Date: Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM
Subject: Hindus must learn to cultivate similar Chutzpah ("astounding hubris")
The key to understanding organized Islamic behavior—not the actions of every Muslim by any means, but the groups that represent them and the individuals most formed by Islamic cultural attitudes—is, ironically, chutzpah. In Hebrew, that term means something like "astounding hubris," although as it came into Yiddish it took on some more positive connotations. Leo Rosten, author of The Joy of Yiddish, defines chutzpah as "that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan." There is no other way to characterize the way professional Muslims begin to act when they scent weakness in their rivals; conversely, when they meet a show of strength that exceeds their own, they turn almost instantly into craven, self-pitying victims. Just think of how Palestinian activists alternate between empty boastfulness about their power to "drive the Zionists into the sea," and puling complaints about the indignities imposed on them by Israel's greater power.
This should be no surprise to us. As I've written before, Islam is a religion of power, which worships a god whose first and foremost attribute is power, absolute and arbitrary power so boundless by definition that no one and nothing can "chain Allah's hand," not even his previous promises. In the single-minded quest to depict their god as limitless, Muslim theologians have managed to portray Allah as something actually less impressive than any human being who does keep his word; recall that in ancient cultures, oath-keeping was the virtue held in highest esteem. Without it, human action is impossible to predict, trust relationships cannot be formed, and lasting love is impossible. Allah cannot be said to love his creatures, because they can never trust him. Their love for him at best can only ever be servile, the trembling devotion of a whipped dog hoping for mercy.
While that may be the Muslim attitude toward their god, activist Muslims adopt quite the opposite posture toward non-Muslims, whenever they feel sufficiently powerful to get away with it. Robert Spencer told me a story he'd heard of an American convert to Islam (dressed like any other American) who sat down at a cafe, only to be greeted from a neighboring table with "Assalaamu 'alaykum!" The American was stunned, and he turned to the Arab immigrant at the neighboring table to ask, "How did you know I was a Muslim?" His newfound friend replied, "You hold and carry yourself like a Muslim. You hold your head high, as if you bow before no man, but only before Allah."