Tuesday, April 26, 2005

J’Accuse Kofi Annan

During the last half year, Kofi Annan has revived an old U.N. policy under a new label: Islamophobia. This is an absurd attempt to pre-empt the sudden criticism of radical Islam both in the United States and Europe by labeling it bigotry and dismissing it from the outset. Despite the President’s expression of admiration for Islam and the Europeans’ super-tolerant societies, Kofi Annan laments that Muslims are the victims of a racist-like prejudice. Despite the hundreds of our fine men and women killed trying to bring a civilized society to the Muslims of Iraq and Afghanistan, despite entering the Balkan conflict on the side of Muslims, Annan has the unmitigated gall to vilify our country for bigotry.

However, the reality is that America is the object of irrational hate and vicious vilification – no, not since the Iraq War – but for decades. For example, Jean-Francois Revel, in his recent book, “Anti-Americanism,” documents the pathological anti-American hatred among French intellectuals. And he’s been writing on this topic for over three decades! Or consider what is happening in Arab and Islamic countries. The government-regulated Egyptian press continually pounds-out irrational hatred as it scapegoats America and Zionists for Egypt’s oppressive living conditions (as we give them $2 billion a year in aid).

But it is not the intellectual error of the anti-concept of Islamophobia. Others have easily dispensed this fraudulent idea. There is something much worse. It is a revival of a U.N. policy decades old: the orchestrated vilification of America and Israel as racist nations. It has been said so often – that we are the world’s leading racist nation – that no one in the U.N. even considers it debatable.

Just 10 days before the 9/11 attacks, the U.N. was holding a “World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.” Among the speakers for tolerance were Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, and assorted representatives from some of the most repressive regimes. The conference degeneration into an orgy of Israel-bashing and America-hating that was so intense that both Colin Powell and Shimon Peres condemned the conference and withdrew delegates. It is this policy that Kofi Annan is reviving; this is the policy of the U.N. for the last several decades. It’s a policy that's designed to inflame irrational hatred of America and Israel.

A climate of hate enables and encourages actual violence as it always has through out history, and should not be dismissed because it is directed against people of achievement. Indeed, envy may be the worse form of hatred as it is directed against the virtues of those who are hated. It is pure nihilism that demands nothing more that the destruction of achievement. It was against this background of anti-American hatred that Islamic terrorists flew a modern jet into our tallest buildings. It was this hatred that was behind support, in a large part of the world, for the atrocity of 9/11. (See this for further details.)

I accuse Kofi Annan and the U.N. of being moral accomplices in the atrocity of 9/11. For creating the climate, giving legitimacy to this hate, and orchestrating the world-wide hate movement, Annan and the U.N. bear moral responsibility for the culmination of events that led to 9/11. It’s time – indeed, it’s long over due – to leave the U.N. and kick this foul institution out of America. No matter what the cost, our dignity and safety requires this moral imperative. We must stand up and demand this change. We must start acting with honor, pride, and righteousness. Spread the word! Tell others we must stand up tall and take action.

Web Readings: U.N. links U.N. Rights Commision U.N. Conference

Sunday, April 24, 2005

What has happened to the left?

You’d think the left would be loud and forceful in its vilification of Islam – it’s a barbaric religion that oppresses women, kills gays, kills atheists, etc. Instead you’ll find a perfunctory comment in passing – yes, we disapprove of all that – only to move on to a vigorous vilification of America, Israel, and Western Civilization. What has happened to the left? Here I discuss how the far left has influenced Kerry's campaign and I review a book that explains how the left has disintegrated into Islamist apologists and/or enablers.

Islam and its Denial - Part VI

Andrew Sullivan describes the Republican Party as divided between two types of conservatives: “conservatives of doubt and conservatives of faith.” While his terms may not get the divide right – liberty isn’t based on skepticism - his extensive description does raise a number of important points.

In passing, however, I was surprised to read that he believes the conservatives of faith understand the threat of fundamentalist Islam. He notes: “Both groups were passionately anti-communist, even if there were some disagreements on strategy and tactics. Today, both groups are just as hostile to Islamist terrorism and fundamentalism.”

