RE: The ISIS site and Joe's other sources

Date: Mon 11 Nov 2002 - 00:43:41 GMT

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    > Joe: You meant "Is ANTI-Zionism antisemitic?" I'm sure.
    > Lawry: Yes, thanks for the correction.
    > Joe: Yes, one can be critical of one without being critical of the
    > other, but most who try end up crossing the line by quantums. Lawry:
    > And even by BIG amounts, too <smile>. Joe: And I am quite familiar
    > myself with Daniel Pipes' writings, as well as the scurrilous attacks
    > leveled against him by CAIR; Pipes' targets of criticism, militant
    > radical Muslims, wish to portray him as being against not only them,
    > but against all Muslims, but it simply isn't true. Lawry: We'll have
    > to disagree on this Joe. Pipes writings and interviews are available
    > for anyone to see, and they can draw their own conclusions about
    > whether Pipes is rabid anti-Muslim and pro-Zionist, pro-Israel or not.
    > > I don't know if you are aware that Ibn Warraq is an alias. Do you
    > > know who the author really is? I would like to know, before blindly
    > > accepting the credentials with which he has clothed himself. Would
    > > it not be prudent to know, before taking his arguments on faith?
    > >
    > Joe: Of course it is an alias (the name is one that belonged to a
    > historical Muslim freethinker); if he put out his actual name and
    > address, he'd be fatwa'ed and murdered as fast as jihadists could
    > manage it. He rejected his faith; that is an Islamic capital offense.
    > Lawry: You buy the assertion that he is indeed, a Muslim, or
    > ex-Muslim. But how do you know who he is, really? Isn't it at all
    > also conceivable to you that the writer is an imposter, seeking
    > specifically to discredit Islam, for reasons unrelated to
    > secularization? _I_ don't know who the writer is, and so I speculate
    > here. But are you not speculating, as well? I agree that one has to
    > judge the arguments that an author makes on their merits, but both the
    > authors you base your opinions on, Pipes and "Ibn Warraq" make a slew
    > of assertions that are not factually backed up, and controverted by
    > the mainstream of experts on the area. So it DOES become relevant who
    > they are, and what their agendas might be. I do not consider this an
    > ad hominem attack: it is simply a prudent effort to not be gulled by
    > two who strive mightily, IMO, to do so. I say this not so much because
    > I disagree with much of what they assert, but because it simply does
    > not jibe with the multitude of other sources I have become acquainted
    > with, or my own personal and research experiences where they overlap.
    > I must add that there are many analysts with whom I disagree but whom
    > I respect for their integrity and diligence. Your Pipes and "Ibn
    > Warraq" are simply not among them. All of this is relevant to how we
    > know what we know, and to the operations of memes. How can one avoid
    > being gulled? By looking at different and contrary sources. By
    > actually talking with primary sources. By being alert to the signs of
    > deception, or simple active omission. By paying attention to who is
    > dedicated to learning first, and 'being right' second. Especially in
    > the field of politics, this is not easy. What facts there are are
    > often subject to counter-example. And those facts that remain standing
    > after scrutiny are often subject to interpretation, and it is in the
    > interpretation that meaning is found. There was a time when I focused
    > on the physical sciences, seeking a field within which mental
    > certainty could be found. But I found instead that science did not
    > tackle the problems with which I was concerned. These lay in the
    > fields of human behavior, cognition and motivation. The 'facts' here,
    > are a lot more slippery, but, to me, the issues are far more
    > fascinating and important. So I pay attention not just to the 'what'
    > of the world around us, but to 'how' we come to perceive and
    > understand it, and the 'why' of our communications and our hopes. I do
    > not expect to open your mind up, Joe. But I do hope that you consult
    > some of the sources I have cited, in the same way that some of us have
    > looked at some of the sources you have been kind enough to post in the
    > last couple of days. And then, once you have done so, perhaps we can
    > resume this with some greater degree of understanding.
    You might consult the universally acknowledged doyen of Middle East studies, Bernard Lewis; perhaps he can pry your mind open to a more enlightened understanding. I can post url's to some of his essays, if you wish.
    > Best regards,
    > Lawry
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