How 'Triggerism' Replaced Factualism on Islam
One upon a time, whenever two or more parties disagreed, the logical thing for them to do was resort to argumentation. It was not enough to say, "I'm right and you're wrong" (unless they were children). The winner of the debate was the one who could better substantiate his position — that is, the one whose position better accorded with reality.
Today, the one side that is wrong about virtually everything, the liberal left, has forgone argumentation, and even sophistry, precisely because it cannot contend with those armed with facts. It has, instead, relied on conditioning its adherents to react to so-called "trigger" words and concepts — never mind if those words and concepts accord with reality or not.
This was impressed upon me during the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) and Linda Sarsour's, and their leftist dupes', failed attempts to cancel my recent talk at the U.S. Army War College. In their protests, they didn't quote me saying something and then, even in a few words, intimating how it was wrong; the ideas I conveyed were wrong per se. For example, the following is a lengthy excerpt from CAIR's last press release against me. Note how it doesn't bother — even with the usual two-bit sophistry — to prove how my positions are wrong. Just having them is the proof:
When Ibrahim was asked, "Is there any chance of an accommodation between Islam and Western societies or this is just wishful thinking?," he replied, "Can water and oil mix?"
He also stated: "[Islam] is entirely built on the purported teachings of a seventh century Arab — who for all accounts acted like a seventh century Arab, meaning tribal and uncivilized. Obviously, if this man was a false prophet — a liar — which is the default, non-Muslim position, then it should be unsurprising that the entire worldview his followers follow, which is tribal and uncivilized, is creating a constant clash with other civilizations."
Also: "[T]he hate for Christians and other non-Muslims, including secularists/atheists in the West, did not begin with ISIS, al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia, Boko Haram, or Al Shabaab. It began with Muhammad and his companions, 1,400 years ago."
While I'm under no illusions that such quotes instantly "trigger" the typical leftist automaton, they also just so happen to be demonstrably true.
How is the assertion that Islamic and Western culture mix as well as water and oil open to debate? On the one hand, you have a civilization that believes in religious freedom and plurality, sex equality, and rational laws; on the other hand, you have a civilization that believes in sharia, persecutes apostates and non-Muslims in general, and treats women as chattel. One can give countless more examples; either way, the point stands — water and oil.
As for the idea that the persecution of Christians is not limited to "terrorists," but rather is normative in Islam, copious documentation validating this claim can be found in my 2013 book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians, or take a look at my monthly "Muslim Persecution of Christians" reports — nearly 100 now, stretching back to 2011 — where the persecutors, who more often than not are "regular" Muslims and Muslim governments (not a few of which are America's "friends and allies"), often justify their actions by citing their prophet, the Koran, etc.
As for my statement that "[Islam] is entirely built on the purported teachings of a seventh-century Arab — who for all accounts acted like a seventh-century Arab, meaning tribal and uncivilized," the only sort of person who can have problems with this is someone who doesn't believe that the words civilized and its converse, uncivilized, have any meaning (that is, a postmodern relativistic-thinking leftist). The fact is, and by any stretch of the imagination, seventh-century Arabia was without question uncivilized. Here is how philosopher Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) — a Muslim from North Africa whose ancestry traces to Arabia — described the Arabs of his time (let alone those from Muhammad's more primitive era eight centuries earlier): they are "the most savage human beings that exist. Compared with sedentary people they are on a level with wild, untamable animals and dumb beasts of prey. Such people are the Arabs."
As for my trigger-point par excellence, that "if this man [Muhammad] was a false prophet — a liar — which is the default, non-Muslim position, then it should be unsurprising that the entire worldview his followers follow, which is tribal and uncivilized, is creating a constant clash with other civilizations," consider: if you reject Muhammad's claims that he was God's prophet — which all non-Muslims explicitly or implicitly do — then what was he? Either a liar or a lunatic (the trilemma argument regarding Christ popularized by C.S. Lewis is equally applicable to Muhammad). Accordingly, are you surprised that a man who was either a liar or a lunatic ended up creating a creed, based on the mores of his extremely uncivilized society, that is in conflict with the modern world — that is like water mixed with oil? (For a much more comprehensive and refined discussion of this argument, see this 2009 article of mine.)
CAIR is not alone in relying on "trigger" words and concepts without actual rebuttal. Back in June 2019, Chris Rodda of the Daily Kos gloated in his (prematurely titled) "Army War College Pulls Plug on Islamophobic Speaker" that I "proved CAIR's and the other protesters' point" by again reiterating that "history makes abundantly clear that Islamic terrorism and 'extremism' are intrinsic to Islam, and have been from its first contact with Western civilization in the seventh century[.]"
Once again, that's it. Not even a few words to show how history does not make "abundantly clear that Islamic terrorism and 'extremism' are intrinsic to Islam, and have been from its first contact with Western civilization in the seventh century." Just saying that is all the proof needed that I'm wrong (at least for the soft minds that take CAIR, Linda Sarsour, and the Daily Kos seriously).
The lesson is clear. The lying liberal left has gone from dissembling over its positions — the truth can be suppressed only for so long in a (currently) free society — to relying almost exclusively on emotionalism and trigger words, because that's all their bankrupt ideology has to stand on.
Raymond Ibrahim, author of Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute.