Pipes, penetrating analyst of Islamic terror
Daniel Pipes writes
Bin Laden was just a part of Al-Qaeda which is just a part of the Islamic terrorist effort which is just a part of the Islamist movement, so the announcement of his death today by the U.S. government makes little operational difference. The war on terror has not fundamentally changed, much less been won. [Emphasis added.]
Note how Pipes keeps showing how each “part” of Islamic terrorism belongs to a larger whole, and how that
larger whole belong to a yet larger
whole. But then, just when it’s getting really interesting, he suddenly breaks off his analysis. He tells us that bin Laden was a part of al Qaeda, which is a part of the Islamic terrorist effort, which is a part of the Islamist movement. But what is the larger whole that the Islamist movement itself
is a part of? Pipes evidently believes there is none. For Pipes, the Islamist movement is an ultimate reality in itself, not proceeding from or based on any other reality or cause.
Of course there is a larger reality of which the Islamist movement is a part, and that is Islam itself. But Pipes can’t afford to recognize or speak that obvious truth, because then he would have to drop the junk slogan on which his entire career is based, that “moderate Islam is the solution.”
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A reader writes:
Let me see … the Islamist movement is a part of Islam! Which, of course, is a part of evil which is a part of providence which is a part of creation which is a part of God’s sovereignty?
Crying in the wilderness!
Except that God does not will evil. At the same time, in support of your idea, God’s providence or plan allows for things that are not part of God’s will.
However, once we take the ever expanding “wholes” beyond what is pertinent to the category at hand, the discussion loses meaning. Russian wolfhounds are part of the larger whole of the dog species. But if we take the progression all the way and say that Russian wolfhounds are part of the larger whole of the universe, the statement ceases to tell us anything useful about Russian wolfhounds. Similarly, if we say that the Islamist movement is part of God’s plan, well, so are tsunamis and supernovae, so the statement is not telling us anything particular about the Islamist movement. The pertinent whole that the Islamist movement is a part of is Islam. We don’t need to go farther than that.
Mark L. writes:
You wrote: ” … except that God does not will evil. At the same time, in support of your idea, God’s providence or plan allows for things that are not part of God’s will.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 02, 2011 05:08 PM | Send
When I think of Islam, I do so from a biblical perspective, meaning that, no matter how triumphant it sees itself, and no matter how dominant it seems to many others who despair of its inevitable supremacy, Islam is on the losing side. This false religion is against the God of heaven—and at the same time, used by God for his sovereign purposes. I find it helpful to think of Islam as the Assyrians of old, whom God uses to punish his rebellious people Israel (the ten northern tribes, as distinct from the kingdom of Judah):
“In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.” (Isaiah 7:20).
Assyria did succeed in conquering Israel and scattering its people, while repopulating the land with the people of other conquered nations. But then, under the generalship of a loudmouth named Rabshakeh, the Assyrians set their sights on Judah, with whom God is still graciously dealing. They overreach, and start to see themselves (inevitably, perhaps) as something more than a mere instrument of God’s providential wrath (or discipline, if you prefer).
The result? In Isaiah, chapter 10, God refers to Assyria as “the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation (vs. 5) and then asks, “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith?” (vs. 15).
Evidently not for long. In chapter 37 (and also in the historical books of Kings and Chronicles), the Assyrian army is pretty much wiped out (miraculously). And while their removal gives way for the up-and-coming Babylonians, who will now be God’s chosen implement for chastening Judah, it marks the end of Assyria as a great empire.
* I should note that, as a dispensationalist, I don’t equate America with Israel or Judah, among other things. I’m merely saying that to the extent that God is judging the nations of the Western world and calling us to turn back to him in repentance, Islam appears to be his hired razor of choice at the moment.
In short, as with Assyria, Islam has nothing to boast about.