I’ve pointed out that two big name conservatives are anything but hostile to Islamic fundamentalism: Dinesh D’Souza and Andrew Apostolou. Daniel Pipes points out that the current administration hopes Hezbollah becomes part of the next Lebanese election and government. Recent election results in Saudi Arabia shows the fundamentalists have won. My bet is that this will not worry conservatives close to the administration. Indeed, I argue they’ll praise the election. In that post I express my concern:

Apparently, some people believe that parliamentary institutions will change the way people think. This, of course, reverses cause and effect. History shows that a liberal democracy with constitutional protections for individual rights was a result of powerful ideas and cultural changes over a period of centuries. Now, we are told, the reverse is true. There is a “parliamentary dialectic” that holds that these institutions will create the acceptance of the ideas liberty and tolerance. The classic counter example is the Weimar Republic – which voted Hitler into power.

But why do conservatives believe this “parliamentary dialectic”? Marxists used to believe in “dialectical materialism” that holds that your relationship relative to the means of production determines your consciousness. Workers would have a revolutionary consciousness resulting in the overthrow the capitalist parasites, or something ridiculous as that. Closer to home, moderate leftists used to believe in the “housing dialectic” which holds that poor housing … causes poverty and crime. They built housing projects. Need I explain the morale of the story?

Conservatives have entered the fray with the latest version: hold elections and people will become humane and tolerant! If this policy was in place a decade ago, we’d have an Islamist government in Algeria …. We’d have criticized the military in Turkey for its role in that country’s “guided democracy” with the result of an Islamist regime years sooner. We’d have criticized Mubarack for cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood who, we’d say, should be running for office if not running the country.

Why are our conservative friends acting like utopian leftists of years past?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

A Conservative Explains the Virtue of America

During the 20th century, as we faced the ravages of totalitarianism – wars, concentration camps, enslavement and death on a vast scale – we re-examined the principles and practices that kept our country from a similar fate. For many, this led to a reaffirmation of the tradition of individual rights. The concept of individual liberty, born in the soil of Hellenic rationalism and Roman law, reached its maturation in the rigorous and clear exposition of the Anglo-American Enlightenment – and climaxed with the founding of the United States of America. We, or at least many of our fellow citizens, came to appreciate these principles at work in stable civilized countries, primarily English speaking, where reason and rhetoric were the main tools of social discourse; and we saw the diametrically opposite principles leading vast parts of the world down “the road to serfdom” where coercion led to an impoverished existence on every level.

The confrontation with Islam should lead to similar soul-searching. What makes the West superior? What distinguishing principle underlies our successes – particularly in the Anglosphere where we find a long uninterrupted tradition of civility? What makes life flourish in abundance for ourselves and our families while Islamic societies wallow in poverty, irrational hatred, and cynicism? The old Cold War conservative paradigm – religion vs. secular materialist atheism – fails miserably in the current context. Indeed, the revival of Islam, like the revival of Christianity in America, is also a reaction to the failures of socialism. Conservatives, having adopted an easy but incorrect analysis of what they called Godless-communism, were caught unprepared as God-filled Islam reared its ugly head. How will traditionalist conservatives handle this challenge? Let’s consider one of the more reasonable conservative writers.

Dinesh D’Souza is a moderate sounding conservative who has written many respectable commentaries on politics and culture. They tend to be level-headed, calm, and comforting. Overall, he favors individualism and the liberal economy. His conservatism is selective but he generally favors the more libertarian parts of our country’s history. While he isn’t strict about the restoration of rights he can be friendly towards attempts to preserve and revive the core of our tradition. You can get a sense of his worldview from his book, “Letters to a Young Conservative.” Recently D’Souza has written a letter giving advice to young Muslims. Its importance lies in what it says about traditionalist conservatives and their view of America.

D’Souza begins by considering the complaints of devout Muslims starting with bin Laden’s spiritual father, Sayyid Qutb. Among the charges against America are “materialism,” “sexual promiscuity,” “rejection of divine authority,” man-made laws, a lack of prohibitions against vice, etc. Summing up Qutb’s critique, D’Souza says, “In his view, this is because Western society is based on freedom whereas Islamic society is based on virtue.” If all this sounds familiar, it is because these complaints are also standard on the religious right. Not too surprisingly, D’Souza addresses the Muslim critic as a kindred spirit. “Given the warped timber of humanity, freedom becomes the forum for the expression of human flaws and weaknesses. On this point Qutb and his fundamentalist followers are quite correct.”

What, then, does D’Souza have to offer the young devout Muslim? “Even amid the temptations that a rich and free society offers, they [most Americans] have remained on the straight path. Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen.” Of course, we all want our virtue to have that extra special shine. However, let’s pause for a moment and think how often conservatives talk about temptations in just this manner.

