Islam Undressed: Liberty Threatened
The appeal of Islam has many roots, some are even noble, but those mandating violence against non-brothers are not, or at least not by the standards of non-Muslims. When Islam is judged against universally accepted standards of morality, the Arabian religion fails to qualify as the friend and guide of humanity it claims to be. Muslims will protest against this point of view, and as usual will produce weak tidbits or far-fetched evidence to prove that Islam advocates the love and brotherhood of mankind, ignoring the larger realities of Jihad and 1400 years of history. This type of sorcery has worked wonders for Islamists and their apologists in the past, but with modern dissemination of knowledge one hopes it will become more difficult to cloud the truth with the magic of misinterpretation and spin.
America has appreciated and duly noted the official moderate Muslim perspective, but in addition to well thought-out official releases … what action will Islam now take to manage its own? What are Muslims going to do to reign-in and punish clerics inciting hatred, violence, and constantly calling for the most popular interpretation of Jihad? Are moderate Muslims strong and powerful enough to actually do something about the fire-breathing clerics and militants amongst them? Can they wrest power from the militants and take control of defining and administering the central tenants and teachings of Islam? Will effective action ever be taken against the supposedly holy clerics inciting and celebrating hatreds and violence? To have any chance to ultimately win what promises to be a long war against Islamic fanatics, we must, as Sun Tze in
To date America has done a very poor job of identifying to its citizenship just exactly who is the enemy and what is the ideology driving them. There is also a constant stream of misinformation spewed by Islamic apologists and propagandists, which has resulted in confusion and lack of focus, with its resulting ambiguity of policy and inadequate responses. Islamic terror continues unabated in Iraq, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sudan, Israel, and elsewhere, with no end in sight. Islam, the so-called "Religion of Peace", continues to be a breeder of hatred and an incubator of willing foot soldiers, having neither boundary nor limits. Nor is there any semblance of humanity in Islamic extremists’ brutality. The beating and hanging from a bridge over the Euphrates River of four lifeless, mutilated, charred American civilian bodies, and the brutal beheading of Nick Berg are just more graphic and indelible testimony of their inhumanity.
Responsible members of the human race hope that among the first things Islam would do is to officially condemn the racist use of the word INFIDEL, and to recognize in both its teachings and law the equality of all races, religions, and sexes. It should also apologize for all past prejudicial teachings and practices. Sadly, the only intelligent conclusion which can be drawn by a pragmatic analysis of fundamental Islam; reform and modernization are impossible even for a majority of Muslims who might hope for it. To admit any flaw whatsoever, or to reform any basic wiring or tenant of Islam is to discredit the whole philosophy to its roots. Another fundamental weakness of Islam is that it does not have a central administration or organized self-regulatory mechanisms. This weakness leaves the door wide open for the hijacking of individuals, families, clans, mosques, sects, regions, or countries, by any despot with a personal agenda. Anyone can claim to represent Islam and rise to be a holy man without any appointment, education, or actual calling. The first and only requirement appears to be a strong aspiration to the position, or in other words, greed for power and influence. Islam needs to correct this mistake, or it will continue to be used as it has in the past, to inspire and express hatred, for violence, and as a lever used to gain personal power.
Some think, and it seems reasonable, that Islam herself was the most injured by the attacks on 9/11. Could it be that those four airliners inflicted a wound on Islam that will result in untold turmoil and sorrow amongst her own? God is not subject to interpretation by mere mortals, nor is He the personal property of any group or individual. Certainly, if there is only one God, then the question begs asking; are these extremist Muslim leaders actually affiliated with Him? Whether they represent the majority or minority in their cultures, angry hateful Muslims could not possibly be acquainted with a kind, benevolent, and loving God of us all. Further, as long as their minds are so clouded with Hate, the probability of spiritual enlightenment or an intellectual epiphany is at absolute zero. However, one might deduce that the most intelligent, talented, logical, peaceful, and reasonable individuals and families within their own societies might well recognize the inherent failings of Islamic culture and seek enlightenment elsewhere, or at least demand change. But we should not hold our breath for any internal evolution, as history demonstrates that humanitarian sympathies have never been a priority for Islamic philosophy nor her people, and indeed opposition in any form is considered betrayal and treason.
