Once a Muslim

Posted by sepoy on May 12, 2008 · 1 min read

For a while, the exemplar op-ed for ridiculousness and gross violation of logic, reason, history and straw-men argumentation was Bernard Lewis's appearance on the WSJ pages declaring the End of Times. But, I think that standard has now been met, if not exceeded, by Edward Luttwak's incredibly offensive President Apostate? Love that Question Mark. Oh, Luttwak, why the Question Mark? Tell us how you really know and understand the 1 billion Muslims and their burning hatreds.

To what purpose does NYT give space to such claptrap? I am sure there are many thousands of voices waiting for the ability to speak to NYT's global audience. And they chose this partisan hack?


update: It was heartening to see that all of the letters to the editors flayed Luttwak. Also, Juan Cole does the dutiful and takes on the theological argument.

update 2: The Public Editor for NYT has a note today, Entitled to Their Opinions, Yes. But Their Facts?. Hoyt writes that he called up five experts of Islamic jurisprudence and they all said Luttwak was wrong. And that the editors of the op-ed page never consulted any such experts because, they don't "customarily call experts to invite them to weigh in on the work of our contributors". Not only that, David Shipley, the editor of the Op-Ed page does not "think the Op-Ed page was under any obligation to present an alternative view, beyond some letters to the editor."

Your liberal press in action.


aaron | May 12, 2008

I couldn't get very far into it, but it was interesting to hear him talking about Kenya as if it were Saudi Arabia (and the majestic grand gesture of declaring how muslim law "univerally understood" will determine how muslims will react to a president obama). Presumably, muslim law will command the robotic multitude to hate an apostate more than a warmonger. Seems reasonable to me.

Another Damned Medievalist | May 12, 2008

I'll go and read after grades are in, but just wanted to say that 20 years ago, my Roman History prof always prefaced discussing one of Luttwak's arguments with, "hold onto your wallets, folks!"

chanad | May 12, 2008

this is my favourite: "most citizens of the Islamic world would be horrified by the fact of Senator Obama's conversion to Christianity once it became widely known" horrified i am

elizabeth | May 12, 2008

ADM--I think this one is more, "hold onto your democracy"...

dr anonymous | May 13, 2008

i'm confused as to what the point of that was. is he trying to convince us that on strategic grounds barack obama is not going to be better than mccain on foreign policy while at the same time trying to convince us that he's part of a fifth column? i suppose ny times readers would buy that, actually...lol. make room in the handbasket for me!!!!

omar ali | May 15, 2008

Luttwak is a total ass and I am sure one billion muslims will not go wild over Obama's apostate status...but there IS another side to the story. I was at a party last week where a Pakistani-American doctor vehemently insisted that no muslim should ever support Obama because the man is an apostate and apostasy is a crime and that principle counts for more than any benefit "we" may get from an Obama presidence. I would add that this comment was necessitated by the fact that MOST people in the room were Obama supporters. Still, its out there...

Desi Italiana | May 29, 2008

Edward Luttwak is definitely whack, and unfortunately, he used to show up all the time on Italian political talk shows [in Italy, he is regarded as the go-to man in terms of US foreign policy :( ] to spew 'arguments' in favor of the war in Iraq. There were so many times whereby it was extremely clear he didn't know what he was talking about, often forgetting what he was discussing in the first place (!), and even the talk show hosts would cut him off or uncomfortably let him finish his ramblings, but he still got invited the next time around.

Desi Italiana | May 29, 2008

"i'm confused as to what the point of that was. is he trying to convince us that on strategic grounds barack obama is not going to be better than mccain on foreign policy while at the same time trying to convince us that he's part of a fifth column?" I'll take a stab at deciphering his poorly written article-- I think he was saying that if Obama were to become president and went to a majority Muslim country, he'd be stoned for being an apostate or forced to flee to Italy...

Desi Italiana | May 29, 2008

"To what purpose does NYT give space to such claptrap?" Some publications give space to a big name because he/she is a big name (and feel honored that so and so would send something in to them), and editors often think that because of his/her grandeur, they can get away with saying anything they want because he/she CAN because he/she is this big person...and so goes the circle :)

vivek | June 01, 2008

The NYT public editor, to his credit, has come out with an op/ed piece of his own, highly critical of Luttwak's awful piece.

sepoy | June 01, 2008

Thanks vivek. I noted it elsewhere but will link it here as well.