Richard Landes is a Professor of History at Boston University and an expert on millenialism, the phenomenon of religious belief in a fundamental change in the world as a result of reaching a specific date or event, such as the year 2,000 or the Oslo Accords. He has an extensive collection of articles on his website, http://www.theaugeanstables.com. The name refers to the Herculean task of cleaning out the stables of King Augeas. The reference becomes obvious when one reads the full title to his talk at the AACI: The Muslim apocalyptic phenomenon in the post-modern world: understanding global jihad and its remarkable success. This was an excellent lecture, of which I can only give my brief summary.
Prof. Landes started out by listing a few terms in Arabic of relevance to the current situation, that all affected people (all of us) should understand: jihad, holy war; dawa, a declaration of imminent war against those who do not convert; kaffir, an infidel; hijra, migration for the cause of Allah; dhimmi, a subjugated but protected person (Christian or Jew); takfir, an accusation of apostasy from Islam (for example used by Sunni against Shia); Islam, submission. What is important is understanding that while the West, particularly the intellectuals and leaders, ignore the true meaning of these words, to believing Muslims they are the motivation for all their actions.
Thus, Osama bin Laden issued a fatwa (a religious declaration) consisting of a dawa against the US in 1998. Of course, this was ignored. But, later when the attack on the World Trade Center occurred on 9/11/2001, this should have been seen as a greater threat, not only of Islamists, but in principle of all Muslims. So the attacks in London (on 7/7), on Paris and Brussels and elsewhere (Casablanca, Baghdad, Madrid, Israel, Nigeria, etc.) are all part of a pattern that involve more and more Muslims. And the ultimate way to victory is not necessarily only by means of war, but of causing the enemy (the West) to accept its dhimmitude, its subservience to Islam, and by means of the hijra of millions of Muslims to the West, as is happening right before our eyes.
Prof. Landes gave examples of stupid and self-defeating statements by politicians, journalists and especially leftists. Such as those who accept and believe that the Israel-Palestine conflict is for the Palestinians to obtain a State, when in fact it is a part of the Islamic movement to destroy western influence in their land, dar al-Islam (the region of Islam) as opposed to dar al-harb (the region of war). So when Western leftists support the Palestinians they are in fact behaving in a dhimmi (subjugated) manner which is exactly what the Muslims expect. The leader of the dhimmitude movement in the West is undoubtedly Pres. Obama; his speech in Cairo in 2009, his meeting with the Saudi King (to whom he bowed), the Iran nuclear deal (for which he and his Administration lied and deliberately misled the media), his bad treatment of PM Netanyahu, all conform to a pattern of showing his servitude to the Muslims.
Another potent example is the media, who choose not to show such slogans as “behead all infidels” and “democracy will be defeated” in leftist-Islamic demonstrations in the West. Other examples are the preference to believe all Palestinian media claims, such as the so-called massacre in Jenin in 2000, that was a complete lie (even the UN Secty. Gen. accepted it), the shooting of Mohammed al-Dura, that was staged (but the damage had been done), many other staged incidents in Gaza and Lebanon. Why don’t the Western media ever learn that they are being systematically duped? Because they are complicit in their dhimmitude, better to report it as they say, otherwise they might anger the Muslims.
How can this pattern be overcome? Perhaps it is impossible or too late. But, this is the pattern with democracies. They don’t want to fight, and they avoid violence if at all possible. That’s why people like Obama end up as leaders, and Jeremy Corbin in the UK Labor Party and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the US Democratic Party. Maybe Donald Trump represents a change in the attitude, a realization by many Americans that the way of dhimmitude is the way of defeat, and a more strenuous opposition to Islam is needed before it’s too late. That’s why Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, unless and until they are positively checked, may be a good first step in the right direction.