Saturday, February 03, 2007

An Islamic Checklist

The Janissaries Patrol Izmir, by Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, 1828A lot of rhetoric on the topic of Islam ricochets around the blogosphere and in the media every day. Islam is a deadly danger and must be eradicated on the one hand. Muslims are victims of persecution by Islamophobes on the other hand. Assertions such as these are uncheckable and irrefutable, since they are based solely on ideology.

Suppose instead that we could make assertions that were checkable, ones that could be verified or refuted. Instead of grimacing and shaking our fists at each other, we might compile a checklist that we could mark up, based on the evidence at hand.

Here are the first ten items on my list:

 1. Islam means “peace”.
 2. We are in a religious war.
 3. Muslims are unfairly discriminated against in the West.
 4. Islam is tolerant of other faiths.
 5. Islam is a political ideology.
 6. Fighting terrorists in Iraq means we won’t have to fight them at home.
 7. Islam has no expansionist designs.
 8. Not all Muslims are radicals.
 9. Islam can be reformed.
 10. Our hope lies with the “moderate” Muslim.

And the final mark-up:
- - - - - - - - - -
 1. Islam means “peace”.

No, it doesn’t. “Islam” means “submission”, specifically the submission of the believer to the will of Allah as revealed to his prophet.

If the will of Allah is that men be at peace, then Islam means peace. But, since the will of Allah is detailed in the Koran, there is ample evidence that Allah’s will mandates continuous warfare against non-believers until the whole world submits to him.

Regardless of Islam’s historical behavior, current events indicate that Islam is an extremely violent religion. The incidence of violence committed by Muslims in the name of their faith is several orders of magnitude greater than that of the world’s other great religions — Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism — combined.
 
 2. We are in a religious war.

Yes, we are. You may be totally secular, and agnostic or atheist, but you are still a combatant. The enemy regards you as a legitimate target, and has license to exterminate you if you fail to convert to his religion.

This is a religious war, whether you like it or not.
 
 3. Muslims are unfairly discriminated against in the West.

This is a favorite complaint of CAIR, MAS, ISNA, and the other organizations that claim to represent Muslims in the West, but there is no evidence that it is true.

One way to check it is to compare the number of crimes attributed to Muslim immigrants to the incarceration rates of Muslims. This can be hard to determine, because Western governments are loath to collect such statistics, particularly in Europe.

Even so, Fjordman’s exhaustive efforts concerning the statistics in Scandinavia demonstrate the fallacy of this assertion. Muslims are indeed convicted and imprisoned in excess of their proportion in the general population, but at a lower rate than the estimated incidence of crimes committed by Muslims.
 
 4. Islam is tolerant of other faiths.

This assertion is not supported by the Koran, despite the frequent citation of the verse: There is no compulsion in religion. The number of verses which require the killing or subjugation of non-Muslims far exceeds the number of verses promoting tolerance.
 
 5. Islam is a political ideology.

This is very clear. Both as demanded by the Koran, and as practiced in all Islamic countries, Islam specifies more than the private moral behavior of individuals. It insists on a specific code of laws enforced by a government that rules over all Muslims.

According to Islam, religion and government are not distinct from one another.
 
 6. Fighting terrorists in Iraq means we won’t have to fight them at home.

This is only partially true. There are indeed many dedicated mujahideen being martyred in Iraq, but there are plenty more attempting to enter the United States so they can be martyred in the belly of the Great Satan.

There are also many Islamic terrorists already here. And not only immigrants — there are thousands of home-grown terrorists, such as the members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, scattered across the country, waiting to be activated.
 
 7. Islam has no expansionist designs.

This is disproven both by the Koran and by the statements and behavior of devout Muslims the world over. Osama bin Laden is not the only Islamic leader calling for the return of al-Andalus and the Balkans to the bosom of the Ummah.

In fact, you could spend your life poring through the dusty archives of Islam and never find a single prominent scholar who repudiates the ideal of reclaiming al-Andalus.
 
 8. Not all Muslims are radicals.

This is true, but only in a limited sense. There are many Muslims — probably a majority — who reject radical action. The big question is how much silent support they give to the terrorists, or whether they will actively work against the fundamentalists.

So far the signs point to a passive acceptance of the Islamists in their midst.
 
 9. Islam can be reformed.

This one is still up in the air. The fact that there have been peaceful, benign forms of Islam — such as certain branches of Sufism — gives us a slender thread of hope.

But in the here and now, there is no sign of a vigorous peaceful branch of Muslim with any claim to a large number of adherents. Once again, passivity seems to be the rule of the day.
 
 10. Our hope lies with the “moderate” Muslim.

This is definitely true. The moderate Muslim is not necessarily an engine of Islamic reform, but more likely will serve as a conduit out of Islam.

For the peacefully-inclined Muslim, moderate Islam can be a stepping-stone to secularism, atheism, or conversion to a more benign faith.

The problem for any moderate Muslim or apostate is that he lives in constant fear of death at the hands of the radicals, with little hope of help from the passive majority.

But, I as I have said repeatedly, these folks are our natural allies, and need to be encouraged in whatever way possible. The alternative is an apocalyptic war of extermination.
 

51 comments:

Kirk Parker said...

One thing you might want to address in future versions of this: Items 3, 4, 5, and 7 seem to presume the answer to the unasked question 0: Is Islam unitary? The Ismailis, to cite just one example, would object very strenously to your implied answer of Yes.

