the devil we know


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:


    Blaise is confusing Islamism (what he calls State Islam)–and a particularly hardcore variety thereof–with Islam. The former is only variety of the latter.

    As he has to admit, Indonesia (the world’s largest Muslim country) doesn’t have sharia. Turkey is secular. There are a huge proportion of Muslims living in India–the world’s largest democracy. Muslims in the States and Canada, ditto.

    When he refers to UK he’s referring to one branch (an Islamist branch). And in a place like the UK when a Muslim says he/she wants sharia they may just mean something like Muslim family law courts (like Orthodox Jewish groups have). They don’t necessarily mean they want the entire country to be forced into some Islamic supremacy model. [The hardcore groups do, but they are not the only ones in existence].

    There’s no such thing as monolithic Islam. There are Islams. President Obama’s speech while a nicer face still talks as if there is this one united Muslim world. There just isn’t. There’s simply too much geographic, linguistic, cultural, theological and political, differences to talk about “Islam wants X”.Report

  2. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    No, he does (and especially in the comments) refer to the difference between Islam-the-religion and State Islam (or Islamism) but I think his concern is that policy will not be made with such a distinction in mind…and that all our efforts will be in vain.Report

  3. Avatar paul h. says:

    This was the first speech of Obama’s that really made me see that he’s basically just a hollow rhetorician, and that he’ll rarely if ever back any of this up with actions (his actions have thus far tended to be very centrist/establishmentarian). I basically predicted the speech, almost paragraph for paragraph, before he delivered it; he has a standard schtick that’s getting quite old. I guess many Republicans saw this months ago, or even back in 2007. And I’m very, very cynical about this speech; tell me how this is going to actually DO anything to convince, or even vaguely BEGIN to convince, a 19-year-old male Iraqi who has a very long list of reasons to hate the West.Report