History of Terror
The political and economic record of Islamic countries is wretched, with only one of 18 Muslim states (Turkey) democratically governed. Some warn that Turkeys professed secularism is only skin deep. In fact, ‘Infidels’, a racist term referring to non-believers/non-conformists, are persecuted everywhere in the world where real Muslims are in power, including Turkey. Infidels and Muslims alike suffer when governments attempt to rule using rigid Islamic principals and law. Unlike Christianity, which, since the Reformation and Counter Reformation has continually updated itself and adapted to changed conditions, and unlike Judaism, which has experienced what is called the 18th-century Jewish enlightenment, in many parts of the world Islam remains a religion stuck in the Dark Ages. It contains many sects and tendencies, quite apart from the broad division between the majority Sunni Muslims (including most of the ruling families of the Gulf), and Shia Muslims (who dominate Iran). It seems all governments controlled by Muslims are moving towards greater orthodoxy and fundamentalism. This is a big problem for all, including hapless Muslims living in these states because orthodox conservative Islam believes in a theocratic state, ruled by religious law inflicting (as in Saudi Arabia) grotesquely cruel punishments obsolete in Western Europe in the early Middle Ages. Moreover, Qur’anic teaches that the faith or "submission" can be, and in suitable circumstances must be, imposed by force.
Former (US President) Carter administration official Samuel P. Huntington, now a Harvard professor and founder of Foreign Affairs magazine wrote in the 1966 book ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order":
"Some Westerners, including President Bill Clinton, have argued that the West does not have problems with Islam but only with violent Islamist extremists … Fourteen hundred years of history demonstrate otherwise." Indeed, he says, we’ve been deeply engaged in a quasi war that, as we know now, has become something much larger.
The West is not alone in being under threat from Islamic expansion. While the Ottomans moved into South-East Europe, the Mongul invasion of India destroyed much of Hindu and Buddhist civilization there. The destruction by Muslims in Afghanistan of colossal Buddhist statues is reminiscent of what happened to temples and shrines, on an enormous scale, when Islam took over large areas of India. The writer V. S. Naipaul pointed out that the destructiveness of the Muslim Conquest is at the root of India’s appalling poverty today. Indeed, looked at historically, the record shows that Muslim rule has tended both to promote and to perpetuate poverty. Meanwhile, the religion of "submission" continues to advance, as a rule by force, in Africa, in Nigeria and Sudan, and in Asia, notably in Indonesia, where non-Muslims are given the choice of conversion or death. And in all countries where Islamic law is applied, converts (compulsory or not), who revert to their earlier faith, are often punished by death.
The survival and expansion of militant Islam in the 20th century came as a surprise. After the First World War, many believed that Turkey, where the Kemal Ataturk regime imposed secularization by force, would set the pattern for the future, and that Islam would at last be reformed and modernized. Though secularism has (so far) survived in Turkey, in the rest of the Islamic world fundamentalism, or more properly ‘orthodoxy’, has increased its grip on both the rulers and the masses.
Before the September 11 attacks, and despite what happened in Iran where its first victory was won, some argued that Islamist totalitarianism was a movement in decline. But in the decades since the Iranian revolution, formidable Islamist movements have built up around the Islamic world, with inadequate opposition. For the past quarter-century, radical Islamist fundamentalism has roiled nations in which it arose. In Sudan, the Muslim government in Khartoum imposed Islamic law nationwide in 1993, and has killed 2 million Sudanese Christians and animists, and enslaved countless more, in an attempt to Islamize the country. Coptic Christians in Egypt, whose presence predates the arrival of Islam there, have been slaughtered by fundamentalist Muslims, with authorities doing little or nothing to stop them. In the Philippines and East Timor, Christians are being massacred by Muslims. Churches and Christian homes in Nigeria are being burned, and Christians murdered, by Muslim extremists. The ancient Christian presence in many Arab lands – Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, among others – has been decimated in the last century by Muslim persecution.
Although totalitarian regimes came to power in Indonesia, the Sudan, and formally Taliban Afghanistan, elsewhere attempts were made to counter the insurgencies (in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, and Chechnya), but never with complete success. Originally it was unclear whether the U.S. military responses since Sept 11 would precipitate new waves of radicalization in the Islamic world, or the opposite. For the Iranian masses, revolutionary fervor seemed for a time to be giving way to disillusionment and cynics, but that did not given the Islamists cause to change their path. When the reformist government of Mohammed Khatami started creeping gingerly toward a more moderate course, the hardliner Imams quickly quashed it, leading to even more discontent by the Persian people of Iran.
In June 1950, Kim Il Sung posed a large problem for the U.S in Korea. But he was not the problem. Stalin was, and Truman never lost sight of that fact. The problem today is not a scattering of global terrorists, but a whole raft of challenges to western culture through the script and sword of Islamist totalitarianism.
Now Islam has reached out to wage a direct, frontal assault on its antithesis – its "Great Satan": the United States, or, to be more accurate, liberty. All the while it attempts to pacify and confuse by claiming to be the victim, and claiming to represent peace, equality, and justice. This movement follows the standard ‘modus operandi’ of falsehoods by claiming to be the opposite of what it is, whispering in our ears that evil is actually good, and that good is evil. That evil ‘lies’ is not surprising, but that anyone of any intelligence and education still believes it is astonishing. Indeed it seems that "the bigger the lie, the easier it is for unenlightened masses to swallow".