You might also rework/clarify your answer to #3 to make it clear that if CAIR manages to find a few stray cases where a Muslim was treated unfairly (for whatever reason), it doesn't validate their claim. I certainly consider that the US, while not perfect, is far better at (real) tolerance than most places; and also that genuine honest-to-goodness WASP individuals also receive unfair treatment from time to time, without such unfairness having much to say, cosmically speaking, beyond the proverbial Sh*t H*ppens.

Anonymous said...

No, it doesn’t. “Islam” means “submission”, specifically the submission of the believer to the will of Allah as revealed to his prophet.
We might add, "as interpreted by those currently in power in the Islamic world" -- no matter how we slice it and dice it, it boils down to a hateful, criminal tyrrany of a special elite.

This is a religious war, whether you like it or not.
It is (as you point out later) a religious/political movement. Freedom and liberty are the enemies of submission. If one values one's right to be atheist, agnostic, or anything else, one must resist Islam.

According to Islam, religion and government are not distinct from one another.
And western governments need to treat it as a political movement, and stop the spread of terroristic hate under the auspices of religious freedom.

So far the signs point to a passive acceptance of the Islamists in their midst.
There is a combination of denial, not wanting to admit evils from their own culture and blaming instead the Jews, and fatalistic acceptance of something many Muslims feel powerless to change.

But, I as I have said repeatedly, these folks are our natural allies, and need to be encouraged in whatever way possible. The alternative is an apocalyptic war of extermination.
Yes!
In a post entitled Multiculturalism vs. Islamism I make the following case:

Islamism is forcing the world to offer it a triple choice that is the mirror image of what Islamism seeks to offer the world: 1) conversion from Islamism; 2) an uneasy status under armed surveillance; or 3) war of annihilation.

Anonymous said...

By the way...

I think the radicals know that they are on the losing side of this, and that is why they are opting for a military solution as soon as possible, before Islam collapses. They know they need help (more support, more jihadis) to win, and that's why they continually fan the flames of hatred, to keep the fire from going out. At the same time, they realize it only has so much fuel to keep it going. The clock is ticking.

I think Bin Laden and people like him, financed by certain elements in "friendly" governments, understand that they are at a critical juncture here. If they can paint the War on Terror as a War on Islam, and provoke America into overreacting or somehow else targeting the wrong people, they might just get the support they need. I think America is losing the War on Terror, because too many Americans don't understand what they are fighting, and too many Americans don't adequately appreciate that it is an ideological war.

Case in point: US Central Command is running the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. CENTCOM is geographically organized to fight conventional wars in that part of the world. US Special Operations Command should be in charge; SOCOM has a global perspective, and is better organized to deal with the ideological aspects of this "War on Terror".

Anonymous said...

Questions 9 and 10 are the controversial ones.

I'd say that the answer to #9 is a clear no.

As for #10, I think our hope should lie with ourselves, not with the moderate "Muslims". We cannot rely on anyone who associates himself with Islam.

But, I as I have said repeatedly, these folks are our natural allies, and need to be encouraged in whatever way possible.

Why are they our allies, and what should they be encouraged to do? Why do we need them as allies anyway? Why can't we deal with the menace ourselves?

The alternative is an apocalyptic war of extermination.

I don't see why this needs to be the case. Why does Baron think this is the (only? most likely?) alternative?

Anonymous said...

We might add, "as interpreted by those currently in power in the Islamic world"

The problem isn't someone's current interpretation of Islam, the problem is Islam itself.

Sameer said...

There is more to life than True or False questions, wake up from the world of science classes, and use your head.

lmg said...

I'd answer #10 with a No. It is true that only a tiny minority of Muslims are terrorists. It is also true that only a tiny minority of Americans are fighting in Iraq. But we all "support the troops". Even Democrats who oppose the war would like to see it settled on our terms and in our favor. Similarly, I think the vast majority of Muslims "support the troops", only in their case their troops are al Qaeda and the insurgents. They sympathize with the ultimate goals of the terrorists in spreading Islam and Sharia. They may wish that those goals were pursued by non-violent means, but nevertheless, they are ultimately on the side of the terrorists. Therefore I don't believe we can trust or rely on "moderate Muslims" in any way.

Baron Bodissey said...

Anonymous --

I don't see why this needs to be the case. Why does Baron think this is the (only? most likely?) alternative?

I'm willing to hear alternatives. What do you have in mind?

Ground rules for this thought experiment:

Proposed action has to be doable by ordinary citizens like you and me, possibly within volunteer organizations;

-- OR --

If action is to be taken by the government, it has to be politically feasible.

An example of something that's NOT politically feasible would be the deportation of all non-citizen Muslims. I think it would be a good idea, you think it would be agood idea, but it ain't gonna happen, not for the foreseeable future.

Within those ground rules, what do you suggest?

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to hear alternatives. What do you have in mind?

The point of departure is that Islam is incompatible with the West, therefore Islam needs to be removed from the West. Since Islam is represented by Muslims, that means that Muslims cannot live in the West, at least not in significant numbers, and so Muslims need to be removed from the West. That's what is needed to be done.

As for how this should or could be done, that's a difficult question to answer. Obviously, Muslim immigration needs to be stopped, and Muslims who currently live in the West need to be made to leave.

I realize that this probably does not conform to the ground rules laid out by Baron in his question, in that it is probably not something ordinary citizens can do (except by voting for someone willing to do it), and it is probably not politically feasible - at least not yet.

