McCarthy: we must not spread democracy in the Islamic world; we must stop the spread of Islam in our world.
(Note 5:00 p.m.: If you read this article shortly after it was posted at 2:49 this afternoon, it’s been revised since then, and you may want to take a second look.)
In his September 4 article at National Review, which I mentioned last week, Andrew McCarthy strives to persuade the neocons, the “democracy hawks” as he calls them, that their belief in democracy as the solution to Islamic terrorism is a “dangerous delusion.” Muslims, he argues, don’t reject democracy out of ignorance; they reject it because they’ve seen it and don’t like it. More importantly, they reject it because it represents the opposite of what they do believe in, which is Islamism. Islamism is McCarthy’s term for serious Islam (a word he mostly avoids in the article, and I will reflect his usage), which requires the imposition of the sharia law on all mankind. We cannot democratize Muslim countries, he continues, and, if we could, democracy would only empower Islamism. But the democracy hawks, he adds, resolutely ignore these points. They ignore Islamism and its doctrines, prohibit discussion about it, and focus all their energies on spreading democracy as the way to defeat terrorism.
This is a subject McCarthy has dealt with effectively in the past. Back in November 2006, he wrote an article in which he refuted the Bush-Neocon Democracy doctrine, said that Islam is the problem, and said that Islam is a coherent belief system, not just a reaction against freedom as President Bush stupidly imagined. While I praised McCarthy for his insights that were (it goes without saying) light years beyond anything else at National Review, I also questioned his advocacy of a war to defeat Islam. I wrote:
I would suggest that McCarthy is touching on a contradiction in his own thought process that will eventually move him toward the logic I have been enunciating for the last few years:“Isolate and contain,” as I’ve explained many times, means quarantining the Muslim world from the rest of the world while avoiding any effort to overthrow the rule of Islam in its own lands or intrude in the internal affairs of any Islamic society, with one exception. As I wrote In December 2005:
[W]e should contain and isolate the Muslim world, and only interfere directly when a regime is threatening to us, and destroy that regime and then leave.Back to the present, at the end of his September 2009 article, McCarthy writes:
We can’t stop Muslim countries from being Islamist. That is their choice. It should be no concern of ours who rules them as long as they do not threaten American interests. When they inevitably do threaten us, or allow their territories to be launch pads for terrorists, we should smash them. But the price of defending our nation cannot be spending years—at a cost of precious lives and hundreds of billions of dollars—in a vain attempt to give people who despise us a way of life they don’t want.Clearly, McCarthy understands, as he did three years ago, that Islamism is a mortal threat to our society and institutions. He further understands that we can’t destroy Islamism, and we can’t reform it, and we can’t democratize it, and we can’t assimilate it. Therefore we must “roll back Islamism’s infiltration of our schools, our financial system, our law, and our government.”
But the question is, how do we roll it back? McCarthy doesn’t say. Perhaps he hopes that we can persuade the Muslims to give up their Islamist beliefs. But as he indicates in his article, (1) an effective majority of Muslims are deeply committed to Islamism, and (2) it is impossible to make Muslims give up Islamism in their own countries. How then can we make them give up Islamism in our country? Wherever they are, and whatever institutions and communities they enter, they will bring their Allah-ordained religious commitments with them. Even if we put all three million Muslims in America under permanent surveillance, they would still carry with them their devotion to Islamism. And the moment we dropped our guard, the spread of Islamism would resume.
Therefore the only way to roll back Islamism is to roll back Muslims—to remove them from our society. That doesn’t mean deporting all Muslims from America tomorrow. As I’ve discussed here, there are a variety of means, up to and including legal and constitutional restrictions on the Islamic religion itself, by which the steady departure—both voluntary and involuntary—of Muslims from our society can be initiated, with the ultimate aim of reducing the Muslim population to a small, non-observant, powerless fraction of what it is now.
Mainstream conservatives will recoil from what I’ve said. But if, as McCarthy put it, “Islamism is our enemy and has targeted our constitutional system for destruction by slow strangulation via sharia,” and if, as he also wrote (dropping the euphemism “Islamism” and speaking of Islam), “jihad is a central tenet of Islam. It is the obligation … to impose [Allah’s] law everywhere on earth,” then how can we save America from Islam without removing its followers from America?