Islam: the problem and the solution
with Mark Helprin’s argument
that victory in the “war on terror” means restoring the dar al Islam
to the defeated and quiescent condition in which it had rested prior to the Islamic revolution of 1979, I’m reminded of Gertude Himmelfarb’s articles years ago calling for the “re-moralization” of society. Well, in addition to the re-moralization of our own society, what we need today is the re-demoralization
of Islamic society.
Of course, Daniel Pipes says: “Militant Islam is the problem. Moderate Islam is the solution.”
But I say: Islam is the problem. The defeat and re-demoralization of Islam, combined with the return of Muslims from the West to their own countries, is the solution.
Now people will naturally be offended by the idea that Islam per se is inherently problematical and must be suppressed. There are good and attractive things about Islam, or, at least, many people profess to find such good things in Islam.
But the key point that must be understood is that Islam is only “good” when it has no power.
As soon as Muslims achieve power relative to non-Muslims, or feel that they are gaining such power or that they can gain such power, then the Jihad aspect of Islam automatically kicks in. The only way to keep Islam’s inherent tendency toward Jihadism in abeyance is to keep Muslims in a situation where they have no power over non-Muslims and no hope of achieving it. To weaken Islam in the manner I’m suggesting is not to deny Muslims’ culture or their humanity. Powerlessness or defeat is not what most deeply bothers Muslims, but the loss of honor. As they have demonstrated over and over, they view honorable defeat, even honorable death, as desiderata. Thus Muslims can be powerless, and still keep their honor.
It ought to be the goal of the “war on terror” to return the Muslim world to that salutary condition.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 01, 2003 02:00 AM | Send
Well said. Here instead is where things are headed:
Eighteen faiths, including Mohammedan leaders, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and … the Chief Rabbi of Israel.
I have lost the link I first had to this, which noted that the Chief Rabbi extended an invitation to religious leaders of Mohammedan countries to Jerusalem, whether they recognize Israel or not. And here’s a clincher — when he extended this invitation, he used the name ‘al-quds’ instead of ‘Jerusalem.’ (!)
Ecumenism is on the rise, supported by many who clearly should know better so long as they get a place at the table. The world is not facing reality.
The Ecumenist meeting linked above treats all religions as equally at fault for terrorism and equally in need of reform. But telling non-Muslim religions to become more tolerant, i.e., to become more tolerant of Islam, is not the way to peace but the way to more Islamic violence. When will they ever get it?
I’ve added some further explanatory text to the original blog entry.
A correspondent writes:
“There are a billion Moslems in the world. They are all to be declared our enemies even if they have not previously so declared themselves? Seems to be taking on a rather big assignment.”
Here is my reply:
I do not call for literally making war on all Islam or for declaring all Muslims our enemies. The key point, which is discussed in the Mark Helprin article I linked (though Helprin does not spell out specifics), is that we must assert our own power in such a way as to establish in the Muslims’ minds that they have no hope of prevailing over us. Everything that we do that gives them hope of gaining such power, including our admitting them as immigrants, inflames their hatred of us, because they then see the world in terms of Jihad in which they feel commanded and destined to conquer the dar al Harb. This is what Westerners cannot understand. They think if you’re nice to people, they’ll be nice to you. But with Muslims it’s the opposite.
Also, our policy of containment of the Soviet Union in the Cold War was a “big assignment.” But if we had not taken it on, we would have found ourselves facing a much bigger and more horrific assignment.
Who said Moslems haven’t declared war us? Has the Koran been repealed while I wasn’t looking? I thought we were the dar-ul-harb.
The bottom line is that Christianity—i.e. the Roman Catholic faith, to be precise—happens to be true. People may dispute that, or claim that one can never know for sure, etc. etc. etc., but when all is said and done it still remains a fact. That being so, the Muslim faith is false, and no matter how well-meaning some of its adherents may be, there is yet no call for raising any kind of white flag in its presence. Let the truth be proclaimed without apology, and let what is false be labeled so. Our efforts should be directed toward converting Muslims to the true faith, rather than inferring by ill-advised ecumenical excuse-making that there is some virtue in their clinging to their error.
In other words, OF COURSE the defeat and demoralization of Islam (not militarily, mind you) is the solution. What madness has captured the mind of Western man that he no longer understands this?
Bubba makes some excellent points, but he really needs to inform the leadership of the church that he claims to be the ‘precise’ representative of Christianity. To quote from the VOA article I linked to above:
“During a break in the formal proceedings, Mr. Hadavi spoke at length with the chief delegate from the Vatican, Cardinal Josef Tomko, who told the Iranian leader the chance to meet together was positive. “God will bless all these efforts, and something will come out of it. Let us work together,” Mr. Tomko said.”