Still, teaming up with moderate "Muslims" is still not a good idea, because a Muslim can never be both a Muslim and a true ally. And I don't see how "an apocalyptic war of extermination" would be either possible to arrange by ordinary citizens or groups, or be politically feasible. If such drastic measures were in fact politically possible, I'd imagine that deportation would also be possible, seeing as that would be a significantly more benign solution.

Basically, what is needed is to make sure that what is currently not politically feasible, some day will be possible.

Anonymous said...

Nevsky said...
We might add, "as interpreted by those currently in power in the Islamic world"


Anonymous said...
The problem isn't someone's current interpretation of Islam, the problem is Islam itself.


My point is about these people who want to follow "true Islam" -- there is no such thing! The Caliphate that they hope to establish will be an absolute dictatorship, albeit with a strong Islamic flavor; whoever siezes power will interpret Islam and make the rules. That is much the way Iran has been run for years, and that is the way the Taliban ran Afghanistan. In an Islamic Republic, the rights you have are exactly those that the mullahs say you can have; your "rights" are not "unalienable" in a Caliphate, but are subject to the whims of those in power.

Islam is submission not to Allah, but to the tyranny of an Islamic elite that claims to speak on Allah's behalf, and that is what it has always been, going right back to Allah's Apostle.

songdongnigh said...

Baron, a stimulating thought experiment. I'd have to agree with you on most points.

As to point 9, if you mean reforming the majority, I'd have to say no, for all the arguments you mention in points 1 through 8. While there are small passive sects, they go against the mainstream. Therefore, the 1.5 billion Muslims are the concern.

For point 10, the same argument applies as for point 9. Despite their best intentions there are simply not enough “true” moderates or enough time for them to prevail over the extremists. The “apocalyptic war of extermination” is coming, with or without the moderates.

No matter how it‘s parsed, this is a fight to the death in which the western world cannot hesitate or be divided.

EJEierman

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Muslims need to be removed from the West. That's what is needed to be done."


I very emphatically disagree with that. Many of the Muslims in the West are trying to escape the insanity of their own world, a world which is being hijacked by criminals preaching hate.

The preachers of hate, that the "Kingdom" is financing and sending to the West, need to be kicked out as the subversive agents of a foreign government that they are. Certain other radicals need to be similarly dealt with. These people are abusing freedom, using freedom to destroy freedom.

But the people who merely want to escape the insanity are our natural allies. They have a different view of Islam. I'm not going to argue in this context which view of Islam is correct; I am arguing about which view is compatible with liberty, and some of these people have left the tyrrany of the Islamic world because they want to be free.

Many more people in the Islamic world know something is wrong, they just don't know what. We need to help them find out.

Anonymous, the approach you suggest would drive people who should be on our side into the arms of criminals.

Steve said...

This is probably a war that will last until the end of days.

Those who truly believe in the Allah of Islam, the totaliter aliter, the Monistic bare Being that all must be brought into accord with, and where everything as it is, is as Allah wills, so that any attempt to change for the better is rebellion against Allah, except for the commanded action to take the land of the sword, by the sword, will fight to the end.

The only hope is to persuade them of something better, something more human, more loving, with a life fraught with more meaning. Only Judaism and Christianity can offer them that. Everything else is less than what they already have. Gentle persuasion, over time, is the only hope of ending this war.

In the meantime, we can look to the two pauses in the three phases of the 1400 years war and see what might reduce the threat level.

When they were defeated militarily. When they were occupied by European powers in the pre-Dhimmi era. And when they lacked the financial resources to purchase modern weapons.

The administration is trying #1. So is Russia, but is conflicted because that government sees benefit in Islam warring against America.

#2 will take longer, but certainly not more blood and treasure than has already been expended. Make their oil worthless by converting to other sources of energy. It is not their poverty which drove them to renewed jihad, but their wealth. For less money than has been spent on the neo-Jacobin attempt to democratize Iraq, we could either be totally running on nuclear power and fuels generated with some of that electricity, or a constellation of solar power sats. It has been that expensive. When the Muslims are dirt poor again, their ability to harm us will diminish significantly.

Anonymous said...

You have some good points, Steve.

Even if they do reform Islam, there will always be those who prefer "that old-tyme religion".

We need to derail the jihad's gravy train, and that is "The Kingdom" and its petrodollar cash-cow.

Here's a provocative question for everyone:

Was the American "regime change" strategy implemented in the wrong country? Not one of the 9/11 attackers was an Iraqi; for the dirtbag that Hussein was, he was secular and you could deal with him; and, is our "ally" to the south really any better?

Kirk Parker said...

I'm with Nevsky:

"I very emphatically disagree with that. Many of the Muslims in the West are trying to escape the insanity of their own world, a world which is being hijacked by criminals preaching hate."

And not just the ones in the West either (see my previous reference to the Ismailis.)

As far as your "provocative question", I'd answer no. We can only cook one elephant at a time, and if you think going into Iraq has caused a sh*tstorm, I assure you it's a speck of dust compared to what would/will be if we did/do move against those questionable friends of ours. We really needed a better Iraq as a jumping-off place. We still do...

Vol-in-Law said...

I agree with you on 1-9, disagree on 10. Our hope lies with ourselves, not with moderate Muslims. I entirely disagree that "The alternative is an apocalyptic war of extermination". The sensible alternative is a policy of separation and containment, as advocated by such reality-based conservatives as William S Lind and Lawrence Auster.

