Gypsy Scholar: "the same mindset as bin-Ladin"
In a response to my blog entry yesterday on John Milton, the moderate Muslim Irfan Yusuf has informed me that I "have the same mindset as bin-Ladin."
That wasn't a very moderate thing for Mr. Yusuf to say, but one can't always maintain one's moderation. Here's the entire comment:
horace, do you know what proportion of European Muslims use Arabic as their first language? Or what proportion of Muslims live in Arab League states? And have you ever set foot in a mosque? Or are you afraid that you might get bitten by a scorpion?So many questions! Who knew that Milton, 400 years after his birth, could inspire such an impassioned response?
Bin-Ladin makes some absurd and silly generalisations about Europeans, Westerners, Jews, Hindus and other groups. You are doing the same thing to 1.2 billion Muslims.
Will you permit me to exercise my freedom of speech and suggest that you have the same mindset as bin-Ladin?
Yet . . . when I re-read my words on Milton to discover what I supposedly did to 1.2 billion Muslims, I found myself baffled -- and, naturally, a bit insulted -- so I replied to Mr. Yusuf (taking care to respectfully capitalize his name):
Irfan Yusuf, you seem to have forgotten that I go by "Jeffery."In a subsequent response to another interlocutor, Otto Silver, whom Mr. Yusuf had also engaged in conversation, I added the following remarks about Mr. Yusuf:
You are free to comment here so long as you don't abuse the privilege with ad hominem attacks -- though you are really pushing that line with your insulting comparison of me to mass murderer and Islamist terrorist Osama Bin Laden. I suggest that you restrain yourself in future comments.
Now if I recall correctly, you previously objected to my having made a distinction between moderate and radical Muslims. Now, you accuse me of not distinguishing. I plead not guilty anyway, for if you look closely, you'll see in my post [on Milton] that I used the term "Islamism," by which I mean the use of Islam for political purposes, the ultimate aim being a shariah state.
I don't consider the majority of Muslims to be particularly interested in Islamism.
Otto, I appreciate your cordial response to Irfan Yusuf and your temperate remarks. I try to keep my blog free of insults.I give Mr. Yusuf, anyway, the benefit of the doubt since he obviously doesn't like Osama Bin Laden.
Irfan is a 'moderate' Muslim (though he doesn't like my saying so), a lawyer, a journalist, and quite intelligent, but is also, it seems, too easily riled.
He is, in short, better than his recent comments.
He does not, however, extend me the same courtesy, for in a comment to Sonagi concerning my "'Dhimmification' of Europe?" blog post, Mr. Yusuf remarked: "I hope that the academic who writes this blog doesn't pollute young Korean minds with such sectarian bigotry."
To those words, I can only repeat my initial, lapidary response: "Islamism is a problem in Europe, and it cannot be ignored."
I anticipate more lapidation from Mr. Yusuf, but perhaps he'll call for a moratorium.