupid Muslim belief of inheriting the religion with your father's "seed" on account of anything those simple brown people over there do is excused, AND that the intention was to criticize Americans for having done evil things in the past, because even in the past we are not excused.

As far as that goes, though, it really can't be related to race because it's not race-like at all. Reaching for that as an analogy shows a pretty clear ignorance of actual similar customs... there is citizenship, for example. One is born to one's citizenship as a default. Also other religions generally include children of believers by birth in a sort of special category, certainly Christianity and Judaism does, and even tasteful Eastern religions do so. Islam is not *unique* in this, except for having stricter notions of what ought to be the response to apostasy when those kids grow up.

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The Ground Zero Mosque will not be built because it angers Americans enough to fight back. And the government's Islamic favoritism leaves when Obama leaves. At least that is what Netanyahu is counting on to keep the Jewish building going on in Jerusalem against the Obama gamesmanship.

traditionalguy said...

The dedication by a Muslim parent of their child to Islam's allah spirit is done by the parents on behalf of the child before birth. This gives that allah moon god spirit a legal claim to that child unless a greater power breaks that claim. "Seed" is now assumed to mean DNA in a sperm, but in the theology and teachings of Islam , seed means that dedication of the child by its Muslim parents.

edutcher said...

that-xmas said...

Edutcher,

Being born to Catholic parents doesn't make you Christian. That's why the souls of unbaptized babies end up in limbo.


That's why I said, "Granted, one must be baptized...".

Fen said...

Edroso: Written in the midst of a Republican-led nationwide Klan rally against the New York mosque

Ha. Edroso thinks people who dont want a Trophy Mosque built near ground zero are racists.

Seriously Ann, this guy is either too stupid to get it or such a partisan shill that he doesn't want to get it.

Is he trying to compete with AlphaLibtard for the title of Vortex Village Idiot?

tim maguire said...

"Because libs are so cowardly they cannot dispute Muslim articles of faith."

Indeed they are, when and where it matters.

I had to laugh at Savan's attack on the racist "one drop" rule given that these days, it is not whites, but minorities themselves who follow the one drop rule. It is actively promoted and protected by blacks and American Indians. Mostly because there are freebies (government benefits) involved.

But she says it's racist. Or is it only racist when white's do it? Yeah, that second one.

roesch-voltaire said...

Let's see a close reading of Savan reveals that she spends time documenting those who claim Obama was born a Muslim citing, amongst others, the bizarre op-ed by Luttwak. Next she points out that scholars claim Luttwak's claims are wrong. I guess this has something to do with the fact that Obama's father and mother were "confirmed atheist" and his future step-father Lolo Soetoro has been described as a non-practicing Muslim.Finally in the last four paragraphs she picks up on the "genealogical grubs" advanced by Graham who makes claims about the "seed passing through." Well yes this fixation seems more rooted in our culture and Savan gives it some historical context to justify her take on this image. As far as I can tell neither Althouse, or Luttwak have established any Muslim beliefs that Savan expresses contempt towards, while Savan has at least made an attempt to put those Muslim beliefs, which concerning this issue are not found in the Koran, in perspective, but perhaps I am missing some elliptical wisdom.

Brendan said...

I deliberately write in an elliptical style sometimes. You have to think a minute to get it ...

Oh, we get it all right. It's called laying the groundwork for plausible deniability.

Appropriately enough, the CAPTCHA is: defig

jr565 said...

Tim Maguire wrote:
But she says it's racist. Or is it only racist when white's do it? Yeah, that second one.


COnsidering the degree to which the left has venerated race and separate the races into their separate categories, and the degree to which the races themselves self identify based on skin tone, you'd have to think that there is in fact a place for the Klan after all. Their crime, is that they happen to be of the race that the other races use as a scape goat, and were perhaps a bit ahead of their time when it came to their ideas of skin tone defining identity. White is right and Black is Beautiful as it were. I guess the white's took Malcolm X's By Any Means Necessary to heart (even though he had yet been born) when lynching blacks. They were, after all, protecting their women. And similarly jury nullifcation worked for them too when they wanted to get their good old boys freed after killing or hurting people of color.
I'll certainly grant that the klan were a bunch of bastards and their racial views were beyond abhorrent. But why are the modern views of multi culti race identification better and why do democrats/liberals promote that separation as if it were anything but racism. So separation of the races based on skin tone, and baby killing are the two tenets they base all their litmus tests on. Oh, and throw in socialistic economic policies to boot. They're progressives allright, but maybe the progressives of the 20's when eugenics was all the rage.

Methadras said...

I freely admit and have for a long time here on this blog that I have a deep and utter contempt for Islam. It is a religion that I wish would be eradicated and if it's adherents meet that demise along with it, then so be it. The world would be a better place without that death religion and namely the death culture that ensues from it as well.

former law student said...

and tweaked her by asking if she was "paying enough attention the the way she is expressing contempt for Muslim beliefs?"

This was the only confusing part of the professor's first post. Althouse did not connect the assertion that Savan was expressing contempt to the individual sentences in Savan's post. As I see it, edroso pretended he knew what Althouse was talking about.

As I understood it:

Althouse: Does Savan realize the import of her words?
Edroso: Ha, that (whatever Althouse said Savan did) took guts of Savan.

A complete fly-by.

jr565 said...

Edroso has a reading comprehension problem apparently, but he's too stuck on reflex liberal snark to ever realize it.
If Edroso is reading this here is a condensed version.
Graham said "ACCORDING to Islamic views Obama would be a muslim since a muslims identity is passed down through the father, but since he accepted Jesus christ he is a christian (which is the Christian view). THere is nothing diabolical about what Graham said, since he is simply describing how Islam defines lineage (just as Jews are jewish if their mother is a Jew).
Savah, leaves aside whether or not the muslims believe that and then proceeds to suggest that it's repugnant of the islamophobes to suggest that Obama is a muslim based on rules that she finds reminiscent of One Drop Rules.
But the attack is not on the belief system, but on the islamophobes who define Obama as a Muslim based on rules that are similar to how we racially defined blacks in the US. It's an attack on the US and on conservatives, not on Islamic beliefs (which Savan said didn't matter).
Anne's point was that by phrasing the point the way she did Savan was actually denigrating muslim belief which is similar to the one drop rule, and she was surprised that a Nation author would write something so critical of Islam. (islam is the religion of peace after all).
So, no Edroso, Leslie did not have the courage to dispute Muslim articles of faith, because if she did she couldn't also insinuate that Graham (and America) are bigots.
How many Muslims, based on their beliefs think that Obama is a muslim? Probably a whole lot of them.Are they islamophobes?

The funniest (in an ironic sense) part of Savan is when she says:
"these selectively applied purity tests are far more dangerous to our national character (and, as Frank Rich points out, to our overseas troops who rely on Muslim goodwill) than Islamophobics accuse Muslims of being to our freedom"


If muslims believe that Islam is passed down through the father than wouldn't suggsting that such rules are reminiscent of how racist america treated blacks be bad for our overseas troops who are after all relying on Muslim goodwill? Telling Muslims they are full of shit will cause them to like us more?
Liberals! Muslims are not offended that someone would suggest Obama was a muslim based on muslim lineage rules. Since they believe those precepts.

Quayle said...

So why would the American left be so tolerant of an ideology that does not respect or match that tolerance.

Answer: because despite their claims to a broad view of the world and the intellectual prowess to manage nuance, the American left is so mired in one world view that they can't comprehend that anyone might think differently than they.

And they're particularly stymied by an anti-American group that doesn't love the American left.

As I've said before, after 9/11 the American left's world view utterly crumbled, and they are only now pretending that it didn't.

Fen said...

Methadras: I freely admit and have for a long time here on this blog that I have a deep and utter contempt for Islam


"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them.

Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." - Napier

Revenant said...

This was the only confusing part of the professor's first post. Althouse did not connect the assertion that Savan was expressing contempt to the individual sentences in Savan's post

Perhaps she expects a minimum level of intelligence from her readers?

This:

Regardless of what the Muslim world may or may not believe, this whole seed fixation is profoundly un-American.

Plus this:

It says that genealogy is destiny, that a man is Muslim regardless of what he espouses or believes. It’s all about descent—and nauseatingly close to the "one drop rule" of the post-Reconstruction South.

Equals "if Muslims believe in patrilineal religious affiliation, they are un-American and nauseatingly close to racist".

Simple enough to understand, really. Presumably she thinks Jews are un-American and nauseating, but we could infer that much by the fact that she's a member of the modern Left. :)

deborah said...

AST
// Why do so many of their blogs sound like catty middle-school girls' notes passed in class? //

Exactly, the excessive sarcasm and whining grates. For example the person Althouse linked to the other day on Gawker, talking about Gran Torino.

I think Althouse should just shoot something back about their reading comprehension skills, and to hell with explaining what they couldn't take the time to get the first time, because they were rushing on to their next snarky post.

deborah said...

// Simple enough to understand, really. Presumably she thinks Jews are un-American and nauseating, but we could infer that much by the fact that she's a member of the modern Left. :) //

Oh, zing. Good thing you used the smilie. ;)

Pogo said...

