Skip to comments.Wishful thinking about Islam - (Diana West answers Hugh Hewitt and Charles Krauthammer!)
Posted on 07/25/2005 1:44:18 PM PDT by CHARLITE
Last week, I outlined the problem of the age: the incompatibility of Islam with a multicultural West that hides away inconvenient history and disturbing doctrine under layers of political correctness. Without stripping them off to examine the problem, all we get is a lot of wishful thinking.
Historian Niall Ferguson, writing in the London Telegraph on the intensifying "Muslim colonization" of Europe, has decided that such "demographic shifts" are not "invariably a bad thing." After all, seven centuries of jihad-imposed dhimmitude for infidels in Muslim Spain gave us the Alhambra, or something. It's that pesky "ideology" of conquest that follows all the shifting that's the problem -- something he thinks European Muslims ought to take "a much closer look at." Really stern stuff.
Over at The Boston Globe, a lefty editorial mantra turns culture clash into harmonic convergence: "European Muslims and non-Muslims must learn to live together. Each will have to practice the tolerance that (murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh) assassin (Mohammed) Bouyeri proudly scorned." They must, must they? As sharia law becomes a democratic option, who will enforce such tolerance?
As conservatives, columnist Charles Krauthammer and blogger-cum-radio host Hugh Hewitt still fight the good fight, but, in these multicultural days, that means sorting through "extremism" and finding nothing too terribly Islamic about it. Mr. Hewitt writes that my arguments of last week were wrong, citing "functioning democracies in Turkey and other predominantly Islamic countries" as evidence of Islamo-Western compatibility. He throws in the loyal host ("millions of loyal British and American citizens") for good measure. Problem is, the extent to which Turkey -- where, just incidentally, "Mein Kampf" was a top-10 bestseller this spring -- has ever functioned as a democracy is directly related to the efforts of a strong man, Ataturk, to constrain Islam's grip on the country's institutions, replacing religion with a doctrine of Turkish racial and civilizational supremacy. And while it tugs on the heartstrings, the loyalty of individual Muslims fails to neutralize or reform the institutions of jihad and dhimmitude that rise from Islamic teachings. That I even raised the issue, Mr. Hewitt writes, "underscores the almost desperate need for Muslim leaders in the West again and again, to denounce, without argument or sidebar mentions of Israel, etc., the use of terrorism as a weapon." Almost desperate is right.
Having determined that "99 percent" of European Muslims are "peace-loving and not engaged in terror," Charles Krauthammer sounds a similar alarm. "They must actively denounce not just ... the terrorist attacks, but their source: the Islamist ideology and its practitioners. Where are the fatwas against Osama bin Laden? Where are the denunciations of the very idea of suicide bombing? Europeans must demand this of all their Muslim leaders."
Why Europeans? Why not the Krauthammer 99 percent, or the Hewitt millions? This is where it gets tricky, where those cultural ties to terrorism's tactics and/or goals seem to be all too binding. It is true that in March, something called the Spanish Muslim Council issued a fatwa against Osama bin Laden, calling him an apostate for his atrocities. Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, mentions this in his Boston Globe piece about a clerically star-studded conference on Islam in Jordan this month. Mr. Pearl notes that the fatwa led many to believe it would be followed by others, "and," he writes, "that using the Islamic instruments of fatwa, apostasy and fasad (corruption), Muslims would be able to disassociate themselves from those who hijacked their religion."
He continues: "Unfortunately, the realization of these expectations will need to wait for a brave new leadership to emerge. The final communique of the Amman conference, issued July 6, states explicitly: 'It is not possible to declare as apostates any group of Muslims who believes in Allah the Mighty and Sublime and His Messenger (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) and the pillars of faith, and respects the pillars of Islam and does not deny any necessary article of religion.'"
Mr. Pearl spells out the chilling ramifications: "In other words, belief in basic tenets of faith provides an immutable protection from charges of apostasy." Even what Mr. Pearl calls "anti-Islamic behavior," including "the advocacy of mass murder in the name of religion, cannot remove that protection," he writes. "Bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the murderers of Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg will remain bona fide members of the Muslim faith, as long as they do not explicitly renounce it."
Which leaves conservative Muslims, liberal Muslims and everybody else between a rock and hard place. Isn't it time to crack things open?
Washington Times columnist Diana West writes a weekly commentary column for Newspaper Enterprise Association. A conservative with a strong bent for cultural commentary, West explores topics few writers touch upon - from whether Islam is really a religion of peace, to whether Howard Dean was as good a governor as his campaign claims he was, to society's bizarre efforts to protect children from Mother's Day, to the rise of "PC" summer camps in Vermont - presenting all in a deft, often humorous manner.
Good post Char. Thanks.
Either we finish Islam, or it will finish us!
Uhmm, that would be ol' mo himself wouldn't it?
A letter by 2banana:
"Muslim Spain was a perfect example of a flourishing society in which Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in mutual respect and cooperation."
Muslim Spain was Christian Spain for nearly 700 years before being conquered by Islamic Armies in the 8th Century. That is the way the Islamic Religion has been historically spread, though military invasion and occupation. Treatment of conquered people has the same goal, the minimizing of other religions and conversion of the indigenous people. Among other rules for non Muslims in Muslim Spain; Christians and Jews could not bear arms -- Muslims could; Christians and Jews could not ride horses -- Muslims could; Christians and Jews had to get permission to build or fix places or worship -- Muslims did not; Christians and Jews had to pay certain taxes which Muslims did not; Christians could not proselytize -- Muslims could; Christians and Jews had to bow to their Muslim masters; Christians and Jews had to live under the laws set forth in the Koran, not under either their own religious or secular law; and Christian's and Jew's word in a court of law was not equal to a Muslim's Word. And the list goes on.