At first glance, shadowy Islamist terrorists look very different from any enemy we have ever faced, and indeed, the tactics they employ are novel. But on closer scrutiny, the fundamental nature of our present adversaries, once seen plainly, is all too familiar. What we confront today is repackaged totalitarianism: Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, their coconspirators and enablers are the modern-day successors of Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot, as they join the list of the worst found among human beings. If one wants a literary parallel that sheds light on the operation of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants, one should look to that enormous bestseller, published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926, Mein Kampf. Hitler was candid about his ambitions, aversions, and intentions. His virulent hatred of the Jews is patent on every page, as is his narcissistic egotism, his sense of himself as a destiny, his cold-blooded lucidity. Mein Kampf is the testament of a man bent on war, conquest, and slaughter. Civilized society in the 20s and 30s did not take him seriously, being widely viewed as the ravings of a lunatic too far out on the fringe to be of any credible threat. It was thought that surely voices of reason in a country and people as enlightened as Germany in central Europe would not allow it. The world was wrong then, and those who do not learn from history…
Osama bin Laden has been similarly candid. In a 1999 interview published in Esquire, bin Laden was perfectly clear that his first ambition was to remove the American military from Saudi Arabia. "Every day the Americans delay their departure," he said, "they will receive a new corpse." It does not require much intelligence to understand that sentence. Nor was bin Laden ambiguous about his willingness to attack civilians: "We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all targets in this fatwa". Published February 23, 1998 in the Al-Quds al-’Arabi was a statement signed by Sheikh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin and other like-minded leaders;
" … [To] kill the Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it" … "We – with God’s help – call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson".
When the U.S. Marines landed in Somalia at the end of 1992 as part of a U.N. humanitarian effort, Bin-Laden’s troops were there, shooting down helicopters and dragging the bodies of our murdered sons through the streets. No action ever taken by Bill Clinton, who assumed office in the immediate aftermath of the Somalian debacle, ever did anything to dissuade bin Laden of his convictions or slow his army of murderous thugs. What lessons should we learn from this? The same lessons the world ought to have learned in the late 1930s when Hitler occupied the Rhineland, remilitarized, and set about gobbling up his neighbors in an attempt to make his Third Reich the –only- ‘Reich’. The first lesson is that weakness is provocative to those who would conquer us.
Whatever is or is not authentic transcription of Islamic dogma, we do know that the people who ran the airliners into the World Trade Center believed that a Qur’anic voice was telling them to do what they did. We have the four-page document that told them not only what to do, but what to think. "Kill them, as God said; No Prophet can have prisoners of war … God has prepared for believers in endless happiness for martyrs … Be steadfast and remember [that in] God you will be triumphant."
Can we continue to refer to large parts of angry Islam as simply another religion when it clearly seeks the destruction of western civilization? Carefully selected, there are Qur’anic preachments that are consistent with civilized life, but we would be blind indeed to exclude the dominant Jihadist text and the political and cultural realities of the remainder of widely taught dogma that incite issue after issue of violent edicts (Fatwas) from its local leadership. On September 11th we were looked in the face by a deed done by Muslims who understood they were acting out Muslim ideals. It is all very well for individual Muslim spokesmen to assert the misjudgment of the terrorist, but we must recognize that the Islamic world is substantially made up of countries that ignore, countenance, if not support terrorist activity.
In December 1994, Bassam Alamoush, a prominent Jordanian fundamentalist, began talk before the Muslim Arab Youth Association in Chicago with an anecdote: "Somebody approached me at the mosque [in Amman] and asked me, ‘If I see a Jew in the street, should I kill him?’" From a videotape in his possession, Steven Emerson, the well-known authority on international terrorism, describes what happened next: After pausing a moment with a dumbfounded face, Alamoush answered the question to a laughing crowd: "Don’t ask me. After you kill him, come and tell me. What do you want from me, a fatwa [legal ruling]? Really, a good deed does not require one." Later in the speech, Alamoush was interrupted by an aide with a note "Good news there has been a suicide operation in Jerusalem" killing three people. Thunderous applause followed his statement.
A little more than two weeks after the 9/11 attack, an Associated Press reporter in Hamburg, Germany was with some 200 worshippers who listened raptly as the imam at al-Quds mosque delivered a fiery 45-minute sermon on the sins of the infidels and the arrogance of the West. "God, we implore You to destroy the United States of America," shouted the imam. Not a soul flinched. The congregation recited in unison, "Amen.". Mustafa Kamal Uddin, a 32-year-old body-and-fender man in Karachi, explained it to a New York Times reporter. You see, he said, holy wars come about only when Allah has no other way to maintain justice, times like now. "That is why Allah took out his sword".
We demand to know: Who taught Mustafa Kamal Uddin to reason in that way, and the crowds in Karachi to support such thinking? Can the answer be other than Islam and many or most of its clerics? Pending an answer to the question, and the unmistakable responsibility by reputable Muslims to extirpate such mis-teaching, it is incumbent on all civilized peoples to renounce modern acrimonious Islam. Responsible and thoughtful Muslims themselves need to recognize the fatal flaws within Islam’s society, teachings, and structure, which are responsible for so many sorrows. Honest introspection will prompt the wise, moral, and the spiritually alive to abandon dark anti-western tenants, and if still inclined to look for purpose and structure from God, to a search for a superior source of inspiration.
All Arab/Muslim grievances together could not possibly justify their actions or hatreds towards innocent peoples, but rather are only very poor excuses from an errant thought process, otherwise known as "magical thinking". But those errors in thinking and subsequent acts cannot mitigate in the slightest culpability nor consequences. Whatever excuse Muslims offer, whatever cause they claim to champion must now be dismissed out of hand. They damn themselves and their causes with their acts, and care must be taken not to reinforce them by advancing or even giving voice to them. Let us stop allowing their propaganda machines to assign the blame back to the USA for the hatred and failings of these people and their culture. Let us simply hold individuals, groups, and nations responsible for their actions. There is no excuse for the hateful actions they freely choose, and we would be weak not to respond with great force and determination.
Now is not a time for caution, now is a time for ferocity. Liberty will only be preserved if this generation is willing to stand up and fight to protect their fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters, and children. After Pearl Harbor, the persecuted, often interned, immigrant Japanese-Americans were eager to send their sons to join the war effort. They wanted, in large measure, to prove their bona fides as Americans. Those 33,000 sons served honorably as true patriots in Europe. What a contrast with the young Muslim people interviewed by the New York Times in Brooklyn and elsewhere since 9/11 who largely pledge to go fight for "Osama".
We can either sit around making diversity quilts and thinking happy thoughts, or we can seek clarity and knowledge, purge from thought the contradictions suggested by enemies, intent on killing us, and fully commit ourselves to soberly assessing the historical and present-day reality of fundamental "peaceful" Islam and its relations and intentions with non-Muslims and Muslims alike.
There has been a lot of talk about terrorist "sleeper cells" in countries worldwide: followers of bin Laden and his ilk that have integrated themselves into society and are waiting for marching orders. That is a possibility very much worth worrying about. Yet at the moment even more worrisome, because more certain, are the forces of capitulation: those who induce slumber in us through expressions of politically correct sentimentality, cowardliness, and moral ineptitude. Any victory less than total conquest and eradication of existing groups of extremists, as well as control of the radical religious elements that inspire it, will be interpreted in history books of the future as nothing more than a marker to Islam’s conquering march.
So how to respond, throw bags of wheat at them? Do we bury them in charity, sympathy, and understanding? Is there any other answer other than to put our sons and daughters at risk in a sustained effort to destroy them and their infrastructure? It is vitally important that we execute the campaign relentlessly and thoroughly. Although assistance should be welcomed, it is better in the long run for us to act without many allies, or even alone, than to engage in a messy compromise dictated by nervousness and cowardice. Now is the ideal moment for the United States to use all its physical capacity to eliminate large-scale international terrorism. Every civilized member of humanity hopes for the interment of Islamist totalitarianism in what President Bush so stirringly referred to as "history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies". The cause is overwhelmingly just. We must not allow our focus to be blurred when the weasel words of caution, proportionate, and restraint are pronounced. Religious and personal freedoms are at stake and under attack. We must clearly see them for who they are, and then without mercy or hesitation, pull-the-trigger. Not just once in Afghanistan, or twice in Iraq, but again and again until the cancer is eradicated. Anything short of a total and complete whipping will only embolden them to plan and execute even more heinous actions against this country and all her people.
President Bush on Oct. 7th 2001 spoke from the White House Treaty room on Duty and Sacrifice. He told us of a very special communiqué he had received from an important diplomat;
This young hero and her father are the finest and most noble liberty has ever produced. When joined by others like them, they represent the greatest hope for this nation, if not humanity itself. They stand united with noble veterans, visionary forefathers, great heroes from the creation of democracy to this day, as one nation under God. You can feel and almost see their strong presence, pride, and support. My hope and prayer is that we are worthy of that support; we are going to need it.