Vol-in-Law said...

Baron:
"An example of something that's NOT politically feasible would be the deportation of all non-citizen Muslims."

Whereas an 'apocalyptic war of extermination' IS politically feasible?!
If you want to shift the debate, you need to argue for what's right.

Vol-in-Law said...

I don't necessaril avocate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims; but I do advocate an end to Muslim immigration into the West.

Anonymous said...

My point is about these people who want to follow "true Islam" -- there is no such thing! The Caliphate that they hope to establish will be an absolute dictatorship, albeit with a strong Islamic flavor; whoever siezes power will interpret Islam and make the rules.

Of course there is such a thing as true Islam. As for interpretation, it is not very relevant in Islam, as the fact that the Quran is considered the perfect, immutable word of Allah drastically limits the possibilities of interpretation.

I very emphatically disagree with that. Many of the Muslims in the West are trying to escape the insanity of their own world, a world which is being hijacked by criminals preaching hate.

Nevertheless, they associate themselves with a religion and an ideology which is incompatible with Western civilization. As long as they do that, then they cannot stay.

But the people who merely want to escape the insanity are our natural allies. They have a different view of Islam.

This is not about differences in Islam, this is about varying degrees of devotion to Islam. If they have a view of Islam that Westeners would consider benign, then that would indicate that their view is probably wrong (ie un-Islamic).

Could Nevsky also tell me what it is about these people that makes them our natural allies - what is it they can do for us, and how can they do this as Muslims and still be our allies?

Anonymous, the approach you suggest would drive people who should be on our side into the arms of criminals.

Could Nevsky please explain the logic behind this statement? Is it a variation of the nonsensical "if we don't support the moderates, they'll end up with the radicals" argument?

Even if they do reform Islam (...)

Except Islam cannot be reformed!

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Gramsci Reloaded

Islam means “peace”.

YES
Virtually every Islamic scholar agrees that Islam means peace. To interpret otherwise is blatant Islamophobia.

We are in a religious war.

NO
Nonsense. The USA has invaded Iraq for purely economic and political reasons. We are yet again conducting a war of aggression against people who have never ever done anything to us. We should be more aware of attempts to take away our freedoms under the guise of "national security". Do you realise the USA has spent almost a trillion dollars to wage war in Iraq?

Muslims are unfairly discriminated against in the West.

YES
Surely this is self evident. Muslims are jailed disproportionately often, although this may also point to racist practices embedded in the system. The MSM is full of unfounded warnings of Muslim threats. The police carry out operations where Muslims are arrested for „terrorist” plots, and the only evidence is that provided by the police themselves. Many fascist tending right wing blogs are full of vicious Islamaphobic rants, and right wing politicians use Muslims as scarecrows to influence the voters. The West discriminates against Muslims in the same way it continues to actively discriminate against people of color, womyn, and the LGBT community.

Islam is tolerant of other faiths.

YES
There is no compulsion in religion. The Holy Koran says so. Islam has a long history of protecting minority religious communities. That is why there are still minority religious communities present throughout the Islamic world, quite unlike the homogenized Christian faith enforced throughout Europe until the 20th century. Unlike Christianity, there has never been an Islamic equivalent to the Inquisition.

Islam is a political ideology.

WHAT?
That’s is a loaded and disingenuous question along the lines of „have you stopped bearing your wife yet?”. How can this question be understood otherwise if every single Muslim country has secular governments, including Iran?

Fighting terrorists in Iraq means we won’t have to fight them at home.

NO
Another hopelessly loaded question. We invaded Iraq, labeling the legitimate Iraqi resistance to Imperialist aggression „terrorists” is grossly misleading.

Islam has no expansionist designs.

YES
Why do you insist on using the double negative in the question? This is yet another example of
Right wingers insist on confusing the misdeeds of the illegitimate regimes of Muslim countries with some inherent evil of Islam. Islam has no central authority to make such designs, quite unlike the proven evils committed by the repressive Catholic Church., In any case these regimes which were installed by colonial administrators, and sustained against the will of the people by America throughout the cold war. The USA invaded Iraq, the USA invaded Afghanistan, the USA bombed Libya, the USA launched missiles against Sudan, the USA props up a undemocratic military dictator in Pakistan. Not vice versa. And now the USA plans to attack Iran, because „they want to attack us”. Iran has not attacked another single country in the entire 20th century, unlike Americas trail of destruction across the third world.

Not all Muslims are radicals.

OF COURSE NOT
They are just like us except for maybe a handful of misguided individuals. In order to combat this handful the USA has killed 100 000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children. Who are the real radicals?

Islam can be reformed.

WHAT?
You are so arrogant! It is extremely presumptuous and judgmental to speak of reforming somebody else’s religion , and implies the use of oppression, force and violence. Considering the track record of the USA in carrying out unwarranted violence this is extremely worrying. It is

Our hope lies with the “moderate” Muslim.

MEANINGLESS
Our hope lies in progress towards a harmonious world society where racism, sexism, heterosexist, bigotry and Islamophobia have no place. You have no right to make divisive judgments about other communities, fascist.

Archonix said...

I laugh.

The scary thing is, that tirade above sounds like a "muslim parliament of Britain" press release...

Baron Bodissey said...

Vol-in-law --

Whereas an 'apocalyptic war of extermination' IS politically feasible?!
If you want to shift the debate, you need to argue for what's right.

