Monday, December 11, 2006

The Ten Righteous

The essay below is aimed specifically at Jews and Christians. If you are from another faith, or are uncomfortable with religious discussions, you may want to skip this post.


One of the most important and widely-argued issues within the Counterjihad concerns moderate Muslims (or as the 910 Group prefers to call them, “Free Muslims”). Do they really exist? Are they all practicing taqiyyah? Should we take them into consideration, or are they not worth bothering about?

The “Free Muslims” really do exist; Stop the Project has a list of their organizations. They don’t get much publicity, because the MSM, in its tacit alliance with Islamofascism, prefers to focus on CAIR and similar organizations.

But these brave people put their lives on the line every day to speak out on behalf of non-violence and religious tolerance, while still remaining Muslims.

This morning I received an email from a friend of ours who has noticed the nuke-the-ragheads mentality which so often rears its head in Gates of Vienna comments:

A couple of your commenters have got Islam so deeply on the brain, they think the only good ay-rab is a dead ay-rab. People who can’t distinguish individuals from groups are by definition prejudiced.

And indeed they are.

In fact, what they are doing is arguing for the assignment of collective guilt. They believe that innocent people within a group defined as “the enemy” should not be spared the fate of the group, deserve no sympathy, and should be disregarded.

I hesitate to cite the most notorious earlier examples of such an ideological stance, for fear of invoking Godwin’s Law upon myself. Suffice it to say that these folks have some unsavory ideological companions among the blood-soaked regimes of the previous century.

Scripture provides some illumination on this topic. Genesis 18:20-33 describes Abraham’s intercession with the Lord on behalf of the “moderates” (the Bible calls them “righteous”) in Sodom and Gomorrah:

John Martin (English painter, 1789-1854), ‘Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah’ (1852), in the Laing GalleryAnd the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.

“I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”

Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD.

Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

“Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
- - - - - - - - - -
“Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”

So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.”

And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes.

“Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.”

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.”

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”

As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.

Note that Abraham is arguing a moral issue with God. Abraham is using the Lord’s own moral laws to intercede with Him and deter Him from indiscriminate retribution.

Can you imagine an Islamist supporting such a dialog with Allah? It would be, by definition, heresy.

This is what separates us from them. This is why we are different. This is why what we have is worth fighting for.

We can chew gum and walk. We can fight the vampires of Islamic fascism while supporting those Muslims who have the courage to speak out on behalf of values we share. Both jobs can be done.

If there be but ten righteous, let the city be spared.

51 comments:

FluffResponse said...

if islam was violent and sadistic from the beginning (as seems so) and if muhammed is the model of human behavior but something of what we'd call a savage, with revelations that provided him with violent and pedophilac delights (as seems so) ... wouldn't everyone be better off if everyone moved away from this tradition, which does not seem reformable?

Aren't the good folks (and there are good folks) merely wishing that they can stay with the tradition of their parents; but their hopes of merging decency and islam are not realizable?

at least we're still allowed to ask.

Jason_Pappas said...

Of course it is sad to see the moderates’ look of helplessness in Muslim lands. There is an Islamic Revival, i.e. a Salafi revival, that is sweeping the Islamic world. Moderates are frightened into silence or exiled except for a few brave souls. It’s frightening for us because the moderate Germans were also helpless to stop the decent into savagery in the 1930s (Hitler only got 1/3 of the vote.) Nor were moderate Russians able to stop the rise of Bolshevism in 1917 and they too (i.e. the moderates) were the vast majority.

It’s very worrisome. I know Tom Palmer (whom I’ve long listed in my blog links) travels to the Middle East teaching about liberty; and I wish him all the luck in the world.

rcb said...

I'll bite. Writing like this makes me very uncomfortable. I hope someone can convincingly show me how I am wrong.
The most effective tool in the Islamic-murder movement is the Koran itself. Just read it simply, without interpretation, and its words convey a simple meaning.
So the problem for moderate Muslims is not so much that WE might lump them all together. It's that their Holy Book lumps them all together in the violence that it teaches, from my non-Muslim point of view. It has been going on for many centuries, and is unlikely to stop.

ZionistYoungster said...

The Biblical tradition has it that G-d, although not in human form, and far removed from mankind's thoughts, is a G-d of Law, who keeps the very laws He has given mankind, and to whom mankind gets closer by imitating His moral examples. "As He is merciful and compassionate, so too thou shalt be merciful and compassionate", say our sages.

In contrast, Islam has it that its god is so totally detached from his creation, so close to the idea of the impersonal Unmoved Mover of Greek philosophy, that any attempt for humans to follow his example is tantamount to heresy. The god of Islam gives mankind a code of law which must be submitted to; he is under no obligation to obey his laws--in fact, the very thought that he could be is heretical--and he does not set a moral example to follow. Since this is so, the moral example to follow is set by a man, which in the case of Islam is the prophet Mohammad. Like many (all?) pagan religions of old, the deity is so unlike mankind that the very idea of following his example is hubris; and "what is permitted to Jove is not permitted to the cow", as the pagan Romans said, so Islam cannot help being based upon following a man rather than following the deity.

turn said...

It's a wonderful moral argument presented above--but we're not God.
In some awful cases there will be considerable civilian casualties. Much more than can be described as collateral damage.

It's an ultimate irony that fighting a kinder, gentler war is longer and bloodier than than a ruthless war.

Thomas the Wraith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thomas the Wraith said...

Were there no righteous in Tokyo when we fire-bombed it? Dresden? Were there no righteous in Atlanta when Sherman arrived? Not a single righteous house on his March to the Sea? No righteous forced to work in the Nazi factories we bombed? Was every Japanese man drafted into the Imperial war machine a willing combatant, eager to kill for the glory of the Emperor? No.

There were righteous (or at least non-supporters) among the people we bombed and shelled and starved, both abroad and in our own Civil War. But who are we to look into the hearts of men? Who among us can separate the wheat from the chaff?

