Western sages coined the word “Islamist” to mean someone who took Islamic ideology too far; religious duty to pursue jihad to the point of mass killing, perhaps by suicide bombing, too seriously. In other words, an extremist. This allowed the sages, whose heads were more full of pride in their own tolerance than of little grey cells, to intone ad nauseam, “the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people who wouldn’t hurt a fly”. After which some of them would urge unknown spokesmen for that “vast majority” to come forward and denounce the “Islamist’” violence loud and clear.
They wait patiently, year in year out, for the silence to be broken.
The idea was that there are two Islams: a “moderate” one that does not take the commandments of the Koran – such as “kill the infidel” (Sura 9:5) – to be instructions to action, and another Islam that does.
The term “Islamist” has passed into common use to mean fanatical pursuers of Islamic jihad.
Now comes a new division: “moderate Islamists” – in other, equally oxymoronic, words: moderate fanatics, moderate extremists.
The idea crops up in this report about the elections in Tunisia:
A moderate Islamist group [Ennahdha] that was brutally repressed for decades was poised Monday to become Tunisia’s dominant political faction after a landmark election to choose a council that will draft the country’s new constitution and appoint an interim government. …
“The best way to deal with the Islamists is to include them in the process,” said Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an election observer with the National Democratic Institute. “There’s no excuse for keeping them out.”
In stark contrast to the Islamists’ success was the apparent poor performance of the secular Progressive Democratic Party … The PDP ran a campaign that cast its leaders as the protectors of secular and modern values. … The PDP conceded its loss and pledged to work in the opposition rather than with Ennahdha.
In “the opposition”? How long will an opposition be allowed, we wonder.
The same idea of “moderate Islamism” was implied by the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, when, in February, 2011, he told a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the Muslim Brotherhood was “ largely secular” and “eschewed violence .”
The Muslim Brotherhood, however, does not agree with him. Its motto is: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
The probable coming to power of “Islamist” parties in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya is in fact a most ominous development.
Frank Gaffney, President Reagan’s assistant secretary of defense, warns:
War is on its way in the Middle East as Muslim countries are determined to force a showdown over the future of Israel …
“I’m afraid there’s a war coming, a very serious, perhaps cataclysmic regional war,” he said. “It will be presumably over, at least in part, the future existence of the state of Israel. It may involve all of its neighbors, as they have in the past, attacking Israel to try, as they say, to drive the Jews into the sea.
“It may involve the use of nuclear weapons … But whatever form it takes and whenever it occurs, it is unlikely to be contained to that region, and we must do everything we can to prevent freedom’s enemies from thinking they have an opportunity to engage in that kind of warfare.”
That means standing “absolutely, unmistakably” as one with Israel and doing everything to prevent Iran getting its hands on nuclear weapons.
Gaffney … was speaking on the day that the “moderate” Islamist party Ennahda claimed victory at the ballot box in Tunisia and the day after Libya’s new rulers declared that country will be run on Islamic principles and under Sharia law. Gaffney does not believe Ennahda is really a moderating force. “I don’t believe there is such a thing as a moderate Islamist party,” he said. “The challenge with Islamists is that they seek to impose what they call Sharia on everybody, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. …
“They may, as a matter of tactical expediency, choose to do so in incremental ways, often nonviolently, at least initially.
“The problem is that, because ultimately they must — according to Sharia, according to what they believe is God’s will — make everyone feel subdued in order to achieve their God-mandated direction, they will not remain moderate. They will not be satisfied with anything less than the ultimate supremacy of Sharia and they certainly will not resist the use of violence when it becomes expedient to get their way.”
Gaffney … foresees a rising tide of Islamist governments growing throughout Middle East and North Africa and spreading even further.
“We’re witnessing not just the violent kind of jihad that these Islamists believe God compels them to engage in, but also, where they must for tactical reasons, a more stealthy kind, or civilizational jihad as the Muslim Brotherhood calls it. We’re witnessing that playing out, not only in places in the Middle East but also in Europe, in Australia, in Canada and here in the United States as well,” he said.
The spread of Sharia, which Gaffney said is often referred to as “Communism with a god,” is “the most urgent and grievous challenge we face as a free people.
“Those who follow this program of Sharia believe that God is directing them to engage in jihad or whatever form of warfare is necessary to accomplish their goals . . . .Through stealth, they have successfully penetrated important parts of the free world including our own government and civil society institutions.”
The Obama administration has to stop “embracing” the Muslim Brotherhood, Gaffney said.
“This is legitimating our enemies … It is facilitating their influence operations and their penetration and it greatly increases the prospect that they will be successful at what the Muslim Brotherhood’s own documents indicate is their desire, which is to destroy western civilization from within.”
Gaffney noted that Ennahda had won what appears to be a clean election in Tunisia, but that doesn’t mean there ever will be another vote there.
“The problem is not simply democracy. People are pointing to Tunisia as a perfect example of democracy at work. … fine if all you want is one-man-one-vote one-time. That is precisely what the Muslim Brotherhood and its like-minded Islamist friends want.” …
“What we are likely to wind up with, not just in Tunisia, not just in Libya, not just in Egypt, but probably in due course in Syria — as we have in Lebanon, as we have in Gaza and probably will have down the road in Yemen, Bahrain, maybe Saudi Arabia — is the takeover, the unmistakable takeover, perhaps through the ballot box, of people who will not seek or allow others freedom, who will impose Sharia and who will use whatever resources they amass as a result, not only to suppress their own people, but to endanger us.”
We think Frank Gaffney is right about the Arabs wanting to make war again on Israel. They ache to make war on Israel. He’s also right that “Islamist” leaders are the most likely to try it.
But could they do it? Perhaps not in the near future. Egypt is desperately poor, on the verge of bankruptcy and mass starvation. Libya is rich enough to make war, but for all the pretense that the rebels were an army, it was only a collection of ad hoc militias, and the Libyan nation is a mass of quarreling tribes and factions vying to get their hands on the money Gaddafi stacked up round the world. True, a war against Israel would unite them, but could they fight it? Not on their own.
Yet sooner or later the war that Gaffney predicts will come. It may not come until the middle of the century, when Europe will be predominantly Muslim. Or it may be initiated soon by Iran, with nuclear bombs.
And when the war comes, the sages of the West who have helped to put “moderate Islamist” parties in power throughout the Arab world, will have gone a long way to promote the victory of “Communism with a god” and the fall of our civilization.