The Mohammedans deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The Apostle John taught us, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father…”
“How can two walk together except they be agreed?” asketh the Scriptures.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” asketh the Scriptures.
“Let us work together,” answereth Cardinal Tomko, representing the Vatican.
“The key point, which is discussed in the Mark Helprin article I linked (though Helprin does not spell out specifics), is that we must assert our own power in such a way as to establish in the Muslims’ minds that they have no hope of prevailing over us.”
Both you and Helprin fail to address the $64,000m question: how do we do this?
I believe that we must destroy hostile states that support terrorism and encircle the Islamists.
In the short run, I would suggest liberating Iran and North Korea, stabilizing Iraq, and crushing Syria.
Over a longer term, we would look to Africa and liberate Sudan and Libya. The idea is to turn Black Africans and Berbers against their Arab-Muslim overlords.
In the north, we would work to stabilize the Turkic republics of central Asia. This would not only create a bulwark against Islamists, the anarchy that allows Islamist terrorist to train, and against Chinese expansion.
This would leave the Arabian Peninsula. Assuming that the corrupt kingdoms do not fall, we would pressure them to crack down on the militants and to move away from Wahabbism. If there are Wahabbist coups, we would crush these militarily while giving aid to more friendly tribes.
Were we the British Empire, we would install the Hashemites. We are not, so we will have to keep whoever is in charge on a short leash.
Of course, none of this is cheap. We lack the force structure. We must to either make the moral case for reshaping the Arab world or use ad hoc coalitions for each phase.
I’m sure that many here will call me an imperialist or a chicken hawk.
For 10 years I supported working with the corrupt regimes in containing the Islamists while undermining them through corrupting the Muslim youth with western culture. (Turning the Gramsciites in Hollywood against the “Wretched of the Earth” has a nice ring to it.)
However, after September 11th, a more active policy must be taken. WE have seen what the Islamists can do with passenger airlines. They are now dangerously close to having nuclear weapons.
Ron lays out the elements of the most ambitious strategy I’ve seen since Norman Podhoretz’s article in Commentary last fall where he proposed overturning about seven Arab regimes. I don’t know if outright conquest of so many countries is what is called for, which seems incredibly ambitious and ruinously costly, or a more selective use of force demonstrating to the Muslims that they have no chance against us. But there is a difference between doing it for the purpose of setting up American-style democracy, which is Podhoretz’s idea, or for the purpose of our own safety, which I gather is Ron’s idea.
Whatever we think about proposals like Ron’s, these things must be discussed. There simply hasn’t been serious debate, looking at a whole range of proposals, that there needs to be. Instead, we just have the politics of denunciation coming from the left and the paleocons, and a kind of mushy “stay the course” line coming from Bush and the mainstream conservatives. There’s no vision of a larger strategy. It’s as though America had lost the ability to engage in public debate of important public issues.
I agree I haven’t presented any details here. Someone said that Angelo Codevilla has an article in the current Claremont Review of Books that does go into details.
It isn’t just us Christians hanging out in the dar-ul-harb. Of the 50 or so armed conflicts going on in the world at any given time, roughly 90% or so of them involve Moslems on one side. Yet less than 20% of the people in the entire world are Moslems. So Moslems themselves apparently take the Koran’s explicit declaration of war on the infidel seriously, even if the rest of us do not.
Want to get rid of 90% of the wars being fought right now? Burn every single last copy of the Koran.
I think if Joel wants to assert that the Vatican has fallen into a materially heretical indifferentism it will take a wee bit more than a quote from a Cardinal saying “lets work together” to a Moslem. I am as frustrated as anyone by the Vatican’s coziness with moderns of all sorts, but perhaps even Joel will agree that the Great Commission intrinsically requires some interaction with infidels and heretics. So even a sola scriptura Protestant can hardly object on doctrinal grounds; on the other hand we can probably all object on practical (or pastoral, as they say from under the red hats) grounds.
I’m not sure what Matt means by ‘materially heretical indifferentism,’ but I think he knows as well as I that there is much more going on here than the single quote, or this single conference. In a previous thread I mentioned the Pope’s visit to the Omayyad Mosque in Syria where a prayer was made, attended by statements on both sides about how we need ‘better understanding’ between the two faiths. The sort of understanding that Christians ought to have about Mohammedanism I don’t think is what was inferred there.
Other examples could be cited, but need we bother? You seem to agree that there’s a problem here; I didn’t hear you defend the Vatican’s participation at this conference. But still you need to throw in a hedging line.
I’m not sure either why you make this into a ‘doctrinal’ issue; the Bible also offers very ‘practical’ guidance in terms of how we should conduct ourselves as individual Christians and as representing the Lord. This is what I refer to.
