In an analysis of Ali’s book (Heretic) on a ”possible reformation” of Islam, Conrad Black (professional twit and ankle biter) ends the piece with a thought that runs completely at odds with today’s situation vis-a-vis Islamic migration and islamization that follows it.
I think she asks a lot when she calls for Muslim reformers to be accorded the same renown in the West as Alexander Solzhenitsyn or Voltaire — who were, broadly, Westerners calling for reform of the West. For obvious reasons in her own harrowing experience, she exaggerates the threat of Islam to the West. Very few Muslim countries have objectively been successful and they are not a menace on the scale of Hitler or Stalin, cunning totalitarians at the head of great, militarily powerful, more or less Western nations. Islamist terrorists are a horrible nuisance, but they aren’t capable of destroying our civilization and have accomplished almost nothing since the 9/11 (2001) attacks except a few random bombings and shootings. It is not the West that will reform Islam, except in so far as Muslims yield to the temptations of our supposedly decadent mores and folkways, depicted to the Muslim masses on ubiquitous modern media.
One only has to look at the present day reality of Western appeasement to Islamic norms, let alone 1400 years of Islamic history to show how the ideology systematically swallows up whole societies. It’s done through a measure of means, but most of all, through the bulk of the Muslim demographic itself.
The majority of Muslims are not engaged in any jihad per say, but through the sheer numbers of their existence they ply non-Islamic societies into the Muslim fold. To prove that Conrad Black’s assertion is wrong, look at how Islamic State jihadis (and their alliances) are herding Muslim migrants towards the West, that in itself will be their greatest achievements in Islmizing the West.
NOTE: That is the danger, more than any suicide bomber or jihadi pincer movement.
Hirsi Ali’s Call For An Islamic Reformation
I had the pleasure this week of meeting Ayaan Hirsi Ali at a most convivial social occasion, having just read her latest book, Heretic. Most readers will be aware that she fled an arranged marriage as a very young Somalian Muslim woman and abandoned her faith, going first to Germany and then to the Netherlands. She began her new life as a factory cleaning lady and rose to be a Dutch member of parliament and a prominent activist for the victims of militant Islam. She is now a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the wife of eminent Anglo-American historian Niall Ferguson, and is an elegant, charming and courageous woman.
She states that Islam is “incompatible with modernity,” and summarizes that it primarily requires unlimited faith in the existence and sacred authority of God, Allah, and Mohamed his prophet; prayer five times a day; day-time fasting for the whole ninth month of Ramadan; the practice of charity, and, if possible, at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in one’s lifetime. Only the first of these is seriously problematical (as opposed to personally inconvenient).
Ali’s five requirements for reform are revisions of Mohamed’s semi-divine and infallible status and literalist reading of the Koran, particularly those allegedly revealed to the Prophet at the launch of his most radical phase in Medina in the last 10 years of his life; the de-emphasis of life after death over the present life; the abandonment of the draconian Shariah law derived from the Koran; an end to empowering individuals to enforce that law arbitrarily, and to the frequent and capricious recourse to jihad, holy war.
The author’s summaries of problems and solutions is plausible, but if her suggestions were enacted, Islam would become just a Golden Rule fellowship; her authority to recommend anything so radical, moreover, suffers for her being not just an apostate, but an atheist. This, as I gently suggested to her, is where her heartfelt argument becomes tenuous. Atheists renounce and abstain from religions; they don’t reform them.
NOTE II: I do not hold out much hope for Islam to be moderated/reformed. Death for apostasy and jihad form the greatest of pillars for sustaining the dangerous creed, the anti-Semitism, rife throughout its texts, ensures that it will always remain a very hostile intolerant mix, and with the benefit of hindsight, average Muslims (let alone those who control its orthodoxy) will reject anything attempting to steer it into the direction of a similar reform Judaism and Christianity experienced, knowing fully well where it will lead.