How often do conservatives respond to something of an objectionable sexual nature with “that’s great, resistance to temptation enhances my virtue?” It wasn’t conservatives who championed the repeal of laws against homosexuality, welcomed the legalization of abortion, or readily accepted the freedom to publish sexually explicit material. And when such changes did occur, I don’t remember their response being “great, now my choice is more meaningful because it isn’t the only allowed.” Look at the special luster heterosexual marriages will acquire when gay marriages are possible! That’s not exactly an argument we hear very often.

Fortunately, as D’Souza continues, he provides a more compelling argument well worth our attention. “Compulsion cannot produce virtue; it can only produce the outward semblance of virtue.” It’s unusual today to come across this Classical argument – that the cultivation of a virtuous disposition and a virtuous character requires freedom. He continues, “the theocratic and authoritarian society that Islamic fundamentalists advocate undermines the possibility of virtue. … [O]nce the reins of coercion are released … the worst impulses of human nature break loose.”

To appreciate D’Souza’s point consider the weaker argument, common among conservative commentators, that moral acts must be chosen for the individual to receive credit. While valid, this argument has never been a force for the advancement of liberty; avoiding immortal sin and eternal damnation were often seen as too important to allow failure. Thus, earthly freedom seemed so besides the point in the history of religion. George H. Nash summarizes the viewpoint of L. Brent Bozell, Jr., a prominent conservative writer for National Reivew, as follows: “What, after all, was virtue? If as Bozell argued, it meant conformity with human nature and the divine pattern of order, then Freedom was not necessary to virtue per se. An act could be virtuous even if it were instinctive or coerced. The quest was less important than the achievement.” Of course, the left feels that way about altruism.

Can D’Souza convince fundamentalist Muslims to seek their religious virtue in a free society? It’s doubtful that he can even convince his fellow conservatives. When he turns Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell into crusaders to abolish laws against victimless crimes, we might, at that point, consider sending D’Souza to Al Azhar University in Cairo, the oldest and most authoritative school in the Islamic world, and let his powerful critique reform Islam.

Not only is this absurd, but Mr. D’Souza is addressing the wrong Muslims. The promise for change in the Islamic world is not with the devout, but with the everyday Muslim who only pays lip-service to Islam; he looks to the West for the hope of living well and enjoying life. One does not win them over by holding out the prospect of a voluntary life of self-denial, suffering, and devout submission. Nor does one ask them to return to their religion – essentially an imperialist warrior religion that is collectivist in nature. One wished conservatives would actually read about this religion and not assume it is similar to Christianity.

Now for the main problem with the conservative approach! Virtue, for D’Souza, is not tied to a vital function of human life. One continuously gets the impression that virtue is an extracurricular activity of living – unrelated to the central focus of survival. Why does one cultivate virtue? What is virtue for? One wonders if these questions are even intelligible to D’Souza. His sympathy with the devout life-hating materialist-bashing paradise-seeking Muslims doesn’t give one hope that conservatives understand what is at stake.

What does D’Souza fail to understand about the virtuous life? The most important part: acquiring virtue is attaining the capacity and power to live, prosper, and be justifiably proud. It’s not about getting Brownie points or approaching the Pearly Gates with a high score card. It’s about living this life to the fullest. The central virtue, rationality, is man’s essential power to know and conquer nature. Cultivating virtue creates a character appropriate to the challenges of a flourishing life – to be lived among civilized people in a just and prosperous society. The moral is practical – it is powerful!

Muslims see the power of the freedom in the West. What they don’t hear is the moral case for our success. Conservatives give short shrift to the virtues of rationality, productiveness, sexual fulfillment, and the rest that attracts immigrants to our shores from around the world. You can avoid practicing vices of promiscuity, gluttonous indulgence, lying, and blasphemy in any hellhole on earth. What you can’t do is be free to actualize your potential and live well.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why conservatism is floundering today. They just don’t understand that America is a moral achievement – one that goes to the core of the needs and rights of a rational being – i.e. individual liberty. This is a prerequisite to the cultivation of the character and skills that enable one to tackle the challenges of life. And the result of a dedication to this ethos has been the development of industry, commerce, medicine, and knowledge on a vast scale unparalleled in history.

