I subscribe to the now tiny but, I believe, some-day-to-be prevalent Separationist School of Western-Islamic Relations. We separationists affirm the following:

  • Islam is a mortal threat to our civilization.

  • But we cannot destroy Islam.

  • Nor can we democratize Islam.

  • Nor can we assimilate Islam.

  • Therefore the only way to make ourselves safe from Islam is to separate ourselves from Islam.

(An earlier version of the above statement, along with a key excerpt from my article “The Search for Moderate Islam,” is posted here.)

Other writers who might be called separationists include Serge Trifkovic, Diana West, Randall Parker, the Norwegian blogger Fjordman, and Hugh Fitzgerald. Of course, each of these writers has his or her own emphases, and I don’t wish to impose an unwanted label on anyone. Nevertheless, it seems to me that there is a common core of ideas among the writers mentioned, and “separationism” would be as good a way to describe it as any.

Thus in a recent speech Trifkovic said:

The elite class has every intention of continuing to “fight” the war on terrorism without naming the enemy, without revealing his beliefs, without unmasking his intentions, without offending his accomplices, without expelling his fifth columnists, and without ever daring to win. Their crime can and must be stopped. The founders of the United States overthrew the colonial government for offenses far lighter than those of which the traitor class is guilty.

A new strategy is needed to give America an edge in this war. It can never be “won” in the sense of eliminating the phenomenon of terrorism altogether, but it can be successfully pursued to the point where the threat to the homeland comes to as near zero as possible. The victory will come, to put it simply, not by conquering Mecca for America but by disengaging America from Mecca and by excluding Mecca from America; not by eliminating the risk but by managing it wisely, resolutely, and permanently. It is unpleasant but nevertheless accurate to say that it is, and has always been, us or them.

Trifkovic has also expressed the desirability of removing Muslims en masse from America:

Sending [U.S. Muslims] back en masse will become possible if and when one’s adherence to an Islamic world outlook becomes excludable on strictly POLITICAL, rather than “religious” grounds. The model is provided by the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA, the McCarran-Walter Act). It is possible that the “affiliation” thus defined will affect a number of people who do not actively identify with the goals and methods of the Jihadist core. That may be unfortunate but it is inevitable. Personal assurances by individuals thus affected certainly cannot be taken at face value: Islam not only allows, but mandates lying to “infidels” in order to gain political or any other advantage (i.e. Taqiyya, the concealment of one’s Islamic beliefs to non-Muslims).

Fjordman has written at Gates of Vienna (the article is also discussed discussed at VFR):

The best way to deal with the Islamic world is to have as little to do with it as possible. We should completely stop Muslim immigration. This could be done in indirect ways, such as banning immigration from nations known to be engaged in terrorism. All Muslim non-citizens in the West should be removed. We should also change our laws to ensure that Muslim citizens who advocate sharia, preach Jihad, the inequality of “infidels” etc should have their citizenship revoked and be deported back to their country of origin.

Diana West has written (the article is discussed at VFR):

Whether most Muslims wouldn’t hurt a fly is an increasingly irrelevant footnote to the hostile aggression of other Muslims who, in a very short time, have actually transformed civilization as we used to know it.

If the will to resist allows us to manage the threat of violence, the will to connect the dots would compel us to eliminate it. How? By carefully examining and, I would hope, reconsidering and reversing, through foreign, domestic and immigration initiatives, what should now be seen, gimlet-eyed, as the Islamization of the non-Islamic world.

Also, in her proposed speech for President Bush, West writes (discussed here):

The centrality of Shariah in Islam is not something Americans can or should try to change. 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.

Randall Parker of course has repeatedly called for the separation of the West from Islam. For example:

Time for the West to separate itself from the Islamic countries. Stop letting in Muslim immigrants. Deport the vast bulk of the non-citizen Muslims. Stop getting involved in the internal affairs of Muslim countries. These are the best policies for defending our civilization from Muslims.

Finally, there is Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch. Fitzgerald is an original thinker whose many proposals include the isolation of the Muslim world leading to Kemalization. In my gloss on a Fitzgerald article in 2004 I wrote:

Unlike Lewis, unlike Bush, and unlike the neoconservatives, Kemal Ataturk recognized that Islam itself is the problem, that Islam is unreformable, and therefore that the solution is not to reform Islam, but to constrain it.

