Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Islam and Not Islam: Fantasy Vs. Reality In The West
Where exactly do you draw the line between fantasy and reality? Or more importantly, where does a society as a whole draw it?
Increasingly, that line in our society is being drawn when it comes to how people perceive Islam.
The recent rise of Islamists and the outbreak of violent attacks on U.S. embassies in the Muslim World has brought this into focus in almost a surreal way, as various pundits and talking heads tap dance like newly reborn Fred Astaires in a minefield trying to avoid stepping on the real issue -is this sort of violent behavior due to Islam or is it an aberration due to culture? And what can we do about it?
The way many of them attempt to deal with this without being fired from their jobs or fear of being targeted for violence themselves is by talking about a minority of 'extremists' who are practicing an interpretation of Islam that of course, the majority of Muslims do not follow. Are they right?
Dutch politician Geert Wilders is someone who has forcefully addressed that question, and he's paid a heavy personal price for it. So his opinion is of some interest.
The above interview with The Daily Caller's Jamie Weinstein to promote his book, 'Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me' serves as a useful signpost on where that line exist, where the delusions about Islam collide with adamant reality. Wilder, being European, has seen first hand how multiculturalism combined with massive Muslim immigration and supine politicians willing to appease and accommodate the situation has changed a continent, literally making what was a free society far less free and much more violent and fearful.As Geert Wilders says during the interview, Europe was ten years ahead of America in that regard and he wrote the book, in part 'as a warning to my American friends.'
Wilder's opening point is to explain why Islam "should not be compared so much with other religions like Christianity or Judaism" but rather "to other totalitarian ideologies like Communism and Fascism. If we acknowledge that fact then you don’t have to treat it like a religion and a lot of problems can be solved far more easily.." At which point, Weinstein interrupts and after a brief mention of Israel, brings the conversation to the far more 'human interest' level of Muslims as people...you know, all those ordinary, law abiding peaceful Muslims who aren't harming anyone.
Wilder's response is interesting. He says (as he always has all along) that he has nothing against anyone simply because they are Muslim, and that the majority of Muslims in our society are neither violent nor criminals. But he goes on to make an important distinction - that while there are moderate people that call themselves Muslims, there's no such thing as moderate Islam. "Don't let anybody fool you who says Islam can be moderated," Wilders says. "There are not two Islams; there is only the Islam of the Koran, the Islam of the life of Mohammed, and the Islam of sharia law."
Is Wilders correct?
Every Muslim I've ever known has had to try and square this circle..how do you behave as a decent, peaceful human being and still practice what is essentially a violent and intolerant religion in many respects? In my experience, it requires the most extreme cherry picking, people simply ignoring what they don't want to deal with.
Unlike the situation with other faiths, this is literally a matter of life and death for those Muslims that openly and publicly attempt it, because to Muslims, the Qu'ran is considered a direct revelation by Allah to Mohammed, and thus not capable of being altered or modified in the least.Which makes those who do so, like Irshad Manji, or Dr. Zuhdi Jasser heretics and apostates to the vast majority of Muslims. And in Islam, there's only one solution to the problem of heretics and apostates - death.
To quote our old friend Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman,AKA The Blind Sheik, currently incarcerated because of his role in the first World Trade Center bombings, there is no such thing as fundamentalist or radical Islam "there is only Islam and not Islam".
Are we ceding ground to the Islamists by essentially accepting their definition of Islam, as the interviewer suggests? It doesn't really matter, because the vast majority of Muslims, particularly those living in the Muslim world accept it in only slightly varying degrees. And they do it because, as westerners find out if they put in some time and actually study the Qu'ran, the Hadiths, and the Sunna, The Blind Sheik pretty much has it right. Islam is Islam.
I can almost guarantee you that few of the talking heads who hold forth about minority of extremists or a perversion of Islam have ever actually taken the time to look at the Muslim scriptures.Yet, they have the overweening arrogance to suggest that people who have been raised in the faith do not know what real Islam is, not to mention misinforming their fellow non-Muslims in the west.
Islamism, Salafism,wahabism, and the Deobandi movement (the AfPak version of wahabism) all stem from a common purpose. Far from a perversion of Islam, these movements were an attempt to defeat revisionism and return to the unadulterated version of the Islam of the 6th century.
Observing the relative powerlessness of the Islamic world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as opposed to old days of empire, these movements all represent an attempt to reestablish the old order by returning to the pure Islam the Blind Sheik was talking about and ultimately defeat dar harb (literally, the House of War, the non-Islamic world) and bring it under the rule of dar Islam.Just like Mohammed ordered them to do.
Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920's as a reaction against secular Arab nationalism saw the solution as a worldwide caliphate, and became the intellectual father of both the Islamists and the salafists. Al-Banna was ultimately assassinated by the Egyptian monarchy and his movement suppressed, but the Brotherhood and its off shoots remained popular, and gained new life with the recent failures of secular Arab nationalism largely based on economic failure and sympathetic western politicians like President Obama, who saw supporting and enabling the Islamists along with creating, in his own words, "daylight between Israel and America" as a way to eliminate the conflict between the west and the Arab world.
That unfortunate, warped view has made the caliphate al-Banna dreamed of now closer than ever in Libya, Egypt, the Brotherhood enclave in Gaza, the Arab occupied parts of Judea and Samaria and ultimately, probably Jordan. The acceptance of the more Islamist view of Islam used to be predominantly true mainly in non-western Muslim countries, but it is increasingly true in Europe, as Wilder points out.
Massive Muslim immigration, millions of dollars spent by people like the Saudis, the embrace of multiculturalism and the failure to insist on any degree of assimilation by Leftist politicians has seen to that. It is also becomingly increasingly true in America as well, thanks to widespread penetration by Muslim Brotherhood fronts like The Islamic Trust Of North America, CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) all groups that have been found in material support for terrorism and only escaped prosecution because of a friendly administration in Washington.
One of my long time friends and correspondents, a former Marine colonel who earned his American citizenship by serving in our military after he emigrated here from Turkey gave up going to his local mosque after it was taken over by the Islamic Trust of North America.
The Saudi educated imam they put in charge regularly spouts jihadist rhetoric in his sermons, and wahabist literature that is anti-semitic,. misogynist and contrary to any notion of American freedom is freely available. The colonel now prays at home, sometimes with a few old friends who likewise now avoid the mosque.But a whole new generation is being exposed to what a significant majority of Muslims outside America consider Islam. And for that matter, it appears that our own government does too.
It has gotten to the point where even mild criticism of Islam,the Muslim Brotherhood or its adherents is promptly labeled as 'Islamophobia' and 'racism' by the usual suspects, most of whom have no knowledge whatsoever about what the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda actually is about or what the worldwide caliphate under sharia the Brotherhood are working towards so diligently would mean to their lives and freedom. It's gotten to the point, as Reps. Peter King, Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Lynn Westmoreland, and Thomas Rooney have found out, that even asking questions about the Brotherhood or requesting what amounts to an investigation and a normal security check of people in high position in the Obama Administration with significant ties to the Muslim Brotherhood has become defacto 'racism' and merits demonization.
It has gotten to the point where President Obama's remarks in his fawning Cairo speech in front of the Muslim Brotherhood saying that he regarded it as one of his chief duties as president to defend Islam and "to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear" are becoming an operative principle of the way our government now does foreign and domestic policy.
It was just two months ago that Thomas Perez, the Obama Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney general refused to deny that the Obama Administration would seek to criminalize any criticism of Islam, a highly relevant question in view of some of his own remarks on the subject and something Islamists world wide and the Organization of Islamic Conference have been seeking to make part of international law. There is at least one Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Breyer, who is convinced that laws against blasphemy in regard to Islam - and only Islam, because of the inherent violence of its adherents - ought to supersede the First Amendment.
Needless to say, this is extremely treacherous ground.
Islam as it actually is perceived and practiced by many of its followers has become the Voldemort of our times, that-which-must-not-be-mentioned. Instead, the west focuses on Islam as they would like it to be, even while considering aborting western freedoms out of fear of what atrocities Islam's followers might commit! The contradiction is ludicrous.
That is pretty much what happened in the Netherlands, and why Geert Wilder's perspective is worth looking at. His blasphemy trial by the Dutch government, which ended in his acquittal but cost him large amounts of time and of money is pretty much where we may be headed if we allow the rot to continue.
Wilder's solution of treating Islam as different from other religions is not possible in America with it's constitutional freedoms, but there are legal and constitutionally acceptable ways of dealing with the threat posed to our freedoms and national security without banning Islam, which I do not support, along, I think,with most Americans.
I'll explore those in a subsequent article.
Alcoholics and drug addicts who successfully go through rehab using programs like Synanon, Alcoholics Anonymous or the Seventh Step recognize two things, that the first step to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem and that recovery takes time, self awareness and effort.
Addiction to dhimmitude and appeasement of Islamism are no different. If the west is to be saved, we will need to take that important first step very soon.