Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Political Islam v. Islam

Michael L.

crescentWhen it comes to political Islam, or radical Islam or Islamism or Islamofascism, or whatever designation one chooses to use, there are a number of ways non-jihadis look at it.

There is Obama.

There is Pamela Geller.

And there is Daniel Pipes.

                                   The Obama Way (Deny, Deny, Deny)

Barack Obama claims that when jihadis fly planes into the World Trade Center, or slaughter innocent people in San Bernardino while crying out "Alahu Akbar!" that this has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

George W. Bush famously referred to Islam as "the religion of peace."

Both men, naturally, were lying through their teeth.

But one way that people judge Islamic terrorism is to deny that it has anything whatsoever to do with Islam. I was back east awhile ago and met with friends. I was talking to one of my buddies over a beer about those fun-filled fellahs in ISIS. And I said something like, "Well, political Islam is a real problem. It results in wide-scale violence all around the world."

And he said, "This is not about Islam. It is about terrorism. Not Islamic terrorism, but anybody terrorism."

I looked at him with my mouth hanging open and blinked.

"Excuse me," I said, "but it was not Mormons who killed 3,000 people in New York on 9/11. It was not Buddhists who killed those people in Paris at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the kosher grocery store. It is not Rosicrucians who are destroying antiquities throughout the Middle East."

The Pamela Geller Way (Islam is Islam)

Turkish Prime Minister Ergodan famously said, and I paraphrase, that Islam is Islam. There is no extremist Islam and there is no moderate Islam. There is only Islam.

Pamela Geller, unless she has had a change of heart recently, would agree, as would her friend and partner, Robert Spencer. I like Geller very much because she is both smart and brave. However, if Barack Obama thinks that "violent extremism" has nothing to do with Islam, Geller believes that violent aggression is absolutely embedded in Islam.

She has a perfectly reasonable case because the Koran does, in fact, call upon devout Muslims to kill the infidel if he refuses submission. There is simply no getting around this hard fact. This is not speculative. It is not a matter of interpretation. It is right there in black and white for all to see.

Some, of course, would argue that the Bible is at least as violent as the Quran, if not considerably more so. The difference - as anyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell you - is that violence in the Bible is descriptive while calls for violence in the Quran are prescriptive.

The Quran quite literally calls for violence against non-Muslims.

The Michael Lumish Way (or, really, the Daniel Pipes' Way)

Daniel Pipes - who is considered, among many on the Left, to be a hard-right "Islamophobe" but who is actually a very serious scholar of Middle East Studies - argues that the way to defeat radical Islam is through moderate Islam.

Geller and Spencer are correct that calls for violence are embedded directly within the Quran and the Hadiths, however most Muslims are not particularly interested. Most Muslims, like most Christians and most Jews, do not heed the stupidity embedded in our respective faiths and want, more than anything, the freedom to pursue their own interests.

In the United States this is certainly true. In Europe it is different and in the Arab-Muslim Middle East it is entirely different. In the United States, at least in my experience, native-born Muslims are Americans first, just as I am an American first. We may have different faiths, or no faith whatsoever, but we speak the same language and tend to share similar values.

Pipes's idea, if I understand him correctly, is that the way to defeat political Islam is with regular Muslims. For those of you who may arch an eye-brow, remember that it was the ordinary folk backing the Egyptian military, with Obama's disapproval, that took down the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. And the Brotherhood, let us not forget, is the Big Daddy of Islamist organizations.

The Brotherhood is the father of both al-Qaeda and Hamas and, yet, Obama supported their bid for power in Egypt. He sent Hillary to encourage their smooth transition into office after winning a fraudulent election wherein Christian Copts were often kept from voting at the point of a rifle.

It was Brotherhood founder Sayyid Qutb who wrote Our Struggle with the Jews.

The problem is that regular Muslims seem indifferent to poltical Islam (the call to Sharia) or its violence against Muslims and non-Muslims alike.


  1. I don't tend to have much in common with Daniel Pipes. But the idea that radical Islam will need to be defeated by ordinary Muslims is the only possible solution.

    That is a long-term strategy that will have to be supported by anyone with any interest and concern about the world.

    However, some of us, outside America, are far more concerned with the toxic atmosphere that is coming from people on the Left. Many Jewish people are becoming increasingly alarmed.
    It's pretty scary, really.

    1. How badly will anti-Semitism injure Labour?

    2. Not really possible to know. They are set to win the London Mayoral election this week. And by a larger margin than before the scandals. I am seriously concerned about their candidate. I will post link as to why. However, all, or most, of the "decent" people on the Left who despise Corbyn, are voting for Khan. And think any questions about his difficult political alignments are racist.
      We have council elections tomorrow, so we will see if Labour lose seats or not. Whether that will be anything to do with antisemitism is unlikely I would think. If they do lose significantly then it is more likely to be to do with other issues about Corbyn and his crew.
      Interestingly, Emma Thompson, who is a dyed in the wool Labour supporter has said she cannot support the party in its present state.
      It's absolutely horrible here. All kinds of poison have been released into our cultural landscape.

