Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Enemy We May Not Name

I dislike the term 'Global War on Terror.' It makes as much sense as describing World War II as the war against blitzkrieg. War is waged between two opposing sides. You cannot declare war on a method. The anti-intellectualism from the politically correct crowd often manifests as muddled thinking. We cannot name the enemy; he might get upset with us. Upset? He's already angry enough to murder us, how much more upset can he get? Allow me to provide some clarity: Western civilization is in a war with Islam.

I have a good bit of personal experience with Islam. I traveled the world in my younger days. I've witnessed Islam as practiced in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Kashmir and Malaysia. Here's a truth for you: the more pious the believer, the more ignorant and downtrodden he tends to be. Islam is the most totalitarian system ever devised by man. Every aspect of human behavior is regulated where it is not otherwise proscribed altogether. From diet to statecraft, you can find it all in the One Book. Islam as a system of control is the very antithesis of liberty. Modernity and Islam could not be more incompatible. Are there no modern Muslims? Well yes, but they tend to be secular as they go about their daily business. In Turkey, for example, a visit once a week to the mosque for prayer is the norm. You don't see Turks in Ankara putting their noses in the carpet five times a day.

Now, don't get me wrong. If someone wants to spend his free time on his knees begging the deity, have at it. Personally, I don't think anyone is listening. God has more important things to do; the universe is a big place and someone has to keep the gears lubed. What gets my dander up are the Muslims who want to impose their ways on me. I'm supposed to give up beer and dress my woman in a black sack, eh? Pious Muslims say it's all in the One Book. Guess what? In the west we have something called a library. We also enjoy something called liberty which exempts us from daily acts of personal abasement before the deity. So take your Sharia and shove it. It's not welcome in my world. Nor does my sense of human dignity include honor killings and sexual mutilation.

Keep in mind that I'm a product of the western, liberal tradition. I can negotiate. You can be an American Muslim provided you don't drag your religion into the public square. Americans believe in the separation of church and state. It's a proven concept for maintaining domestic tranquility for over two-hundred years. Also, loyalty to America comes first. If you as a Muslim can't abide by two simple rules, then don't come here. And if you do emigrate, be prepared to see your progeny grow up as modern, secular, American kids. It's what happens to all immigrant groups. Modernity is riding a wave of secularism. Get used to it.

Of course, if you really believe that the last word on life, the universe, and everything was written down by God in the 7th Century, then we've got a problem. Or rather, you have a problem. You're stupid. If you believe seventy-two virgins are waiting for you in paradise, you are terminally stupid. And if you think you're taking me with you by way of murder, I'm left with only one choice. I have to kill you before you kill me. If you look at Iraq today, or talk with a jihadist (assuming you can still find one alive), you just might conclude that America is a killing machine. If you kill one of us, we will kill you back. Only the ratio favors us by a margin of 20 to 1. Got that?

So that's the deal. If you want to live under the tyranny of religion, stay home. If you think Iraq runs better with dependable electricity, running water, and consensual government, then join us. But if you think God has ordered you to murder, get ready to be disappointed. America has built a nation-state in Iraq out of damn near nothing, but even America can't fix stupid. Modernity is changing the face of Islam. The clock of history does not run backwards. Get used to it. It's time you got a clue.

[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full post.]

Basil Riverdale

1 comment:

  1. No one wants to say we're at war with Islam per se, because a quarter of the people on this planet claim to be Muslims. What we're trying to do is separate Muslims into two groups, and fight just one of them.

    We are at war with Islamism, which claims to be the only authentic version of Islam, but an awful lot of people who say they're Muslims think is heresy.

    Personally, I've wanted Bush to make a speech for some time to make this clear. I'm afraid now it's too late for him to do it, but maybe his successor can:

    If you believe that you personally should live your life in accordance with the teachings of a particular prophet, but do not seek to impose your belief upon others by force, your right to practice that faith is enshrined in our First Amendment.

    However, it proposes a two-part package about religion: You will be left free to practice your religion, but you must allow that same freedom to everyone else. No one, including the government, will be allowed to force people to follow any particular religion, nor to force them to abandon it.

    The moment you insist that others be forced to abide by the dictates of your faith (they won't be allowed to eat pork, drink alcohol, wear "revealing" clothing and makeup, be alone with a man they're neither married nor related to...), you have passed beyond exercising your own rights, and are actively violating those of others. And as our Founding Fathers put it so well, when an institution becomes destructive of the ends of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is subject to be altered or abolished.

    The extreme form of Islam that insists Shari'a law must be imposed on everyone, is incompatible with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    And that means it can't coexist with the United States of America.


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