Sunday, October 01, 2006

What's the Truth About Isalm?

The quandary posed by Islam in general and Muslims in particular has become a mild obsession for me. On the one hand I know that Muslim barbarians killed thousands of Americans on 9-11-01, and that there are lots more willing and wanting to do the same thing again. On the other, I want to believe that not all Muslims share the belief that non-Muslims should be converted, killed or subjugated. That belief has thus far been impossible to validate.

The paradox that is Islam is addressed in two pieces published recently.

The first is a column by William F. Buckley, Jr. discussing a book by Mary Habeck, Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror. From Buckley’s column:

"The question of offensive jihad is ... complex and controversial," writes Habeck. "The most widely respected Islamic authorities ... all assume that Muslims have a duty to spread the dominion of Islam, through military offensives, until it rules the world. By the 'dominion of Islam' these authorities did not mean that everyone in the world must convert to Islam, since they also affirmed that 'there is no compulsion in religion,' rather that every part of the Earth must come under Islamic governance and especially the rule of the sharia.

"Azzam's definition of offensive jihad (Azzam is the principal modern theorist of militant Islam) follows this traditional understanding of jihad, noting that it is a duty for the leader of the Muslims 'to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year.'" The jihadist is obliged to perform with all available capabilities "until there remain only Muslims or people who submit to Islam."

For those who believe—who hope—that there is a moderate, non-violent, peaceful Muslim majority this is troubling stuff.

Some additional perspective on this situation comes from Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of The American Thinker, in a column titled, The Dark View of Islam and the American Street:

The Muslim street has stepped forward and walked right into the conventions of dramatic villainy. There is a word in the English Language for someone who goes around hurling at others both insults and physical attacks, but who, when subjected to some of his own medicine, cries out in pain, and says that it just isn't fair. The proper word for such a character is a "bully."

The ongoing drama provides two forms of fatal pride.

The first is that of the Islamists. Their own absolute sense of superiority, however much it may be called into question by the realities of the modern technological power of the non-Islamic West, blinds them to any consideration of the reactions of heathens. That fits right in with the bullying role.

Political correctness has cut off a vital source of feedback to both the Islamists and the so-called progressives of the West. They are blind to the realities of the American Street. Gradually, more and more Americans are beginning to entertain the concept that drastic measures may well be necessary to ensure our survival. It is only a half-thought position, outside of the circle of passionate advocates who write on the web or occasionally break into media notice on talk radio or a cable news channel. But it is part of a growing acceptance that we might need to go a bit Roman, or at least contemplate the exact mechanisms which brought an end to World War II, our most recent war fought against an existential threat.

America is generally slow to awaken to danger, but once roused it is a fierce fighter. A few voices are warning our potential foes. But they are not listening.

Those of us who do not want to see a convulsive death struggle play out on the world stage, who want to see the drama go from a tragedy to a farce, have our work cut out.

If Islam does not universally subscribe to the idea that “Muslims have a duty to spread the dominion of Islam, through military offensives, until it rules the world,” it is doing a poor job of telling the world. And until it does, we have no choice but to believe otherwise.

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