Skip to comments.The Bloody Borders Of Islam (Charles Krauthammer)
Posted on 02/07/2003 2:57:37 PM PST by dennisw
The Bloody Borders Of IslamWASHINGTON - Is Islam an inherently violent religion? And there is no denying the fact, stated most boldly by Samuel Huntington, author of ``The Clash of Civilizations?,'' that ``Islam has bloody borders.''
Published: Dec 6, 2002
From Nigeria to Sudan to Pakistan to Indonesia to the Philippines, some of the worst, most hate- driven violence in the world today is perpetrated by Muslims and in the name of Islam.
In Pakistan, Muslim extremists have attacked Christian churches, killing every parishioner they could. Just last month in Lebanon, an evangelical Christian nurse, who had devoted her life to caring for the sick, was shot three times through the head, presumably, for ``proselytizing.''
On the northern tier of the Islamic world, even more blood flows - in Pakistani-Kashmiri terrorism against Hindu India, Chechen terrorism in Russian-Orthodox Moscow and Palestinian terrorism against the Jews. (The Albanian Muslim campaign against Orthodox Macedonia is now on hold.) And then of course there was Sept. 11 - Islamic terrorism reaching far beyond its borders to strike at the heart of the satanic ``Crusaders.''
Until they speak, the borders of Islam will remain bloody.
It just as easily could have been from December 1002.
Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Sudan, Lebanon, Chechen terrorism, Palestinian terrorism against Israel
Can anyone add to this? Degestan perhaps?
Why Islam has 'bloody borders'
By MICHAEL STEINBERGER
Tuesday 23 October 2001
Michael Steinberger interviews Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington.
Is this the clash of civilisations you have been warning about for nearly a decade?
Clearly, Osama bin Laden wants it to be a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West. The first priority for our government is to try to prevent it from becoming one. But there is a danger it could move in that direction. The administration has acted exactly the right way in attempting to rally support among Muslim governments. But there are pressures in the US to attack other terrorist groups and states that support terrorist groups. And that, it seems to me, could broaden it into a clash of civilisations.
Were you surprised the terrorists were all educated, middle-class individuals?
No. The people involved in fundamentalist movements, Islamic or otherwise, are often people with advanced educations. Most of them do not become terrorists. But these are intelligent, ambitious young people who aspire to put their educations to use in a modern economy, and they become frustrated by the lack of opportunity. They are cross-pressured as well by the forces of globalisation and what they regard as Western imperialism and cultural domination. They are attracted to Western culture, but also repelled by it.
You have written that "Islam has bloody borders". What do you mean by this?
If you look around the borders of the Muslim world, you find a whole series of local conflicts involving Muslims and non-Muslims: Bosnia, Kosovo, the Caucasus, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Kashmir, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, North Africa, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Muslims also fight Muslims, and much more than the people of other civilisations fight each other.
So are you suggesting that Islam promotes violence?
I don't think Islam is any more violent than any other religions, and I suspect if you added it all up, more people have been slaughtered by Christians over the centuries than by Muslims. But the key factor is the demographic factor. Generally speaking, the people who go out and kill other people are males between the ages of 16 and 30.
During the 1960s, '70s and '80s there were high birth rates in the Muslim world, and this has given rise to a huge youth bulge. But the bulge will fade. Muslim birth rates are going down; in fact, they have dropped dramatically in some countries. Islam did spread by the sword originally, but I don't think there is anything inherently violent in Muslim theology.
Islam, like any great religion, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. People like bin Laden can seize on things in the Koran as commands to go out and kill infidels. But the Pope did exactly the same thing when he launched the Crusades.
Should the US do more to promote democracy and human rights in the Middle East?
It would be desirable but also difficult. In the Islamic world there is a natural tendency to resist the influence of the West, which is understandable given the long history of conflict between Islam and Western civilisation.
Obviously, there are groups in most Muslim societies that are in favor of democracy and human rights, and I think we should support those groups. But we then get into this paradoxical situation: many of the groups arguing against repression in those societies are fundamentalists and anti-American. We saw this in Algeria. Promoting democracy and human rights are very important goals for the US, but we also have other interests. President Carter was committed to promoting human rights, and when I served on his National Security Council we had countless discussions about this. But nobody ever mentioned the idea of trying to promote human rights in Saudi Arabia, and for a very obvious reason.
Apart from its closest allies, no country has lined up more solidly behind the US than Russia. Is this when Russia turns decisively to the West?
Russia is turning to the West for pragmatic reasons. The Russians feel threatened by Muslim terrorists and see it as in their interest to line up with the West and to gain some credit with the United States in the hope we will reduce our push for NATO expansion into the Baltic states and missile defence. It's a coincidence of interests, but we shouldn't blow it up into a big realignment. But I think they are very worried about the rise of China, and this will turn them to the West.
India and China, two countries you said would be at odds with the US, have joined in this war on terrorism. Instead of the West versus the rest, could the clash become Islam versus the rest?
