The Revolution Muslim website run by our friends in New York has gone down for the time being, apparently because the powers that be took exception to them posting something that walked at least right up to the line of being a death threat against the producers of South Park for portraying Mohammed in their latest episode.
Here is the AP’s coverage of the story. If you want to see what the offending RM blog post was, you can look here where Google cached most of it. I thought the picture of Theo Van Gogh with a knife sticking out of his chest was particularly tasteful.
It’s rather a pity that the site has gone down because with it we also seem to have lost a very amusing post on “Fomenting Disunity in the Counterterrorism Movement” which criticizes the work of Jarret Brachman, Evan Kohlmann, and J. M. Berger. Interestingly, RM urges Muslims to avoid debating with these experts under most circumstances because it’s hard for a jihobbyist to do so “without making a fool out of his or herself.” The main thrust of the argument with regard to Brachman was that his views could be used to divide the community of counterterrorist analysts into factions. What RM misses, of course, is the healthy aspect to debate and intellectual competition. Kohlmann, RM suggests, can be exploited by pointing out that his views coincide with the views of many conservatives, hence he could be painted as a “wingnut.” A recent Berger piece allegedly could be used to divide us all into pro-Janet Napolitano and anti-Janet Napolitano camps. RM’s conclusion is that “We should strive to see Democrat CT experts and Republican CT experts in sha’a Allah.”
RM is struggling to have a good idea here, but can’t quite close the deal. It is true, IMHO, that Democratic and Republican “experts” on national security issues tend to be at best useless attack dogs. To that extent, RM has a point. However, what RM misses is that the fact that trained attack weasels are going at it will never stop serious people from considering interesting and important questions from a non-partisan, intellectual perspective. I’m sure that Brachman, Kohlmann, and Berger all have their personal political views. However, were they ever to become seen as partisan hacks, other people would fill in behind them. There’s a market niche there in the market place of ideas, if nothing else. There are reputations and careers to be made doing calm, thoughtful work.
It’s all very funny. Unless you’re the South Park guys.
UPDATE: Revolution Muslim has issued a statement through another blog run by one of its (RM’s) individual members in which they clarify that they are not against “a rational dialogue.” The statement goes on to argue that the depiction of Mohammed (and Jesus and Moses) in South Park typifies American imperialism. The statement is fairly predictable from there on out. The proprietor of this other blog, Abu Talhah al-Amrike has previously tweeted on the topic of South Park as follows: “May Allah kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker and burn them in Hell for all eternity. They insult our prophets Muhammad, Jesus, and Moses…” and “The kuffar are starting to really pick up on the South Park story in sha’a Allah this can be the USA’s version of the Rushdie affair in UK.” It seems to me that these tweets rather undercut the attempt to sound reasonable in RM’s new statement.
SECOND UPDATE (4/22): WordPress has taken down the “Mujahid Blog” on which Revolution Muslim issued their explanatory statement. The reason is “a violation of our Terms of Service.”