The TT has had an interesting exchange with someone who wishes to remain anonymous, concerning Pakistan and Perez Musharraf’s fall from power and what it means. I won’t list everything but just the most recent of comments with my response to them. The person leaving the comments seems reasonable enough, but his/her thinking on the basics of Islam, and the dangers it poses…is as faulty as it is all too familiar. KGS
Anon: “The problem with “islamicists” is that they are not the bulk of the natural population of Pakistan. But are the result of a careful and consistent nurturing of forces (since that allows them to escape natural selection from the local environment).”
Ah…but you see, therein lies the rub, you believe that Islamism is something that takes root outside the culture that belongs to the house of Islam. I beg to differ.Looking at Islamic history, it is one of nothing but …Islamism. The reformists, Said Qut’b and Osama Bin Laden are just bringing their coreligionists back to Mohamed’s basic teachings. And guess what? The (non-violent) Muslims have NOTHING to offer as a counter argument to the jihadis message. Because Mo’s words cannot be changed, edited or ignored by a Muslim if he or she intends to remain a Muslim.
Anon: “Think of an outside force funding some extremist Christian groups within the U.S. for a number of years. Those who would normally have gotten old and into retirement for lack of local support would wind up rich and in charge of other people after a few years.”
Islam needs only to experience itself as being “ascendent” for a renewal and subsequent “surge” of the “jihad ideology”. That is why paying attention to pure local dynamics is a akin to not seeing the trees for the forests. Regardless of whether one Muslim group is locked at the hip with Communist patrons, or involved with nationalist movements for “liberation”, Islam, the core tof their identity is what matters, that, more than anything else needs to be factored into any analysis of resurgent Islamism.
The flow of money, crucial indeed to starting and maintaining the jihad, is secondary to the resurgence of Islam as the chief motivating dynamic on the world stage. It never fails to amaze me how people so casually overlook the over throw of the Shah of Iran and rise of the Ayatollah Khomenie. To understand the ramifications of that episode, is to understand the situation of Islam and the jihad ideology as a whole.
The rise of the Shah created the need for a more exerted effort by the Saudis for the control of the whole Ummah. We have to stop thinking like westerners and begin thinking like the Muslims that inhabit that region of the world. They are big in symbolism and signs and wonders.Iran and the Saudis are the major players behind the whole scene, they are the ones plowing money into the jihad, and here we are tripping over individual groups and movements and how they have aligned themselves in the past,…when at the base of the problem lies one thing, …Islam.
How in the world do you think formerly Christian countries in the Levant and in S.Europe became Islamic? They just decided to give up on centuries of tradition for “something better”? There are always intriguing interplay between various individuals and groups, like in Afghanistan for example, but the only thing that can give rise to jihad…is Islam and the belief that it is now in ascendancy. Like a water tap, jihad can be turned on and off when the moment suits, right now due to world circumstances just mentioned.. the jihad is now a hot ticket, and the only impact we westerners have on the jihad, is whether we are actively keeping a boot on it, or appearing weak and ripe for subjugation..
Anon: “It is perhaps this history which informs the reaction in European countries to muslim immigration. However, there are very real differences between European and Muslim culture – in terms of history. In Europe, religion has traditionally been used to oppress, in Muslim countries it has historically been the state which has been at war with a much weaker religious authority. In the case of Islam, there is no clergy, and it has operated on the fringes of power (somewhat reminiscent of pre-Roman Christianity).”
I beg to differ. Regardless of the lack of clergy, Islam, has been the chief motivating factor in the subjugation of nations and people. Yes there have been different Islamic players throughout the centuries that have aligned themselves up even with Christian princes and states to fight against other Muslims, but the overall trend clearly shows that Islam….was never far away from even the most secular of Muslim rulers. I advise you to read Dr.Andrew Bostoms’s seminal work The Legacy of Jihad, and Efraim Karsh’s book the The History of Islamic Imperialism. Most enlightening
Anon: “This partly explains the differences in threat perception between Europeans (against Catholicism) versus Muslims (against Islam).And this is perhaps why some Europeans are heard saying “there has been no Reformation in Islam”. This is an oximoron because in effect Islam WAS the reformation (for the conditions which existed at that time). And while rulers have been cruel, islam never had that face which could be blamed for the people’s troubles.”
The beginnings of Islam, which portion of Mohamed’s ministry are you referring to, the Medina or Mecca period? Was the wiping out of Jewish tribes part of that reformation? Were assassinations, executions and pedophilia and multiple wives (500 for Mohamed) part of that glorious “reformation”? Also, you appear a bit to willing to give Islam a clean bill of health where cruelties are concerned. What about the forced servitude (slavery) and second class status of Jews and Christians who refused to convert?
Anon: “It is for perhaps this reason that some of the more insightful western analysts may privately insist on supporting religious groups (at least it was the rage pre-911 when these groups were considered a bulwark against communism) – not just to use as a pressure group within the country, but also to perhaps create a muslim CLERGY. Which would first gain dominance and THEN wind up disgusting the people. This is a very long shot and would take years, but more likely will create more suffering and wind up failing nonetheless.”
Well Iran has done just that, and yes the people are disgusted with them. But remember, the Leftists in the West thought it a “good thing” for these progressives to take power.
Anon: “Saudi Arabia is again an example of an “unnatural” situation. It too is a product of a “modern” war – British support against the Ottomans. Thereby removing it from the “ambiance” of a wider islamic ethic (just as outside support of the extremist forces render them unanswerable to local sentiment). No longer exposed to the moderating influences of that wider whole, it was free to pursue extremely narrow interpretations of islam as well. In many ways Saudi Arabia was the “Taliban” of the early 20th century.”
So the Saudi problem is the invention of the West…how quaint. The Islamic religion is imperialist in its conception, methods and deeds. It’s a Saudi construct that, for all practical reasons, (from a imperialist Arabian viewpoint) could only have a Saudi framework to work properly. All the other “new” Islamic states in Asia for example, have not yet run the course other “older” states have gone through. It’s only a matter of time before these states are no longer “supposedly” tolerant towards their minorities, and start a campaign on forced conversions starting by dhimmitude, with the payment of the jizya tax.
Anon: “I hope this gives you a perspective on a wider time and space scale. This does not solve the problem of xenophobia in Europe towards islam of course. That is a matter for Europeans to decide since (maybe surprising to europeans) from an islamic point of view – you have to operate within the legal framework of the country you live in. That however does not constrain children of immigrants who may partially feel european to start demanding the same rights as native Europeans – and THAT aspect of their protest is of a more personal and humanistic form (and not directly related to islam). “
Explain yourself concerning the charge of European xenophobia towards Islam? Are you saying that having a healthy fear of Islam, especially when reviewing history at how all countries which have had Islam knock at their doors, have either succumbed to Islam, or are presently waging battles against regions within their states which want to become an Islamic state?
How long before the same happens within France, Britain, Holland or Germany? And you dare to invoke the boogeyman of …xenophobia? All you have to do is wave that on around, and you have effectively silenced all debate….nothing more to talk about…the verdict is in, anyone who is negative towards Islam…is a racist. I do believe that that thinking is very close to the OIC position.
Why is it that we have never seen Islam in retreat, meaning Islamic states never succumb to other religions?
Anon: “Because in the islamic sensibility – if an islamic state does not have jurisdiction over europe or another country it will not ask people to incite trouble there. Just as it would not want outsiders to incite trouble in their area. And because of the very practical aspects of islamic jurisprudence, they CANNOT ask muslims in europe to cause disruption there. In fact, the canonical answer would be that “if you live there, then live in peace, and if you cannot then you should not live there”. It’s as simple as that. However, this too is only a recommendation, because a child of immigrants in europe is not under the control of an islamic state. And they are in no position to dictate terms to a muslim in a european country.”
It all depends on what you mean by “inciting trouble”. The OIC is actively sponsoring dawa, to help convert the populace to Islam, or at least take a more positive view of the religion. If that doesn’t work, than just ratchet up the violence against their embassies abroad. Help stir up angst against the west with the help of supposedly “moderate European Muslims”. Children of Muslim parents are in direct influence from Muslims abroad, many of which who draw salaries from the state.
They are directly influencing the young to be “more Islamic” then their parents. Radical (or should I say mainstream) Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi serves up a regular diet of non-friendly-to-the-west- sermons etc. all the way from his hole in Cairo. Children are indeed being influenced by foreign Muslims and by the states that pay their checks.
Anon: “However as I said above, that DOES NOT prevent a child of immigrants in Europe to start acting european himself (although to native Europeans he may seem only half-european) and demanding the rights he is given by the local constitution (which may seem like a contradiction to native europeans – i.e. “he is asking for his islamic rights AS WELL as his european rights – doesn’t he know that is contradictory”). In this behaviour he is NOT acting “like a muslim”. He is in fact acting like somewhere in between. After all, not all people are skilled logicians (which you need to be to understand islamic jurisprudence or any legal system).
Eventually the problem then winds up in the european lap – if you allowed these people to enter then entertain them, otherwise change your laws. All this does is expose a limitation in european law which may not have been examined before – i.e. the need to be pluralistic (which maybe a logical need), but at the same time chauvinistic (which maybe a more emotional need).”
The only way a Muslim child acts European, is to start questioning most of everything demanded from him or herself. That action takes him or her completely away from the norm of his/her religion, because in Islam, no one is allowed to question anything. So the person becomes either less of a Muslim and more secular….or fights the notion and becomes even more religious than his/her parents that moved to Europe to escape crappy systems.
When Muslims begin demanding “their rights”, its because their numbers have swelled to a degree that affords them a better sense of protection. It has happened throughout history, and all over the non-Muslim world. It’s happening right now in the Filipines as well as in China. The list …goes on. They are not being …”in between”, they are just acting normal, as a budding Islamic community in a traditional non-Muslim society will most certainly do…when the numbers are right. Violence occurs later if “all their rights” are not forthcoming.
People are driven by the religious leaders in their communities, and unless you can show me beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Muslim street is not in fact being controlled from the mosque, then you have not persuaded. Yes European laws do need to be changed, Muslim immigration curtailed and no-nonsense in regards to Muslims who promote, advance and propagate the Islamist agenda. KGS