A Civilization Devoid of Critical Thinking Cannot Defeat Islamic Terrorism
May 24, 2017
RUSH: Back in April, an ISIS supporter attack in Paris, Champs-Elysees, a couple weeks before the French elections — by the way, have you heard what they have done in Paris? I don’t know if this is the mayor or if it’s this new president. Do you know what they did? This is a sign, folks. This is a comforting sign to show you how tough the French are in this fight against terrorism. You know what they’ve done?
They’ve turned off the lights in the Eiffel Tower at midnight. You know how that is bound to frighten the terrorists? I mean, why didn’t we think of something like this earlier? What a statement. What a show of force. Turning off the lights on the Eiffel Tower at midnight to show solidarity with the victims of terror attacks. This is classic. This is like a hashtag, #bringbackourgirls. It doesn’t do anything. But the people involved think they are really contributing. They think they’re really doing something meaningful. And all it means is that no impediment to future terrorism is handed down.
We are, in fact, quote after quote after quote today from people in the U.K., from Theresa May to others, “This is the new norm.” They don’t say it that way but their attitudes are clear that they have no ideas, nothing to do here. They’re so afraid of offending Muslims and Islamists.
I have a question, ladies and gentlemen. If Islam is so peaceful, why is everybody so damn frightened of offending them? And on the other hand, if Christianity is so violent as people like Whoopi Goldberg and others tell us, why is nobody afraid to offend Christians? People laugh at, make fun of, and mock Christians all day long with no fear whatsoever. But you so much as think anything offensive about Islam, and they descend on you and they accuse you of violating political correctness and they beg you to shut up.
In fact, there’s United States Senator out there today blaming Trump for terrorist recruitment by daring to criticize them. Yeah, Chris somebody. There’s a lot of Chrises in the Senate. Let me find the guy. It’s in the sound bites here. Chris Murphy. This is the CNN Situation Room, audio sound bite number seven. Wolf Blitzer speaking. This guy’s from Connecticut, about the terror attack in Manchester, England. Blitzer says, “Do you believe the attacker deliberately targeted this –” (laughing) Do you believe — deliberate — this is what I mean! Asking a United States Senator if he thinks a radical Islamist terrorist purposely, deliberately targeted — yes! And do you know why?
Who was the performing artist at this concert? Ariana Grande. What she is? A woman, right? What do you think over half the audience of this show was? Women and girls! And Wolf Blitzer is asking, “Do you think it might have been deliberate?” I even saw a story, you know the Washington Post, folks, I can’t make this up. The Washington Post thinks they’re really on to something here. They think there might be some deep misogyny in terror circles.
And the reason why it’s nigh on impossible to do is because for two generations we have not taught critical thinking. We have people in this country who, by definition, are highly educated. By that I mean they’ve gone to college and they have degrees. We don’t know what they know, but by our definition they’re highly educated. They haven’t the slightest idea how to critically think. In fact, it might be useful to define critical thinking. Essentially curiosity, a willingness to not blindly accept what looks good, that buttresses what you think.
Just genuine curiosity, the ability to refute, the ability to think about what you believe so as to be able to refute arguments against you. That’s not taught. I think, by the way, that the lack of critical thinking is a major contributor into so many more millions of Americans buying into conspiracy theories.
Do you know what the latest big conspiracy theory is in the U.K.? Contrails. Do you know what a contrail is? It’s when a jet’s flying at high altitude and the exhaust from the engine creates what looks like clouds coming out of the back of the engine as the heat from the engine condenses with frozen air that high in the atmosphere, and you get a contrail. There’s a conspiracy that says that these contrails are designed to destroy the planet. Some people think they’re up there fighting climate change with these; others think that these are part of the effort to destroy the planet.
The ability to fall for something like that requires somebody not being able to think critically. Forget critically. Just think! I think the reason for that is that education has become indoctrination. There’s nothing about education that inspires learning. You know, critical thinking, curiosity is a huge part of it. The more you know, the more you want to know — and the more you hear, the more evidence for it you want to hear and have before you cement your belief system to it. That’s critical thinking.
Absent critical thinking, you will simply believe anything anybody says, particularly if it’s written down. If it’s written anywhere — if it’s written on the internet, if it’s written in the newspaper, if it’s written in a magazine — there’s a tendency to automatically believe it. And I think that’s what makes it difficult to persuade anybody — not just Millennials, but any number of people — who are not capable of independent thought, critical thinking or what have you. Here’s Chris Murphy answering Wolf Blitzer’s question: “Do you believe the attacker deliberately targeted this concert in Manchester ’cause it featured an American perform…?” They’re totally missing this. Here’s the answer.
