Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Someone we might want to listen to
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The argument goes back and forth about Islam and its teachings. One of the first defenses of Islam's excesses is usually the tiresome repetition of the excesses done in the name of Christianity, or under, supposedly, its auspicies.

But that misses the point. Anyone can call anything they do as representative of some ideology or religion whether or not their actions truly represent the principles of the ideology or religion or not. Consequently those who buy into the argument that "Christianity is just as bad as Islam" simply ignore the differences, at base, in those two religions.

Anyone who claims Christianity is a religion of force, murder, rape and theocratic totalitarianism are simply displaying their ignorance of it's basic principles. And as such, I normally ignore their arguments.

However, Islam comes from a decidedly different origin. And that is where this article in today's Wall Street Journal by Tawfik Hamid takes on some importance. Interestingly it is primarily addressed to those in the West most likely to make the Rosie O'Donnell argument I cited above. Just as interesting is his citing of Bernard Lewis' work in his first paragraph, the same Bernard Lewis whose speech I discussed here. Says Hamid:
Not many years ago the brilliant Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, published a short history of the Islamic world's decline, entitled "What Went Wrong?" Astonishingly, there was, among many Western "progressives," a vocal dislike for the title. It is a false premise, these critics protested. They ignored Mr. Lewis's implicit statement that things have been, or could be, right.

But indeed, there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. One would expect the orthodox Islamic establishment to evade or dismiss these complaints, but less happily, the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists' defense.

These "progressives" frequently cite the need to examine "root causes." In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological "rootlets" of Islamism, the main tap root has a name—Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.
Hamid, as is obvious, isn't just your garden variety Islamic scholar or someone writing about the problem from an academic perspective. He's someone who has lived, eaten, breathed and slept it's radicalism. So he knows what he's talking about in terms of "been there, done that".

And to be clear here, although he talks about "The Trouble with Islam", he's obviously talking about the radicals on one hand and what is called "main-stream Islam" on the other. However, as we'll see, he's of the opinion that one is, in reality, simply a more radical outgrowth of the other.

That brings us to the critical "trouble with Islam":
It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the "end of days." The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.

The grave predicament we face in the Islamic world is the virtual lack of approved, theologically rigorous interpretations of Islam that clearly challenge the abusive aspects of Shariah. Unlike Salafism, more liberal branches of Islam, such as Sufism, typically do not provide the essential theological base to nullify the cruel proclamations of their Salafist counterparts. And so, for more than 20 years I have been developing and working to establish a theologically-rigorous Islam that teaches peace.
The problem, writ large, is that the salafists are winning the theological battle. And people like Hamid, who are attempting to develop a theologically-rigorous based version which teaches peace are behind the power curve (partly because the salafists have grabbed the initiative and exploited unrest and partly because it is difficult to fashion a theologically-rigorous version based in peace when the founder of the religion was an unabashed warrior). But his essential point is that reformation within the Islamic world is nigh on impossible because there is no one main Islamic "church", if you will. So, as he is attempting, one must build a movement within the religion and attempt to spread its message. Unfortunately, at this point, salafists are much more successful with their message than are those who would teach peace.

Hamid also points to certain members of the West as a problem in this regard as well:
Yet it is ironic and discouraging that many non-Muslim, Western intellectuals—who unceasingly claim to support human rights—have become obstacles to reforming Islam. Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Shariah's inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western "progressives" pave the way for Islamist barbarity? Indeed, if the problem is not one of religious beliefs, it leaves one to wonder why Christians who live among Muslims under identical circumstances refrain from contributing to wide-scale, systematic campaigns of terror.
For those among you who subscribe to the Rosie O'Donnell version of "Fundamentalist Christians are just as bad", I'd love to see your answer for his question.

I've always found it ironic that those who were most likely to come under brutal repression in a fundamentalist Islamic regime are most likely to be the Westerners who act precisely as Hamid describes. More of the disease of political correctness and multiculturalism come home to roost.

Hamid then does a bit of myth slaying:
Politicians and scholars in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria—which happened in the last few decades—or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Indeed, one has to wonder what the beheading of Christians and Buddhists in Southeast Asia and India had to do with Israel, that's for sure.