      I cannot see a way back for Labour. Even if the remaining decent people in the party want one. And, ultimately, it is a mixture of ideologies and positions. Very good piece by Danny Finkelstein in the London Times, it's behind a pay wall, but if you go to Mick Hartley's place he has most of it. It's very, very good.
      And it is, of course, a numbers game. How much does antisemitism matter in a country where only 250.000 (ish) Jews live? Not very much, I fear.
      Labour are despicable, at least at the top of the party, and they look unelectable in the imminent future, but after that...
      Conservatives likely to get ever more unpopular. Labour either find a way back to a more centrist ground, or redefine what leftwing politics is in this country, and play to amenable groups.
      I doubt that in the long-run antisemitism will do them too much "electoral" harm. What they are prepared to tolerate will, however, do them incalculable moral damage.
      Mike, I would urge you to read Danny's piece at Mick Hartley's place. It ties in with America.

      I'll post link for Jamie Palmer's piece on Khan.

    3. Mike,
      There are two important pieces at Harry's place. One by Jamie Palmer ( Jacobinism) and the other by Saul O. The Palmer one is a very good bringing together of why Labour is wrong to have Sadiq Khan as their candidate. The other shows a video of him where he speaks to Press TV calling moderate Muslims in Britain, "Uncle Toms."
      Worth reading. Especially Jamie Palmer.
      This is an awful time. Really.
      Khan is going to be London Mayor. That's alarming.
      And when he is elected tomorrow, his election will validate an antisemitic party. :-(

    4. I'll check out those articles.

      What I don't understand is how so many on the Left can, themselves, fail to understand that by turning on the Jews they are turning on their own values.

      I left the Left, so to speak, because by excoriating the Jews of Israel while giving its vicious neighboring states a pass it reveals its essential hypocrisy.

      The progressive-left, the Labour party in Britian, and the Democratic party in the US stand for nothing.

      Zero. Zip. Nada.

      They've thrown their reason-to-be into the toilet entirely because they do not stand for social justice or universal human rights. They stand for selective justice and human rights of some, but not others.

    5. Short answer: They don't have any values.

      They have "virtues" which are without any real honour.

      Values are like "honour" they
      demand an integrity. Something that is in your core. Not just something that you "wear" for show, so you can think well of yourself.

      They're done. And they can't see it.

    6. k,
      Isn't it fair to say that generally muslims in Britain have a problem with Jews? As there are more and more muslims in British society, the more politicians, especially Labour, are using them as an electoral wedge to swing elections. Isn't that the case?
      Isn't muslim antipathy for the Jews one of those things that politicians can unite otherwise disparate muslim groups and individuals into a solid voting bloc? I mean, Labour isn't about to attract most British muslims on social issues such as gay marriage and transgender rights to the toilet of their choice. This is Labour's dirty little right wing secret. They can't outright start persecuting British Jews, so they have been using Israel as the whipping boy - until now.

    7. Jeff,
      It's certainly true that, particularly in some areas, it is enormously important for Labour to win the Muslim vote. And there's a lot of antisemitism in the British Muslim community.
      However, I really want everyone to understand that the Left is endemically anti-Zionist and, in many respects, antisemitic. There are many interesting reasons to trace why that is so.
      I will link to a really good article about it by Jamie Palmer. But there are other reasons, too. It's a really interesting concoction. And it's a perfect storm.
      It's difficult: There is definitely a lot of antisemitism and antisemitic conspiracy theories in some sections of the Muslim community. But the Left have created their own problems with Jews.
      I'll try and post good links.
      It's too easy to blame it on a particular community, the Left have lots of reasons why Jews can be either hated or thrown under the bus.

    8. k,
      I didn't mean it as a single cause theory, but as one of several causes. I agree with you that the Left has other problems with Israel/Jews as well.

  2. Islam can never be defeated by Islam. Never happen. They are more compliant to the crazies or afraid of them than we are. The only way to defeat to Islam is to wall it off and let it incinerate itself from the inside. They need to run out of people who can read or keep the power plants running or know how to farm or whatnot. When the only job of any value in Islam is psychotic mass murdering rapist genocidal loon then everyone will do that and they will wreak their mayhem on each other until there aren't enough of them left to hurt us. We NEED to help them hurl their society back a thousand years. We NEED to help them oppress one another. We NEED to help them kill and mutilate and terrorize one another to the last one standing. They make horrible societal decisions and we need to help them make more of them.