MURPHY: I have not been briefed, uh, on this attack yet. Uh, all I know is that ISIS, uhh, has designs on bringing the fight to us here in the United States. Many of us are worried about some of the rhetoric of the Trump administration because we worry with that combined with robust online recruitment might end up in an attack like this happening in the United States.
RUSH: But wait. Wait a minute. People like this tell us that Islam’s a religion of peace, that there is no terrorism in Islam, and yet we can’t criticize Islam. If we criticize Islam we run the risk of offending them and as this clown from Connecticut just said, “Why, we might end up making them so mad that they join terror-action groups!” Another U.S. official yesterday said under testimony that terrorists becoming terrorists because they’re enslaved in poverty and prejudice. And none of that is true. Absolutely none of it is true.
There isn’t even a serious effort at the highest levels in European government (and even here) to actually learn about this — what it is, who they are, why they’re doing what they’re doing. When you simply politicize everything and you fall back on you’ve got a Republican president the Democrats hate. They think he stole the election. So he’s out there criticizing Islam and terrorism. “Oh, no! Oh, no! He can’t do that. That’s just gonna offend them and that’s just gonna cause more terrorism!”
That is clinically insane — and it’s not clinically insane, it’s downright stupid. It’s not even ignorant. It’s just downright dumb and stupid. If Islam is so peaceful, why is everybody so afraid and terrified to offend people? I mean, so much of this stuff just is thrown at us in utter defiance of common sense. Some of the examples we have here… Katy Perry has said some of the most ridiculous things. This was an attack on people who are not Islamic. This is all that’s going on. It has nothing to do with you’re Americans or British. It’s if you are a nonbeliever.
And for now, the Washington Post to think they’re on to something, that these guys might have a bias against women? Let’s see. We’ve got Boko Haram. We have the way women must dress. We have women being stoned and the Washington Post and the Drive-By Media still can’t figure it out. No, it takes a terror attack on a largely female-attended concert with a female performer before the lights start going off and they start considering the possibility that there might be some misogyny in militant Islamism. But let me get back to my setting-the-table theme here.
Back to the top. In April, we had an ISIS supporter attack in Paris on the Champs-Elysees, two weeks before the French elections. Remember? Then an ISIS supporter attacked the largest indoor arena in the U.K. a couple of weeks before their elections, which have been postponed, by the way.
RUSH: Michael, Arlington, Virginia. Great to have you on the EIB Network. How you doing, sir?
CALLER: Rush, it’s an honor to speak with America’s foremost educator.
RUSH: Well, thank you, sir, very much. I appreciate that.
CALLER: I taught high school level social studies for 10 years in Maryland and D.C. You mentioned earlier that our education system doesn’t teach critical thinking. And I just got tons of evidence about that that I witnessed as a teacher. And because —
RUSH: How would you define it? How would you define, Michael, critical thinking?
CALLER: It’s to look at the premises that lead to a judgment. In other words, form the premises first, formulate, seek, explore premises, then make judgments. That’s become an educated guess, at least, or an educated and accurate conclusion. But this is how smart people become stupid, Rush. The whole thing you’re talking about with the Russian joke, the Trump joke, it’s because they’re starting with the conclusion. And I watched teachers do this all the time. A teacher who said, “Today we’re gonna discuss the Second Amendment, the most unfortunate of amendments.” Are you kidding me? That’s not just indoctrination, that’s bad teaching. And it taints everything a student does, and then we’re bringing a whole generation up with this, again, putting the conclusion first. And it destroys, as you discuss it, critical thought.
RUSH: Well, that’s a good way of putting it. You establish the conclusion and you build back — well, we don’t build anything. You just establish a conclusion, that’s it. You teach the conclusion. There’s nothing else to learn. There’s nothing else to know. You don’t even teach how we arrive at the conclusion. Second Amendment sucks, period. “Why, teacher, why?”
“‘Cause it kills people.”
“Oh. Oh. Oh. Okay. Yeah. Guess it does suck. Well, where did it come from?”
“Why is it the Second –”
“Not important. It’s bad. It kills people. It ought not be in there.”
“Okay. Okay, teacher. If you say so.”
That’s a good definition of critical thinking. Start with the conclusion and go nowhere else. And don’t even teach people how you arrive at the conclusion, because there’s no thinking that got you to the conclusion. Nothing more than bias, ideology, partisanship, bigotry, whatever took you to the conclusion. I’m glad you called, Michael. Thanks much.