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Islam and the West
National Review ^ | 14 October 2010 | Conrad Black

Posted on 10/16/2010 4:14:09 AM PDT by Doctor13

It is certainly time that the West considered systematically whether it has irreconcilable differences with Islam. The belligerence of many Islamic spokesmen and the unassimilable quality of many Muslim immigrants in the West, as well as the spectacular terrorist provocations of extreme Islamic groups, make this a very legitimate question. But it is not so easy to answer. Some passages of the Koran, and some of Muhammad’s more purposeful remarks, certainly incite the inference that mortal conflict is inevitable, an impression heightened by the neurotic obsession of a great many Muslims with the red herring of Israel. It is hard for Westerners to know what to make of Islam. It speaks through an infinite number of clerical and secular leaders, and in a range of vocabularies from fraternal to genocidally hostile.

Muhammad was allegedly visited by the versatile Archangel Gabriel in 610, and told to found Islam. After twelve years, Muhammad had only 150 followers, but decamped to the Jewish oasis of Yathrib, seized control of it, renamed it Medina, set up the first mosque, and went forth to conquer Arabia. Unlike Jesus, or the contemplative and sedentary Gautama, founder of Buddhism, Muhammad was a military leader who advanced by fire and sword and told his followers to emulate him. They established Sharia, a totalitarian legal system of organizing of society, directed by clerics and going far beyond what even the most pious and fervent Westerner would consider the province of religion. Arab Islam surged westwards across Africa and into Spain, and then into France, before being repulsed by Charles Martel (Charlemagne’s grandfather) at Tours in 732.To the history-minded, including many Arabs, the Arab world has been in retreat for the 13 following centuries, which may explain some of the militancy of Arab extremists.

What are now the Turkish Muslims stirred next and finally took Constantinople from the Greek Orthodox Byzantines in 1453, and then surged into Europe from the opposite side to the Arab invasion, getting to, but being repulsed from, the gates of Vienna twice, in 1529 and 1683, and they too gradually subsided. The Sunni Muslim world was organized in caliphates for some centuries, and they were relatively progressive civil societies; the Shiites were ruled by theocratic imams, and in some places, such as Iran, they still are. The Muslims are made almost incomprehensible to all but the most assiduous Western students of that culture by a combination of ancient prejudices, the ever-changing fluidity of Muslim relationships and alliances, the hydra-headed decentralization of the world Muslim community, and the bizarre and even absurd nature of many Islamic events or general reaction to them.

To many Westerners, there is an ingrained Muslim caricature of the swarthy peasant raising sinew-lean arms to the heavens, having been commanded to do so by a voice from a minaret loudspeaker; the serried ranks of men pressing their foreheads to the floor and elevating their posteriors in a gesture that is, in our culture, unserious; shady, long-unsuccessful nationalities; and recent, and not overly dynamic, colonies. Many Western Muslim populations are sinister and fractious, and their spokesmen are often unbecomingly hostile to the host nations. Their conditions are inferior, but so are their standards of civic participation.

In the Muslim world, it is always impossible to sort out factions, and be confident of the correlation of forces. There was much rejoicing by the Western allies in Iraq when President Maliki routed the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr three years ago, and the distinguished Arab scholar Fouad Ajami wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal that Sadr’s preparedness to join a new Maliki government should also be a cause for pleasure. For the first six years after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. was pouring billions of dollars into Pakistan to shore it up against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but Pakistan was encouraging and supporting the Afghan Taliban, and is still doing so. Saudi Arabia, ostensibly one of America’s greatest Muslim allies, its third-largest foreign source of oil, now buying $60 billion of American military hardware, is a joint venture between the royal (and formerly nomadic) House of Saud and the extreme Wahhabi Islamist clerisy. Saudi Arabia finances more than 90 percent of the world’s Islamist institutions, including many hundreds of madrassas that churn out aspiring terrorists. The U.S., which is one of the most averse countries to the Byzantine complexities of such a culture, is effectively on both sides of the War on Terror, in which members of its armed forces are losing lives almost every week.

