Saturday, December 31, 2005

Islam In Summary

What is Islam? First we must distinguish between the ideology, Islam (philosophy) and the demographic group, Muslims (sociology.) As an ideology, Islam is understood by studying the ideas and their origin. Islam is an imperialist supremacist political ideology created by a 7th century warrior who conquered and oppressed. Given its time and place of origin, the ideology is underwritten by a supernatural metaphysics and an epistemology of faith and revelation. Formally, this makes it a religion as well as a political creed.

Here, I explain in detail how Islam is an ideology. Here, I explain the sociological fact that there are moderate Muslims, even if Islam itself isn’t moderate. I warn that we have to avoid an equivocation between the demographic group and the ideology, as some try to turn our criticism of ideas into a crude vilification of a nominal demographic group. Attempts to equate criticism of Islam with bigotry, racism, or prejudice are cheap tactics of intimidation. Indeed, in our culture there is a positive prejudice, i.e. a positive predisposition, to pretend that Islam is just another religion.

The ideology of Islam is understood by the texts (the Koran, Hadith, and Sira), which are either by Mohammad or about him. Mohammad exemplifies the religion. Islam is not difficult to understand. In the early part of his religious career, Mohammad preached tolerance as he sought acceptance in Mecca but became a vicious tyrant as he rose to power in Medina. He culminated his career as a warrior: he plundered, slaughtered, terrorized, and conquered until he extended his power through out the Arabian Peninsula. This included the ethnically-cleansing of Jews from Medina. This, then, is Islam in practice. To say that this example is different than that of Jesus is an absurd understatement.

Some imagine that there are significantly different versions of Islam. We are told that the problem is Salafi Islam; but this is just the original Islam of Mohammad and the first four “rightly guided Caliphs.” What other Islam is there? The mythical Moderate Islam is nowhere to be found. Which books or theologian created such a version? After each terror attack, moderate Islam seems more of a dream while the reality of Jihad expands around the globe.

What, then, can we expect from Islam? While Muslims have been moderate under European colonial rule, the Islamic Revival has brought a return of the original Islam. Given its origin, Islam has severe problems that preclude it from being a suitable candidate for modernization and as a basis for a sustained liberal order. Consequently, Islam will continue to be a threat to civilization as long as it exists.

The key to understanding Islam is to realize that it is a supremacist ideology. This explains why, for jihadist Muslims, the atrocity of 9/11, was a religious experience that reaffirmed Allah’s will that Islam is destined to rule this world, vanquish and humiliate the enemy. Such acts have vast support in the Islamic world, as many have noticed. The root cause of Islamic violence is hard to deny. They mean what they say and we have seen the consequence.

The Islam Revival is underwritten by Saudi Arabia and Iran. We continue to support our enemy. Contrary to popular belief, it is feasible to end this relationship now. But our government refuses to acknowledge the role of the House of Saud in the Islamic Revival and Jihadist terror.

Current attempts to change Islamic societies are honorable but fail to take into account the nature of the problem, the difficulty of transforming a culture, and the current stage of the revival of the original practice of Islam. It is hoped that structural changes, such as the adoption of an electoral parliamentary procedure, will inextricably change the hearts and minds of Muslims. Democracy isn’t enough nor can a liberal society be sustained on an Islamic foundation. Human nature may require rights for life to fully flourish, but for rights to flourish there must be an appropriate cultural context.

What should one read to understand Islam? I maintain a webpage with suggestions. Each suggestion is best suited to a different audience. Someone who is not religious may find Ibn Warraq book enlightening or consider Ayaan Hirsi Ali. For those with a Christian background, Robert Spencer’s books, in particular Islam Unveiled describes Islam using the Christian religion as a point of reference. Sadja Trifkovic sucintly describes Islam and its bloody history for those not faint at heart. Bat Ye’or, Daniel Pipes, Bernard Lewis, and others cover various aspects of Islam or write from a limited point of view. As this should not be a partisan issue, let me mention that Benjamin and Simon, two former Clinton advisors, have an excellent understanding of the Islamic Revival, as does the socialist Paul Berman and radical journalist Oriana Fallaci.

My introductory article to the whole subject of Islam summarizes some of the distinctive elements of the religion; but its main purpose is to suggest that we should overcome the positive pre-disposition that exempts Islam from critical analysis. In part II, I’ll summarize our denial and inability to deal with this fatally flawed ideology.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Focus on 'American Thinker'

From time to time, I hope to review some of the websites on my list of links. Most readers don’t always have time to ‘surf’ everyone’s list of links. The American Thinker has been on my list of links for some time. Current articles illustrate why.

What kind of book would be banned in India? Lifson, at AT, writes about a book written in Arabic and English that aims to covert Muslims to Christianity. Dhimmi-whipped politicians in India cave to Islamic objections.

Baehr, at AT, reminds us how Islam has fueled the attacks against Israel since 2000—even in after the economic gains during the 1990s. Islamists aren’t concerned with the well-being of Arabs in captured territory. There goal is clear.

Baehr’s comprehensive review of left-wing hatred for Israel is a classic and they reprint it here. He makes a distinction of what we, today, call liberal:
“I distinguish between leftists and liberals by one key test: how they feel about the country in which they live. If you tend to regard America as a primarily flawed, evil, unjust, racist country (or at least when Republicans are running it), and most importantly, believe that the US is the primary threat to world peace internationally, then you are a leftist, and not a liberal.”
Unfortunately, modern liberals doesn’t make this distinction—at least not often enough. Baehr describes the problem in detail. Here’s another fellow’s description of the left-Islam alliance.

Speaking of the delusional left, Lifton comments on a tribute to Che Guevara. He quotes an excellent article in the New York Sun. Here’s another quote:

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was a sociopathic thug, a man who genuinely relished killing, a man with a passion for putting his pistol to other men's heads and blowing their brains out, preferably when they were bound, gagged, and blindfolded.”
And he gives details (not for the faint of heart.) Doesn’t anyone on the left feel embarrassed by the love that their comrades show for Arafat (“the father of modern terrorism”) and Che Guevara?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

Season’s Greetings to all my readers. It’s time to get into the spirit of the season. This means wonderful music, delicious food, and spending time with my family. It’s also time to remember the men and women in the battlefield, fighting for our freedom and security.

One of the joys of blogging is the opportunity to interact with people from around the country and, indeed, around the world. A Merry Christmas to all my new friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Did I Mention The Left Doesn't Get It?

As I pointed out yesterday, “conservatives are waking up just as the left becomes willfully blind.” Below I note a good book explaining Islamic terrorism reviewed in a conservative newspaper. On the other hand, Hollywood has a number of new films sympathetic to Islamic terrorism (hat tip LGF) or so says this article called “Films Show Terrorists as People.”

Actually, Hitler was a person, too, strictly speaking. But when it comes to such people, the question is not their species identity but their character identity. Of course, they are people, but what kind of people are they?

Take Jihadis At Their Word

A New York Sun book reviewer, Adam Kirsch, notes the enemy’s hatred is not a response to our actions:
But for the jihadists themselves, as Mary Habeck shows in her important and necessary new book, "Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror" (Yale University Press, 256 pages, $25), hatred of the United States is more than a political tactic; it is a religious and ideological principle from which they will never be dissuaded.
Comparing the present to the 1930s, Kirsch notes:
Then, too, there was a party arguing that if only the causes of the Nazis' grievances could be removed - the Treaty of Versailles, the Sudeten Germans, the Danzig Corridor - they would be satisfied. Today, such people are remembered as appeasers, and historical honor is given to those, like Churchill, who recognized that there are some enemies to whom compromise is only a sign of weakness.
Remember that Hitler told everyone of his hatred in Mein Kampf. People didn’t want to believe it. Is it different today?
Ms. Habeck, a professor at Johns Hopkins's School of Advanced International Studies, believes that today's Islamic terrorists - whom she insists on calling "jihadis," in recognition of the central role of violence in their worldview - ought to be taken at their word. To interpret their religious beliefs as merely an expression of class, race, or regional grievance, she argues, is not only condescending but unwise.
What does Ms. Habeck find?
Their central belief, from which so many evil consequences flow, is that Islam is not just the only true, but the only permissible religion. Everything that opposes its universal spread is evil and must be crushed. As Ms. Habeck writes, "They must, therefore, defeat a stunning array of enemies: the West, the Jews, the Christians, the Hindus, the 'agent rulers' [i.e., Arab governments they see as illegitimate], and any Muslims who do not agree with their form of Islam - the so-called apostates, heretics, and hypocrites."
Mr. Kirsch ends his review with a sobering summary:
So too with the jihadists: "In their reading of history," Ms. Habeck writes, "the conflict between the United States and Islam is part of a universal struggle between good and evil, truth and falsehood, belief and infidelity, that began with the first human beings and will continue until the end of time." Such an enemy can be fought more or less intelligently, more or less honorably; but that it must be fought, Ms. Habeck leaves no doubt.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Is It 9/10 Again?

Daniel Pipes worries that we are going back to our pre-9/11 way of thinking as we re-establish the regulations, policies, and attitudes that blinded us to the attack on that fateful day. The acts of Congress that weaken our security only mirror the atmosphere in the media and the complacency among our fellow citizens. We once again view jihadist terrorism as a criminal act. There’s no mention of the ideology that drives the enemy or the extensive support in Islamic culture for jihadist ideals.

Pipes is right, but not completely. A careful examination suggests that the left has severed cognitive contact with reality just the right is becoming aware of the painful fact that a religious political ideology, Islam, is central to the motivation of the enemy. Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about several surprising changes among conservatives that appear to be a turning point in their thinking about the Islamic threat.

On the right, Human Events regularly publishes Robert Spencer and National Review has welcomed the debate to its e-pages with critical articles on Islam. Front Page Magazine has always welcomed the debate by publishing extensive criticism of the jihadist ideology (along with a Sufi convert who claims he represents the real Islam!) Even the President stated that an ideology is at the core of the problem but he still sees this ideology as an illegitimate version of Islam. Still, conservatives are debating the issue.

But what has happened to the left? Its traditional hostility towards religion has faded in the face of relativistic multi-culturalism. Blanket condemnations, common against Christianity, are replaced with a nuanced cautiousness when it comes to Islam; and this quickly evolves into a gushing approval that holds that Islam is far better than “our religion.” Why isn't the left arguing that Islam has all the faults of a religion but ten fold? Given their historical antipathy towards religion, this should have fit right into their style.

The left claims that Bush has fabricated a religious war against Islam—“those poor noble primitives who harm no one.” Thus, any criticism of Islam is seen as “playing into the hands of the administration.” Terms like Islamophobia are meant to intimidate anyone who wants to talk about Islam. Comparisons to the Cold War are employed to insinuate that those who warn about Islam are generating unwarranted fear—despite the fact that the murder of 150 million people by communism was indeed a horrific reality. The left is adopting the posture of anti-anti-Islam in a similar manner to their stance of anti-anti-Communism. Unable to sustain a defense of communism, they damned those who fought it as they now damn those that fight the Islamic threat.

The Bush administration, unable to properly define the Islamic threat, caves in to criticism. It compromises and often adopts the opposition’s position. Pipes documents the administration’s limitations in his article. Bush's compromises represent the past and a remnant of his initial non-partisan approach under the banner of "United We Stand." (Remember that?)

Going forward there is a gulf forming between conservatives and the left. Outside of the mainstream media, conservatives are waking up just as the left becomes willfully blind. It’s a glacier-like formation but ultimately the continents will separate. What we need on the right is informed and articulate intellectual and political leaders that will step into the vacuum created by the left and the current crop of appeasement Republicans.

Monday, December 19, 2005

By What Standard?

In an obscure Australian movie called The Fringe Dwellers there was one memorable scene where a student of Aboriginal ancestry becomes morally indignant when he is not punished for breaking the rules. He treated the lack of moral expectations as an indignity and insult—as if he were less than human. Recent media coverage on the events in Australia shows the double standard is still intact as Ilana Mercer explains.

Robert Spencer comments in a similar vein about the joy many Arab/Muslims take in the death of others. “This kind of inconsistency demonstrates that world opinion demands a higher moral accountability from the West than it does from the Islamic world.” And indeed it does. He notes, “The international media and governing bodies seem to assume that Palestinians and other Muslims are simply not capable of hewing to the moral and civilizational standards to which Westerners are held.”

Of course, he notes Muslims have standards, but they reject the standard of life and embrace “a culture that celebrates death.” “Mufti Sheikh Ikrimeh Sabri, a Palestinian Authority cleric, stated: ‘We tell them, in as much as you love life, the Muslim loves death and martyrdom.’” Does this not bring shame to other Arabs who perhaps don’t share this suicidal fantasy? Perhaps it would if we judged them and responded accordingly.

Bound to Repeat History

Does this sound familiar?
“…that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
This was how the Tripolitan ambassador explained the attacks of the Barbary Pirates to Jefferson and Adams in 1786. Joshua E. London, on National Review, reminds us that it “took place well before colonialism entered the lands of Islam, before there were any oil interests dragging the U.S. into the fray, and long before the founding of the state of Israel.” Mr. London does a fine job of summarizing the message we’ve longed to see in print at National Review:

“Islam, as a faith, is as essential a feature of the terrorist threat today as it was of the Barbary piracy over two centuries ago. The Barbary pirates were not a ‘radical’ or ‘fundamentalist’ sect that had twisted religious doctrine for power and politics, or that came to recast aspects of their faith out of some form of insanity. They were simply a North African warrior caste involved in an armed jihad — a mainstream Muslim doctrine.”

Friday, December 16, 2005

Yahoo Search Shows ...

A web search of Islam Ideology, on CNN or Yahoo, yields the follow hits:

Ibn Warraq on Front Page Magzine: Islam: A Totalitarian Ideology?
– He’s earned first place!

Daniel Pipes: Combating the Ideology of Radical Islam
– Pipes, the indefatigable fighter of ‘radical’ Islam!

Jason Pappas on Libery and Culture: Islam Is a Supremacist Ideology
I always agree with this guy.

On Catholic Answers: Endless Jihad
An extensive introduction to Islam and Jihad

On American Coptic Association: Islam: A State Ideology
– Brief history of Islam’s Revival with a focus on Egypt

David Brin: Neoconservatism, Islam and Ideology
– a screed against any system of ideas

Spengler: Islam: Religion or Ideology
– he says both.

Jihad Watch linking to Ibn Warraq above.

I’m third on a Yahoo search of Koran and Mein Kampf, after Human Events, first on a search of Culture of Arabs, 4th on a search for Moderate Islam (Lawrence Auster gets the top spot), 8th on a search for Root Cause, 3rd on a search for Islam and Secularization, and … drum roll … the numero uno spot for Burn The Koran.

It’s a pleasure to be listed with Warraq, Pipes, Auster, and Jihad Watch. Some of the others are new. Catholic Answers had a surprisingly good (i.e. non-PC) review judging from a quick skim of the article. Over all, with a few exceptions, the quality of the first 10 links tends to be good - even better than two years ago when I began to write. People are discovering the truth.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Credit Where Credit is Due

Another good sign that conservatives are learning about the Islamic threat is National Review’s review of Andrew Bostom’s important book. This is certainly a step in the right direction (although the author still shows signs of his ignorance about Islam) and a welcome contrast to a previous article in NR and past dhimmitude. At least they have opened their pages to the debate—including those critical of Islam. Could it be that they are trying to compete with Human Events?

Links to other reviews of Bostom's book.

Wait, there’s more: the Pentagon is learning, too.

Paul Sperry, notes that: “Four years into the war on terror, U.S. intelligence officials tell me there are no baseline studies of the Muslim prophet Muhammad or his ideological or military doctrine found at either the CIA or Defense Intelligence Agency, or even the war colleges.”

Someone at the Pentagon finally realized that:

"… political Islam wages an ideological battle against the non-Islamic world at the tactical, operational and strategic level. The West's response is focused at the tactical and operation level, leaving the strategic level -- Islam -- unaddressed. … Islam is an ideological engine of war (Jihad)," concludes the sensitive Pentagon briefing paper. And "no one is looking for its off switch."

Aussie: Islam is the Problem

"We have a clash of cultures and that's a big difference -- and maybe the problem is certain forms of Islam." - Aussie commentator (hat tip IBA)
Update: Mercer on the media's double standard.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Democracy and Islam

Last February, when I first started to blog, I warned that Democracy Isn’t Enough. For democracy to function properly there must be an appropriate cultural foundation. I argued that most radical attempts to transform a society into a liberal order fail on the first try. While I considered the January election something to cheer about, I realized no matter how honorable our actions were we, nevertheless, are engaged in a bold experiment of cultural transformation. The key obstacle is Islam.

A recent article on TCS describes the challenge of introducing democracy in an unrepentant Islamic culture. The author discusses the examples of Egypt and Algeria. Iraq may or may not be as bad; but only time will tell. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t valid strategic reasons to be in Iraq. However, an all-or-nothing goal of liberal democracy is over ambitious and over generous. Our quick fix will get them going, if all goes well, but in the long run Islam and Arab culture will be a quicksand if Islam is left unchallenged. Let hope they take advantage of our generosity.

Rancher is optimistic as is Tom Palmer who recently visited Iraq (see his answer to my question at the end.) However, Mark Alexander reminds us of the problem.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Freedom, Security, and Survival

Freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and freedom of expression are the foundation of a civilization that respects the dignity of each individual, as well as the health of a just social order. These liberties weren’t born of idle arm-chair reflection but put forth in the aftermath of the immense slaughter wrought by the religious wars of the early 17th century. During the Thirty Years War, military victory led to forced religious conversion, in a war that plunged Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists in a savage conflict that ultimately weakened religion’s authority and gave rise to the secular nation-state.

Religions only multiplied towards the end of the 17th century; and consequently, religion became a personal matter. Locke, Spinoza, Bayle, and other men of letters, provided compelling arguments for the advancement of toleration and freedom of conscience. Later, Kant and Mill offered additional arguments. Some, like Locke, argued on the basis of the importance and potency of the individual’s reasoning faculty. Others based their arguments on skepticism, logical formalism, or mere utility—but in doing so undercut the power of the argument.

If we accept, as Locke does, that freedom of thought and speech are not fringe benefits, mere requirements for logical completeness, or mere utilitarian conveniences, but part and parcel of the core liberties required to develop the abilities to conquer the challenges of life, than constriction of such liberties have dire consequences for both the individual and society. Ayn Rand also argues this point forcefully: “Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.” Deny a man the freedom of his mind and you deny him the right to his life. What could be more egregious?

Today, freedom of speech is under attack. In several countries it is illegal to criticize belief systems of a religious nature (or so-called identities of demographic groups.) While this infection has yet to hit the UK or America in the form of a law, our universities cultivate an atmosphere where speech is severely limited; thus, producing graduates who will find such restrictions normal in daily life and ultimately as law. As this taboo permeates society we become blinded to the threats that cloak themselves in religious grab. Denied our sight we can see no evil, denied avenues of expression we hear few warnings, denied the crucial knowledge to secure survival, we are at risk even as the threat grows in plain view.

Laws against freedom of speech—such as those in France and Italy, or those being considered in the UK—are not minor inconveniences but grave setbacks hindering a public dialog that’s required if we are to consider, judge, and act to insure our survival. No thesis should be ruled out prior to discussion. This is particularly true when new ideas—at least to our culture—require study and debate. And when the evidence suggests something loathsome, then one must speak one’s conscience. In Australia, a man of conscience, convicted of religious vilification, is willing to go to jail before betraying his beliefs.

It’s worth emphasizing that trying to short-circuit debate to produce a predefined “understanding” will neither produce understanding nor end the debate. People will only discuss the issues in private without the benefit of public feedback and intelligent leadership. This creates a self-fulfilling prophesy: a grass-roots emotionally-charged backlash leading to crude group-vilification—a reaction one hoped to avoid. Instead of the criticism of ideas and ideology, instead of the precise identification of serious threats, and instead of the adjudication of individual perpetrators of evil, one gets an indiscriminate lawless response.

Once again, consider what is happening in Australia: here, here and here. Is this surprising? Not to readers of this website. Bat Ye’or warned of such a reaction. The over-reaction will necessarily follow from the idyllic portrayal of Islam that contradicts the texts, history, and daily events of the so-called religion of peace. Such lies lead to disillusionment, contempt, and cynicism. And this leads to reaction. If we are to face the problem and develop intelligent plans, we must have an open debate. No debate, no peace!

Can the Left Face the Threat?

Last week’s New Republic’s article, claiming America has no fear from jihadists within, is a fiction so divorced from reality it should have been obvious even if one only gets one’s information from the mainstream media. The New Republic was so proud of this article that it cited the publication of this fantasy as a reason to subscribe in a recent promotion. I criticized the article last week; now Daniel Pipes totally demolishes the TNR’s thesis.

Why does the Left go on such flights of fantasy? There seems to be a complete lack of regard for reality. The TNR article made no attempt to deal with the literature or even common knowledge. I’ve noticed a pattern on the Left since 9/11, where any criticism of Islam immediately results in expressions of horror and moral condemnation. I had hoped everyone across the political spectrum could face the threat of Islam; but it seems the Left is fading as some on the Right begin to wake-up. Will the Left do nothing more than define itself in opposition to America and side with our enemies?

Friday, December 09, 2005

The McCain Amendment

Do we need the McCain Amendment? Victor Davis Hanson believes we do; but not for the reasons commonly sited. Instead, he argues it is “a public reaffirmation of our country's ideals … reminding us that we need not and will not become anything like our enemies.”

I oppose the amendment. Historically, we are in the top ranks in terms of discipline and proper procedures. And we deserve to compare our tradition to the best—both that of our forefathers and other liberal democracies. Hanson’s comparison is to our enemies – the lowest rank of barbarity. This is inappropriate and surprisingly out of character for Mr. Hanson.

Having never served, I’m hesitant to micro-manage the military through the legislative process. Furthermore, this isn’t what will insure standards in the ranks. Our military derives its strength and ethos from its honor. Cultivating a sense of honor isn’t an external imposition competing with the requirements of effectively fighting a war. It is a source of the strength – especially when it is reality based. The challenge of discipline, honor and survival are constant concerns of our men and women. It is precisely this sense of honor that has initiated the investigations that were widely reported.

The ethics of our men and women reflect the ethical tradition of our society. The amendment is an insult to both our troops and our country.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dec 7

Lest we forget.

Codevilla on Empire

For those who seek a comprehensive overview of foreign policy and America’s role in the world today, I recommend Angelo Codevilla’s article, “Some Call It Empire.” He discusses areas that are generally beyond my focus and expertise. In a single article he describes and considers the views of Schlesinger, Muravchik, Buchannan, Colin Gray, Odom, Niall Ferguson, Ivan Eland, and others. Codevilla, whom William Buckley, Jr. calls a super-hawk, only hints at his position in the last three paragraphs. Agree or not, his review is informative and worth considering.

Infidel Liberation Front

Well not quite! But a few of us have made a modest stand in cyber-space. While the bravest of the brave do the real fighting, those of us on the home front can engage in the war of words. It’s the least we can do.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jihad and the Koran

Robert Spencer asks, “[I]s the Qur'an the Mein Kampf of the totalitarian, supremacist movement that is the global Islamic jihad?” Some Muslims, who take the Koran literally, site the Koran as their motivation for waging jihad. Is this Islam? Is it a valid form of Islam? Or are they mistaken? Let’s see what Spencer says:

“Last week in New York Oriana Fallaci said … ‘...the Qur’an is the Mein Kampf of this movement. The Qur’an demands the annihilation or subjugation of the other, and wants to substitute totalitarianism for democracy.’ … Fallaci said that there was no moderate Islam; she did not say that there were no moderate Muslims. This is a crucial distinction. As Ibn Warraq has said, ‘There may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate.’ In other words, there are manifestly peaceful people who have no intention of working by violent or subversive means to impose Sharia on the West, and who identify themselves as Muslims.”

Spencer reviews the text of the Koran to remind readers of its jihadist passages. He notes:

“One may attempt to spiritualize such verses, but there is no doubt from the historical record that Muhammad meant them literally. They are also backed up by numerous passages of Islamic tradition and law. Nonetheless, the fact that warfare against unbelievers is not a twisting of Islam, but the Islamic mainstream, and is repeatedly affirmed in the Qur’an, Hadith, example of Muhammad, and rulings of every school of Islamic jurisprudence, still does not make every Muslim a terrorist.”

He reminds us that the Koran is written in Classical Arabic and is rarely understood by Muslims. Knowledge of Islam, therefore, varies through out the Islamic world. Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, need to face the facts about what the Koran says and how it motivates jihadists.

“[I]s the Qur'an the Mein Kampf of the totalitarian, supremacist movement that is the global Islamic jihad? If we take seriously the words of the book itself and how they are used by jihadists, then it clearly is their inspiration and justification. Are we to ignore the jihadists' clear statements on this because they offend contemporary sensibilities? The challenge for genuinely peaceful Muslims today is to confront this fact, rather then deny it... and try to formulate strategies for a large-scale rejection of literalism in the Islamic community in America and worldwide, so that Muslims can coexist peacefully as equals with non-Muslims without the continuing recrudescence of this supremacist impulse.”

Read the whole article and decide for yourself.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The New Republic Joins National Review

Not to be out done in the Dhimmitude department, the New Republic joins National Review in welcoming Islam to America: “That, in large part, is a function of America's ability to accommodate Islam itself.” This is an explanation of why there are terrorist attacks and Islamic violence through out Europe but not recently in America. Apparently we love Muslims and they love us back! The article claims that Muslims feel at home in Middle America, which is called “Bush Country.” The author shows no sign of reading Pipes, Emerson, Sperry, Spencer, etc. Of course, the British believed they were exempt and so did the French. If that’s a sign, I’m bracing myself.

Friday, December 02, 2005

National Review Considers Islam?

Is National Review falling for the standard Islamic propaganda? A recent article, by Mustafa Akyol, spins the usual “we’re just a religion like yours” party line to appeal to the dhimmi-type conservatives that lurk in the halls of National Review. Of course, he makes no mention of the warrior origin of Islam and the centrality of jihad in Islamic history. Instead, Akyol suggests conservatives in the West can win the hearts and minds of Muslims if they change their society and get rid of … Darwin! Yes, it’s that damn materialist Darwin that is responsible for Islam’s hostility to the West!

Akyol regurgitates the standard conceptual confusion that's common at National Review (he’s studied them well.) First, he implicitly equates naturalism with materialism by the usual false alternative of supernaturalism vs. soulless materialism. But what about Aristotle? Aristotle saw ethics and teleology as natural and he accepted the universe as eternal. At the same time Aristotle opposed the arch materialist/reductionist Democritus.

Let’s remember that Islam got rid of Aristotle just before the West adopt his worldview and thereby set the stage for the Renaissance. Of course, contemporary secularists have also turned their back on Aristotle, and that’s problem with philosophy, today. Perhaps, it’s time for conservatives to realize that not all naturalism is the materialist, reductionist, determinist, relativist, collectivist kind prevalent in today’s university. Islam is an excellent example of a religion that found no room for Aristotle but so is the post-modern nihilism all too common in today's university.