I certainly agree that the Commission requires interaction with nonbelievers. Thus Paul preached to the Greeks at Mars Hill, even calling attention to one of their pagan statues as a lead-in to his sermon, even quoting with approval certain of their own poets when they happened to say something right.
But it’s hard to imagine him entering the Temple of Diana as a ‘guest’ to offer a prayer while calling for ‘greater understanding’ between Christianity and paganism. And I don’t think he would have attended a conference representing the church in an apparently equal capacity among pagans, where the underlying inference was that, after all, we’re just worshipping God differently. Do you?
Wouldn’t that have gone against the guidance he made in the verses cited above? If they don’t relate to this type of situation, I wonder what they DO relate to? It might just be that there is some wisdom there that advises against such actions.
But if you must maintain that they have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the matter at hand, relying instead on ‘practical grounds,’ determined through simple human reasoning, I think we’ve arrived at the same place.
‘Practical’ in the sense that Mohammedanism is AT WAR with our faith and civilization, as you noted above. We are talking about non-trivial conduct here, which is contributing to the very problem that is the subject of this thread.
“Of the 50 or so armed conflicts going on in the world at any given time, roughly 90% or so of them involve Moslems on one side.”
Or, to use the current terminology, Muslims are disproportionately involved in ethnic conflict.
“But it’s hard to imagine him entering the Temple of Diana as a ‘guest’ to offer a prayer while calling for ‘greater understanding’ between Christianity and paganism. And I don’t think he would have attended a conference representing the church in an apparently equal capacity among pagans, where the underlying inference was that, after all, we’re just worshipping God differently. Do you?”
I don’t claim to know St. Paul personally well enough to know what he might have chosen to do in our current circumstances. And I think Joel and I are probably quite well aligned on what we would recommend pastorally. The reason I brought up the doctrinal point is that Joel said the following:
“Bubba makes some excellent points, but he really needs to inform the leadership of the church that he claims to be the ‘precise’ representative of Christianity.”
The Catholic Church claims to be infallible as to doctrine, but not impeccable as to matters of prudential judgement and personal sin. It is a worthwhile distinction to keep in mind, since I don’t know what Joel meant by “perfect” and he introduced the term into the discussion.
Mr. Auster wrote:
“Or, to use the current terminology, Muslims are disproportionately involved in ethnic conflict.”
Yes, they must be a terribly oppressed people to be so disproportionately involved in so many armed conflicts in defense of their equal rights. Deep down we are all the same, after all, so only a terrible unjust oppression can account for the disproportion. How awful that Muslims are so desperate that they are forced into violent confrontation, usually by evil capitalist Westerners, on so many fronts.
“It is a worthwhile distinction to keep in mind, since I don’t know what Joel meant by “perfect” and he introduced the term into the discussion.”
Just to be as clear as possible: the Catholic Church doesn’t claim any sort of perfection in itself other than that what she teaches infallibly (that is, via the exercise of the universal magisterium) as doctrine is in fact true. So if Joel is criticizing the (allegedly self-proclaimed) perfection of something in the Church he must a priori be talking about doctrine, since the Church doesn’t claim any other sort of infallibility (other sorts of perfection would be called “impeccability” in Catholic parlance, and the Church specifically disclaims impeccability).
If you don’t know what Catholics mean by words like infallibility, impeccability, ordinary magisterium, universal magisterium, ex cathedra, and the like then you can’t know what sorts of truth claims it makes at all. When Bubba said “… the Roman Catholic faith […] happens to be true” what he meant is that those things affirmed as true by the universal magisterium under the conditions described in Vatican Council I are unequivocally true and command the intellectual assent of faith. We can’t expect non-Catholics to know that without us telling them, of course.
But in order to criticize Bubba’s claim one has to know what it entails, and Joel’s example simply doesn’t apply. The Pope himself could become a Moslem convert tomorrow (at which point he would automatically cease to be Pope) without making Bubba’s statement false. It would be a horrific scandal, of course (like any number of past scandals), but it wouldn’t make the claims of the Catholic Church false.
(As an aside I thought Bubba’s comment was true but unnecessarily narrow in its scope, since Moslems are the self-declared military enemy of all non-Moslems in the dar-ul-harb not just Catholics).
To Matt: I didn’t use the word ‘perfect.’ ;-) I used ‘precise’ — only as a take-off on Bubba’s statement. I was prompted to reply to him, because the statements he made seemed to apply most pertinently to the leadership of the church he had just affirmed. But no matter. We agree on the important point at issue here.
We apparently both concur that certain actions taken recently by the Vatican have not helped this situation, and it is a point that I think is appropriate to make. If I seem to have less disinclination in doing so because I am not Catholic, I would not hesitate to raise the same issue if my own preacher made similar actions or statements.
(And just as as a postscript, I recognize the difference between sound doctrine and unsound conduct. When Paul excoriated Peter at Antioch for misconduct that appeared to evince a doctrinal flaw, (Gal 2) the same point was evident — i.e. he was essentially affirming the sameness of their doctrinal teachings while criticizing Peter’s inconsistent _practice_. If that’s a fair example of what you mean, then I think we understand each other.) :-)
“To Matt: I didn’t use the word ‘perfect.’ ;-) I used ‘precise’…”
Hey, look at that! My bad. Sorry.
I suppose I took “precise” to mean “there is no doctrinal error here; there is always at least some doctrinal error elsewhere”. It is only (if “only” is the right word!) in that sense that the Catholic Church claims to be the precise representative of Christianity, so that is why I thought you were talking about doctrine.
“If I seem to have less disinclination in doing so because I am not Catholic, I would not hesitate to raise the same issue if my own preacher made similar actions or statements.”
That’s cool. The worst moment was the “kiss the Koran” thing a few years ago, and the “ecumenical” prayer meetings at Assisi were, um, troubling too. Yikes already. I don’t hesitate to gripe about that stuff either.
Ron wrote something I find extremely interesting:
“Over a longer term, we would look to Africa and liberate Sudan and Libya. The idea is to turn Black Africans and Berbers against their Arab-Muslim overlords.”
While I don’t at all subscribe to Bubba’s ideas above (the ones about how we should convert the Moslems because “Christianity is true” and their religion is in “error” — I don’t advocate that at all) it turns out — and this flabbergasted me when I learned it two or three weeks ago — the Egyptians, and I think also some of the peoples of the Maghreb, chafe under what they see as Arab overlordship and oppression, and many would like to throw it off!
Mind, they are not saying, apparently, that they’d like to throw Islam off — just Arab domination, although the person whose posts at RichardPoe.com I learned this from, an Egyptian writing under the pen-name Asmar Rouhi, implied that in the case of the Egyptians at least, a religion somewhat different from Islam would also be contemplated by the indigenous peoples of that country if they could get out from under the Arabs.
I had NO IDEA of all this, but people who study the Moslem world did know it, I assume. For any others like me who didn’t, here are Mr. Rouhi’s posts where he said it:
(So as not to slog through lots of links individually, one may just click on the first in the above list and then scroll upward through Mr. Rouhi’s letters at the Poe Forum [scrolling upward there gives them in chronological order], going through about a half-dozen or so, where he talks about Egyptian resentment of Arabs — of their culture, their domination, even their religion to an extent.)
I have heard Neo-Nazis and Mohammedan student (and other) groups were forging alliances based on their shared hatred of Jews, but this frontpagemag article really hits:
The Muslim Student Association at Penn State, in celebration of its “Islam Awareness Week” invites noted anti-Semite William Baker to deliver the keynote address this evening — funded at least in part by University dollars.
The sheer blatancy of this is what really amazes me.
very interested in these views please email me and help explain these arguments.
I am draw to the article concerning race and IQ now. Apparently, Muslims/Arabs have a low IQ because they fantasize in conspiracies? Knowing people wish them ill is not in their imagination is it? I thought a good sense of ‘cause and effect’ was a principal sign of intelligence? The more we attack the more they seem to find dignity and unity in Islam…
I don’t like to back people into a corner, from my experience they behave unpredictably and irrationally. The solution is to give them something to lose.
I do not even follow organized religion anymore and I feel closer to God now than when I used to attend Church. I believe in doing what is right by others and yes…a sin is a sin…we all are grown up enough to know what’s “right and wrong”
But I have read enough to know that Islam is BS… all of it… I mean come on… Basically, qualifying Islam would allow me to just proclaim that God spoke to ME last night, write a crazy self serving book, and then demand that you follow it or perish?
That is the tone of Islam… some guy did acid, had a bad trip, wrote down his thoughts and unfortunately… most of the followers have an IQ of 2 so they believe it… seriously… what God would allow such nonsense?
Islam is something that was created by stupid people - for stupid people. And I pity the ones that are sucked into this disgusting drain… but some have no choice as they are born into it and know nothing else. The same thing happens too with die-hard Cathloics (or many other religions for that matter) when things are taken out of context to serve you the best or ideals are crammed down your throat…
Let’s get back to basics here. Be a decent person and you have a good shot at going to the good place. Kill others that dont believe what you believe? Yeah… see you in hell or worse… Islam is like kindergarten for “special” kids that can’t play well with others…
Exactly right. The other weapon is fear. The Muslim fears dying in a state of irreligion . The British Raj greased their amunition with pigs fat and told the Muslims so. The Muslims understood well that dying with pig fat inside your body was a sure fire way of going to hell. Muslims will not fight knowing they will go to hell when they die. If we can remove the promise of 72 festal virgins, they will not fight, why would they.