The Nation is authored by a compliant staff of little Howard Zinns. They are unable to even begin to comprehend, much less respond to, an Althouse argument, whether direct or elliptical.

Their stylebook demands a certain minimum of bashing American history in every issue.

It reminds me of county fairs where you find caricaturists drawing faces, and musicians 'playing' Flute Music of the Andes, where seeming individuals churn out identical products wherever they appear.

The Nation writers are similarly trained to write in the ancient Duranty template, regardless of whether it makes them bedfellows with communists, fascists, or terrorists.

The aim is to hack at the roots of America. I would argue that they have largely succeeded. The election this November will be the last chance of those who still believe in American exceptionalism.

Fiddlin' Bill said...

According to the 14th Amendment, birth is also entry into the community of Americans.

ndspinelli said...

If you want an intellectually honest debate w/ a liberal you'll have to go to heaven and have it w/ Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

roesch-voltaire said...

As far as we know the ceremony known as aqiqa did not take place when Obama was born,he was not born of a mother who was Muslim, and his father did not raise him as a Muslim which from my various readings of the Shiara are required to be considered a Muslim. So this "article of faith" much debated here, seems more an article of faith not clearly shared or defined as such by every Muslim, but one which is assumed for the sake of argument?

Dopey said...

Professor:

Why dignify this idiocy with a response? I see this as a matter of Edroso "insulting upwards", a concept that you've discussed many times in the past.

Salamandyr said...

If you want an intellectually honest debate w/ a liberal you'll have to go to heaven and have it w/ Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

In my experience, in private conversations, liberals will agree with, or stipulate, every fact you present, but then allow none of them to actually affect their final decision making.

salvage said...

Oh Ann, you are simple.

jaed said...

various readings of the Shiara

What is "readings of the Shiara" supposed to mean? You do realize that Sharia is not a document or set of documents. Don't you?

What is your source for saying that aqiqa is necessary or the child is not Muslim?

Patm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hucbald said...

"I deliberately write in an elliptical style sometimes. You have to think a minute to get it..."

You are not as deep as you think you are, even though I agree with you in this instance. There are much smarter classes of people than lawyers, you know.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

Well, some pretty heady commentary. Unfortunately I haven't heard from Wickett yet about how he considers Ms. Savan.

Like so many other important topics this issue has been so hyperbolized by the far Right and the Left that rational debate is nearly impossible.

However, it seems that since the Race Card has now been clearly overdrawn the Left is rolling out a new card with which to bash opposing voices into submission. The Islam Card!

Milwaukee said...

My experience living in Malaysia many years ago was this: Malays were Muslim, and other races were other things. But people of the Malay race were, by law, Muslim. Men could be fined for not going to mosque at least once a month for prayers, and jailed if they persisted in non-attendance. People of that race didn't have a choice: they were Muslim. Sahira law applied to Muslims: once a couple of unmarried beggars had sex, while religious officers were hiding under the house, and those two were jailed. (Houses were built on 2-3 foot tall stilts because of the heavy rains, and these religious officers crawled under there to monitor what was going on.)

The Chinese believe that if one parent was Chinese, the child was Chinese. Others took them for their word. In that part of Malaysia there were Chinese people who had arrived in the 10th century for gold. They considered themselves Chinese. This is a huge problem for them and the governments in the area, because China would recognize them as citizens. So there was a potential fifth column right there. Those Chinese thought of themselves as Chinese nationals, even though no one in their family had even visited China in decades.


In this country the "one-drop" rule is used to claim minority status. Far better to have a Hispanic father, and then his surname, than the other way around. If your last name is O'Malley, you will have a difficult time passing yourself off as Hispanic. I've had students who were pretty "white" looking, but because they had a Black father claimed being Black, and all the benefits of affirmative action. What's up with that? Indian Tribes have rules about people whose blood is too diluted, so they don't share in the wealth from the sale of natural resources or gambling.

Mike H. said...

Fen @ 8/27/10 12:20 AM.
Could you elaborate on the target of your ditty?

newscaper said...

someone said
"So separation of the races based on skin tone, and baby killing are the two tenets they base all their litmus tests on"

The Left has its own counterparts to most of the Sacraments:

Baptism:
-- Abortion

Confession/Reconciliation:
-- 'Therapy' and all other forms of ducking personal responsibility

Eucharist:
-- Marijuana and other drugs

Confirmation:
-- free condoms in middles school with anal sex instruction, or alternately, abortions for minors w/o parental consent

Matrimony:
-- gay marriage

Holy orders:
-- gay priests, or 'community organizing'

Last Rites:
-- euthanasia *not* by one's own choice