I'm not arguing for extermination; I'm saying that it lies somewhere down the road inevitably in wait for us, if we can't find some non-absolutists strategies.

The thing is, I agree with much of what Anonymous is saying. Islam probably is unreformable. Moderate Muslims probably aren't going to be successful in moderating Islam itself.

BUT... That doesn't mean they can't be used in service of the greater good. If moderate Muslims open the door to apostasy and conversion, then we should be encouraging them.

If there is a community of tolerant, peaceful Muslims, then its members will be allowed to convert out to a sane religion if that's what they wish.

If the group does not allow conversion out, then it is not tolerant, and should not be encouraged.

Baron Bodissey said...

Vol-in-law --

The sensible alternative is a policy of separation and containment, as advocated by such reality-based conservatives as William S Lind and Lawrence Auster.

That is indeed a sensible alternative, but it is not politically feasible at this time.

It may become politically feasible if another major terrorist attack against America occurs. Heck, if that attack is horrendous enough, it may even become politically feasible to nuke Mecca.

But I'm dealing with the here and now. If a huge terrorist attack occurs, the poltical calculus changes too much for me to be able to predict.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

But I'm dealing with the here and now. If a huge terrorist attack occurs, the poltical calculus changes too much for me to be able to predict.

Yes and no. One of the points I was making with my politically correct rant parody was that its not moderate muslims that matter, but moderate liberals. There is a whole chunk of the left wing that cannot be reasoned with. Some of them will not reconsider even as they are having their heads sawn off. Its the mass of moderate liberals who need to be hammered with the truth that the MSM tries to hide. I can't see that worrying about moderate muslims makes a whole lot of sense while near most of western society still resolutely refuses to take the blinkers off.



I'm seriously considering taking the effort creating a marxist ranter sock puppet persona and posting nonsnse rants on the left wing boards. Can almost getting the rhetoric right. :)

Vol-in-Law said...

Baron:
"That is indeed a sensible alternative, but it is not politically feasible at this time."

Glad you agree. My point is that we who want the West to survive should be arguing for it, for separation, not for the easy seduction of the "invade the world" approach, the unpleasant and counterproductive "nuke mecca" approach, or the impossible "reform Islam" approach.

Baron Bodissey said...

Fellow Peacekeeper --

Can almost getting the rhetoric right. :)

No "almost" about it. You've got the cant down, word-perfect.

You really can't satirize that stuff. Years ago, before I took up blogging and became Baron Bodissey, I posted a few satirical moonbat comments under a different nic on a good sensible right-wing blog. I was heavy-handed; I laid it on with a shovel, or so I thought.

But people took me seriously -- they thought I was a moonbat. That's when I realized that it was nearly impossible to satirize the lefty material.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

No "almost" about it. You've got the cant down, word-perfect.

I'm flattered. One of the things I want to explore is how much far left postmodern nonsense one can push it before they twig, a la the Sokal affair.

One understands that opinion counts more than fact or reason in the left space (theres considerable work by the Frankfurt School disproving the utility of reason), but we shall see, we shall see. If Sokal is one inspiration, the other is Kevin Kline's Otto character from "A Fish Called Wanda", because apes do read philosophy, they just don't understand it.

Flanders Fields said...

The checklist is flawed because the focus is exclusively on Islam. Islam alone is not a danger to the West. Leftists are the danger.

Islamic actions in the ME can be contained with appropriate action. Islam in the US, or elsewhere in the West, is dangerous only as it is allowed to manifest and become dangerous. In either event, the only impediment to removing Islam's elements which present a danger to the West is the support it receives by leftists through their influence in our societies. We are attempting to respond to the symptom, while ignoring the cause.

Multicultural/Political Correctness and leftism/progressivism are the enemy of Western culture. They use Islam as a convenient tool to fragment it, while the leftist/progressive/minority/Islamisc alliance continue their methods uninterrupted to dominate us. If our focus ignores that, we are going to be ineffective at best.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

"Of course there is such a thing as true Islam. As for interpretation, it is not very relevant in Islam, as the fact that the Quran is considered the perfect, immutable word of Allah drastically limits the possibilities of interpretation."

It is up to Muslims to decide what Islam is. And, I hope that those few who truly advocate secularism and liberty, and who honestly denounce terrorism, prevail.

"Could Nevsky also tell me what it is about these people that makes them our natural allies - what is it they can do for us, and how can they do this as Muslims and still be our allies?"

Anyone who is tired of the hatred and lies being preached in so many mosques, and who is at least trying to think for himself and find a better way, has the potential to become our ally. When they truly break with the lies and hatred that they have been raised on, they will deliver our victory for us. Islamism will die and Islam will be reformed, just as communism collapsed.

Meanwhile, as they are seeing the inconsistencies in what they have been taught, at least they are not actively working against us. It is disheartening that more Muslims aren't speaking out against the terrorism and the tyranny, but again, better silent than preaching hate and actively fighting us.

"Could Nevsky please explain the logic behind this statement? Is it a variation of the nonsensical 'if we don't support the moderates, they'll end up with the radicals' argument?"

It is imperative that we support their right to freedom of thought. People are questioning the hatred, and once the hatred begins to get questioned, it begins to die. There is nothing nonsensical about this. The only nonsense is when we succumb to lies of those who claim to be moderates, but are really in bed with the extremists.

An example of someone who questioned the hatred and now works against it is Nonie Darwish. She founded Arabs for Israel. Another example is the founders of Faith Freedom.

Free Muslims Coalition
Arabs for Israel
FaithFreedom.org

To lump all Muslims together, and then paint this as an "us or them" conflict is to embrace the very hatred the radicals preach. It is both foolish and self-defeating.

"Except Islam cannot be reformed!"

That is what the radicals are preaching. I say they are wrong, and I applaud Muslims who leave the radical culture of hatred, either for a more secular and humane interpretation of Islam, or for another religion altogether.

Flanders
Unfortunately, like the communists in their day, the Islamists are exploiting certain aspects of Western culture, and have help from Westerners who are 1) foolish, 2) shortsighted, 3) misled, or 4) just plain evil.

Unless Islam changes, it will die. Containment will be a key ingredient of the winning strategy. The radicals know that; that is why they are so bent on an apocalyptic jihad: a military solution to their ideological dilemma, before Islam collapses.

Anonymous said...

It is up to Muslims to decide what Islam is.

That is incorrect, because Muslims do not decide what Islam is.

And, I hope that those few who truly advocate secularism and liberty, and who honestly denounce terrorism, prevail.

If they do, then it is not something that will affect Islam per se.

Anyone who is tired of the hatred and lies being preached in so many mosques, and who is at least trying to think for himself and find a better way, has the potential to become our ally.

If he renounces Islam first, then yes.

Islamism will die and Islam will be reformed, just as communism collapsed.

There is no "Islamism" as distinct from Islam - Islamism is the same as Islam. And Islam will not be reformed, as Islam cannot be reformed.

That is what the radicals are preaching.

And they are correct.

I say they are wrong,

On what foundation would a reformed Islam be built?

and I applaud Muslims who leave the radical culture of hatred, either for a more secular and humane interpretation of Islam, or for another religion altogether.

Muslims choosing a secular and humane interpretation of Islam are no longer Muslims, as there is no potential in Islam for such interpretations.

Unless Islam changes, it will die.

Actually, if Islam changes, then it dies, because then it is no longer Islam.

Kirk Parker said...

Baron, re:

"You really can't satirize that stuff."

I think the real test is whether one can post on a left-wing site and have people take you seriously. And judging from what I see when I occasionally dip into Kos or HuffPost, I'm sure either you or FP would have no problems passing as genuine. :-(

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

"That is what the radicals are preaching."

And they are correct.


And you wind up in agreement with the radicals. Attitudes like that convince Muslims around the world to side with terrorism. They want some place to turn, and you are turning them to the terrorists. They want a beacon of light, and you are sending them to the medieval darkness of hatred.

It was nowhere near this bad thirty or forty years ago among Muslims in much of the Middle East; but there is a resurgence of the extremist interpretations, and now it's getting this bad even in the United Kingdom and the United States. Their mullahs in their mosques are pulling Muslims to radicalism, and people like you are pushing them to it. In a world where ancient barbarism in the name of Islam is being revived and renewed, some of these people are trying desperately to break from that insanity, and you're chaining them to it.

Instead of condemning terrorists who are Muslims, you're condemning Muslims who aren't terrorists.

Anonymous said...

And you wind up in agreement with the radicals.

This is not really a matter of opinion, so even if I (or you, or anyone) "disagreed" with the "radicals", the radicals would still be the ones who would have the Islamic scriptures on their side, so counter-arguments would be worthless.

Attitudes like that convince Muslims around the world to side with terrorism.

Why does it convince them to side with terrorism? Why doesn't it just make them disagree with me? Is it perhaps because they cannot object to what I say simply because what I say is true?

It is the "radicals" (ie the true Muslims) who have Islam on their side, not the "non-radicals". It is perfectly legitimate to point this out.

They want a beacon of light (...)

They won't find that in Islam...

but there is a resurgence of the extremist interpretations

The problem is not interpretations of Islam, it is Islam per se. "Extremist interpretations" sounds like Islam apologism.

Their mullahs in their mosques are pulling Muslims to radicalism

Well, actually they are pulling Muslims to true Islam.

and people like you are pushing them to it.

I am simply saying that what the radicals are saying is correct and represents true Islam. I cannot take responsibility for the consequences of this being true.

In a world where ancient barbarism in the name of Islam is being revived and renewed, some of these people are trying desperately to break from that insanity, and you're chaining them to it.

They're chained to it because they are Muslims, not because of what I (or people like me) might say. Also, the problem is not "ancient barbarism in the name of Islam", the problem is Islam itself.

Instead of condemning terrorists who are Muslims, you're condemning Muslims who aren't terrorists.

Muslims who are not terrorists still associate themselves with the same religion as those who are terrorists, and they cannot oppose Islamic terrorism without exposing themselves as apostates.

Vol-in-Law said...

I'm not sure about this, and my natural sympathies lie more with the realist-sounding anonymous than the neocon-sounding nevsky, but it seems to me that statements about the inherent aggressiveness of Islam could have been made with equal truth about Shintoism, and probably other religions too. Shinto in 1944 looked like an inveterately hostile religion, its adherents bent on world conquest. Now it seems pretty harmless (though admittedly the Chinese & Koreans haven't forgotten). There may not be a 'true' moderate Shinto, but clearly there are moderate Shinto-ists...

Anonymous said...

More than anything else, this is an ideological war.

The terrorists understand this well; that is why they are redefining many of the words we use, and introducing new ones like "islamophobia". By changing our language, they are changing the way we think, and making victory for us unthinkable.