Our best conservative writers have so little to offer as an explanation of our greatness. Our achievement is trivialized as materialistic in the face of intellectual attacks from savage tribal mystics. They concede the moral aspirations of the most backwards, violent, and unreformed religion with superficial slogans that amount to “things go better with freedom.”

We need new intellectual leadership. We are treading water, neither going down that old road to serfdom nor reviving the culture of liberty our founders desired. It is often in times of war that one often takes stock of one’s assets. This can be an opportunity to address the important question: what makes us great?

Originally published here.

Obscuring Our Greatness

Culture – the dominant philosophy operative in a society – is the key to understanding the success of failure of a nation. This philosophy may be held explicitly and consciously or it may be implicit in a general sense that lingers from a sound tradition that at one time fully explicated and examined those principles.

This is now a minority viewpoint. We live in an age where no one is seen responsible for their actions or character. Ideas are seen as a cover for more potent forces. The left has a whole litany of such sinister subterranean causes to explain our evil. The classic leftist suspect is economic – greed. Modern variations include male hormones, sexual fears, poverty, class, race – you name it.

Even our achievements are trivialized as mere fortune and totally undeserving. The latest explanation for our greatness is the environment. Rather than being masters of our environment we are now seen as pawns that benefit by small environmentally fortuitous accidents. Victor Davis Hanson refutes this notion with a few rhetorical questions:

“For example, how did the Ptolemies create an even more dynamic civilization than that of the earlier dynastic pharaohs, when they inherited from them a supposedly exhausted and increasingly salinized landscape? Or why did the palatial culture of Mycenae prove to be a dead-end society, and yet the radically different Greek city-state centuries later blossomed in the exact same environment? More immediately, are we to suppose that there are underappreciated micro-climates that separate Tijuana from San Diego, strangely different soils on the two immediate sides of the Korean DMZ, and something about those ever-changing lagoons of Venice that made it irrelevant in late Roman times, a world power in 1500, and once again a backwater by 1850? Did the environment of Britain improve from A.D. 400 to 1700 while Rome’s declined, thus explaining why the former outpost of the Western world became its new center and vice versa?”

You’ll want to read the rest.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Worth A Read

Irfan Khawaja, on his blog, shows the phrase “moderate Islam” to be an oxymoron. Cameron Pritchard, on his blog notes that the neologism “Islamophobia” is a dishonest attempt to dispense with criticism of ideas and ideology.

Robert Spencer, on jihadwatch believes the new Pope understands the threat of Islam. Michael Novak believes the new Pope will stand opposed to the dogmatism and relativism of post-Modern thought while being careful to distinguish contemporary trends from the honored Modern tradition of “objective world of the scientific rationalist.” Sciabarra is having none of this (here)

Warren, on his blog has a moving story of one man who survived totalitarianism. We don’t remind ourselves often enough and in human terms what was wrong with the 20th century – and our achievement by defeating these threats to civilization. LGF reminds us in human terms the purpose some mothers see in having a child.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The new Pope and the Jihadist enemy

Can the new Pope play an important role against our current enemy – Islam? As you’ll notice through out my blog and in my essays, I’ve argued that the religious Right’s Cold War rhetoric – religion vs. atheistic materialistic communism – leaves conservatives lost in the new war against Islamism. This, of course, was the wrong basis for the Cold War, which was a clash between reason/individualism vs. dogmatism/collectivism. However, the staunch support from the religious Right and the leadership of the previous Pope was important – indeed critical – in the struggle.

In my article on conservatives, I also warn against turning the war against Islam into a religious war. This will play right into the hands of the Left as they seek to denigrate the war as a crusade between irrational superstitions. However, religious conservatives will play a crucial role in the coming war once they face the fact that the practice of Islam is vastly different from the contemporary practice of Christianity.

Our secular culture accepts religion as a private personal concern despite the claims of our friends on the religious Right. They don’t realize how secular they are. Rarely is a public debate ended with “it is written” but instead we marshal naturalistic concerns involving consequences to our well being and human dignity.

For those of us who ground our ethics in nature and advocate firm ethical principles thereby, the main antagonism that we face is the relativism and materialism prominent in the secularist Left. They preempt and undermine a well-founded secular tradition that goes back to Aristotle and his mentor, Plato. This tradition is anything but relativist and materialist.

But let us return to our question: can the new Pope play an important role in the current war? Emphatically, yes! And in similar ways to the previous Pope – by being subtle, steady, and firm in the fight for religious toleration.