    1. Is this what we call realpolitik?

    2. Trudy is 100% correct.

      Mike any Muslim who follows the Koran, which is the majority of them, will take it as their word and do what it tells them to do.

      Islam is not a religion. It is a political, misogynist ideology masquerading as a religion.

      According to Islam we are all Muslim.

    3. Political Islam is not the same as Islam. Just because everything is extremely difficult does not mean writing off one and a half billion people is all right.

    4. This question of Islam versus political Islam is a core question.

      I think that we all understand that the real problem lies with the tenets of the faith as expressed in the Quran and hadiths.

      Polling data from British Muslims is pretty dismal. Over half belief that homosexuality should be against the law. Not merely frowned upon, but made into a criminal act.

      And, needless to say, rates of anti-Jewish hatred among Muslims is very high, ridiculously high in the Middle East where it ranges from the mid to upper 70th percentile to the 90th percentile in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

      And women? Fuggedabout it. The most abused women on the planet live under Sharia.

      In any case, the general principle that I operate under is that it does not matter to me what anyone believes so long as they do not seek to impose it upon others.

      We cannot go to war with the entirety of Islam and would not want to do so even if we could. The West, however, can make it very clear that it absolutely opposes all Islamist groups in the most serious terms possible.

      The mistake Obama made - if it is actually a "mistake" - is to divide Islamists into various camps, some friendly, some unfriendly, and some more or less irrelevant. Thus the US administration was friendly with the Brotherhood, unfriendly with Qaeda, and indifferent to Hamas.

      I think all such organizations should be directly opposed because all represent aggression against the well-being of all non-Muslims, as well as Muslims deemed insufficiently faithful.

    5. You left out Iran; which is an Islamist terrorist state.

  3. Islam was born of violence and supremacism; unlikely to ever change. No real incentive to do so. Maybe they would if the rest of the world shunned them like lepers until they civilized themselves but of course that ain't likely to happen given leaders like Merkel or even Bush who said "These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith." Naive fools. Hate to say it but there it is.

    1. "Islam was born of violence and supremacism"

      Who wasn't violent and supremacist when Islam was born? The difference is that anti-violence and anti-supremacism, largely as a result of the enlightenment, have permeated other cultures so thoroughly that other cultures do not have a critical mass for violent supremacism. The fact that a critical mass within Islam has been left unaffected by the anti-supremacist ethos of the Enlightenment does not show that Islam is entirely incapable of absorbing it.

  4. "The show’s Egyptian-American creator, Sam Esmail, thanked his family in Arabic when “Mr. Robot” won this year’s Golden Globe award for best TV drama. Muslim fans of the show delighted in hearing the language of the Quran broadcast on national television from one of Hollywood’s biggest events.

    “Just wait till I win my Golden Globe and I yell, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ ” said Mandvi, with a chuckle. “I’m so ready!”

    - See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2016/05/just-wait-till-i-win-my-golden-globe-and-i-yell-allahu-akbar.html/#sthash.4C8dHlsK.dpuf

    I don't think he (they) gets it.

    1. Why would there be anything wrong with saying that?

  5. Mike,
    It's nonsensical to say regular Muslims are indifferent to political Islam. They are its main victims. In every sense.

    1. Where am I suggesting that we disagree on this question?

    2. Sorry, I meant that many Muslims are far from indifferent to political Islam because it destroys their lives and countries. I suppose the word "indifferent" bothered me.
      Btw, it's going awfully well here. :/

    3. Poll tells us that only 8.5% of British Jews would vote Labour in an election now.
      30%+ in 2010.

  6. Political Islam is what happens to Islam once the population of Muslims exceeds a given threshold.

    1. Hasn't happened in Kosovo. Hasn't happened in Kurdistan. Hasn't happened in Azerbaijan.

  7. Douglas Murray on the topic


  8. "Most Muslims, like most Christians and most Jews, ..."

    Why bring in any discussion of numbers? There are Muslims who believe in the doctrine of Dar-al-Amn. There are Muslims who are apathetic of Islamic doctrines and simply practice Islamic rituals to varying extents over a secular-humanist value system. And then there are Muslims who insist on an Islamic value system and reject the doctrine of Dar-al-Amn.

    Whether the first two constitute 10%, 30%, or 80% of Muslims, we should consider them our allies, and the remainder, whatever their numbers and whether they act on that belief or not, are our enemies who must either be converted to one of the other two or eradicated.

  9. Today in Tablet:

  10. Mike,
    "Daniel Pipes - who is considered, among many on the Left, to be a hard-right "Islamophobe" but who is actually a very serious scholar of Middle East Studies"

    This serves of one more indicator that the left has lost it. "It" is morality, honesty and rationality.