Furthermore, to be successful, says Fitzgerald, such Kemal-type leadership must come from within the Islamic world, not be imposed on it from without. The most the West can do is to create “end-of-their-tether” conditions in which Moslems themselves recognize the utter hopelessness of Islam, thus triggering the emergence of Kemal-type leaders who will de-Islamicize their countries. The practical question (not addressed by Fitzgerald) then becomes: what are those end-of-their-tether conditions, and what can we do to bring them about?

One condition discussed by Fitzgerald in another article is to stop all military aid and sales to Muslim countries. Another is to stop the external jihad expansion of Islam in neighboring non-Muslim lands. Thus Fitzgerald has proposed that we rescue the black Christians of southern Sudan (who, he adds, will welcome us, unlike the Iraqis) while we also establish a base in that country:

A base there, as opposed to one in Kurdistan, will be permanent. Within easy range of both the Saudi oil fields of al-Hasa, and of all of North Africa, with its Salafist Army of Combat and Call … American protection of Sudanese Christians would hearten black Christians from Nigeria and Togo … and Kenya, and Tanzania …

At the same time Fitzgerald, like myself, calls not only for stopping Muslim immigration into the West but reversing it:

But the main point is that this war of self-defense, against a Jihad that ranges from the Philippines to Portland, Oregon, from Nigeria to New York, from Madrid to Madras, is a war to be waged not merely, not even mainly, through military might. Those pushing the Jihad use far more than military means, and in self-defense, the same methods must be used. Muslim migration must not only be halted, but the mental ground prepared among Western Europeans for reversing the Muslim presence in their countries;

Fitzgerald’s strategic ideas thus include (among others I have not mentioned): (1) the externally enforced isolation and constraint of Islam, including (2) active assistance to jihad-threatened non-Muslims at the edges of the Muslim world and (3) permanent U.S. military bases at the edges of the Muslim world, all of which (he hopes) would help trigger (4) Kemal-type de-Islamization movements that would arise within the Muslim world, and, finally, (5) the de-Islamization of the West through radically changed immigration policies, and, ultimately, reverse-immigration policies.

(Note: Fitzgerald has angrily rejected my description of him as a separationist. See below.)

—end of initial entry—

Howard Sutherland writes:

Sign me up! At the same time, we need to implement similar measures and a cordon sanitaire of the same kind between us and Latin America, especially Mexico. I don’t want to survive the Moslem menace only to be swamped by the mestizo migration.

KE writes from Turkey:

Good write-up. Total disengagement is the only way to rescue whatever is left of the West.

In fact, total disengagement from all the non-Western world is necessary. I am one of those who are of the belief (I realize not a very large number) that the reason why the world has reached a crisis population of 6.5 billion—in which the vast majority are people from ethnic backgrouns that have absolutely no chance whatsoever to reform themselves into anything resembling a civilized being—is the century-long liberal fight to subsidize dysfunctionality.

Michael E. writes:

I completely agree with your policy of Separationism. The usual liberals claim such a policy is bigoted and immoral. I believe it is a moral imperative because it is the only way we can avoid a large scale nuclear retaliation against much of the Muslim world.

Let me explain my reasoning. Most experts believe that, given the current course, it is only a question of when, not if, a nuclear weapon is used in a terrorist attack. It is my understanding that it is possible to trace the plutonium used in a nuclear device back to the country and reactor which produced it. If that is the case, think through what the response of the U.S. must be under the current policies in place on how to respond to a nuclear attack on the U.S. or Europe (consider our NATO obligations and our obligations under the nuclear umbrella we provide to our allies). It is the policy of the U.S. government to respond with nuclear weapons in an overwhelming manner. We would not simply trade cities with the supplier of the weapon but would annihilate them. I also believe that the U.S. would also be forced to take out the nuclear arsenals of Pakistan and any other Islamic state that possess a nuclear arsenal. Moreover, if the strike were against a U.S. city, the American people would probably demand retribution against those states that support or sponsor terrorists. This would mean the deaths of tens of millions, possibly hundreds of millions of people. I do not want my country to be in that position. Not because of what it would do to the Muslim world but because of the impact it would have on the U.S. and the West. Under these conditions the moral action is to separate ourselves from the Islamic world.

LA replies:

I would add that if our concern is to prevent any Muslim regimes from using WMDs against us or our allies, separation or disengagement is not enough. We may also need to intervene briefly from time to time in the Muslim world to the extent necessary to disarm or destroy any regime that threatens to target us.

It must be remembered that Separationism is shorthand for a strategy that includes Rolling Back, Isolating, Containing, and (from its margins) Policing the Muslim world. Furthermore, this policy must be permanent. As long as Islam exists, radical Islam or jihadism will always exist, in an active or potential state. This is why I disagree with the idea that we should be at war with Islam or radical Islam or whatever we wish to call it. A war, to be a war, must be winnable. Victory in war means the destruction of the enemy’s will and ability to fight. But as long as Islam exists, there will always be the sacred jihadist command to subdue the infidel, whether the command is acted on or not. So, instead of calling for a “war” that we can never win, a war that we could not sustain, a war that would therefore demoralize us, I call for a permanent policy of Isolating, Containing, and Policing the Muslim world. If we are to have the will to sustain the policy, we must understand what it entails and why it is necessary.

In an e-mail in September that I just came upon in my Inbox, Karen in England wrote:

Clifford May’s remarks confirm the ignorance of Islam which is prevalent in “conservative” groups and their continued delusion that the violent ones are “extremists” whilst the remainder are “moderates.” An Egyptian Christian friend of mine said that 80 percent of Moslems should be considered to be fundamentalists with the remaining 20 percent largely secular apostates. He said that the West was always underestimating the success Moslem organisations have in brainwashing their populations and the majority are fundamentalists because of that brainwashing. However he added that there is little that non Moslems can do to change Moslems or their educational and religious systems and they should, therefore, be isolated and left alone to sort out their own problems.

* * *

Below, I will keep adding new Separationists to the list as I become aware of them.

Paul Cella, a regular contributor at and Tech Central Station, in addition to writing at his own blog, Cella’s Review, is a Separationist. In late December 2006 (Red State doesn’t seem to date its article and comments), he wrote at

In my view the wisest strategy of resistance to the Jihad is not engagement but isolation—not isolation of ourselves, but of them. We should make it our policy to have as little contact with the Islamic religion as possible. A sizeable and dynamic faction of this religion, with roots stretching back to the antiquity of Islam, is committed to an uncompromising principle of revolution. Its adherents aim to transform our country utterly, by any means available. Sedition is their piety. Our ability to distinguish this faction from the broader society of Muslims is piteously inadequate. Our capacity for even the rudiments of clear thinking on this subject, for even the first steps of firmness and vigor in our public counsels, is very meager. Our readiness to be cowed by simple tactics of intimidation, to be brought to heel by a few tired slogans, seems almost boundless.

Another Separationist, incredibly, is Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. As I point out, Friedman’s Separationism, announced in his December 1, 2006 op-ed column, doesn’t go very deep, and, of course, it is impossible to believe he’s really serious about it. Nevertheless, he has articulated the key principle of Separationism, which is that we should have as little to do with Islam as possible. Look, Separationism is a big tent.

Here are the key passages from Friedman’s column:

So Israel erected a wall, unilaterally pulled out of Gaza and basically said to the Palestinians, “We’ll continue to engage you, but only from a position of strength, only after we’re insulated from the daily threat of suicide bombings or the burden of occupying Gaza.

What would be the equivalent for the West and the Muslim world? Also build a wall? Some people want to do that by vetoing Turkey’s entry into the European Union, which would be a huge, huge mistake. But how do we insulate ourselves from the madness of the Middle East—if Iraq and Afghanistan can’t be made to work—without giving up on reform there, which is still badly needed?

Build a virtual wall. End our oil addiction….

I do not want my girls to live a world where the difference between a good day and bad day is whether Moktada al-Sadr lets Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, meet with the U.S. president or whether certain Arab regimes alter what their textbooks say about non-Muslims. I wish them all well, but I don’t want them impacting my life and I don’t want to be roiling theirs, and the only reason we are so intertwined now is O-I-L.

(5/27/07) Another writer who not only has taken separationist positions but calls herself a separationist is Rebecca Bynum. See her May 2005 article at Dhimmi Watch (excerpts are below).

Then there is her May 2007 piece at New English Review, “Where Do We Go from Here?”, which I discuss today here.

Also, ln May 23, 2007, commenting on the odd interchange between John Derbyshire and Robert Spencer on whether Jihad Watch was a source of “separationism” (see my discussion of it), Bynum wrote the following at New English Review:


To my mind “separationism” is a fine and useful word and I would not hesitate to describe myself with that term. Robert Spencer, however, has not to my knowledge advocated any programs himself (except to call for the monitoring of mosques and quite lately to call Muslim immigration restriction as proposed by others “eminently sensible”) to deal with the permanent problem of Islam beyond some ideas about Muslim “screening.” Hugh Fitzgerald and I (when I was working at JW and now at NER), have both advocated more concrete ideas as to how to deal with the existential threat Islam poses to civilization. See my latest article here….

I also think separationism is a sound place with regards to Islam so long as it is coupled with a strong counter-propaganda effort of the kind advocated by Hugh Fitzgerald to reduce to lure of Islam among our population and to convince Muslims that the source of their many failures (spiritual, intellectual, civilizational, social, and political), can all be traced to Islam itself.

Here are excerpts from Bynum’s May 2005 article, :

As hard as it may be for some conservatives to admit this, we should probably disengage militarily with the Muslim world as much as possible, else we be sucked into the endless sectarian warfare that has always characterized Islamic societies. We should bid the good Iraqis and their Shi’a vs. Sunni civil war adieu, and instead perhaps, support the creation of an independent Kurdistan. There we could install a small, rapid-strike, high tech, great for intelligence gathering, military base for use in future emergencies in the region.

Next, we should disengage from the Muslim world economically. The massive transfer of wealth, in the form of oil revenue that is fueling Islamization in the region, must be stopped or at least slowed as much as possible…. Let us find the will to kick the oil habit, whatever it takes, and however long it takes us.

Third, we need to contain current Sharia states like Iran to within their present borders and try to prevent the spread of Islamic Law in other Muslim states; most notably Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons, and Iraq simply because Islamic Law is inherently aggressive and belligerent to US interests.

Next, we must constrain the practice of Islam within our “law and liberty” states, especially in the Anglosphere where precedents have not yet been set. To do this, we must come down like a ton of bricks with every ounce of our legal power on law breaking that is the expression of Islamically allowed practices, especially in regards to the oppression of women, such as wife battery and honor killings. We simply cannot afford to allow these practises to grow or to go unprosecuted. The law of the people must trump the law of Allah in the Western world in every instance, period.

In this battle, we must also adhere to our cherished conservative principles and especially uphold the “liberty” of free expression over the concept of the “equality” of religions. When the concept of the free practice of religion results in the oppression of individuals, that religious practice must be constrained and if possible, eliminated. On this principle, we must not compromise.

Lastly, we must begin to constrain the immigration of Muslims into our country and do everything possible to prevent the creation of Muslim conclaves within the US. Let us return to the old idea of America as the melting pot, an idea that has served us well, and whose time has come again. Let us repudiate social relativism and multiculturalism, for these ideas have not served us well and no amount of liberal moralizing can change that fact.

We must also being shutting down foreign-funded mosques and to deport their foreign-born Imams. This one step would go a long way toward making our country safer from potential terrorists. American Muslims can fund and staff their own places of worship just as Christian congregations do.

* * *

While adding one person to the ranks of the separationists, I must remove another. Responding to Rebecca Bynum’s May 23, 2007 blog entry at New English Review that is quoted above, Hugh Fitzgerald, in a comment consisting of a single, 775-word-long paragraph, angrily rejects the separationist label that I have applied to him and to others. Not using my name but referring to me as “someone” and “the first writer,” he says that my treatment of his ideas is reductionist. But of course I did not reduce his ideas to “separationism.” I said that there is a common core among the writers I named, and that separationism was a good word for it. I did not reduce Fitzgerald’s complex ideas to that common core.

In any case, I can see how a fellow who writes 775-word-long paragraphs would dislike the idea of reducing anything.

I have replied to Fitzgerald’s attack in the same NER thread, and also posted my reply at VFR.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 05, 2006 11:56 PM | Send

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