Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Keyboard Equals Kalashnikov"

The Islamists are doing a remarkable job at getting their propaganda into cyberspace. We're too busy bickering among ourselves about Paris Hilton and American Idol to mount any sort of counteroffensive. If we don't start paying attention, we're going to be screwed.

"The pen is mightier than the sword," we say. Islamists have a new mantra, which says "Keyboard equals Kalashnikov." The Cybercast News Service is reporting today that

Islamist groups have created a sophisticated online media network, complete with multi-media video and audio, to spread their message to audiences speaking English and other Western languages, several studies have shown.

According to one organization, radical groups want to go further, infiltrating mainstream, non-political, non-Islamic websites and forums to further spread their message.

The bin Laden, al Qaeda, Salafist, Wahhabist view of the world is that the world belongs to them, because it is their right to govern, and they will stop only when they have achieved that aim, regardless of what specific hatred they may have for America being in the Middle East. For what it's worth, there is an interesting corollary of this modern-day lust for power in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Former-day turncoat Ammoron, who became by intrigue the king of the Lamanite people, breathed out the following threat against his former people, the Nephites.

For behold, your fathers did wrong their brethren, insomuch that they did rob them of their right to the government when it rightly belonged unto them.
And now behold, if ye will lay down your arms, and subject yourselves to be governed by those to whom the government doth rightly belong, then will I cause that my people shall lay down their weapons and shall be at war no more.

The Islamist variety of Muslims will be at war with America so long as there are both Islamists and Americans. It is high time we realize that fact. It would redound to our good health, shall we say, to do so.

To the Islamists who have the same rage as the ancient Lamanite people did, I say "Nuts!" But most people are too busy watching Paris Hilton and American Idol to even notice.


rmwarnick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rmwarnick said...

I love your formulation, the "Islamist variety of Muslims." It's a distinction without a difference, like saying right-wing conservatives.

All Muslims are Islamists. They believe the Qur'an is the literal word of Allah. There is no separation of mosque and state:

"Secularism cannot be a solution for countries with a Muslim majority or even a sizeable minority, for it requires people to replace their God-given beliefs with an entirely different set of man-made beliefs. Separation of religion and state is not an option for Muslims because is requires us to abandon Allah's decree for that of a man."

Frank Staheli said...

Your misunderstanding of Muslims versus the Islamist variety of Muslims makes it important that you learn more about the film "Islam vs the Islamists" by PBS.

rmwarnick said...

If you subscribe to the fiction of defining "Islamists" or "Islamofascists" as somehow ideologically different from mainstream Muslims, you cannot understand the widespread appeal of Osama bin Laden.

Frank Gaffney isn't exactly my idea of an expert on Islam or Arabs, but I'll be happy to check out his film on DVD.

rmwarnick said...

Here's the opinion of blogger Lawrence Auster, who has seen Frank Gaffney's film:

"In a telling pattern (the significance of which the filmmakers themselves don't seem to catch), after the movie describes and interviews [Islamic] moderates, we are told that the entire Muslim community in the city where each moderate lives is against him, is hostile to him, and sees him as not a true Muslim...

It immediately became apparent that there was a total disconnect between what the movie was plainly showing us about Islam and what its makers were telling us that it was showing."

rm said...


this is like a fistfight between you (frank) and you (rmwarnick).

i checked some of the links you provided in previous comments rmwarnick (truth or propaganda?). and i agree, in my opionen its pure propaganda.

but there ARE a lot of "jihadi" websites, where you can learn how to take apaches and black hawks down with smart weapons, how to build IEDs or how to encrypt data in a picture for secure transmission.
that's reality. it's something like the community. you can ignore it, you can watch it or you can "hack" it.

@frank: if poeple love to follow the path of "american idol" or "paris hilton in prison - part 2", they should. i think, that's the price of democracy.

Elizabeth said...

The Islamist view is not the majority Muslim view, but the Islamist view is becoming more popular because only the Islamist groups seem to have the courage to stand up to corrupt governments and to foreign occupations.

The propaganda that's the most effective is the propaganda that's based on truth...lies only work for so long.

Frank Staheli said...


You're right--it was Lawrence Auster's opinion.


I agree people should have their choice in what they watch and how they entertain themselves. But I think it's important to remind them that there are things much more important.


I agree that Islamism is becoming more popular for the reasons you state.

Elizabeth said...

Here's an article you might find interesting:

Frank Staheli said...

Interesting article.

I think it is an indicator that there are people who think differently as to whether Islam should govern every facet of life.

It's not a probably recipe for success--historical totalitarian secularists vs current totalitarian religionists. Hopefully the solutions appreciated by the populace will be designed by secularists who also want liberty for the people.

Another article I read today juxtaposes the Islamist variety of Muslims with those who are not. There is a distinction.

Mark Eichenlaub said...

I'd like to get a copy of that PBS special as well.

Have a great 4th of July bud.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

That PBS special is well-worth seeing. I went to a free screening of it in LA. Here is my blogpost, complete with a video of the Q & A.

I definitely do think it is important that we draw distinctions in using terms like Islamists, Islamo-fascists, moderate Muslims, mainstream Muslims, etc.

Language is an important part of the propaganda war.

Mark Eichenlaub said...

Thanks Nantucket. I'll check that out.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

You're welcome. Now where's Frank been?!

Frank Staheli said...

I was with my children on their Utah Valley Children's Choir tour, where most of our days were filled with busy, busy, busy. It was worth it, though, but it's great to be back!

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Good for you! And good for your readers to have you back at the helm.