The question of our times

Perhaps the question of our times is whether or not we are facing a small group of extremist Islamists who are intent on destroying Western civilization or, like it or not, we are engaged in a clash of civilizations with the whole world of Islam. Before anyone impetuously makes a choice consider the evidence below.
Our political leaders have of course emphasised the former case, mainly because there are many good, law abiding Muslims and they don’t want to lump them all in with the terrorists, so they (Bush, Blair, Brown, Obama) have said “Islam is a peaceful religion.” To exemplify Obama’s policy, on Wednesday new Secty. of State Hillary Clinton visited Indonesia on her first trip abroad. She brought a message of peace and reconciliation to this largest of Muslim countries, that is gradually becoming democratized. Maybe this strategy will work, but ultimately it’s a policy of appeasement. It may be designed to separate between the moderates and the extremists in Islam, but such a distinction is limited at best.
But, in fact saying that “Islam is a peaceful religion” goes against the evidence. Islam is generally not a peaceful religion, since in Islam there is no distinction between religion and politics. That does not mean that there aren’t of course peaceful aspects of Islam, but generally the whole culture is suffused with violence. You have only to look at the history of Islam, of its expansionism and conquests to see this (would anyone say that Rome had a peaceful culture). And this is exemplified by the number of conflicts that beset the Muslim world, there is Kashmir, Bosnia, south Phillipines, Nigeria and of course, Palestine, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan, and so on. But, Christendom has had it’s share of conflicts and there are many conflicts without Islam being involved, such as the Buddhist-Hindu conflict in Sri Lanka. So what is the answer?
Consider the case of Geert Wilders, the Dutch MP who has produced a movie entitled fitna (meaning disagreement or division), which indicts Islam as a violent and expansionist culture from its beginnings. He was recently excluded from the UK on the grounds that his presence would cause a cultural conflict. But, all he wanted to go there for was to attend a showing of his movie at the House of Lords, actually a private showing. So we see the British Government, that is supposedly renowned for its support of freedom of expression, giving way to prior restraint, to intimidation. Is the British Government afraid of it’s Muslim citizens rioting? That is not a small group but a whole community. And we have been there before, remember the riots over the book “Satanic verses” by Salman Rushdie, when there were riots in every Muslim community in Britain and public book burnings. And then remember the world-wide organized riots when a Danish newspaper published some cartoons supposedly depicting the prophet Mohammed. During the war in Gaza not only did Muslims demonstrate everywhere, but they carried such hate-filled placards that were so anti-Semitic, calling for the death of all Jews, that nothing has been seen like it since the Third Reich, and naieve well-meaning liberals demonstrated with them, much as fellow travellers supported Stalin, believing that he was a good, misunderstood leader.
Consider the case of Shachar Peer and the Dubai international tennis tournament. She was denied a visa at the last minute because she is Israeli, contrary to all agreements of the UAE. Is this another case of no Jews allowed? And the UAE is considered one of the most westernized, economically developed of the Arab States. And what have the WTA and the ATP done in response, so far issued unconvincing threats. So the tournament goes on without any Israelis included.
I have before me the book entitled “The legacy of Jihad: Islamic holy war and the fate of non-Muslims,” by Andrew G. Bostom. This is a comprehensive history and account of the concept and practice of jihad from the time of Mohammed to modern times. It is not a work for the faint-hearted. The early wars carried out by Mohammed himself against the Jews and pagans of the cities around his region of Mecca, such as the battle of Badr in 624, became a model for later generations to adopt. Any talk of jihad being a spiritual or non-violent action is disproved by this book. From a little known skirmish in northwest Arabia to major battles, such as the incredibly bloody conquest of India, this concept of holy-war has been basic to Islam’s culture and development.
Now during the Hitler period in Germany there were no doubt many peaceful and good people who did not agree with or approve of his Government’s actions, and in fact there are over 20,000 individuals listed at Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles, people who acted to save Jews at the risk or cost of their lives. Yet, that did not mean that the Allies could not or should not have declared war on Germany, and that war was total, it meant carpet bombing huge areas and cities of Germany, such as Dresden, where hundreds of thousands of undoubtedly “innocent” Germans were killed. But, once an ideology has commited itself to destroy your own culture, there is nothing to do except fight it.
Whether we like it or not, all Muslims believe in and accept certain tenets of their faith, among them is the right of Islam to destroy all infidels in order to convert their land and government to that of Dar al Islam, the house of Islam, and the only other region recognized is Dar al harb, the region of war. Also, any law abiding Muslim can decide to accept the role of shahid (martyr) at any time in order to advance the aims of Islam of universal conquest. We saw for example an interview with a notorious trainer and organizer of suicide bombers in Israel, Abdullah Barghouti, who said that he had been an engineer working in Jerusalem, quite happily, when one day he decided to join the fight against Israel, and proceeded to make bombs that killed 67 people. So the need for violence to destroy the Jews, America and all Western (Christian and secular) society is embedded in Islam and manifests itself spontaneously (much like a particular uranium 235 atom spontaneously decays, but one cannot predict which one will).
So, ultimately we are engaged in an epic struggle with Islam for control of the earth, or rather to prevent them from taking over control of the earth, and particularly our part of it. In this war, there will be many battles, for example in Gaza, which has been taken over by an unrepentent terrorist organization Hamas, and Iran which has hegemonic designs over the Middle East, as well as al Qaeda, etc. But, as is well known in Britain, the focus has shifted to home-grown Muslim terrorists, and at present there are over 2,000 suspects in Britain and at least 40 groups that are being monitored according to Scotland Yard reports. Two days ago a group of men was arrested in a convoy of cars protesting the Gaza war, and 5 houses were being searched. And today finally, after several years, the House of Lords agreed that the British Government could expel Islamist Imam Abu Katadah, who had been preaching the overthrow of the British Government and its replacement with an Islamic Government implementing Sharia law.
In the J’sam Post on Tuesday, Bernard Lewis, the well-known expert on Islam, explained that Muslims believe that their conflict with the West is fundamentally a religious one, so that anything that we do is intrerpreted in that light, and often westerners fail to understand their responses. George Bush tried the clearcut distinction, “you are either with us or against us” in the war on terrorism, irrespective of whether “you” are Muslim or not, and this worked for a while, particularly while Gen. Musharraf was Dictator of Pakistan. But, now, who knows what can happen. The current Government of Pakistan has proposed establishing Sharia law over the northern territories that it cannot control as a means to pacify them. This is an example of the policy of appeasement that is spreading. But, the Islamists see this as a sign of weakness, of the inevitable (God-given) victory for their way over the infidel.
So the conclusion is that while the organized terrorist groups represent the apex of the Islamist peril, the basic conflict is that between western liberal culture and Islamic culture, that are fundamentally incompatible, notwithstanding the platitudes of many Western political leaders. This definitely reminds us of the period of the 1930’s, but where is our “Churchill”?

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