Islam is a supremacist religion; it seeks conquest, domination and oppression. Christians and Jews are allowed to practice their religion as second class citizens. All other religions are disallowed. Muslims are prohibited from leaving the religion under penalty of death. Proselytizing and conversion to Christianity is punishable by death. These are crucial components of Islam.

It is here that the Pope can play an important role. By demanding religious freedom, the acceptance of missionary work, the right of each individual to choose and practice what their conscious dictates – by doing all that – the Pope will be fighting Islam far more than one might realize. He’ll be aiming at the soul of Islam. He’ll be part of the fight against this collectivistic dogmatic barbaric practice that Islam clearly is. And he’ll be fighting for the dignity of individual human beings – a concept we can share.

We secularists will continue to have our difference with the Catholic Church. And I’d prefer the Muslims abandon their religion and establish a modern rational secular culture. However, if tomorrow all Muslims became Catholic or Episcopalian, for example, I’d certainly sleep better.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Islam and its Denial - Part V

Johann Gutenberg’s advancement in printing, in the 1450s, enabled the mass production of the Bible. No longer did believers have to depend on the clergy. The stage was set for the Protestant Reformation. Copies of printed books reached the 10 million mark before the end of the15th century. The Bible was soon translated and printed in several languages. Books, pamphlets, and flysheets were easily printed and disseminated. While the printing press did not cause the Reformation, it was a vital catalyst.

Contrary to common misconceptions, the Reformation was not a modernizing movement – it was Augustinian in outlook and fundamentalist in orientation. Any benefit to the furtherance of independent thought was an unintended consequence. Today there is a call for an Islamic Reformation as a solution to the ills that plague the Muslim world. This, of course, reflects the vast ignorance of what is actually happening in the Islamic World.

Islamism – often called Radical Islam, Militant Islam, and Fundamentalist Islam – is an Islamic revival Movement. Indeed, “Islamic Revival” is the preferred term by Muslims and Islamic sympathizers. The implication of the label is clear. This is not another type of Islam; this is a return to Islam. This is the Islamic Reformation – a rediscovery and reaffirmation of the basics of the religion. And it is fueled by inventions of technology.

During the last days of the Shah, Iranians used the new technology of audio cassettes to listen to exhortations by the exiled cleric Ayatollah Khomeini. Today, with the vast number of communication channels and ease of travel at their disposal, Muslims are rediscovering their religion and what it demands of them. The Internet, cable networks, home printers, cell phones, etc. – all play a role as a catalyst of the Islamic Revival. The vast oil wealth funds the movement.

There is little understanding of this ideology or the impact of its revival. Democracy in Iraq, political pressure on Saudi Arabia, elections in Egypt – all will do little to address the toxic nature of the Islamic Revival. Muslims are learning about Islam – Islam is the problem. We need to rethink our strategy but before we do that we must understand the nature of the enemy. It took 30 years – from 1917 to Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in 1947 – before the horror of communism was apparent to all.

We are not even at the beginning of the start of our fight. This is 1925 and we are talking about an experiment in Islamic democracy similar to the intellectuals enthusiasm for the communist experiment to create a “worker’s paradise.” We are currently dreaming.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Jack Wheeler understands ... up to a point.

In today’s “To The Point,” Jack Wheeler points out the great distance between today’s Democrats and those who led the fight against the fascist powers in WWII. On the WWII Memorial in Washington are the words of FDR: “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy … no matter how long it ay take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.” Read that again and let those words resonate in your mind. Then ask yourself if any of today’s Democrats, as Wheeler points out, “could demand that American’s ‘righteous might’ achieve ‘absolute victory’ over its enemies?”

Jack is right. Damn right! Here is a “moral certainty, the sure and certain conviction that America was in the right and the Nazis and Imperialist Japanese were in the wrong.” But it’s not just the Democrats. The Republicans are far better but still, Bush is not FDR in this regard. Bush says we are fighting a war against terrorism. But that’s a tactic! Imagine if FDR said that we are fighting a war against Blitzkreig! Bush praises the enemy’s ideology, Islam. FDR did no such thing concerning fascism or Nazism.