As the Muslim world stretched from Morocco to Indonesia, it became ever more fissiparous. Now hundreds of clerical and secular worthies contend for its attention and voices can be heard and amplified in the advocacy of everything from fraternal rapprochement with the West to a relentless Jihad against everything and everyone in the West. And while any level of vitriol directed at the West and its most respected institutions is acceptable, and none is excessive, vast tracts of the Muslim world react like wounded animals at any perceived slight. When a completely unofficial Danish cartoonist produced some relatively innocuous renderings of Muhammad five years ago, Danish embassies were stoned and the whole nationality was anathematized in many Muslim countries. There was a tremendous uproar when Pope Benedict XVI referred, very disapprovingly, in a speech at Regensburg in 2006, to a conversation between the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an eminent Persian, in 1391, and quoted the emperor as saying, “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” The pope further quoted the emperor as saying that violence was “unreasonable and incompatible with the nature of God and of the soul.” He had referred to the emperor’s familiarity with the Koranic assertion that “there is no compulsion in religion.” In the gentlest, most scholarly and distant way, the pope was making a point that he shares with billions of non-Muslims, as he wonders how long Muslim provocations can cascade down on others without incurring a general containment policy directed at Islam, or an internecine Muslim conflict in which non-Muslims will heavily intervene.

Apart from breaking the Iraqi-Iranian shared antipathy to the West, which makes any political activity in the Persian Gulf area practically impossible, the main argument for the Iraq War was to promote a power-sharing regime in a major Arab country. The eastern Muslims, especially Indonesia, are advancing very determinedly as a sophisticated political society enjoying prolonged high economic growth. Turkey, if it doesn’t become too enamored of its courtship with disreputable regimes like that of Iran, is an important and potentially successful country. Some of the oil-rich Muslim countries are more or less promising, including Iraq, and the more secular countries are generally more compelling examples of the way forward than the knuckle-dragging theocracies. Some effort should be under way to coordinate the policies of the U.S., EU, Russia, China, India, and Japan toward at least the less house-trained Muslim regimes. Given the fiasco with the sanctions plan against Iran, it is not going to be easy, especially as the Muslim radicals concentrate their antipathy almost entirely on the West, and particularly the U.S., but militant Islam is not, in fact, a very powerful opponent, compared with the Axis of World War II or international Communism. It should be possible, and would be worth the effort, to be more systematic in promoting civilized versions of it. There need not be any basic conflict between the Muslim world and the West, nor any segregation between them, but the extremists, and those who play footsie with them, including the Saudis, should be disincentivized.

Non-Muslim countries and regions should make it clear that we are not prepared to be condescended to as infidels, that the Judeo-Christian traditions of the West antedate those of Islam (we are all Abrahamists and Gabriel called on our preceptors first), and that the widespread mistreatment of Christian minorities in some Muslim countries should produce proportionate retaliation, but not at the expense of the civil rights of our own Mulsim minorities. The Muslim massacre of a million Christian blacks in the Sudan should have received a much more energetic and righteous response than it has. And the mad idea of a large mosque almost adjacent to the World Trade Center site should never have gained any traction at all. That debate makes our entire society look like idiots, with Michael Bloomberg, Maureen Dowd, Katie Couric, et al. all thoughtfully holding hands as proverbial “useful idiots.” The less house-trained Islamists who now frolic in and degrade the United Nations and some of its agencies and commissions should be sent packing. Militant Islam should be recognized as an antagonist, and moderate Muslims should be courted, much more systematically than they have been; Indonesia should be treated as a major power in the world, despite having a (very talented) president who rejoices in the name of Bambang. The debate should not be between ourselves about how to deal with Muslims, it should be between Muslims about the unwisdom of provoking us all.

– Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom and Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full. He can be reached at

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: constantinople; islam; koran

1 posted on 10/16/2010 4:14:12 AM PDT by Doctor13
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To: Doctor13

How do you figure he thought FDR was a “champion of freedom?”

2 posted on 10/16/2010 4:21:51 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Doctor13

IMO ISlam has NEVER— will never and does NOT aspire to being compatible with our American system. The history of that bloody Satanic cult is one of oppression. Montesquieu compared
that system to Christianity and preferred Christ. Our Founders cited only the Bible more often as authority (if one can believe Professor Donald S.Lutz. The goal of Islam is to force
all the world to be as their troglodite mad prophet

3 posted on 10/16/2010 4:40:31 AM PDT by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: gusopol3
My concern has to do with exposing Islam today. It's an excellent article. Someone once described Islam as the Christian killing machine - when you consider that at one time, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Turkey, to name a few, were all Christian nations at one time until Islam swept through. I don't believe there is one Muslim nation where Christians are not either persecuted or killed.

Again, my concerns have to do with the present day and exposing the hypocrisy of this religion. However, any criticism of Islam equates to being a racist - so that few people actually have the courage to speak out against a religion that is out to destroy anyone who is not a Muslim. CAIR and the other Muslim organizations have done their jobs well.

4 posted on 10/16/2010 4:41:37 AM PDT by Doctor13
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To: Doctor13

That debate makes our entire society look like idiots, with Michael Bloomberg, Maureen Dowd, Katie Couric, et al. all thoughtfully holding hands as proverbial “useful idiots.”

Thanks for posting this. I am trying to figure out the libtard obsession with championing all of this muslimania. These people almost conquered, note not persuaded but rather conquered, Vienna for heavens sakes. The same in France. US lefty’s offer them comfort and aid behind battle lines. WTF ? They support nothing we in the west, left or right, support. I can’t find any explanation for it.

5 posted on 10/16/2010 4:43:47 AM PDT by major-pelham
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To: Doctor13

Found it: The Islamic Golden Age!
By Henrik R. Clausen

The Closing of the Muslim MindBook essay: The Closing of the Muslim Mind, by
Robert R. Reilly.

Opposition to the idea of Islam being a rational religion, in which Allah is
bound by logic and morality, formed relatively quickly. Al-Ash’ari was the
leading opponent, giving rise to the Asharite school of thought, which by
means of reason seeks to demonstrate that reason is not compatible with
Islam, that reason cannot be used to know the divine, and thus there is no
compelling reason to apply reason to the Quran or other things Islamic. ..

...In 885, the copying of any book on philosophy was banned, and in 892 a
ban on trading books on philosophy, theology and related subjects was
enforced. The Mu’tazilite position was forced underground.

This led to a cascading collapse of reason within Islam. From the demotion
of reason followed the primacy of the will, Allah as unknowable, the loss of
causality, epistemology, objective morality, justice and free will. ..
...The end result being that practically nothing but jurisprudence, in other
words the application of Sharia law, remains a vital and living issue in

Going to the very roots of this raises philosophical questions, such as “Do
things exists by themselves?” “Are there laws of nature by which Allah is
bound?” “Can there be such a thing as a free will for human beings?” The
extreme view of the Asharites is best illustrated through an example. From
Islam and Science:

Even a speeding arrow may or may not reach its destination, they said,
because at each moment along its path God destroys the world and then
creates it afresh the next moment. Where the arrow will be at the next
moment, given that it was at a particular spot at an earlier moment, cannot
be predicted because it is God alone who knows how the world is to be recreated.

A different fundamentally unscientific nature of this claim is that no way
exists to disprove it. From a Western point of view, this is too hopelessly
absurd to deserve consideration.

Worth noting in context is also the degradation of rationality, in the
Western world (and East Asia) considered fine qualities: By descending into
absolute voluntarism, rationality becomes benign and meaningless.

>From a mainstream Islamic point of view, this world view is a necessity, for
no natural law can be permitted to restrict the Will of Allah.

The chaotic worldview is a bad breeding ground for absolute morality, like a
solid concept of private property or the sanctity of life as such, and
provides no philosophical basis for contradicting terrorists such as PLO,
Hamas or Hezbollah, who act in the name of Islam and Allah.


[My personal comment: I am only part way through reading this short book. I now know that Islam is theologically hostile (at war really) to personal liberty and property rights, the core political values of the US and the liberal west.

Islam certainly is theologically hostile to the Christian faith. I think these point may explain why Islam and socialists find common cause with each other. For this reason, it would be a grave mistake to allow very many
Muslims to immigrate to the west.]

6 posted on 10/16/2010 4:50:20 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: Doctor13

I did read the article, even before I posted.I agree, it was strong on the clash of civilizations ( or civilization against semi-) . But I found it discordant that he found FDR admirable. Actually, I free-associated to Gingrich, who was so eager to quote FDR on assuming the speakership in 1995. “Ugh” does as well as a lot of verbiage in describing my reaction to that.

7 posted on 10/16/2010 4:57:42 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Doctor13

> There need not be any basic conflict between the Muslim
> world and the West, nor any segregation between them

I must vigorously disagree.

One of these worlds must be destroyed. There can be no peace until that happens.

Japan had to be destroyed before it could be civilized.

Same with Germany.

Same goes for the Islamic Axis.

8 posted on 10/16/2010 4:59:13 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: theBuckwheat

” it would be a grave mistake to allow very many Muslims to immigrate to the west.”

And yet, we are allowing just that - even protecting them from criticism or questioning.

9 posted on 10/16/2010 5:03:50 AM PDT by RoadTest (Religion is a substitute for the relationship God wants with you.)
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To: Doctor13
Christians - Jesus died for me.

Islam - I die for my God and religion ....

You decide which religion promotes, "Peace onto you".