If we fail to challenge terrorist definitions for the terms we use to do ideological battle, then we are not only allowing them a safe haven in this ideological war, but worse, we are allowing them to set the rules by which the war will be fought. If we allow them all that, then what can we expect, if not defeat?

A sound strategy must not only be founded in reality; it must change reality, making reality more favorable to the desired outcome, until the desired outcome is reality.

Jason_Pappas said...

It’s always a tough question whether one should advocate only those actions that are currently feasible or whether one should advocate the actions that would be effective if the culture were healthier and by doing so perhaps evolve our culture to the point where we will have better options.

I respect both approaches. One aims at short-term solutions and the other long-term evolution. Without the 1st the second is a moot point; without the 2nd we’ll eventually exhaust ourselves by being nickel-and-dimed into exhaustion and hopelessness. Fight the battle where you passion helps you remain active. But respect those with another focus.

I answered all ten question the same but I had some reservations on #10. If we get help from moderates, that will make it easier. But we can’t deny the truth to do that. You both never do that nor does Daniel Pipes (a hero in this war!) On the other hand, too many in the current administration can’t talk to moderates yet retain the conceptual and moral clarity required for the long run.

Vasarahammer said...

I disagree with items 9 and 10.

Islam cannot be reformed. Any attempt to eliminate the violent teachings is more likely to create a new sect or religion than to reform the mainstream islam.

Islam can, however, be marginalized so that it does not threaten secular society. However, the odds for this happening seem very slim at the moment.

And we shouldn't place our hopes to so called moderate muslims, who are mostly cultural muslims that do not take their faith as seriously as the so called radicals. These people are also not likely to act against their more radical coreligionists, since it would mean physical danger to them and their relatives.

Kirk Parker said...

Vasarahammer,

"Islam cannot be reformed. Any attempt to eliminate the violent teachings is more likely to create a new sect or religion than to reform the mainstream islam."

I cannot understand the eagerness some folks have to quibble about terminology and naming. OK, for the sake of the argument, I'll grant you, it will be "a new sect or religion." Fine. But what if that new sect calls itself "Islam"? This is exactly what happened during the Protestant Reformation, isn't it?

And regarding moderate Muslims and their personal danger: I don't anyone who "places hope" in them means that we should be utterly passive, but merely that such folks could be our allies. Most certainly, making it safer for them to speak out against the radicals is a very important part of the process of gaining them as allies.

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand the eagerness some folks have to quibble about terminology and naming. OK, for the sake of the argument, I'll grant you, it will be "a new sect or religion." Fine.

The point is to give credit where credit is due. If one claims that Islam can be reformed, then that implies that there is something about Islam that makes reform possible. However, if "Islamic reform" can only come about by Muslims de facto abandoning Islam for something else which they then (incorrectly) name Islam, then that means that there is nothing about Islam per se that makes reform possible, and therefore Islam should not be given credit for it.

Kirk Parker said...

Sorry, Anon, but who died and made you Allah, that you get to pronounce what is or isn't Islam?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Anon, but who died and made you Allah, that you get to pronounce what is or isn't Islam?

Kirk Parker's question rests on a false premise, namely that what Islam is is a matter of authority - obviously an authority Parker wonders how I think I've acquired.

However, what islam is is a matter of truth, not authority, and so whether I have any authority is irrelevant, as I don't need any authority to point out whether something is correct.

If Parker wants to question my claims, I suggest he question the correctness of my claims rather than my authority in presenting them.

Kirk Parker said...

Anon,

I am questioning your claims. My assertion is that no one can (correctly) make the claims you are making, and this goes right back to my posited Question 0: Is Islam Unitary?

Now I'm well aware that each school and sub-school within Islam, for the most part, claims the answer is Yes and that (quelle surprise!) they are the ones with the correct understanding, and that "those other guys" are inferior Muslims--or maybe not Muslims at all. But the very existence of all these differing schools and sects, going back to the time of the Prophet's death, gives lie to all such claims.

Flanders Fields said...

Those who think that Islam will change because of the exposure of Muslims to Western culture are making assumptions which are dangerous. Islam has had a violent history and that has been instituionalized within Islam. It is deceptive and it's power is growing too rapidly to assimilate and convert sufficient numbers from it's history.

Acceptance, though well-meaning, is an invitation for violent confrontation and perhaps with devastating results. Accept, but verify, to paraphrase Reagan is the only option which can afford any measure of protection to those in the West, since relocation seems out of the question with todays attitudes.

Anonymous said...

My assertion is that no one can (correctly) make the claims you are making

Well, I'd say Kirk Parker's assertion is wrong, because that would imply that Islam has no identity.

and this goes right back to my posited Question 0: Is Islam Unitary?

Islam being unitary is not a necessary premise for my claims to be true. Rather, what is relevant is whether a school of Islam fits the definition of Islam.

One needs to remember that what Islam is is not determined by what Muslims want Islam to be, but by whether something can correctly be placed in the category called Islam. Whether Islam can be reformed depends on whether a reformed version can still be correctly classified as Islam. I cannot see how it can, and it doesn't matter how many Muslims disagree with me, because their opinion does not affect what is true. I have yet to see a convincing argument suggesting I am wrong (most people who try to convince me that I am, fall into the trap of redefining Islam into "what Muslims say or do" or something similar in order to support their argument).

