A sensible Islam policy
On August 17, Diana West published the first part of a speech she would like President Bush to give that would radically redefine the war on terror. In part two of the speech, published last week at TownHall.com and in the Washington Times, she lays out an “anti-Shariah program” that in its underlying premises and practical steps parallels and complements the “civilizationist” strategy I have been advocating at this website and in my articles for the last couple of years. The fundamental premises of the civilizationist strategy are: (1) Islam—and not just the chimera of “radical Islam”—is totally incompatible with Western culture, and, if its power continues to spread, represents a mortal danger to it. (2) We do not have the ability to defend ourselves from Islam by changing its internal doctrines and beliefs, as President Bush and the neoconservatives seek to do via democratization. (3) We do have the ability to defend ourselves from Islam by stripping it of its external opportunities to extend its influence over us.
West elegantly reformulates the civilizationalist approach in a way that may enhance its appeal to mainstream opinion, by making the main focus of her concerns the spread of Shariah law and its threat to liberal freedoms. “The centrality of Shariah in Islam is not something Americans can or should try to change,” West writes. “But it is not something we can ignore, either.” Our purpose is “not to launch a transformative military or cultural offensive against Islam, but to initiate the mobilization of a defensive movement to prevent the Islamization of American law and liberty.” Our goals should “change from, in effect, promoting Shariah-democracy [as in Iraq, where democracy led to the creation of a Shariah constitution] to preventing the export of Shariah and terrorism to advance Shariah.”
From these premises proceed two measures radically at odds with current policy. On the domestic front, we should bar further Islamic immigration to the United States. In the Mideast, West continues, we should “redeploy American troops from Iraq’s cities, where they have been operating at great risk to attain stability for the Iraqi government, to bases in the north. From there, they may assist as needed in our mission to neutralize the terrorism—and Shariah—exporting capabilities of freedom’s enemies in the region.”
Notwithstanding differences of emphasis and of substance (for example, West calls for stopping Muslim immigration, I call for reversing it) and variations in the way it is formulated, the civilizationist strategy, utterly unlike the Bush Doctrine, is coherent in itself, confronts our real problems, and serves our civilizational interests. Once again, its three pillars are:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 30, 2006 04:59 PM | Send