I’m afraid Jack doesn’t get to the root of the problem that underlies the moral doubt on the left and the failure of the right to explicate what makes our culture great and the enemy’s culture vile. No one dares say such things. There was the exception of Italian Prime Minister, who shortly after 9/11 explained the moral superiority of Western Civilization, but he retracted this statement in the face of criticism. The “moral certainty” that Jack Wheeler talks about and the “moral clarity” that Bill Bennett once championed are seldom heard. Who explains the difference in values, culture, and ethos? Who dares? What is lacking is intellectual leadership.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Who said that?

“We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance ..."

Was this President Bush arguing that Islam is a central part of the jihadist attacks? Was this John Kerry speaking at a Boston University, in a rare moment of intellectual clarity? Was this Rich Lowery of the National Review, Thomas Freedman of the New York Times, or the faculty of Columbia’s Middle East Studies Department?

No, of course not. It was the Queen of Denmark. Hat Tip LGF. Some people in Europe are waking up and speaking out.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The future lies with the children

One of the disheartening trends is the embrace of jihadism by the children of secular (lax or lapsed) Muslims. Here are a few articles: ”New York girl” ”He loved America?” ”Moderate Balkans”

Robert Spencer constantly finds examples of nominal Muslims who, in times of crisis, seek guidance from their religion. What they find is a militant religion that blames others for their plight. Some explain this moment of crisis differently.

We need to ask ourselves: is moderate Islam the solution or merely a phrase that blinds us to the continued problem? If moderate Islam is merely the abandonment of Islam, showing continued respect for the religion will encourage young Muslims to return and discover the true religion.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Dhimmitude at National Review

Diana West takes on the cowards at National Review. Recently the editors of National Review Online, in a show of dhimmitude, bowed to Islamist pressure to remove several books critical to Islam from their online book service. The pressure originated from the Saudi-backed terrorist-friendly CAIR. Rich Lowry, of the National Review, says it is not their policy to “to discredit Mohammed and Islam.” Is this the same National Review that attacked Marx and Communism during the Cold War? I’ve long pointed out how some conservatives just can’t face the Islamic threat or even muster up 1/10 the spirit to fight this fight as they fought Communism. Why?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Islam and its Denial - Part IV

In my newly published article, I argue the Dinesh D’Souza fails in his attempt to defend America against Islamic critics. His defense is so weak as to be pathetic. He shows considerable respect for the Islamic critique of America – indeed, he sympathizes with them. He respects the wrong Muslims: the devout oppressive backwards Islamists – not the lax or lapsed Muslim who wants to secularize.

D’Souza just doesn’t understand what makes America great. Read the whole article here.

Friday, April 01, 2005

If freedom and democracy are enough

... we should find that Muslims abandon their extreme and militant ways in Western Europe. But instead we find this. Of course, I've written about how Islamist ideology flourishes in tolerant societies again and again. Not until Islam is challenged, refuted, vilified and shamed will we set the stage for solid change. How do we fight a war if we dare not show the slightest disrespect for the enemy’s ideology?

Is Islam Evil?

It was a year ago today, that Ali Sina’s FaithFreedom.org published my editorial on Islam called “Is Islam Evil?” Ali Sina is an ex-Muslim and an authority on the religion. It is with pride that he accepted my article without requiring editorial revisions. The purpose was not a definitive and final analysis of Islam but something more modest: Consider the salient features of the religion and the religion’s role in worldwide violence, conquest, and slaughter. Is this religion reformable or inherently inimical to civilization? Is there something in Islam that, unlike Christianity, makes Islam unable to limit the domain of faith to the private personal level to make room for reason and secularism in the public arena?

On most search engines (except google), a search on “Islam Evil” usually provides several links to copies of my article on various websites in the first ten listings. Thus, I’ve become a cyber-expert on the question. Of course, the number of hits for “America Evil” is several times that of “Islam Evil.” The taboo still exists against even asking the question with respect to Islam.

Learning about Islam

To understand the threat of Islam, you must learn about this religion and its history. I have long maintained a web-page of recommended books and articles. Here is an excellent list of questions to keep in mind while studying Islam and its history.

It’s important to get this right. Let’s remember that during the Cold War many assumptions were made about communism, some exaggerated the threat, some trivialized the threat. Learning about Islam doesn’t involve a massive study and exegesis of esoteric passages of the Koran. The general trend – the essence – can be understood even by the non-expert. Once that is done, one can fine-tune one’s knowledge over time if desired. However, as citizens who value our liberty, it is imperative that we become knowledgeable no matter how active a role you intend to play in the intellectual battle.