I think if we were discussing, say, cars, then my point would be a lot clearer, because I think most people intuitively understand what can correctly be called a car and what cannot, while still recognizing that there are (non-essential) differences between various car types and car models. But I think some people lack this understanding when it comes to Islam.

Now I'm well aware that each school and sub-school within Islam, for the most part, claims the answer is Yes and that (quelle surprise!) they are the ones with the correct understanding, and that "those other guys" are inferior Muslims--or maybe not Muslims at all.

Claiming this is one thing, defending such claims something completely different. One needs to find out whether the claims are correct. Does Parker consider all of the claims to be true - even as they contradict each other - and if so, why?

But the very existence of all these differing schools and sects, going back to the time of the Prophet's death, gives lie to all such claims.

Or perhaps some of those schools and sects do not represent true Islam after all.

Vasarahammer said...

" cannot understand the eagerness some folks have to quibble about terminology and naming. OK, for the sake of the argument, I'll grant you, it will be "a new sect or religion." Fine. But what if that new sect calls itself "Islam"?"

There are already sects like Ahmadiyya that reject violent jihad. However, when you reject parts of Quran and Hadith, you run the risk of being labeled an apostate by the "true" muslims. And the penalty for apostasy is death.

"This is exactly what happened during the Protestant Reformation, isn't it? "

No, it isn't because the Protestant Reformation was all about returning to the original scripture and rejecting "innovations" made by the Catholic Church that had no basis in the scripture.

Islamic core texts contain so much hate and violence that removing violent verses seems like a mission impossible.

Jason_Pappas said...

Let’s say for sake of argument that you could create a “new Islam” by extracting the early Meccan verses and “abrogating” the later militant versus as well as throw out the Hadith and Sira. So what? The solution isn’t that there may be some moderate Muslims either by being lax or by inventing a “new Islam.” Some isn’t enough. So-called moderates have to prove that only the “new Islam” is a bona fide Islam.

But history proves otherwise.

The problem is that the example of Mohammad can easily underwrite a vicious totalitarian imperialist warrior ideology designed to conquer and subjugate. The texts prove that; and history proves that. So what if there are some Muslims who are lax or cling to the feel-good passages? What evidence is there that the can be the only Islam? What evidence is there that all Muslims can ignore the core teachings of a tyrant?

I suggest that secularism is far more viable than the illusions of a “new moderate Islam.” I have to agree with Vasarahammer that "Islamic core texts contain so much hate and violence that removing violent verses seems like a mission impossible" -- especially if you want all Muslims to believe this lie.

sweetcheeks said...

International trade in most commodities is a two-way street.
But not so with religion.
Islam travels a one-way street from islamic republics to christian nations.
But Christians are not allowed to move in the other direction.

What should we do to rectify this "trade imbalance"?

Read it all at --

http://www.oodledoodle.com/odShow.php?item=local,other,8

mellivora said...

Okay, now some words from a Finnish reservist:

1) Kids, we're on the brink of war. Our main focus is: a) do we want to enter the war or b) do we want to avoid it. Remind, if we are going to have a war, it is better to be short and swift - and victorious. No nation ever has benefited from a prolonged war. Personally I would advocate avoiding it: not by being Pacifist or by hiding our heads into bush, but rather outmaneuvering and outwitting the foe. Humiliating him without him ever realizing he has been humiliated.

2) To win a war - or the peace - the first and foremost pre-requisite is to know your enemy. To know what he is like, what he stands for, what are his objectives, what are his strengths and what are his weaknesses. Does he have any taboos and whether the question is about a guilt culture or shame culture. So at first I would suggest everyone to read Qura'an from cover to cover - and to find any weaknesses and looplholes on his ideology. Check out Skeptics Annotated Quran in the Net. Once you've finished, I'd suggest to read other Islamic litterature, such as hadiths and Islamic law - to know his ideology both in theory and in practise.

3) No enemy is ever as strong as he seems nor as weak as he seems. So instead of intimidation or hate speech, I suggest a realistic mindset on what Islam is about. There is no reason to either fear nor contempt the foe. The enemy is not as intelligent and clever as we are, but far more ruthless and cunning. While we fight with quality, he is ready to fight with quantity. Knowing this helps to plan the strategy. While the enemy is brave and scorns death, his fanaticism is also his Achilles heel.

4) It is a mistake to think the foe as a monolithic bloc. Rather the Sunnis and the Shiites hate each other to the boot - even more than Christians. Realizing the enemy is far from united and he himself has schisms and divisions is a thing to be taken into account. Not all Muslims want to belong in an Arab-led caliphate or speak Arabic or submit themselves on Arabic dominance. Mind you, the Caliphate itself broke quickly into three - that of Cordova, Baghdad and Cairo - and the last Caliphate resided in Constantinople and was held by the Ottoman Turks - a far cry from Muhammed and his descendants.

5) Ask yourself: "What would you think of us if you were them"? How would you see us? As godless heathens - or damned heretics - or misguided schismatics to be shown the right way? When solving that riddle, you are one step closer to understanding the enemy and countering him and his tactics.

6) The pinnacle of the Minervian Arts (opposed to Martial Arts) is not beating the enemy 100 times in 100 battles. It is beating him without a single battle. That is something everyone should realize.

Kirk Parker said...

Thanks, Mellivora, that was well put!

Jason_Pappas said...

Yes, excellent points. Number 4 is supreme but they're all excellent.

Dwight said...

Do you guys really know what happened on 9/11? If you think you know, explain it. If you wanna know, ask me.