An unanswered (and unanswerable?) question 15

Islam is waging war on the rest of the world. Its war is called jihad.

It will not stop until it is victorious. It will count itself victorious when it has brought the whole world under its rule. Its supreme ruler will be a caliph. The totalitarian system to which all will submit is called sharia.

What is the enlightened West doing to preserve itself from conquest by Islam?

What can it do?

Raymond Ibrahim of the Middle East Forum considers this question at Right Side News, and answers it pessimistically:

Today …  onetime arcane words — caliphate, jihad, sharia — become commonplace in the media …

Ever since Egypt became a hot topic in the media, there has been no shortage of pundits warning against the Muslim Brotherhood; warning that an Islamist takeover in Egypt may have a domino effect in the region; warning that the ultimate goal of Islamists around the world is the resurrection of an imperialistic and expansionist caliphate … Similarly, the controversy caused by the Ground Zero mosque brought Arabic-Islamic concepts that were formerly the domain of academics, such as sharia, into the fore.

Yet, as the West begins to understand the unique nature of its enemy — caliphate, jihad, and sharia all pose a perpetual, transcendent threat — it must also understand that a unique response is required. …

Consider the caliphate: its very existence would usher in a state of constant hostility. Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate’s function is to wage jihad, whenever and wherever possible, to bring the infidel world under Islamic dominion and enforce sharia.

A jihad-waging, sharia-enforcing caliphate represents a permanent, ideological enemy — not a temporal foe that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions. Such a caliphate is precisely what Islamists around the world are feverishly seeking to establish. Without active, preemptive measures, it is only a matter of time before they succeed.

In this context, what, exactly, is the Western world prepared to do about it — now, before the caliphate becomes a reality? Would it be willing to launch a preemptive offensive — politically, legally, educationally, and, if necessary, militarily — to prevent its resurrection? Could the West ever go on the offensive, openly and confidently — now, when it has the upper-hand — to incapacitate its enemies?

One may argue in the affirmative, pointing to the preemptive Iraq war. Yet there are subtle and important differences. The rationale behind the Iraq war was physical and practical: it was limited to the elimination of suspected WMDs and against a specific government, Iraq’s Saddam regime. War to prevent the creation of a caliphate, on the other hand, is metaphysical and impractical: it is not limited to eliminating material weapons, nor confined to one government or person.

The fact is, the West does not have the political paradigms or language to justify an offensive against an ideological foe in religious garb. …

What if an important nation like Egypt does go Islamist, a big domino in the quest of a caliphate? It is a distinct possibility. Can we also say that it is distinct possibility that the West would do everything in its power to prevent this from happening? Of course not …

Indeed, the Obama administration has already made it clear that it is willing to engage the [Muslim] Brotherhood, differentiating them from “radicals” like al-Qaeda — even as the Brotherhood’s motto is “Allah is our objective, the prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah our highest hope.” Likewise, a theocratic, eschatologically-driven Iran is on its way to possessing nuclear weapons — all while the international community stands by.

In short, as it becomes clear that violence and intolerance are inextricably linked to concepts like caliphate, jihad, and sharia, so too should it become clear that the threat is here to stay …

Ibrahim quotes Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University asking the question that needs to be asked, and which so far has no answer; a question which no leader in the West has dared to think about.

“You can sit here and talk about jihad from here to doomsday, what will it do? Suppose you prove beyond any shadow of doubt that Islam is constitutionally violent, where do you go from there?”

Ibrahim gives no answer of his own.

Has the West rendered itself finally impotent against this enemy by its choice of the very values that first made it strong: freedom, tolerance, openness, benevolence, irenicism, skepticism, rationality?

If it can only win this war by changing itself into its own opposite, becoming collectivist, intolerant, oppressive, malevolent, violent and dogmatic, it will destroy itself, becoming so much like Islam that Islam it may as well be.

  • S W Kellogg

    No doubt, it’s tough being an American consumer these days. Sounds downright scary. Regardless, things will work out favorably, albeit temporarily (always temporarily), for one side or another. Enjoy. Thanks for the venue.

  • George

    I acknowledge that most Muslims are peace loving people who do NOT want to take over the world , but it is indeed going to be Muslims themselves who are going to have to take a stand and take back their religion that has been hijacked by the radicals. This is the very reason that so many people around the world have such a negative view of Muslims in general. No , we should not stereotype anyone because of their beliefs but the people who are in denial that this world problem has gotten out of control and poses a world threat globally are contributing to the perpetual problem by their silence. I have NO problem with any peace loving Muslim or any other religionists (theists ) who respect the beliefs and values of others , but the fact still remains that the terrorism problem is growing massively on a daily basis. What are we suppopse to do—just stand around and wring our hands and say -“Oh well” ? Something has got to give. When the world society sees Muslims around the world on a wide scale basis speaking out in large numbers , then and only then will the world be convinced that a Muslim world transformation is actually occuring. In all honesty , nothing I say is meant to offend any peace loving Muslim, Christian , Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist , Wiccan or other but there is indeed a serious world threat occuring right before our eyes. Wishing and hoping that something will change is not going to change anything. It is going to take pragmatic action to effect such change. I find it very ironic that the very ones who expect us to “walk on eggshells” regarding how we speak out on this problem are the very ones themselves who adamantly refuse to speak out themselves and denounce on a wide scale basis the horrors that are occuring in the name of theological ideology. By the same token , this does NOT mean that secular freethinkers are perfect , as I have met some very arrogant atheists in my life who I don’t want to be around. There is enough “finger-pointing” to go around , but world society needs to come together as a unified social body to assure world peace for future generations.

    • S W Kellog

      World society? No. World problem. No. Perhaps a people problem. People? Hardly an essential element of the world. Merely another cosmic dalliance. Welcome to the sixth great mass extinction. Enjoy. Thanks for the venue.

      • George

        If people don’t wake up and get their freakin’ act together , it just very well may end up as another mass extinction——————— sad but true !!!!!

        • S W Kellogg

          Well, insofar as we know, extinction is inevitable, regardless of whether people wake up or not. The real issue is the quality of life before it happens. That aside, the human species seems to be living up to the old Hindu saying : The last rung on the ladder of success is failure. Enjoy.

      • George

        I use to be optomistic but now, not any more even though I am NOT a pessimistic person. The writing on the wall indicates grave peril for us and our future and this is not meant to sound negative but to be a realist. I think the inevitable is only being delayed or stalled and what will be will be. I have heard people say that we get what we deserve , but the problem is that people who are causing the problems are affecting innocent people who don’t deserve the consequences———– this is even more proof that life isn’t fair and we have to accept it, deal with it , suck it up and move on. Semper Fi !

        • George

          I’m replying to my own post the way the page is set up—— It’s nice to be optimistic , but we have to also call it the way it is. It’s amazing that we have such inventive maturity and advanced technology that enables us to go to the moon , travel faster than sound, speak across vast oceans on hand held electronic devices , watch real images on a screen and yet we as a human species can’t even get along with one another in peace and mutual respect. What’s wrong with this picture ?

    • Frank

      Sorry George but the problem is not radical Islam. The problem is simply Islam, fundamentalist Islam. Here’s a quote from Sam Harris:
      “The mainstream doctrine of Islam contains this notion of martyrdom and jihad. It contains this imperative to convert, subjugate or kill infidels. Anyone who says it doesn’t have not read the Qur’an has not read the hadith or is lying about them.”

      Let me say that I too have read the Qur’an and the hadith. Sam Harris is absolutely correct in his conclusions.

      Religious Moderates And Islamic Fundamentalists (1/2)

      • George

        Maybe I should have clarified myself. I agree that is the case as we are NOT in disagreement. Islam itself is the problem as Islam itself means total submission to their Islamic deity . The so-called radicals are actually fundamentalists who are practicing the actual tennants of the Qur’an. My point was to illustrate and emphasize the behavior of the radicals. If the so-called moderates were to practice the actual tennants of their Islamic religion , then they would be doing the same thing as the so-called radicals. By the same token , the old testament of the Bible teaches horrific behavior toward non-believers and those who do not follow the Christian teachings. If we didn’t have laws to protect us , then the fundamentalist Christians would be doing to us secular freethinkers the same thing that the fundamentalist Muslims are doing today. It’s going to take Muslims themselves to serve as a ” social buffer” to get their religion under control. If not, the world is going to find itself in a World War III global religious war. I AGREE with Sam Harris and he’s right on target.

  • Jed

    What we need to do is recognize that, although people have the right to practice their religion, their religion may intrinsically oppress its adherents. And we need to decide which is more important, the right to express this oppressive religion, or the right of its adherents not to be oppressed. I think the answer is obvious, and the governments of Western nations need to think rationally and disregard political correctness and other ideologies in order to solve this problem. We currently have the means by which to solve this problem, it is just a matter of realizing that and shifting our paradigms away from ideology and towards rationality. We need to recognize that Islam is a threat, it threatens the very values that Westerners live by, and to not address the problems that it is currently creating is to relinquish these values.

    • George

      You’re right on the money Jed ! High Five !!!!! The problem is we have people who are so gullible and brainwashed with their “political correctness” aka-political corruptness that it’s mind boggling. We could very well lose world civilization to the jihadist Ilamacists if people worldwide don’t wake up and fight back and speak up. Our ULTRA-TOLERANCE may very well be our doom. Ultra-tolerance could very well kill us world wide . They ( jihadists ) are literrally laughing at us regarding how stupid and foolish the liberal left PC crowd really are. They are taking advantage of the weakness of the ‘political correctness ” mindset in order to institute worldwide sharia law. They are destroying us globally one degree at a time incrementally and B4 you know it , the world will be Islamisized . It’s like the story of the frog in the pot of water . When the frog is put in a pot of water at room temperature , he dosen’t notice it and remains comfortable in the pot of water. But if you turn the temperature up gradually one degree at a time over a period of time the water will reach boiling temperature and the frog will boil to death without even knowing what happened. It’s happening to us. We here in America have the greatest minds when it comes to technology, inventions, and innovations but we as a people are the most stupid fools when it comes to preserving our national security , our infrature, our social order and society and above all , our freedom ,justice and equality.
      Back in 1990 when I was a member of American Atheists , I spoke to Madalyn O’Haire about this via telephone and I asked her why is it that more and more atheists don’t speak out publicly and stand up publicly for our rights like other movements have done ? Madalyn replied—- ” George , that’s because they’re cowards ” ! She actually told the truth on that one. I didn’t agree on Madalyn’s politics and liberal views but she was one brave woman , but later became corrupt by her own power and it destroyed her and her family members who perished and it tarnished the image of atheists even more. Jed , if we as a people don’t get our collective act together , then these jihadists will win and they know it . They are using TAKIIYA ( the right of Muslims to use lies, deceit, trickery and false pretense ) to push their radical jihadist agenda. Notice how even the mass multitudes of Muslims are silent on this matter. You can count the number of Muslims on one hand who speak out ( and how do we know they are sincere ? ). World society is getting more and more dangerous with the rise of radical Islam because in nations around the world we have Muislims who can’t get along with their neighbors or assimilate into the already existing societies . They are compelled to convert the society to fit their Islamist agenda . They have absolutely have NO tolerance for anyone else and yet they demand so much tolerance for their religious indeology. This is not only a double-standard and hypocrisy but it is downright dangerous and threatening. The average woman today has more guts than today’s wimpified male or sissyfied man politician. Welcome to the wussification of world society !

    • Ralph

      I agree with you, but the question remains. How do we rationally address the problems posed by Islam? Maybe the real question is; can you reason with faith?

      • George

        Good questions Ralph. IMHO , we can’t rationally address Islam or any religion . Although in today’s world society it is Islam that poses the greatest threat to world civilization. Secondly it is imposible to reason with FAITH since FAITH itself is devoid of reason and is anti-reason. The worldwide jihadist movement is bent on Islamasizing the entire world and the PC crowd are allowing it and handcuffing our military and spitting in the faces of our allies. I do believe that this is going to come to a boiling point when people will simply say enough is enough—– I hope it won’t be too late before we have mushroom clouds and/or biological/chemical weapons of mass destruction set off by these religious kooks. These religious zealots are going to push world society against a wall and world society will come out fighting and yet I fear that it may be after a lot of innocent lives are lost on a massive scale that people are going to stand up and fight back. The scary part is that the jihadists are taking over European countries that have nuclear weapons and massive armies . air forces and navies and other weaponry. The world is in grave peril and we still have people who are more concerned with watching IDOL on TV than focusing on our very survival. It’s crazy ! One would think that if a true moral religion wanted to recruit people it would do great and honorable things such as charitable actions, relief aid, community assistance and showing the utmost of kindness , respect and helping others——-but oh no , not these lunatics. They worship death and regard killing as an honor ( even their own family members ) . Talk about barbaric sickos ! And yet we rational secular freethinkers are referred to as infidels, heathens and heretics. I don’t see ANY atheist anywhere engaging in any acts of terrorism or forcible proselytizing. Yet we become the proverbial scapegoats for what the religious zealot wackos are doing. Men worldwide had better grow a set of balls (pardon the expression ) and stand up for our survival or we will indeed perish. The world is becoming more and more a scary place to exist for people globally. It is because of the gullibility and weakness of the PC crowd that has emboldened these hate-mongering and murderous zealots . I just hope that we as a society wake up before it’s too late.

      • Frank

        You can’t reason someone out of a belief they didn’t “reason” themselves into. America needs to learn from Europe’s example and stop the spread of Islam here. As far as Islam is concerned multiculturalism not only doesn’t work it will eventually destroy the host country. The Western democracies are the hosts and Islam is the parasite.

        • George

          You’re right Frank , but you know what they will say to that. They will accuse you and me and other like-minded individuals of being anti-Muslim , or being intolerant or insensitive, or of being a hate-mongering bigot ( this from the religious nut-cases who are the most virulent hate-mongering wackos on earth ). This is further proof how religion stiffles the rational thinking process. Religion doesn’t teach people to think , reason , rationalize logically , analyze situations using good sense and be fair and just. It only teaches people to be mindless human robots ( like the Borg on the Star Trek TV series ) who are single-minded human puppets incapable of using reason and rational thinking but only follow and obey without question . These people do not know they are brainwashed but are actually convinced in their own mind that we are brainwashed and on the “wrong” path. They want to save our souls so that we can be mindless brainwashed “puppets” like them . Frank we currently have the military might to wipe these terrorist , world-threatening lunatics off the earth but we don’t have the WILL because of “political correctness” that is handcuffing us. Here we are in the era of the space age and we have massive weaponry and massive military forces and because of that moronic stealth Muslim in the white house we are now letting a bunch of rag-head camel jockies kick our butts. It’s crazy man ! I know I come across as being hot-headed but I’m telling it like it is Frank and so are you———but who listens ? Who is going to take action ? Who is going to stand up for America ? The frustration is driving me bonkers. You and I know what needs to be done , but what can we do to wake up the masses of the people is the million dollar question. Take care Frank !