October 06, 2004

More changes 

Little Green Footballs is changing... no, not Charles, he's always the same.

But the comments section is now populated by a fair amount of fanatic anti-Muslims, who spend all of their time denigrating Muslims (not just the islamists, but all of them), and someone crosses the border into proposing brutal measures, like forced conversion, mass retaliation and so on. The curious thing is that some of them show a mindset symmetrical with the Islamist mindset (shall we call them enantiomers?), in the sense that they think that a good Muslim cannot rely on any other source of truth than the Islamic holy books.
The Islamists think that a good Muslim must not rely on any other source of truth than the Islamic holy books.

I don't use the term fanatic lightly, and I also consulted Den Beste's (one of the finest thinkers in the blogosphere, I think) definition of fanatic:

Of course, the subject of obsession is too important to joke about, and any attempt at a joke will be treated as a pathological manifestation of deep-seated fears, not as a conversational gambit to deflect the conversation to other more interesting subjects. (There can be no more interesting subject, after all, and we already know that if someone doesn't want to hear the message it's because they're part of the problem.) If he's cracking wise it's because he really knows, deep down, how important the subject is and is trying to hide from it.
There will invariably be at least one unfalsifiable or tautological aspect to the obsession. For instance: if you agree with me, then my thesis is true. If you refuse to talk about it it's because deep down you know I'm right but you refuse to admit it. If you disagree with me then it's because you've been deceived or because you are part of the active opposition.
There is an element of paranoia in true fanaticism. It isn't possible for a fanatic to accept that the subject is unimportant or less important to others. A fanatic can't accept the idea that someone else partially agrees with him, for instance, let alone the idea that someone else simply doesn't care at all. There is an active conspiracy of people opposed to this vital truth, but you never know when you'll encounter one of their agents, let alone someone who has unwittingly been indoctrinated by the opposition.

So I think I'm right to define those guys as fanatics. I can barely put up with fanatics of harmless stuff like music or movies, but when it's about politics or religion, I prefer to steer clear of them. There's nothing to gain in discussing with fanatics.

I don't think Charles Johnson is a fanatic. He chose to do the dirty work, that is exposing the dark, violent, bloody side of Islam, the side that too many in the media ignore, lest they offend someone's "sensibilities" - or because deep down they root for anyone who fights against Evil AmeriKKKa. Such a job implies being partial and partisan, and it is easy to forget that there might be also a bright side of the thing. Sadly, it is true that there is much more darnkess than light in the deeds of Islam.

Thus I moved a bit LGF, and added Winds of Change, a moderate and thoughtful group blog - but surely in the anti-idiotarian field.
And also Xinhua Net, the web branch of China's state news agency, for who wants to take a far-eastern look on issues. And it seems fairly balanced, for being controlled by a government which has not liberalism among its main priorities.


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