It is unfortunate that the guiltless die in war. No doubt we killed many Germans who opposed Hitler in their hearts. But how are we to know? Is it our responsibility to make these very fine moral determinations during war? Moreover, these people opposed Hitler in their hearts but not in their actions. They may have grumbled to their wives but their work and money supported evil. How righteous does that make them?

The moral logic of this post troubles me because it either paralyzes us or sets us up to fail. If we can't risk killing the guiltless and we can't guarantee the guilt of those we kill, then we are reduced to killing no one. That's no way to fight a war.

Of course we should not kill indiscriminately or wantonly. But at some point, if it looks like our enemy, lives near our enemy, talks like our enemy, works for our enemy, then regardless of his or her personal opinions, it IS the enemy.

Thank the Lord we are not at the point yet. Let's all pray we never get there.

Redneck Texan said...

Well, I gotta admit, I have been in the "Nuke Them All" camp way before 9-11 or the Iraq war occurred. I was genocide before genocide was cool.

Trouble is, its the only plausible outcome when you consider all the variables. You dont have to enjoy the concept to accept the sound reasoning behind it.

But the liberation of Iraq has forced me to rethink the whole scenario from a slightly different perspective than before.

Everybody talks about how we have "lost the war" or how we "cant win", and when you look at it through the lens of American nationalism, withdrawing from Iraq and letting it dissolve into unchecked sectarian cleansing is certainly a political defeat for America, especially the Republican party, but when you step back and look at the big picture, this could very well be the most positive outcome to the long war.

I am talking about some serious outside the box thinking here, so bear with me.

It should obvious by now that no Geneva compliant military stands a chance against radical Islam's cowardly tactics. It doesn't matter how much more advanced our weapons systems are, or how well trained and disciplined our warriors are, our political philosophy and military doctrine are simply not up to the task of defeating this religiously motivated persistent enemy. We are never going to turn our warriors loose on the battlefield and let them go Mosque to Mosque eliminating the true sources of Islamic terror. We are never going to bring our entire strategic arsenal to bear on resistive Muslim communities. And while we are wasting our time trying to bring freedom and Democracy to a bloodthirsty & corrupt culture, the enemy is massing his army around the perimeter of the Islamic map (Lebanon, Somalia, Thailand, Chechnya, etc), knowing that our divisiveness will not let us commit troops there for at least another generation once we withdraw under fire in Iraq.

The fact that all our so-called great political and military minds cant figure out how to pacify Iraq but only how slowly we should retreat should tell everything you need to know about how this long war is going to ultimately play out. Our political system wont even allow us to declare war on our real enemy, much less defeat them, because our leaders are afraid to even name the real enemy.....

I'm afraid we just dont have what its going to take to effectively fight this enemy. I'm not dissing our warriors, if they were playing by the same sets of rules as this enemy we could route them as fast as we could drive from Morocco to Malaysia. But we have too much respect for religion, civilians and borders to ever do what its going to take to really win.

But what Iraq has taught me is no one can kill a muslim with as much un-remorseful zeal as another Muslim, no one can get away with torching a Mosque and publicly executing a hate spewing Cleric like another Muslim can. You got to extrapolate from that that nobody can morally justify nuking a Muslim city to get ALL the bad guys camouflaged as civilians like another Muslim can and probably will.

The answer to our problem is right under our nose. Most learned pundits consider Iraq a failure, but I think the history books will record it as the catalyst for the great Islamic Sectarian War. We just need to stoke that fire until it engulfs the entire region in flames.

I suspect the survivors will have a much better attitude.

Baron Bodissey said...

Thomas (and others) --

The difference is in our argument, not what war does.

What I'm saying is this (sorry for the caps, but I'm trying to emphasize it):

THERE ARE PEOPLE ON OUR SIDE WHO DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FREE MUSLIMS, WHO THINK THEY SOMEHOW DESERVE THEIR FATE.

They're like Kos was about the "mercenaries" in Fallujah -- "Screw 'em."

I think it's important to make this distinction in our discussions. This isn't about what happens to unfortunate victims in war.

What happens in our hearts matters. To lump together with the enemy the people who share our values -- if they are willing to take a stand for the sake of those values -- amounts to a severe moral error.

These differences are of crucial importance.

Jason_Pappas said...

Redneck Texan’s suggestion reminds me of the Thirty Years War (early 17th century) --- the last real religious war in the West. Estimates put the dead in central Europe at about 30% (with the help of plague and famine). But the fighting was vicious. However, it was followed by a religious toleration movement, reinvigoration of the “just war” doctrine, and the nation-state as an identity. Religion became a personal matter.

Voltaire said...

Does my distrust for Islam as a whole make me unfair because of the many individual exceptions to the rule of an increasingly Jihad-driven religion? I must admit that I am struggling with this issue, both logically and emotionally.

Here's what it boils down to for me. Are inclusion and tolerance still moral virtues when their object is a philosophy that in its most vocal form calls for the annihilation of other groups? If the virtue "tolerance" is measured by the sum of what you tolerate, is it still a virtue when you "tolerate" a negative number in the equation?

How can I call myself tolerant of Jews if I tolerate a religion that is being spread in great part by preaching and practicing hate against Jews? How can I call myself tolerant of gays if I tolerate a mentality that often condones the stoning and hanging of gays? In other words, I feel that my being tolerant of Islam cancels out my tolerance of other groups I am perfectly happy to cohabitate with. Is my being inclusive towards Islam a virtue at this point?

So, as I see it, there is a definite line between being tolerant and being unthinkingly nihilistic--I stand for everything because deep down I stand for nothing. And the more I think, the more crisply this line stands out.

I don't hate Islam, but since this religion has been on the offensive against Jews, Christians, gays, women, Buddhists, Westerners, African Blacks and a host of other groups since as far as I can remember, my built-in statistical predictor flashes "trouble."

