Skip to comments.Political Factions: A Modest Proposal for Dealing with Islam (Madison,"Mischief of Factions!")
Posted on 07/16/2005 1:58:01 PM PDT by CHARLITE
After the terror attacks in London, a few TV commentators said they would go after those in the media who want to sanitize terrorism. Such bravado may be admirable, but it is a bravado that does not recognize how terrorism has already been sanitized. The leaders of Western democracies have sanitized terrorism because they cannot publicly admit they are helpless to prevent more attacks.
Most analysts who study the so-called war on terror could have told you a year ago that there would be a terrorist attack targeting the London subway. Likewise, there are those who will tell you a dirty bomb may explode in an American city in the near future. It is not too hard to make these predictions because Western governments will not do what they must do to prevent these attacks from happening.
Just look how the media has urban terrorism down to a formula already. Al-Qaida plans an attack. The backpack bombs go off and people die. Then, government officials get on TV and denounce the act, making sure to use words like barbaric and uncivilized. The media shows photos of bloody faces and people hugging one another. The next day there are photos in the newspaper of women placing flowers where the bombs exploded. Its all so predictable. Until the big one comes down, the plan is to get us as used to low-grade, urban terrorism as we are to traffic accidents.
James Madison and the Mischief of Factions
The average American knows the so-called war on terror is not really a war on terror. He knows in his gut that whats happening is that we are fighting another war with Islam. Thats what it is, no matter what the politicians say. This war against Islam is the flaring up again of a conflict that has been going on for 1,500 years.
The West against Islam is nothing new. Whats new is that because of oil, the conflict has now expanded to the New World. There are no radical Muslims, nor Islamo-Fascists, there are just Muslims doing what they have always done--spreading Islam by force and terror. Compare the spread of Islam with that of Buddhism, and the truth of this history becomes obvious.
It is a fault of liberalism that it sees Islam as just one faction among many in Western societies. This view may have its source in a misreading of the Federalist Papers, in which James Madison and others argued for the adoption of a new constitution for the United States. In these papers Madison grappled with the problems of factions threatening a republican form of government. He concluded that a constitutional republic was the best way to guarantee freedom, control factions, and establish law and order.
Some of the men who wrote the U. S. Constitution saw it as an experiment, an experiment in government that might not last 20 years. Fortunately, it has lasted over 200 years, but not without the bloodshed of civil war. For other statesmen at the Philadelphia convention, the advantage of a constitution was that it assured a republican form of government and controlled the mischief of factions.
In Federalist Paper #10, Madison discussed the problem of controlling factions in society. Madisons arguments are sound as far as they go. His examples, however, do not cover the case of Islam. Islam does not hold to the assumptions that Madison makes about secular government. Islam must be seen as a special kind of faction, one that cannot be controlled either by opinion or by representative government.
Madison and the framers of the U. S. Constitution assumed that the divine right of kings to govern was sublimated to the divine right of the people to govern themselves. No such assumption is made by Islam. Islam sees the source of political power in the Koran. For most Muslims, democracy as we know it is the same as idolatry. Democratic forms of government did not evolve in Islamic society and it will not naturally take place in societies that are fundamentally Islamic, no matter the degree of their economic development.
It is the theological ideas inherent in Islamic law that make Islam the greatest challenge that constitutional democracies face. As soon as these democracies grant Islam the status of a faction, Muslims begin to campaign for the overthrow of the very constitutional structures that make them a viable faction. If Islam were ever to gain majority power, then it would in turn overthrow the entire constitutional apparatus of secular democracies and replace constitutional law with Sharia, or Islamic law.
The conclusion to draw from this is that either Islam stops being Islam, or it be excluded as a faction from democratic republics. Jamie Galzov echoes this view when he writes in FrontPageMagazine.com, ...a reformed Islam is an oxymoron, because Islam cannot reform and still remain Islam. This oxymoron may be difficult for liberalism to understand, immersed as it is in the ideology of separation of Church and state. There is no such thing, however, as separation of church and state in Islam. To have such a separation you need two things: a church and a state. Neither of these were components of Islam as it developed.
A Modest Proposal
In light of the mischief caused by an Islamic faction in Western democracies, let me make a modest proposal: instead of tolerating Islam, we should build a fence around it. This fence makes no judgment about the religion of Islam. Instead, it respects the uniqueness of Islam. A fence simply recognizes that two worldviews are incompatible. A fence around Islam is necessary because liberal governments cannot protect us from Islamic terrorist attacks.
As long as a liberal ideology of tolerance prevails in the West, Islamic terrorist will strike at will. It is a simple matter of Islam taking the liberal ideology of the West and turning this ideology against itself. It is the great irony of liberalism that by being tolerant it undermines its own existence. Liberalism now goes out of its way to encourage those who want to overthrow it. When confronted with an aggressive and intolerant force like Islam, tolerance ends with its own extinction.
A fence around Islam may include the removal of Muslims from Western societies, the outlawing of Islamic practices, cultural parity with Muslim states, new sources of oil and the postponement of economic and technical development in the Muslim world until the military and cultural threat of Islam is diminished.
Deportation of Muslims from Western societies is not a picture the liberal press wants to see, but it may be necessary to do this. With their reluctance to assimilate, more so in Europe than in the U. S., Muslim ghettos are breeding grounds for terrorists. Given the threat the practice of Islam poses to the West, it is not wrong to see it as a dangerous faction. Today, the Federal Republic of Germany sees nothing wrong with making the practice of Nazism illegal, so, someday the same may be the case for Islam in some Western societies.
Hand in hand with deportation of Muslims must go pressure by Western governments on Muslim countries for cultural parity. If Saudi Arabia does not allow the Bible into its territory, then the Koran must not be imported to the West. Likewise, if Islam is to modernize, then Mecca should be open to believers and nonbelievers alike, the same way the Vatican is open to all who visit.
New sources of oil must be obtained so that we can pull back from involvement in Muslim affairs. We must also develop alternative fuels. All of this may be more easily said than done. Nevertheless, it is foolishness when Americans subsidize al-Qaida every time they fill up the gas tank on their SUV. Finally, we must reexamine whether or not a technologically advanced Muslim society is in our best interest. Everyone may be better off if Muslim societies are allowed to remain at the level of 14th century development.
The proposal to build a fence around Islam sheds light on the war in Iraq, too. If a secular democracy is to rise there, then the influence of Islam must fall. Sadam Hussein tried to make Iraq into a secular state, albeit a totalitarian one. Ironically, his efforts at establishing secularism may be exactly what the U. S. needs to prevail in Iraq.
Yet, without facing the real issue, which is a protracted struggle with Islam itself, even a limited military victory in Iraq means little in the long run. Like the battle of Leponto in 1571, the U. S. presence in Iraq has to be put into a 1,500 year perspective. If Miguel de Cervantes, who lost the use of his arm in that Leponto battle were to return, then he would certainly offer us strategic advice. That advice may be to not abandon Iraq or Afghanistan, while at the same time building a fence around Islam.
Although no one wants to say it, there is a timetable for the withdrawal of U. S. and British troops from Iraq. The political deadline is the next U. S. presidential election. If the situation in Iraq is not better by then, the Republicans will probably lose that election. If there is an act of terrorism on the U. S. mainland greater than the events of 9/11 before that election, then there will be social upheaval in the U. S. involving more minorities than just the Muslims.
A fence around Islam makes the claim of Osama bin Laden that his fight is simply to remove Western troops from the holy land of Saudi Arabia irrelevant. No matter where American or British troops are stationed, it changes nothing in regard to the aggressive motives of Islam. Even if Israel were to disappear tomorrow, Islam would still be on the move against the West. The suicide bombers who recently attacked London were born in England, not in Saudi Arabia. They were raised on the milk of an aggressive Islam that no longer needs a nursery in Mecca.
Ways of Life
The genie of cultural conflict is out of the bottle and cannot easily be put back. In spite of this, secular politicians in the West influenced by a liberal ideology do not grasp the nature of the crisis brought on by a clash of civilizations. They simply want to bend Islam into their own liberal political ambitions. They claim that the suicide bombers have a perverted and poisonous misinterpretation of Islam, yet they know little of Islams history, let alone the forces religions set lose in the world.
In an attempt to explain the cultural conflict between Islam and the West, we seize upon explanations that have little merit. Many of the Muslim immigrants to Britain are poor and live in poverty, but it is not poverty that motivates them to become suicide bombers. Instead, they are motivated by Islam, an Islam that has not changed or been highjacked by a few radicals. Hani Al-Sibai, head of the Al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies in London expresses this cultural divide well. He says for Muslims, There is no such term as civilians in the modern Western sense. People are either of Dar Al-Harb (House of War) or not (The House of Islam).
Some maintain that neither al-Qaida nor Islam is sufficiently organized to pose as great a threat as imagined here. They maintain that Islam lacks the central authority of a Pope or the organization of the Vatican. This argument is doubtful, because it takes an organization to carry out the recent bombings in London, but lets suppose it is true.
The lack of a definite structure could make Islam more of a threat to the West, rather than less. A dispersed Islam becomes an ideologically driven movement rather than an organizationally driven one. The metaphor for this type of movement is the Internet. When dispersed among a population, defense against such a mercuric faction becomes expensive and difficult. A simple solution is to remove the believers the way we would remove computers.
The U. S. generation that came of age marching on the Pentagon and protesting the war in Vietnam is now coming to the end of its political influence. Will its desire for tolerance and multiculturalism blind it to the threat of Islam looming on the horizon? Will this generations last moment be one of moral clarity, or will it be a generation that retreats to their suburban retirement communities, our equivalent of the Romans latifundia, and not demand the policies needed so that the next generation will have the blessings of liberty?
Ways of life are at stake. Can we afford to keep on doing what we are doing in regard to Islam? Will the cost of tolerance be 2 million Americans dead? Our soldiers should not go to fight in Iraq and then come home only to be forced to learn Spanish, or worse, be blown up by a terrorist bomber on a bus that travels the street where they live.