Conceivably. You have Muslims fighting Westerners, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists. But there are a billion Muslims in the world, stretching across the Eastern hemisphere from Western Africa to eastern Indonesia, and they interact with dozens of different people. So they have more opportunity to clash with others.
The most frequent criticism levelled against you is that you portray entire civilisations as unified blocks.
That is totally false. The major section on Islam in my book is called "Consciousness Without Cohesion", in which I talk about all the divisions in the Islamic world, about Muslim-on-Muslim fighting. Even in the current crisis, they are still divided. You have a billion people, with all these sub-cultures, the tribes. Islam is less unified than any other civilisation. The problem with Islam is the problem Henry Kissinger expressed with regard to Europe: "If I want to call Europe, what number do I call?" If you want to call the Islamic world, what number do you call? If there was a dominant power in the Islamic world, you could deal with them.
- NEW YORK TIMES
Samuel Huntington is a Harvard political scientist
First, Islam is more violent that other religions, unless we include the Aztec and their cutting the hearts out of their victims.
Second, Christianity is not responsible for more slaughter. In adding the numbers, it is only fair to distinguish between wars led by those who just happen to be in lands that are predominantly Christian or Muslim. In other words, we must be talking about wars that are fought for specifically religious reasons.
It doesn't count saying that Germany and its allies fought the US and its allies in WWII. All of them being from "christian" lands does not mean that it was a religious war. It wasn't. It was an expansionist war, perhaps a war of political ideology.
So, then. Which are the wars fought by Christianity to expand/mainain its domain? Similar questions for Islam.
Count the bodies. The Sudan automatically will make Islam far bloodier than the rest of Christian history combined.
Since Christianity is based on the New Testament where in the New Testament did the pope find justification for a Christian version of jihad? -Tom
This professor doesn't get it. He sounds like Bush. Although Pres. Bush's actions are a different story.-Tom
And islam again rises to discover a Christian world led by America this time, its people mostly pagan or atheistic, which does not view islam as a threat. To the contrary, islam is said to be a religion of peace when in fact it means submission, the lie is repeated and islam grows. Jesus will triumph in the end, but it's gonna be a long road to 'peace'. These may be the most tumultuos days the world may ever see.
Let islam join mohammed (misery and curses be upon him) in the hottest regions of hell.
Paris, Marseilles, Brussels, Rotterdam, London
Yep, the definition did indeed change before our eyes.
The definition of 'unilateral' has also gone through a miraculous transformation. It now means "any action taken without either the sanction or the direct participation of France and Germany."
In the past?
You might want to study post #9 a bit.
Well, the other points might have some truth to them, but this one is pure garbage.
Islam responsible for nearly ever single act of terrorism in the 20th century?
Come on now. Gavrilio Princip wasn't Muslim, and his terrorist act kicked off started WWI.
At any rate, my point is this: the Christian nations of the world have also had some pretty bloody borders during the 20th century. That doesn't mean that we blame Christianity for WWI, WWII, the Boer War, etc.
The Battle of Somme lasted 5 months and was not over religion.
edit: and inflicted 600,000 to 700,000 casualties not fatalities.
Thank you Thorondir. The flippant remarks that some people post never cease to amaze me, even on a really important issue like Islam; so it's refreshing to read the comments of someone who at least has some understanding of what Islam is all about.
I write from a British perspective on this issue.
In the TV series Star Trek, Captain Picard fights an irresistible alien life-force called the Borg, which is half-human and half-machine. The Borg destroys and absorbs every species it comes into contact with. Once it has absorbed a person, their will and thoughts become submissive to the central Borg Queen who then controls them. The Borg has a refrain which it constantly repeats to its enemies: Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated.
When the Borg says this it is playing upon the fears of its enemies and of the viewers. The easiest thing to do and the safest is to realise that the Borg is supremely dangerous, and that resistance probably is futile, and that the only certain way to survive is to surrender, and to submit oneself to being absorbed. Of course this is only a TV show. But the parallel is a good one; Islam is intent upon swallowing the whole world. It is not possible to be neutral in this; the choice is either to resist Islam and risk dying a futile death, or to embrace it, even if this is not a desirable thing to do. Many sincere Muslims would not see Islam in this way; after all, Islam is no threat to them. But regardless of how they see it, Islam goes out into the world with the implicit threat of violence against all resistance. Islam certainly seeks the annihilation of Israel, something the West can never allow, no matter how much we detest the behaviour of Israel. But the goal of Islam was always to expand; first, to take over the Arabian Peninsula, and then to move out into North Africa and Palestine, and then east into India and beyond, and north into Europe, and so on, swallowing up all the nations that live in these lands. If Islam meets resistance then it fights. If it meets no resistance then it absorbs and moves on. In this sense Islam is in no way a peaceful religion; it is never content to meet another nation and live in harmony with it. It is only peaceful where it is not resisted. In Islamic theology only two states are recognised: the House of God, i.e. countries under Shariah; or the House of War.
On every front Islam has bloody borders in West Africa, in Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia, in Bosnia and Kosovo, in Chechnya, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, in Israel and Lebanon, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in the Philippines, the Comoros and in Indonesia; and in many other places around the world. Muslims fight with everyone, with Jews, Christians and Hindus; and Sunnis fight with Shiites. And of course throughout the West there is ongoing conflict with Islamic terrorism. In the year 2000, there were thirty-two armed conflicts happening in the world; of these, twenty-three involved Muslims. In 2006 Muslims are involved in twenty-eight of the thirty armed conflicts which are currently going on.
This is not to say that the West is without guilt. Whenever the West has become involved in conflicts with Muslims, such as in Bosnia, Somalia, Israel, Lebanon, Afghanistan or Iraq, the West never seems to do anything right or honourable. At best, the motives of the West are ill-advised; at worst, the motives of the West are stupid and wrong. Despite 9/11, the West has still not properly realised how to act towards Islam. Every response is a knee-jerk military reaction that ends badly. But Islam cannot be defeated by marching into Muslim countries and trying to take them over; it has been typical Western gung-ho arrogance to believe that this sort of thing could ever work. This type of resistance was always futile; the West should not react when it does not need to. Aggressive behaviour against Muslim countries only unites Muslims against a common enemy. Wherever possible, the West must disengage from conflict and embark on the only strategy which holds any promise of success; that is, to attend to their own backyard, and to make good the security of the West.
This calls for completely different thinking. Any inhumane treatment of an immigrant population is unacceptable; but so is the inevitable conflict which will arise if immigrant populations are allowed to grow unchecked. This is the nettle which Western politicians need to grasp urgently. If it is not grasped then it will end in conflict and bloodshed. For the West, the Islamic immigrant population is an unexploded bomb which is about to go off. I am not talking about friendly Muslim colleagues who we work next to, or the old Muslim chap who runs the corner shop at the end of our street. But I am talking about their children, a generation which has become militant, motivated, and more than a little scary. The actions of fanatics ruin the situation for those who are law-abiding. But in September 2006 Londons anti-terrorist chief Peter Clarke publicly put the number of people the UK police were interested in as running into the thousands.
If any of this sounds extreme or racist then you have not woken up to Islam. The 9/11 and 7/7 bombers were ordinary chaps with ordinary jobs; but we now know who they were, and that they were all Muslims, and that their ringleaders were Muslims, Mohamed Atta and Mohammed Sidique Khan. But racism must have nothing to do with this; the only issue of importance is security. Its not safe to allow people to live in your country who want to destroy society, and who are happy to sacrifice their own lives killing innocent civilians to do so. I personally despise the British National Party (who are rascists), and I will never vote for them because they are motivated by hatred and xenophobia. But it is time to face reality: Islam is simply not compatible with Western society or with Western values. And fighting Islam is not an option; the West must isolate itself from Islam. Anything that comes into contact with Islam will end in blood, or in assimilation.
Isolation is the only alternative. And this means the dirty word deportation. It means disregarding international conventions on the forcible return of immigrant populations, even 2nd and 3rd generation, to their countries of origin. There is simply no other choice. There is no point being mealy-mouthed about this; it has been a mistake to allow Muslims into Britain, for example, who never had any intention of integrating into British society. The same applies to the US, and especially to Canada. Deportation must happen now, and a way has to be found to do it firmly but sensitively, with fair compensation, regardless of the storm of international opprobrium which such action will bring. The UK has always tried to abide by international law; but it is ridiculous to think that any community which has proved itself to be hostile to British society and a threat to innocent people continues to be welcome to stay. Elected governments have the responsibility to ensure that they have the powers to see through actions that are necessary to protect society. For a start, legislation must be forced through which will allow at least five things:
1. The immediate deportation without compensation of anyone convicted of terrorist activity, without right of appeal.
2. The immediate deportation with compensation of anyone suspected of being a terrorist threat, without right of appeal (except with regard to compensation).
3. The deportation with compensation of all family members of anyone convicted of terrorist activities; and of all their associates and members of their mosque, without right of appeal (except with regard to compensation).
4. An emigration compensation scheme which will encourage, but which will ultimately be able to compel, the deportation with compensation of all Muslims who have come from immigrant families, regardless of their current immigration status; without right of appeal (except with regard to compensation).
5. The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain (and other similar organisations) must be outlawed, and their members deported; the existence of a extra-legal competing parliaments is not acceptable in a democracy.
The courts must be given no say on these matters, except with regard to setting a fair compensation for any immediate loss, and to cover any reasonable immediate hardship in the country of destination. If courts are allowed to overrule a democratically elected government then there is no point in having a government at all.
In one sense this whole scenario sounds dreadful. Has the West really come to this? But if I am asked whether I would rather see this sort of compulsory deportation, carried out within a strict framework, or, the type of bloodshed which happened in Bosnia which the West was so slow to prevent then I would rather see a policy of compulsory deportation. Its regrettable, and many innocent people will be forced to return to their ancestral country of origin, but there it is. But if this is not done swiftly, before it is too late, then freedom in the West is lost. This would be shame, as over the centuries many people have died to give us the freedom we have. But if isolation from Islam is not brought about, then rest assured, we will all be assimilated; or we will all die.