Brian: 'Tis a common thing in my experience however. I am 72 years old and have studied one thing or another my entire life. At various times people who haven't studied as much have wanted to argue with me and it is frustrating for them when I refer to some expert, say an expert on Islamism and imply that they have a wrong understanding based upon this expert, whose wisdom I am happy to impart to them. Their recourses are limited, but over the years I've heard several. 1. They could say I haven't read as much as I claim to, but there is usually evidence to contradict that. 2. They can claim that I have read the wrong things. Knowing that non-readers were eventually going to invoke this one, way back in the beginning of my study of the Middle East, Islam, Islamism, etc. I provide the approach I was going to take in this study. And periodically thereafter as my understanding grew I would explain why I was reading certain books and not others. I didn't initially read Edward Said because he had been wrong about the dangers of Islamism, but as I read more and more, and more writers dealt with Said, I decided to read him - as well as another exemplar of wrongness, John Esposito 3. They can claim that their knowledge, while not obtained from books, is superior to mine. I heard that quite a lot years ago when I was arguing with Charismatics. They claimed to get their knowledge directly from the Holy Spirit which of course trumped mine which came from books. A Sayyid Qutb Islamist would use an argument like that also. He believes that all truth is to be found in the Koran and the Sunnah - nothing else. 4. They can claim that while I read a book I misunderstood it, whereas they have a true understanding. This approach can be used in only a limited way as in the Bible or the Koran and the Sunnah. You can't understand it truly until you become a believer, but believers will later learn that is not enough, they must believe some particular interpretation. The risks of not getting an interpretation quite right is less severe if one lives among Christians than among Qutbist Islamists, however - where it can be fatal. 5. Then there is the True Believer in who is going to do the equivalent of putting his hands over his ears and shouting Yaaaaaaaah to drown out what I am saying, because he's heard enough to realize that it conflicts with his beliefs, but he hasn't studied enough to argue with me. I do run across such people occasionally. Sometimes they use insults rather than Yaaaaaaaaah. 6. Then there is the equivalent of "you can't know anything about being Black unless you are Black." "I'm black, and you are white; so you can know nothing about what it's like to be black." I think that's pretty much run its course in Black movements. But perhaps Mike is trying to adapt that to the current situation. That will be difficult because Qutbist Islamism doesn't want to be accepted. It doesn't want rights as Blacks did in the U.S. It wants to conquer and it fully expects to. It is a warrior code and to oppose it doesn't comprise "bigotry" in any usual sense of that word. One doesn't usually wonder if one is becoming a bigot if one is defending one's family or nation against an attacking enemy. And Qutbism believes in attacking enemies. So do I react if Mike yells Yaaaaaaaaaah or accuses me of being a bigot? Not at all. People usually do that just before they quit arguing with me. Lawrence _____ From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Brian Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2007 6:03 AM To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: The Strident Voice of Defeat This paragraph reaches a level of absurdity that is stupefying. Mike, tell me, is it difficult to type with your index fingers pressed firmly into each of your ears? ~Brian On Jan 13, 2007, at 1:24 AM, Mike Geary wrote: But in fact, Lawrence, you don't know the first thing about Islamism. You've never studied the Islamic religion under an Islamist, you've never lived in that culture, you don't speak the language, you are, I believe, deeply bigoted towards Islamism. All you know is what a bunch of men as ignorant of Islamism as you are tell you. Sorry, guy, I just don't pay any attention to anything you say. Nothing personal.