Under the U. S. Constitution, the oath our elected officials take is to provide for the common defense and to promote the general welfare. These elected officials should not worry more about Iraq or even Mexico than our own citizens. If our government does not want to build a fence around Islam now, then our citizens may have to do it later--perhaps after a dirty bomb brought up through Mexico explodes in Houston.
About the Writer: Robert Klein Engler is an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a versatile writer of op-ed articles, poetry, and philosophy. His recent book, "A Winter of Words," is available from amazon.com.
The reliance on our TROP® strategy is merely a failure of leadership. A more realistic approach would require too strong a shift in policy. It's going to be painful, like pulling out a splinter.
I think this is true. I believe the problem is that the Govts can't act yet because the lefties and PC attitudes in Western countries prevent a strong response. Each Govt is waiting for a bad enough incident in its country which will give them permission to stamp ddown hard. (I hope that is the situation)
If there is an act of terrorism on the U. S. mainland greater than the events of 9/11 before that election then the dimocrats can kiss their Party good by. They are going to be held personally responsible by an overwhelming MAJORITY.
See, right away, they lead off with a LIE, which makes reading the whole story sort of pointless.
Both GWB and Blair have stated that there WILL be future attacks and we can not stop them all. This was stated virtually from day one. This is simply the Liberal media chanting their current mantra that the war makes us less safe and we should cut and run and turn the entire world over to the Jihaddists.
A very popular view around here.
How do "leftists" prevent a strongly reelected Republican President with majorities in both Houses of Congress from pursuing a policy which would be overwhelmingly popular?
Have you ever seen a poll or electoral result whic suggests that "PC attitudes" command anything remotely approaching popular support?
Before 77, in the US, people, politicans, and MSM became complacent since 3 1/2 years passed since 911. Our courts bending over backwards to give the islamic murderers at GITMO legitimate citizen rights. Airheaded bimbos like Ariana Huffington fighting for islamic terrorist rights. The western world has got to come to the realization that Islam is a breeding ground for terrorism. Now, post 77 and 911, mullahs and imans are still preaching hatred of Christians and Jews but added a new spin. The islamics are portraying themselves as victims and needing special protection while preaching their never ending hatred of everything non-islamic and they must be allowed to visit any country to continue their aggressive, hate-filled way of thinking.
As soon as these democracies grant Islam the status of a faction, Muslims begin to campaign for the overthrow of the very constitutional structures that make them a viable faction. If Islam were ever to gain majority power, then it would in turn overthrow the entire constitutional apparatus of secular democracies and replace constitutional law with Sharia, or Islamic law.
That, my friends, makes islam, by definition, incompatible, indeed inimical to a representative democracy.
It is the perfect "embodiment" of the "suicide pact" that democracy is susceptible to, and the only certain way to kill it.
The mindless and the ignorant embrace rules and institutions as an end in themselves. More deliberate thought confirms that they always serve a higher purpose, usually the protection and the survival of the institution itself, for the benefit of the people adopting it. Once this purpose is frustrated or erased, the institution itself is useless, indeed, becomes invariably a tyranny.
For those who think we can't deport, isolate or outlaw Muslims, we managed to do it for both the Nazis and the Communists and most people didn't lose a wink of sleep worrying about it. It was either "them" or "us".
Just because this cult of totalitarian genocide calls itself a "religion" should not mean a whit to those of us who are concerned with our own civil and religious freedoms. Why should we permit them the freedom to destroy us just because they have a "religious" outlook? So did the Nazis and the Communists!
Although I agree with you 100%, I must continue to hope you are wrong, because that's not right. Why should we assume that we must sacrifice several thousand more (of other peoples') lives before we do what by all analyses is not just the proper, but the only effective response that will eradicate the problem.
Islam is not a religion. It is not secular law. It is not a set of minute rules to run people's entire lives; It is all three, indivisible, with tyranny and hopelessness for all.
Changing the religious element in islam is like eliminating potassium nitrate from black powder and still insisting on calling it "gunpowder". It's non-sensical.
Absolutely right. But most people don't have the intellectual horsepower to see the fallcy in that approach.
The only certain way to "prevent" foreign killers from creating more mass murder is to eliminate them altogether from our country (my personal choice).
Barring that, it is impossible to prove that 10 or 100 deadly events have been prevented in the last 4 years, so the morons can continue claiming with impunity that we have prevented none.
Yeah, it seems callous but one can only do what is possible -- it's just political necessity. Just as FDR had to wait until Pearl Harbor before joining Britain in the war against Hitler.
Yeah, it seems callous but one can only do what is possible -- it's just political necessity. Just as FDR had to wait until Pearl Harbor before joining Britain in the war against Hitler.
The MSM are in league with the lefties and PC fanatics, but you knew that, didn't you?
This mirrors my thinking for some time. If you can't stand your neighbor simply don't have anything to do with them and remove all points of contact.
In this case, however, limited trading entrepots would be beneficial to both sides.