Steyn realizes Islam is the problem; or, it’s the Koran, stupid
A friend just read to me on the phone a Mark Steyn article in today’s New York Sun in which he says that Islam commands holy war until all mankind submits to Islam. Steyn writes that Osama bin Laden’s call to war is simply a quotation from the Koran. In brief, today’s “militant Islam,” “Islamic fascism,” or what have you, is the same Islam that has been there from the start.
Of course Steyn, who has written hundreds of columns on the West’s confrontation with militant Islam over the last several years, doesn’t let on that he’s never said or hinted at such a thing about Islam before. Yes, he has said realistically that most Muslims sympathize with the terrorists, but his firm position was that Muslims’ support for terrorism and jihad war was not intrinsic to Islam and that the Bush doctrine could change Muslim attitudes. Indeed, just six months ago he told Hugh Hewitt that we must pursue the Bush doctrine of assimilating Islam to the modern world because the failure to do so “condemns us all, essentially, to a majority Muslim planet in which American will be isolated and very short of friends.” In other words, we must appease the Muslims because, one way or the other, they are going to be dominating the world. Now he’s admitting that Islam by its very nature is an unappeasable force, which (though he doesn’t say so in this column) must lead to the conclusion that the only thing for us to do is to resist its spread with all our might, not seek to harmonize it with ourselves or try to become friends with it. It’s thus a total reversal of his previous view. But he doesn’t admit, “I’ve been wrong for the last several years about the nature of Islam and the possibility of using democracy to reform it. Now I understand something that I did not understand before.” Neocons live intellectually from moment to moment, from political situation to political situation, and never take responsibility for their past positions when they abandon them.
Still, this is progress. It’s going to get harder and harder for Tony Blankley and the legions of President Bush’s supporters to keep insisting that today’s extremist Islam is “Islamic fascism,” which, as Blankley put it in an absurd editorial in the Washington Times, is a “corruption” of the true, nice, moderate, humane, tolerant Islamic faith.