Hamid also points out one of the more confusing things I've noticed about those who would argue that Islamic culture, as it is practiced today, is, in relative terms, equal to ours:
Western feminists duly fight in their home countries for equal pay and opportunity, but seemingly ignore, under a façade of cultural relativism, that large numbers of women in the Islamic world live under threat of beating, execution and genital mutilation, or cannot vote, drive cars and dress as they please.
Another example:
The tendency of many Westerners to restrict themselves to self-criticism further obstructs reformation in Islam. Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.
While his point is clearly on target, his first line is intriguing. Go read the comments in the QandO post I cited above. You'll see precisely what he and I are talking about. You'll see some in that thread essentially restrict their argument to self-criticism. Hamid's essential point is that unless pressure is brought to bear on Islam and as long as Islam is given a cultural free pass and its excesses ignored while some in the West declaim that it's all our fault, Islam has absolutely no reason nor will it develop any desire to reform. None. When its actions are all but excused while the actions of the West are second-guessed and protested, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that one side, the side attacking us, won't see a need to change.

And that brings us to a critical point of his:
Western appeasement of their Muslim communities has exacerbated the problem. During the four-month period after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish magazine, there were comparatively few violent demonstrations by Muslims. Within a few days of the Danish magazine's formal apology, riots erupted throughout the world. The apology had been perceived by Islamists as weakness and concession.
That weakness and concession was exploited to the maximum. And that is how this formidable enemy will exploit every concession and every weakness we display ... without exception.

So what are we to do? Get a grip, grow a backbone, get over this infantile "anti-Americanism" so rampant among Europe's elite (and some commenters here) and demand, without exception, that Muslim organizations and scholars denounce and repudiate the violent factions among them. And join them in that denunciation:
Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America's enemies.

Progressives need to realize that radical Islam is based on an antiliberal system. They need to awaken to the inhumane policies and practices of Islamists around the world. They need to realize that Islamism spells the death of liberal values. And they must not take for granted the respect for human rights and dignity that we experience in America, and indeed, the West, today.

Well-meaning interfaith dialogues with Muslims have largely been fruitless. Participants must demand—but so far haven't—that Muslim organizations and scholars specifically and unambiguously denounce violent Salafi components in their mosques and in the media. Muslims who do not vocally oppose brutal Shariah decrees should not be considered "moderates."
Hamid closes with two very astute, but seemingly common sense points:
All of this makes the efforts of Muslim reformers more difficult. When Westerners make politically-correct excuses for Islamism, it actually endangers the lives of reformers and in many cases has the effect of suppressing their voices.

Tolerance does not mean toleration of atrocities under the umbrella of relativism. It is time for all of us in the free world to face the reality of Salafi Islam or the reality of radical Islam will continue to face us.
When a certain portion of our Western culture internalize those two very important truths, then we may actually begin to see us turn the tide against the "problem with Islam".
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
So what are we to do? Get a grip, grow a backbone, get over this infantile "anti-Americanism" so rampant among Europe’s elite (and some commenters here) and demand, without exception, that Muslim organizations and scholars denounce and repudiate the violent factions among them. And join them in that denunciation
Countdown to Erb coming in to totally prove the point you’re trying to make....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Thank you. Your frustration with the response to the previous post is evident and I share that feeling. I started to respond the other night but couldn’t finish it.
One of the links I had started to post was this one from the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy. Just by saying Military Academy the report is already suspect in the eyes of some.
You cited a poll from Der Spiegel which supports the conclusions you’ve reached here but I would also like to link a Der Spiegel piece that I found informative. It is titled "Hurray! We’re Capitulating!"
This one also from Der Spiegel was very good.
And if I may I’d also like to point out this page by former Muslims. I am linking their page to video links but their home page carries some links to some very good articles. Especially watch the series titled Undercover Mosques videos. which is a British TV production.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Instead we have this for leadership.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Boortz says it well, the other day:

The London Daily Telegraph has now revealed the existence of a classified handbook for EU diplomat types that encourages governments and the European media to avoid using phrases that might (gasp!) offend Muslims when referring to terrorism. The EU handbook suggests banning words like "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist."


Yup .. that’s right. It is now officially improper in Europe to refer to an Islamic terrorist as an Islamic terrorist. Never mind the fact that virtually every terrorist operating in the world today is a Muslim ... and never mind that the wonderful, peaceful, serene, nonviolent, passive, tranquil, placid, laid-back, loving religion of Islam virtually relies on terrorism as it’s chief foreign policy tool. We certainly don’t want to offend these people now, do we? So the EU handbook on how to talk about terrorism without offending the people responsible for the terrorism tells us that we might want to give consideration to the phrase "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam."


Screw that.


Islam is a religion of hate and violence ... and so it shall remain until we see Muslims everywhere in the world openly and loudly standing up to these violent Islamic fascists and their apologists like the Council on American Islamic Relations. CAIR has never issued a blanket repudiation of the use of violence and terrorist tactics on the part of Islamic groups. I fully realize that there are Muslims everywhere who hate the violence and hatred brought to us by the jihadists as much as we do .... but until they are as loud in their condemnation of terrorism as the jihadists are in their threats to the West ... Islam will be known by the actions of the radicals, not of the peaceful.