Now, whether Islam is an "offensive" or "defensive" religion is a matter for theologians, definitely not for me. But since Jihad is undoubtedly an Islamic phenomenon; and since Jihadists use their religion as the main bludgeon to kill my culture and my values, and as the main instrument to persuade others that my culture and my values must be annihilated; I, as well as scores of thousands of others, will naturally be inclined to bear no particular goodwill towards them and to wish for their demise before they get around to destroy my world.

So, I agree with the Baron that the blind hatespeak is wrong and will also cause us to be dismissed in the public arena as unthinking and incendiary nutcakes. But as I have said elsewhere, let's be extremely careful about how we use our words and how we back them up logically. In medio stat virtus.

So, here's what I say: I am fully prepared to embrace free Muslims like brothers. But at this point in the game, the burden is on them to prove themselves worthy of my trust, not the other way around. Let's hear from them. Let them come to us.

OldAtlantic said...

At some point do the members of a group become responsible for what the group advocates?

US conspiracy law says that every member of a conspiracy is liable for every act of the conspiracy, even if they don't know about it. Or its sometimes stated that way. This, it must be said, can be unjust and may not be a correct statement of it.

If we apply that principle to Islam, isn't every Muslim responsible for what the Koran says? If the Koran states attacking non-Muslims as a goal, and a person stays a Muslim, are they not legally liable for every act done by the conspiracy?

Some relevant discussion and links, see Old Atlantic posts

Wally Ballou said...

Voltaire -

"Does my distrust for Islam as a whole make me unfair because of the many individual exceptions to the rule of an increasingly Jihad-driven religion?"

Not to single you out, but your comment makes a good jumping-off point. Your distrust for "Islam as a whole", which may be well merited, shouldn't absolutely condition your expectations of individual muslims, one-on-one. I believe that is the point. There was a lot of snarling in the "peace oil" comments about how stupid it was for jews to try to work with "them", since we know all muslims are jew-killing jihadists. The very word "peace" in this context seemed to make some commenters hyperventialte. Since what Dymphna was talking about was a small group of arabs, jews and other folks voluntarily working together to raise and sell a useful product, that attitude seems bizarre. Do the folks who are selling "peace oil" have to "come to you" to prove their bona fides? Of course not. Take it or leave it. But the idea isn't stupid or naive.

Voltaire said...

Wally,

Thanks for the post, and no worries, you didn't single me out. I don't disagree with you--I haven't read the other thread yet, but will do so as soon as I'm done posting here.

Often, even when distrusting a movement such as Jihad or even Islam, the distrust does not automatically extend to individuals one-on-one. Heck, if you ever want a thrill better than sky-diving, try have an angry Muslim hairdresser foaming at the mouth about the Pope while a straight razor and a pair of scissors fly about your bare Catholic neck... And I still go back to him every month!

Seriously, though. I am perfectly open to embrace free Muslims as brothers in this worthy fight. My mental struggle is more with distrusting the movement--in this case, the organized religion of "orthodox" Islam. I know there are calls for reform within it, but they are to few and subdued to turn me around just yet.

Still, as I said, let them join us--I'm sure most of us would love to have them on our side.

Archonix said...

Wally has it down pretty well. The man and the religion are two different things, and we have to at least try to seperate them. The examples mentioned previously, of Dresden and Tokyo, came after quite protected conflicts that left no other choice but to take that path. No doubt there were innocents in both cities, people who didn't want war and who wanted nothing but to get on with their lives. However, by that point in the war they had a stark but simple choice: continue their passive way in the full knowledge of what they were a part of turn and fight it, or leave.

Dresden was targeted because its population made up a massive majority of the german technical workforce. Nearly everyone in the city worked in the german arms manufacturing plants, or supported those workers. They knew, all of them, what they supported. They couldn't claim to be unknowing.

Tokyo is perhaps less morally certain. The japanese were, by and large, fanatically devoted to the Emperor, to the point that it was expected the entire japanese nation would fight a US invasion of the home islands. All of them were willing and ready to fight for their emperor because that's what they believed, and fiercly so. By the time Tokyo was being bombed the Allies had faced a bloody crawl across the pacific islands, faced an enemy so fanatical and ruthless in war that they would rather die than surrender. It seems that any measure became necessary to force their surrender, which is why the Pacific campaign became so much more brutal than the European one toward its end.

Just for a bit of context.

Looking at it from a different angle, I've faced the same attitude from more than a few people simply because I'm "european". My wife is condemned merely by being a Swede, because the swedes apparently deserve their fate whether or not they know what's going on. Unlike the inhabitants of Dresden and Tokyo, and possibly like many muslims, very often they don't know what is going on, or the full truth of what is happening around them. Whether this is through denial or suppression is hard to fathom but, given the lack of coverage given to groups as those mentioned in the article above, the latter is mroe likely to be the case.

It gives me a certain amount of sympathy and, truth be told, I know enough muslims who simply want to get on with their lives and don't want anything to do with the jihadist types. It's soemthing I've been pondering a lot recently. For a while, I held the attitude that "moderate" muslims were as equally responsible for the acts of militant Islam as those who carried them out, but now I can't put it that way anymore. To a certain degree, by their passivity, they are responsible, but at the same time, living cloistered within their muslim ghettos, as so many are, it's easy to see how they would be disinclined to believe what is patently obvious to thsoe of us on the outside. They don't have anything like the whole picture, and very little idea of what is going on, and neither do those westerners who place their trust in the undeserving media and state.

Looking at it from that angle, the solution becomes clear. Every effort ahs to be made to reach those who don't know what is going on. If, when supplied with the full truth, they persist in ignoring - or even supporting - the problem, then they become part of that problem. They are no longer innocent. What has to be remembered, though, is that hope must never be abandoned and we have to keep arguing our case right up to the point of death, if needs be, because last-minute revelations may well be what saves us in this fight. Abandoning people because they haven't listened yet could be throwing away the one group, or even the one man, who would otherwise prove to be the key to ending this war.

OldAtlantic said...

Who is more innocent? A person who willingly announces a movement with a stated goal of world domination, or a person in Dresden who opposes the war?

Is it moral to bomb a person who is anti-Nazi in Dresden but evil to deport a person who willingly participates in a conspiracy whose written text teaches war crimes and crimes against humanity and states its goal as world domination?

Is it moral to bomb any number of people in Iraq but not deport any from here?

As a question to a PC politician: Is there any number of people you would support killing there that once exceeded you would stop killing there and deport them from here?

Why is it moral to kill them there, where they can't kill us here, but immoral to deport them from here, where they not only can but have killed us here?

Evanston said...

Great comments by all. Gotta agree with Texan that the U.S. is best at initially breaking the ice, then turning a conflict over to other parties -- proxy war. We just don't have the patience as a nation to continue a conflict for more than 3 years without a constant, and I mean constant, threat of national defeat. The GWOT must be continued as another in America's dirty little wars, ones that I as a USMC retiree understand proudly. We already have "victory" in Iraq, Saddam removed and likely dead soon, the nation that twice invaded its neighbors and made WMDs (chemical weapons, for sure) now can't hold itself together. We've given them a decent chance at democracy. If Islam is truly a religion of peace, they'll work things out peacefully. Of course, the entire history of Islam militates against this. As a veteran of Iraq, I'm cool with a gradual drawdown (stay there to provide air support and a few special ops teams) and let them work it out with the sword or word, their choice.

Baron Bodissey said...

Voltaire,

...the burden is on them to prove themselves worthy of my trust...

That's the 910 Group position. Any Muslim group that goes on the public record repeatedly against violence and in support of religious freedom -- with no BUTs, and without contradicting itself in Arabic-language statements -- deserves our support. The same thing can be said of lefties like Christopher Hitchens, for that matter. "Trust" I'm not so sure about -- it would depend on what you were trusting them to do.

But the ones who speak out, like Wafa Sultan, really are putting their lives in danger. It's important to remember that.

Charles Martel said...

TW & RT - outstanding posts. We did not want or ask for this war. But it's war we've got, compliments of the religion of peace. And of course excessive sentimentality (yes, I meant sentimentality) regarding those who might (or might not) be innocent only serves to paralyze our efforts to defend OUR cities, OUR families and OUR civilization. One small consolation in adopting this un-PC and seemingly draconian approach to the Muslim world is the fact that the Koran, to which ALL Muslims swear obeisance, explicitly commands jihad against ALL infidels. And Muslims do not take this obligation lightly. A cursory examination of the history of Islam is replete with unrelenting demonic barbarity which continues unabated to this very day and shows absolutely no sign of relenting.

So the Muslims will have to excuse us if we take them at their word. And those timid souls who in reality yearn for peace, if they do exist, are merely fodder for the resurgent Islamic world order. They WILL fall into line as they always have. We cannot be expected to accomplish the impossible.

We cannot tie our hands and expect to prevail over an enemy who knows no restraints. To engage such an enemy without the will to do WHATEVER necessary to win is immoral. But make no mistake: that resolve will come, hopefully sooner rather than later. Until then, the West should stay the hell away from the cauldron of chaos that is the Middle East and allow the vile animals to kill themselves.

We've wasted precious dry powder in Iraq. We will need to destroy Iran's nuclear capability soon. And that will may have been lost on the battlefields of Iraq. If so, El Presidente Jorge Bush will be seen as the biggest presidential bungler in a very very long time. We needed to go into Iraq, accomplish our MILITARY objective, and GET THE HELL OUT!

al fin said...

Anyone who can look at Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine, and not understand Islam for a functional death cult and dysfunctional religion, may prosper better in an institution where someone can wipe the drool off their chins. I treat everyone on an individual basis, on their own merits. But the reason moderate muslims get little sympathy from me in general, is that most of them would be among the first to join the islamists in dancing on the grave of western civilisation.

Subvet said...

Just when I start falling into the "Nuke 'em all and let God sort 'em out" category I run across things like this site (http://freemuslims.org). There's one particular article they've recently posted that I'll be discussing on my own blog (shameless plug)concerning the flying imams which really nails it.

But yeah, moderates exist and should be recognized as such. We don't need to become the enemy in order to destroy him.

CanadaGoose said...

Thanks for the reminder of the ten righteous.

From here it appears we're backing into a place of few alternatives. We may ourselves be among the ten righteous someday. What will we live through before we get to that point? Only let us hold on to those righteous qualities. Perhaps that is the part of the test significant for us individually.

CBDenver said...

And now, for the rest of the story:

Gen 19:24 Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire, from Jehovah out of the heavens.

Gen 19:25 And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

So, the search for 10 righteous to save the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were all for naught.

voirdire said...

God himself set the example in showing honor to another's views. He knew that there were not ten righteous men in Sodom. Yet he honored Abraham by listening to his view and dealing with him respectfully. God saw that Abraham honored others. When a dispute regarding territory arose between his herdsmen and those of his nephew Lot, Abraham honored Lot by telling him to choose first the area he wanted. Lot picked what he considered the choicest land, and Abraham moved elsewhere.

Through this account God puts on notice all honorable individuals to exercise individual interest so as to obtain accurate Bible knowledge showing them how to flee from Babylon the Great, the world-empire of false religion doomed to extinction. “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.”-Rev. 18:4

Redneck Texan said...

Baron: "What happens in our hearts matters. To lump together with the enemy the people who share our values -- if they are willing to take a stand for the sake of those values -- amounts to a severe moral error."

Moral error is a double edge sword Baron. Christianity has been yielding ground to Islam for centuries now thanks in large part to our moral superiority.

After studying our weaknesses, our enemies have forged our moral superiority into one of their most powerful weapons to use against us. Its their krpytonite against our superior tools of war.

For instance, logic dictates that we monitor all sermons in American Mosques, but we are never going to allow that to happen. Not just because the Muslim community would go ballistic, but because our sense of fairness and our instilled respect for religious freedom gets in the way of logic. We will never pass legislation that allows us to overtly monitor all Islamic sermons because, for some reason, we automatically jump to the conclusion that we cant single out one Religion to monitor, despite all the factual justification. And because we dont want to submit every Christian church to the same demands we let Islamic Clerics spew their hate in the safety of their sanctuary.

As far as the so-called moderate Muslims go, what are you expecting from them? Does it really matter what they do or dont do? Can you lay me out a plausible scenario where they have any chance of success in stopping their radical ideological brethren?

First off, judging by the choices moderate Muslims who have been introduced to a ballot box have made, they are fewer in numbers than we like to pretend. And secondly, this ain't the civil rights movement in America we are talking about. Unless they are willing to use violence against their own Clergy their efforts will amount to little more than just further exploiting our guilt trip when our indiscriminate hand is ultimately forced.

If you're backing the peaceful horse to prevail in the violent Islamic society.....well I am afraid the race is not long enough. There's not enough time left between now and ground zero for peaceful reformation to have a chance.

If we were seeing massive anti-radical demonstrations occurring now in the Islamic world, or even in the relative safety of the west, I might be tempted to partially share your faith in our fellow man, but the only large scale demonstrations I see are the ones that are designed to increase the Islamic Clergy's hand.

I just hate to see you putting so much faith in a moral solution Baron. Its never going to happen, at least not in time. We need to revisit the divide & conquer strategies that have worked so well in the past. If that means we have to provoke Muslim on Muslim violence so be it. If that means we have to back an Arab nationalist with the courage to exceed the Islamic Clergy's henchmen's level of indiscriminate violence, and take the battle to the Mosques of the ME, I can live with that.

Information warfare is great, but immoral trigger men are a necessity. We really need to get over those moral hurdles that keep biting us in the arse......and we are never going to. That means someone else is going to have to.

The answer may lie in the silos at Dimona, or they may lie in the ruins of scorched sectarian earth, but the non-violent moderate muslims are nothing but pawns in this game, and that isn't our fault, its theirs.

Charles Martel said...

Islam, at its very heart, is a radical destructive dehumanizing supremacist imperialistic political ideology explicitly bent on hegemonic domination of all mankind. There is no room for any other god other than Allah, no room for any other law other than sharia and no room for any other religion other than Islam.

And just as there can be no "half way pregnant" there can be no half way Islamic. It is all or none. Islamic adherents are enslaved by a hate cult utterly toxic to their humanity. No doubt there are some at the margins of Islam oblivious to its caustic nature. But they too are guilty. For by their silent acquiescence and complicity they add, if nothing else, their sheer numbers to the Islamic tsunami and contribute to the moral complexity of the Islmaic problem and serve to undercut our moral certitude and resolve. In fact these silent, ostensibly benign Muslims actually magnify the effectiveness of their rabid brethren.

The cadre of hydrophobic zealots and shock troops can enjoy the targeting ambiguity and shelter afforded by their "moderate" brethren. Do not underestimate their complicity and effectiveness in assessing the threat posed by Islam.

ScottSA said...

I'll simply point out, as others have, that moving in this direction is an endless journey through a moral maze. If there be war on the horizon, and there surely is, as one more semi-western bulwark crumbles in Lebanon, then it is not a time to seek out the individuals we deem not to be our enemies. It is time to destroy our enemies and everything else that gets in the way in doing so.

It has been our downfall in the Koreas, and Vietnam and Iraq...in fact, the doctrine of "limited war", discovered in Korea and fully implimented in Vietnam, has sent tens of thousands of young Americans and hundreds of thousands of innocents to an early and wholly un-necessary grave in the postwar period. Yet we haven't learned in spite of it all.

An early advocate of airpower, long before such a thing existed, was a fellow by the name of Guilo Doucet, an Italian. He more or less wrote the book followed by British Bomber Command and later by Air Command. His methodology in a nutshell was to blanket enemy value targets (cities) first with high explosives and then follow it up with firebombs.

His answer to critics who found his methods barbarous was simply this: that war is hell, and the shorter we can make it the better. He was right, and has been proved right over and over and over again in the postwar period. But we seem not to be able to learn this very basic lesson.

Most recently we have seen this truth more starkly than ever before: The US military in Iraq utterly demolished a major fielded enemy with ease in a couple of weeks; the doctrine of overwhelming force embodied by "shock and awe" was a masterpiece of Clauswitzian warfare, and it succeeded not only because of the US military stand-off capability, but because the US used its firepower to its full extent. It completely destroyed any hint of opposition in its path.

But then we forgot why we had won and began to lose. Why? Precisely BECAUSE we started trying to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

Falluja should have been wiped off the map as completely as Carthage was at the first sign of trouble. Civilians within the battlezone should have been treated as enemy combatants or at the very least as irrelevant.

War is hell, and the shorter we can make it the better. We know that because we saw it in WW II, and we knew it in WW II because Douhet told us about it even before WW I.

War is particularly hellish when the enemy's strategy is to target precisely those elements of the population that our own moral niceties forbid us from targeting.

We hear all about the heroic French resistance during WW II, but what we don't hear so much about was the paralysis it felt in response to the German retribution of indiscriminant execution of civilians. For all intents and purposes the resistance was a moot point during the occupation of France and moderately helpful at best after D day. If the Germans had wrung their hands and sought to arrest "terrorists" rather than level villages and shoot people, the resistance would have many more victories to boast about. At the risk of being called one of the folks Baron delicately refers to as having "unsavory ideological companions among the blood-soaked regimes of the previous century", I am of the Nukem school, and I'm quite proud to say it.

We have a choice: we can follow Baron's advice and string this war along for 100 years killing millions in the process, or we can fight a short, hard and ruthless battle, using everything we have and sparing no one in the battlezone, and save countless millions of lives in the long term.

There is no possible way to separate the wheat from the chaff in this war. It is, or will shortly become, a hideous combination of every nightmare we have ever seen in warfare: religious, racial, and ideological all wrapt up in one. Trying to parse out who is who among the enemy will simply be a waste of time and lives.

Baron Bodissey said...

Redneck, ScottSA, others --

Despite his being a Yankee, I admire General Sherman. Any war that has to be fought should be fought mercilessly, which of course is exactly what we do not do. But I can't affect that.

I'm talking about what we say. It's important, and will have strategic consequences in the long run. I'll be expanding on that later.

Some people are saying the equivalent of "All Germans are no good and should be killed" during WW2. I know there were people who thought that and said it, but I wouldn't have agreed with it then, and I don't agree with today's version, either.

I like "speak softly and carry a big stick." Unfortunately, the current administration prefers "whisper inaudibly, and carry a nerf bat". Not a good idea.

More later.

Baron Bodissey said...

CBDenver --

You and others (on the 910 Blog version of this) seem to think I'm unaware of the scriptural denouement of the Sodom & Gomorrah issue.

Well, I'm not.

I think the analogy will continue to hold, right up until the bitter end. That was actually one of my points.

Papa Ray said...

By the time Tokyo was being bombed the Allies had faced a bloody crawl across the pacific islands, faced an enemy so fanatical and ruthless in war that they would rather die than surrender. It seems that any measure became necessary to force their surrender, which is why the Pacific campaign became so much more brutal than the European one toward its end.

The "True Believer" of Islam is no less commited to death before dishonor than the battle hardened Japanese Soldier was. In fact, they are even more fanatic because the Qur'an assures them that they will have a special place in Heaven with many rewards if they are killed in their battle against the "unbelievers".

Muslims have long been the victims of Islam, we are just now getting to see what they can do closeup and in real time. We can see them chop or saw off the heads of innocents, see pictures of young children with their heads sitting on the ground beside them.

All in living color.

The followers of the Cult of Islam are not all the same, just like the cults that grew under the guise of Christanity were not all the same.

But...and there is always that but.

But, the true believers of Islam do something that no other cult has done since medieval times, subjugate and/or destroy all who do not believe and join their cult.

Your "Free Muslims" are not Muslims to these true believers. These free Muslims will wind up being killed even more zealously than we will be.

Islam is the Muslims worse enemy. Always has been, always will be. It has brought more death, destruction, poverty and misery to the Muslims than we will ever be able to inflict.

It (Islam) is also going to force us to have to kill thousands if not millions of it's followers.

And it has done it for hundreds upon hundreds of years.

We got involved with this cult a few times back then, we won a few, but mainly we lost, except we did manage to hold them at the gates finally. We defeated them in other ways, we used their corruption to corrupt them even more, to allow our aims to be relized.

The Muslims have corrupted Islam also over the centuries, not withstanding that it was started with the preachings of a failed thief, who without his wife's help, would have even failed at his attempt to gain power, by saying he had visits from Gabriel the Archangel, who gave him Allah's words.

The Qur'an is a mismash of recollections by old men that happened to one time or another hear some of these verses. They were then put together sometimes centuries later into what is now one version of the Qur'an. It wasn't always that way, there were other collections but they were all destroyed over the years.

Sorry, sidetracked there. My point is that the cult of Islam is either followed as the true believers want it to be followed (not counting the divide within the Muslim countries and sects)or you are treated as an unbeliever and subject to what the words of Allah say in the Qur'an.

This has nothing to do with how we feel about anything else or what we do to them or don't do.

We either join them or we are against them.

Well, as I have said before, I'm not joining and neither is my family and if I have anything to say or can do about it, neither is my Republic.

So..do I want to kill them all and let GOD sort it out?

My answer is- If that is what it takes to protect me and mine.

Yes.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

Canis Lupus said...

Charles Martel said...
Islam, at its very heart, is a radical destructive dehumanizing supremacist imperialistic political ideology explicitly bent on hegemonic domination of all mankind.

I think most here would agree with the above statement. On the other hand moderate or free Muslims obviously still see themselves as Muslims and practise some kind of Islam. Therefore, they should explain what exactly is there in this vile ideology that is worth keeping. Do they just mean to salvage some aspects of their culture, like those in the west who celebrate Christmas without being believing Christians? I would always be suspicious of Muslims who just want to be moderate but do not want to break with the ideology of Islam completely. It is a bit like being a moderate Nazi. And in any case, who can guarantee that a future generation of moderate Muslims does not rediscover the real roots of the ideology.

In WWII many innocent Germans were killed, and many not so innocent Nazis survived. Were they all executed after the war? No, but nazi organisations, propaganda, literature, symbols were all banned, and remain verboten in Germany (yes, there are neo-Nazi there and elsewhere). In the same way this is a fight against the evil ideology called Islam. I don't see how one can honestly support western democracy and freedoms and at the same time still believe in any part of Islam the ideology.

Odysseus of Ithaca said...

Let us look at the problem from the other direction.

What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?”

The Qur’an and the Sunna give guidance.

Those that we are discussing here are those Muslims that reject the literal readings of the Qur’an and of the prophet’s life example.

Can they be considered “Good Muslims?”

It seems to me that the real problem here is our unwillingness to challenge these Muslims who are in conflict with their religion on their willingness to continue in it. Do we do them a disservice by politely ignoring their aposty? Would we better serve them by demanding that they explore their doubts more honestly and more fully?

These people are real live individuals who will have to account for their lives much as we will have to account for our own lives. We are moreover burdened with our own personal accountability for failing to serve them spiritually when we help them pretend that Islam is salvageable from its literal reading into something that it is not and can not be.

D.K. Shideler said...

I think some of you somewhat are missing the Baron's point.

I don't think "Ten Righteous" is about the literal, the physical confrontation with terrorists in Iraq or elsewhere.

If groups opposed to Naziism, or Japanese imperialism had existed, I think it's highly likely that we'd have worked with them.

While American might did much to defeat the Soviet Union, it would have been impossible without the Sakharovs' and Solzhenitsyns. So to in this conflict. Ideologies do not simply disappear, even when confronted with superior firepower. They must be replaced with something. A billion people have spent hundreds of years inculcating an identity as a muslim. If we do not help and cooperate with those muslims who would like to have a muslim identity which is coherent, non-violent, and able to co-exist with the west, than we are left with no options at all.

Charles Martel said...

Papa Ray is correct. WHATEVER it takes to protect me and mine. It's as simple as that. And if the Muslims have put us in a box necessitating killing so called innocents to protect me and mine then so be it. The time for navel gazing, hand wringing self analysis has passed us by.

And of course not all Germans were bad. Not all Germans were Nazis! But all Muslims are Muslims. And if they follow the dictates of their religion they want desperately to kill us.

heroyalwhyness said...

Baron, I only got through the first few comments when I read your statement in all caps "What happens in our hearts matters. "

If that is a truth, then why would or should we not consider what is in their hearts? Remaining a muslim and aligning with the faithful, regardless how moderate, they adhere to the belief system that would subjugate or kill each and every infidel under the veil of allah the merciful. This creed called islam cannot be moderated.

Do I feel pity for them? No. If they want my pity, they'll earn it. Apostacy to another faith is a first step. I welcome those apostates that REJECT the belief -

* 'death or subjugation of infidels' brings 'peace' (and all gains thereof, be it slaves, booty, wives etc).

I welcome those apostates that come to their senses and REJECT the shackles of islam.

Once that camel's nose is under the tent, it is only a matter of time before the revival begins again. Buying time simply puts the burden in our children's and grandchildren's lap.

Others have said it before, there may be moderate muhammedans in the world, however, there simply is no moderate islam.

Baron Bodissey said...

Your Royal Whyness,

If there are people out there who have a different interpretation of the Koran, who believe themselves to be Muslims, and who are risking their lives to speak out for non-violence and religious tolerance, then it behooves us to reach out a (very guarded and tentative) hand towards them.

There are sound practical reasons for doing this, as I will discuss in my next post.

Voltaire said...

Baron,

I agree with a lot of what you have said, and I look forward to reading your next post. But what I want to know is this: what is the expiration date of our offer to reach out?

Is there a moment past which we'll have to shut the door in the face of whoever has chosen to remain out and hurl stones at our home? Is there a point past which continuous open-mindedness and fairness of heart becomes the proverbial suicide pact?

And shouldn't this moment or point in time be spelled out in a measurable fashion, so that it's visible by all concerned?

If you can, please address this--I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Baron Bodissey said...

Voltaire,

Read up on the Free Muslim groups. They're already answering your call, but they get virtually no publicity because of the lock that CAIR has on the MSM.

The leaders of one such organization of Muslim dissidents have joined forces with the 910 Group. That's one of my primary motives for writing about this -- the "I hate all Muslims" meme is doing these folks a grave disservice.

ScottSA said...

Well, I suppose one could argue that there are different interpretations of National Socialism and that some interpretations don't involve slaughtering Jews. This belief would presumably be followed by moderate Nazis.

So exactly what ARE the beliefs of these moderate Muslims? Do they not believe that Mohammed called for the death of infidels? Do they not believe in Dhimmitude? Do they reject, en toto, the entire body of the Koran, or at the very least its second half?

Because if they don't, they are still believers in a death cult, and of they do, they are not good Muslims.

I do applaude your attempt at moderation, but I think you are fighting upstream theoretically.

ScottSA said...

This is a good post at the Brussels Journal, pointing out that so-called lawful Islam is a threat. Personally I think its more of a threat than terrorist Islam.
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1744

Anonymous said...

But these brave people put their lives on the line every day to speak out on behalf of non-violence and religious tolerance, while still remaining Muslims.

How do they remain Muslims, except in a nominal sense?

A couple of your commenters have got Islam so deeply on the brain, they think the only good ay-rab is a dead ay-rab. People who can’t distinguish individuals from groups are by definition prejudiced.

And people who can't distinguish between individuals or groups of people from ideas are usually not worth listening to.

In fact, what they are doing is arguing for the assignment of collective guilt.

Commenting on, say, the malignant nature of Islam, has nothing to do with assigning collective guilt to Muslims.

Any Muslim group that goes on the public record repeatedly against violence and in support of religious freedom -- with no BUTs, and without contradicting itself in Arabic-language statements -- deserves our support.

And any Muslim who then tries to convince the public that this is somehow an Islamic thing to do, does not deserve our support, because that person is then an Islam apologist.

On the other hand moderate or free Muslims obviously still see themselves as Muslims and practise some kind of Islam.

There does not exist (and cannot exist) a moderate kind of Islam, so those "Muslims" probably only practice Islam to some degree.

If there are people out there who have a different interpretation of the Koran, who believe themselves to be Muslims, and who are risking their lives to speak out for non-violence and religious tolerance, then it behooves us to reach out a (very guarded and tentative) hand towards them.

Yes, but at the same time we should make it perfectly clear that we know that they are not true Muslims and point out that we do not under any circumstance accept their "religion". We should, in other words, accept them as human beings, but reject their "religion" and their delusional ideas about it.

Archonix said...

For Islam to be free it will, ultimately, have to place the Quran on the same level as christians and jews place their scriptures: as "inspired" by god, rather than written by him. It's a subtle difference, but it allowed easy re-interpretation of scripture to get around dogmatic problems that still plague Islam.

Once that happens I believe we'll have hit a watershed moment. Until then, all we can do is try to convince people. I won't compare it to the reformation, because that was an argument within the already existing framework of scriptural interpretation. In fact I think there's no comparative moment within judeo-christian history for what needs to happen within Islam, which might be why so few people are able to really comprehend that it needs to come about.

Anonymous said...

For Islam to be free it will, ultimately, have to place the Quran on the same level as christians and jews place their scriptures: as "inspired" by god, rather than written by him.

It's not going to happen. Get over it.

Thomas the Wraith said...

Granted there are Free Muslims who join us against jihadists. No doubt. Just as there were anti-Nazi Germans (Bonhoffer comes to mind) and anti-Soviet Russians. No argument there.

Papa Ray said...

Lest anyone forget, there are millions of Americans who think Islam is just another religion.

There is other real battle before us.

Like someone said. The Information War has to be won.

And soon.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

Exile said...

Redneck Texan said it:

.. If we were seeing massive anti-radical demonstrations occurring now in the Islamic world, or even in the relative safety of the west, I might be tempted to partially share your faith in our fellow man, but the only large scale demonstrations I see are the ones that are designed to increase the Islamic Clergy's hand.

And I can only agree. I don't see any outrage from the "free muslims" or any true protest against terrorism carried out in the name of their collective religious denomination.
I saw the muslim jubilation on TV after 9/11.
I didn't see any muslim protest.
No muslim remorse. No muslim condemnation of the attack.
Not even by muslims in the free and civilised west, where they can freely express their outrage without fear of being hung.
Where were these "free muslims" then? At a peace rally in Mecca? Or maybe he was just at the pub and didn't want to leave his beer.

I'm tired.

søren said...

My favorite foreigners are those who stay home. Our openness to the migration of peoples should be used to send everyone home. Moderate muslims can fly on the same plane as the radical muslims and the christian converts.

Amillennialist said...

On Baron's question: “'Free Muslims'...Do they really exist?"

No, they do not exist. If they are truly free, they are not Muslim.

[And no, I do not have "Islam on the brain." Neither do I believe that the only good Arab is a dead one--as if Islam were a race rather than a belief system. At best, it is intellectually lazy to try to equate telling the truth about Islam with racial prejudice. At worst, it is a wretched, shameful, ad hominem attack meant to silence critism of an ideology bent on the annihilation of Liberty.]

By definition, a Muslim is one who follows the word of Allah and the example of his false prophet. It is Qur'an and Sunnah which clearly and repeatedly command the faithful to fight against, subdue and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims (and Apostates) to make the world Islam.

The "moderates" to whom Baron refers--those in whom so many Westerners want to put their hope--are more accurately termed "Apostates." As such, they can never, ever, under any circumstances win the doctrinal battle for Islam, since that struggle must always be waged on the grounds and in the terms defined by Mohammed and his god.

It is improper to harm the innocent with the guilty, but the doctrine of Mahomet prevents this from being a simple matter.

Allah's all-encompassing and unalterable War Against Humanity makes identifying the innocent among the Ummah an often impossible task, for how can the Infidel seeking to defend hearth and home properly distinguish between an active jihadist, one who is yet-to-be-active, and one who will support jihad only financially, logistically, morally, and spiritually? Is it proper even to make such a distinction, since all have a duty to "strive in the way of Allah" and all contribute (in varying ways and to differing degrees) to the harming of the Infidel?

Even just the numbers of "peaceful, moderate" Muslims in Infidel lands are used to pressure those Infidels into submission under Allah.

On the dialogue between Abraham and God:

Any explication of the passage involving the discussion over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah that implies Abraham as more moral than YHWH is, respectfully, missing something. God does allow us to work out our faith in a variety of circumstances, even when that involves our questioning His decisions.

I don't suppose it is irrelevant that God did destroy the town, and even one of those whom He especially delivered was destroyed through an act of unbelief.

It is also useful to note that Jesus said His father makes the sun to shine on the just and unjust, and the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. Deserve's got nothing to do with it (in other words, we are not treated as our sins deserve).

drmiltown said...

I hear in the popular press, from politicians, from the Congress on American Islaamic Relations, from Leftists every where, and sadly, from posters on this blog, references to "moderate Muslims".

I would like to know where a significant body of these people exists. Islaam boasts a population of 1.5 Billion. If only one half of one percent of them were vocal moderates, they would out number the Peace Movement world wide.

Aside from a few purveyors of al Taqiyyah, who are easily recognized by the lies that they tell, I hear nothing. And further, I urge this site to give up the false hope of finding any. There are no significant populations of "modern Muslims, moderate Muslims, or anything like that. they are followers of a prehistoric value system, and the fully expect to dominate the planet.

Holding out false hopes restrains us from doing what has to be done. We keep looking for Muslims to turn into nice folks. What we need to do is use nuclear force against their nuclear forces, obliterate the kaaba, and declare Islaam to be illegal on the basis of its world wide hegemonic goals.

Amillennialist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amillennialist said...

Some follow-up thoughts on the article:

What from the Genesis text indicates that God was going to "indiscriminately" destroy the righteous with the unrighteous? There were not even ten righteous people in that town (and angels rescued those who were). If anything, this passage shows only that Abraham underestimated God's moral judgment (and overestimated his own).

We are different from Muslims because our God committed no sin, healed the sick, rose from the dead, and commands us to love our enemies, while Islam's god commands Muslims to fight against, subdue and humiliate, and kill those who will not submit to the heresy of a murderous, lying, thieving, enslaving, raping pedophile.

It is also important to note that the application of the Abraham-YHWH Dialogue to this matter is inapt. We are not being asked to make a Divine Judgment. Instead, we are engaged in a one and one-half millennia-old life-and-death struggle against a merciless ideology from the pit of hell.

In light of this, the question is not whether we can avoid the loss of innocent life, for if we do not defend ourselves, innocent lives are sure to be lost--our own. The question is whether or not our lives, our loved ones, our civilizations are worth defending at any cost.

Islam always makes it an either-or situation eventually.