10 posted on 10/16/2010 5:11:38 AM PDT by Jumper
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To: Jumper

I wouldn’t care if Muslims died for their god and religion; the problem is that they want you to die, too.

11 posted on 10/16/2010 5:19:04 AM PDT by livius
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To: theBuckwheat

> I think these point may explain why Islam and socialists
> find common cause with each other.

Correct. They are eachother’s useful idiots. The winner gets to annihilate the losers. I’m pretty sure the Left will triumph over Islam in the end. They have far more resources.

For the rest of us, the end result is the same.

Slavery or death.

12 posted on 10/16/2010 5:19:22 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: Jumper

Christians - Jesus died for me, I live for Him.

Islam - I kill and die killing for my God demonic deity and its religion religious system....


13 posted on 10/16/2010 5:22:55 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: Doctor13

This was a weird article, because on the one hand, he seemed realistic about the fundamental horrors and errors of Islam; but then all of a sudden he dropped back to the “moderate Muslims” trope that is all we have heard out of our political leaders for decades.

The problem is that Islam is evil at its core, a violent theocratic political system that wants to conquer everything in its path, an anti-intellectual, authoritarian cult that subjects its followers and their societies to misery, oppression and darkness.

Any “moderate” Muslim who accepts Islam also accepts all of this. Perhaps he just hasn’t had the urge to go out and bomb innocents on the subway yet, but this potential is always there, and if not the potential for violence, certainly the potential for support of the oppressive society that would be created after Islam takes over.

I don’t think we have to hunt individual Muslims down and exterminate them, but I do think we have to declare that Islam is simply incompatible with our law and the philosophy behind it. I would suggest that we require a loyalty oath from Muslims, except that lying is a part of their religion so that would be meaningless...however, I do think Islam should be suppressed in this country and most of its foreign-born followers expelled. And there should be relentless opposition to it on every front; for example, there is no way the Ground Zero rabat (a sort of forward base outpost established when Muslims conquer a country) should even have been considered let alone permitted.

14 posted on 10/16/2010 5:29:31 AM PDT by livius
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To: Jumper
I think the saying goes, "Christ gave his only son to die for us; Allah sends his sons to die for him."

Someone once described Islam as the Christian killing machine, when you consider that at one time, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt were once Christian countries until Islam swept through. To my knowledge, there is not one Muslim country that does not persecute or kill (even crucify) their Christians.

15 posted on 10/16/2010 5:31:19 AM PDT by Doctor13
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To: Doctor13
The question should be asked, "Can one be a good Muslim AND and a good American?" The Koran demands that Muslims seek out the infidel and kill him, (that's you and I, my friend). If Muslims do not do what the Koran demands, then they are good Americans. Obviously you can't be both.

I often wonder how anyone can follow a religion whose prophet who took a child bride of six and consummated it when she was nine. There is such a word for that which I will not repeat here.

16 posted on 10/16/2010 5:36:17 AM PDT by Doctor13
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To: Doctor13
Christianity is a religion of Love and Forgiveness, and ultimately, Salvation, whereas islam is a cult of sociopathy.

We, who are Christian are at a terrible disadvantage in this world in having to be the Good Guys with all of the self control and moral restraint that puts on us in having to fend off murderous fascists whose own playbook actually encourages its cult members to lie cheat and steal all in the name of their moon god, allah.

And that spills over into our nation as a whole. When we war, we spend billions in treasure to develop weapons to deliver with pin prick accuracy so as to minimize collateral damage and death. The moon warblers are instructed to kill, kill, kill, anything that doesn't shove its ass in the air for allah the head moonbat, and with no regard for the innocent.

Of course, God is the Ultimate Authority over our lives, and are souls will be judged by what we do here on His Earth, but in the meantime, we have to deal with these sand serpents.

How do we save the souls of those poor saps caught up in this fascistic nightmare? Wake them up and turn them into apostates from their satanic slumber?

17 posted on 10/16/2010 5:54:35 AM PDT by InternetTuffGuy
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To: Jumper
Muslims say they are defending their god when they kill those who aren't respectfull to that ollie guy.

Christians know that God is perfectly capable of defending Himself and does not have to rely on His children for protection.

How sorry is the Muslim god that he needs defending by mere mortals?

18 posted on 10/16/2010 5:58:37 AM PDT by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: gusopol3

They have probably never heard of nor read the amazing book, “The Rooosevelt Myth” by John Flynn, written in 1949. This book can be read entirely on-line.

19 posted on 10/16/2010 8:23:18 AM PDT by Albertafriend
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