In the meantime, look around for an example of the Western world standing up to the Islamic goons. The City of Minneapolis suggests a light signal system on its taxis to warn customers of which Muslim cab drivers will transport passengers carrying alcohol, and which will not. Target stores jumps through its own rear end to find a way to accommodate Muslim cashiers at its stores who refuse to ring up items containing pork. A British school changes the name of the "Three Little Pigs" to the "Three Little Puppies." Today’s Daily Mail from London reports on a study by the Department for Education and Skills. British teachers, it seems, are not teaching the Holocaust in British schools. Some teachers are afraid that Muslim pupils might react badly in class.


Everywhere you look you see capitulation. From supermarket check-out counters to the halls of the U.S. Congress. This capitulation is seen by Islamic fascists as nothing less than signs of weakness. It emboldens them, and weakens us. You do the math. Where does this lead?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
[Erb] You guys are such a bunch of Islamophobic bigots, and worse than that you might enrage Muslims with your bigotry. [/Erb]
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Although they are difficult to find, there are some ex-islamic terrorists out there (I’m not talking about the ones in paradise tickling their 72 virgins), such as Tawfik Hamid, Zach Anani, Walid Shoebat and others who have left the movement and renounced terror. All of them, without exception, will tell you that Islamic theology is the root cause of terrorism, that it is unique to Islam as opposed to other religions, and that "oppression" or "occupation" are mere pretexts; the same sort of excuses that enabled Hitler to rise to power during the great depression.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
I have thought for some 40 years that Islam needs a reformation, just as Christianity had. My exposure to Islam through an Iranian and Syrian friend during my mid 1960s college years was eye opening. However, the odds are against a reformation happening since the internals of Islam would very violently reject any such overt effort. As was mentioned in the post, to compound the problem, in today’s world the more civilized among us would leap to the defense of the religion or at a minimum remain silent as has been demonstrated time and time again. We have seen both the violence and acquiescence to the violence with what could be called the typical Western sarcastic political humor that was applied against Islam with the Muhammad cartoons.

The world’s present dilemma can easily be blamed on the intolerance of Islam by those with an open mind, but just as the Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland have attacked one another for centuries, why should we expect that not to happen between Christians and Muslims who have a 1500 years history. What is interesting is when such groups settle in the US those historical animosities seem to evaporate. Is it religion or power politics; the latter I suspect. The religion is just the rallying point for those desiring to achieve or maintain power.

 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
AMR,

Scott Erb argues that Islam is in a reformation. Right now.

I frankly don’t see that, since I see few Muslims ready to stand up and denounce violence.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
but just as the Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland have attacked one another for centuries, why should we expect that not to happen between Christians and Muslims who have a 1500 years history.
Again, I think this is a very limited comparison. Catholics and Protestants in other countries did not conduct themselves as did the Irish. But look at this map and you’ll note that the conflagrations are not limited to attacking Christianity but non-jihadists. Muslim’s killed over 150,000 Muslims in Algeria. Sunni’s are killing Shia’s. Your comparison pales to this.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I find, mostly, that when I DEMAND something that I have no power to obtain the person from whom i’m demanding something tends to ignore, laugh, or get defensive.

so you’ve found a scholar whose commentary fits your ideology. Congratulations. Ever heard of selection bias?

McQ, I DEMAND that you cease your foolish insistence of market-based approaches on the delivery of healthcare and understand the wisdom of single pool pricing!

yeah, that’s going to work. and that’s on a topic on which there are facts.

McQ, I DEMAND that you abandon your foolish notion that Christ ever existed and understand that you are in the grip of the GOD DELUSION!

hmmm. that doesn’t seem to have much traction. maybe demanding that people change their minds about matters of faith isn’t the best way to go about things.

on another point:

If you take a look at the poorest 50 countries in the world, a whole bunch are sub-Saharan, at least a couple are Caribbean (Haiti), and some of the Central American countries probably make the list. On the other hand, while Indonesia isn’t perfect it’s definitely on the upslope. So states fail for lots of reasons other than Islam.

Crushing poverty, ignorance, civil war, torture, abuse and suffering have been the unfortunate lot of far too much of humanity for far too long. The real question isn’t why Islam has failed, it’s how the West managed to succeed.

and no, i don’t believe that the sole answer to the West’s success is colonialism. the answer is that people changed.

but colonialism has left an ugly legacy across the Middle East and Africa. And just as colonialism was finally winding down we jumped into the Cold War. So, since Western powers for about 200 years have done their level best to have these countries serve our interests and not their own, it’s a little rich for us to suddenly blame the existence of a particularly virulent and vile combination of tribalism and religion on the locals. We created these people in the secret prisons of our client states.

another point:

where, in the pre-2001 archives of AEI, or the Heritage Institute or any of the conservative powerhouse think tanks, is the evidence that any of them were particularly concerned about female genital mutilation?

the real work on FGM has been done largely by locals, with some support from feminist NGOs, working on changing people’s minds, one person at a time.

finally:

It appears that the underlying theme to the post is that the problem with the West is it lacks the WILL to win. (the part about growing a backbone is classic.) try googling around for the Green Lantern theory of geopolitics. Another libertarian — Jim Henley — has some good posts if memory serves.

Having will is a fine start, and an important characteristic for serving soldiers. but thinking that the situation in Iraq exists because the West lacks will is unlikely to lead to useful solutions. After all, the Kurds have will too, as do Shia extremists. And unlike us, they’re home.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose. Guaranteed. I can explain why if someone doubts it, but think about where the oil is and its importance to the western economy.

The only hope to avoid a century or so of warfare and economic collapse is to find a way to help Islam modernize, supporting efforts, like at the Grand Mosque in Paris, to bring about a modern form of Islam. The conservative/traditional focus of the Ulama to try to recreate the "perfect" society (Yathrib from 622-632) with an unquestioning acceptance of the Hadiths is going to breed extremism and violence. Unless Islam overcomes that and finds a path to modernizing its religion, the world is likely to fall into the abyss in coming decades.

If we gird for a fight against Islam, we will fail. The best chance is to support the generally modern Muslim communities in Europe, avoiding attacks on Islam and trying to build dialogue. Pope Benedict XVI has made an effort to start such a dialogue, I think he has the right idea. Folks, we could be in for some bloody and difficult times in the coming years if this devolves into "Islam vs. the West." It could be like the fall of Rome. We need the courage to actually overcome fear, be realistic about the dangers, and try to work with those who seek to change Islam from within.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
As I suspected would happen, I see a couple of commenters have beamed in to help me prove my point.

Thanks.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If we gird for a fight against Islam, we will fail.
DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM - DOOM!!!!!!!

Thanks Scott. We will fail. OK, got it. Now, back to grading papers for you.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
"in today’s world the more civilized among us would leap to the defense of the religion or at a minimum remain silent as has been demonstrated time and time again"

That is not civilization, that is cowardice. Being civilized does not preclude self-defense or support of civilized standards. Being civilized means treating convicted terrorists humanely until they are executed, or treating with respect, as fellow human beings, the bodies of those you are forced to kill in battle.

" just as the Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland have attacked one another for centuries,"

I would submit that the problem is not the religious differences. If it were, Boston would be awash with blood, as Irish of both religions live there peacefully side by side.

************************
"So states fail for lots of reasons other than Islam"

Sure do,and people die for lots of reasons other than heart disease. I guess I don’t need to exercise or watch my cholesterol anymore.

"but colonialism has left an ugly legacy across the Middle East and Africa."

At worst, it has left a mixed legacy. I know things were idyllic before the white man came, but the white man did bring a few benefits; medicine that works, education, etc.

"We created these people in the secret prisons of our client states."

Cr*p. The worst excesses of colonialism were no worse than some of the things the noble savages did to each other without the white man’s help, and all-in-all, colonialism was probably a net benefit to the colonies.



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
AMR;

I made a similar point not long ago.

it’s quite long, so I won’t bother quoting anything of it here. But the gist of it is the Islam is still waiting for its Luther. Part of the problem is that wereas Luther had Pole Leo to harrass on such matters, there is no counterpart within Islam. Islam is waiting for its Luther, and perhaps several have gone by, already, by a way of intimidation, or beheading.

But do take a look at the writup I did, back at the beginning of this year; I’d be interested in your ideas on it.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Slowly, calmly, and most especially, rationally, please consider:

1. Islam is founded by a brilliant military commander, who won pitched battles against impossible odds. Even in his one ’loss’ (a group of his warriors defied his direct order to stay out of the battle in order protect a strategic hill), he negotiated a truce which won the entire war a year later, ’without firing a shot’ (Lings, 1983). Christianity is founded by an oppressed slave people, who had already endured more than a thousand years of tortures, expulsions, and annihilation (Smith, 1958) before the Roman Empire persecuted them.

2. The sharp contrast in their founding is reflected today in two entirely different sociologies. The Judaic/Christian tradition has evolved sociologically into a ’rights/guilt’ culture, where the only means of addressing the disadvantage of being a slave is to seek shelter in one’s "rights." The contrasting culture is known sociologically as ’honor/shame,’ where it is critical that one not have ’shame’ attached to himself personally. Military societies are typically ’honor’ cultures (see the movie, ’300’), where suicide rather than surrender is valued as a virtue (see the bushido code of the medieval samurai warrior during WWII, or the ancient Greek ’honor’ code of kleos).

3. All contemporary Salafists, whether they are followers of Sayyid Qutb (Egypt, and Osama bin Laden’s favorite philosopher), Abul Maududi (Pakistan), Ibn Wahhab (Saudi Arabia), or Imam Khomeini (Iran) have constructed ideologies grounded upon a purity system. Anthropologically (Douglas, 1966), purity systems are ubiquitous to all of humanity. Leviticus of the Bible is an elaborate purity system; so is the tale of miracles in the Gospel of Mark. Hitler’s butchering of six million Jews, Catholic Poles, Gypsies and the mentally handicapped is a purity system, in order to protect the "pure" Aryan race. Blaming the hatred of the Salafists for our problem is as exactly wrong, intellectually, as blaming the Pope and Curia for 50,000 witch burnings.

4. The pro-active teaching of hate is NOT a phenomenon particular to Islam. It is, however, a common factor of the world’s four religions grounded upon the dualism of salvation/damnation (re-read Samuels I an II). The teaching of hate is based upon a deep psychic self-hate, which in turn is grounded upon primal fears. If we are to imagine that only Muslims experience self-hate, we have ourselves lost touch with all of human history.

5. Finally, in the interest of brevity on someone else’s blog, it is the meld of several factors which is the root of Islam’s present blood-letting. Whenever humanity has blended an honor culture with determinism (the individual is not accountable for his acts) and idealism (the rejection of reality as it is), and than added some form of stasis (’purity,’ ’infallibility,’ ’perfection’ (Plato), or ’preservation’), the resultant combination becomes lethal if it is made into an ideology for a disaffected populace (Protestant Germany, post-WWI; Orthodox Russia, post-WWI, Islam, today).

The present agony of Islam we watch every night on the news is going to continue for many more years (in the Christian experience, the bloodletting lasted almost exactly 500 years). The Islamic blood-letting has NOTHING to do with Salafism, or with the "violent, hateful" tenets of Islam.

The actual culprit is the gut-wrenching problem of identity formation for an entire faith increasingly confronted with intrusive choices; a faith which has denigrated "choice" for a thousand years. Ths should look to be very familiar, to all the True Believers in the one and only, pure and perfect Truth.

It is freedom which gives humanity its choices. Islam’s bloody agony today is birthing a Muslim form of freedom. This one will based upon a warrior’s ’honor’ code, not upon a slave’s ’rights.’

- It would be helpful if we neo-libertarians became known for intellectual curiosity and scholarship, instead of beoming known for nativist particularism...such as occurs in so much of agonized Islam.

 
Written By: a Duoist
URL: http://www.duoism.org
The present agony of Islam we watch every night on the news is going to continue for many more years (in the Christian experience, the bloodletting lasted almost exactly 500 years).
So in the name of affirmitive action, we must let the bloodletting caused by the misguided adherents of Islam also last 500 years?
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Duoist said:
The Islamic blood-letting has NOTHING to do with Salafism, or with the "violent, hateful" tenets of Islam.
The actual culprit is the gut-wrenching problem of identity formation for an entire faith increasingly confronted with intrusive choices; a faith which has denigrated "choice" for a thousand years.
But isn’t Islamism and Salafism a major part of identity formation? Are not the two so intertwined so as to be inseparable?
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
The Christian experience lasted 500 years. Two points.

1) Ours lasted 500 years in spite of the factors mentioned by McQ: Christians who wanted to commit violence in the name of Christ were arguing against the words of the religion’s Founder, and the structure of the Church allowed changes to be adopted relatively quickly.

2) In that entire 500 years, the capacity for small groups of fighters to kill in mass was not present. Try and imagine the result of 500 years of nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare. For good measure, realize that the world then was a far less interconnected place. You might not be able to have pepper for your food, but at least the food you needed was available locally.

We can’t afford to give Islam 500 years, let alone the longer period of time they will likely need.

The situation is exactly analogous to a man with a gangrenous leg. If you let the leg stay, and try to treat the infection, then yes, his body might, eventually, beat back the infection and recover. However, the odds are vastly higher that he will die. The remedy is to cut the leg off. Yes, the amputation might kill him, but even in the 1500s, he was more likely to live with the operation than without it.

Of course, the longer the surgery is delayed, the more likely the patient dies anyway. And that is why I advocate all-out war with salafism now, before they grow any stronger, and the West grows weaker.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Well I don’t buy "Islam is this" or "Islam is that"...I’ve said it before and I guess I’ll say it a gain, what is Ptotestantism/Catholicism/Islam? Historically, at least two of the three have waged nasty wars, against each other and internally against "schismatics". Depending on the era, and one’s sensibilities, one may discover a number of Islams or Christianities, and make the case that they are or ARE NOT violent religions. I think it behooves us to be leery of discussing "Islam" and focus more on the ideology of Qtub, UBl, Salafism and Wahbism, rather than "Islam."

It is true Islam lacks the Duality(ies) of "God" and "Caesar" or the World as it is and the world that will be upon the Return of the Messiah, however, I’d say that it’s not always clear that Christians have lived up to what, we today, would consider acceptable Christian conduct. And in those cases, ranging from the Conquista to John Brown’s raids, the perpetratorrs could point to the Bible for justification(s). Again, I’m not sure "Islam" is or is NOT violent, reformable, OR benign. I think we need to focus on the pathologies of Qtub and UBL and the like.

Dr Erb I don’t see a Islamic Reformation, true when the "95 Theses" were nailed on the door of the church in Wittenberg I’m sure no one saw THAT Reformation either. But if you’d care to point out any CONCRETE examples of Islamic thought or theology postulated I’d appreciate it. Instead I see a lot of the OLD Islam on TV and I see a lot of OLD Islam being rewarded, the MoToons, and various decisions to not "provoke" or "Defame" simply say, riot, burn, kill or threaten to kill and you get your way. By kow-towing to that we, in the West and elsewhere, tell Muslims that the Salafist/Wahabist is the more powerful strain of Islam and that it is the horse to back. Further, some have pointed out that "Muslim Fundamentalism" SEEMS more authentic, more devout.

I’m a believing Catholic, I think of myself as fairly devout, BUT you couldn’t tell it simply by looking at me or watching me...whereas many of the more extreme Islamic groups CAN be identified. Comparatively I and other moderate Muslims, well we seem like white bread, to the young and impressionable. If you’re not kneeling in prayer, doing the Rosary 5 times a day, and attending Mass daily, "Are you REALLY Catholic?" My response is "Yes", outward manifestation of devotion may or may NOT indicate "holiness" and even if I pray the Rosary 5 times a day, if I also believe in Reincarnation, Consubstantiation, and killing Methodists, I may be devout or DEVOTED, but I am NOT CATHOLIC. But doing those things makes me SEEM more Catholic...so too with many Islamic fringe groups, they SEEM more Muslim, more authentic. And it’s a powerful "draw" to many younger Muslims, or rather Muslim returnees, meaning those teens and twenties that were not particularly religious but now feel the need for a religion in their lives. The followers of Qtub and the tents of Wahabism can SEEM very Muslim and draw folks in, whether or not they are any more "Muslim" than Farouk down the street is irrelevant, Farouk is a "white bread Muslim" and Abu Jihad seems a REAL Muslim.

I think we need to embolden Farouk to stand up to Abu Jihad and tell him, in the immortal words of the Petroleum traders, "Sod off Swampie!" And we don’t do that by running away from Hirsan Ali or not showing the MoToons, out of respect, or really FEAR.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose. Guaranteed. I can explain why if someone doubts it, but think about where the oil is and its importance to the western economy."

OK, I may live to regret this but - ’Splain it to me! But first my own thoughts:

At a time when the West was in far weaker position than it is today - Charles Martel did a job at Poitiers and threw back a Moorish invasion of what is modern day France. A few centuries later, a concerted effort by the Ottomans was halted at the gates of Vienna. Between these two events, Islam was in ascendancy. Compared to the Western World of the day, Islam represented the highest achievements in medicine, architecture, literature, and the martial arts. While the Crusaders of old were screeching "Deus Lo Volt" Islam was beating the Western World to the Renaissance by over 400 years. And since that time it has been in retreat - maybe not in the sense of the size of the religion or the number of adherents, but in retreat from the rest of the world. The last gasp of their Power was the last few years of the "Old Man of Europe", the Ottomon Empire - and their end came not with a bang but with a groaning shudder.

You are right in one sense, they got the oil. But it is that and only that which brings Islam back into any semblance of ascendancy today. Where the middle eastern world was once full of goat herders and warring tribes throughout the Middle East, they are now rich goat herders but still they have warring tribes.

There is an old Chinese proverb that, paraphrased, states "You can truly control something only if you have the power to destroy it." In order to really put the screws to the west, the rulers of the Islamic world would have to threaten the very thing that gives them their self-image of superiority - oil. And to do that would deal a true death blow to themselves. Because their very ascendancy is the result of that very material the West demands. Destroy that material and the West does not disappear, it will just find other methods of power generation. The only reason oil is ascendant today is because it is easy. But while the West will merely adjust it’s course, Islamic acsendancy will disappear just like the mirage that it is. Now to be sure, they will not go easy into that good night. It will be a bloody period and people may even refer to it as an Apocalyptic era. But they will go down.

And lastly - to think Islam will modernize is to truly believe in the Easter Bunny! Why should Islam modernize? What mechanism do you postulate could bring an Islamist to review his position (I am not being sexist by saying "his" ’cause there ain’t no "her" position in the Muslim world). They have got the world to finally pay attention to them. They are no longer considered goat herders and camel jockies. They have power. They have oil. There is no reason for them to slow down and contemplate their navels - that is what tose decadent people in the West have to deal with, not us.

Only when they have been brought down - and brought down hard - will they even think to take a moment to consider their situation and contemplate some other course such as modernization. But, if history is any true indicator, they will simply return to their by-gone matra of "Allah wills it"!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose.
Well, now, Scott, that depends entirely on what kind of war it is.

If it’s a stand-up war, they lose. Period. (If it’s with nuclear weapons, both sides lose, but they’re the only ones who risk annihilation. So it’s in our interest to make sure they don’t get that option.)

If it’s a cultural war in which we offer alternatives to strict Islam, so that it is possible, and then later acceptable, to live a more Western lifestyle even in the Middle East, then a lot of the big guns are on our side. Western culture is seductive - there’s a reason Hollywood dominates the world entertainment scene. Freedom is seductive, too, once there’s a perception in a certain amount of security in exercising that freedom.

If it’s a long-term terror war, in which they forever can influence us to do what they want by kidnapping, suicide bombing, and random terrorism of every sort, with no way for us to ever change the dynamic, then we lose. At least in the sense of having an open, prosperous society we lose, because the end result of such a long term conflict will be serious erosion of freedom and serious economic setback (both because of high oil prices as the Middle Eastern powers wield the oil weapon, and because of the ineffeciencies and limitations imposed by a government perpetually trying to deal with terrorism).
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose.
I don’t think we are in a war against Islam. I think that a very nasty, cult-like sect within the larger culture of Islamic fundamentalism has declared war against us.

Here is our problem: In order to overcome this enemy we must first be able to think about it properly, and the Left is willfully refusing to do that. The jihadists themselves, and everybody who has made a serious effort to understand them (including Tawfik Hamid) is telling us that they are driven by religious ideology, and yet the Left continues to insist that the terrorists are simply the instruments of a "blowback" against American and Israeli policy.

The Left seems to have a solipsistic idea that the US is the only party in the geopolitical world that acts on its own interests and ends, and everyone else simply reacts to us, or is victimized by us. Their solutions, then, to the fact that the jihadists are warring against us always entail changing our own policies that are supposedly creating this blowback.

In my opinion the Left is cynically refusing to acknowledge the religious motivations of our enemy because defining the war as a political problem allows them to use the pretext of addressing bogus political "root causes" as a stalking horse for implementing their own agendas.

 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
A reply to several well-considered comments:

Islam’s bloody agony at coming to terms with "choices" will not last 500 years, as Christianity’s did. Modern technology will see to that; the rooftops of Damascus today are a sea of satellite dishes. But even if it lasts only 100 or 200 years in duration, Islam’s present agony is going to be nuclear armed; the death toll is likely to be unimagineable.

What the Salafists have, is an idea. It is an extremely popular idea. Melding that very attractive idea with their revered theology gives them a nearly unbeatable combination in the quite normal process we all experience in human identity formation. That 21C blending of ideology with theology will be known by future historians as, "theofascism." There is no possible way that a gun will defeat a popular idea; the only weapon stronger than an idea is a better idea.

The logarythmic growth of our blue marble’s population over the past 500 years exactly duplicates the growth of freedom during the same time span; both are tracking the spread of science with its ’crown jewel’ of objective truth. Globalization today, world-wide increases in prosperity, education, female sufferage, longer life spans, infant survivability...something very dynamic is rapidly transforming all of humanity, even if the transformation is occuring too slowly for some and too rapidly for others. The cause of this dynamic transformation has reached a critical mass, probably during the same decade that man walked on the moon and invented the Internet. It now has so much momentum that it is unstoppable, much to the existential concern of the Salafists. A key feature of this dynamic—-let’s call it a "paradigm shift," for Kuhn—is the flooding of human life with choices.

’No,’ to answer some several of other commenters, we cannot stand idly by and watch Islam rip itself apart, and us in the process. But if we continue to misidentify what is exactly and precisely the enemy, Islam and we will never win. As critical as it is to recruit, train, and then deploy lethal forces to capture or kill those who intend to kill us, we must recognize that we have the better idea which the vast majoriy of Muslims already want—one which the radical Islamists most fear—and that we are proving to be pathetically inept at communicating that idea.

No form of government has ever produced the idea which is now transforming the planet. Nor has any theology, or ideology. Nor has the institution of the family, yet the bloody transformation of Islam proceeds, nonetheless, as did Christianity’s.

We have to catch and kill the radical extremists. That’s a given. But if we are to win, we damn well better identify the true enemy, and then defeat their very popular idea with the one idea which is their greatest existential fear:

The choices which are born from the process of obtaining objective truth.

’Be free.’
 
Written By: a Duoist
URL: http://www.duoism.org
If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose. Guaranteed. I can explain why if someone doubts it, but think about where the oil is and its importance to the western economy.
Scott, we can take the oil if we want to.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
a duoist,
The choices which are born from the process of obtaining objective truth.

’Be free.’

Be secular. We are secularists who pick and choose which parts of which religions we want to follow and make our choice on this basis. We are best advised not to ask too much of religious scholarship, because they will formulate ideas that require a religious following by the society as a whole. Instead appeal to the basic individualist drivers that got us to where we are today.

Liberty - or rather its extension to all of those in society. The yearning of all those who want to have more control over their own worldly destiny.

Pursuit of Happiness - implicates that happiness is an individual choice.

Greed - personal aggrandisment and wealth.

Egalitare - the basic worth of all as equivalent.
That 21C blending of ideology with theology will be known by future historians as, "theofascism." There is no possible way that a gun will defeat a popular idea; the only weapon stronger than an idea is a better idea.
I believe our ideas are better, because we are richer, freer and people are more happy to live here. Nevertheless an idea has yet to stop a bullet and "guns" can help create the conditions for reform amoung them.

Salafism is a societal construct that orders people to obey those better than them, better because they are better at reciting Quranic text, better bred or better connected. It directly benefits those on top of their societies. In return for this submission to society salafism implies a promise of assistance from above in making society glorious. Salafism is able to deliver on this promise, because of the oil wealth in the Gulf children are educated and monuments & parks constructed. Undisturbed salafism keeps its basic promise.

Oil wealth will continue to support this top down salafist construct for the forseeable future (30 - 50 years) if those on top are allowed to maintain it. Only through the use of force, greater than those on top possess, can they be removed from control. They must be removed from control or salafism continues.

They being the salafist supporting Saudi royals.


Scott Erb - is correct in saying,
If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose. Guaranteed. I can explain why if someone doubts it, but think about where the oil is and its importance to the western economy.
but for the wrong reasons.

Oil supply would be disrupted for a period of 12 - 24 months only, a survivealbe period.

Basic reason is we are not facists. We are not able to rule a concept or a thought or a religion as illegal. It is not what we do.
We need the courage to actually overcome fear, be realistic about the dangers, and try to work with those who seek to change Islam from within.

Again Scott Erb is correct we need to free the people of the Muslim world from oppression so that they may seek change from within.

 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
"At a time when the West was in far weaker position than it is today - Charles Martel did a job at Poitiers and threw back a Moorish invasion of what is modern day France."
"The Hammer of Islam". I wasn’t going to mention it.

As for the mush about "where the oil is": It’s also in the ocean off California, Florida, the North Slope, and everywhere that actual producers are prohibited from working by cringing weenies, and that’s not to mention refinement capacity gone the way of the Dodo bird. The big-picture: it takes a lot of lying down to get where Erb is in all this.
"Again Scott Erb is correct we need to free the people of the Muslim world from oppression so that they may seek change from within."
Yeah. Marshall Plan 2.0. Why not? We survived the first attempt at trying to bribe half the Western world to respect freedom, and look how well it worked out. For instance, I give you France, you should take ’em already.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Says Erb:

"If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose."


Then, in that case, let "fire the world confound"
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://www,no-treason.com
Thus Spake Erb:
If this is a war between the West and Islam, the West will lose. Guaranteed. I can explain why if someone doubts it, but think about where the oil is and its importance to the western economy.
No, Erb. If the throat-cutting hostage-takers want open war, it’ll end with their cities in smoldering ruins and our cities quite safe. Your freedom-hating blind spot is what makes you underestimate free people time and time again.
 
Written By: Douglas Black
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider