Krikorian adopts Separationism, with a twist
Writing at National Review Online, Mark Krikorian advocates what might be called Separationism Plus, or, more precisely, Separationism Leading to Mass Apostasy. He subscribes to the separationist idea, namely “the isolation of Islam from the rest of the world through military action, restrictions on immigration, and other means.” It is in the “plus” area that he brings in something new. In my writings on the subject, I have suggested that an additional (though not crucial) benefit of Separationism might be that once we have isolated the Muslims in their own lands, they might in this hopeless and rejected state adopt Kemal-type regimes, in which Islam is removed from the public sphere of a formerly Muslim society. Krikorian disagrees, saying that even Kemalism would not be enough to eliminate the Muslim menace: Kemalism does not work in the long run, because it still leaves the underlying Islamic religion of the society in an intact state, whence it will inevitably arise again and seek public power, as is happening now in Turkey. Therefore, Krikorian concludes, the ultimate desideratum of Separationism is that the isolated and rejected Muslim world abandon Islam itself.
Krikorian’s argument leads to further promising reflections. Up this point there have been two schools of thought on the solution to Islam which I have agreed with, but which have had little contact with each other. On one hand, as explained above, separationists such as myself have argued that the only solution to the Islam problem is to roll back the Islamic presence from the West and contain Muslims permanently within their historic lands, where they will have no ability or opportunity to endanger the rest of us. On the other hand, there are those who believe that the only solution to the Islam problem is apostasy, meaning that Muslim individuals spontaneously leave the Muslim religion. Ibn Warraq, author of Leaving Islam, is perhaps the best-known apostate. Among non-Muslim Western scholars, Andrew Bostom has been at the forefront of arguing for apostasy and dismissing anything short of apostasy, such as “moderate” Islam or “reformist” Islam, as a pious fraud. The pro-apostasy spokesmen have never talked about the immigration aspect of the Islam problem, let alone about reverse immigration as the solution. Krikorian, with his Separationism Leading to Mass Apostasy, has now created a convergence between these two schools of thought.
To clarify one point, Mark Krikorian says that “even Auster misunderstands the strategic goal of “separationism,” namely that the goal is that Islamic societies adopt Kemal-type regimes. But as I have said over and over, the adoption of Kemal-type regimes is NOT the goal of Separationism, because such an event is not in our power to achieve. The goal of Separationism is that Islam be permanently separated and isolated from the rest of the world, placed in circumstances from which it can have no effect on our societies. If the isolated Muslim societies then adopt Kemalism, that would be an additional and much-to-be-desired benefit, but it is not the object of the policy. In the same way, the mass apostasy of Muslim peoples that Krikorian hopes for cannot be the object of the Separationist policy, because only the Muslims can make that happen. Yes, we can create conditions in which Mass Apostasy will be more likely to happen, and Separationism does that; but if we make Mass Apostasy our main goal, then, as with Muslim democratization, Muslim moderation, Muslim reform, and Muslim assimilation, we would be setting ourselves up for unending failure by defining success as something that is not within our grasp. Our paramount and indispensable object is our safety and freedom from Islamic influence, and that would achieved by the policy of Separationism, even in the absence of Kemalism or Mass Apostasy.