Today, 1300 years later, a Christian or Jew living in an Islamic country will still have to live nearly under these very same laws. I can see why the head of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations would want us all to do "our part" to create such a world.
Nope. They're gonna have to hijack it themselves. The terrorists are only following it.
Maybe he's right. My guess is that they'd go after the guys who don't have guns first.
Once this is underway, all Islamics will be screened and those of questionable loyalties will be deported. Islamic clerics would forced to supply updated lists of their communicants and it would be their responsibility to report any subversive activities.
I agree. I think not only Muslims, but Americans themselves for the most part underestimate the capacity of the American people to come to their senses quickly regarding self-protection.
It's been fashionable on both sides of the political spectrum for years now to condemn the Japanese internment camps of WWII, but the truth is the camps served two necessary purposes: they protected Japanese Americans from being hurt by angry and suspicious neighbors, and they prevented those Japanese immigrants who remained loyal to Japan from helping coordinate Japanese attacks on the West Coast.
"What attacks? That's absurd!" is the response you hear now. But folks who were there at the time tell me differently. My best pal's mother, a second generation Japanese-American who was a teen during WWII, said that nearly all Japanese families received notices from the Emperor of Japan, though most, like her own family, just ignored them. Then there was the case of a Japanese sub sunk off the Central California coast. My mother, growing up on coastal farmland nearby, swears she saw unusual lights one night, that she believes were being set up as navigation guides for attacking Japanese forces by some few -- very few, but then that's all it takes -- Japanese immigrants who remained loyal to Japan.
In other words, there really was cause for those camps -- the horrible part was that so many wonderful, productive, loyal, and very American families had their farms, businesses, property, and homes confiscated and sold. THAT was uncalled for.
I trust that any internment program this century would NOT entail the confiscation and redistribution of its residents' businesses and property. But other than that, I think Americans would not be so squeamish about internment camps for American Muslims if suicide bombings became at all frequent.
"Muslim Spain" did not flourish. Spain had been the jewel in the crown for Rome, and many Roman writers, thinkers and even emperors were Spanish-born. Sevilla was a center of culture and learning. When the Visigoths arrived after the fall of ROme, it is true that they brought a much more primitive culture. However, Spain was still important, still renowned for its thinkers (such as St. Isidore of Sevilla, author of the first compendium of human knowledge), and several important early Church councils were held there.
The first group of conquerors arrived shortly after the conversion of the areas of Persia and Baghdad to Islam, and had remnants of the developed pre-islamic cultures of those areas, which were a mixture of Christians and pagans. They themselves were overrun afterwards by more radical Muslims from North Africa, and things went from bad to worse.
The Muslims were pushed back steadily from the north of Spain, and by the time of their supposedly glorious civilization in Granada, the group that was there was once again considered heretics by other Muslims, and in fact, it was other more radical Muslim groups that were instrumental in pushing them out and weakening them to the point where they had to surrender to Ferdinand and Isabella.
As for Toledo, famous "City of the Three Cultures," people somehow ignore the fact that it was under the rulership of the Christian king, Alfonso X, a man deeply interested in learning who employed Jewish and Muslim translators to work on historical documents and attempt to rediscover the learning of the past. There were several well-known Jewish and Muslim physicians at his court, and Jews were often employed in financial duties. But Toledo was not under the Muslims at that point.
The myth of the glories of "Islamic Spain" is one thing I have always found extremely irritating.
bump and bump again
Krauthammer is trying to be kind to the Muslims, and is obscuring the truth. So what if 99% of Muslims are not terrorists? 99% of Germans did not murder Jews in WW2, but the holocaust still happened.
Rumsfeld would/does disagree.
One fact conveniently and deliberately scrubbed from our history books for years since the end of WWII...
There were approximately 625,000 Italian-Americans interned, and disenfranchised of their homes, businesses, fishing and pleasure boats, etc...
This is far greater than the number of Japanese - and German Americans combined which were interned, all under FDR's same executive order 9066...
But somehow, you never seem to hear about the Italians, and precious little about the Germans. This despite the fact that in all of WWII -
Many disloyal Japanese were found to be spying for Imperial Japan (some were American citizens)
A not insignificant number of Germans were also identified as having Nazi sympathies, or to have engaged in treasonous/disloyal acts
But not even ONE Italian-American, US born, naturalised, or otherwise a resident was EVER found to have been disloyal.
You might think that Liberal revisionist historians were attempting to cast the United States in a negative light, vulnerable to charges of racism, and utterly inappropriate levels of discrimination aimed at non-white, non-European races.
And you would be absolutely correct. Standard Lib tactic to discredit their "enemy", America, in order to later criticise her and question her every deed.
But given that the Axis consisted of the aforementioned three groups, two of three of which WERE in fact, European, and among the largest groups of US immigrants by nationality, this argument is exposed to be dangerous, disingenuous, and specious!
Which brings up the question:
When will the US do what she rightly ought, and gear up to intern or expel non-native born muslims - especially the radical imams and mullahs known to be fomenting hatred, spreading vitriol, and quietly harbouring/encouraging active terrorist cells - all against their generous host nation, and their very own nest-door neighbors.
"Let the Final Crusade commence!"
Wow! Fascinating post! I didn't know that about interning Italian and German Americans in WWII. Man, you're right -- this is revisionist history exactly designed to make Americans out to be racists. Thanks again for the splendid post!