The Unchanging

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The National Post at canada.com brings us Hot for Martyrdom. (ht: Don Dingleton via Maggie's Farm). A teaser but you should read it all...

Dr. Tawfik Hamid doesn't tell people where he lives. Not the street, not the city, not even the country. It's safer that way. It's only the letters of testimony from some of the highest intelligence officers in the Western world that enable him to move freely...

[H]e's determined to tell a complacent North America what he knows about fundamentalist Muslim imperialism...

"We're not talking about a fringe cult here," he tells me. "Salafist [fundamentalist] Islam is the dominant version of the religion and is taught in almost every Islamic university in the world. It is puritanical, extreme and does, yes, mean that women can be beaten, apostates killed and Jews called pigs and monkeys."

I can tell you what it is not about. Not about Israel, not about Iraq, not about Afghanistan. They are mere excuses. Algerian Muslim fundamentalists murdered 150,000 other Algerian Muslims, sometimes slitting the throats of children in front of their parents. Are you seriously telling me that this was because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians or American foreign policy?"

He's exasperated now, visibly angry at what he sees as a willful Western foolishness. "Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."



Update (StY): I want to make this a little more visible:
"Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."

16 comments:

David Thomson said...

Much of this nonsense is the result of Edward Said's efforts to guilt trip the predominantly white Western World. We are supposedly racist imperialists filthing on darker skin Third World minorities.

Rick Ballard said...

It's a good, accurate piece. If people would look a little harder at Islam the myth of the "moderate muslim" would vanish. I won't lay the blame at Said's feet - taqiyah is as integral to Islam as the Decalog is to Judeo/Christianity. He was raised to lie and he was faithful in his lying for his entire life.

A perfect muslim - he did nothing that any ayatollah could possibly chastise.

truepeers said...

Note the juxtapositions between sexual mores in this world and the next: "Islam condemns extra-marital sex as well as masturbation, which is also taught in the Christian tradition. But Islam also tells of unlimited sexual ecstasy in paradise with beautiful virgins for the martyr who gives his life for the faith. Don't for a moment underestimate this blinding passion or its influence on those who accept fundamentalism."

A pause. "I know. I was one who accepted it."

This partial explanation is shocking more for its banality than its horror. Mass murder provoked partly by simple lust. But it cannot be denied that letters written by suicide bombers frequently dwell on waiting virgins and sexual gratification.


And then there is Yusuf Qaradawi, who proclaims:
Female masturbation is more risky than male masturbation. Male masturbation is not as risky. Sometimes women insert finger, and some women insert objects that may be risky, especially since the hymen is very sensitive, and any playing with it may tear it. This might expose the woman to accusations. She may tell them this or that, but they will not believe her. They will think she must have had forbidden relations with some guys. This way, a person exposes himself to accusations of fornication, a woman might be accused of fornication. She will bring disgrace upon herself and her family. This will be a disaster, and some relatives might kill her"

So, to sum up, once you get to heaven you can mess with the virgins all you want, up there with Allah; but down here, any kind of messing with virginity gets girls killed.

Is this evidence of belief in God, or rather, in fact, of non-belief? If God and his ways are completely other to the people of this world, is Islam really a faith in anything but the human will to assert knowledge of God by proclaiming authoratative knowledge of what the holy texts mean, and only mean? This question is raised in an interesting article by Rebecca Bynum at New English Review.

Skookumchuk said...

It is going to be a very long war. And many, many, within the West will simply want to wish it away throughout this century. And yet, somehow those of us who choose to resist and fight for the Enlightenment must win.

What does it mean to win? To exclude Islam from our world? To run away? To help the few who want to reform Islam? To blow them all up? To do all of these things in differing circumstances and at different times?

Or will we end up dividing the West into those who reject and those who tolerate Islam?

We must win - but right now we can't as a society even define what the word means, which does not augur well. The other side has a precise definition, which is always helpful.

So what does it mean to win?

Luther McLeod said...

It means being able to reach the four year olds. If we cannot insert influence to the young, somehow, in someway, this indeed, will be a very long war.

truepeers said...

What does it mean to win?

The final result of this conflict we cannot yet know; presently, it is more important to know what it is to be starting to win, i.e. converting more and more people to our world view by revealing the limits of the western left and of Islam.

Whether we are at war with all of Islam or whether this conflict will end with some kind of reformed and non-threatening Islam we cannot know until the question has really been forced on Muslims and they really must choose. They have to be engaged, they have to know with what we J-C Westerners can and cannot live, and then the choices and pieces will start to fall into place.

So it is a question of engaging any number of small and large battles and forcing people to respond to our terms for what it means to live according to the highest values of the West. When we see those values strengthened, i.e. renewed by this engagement and process of conversion, then we will know we are winning and when we know that we have been winning for some time, the more fundamental signs of our victory will come into sight.

But the very thing about history is that you cannot know where you are going when you first engage a conflict. You enter it as a matter of faith that you must to defend your freedom; and it is really only when the conflict is over that you begin to see what it was really all about. That is why we are still apt to invoke WWII symbols in this conflict, while the enemy invokes Vietnam.

Of course, what this really tells us is that when you fully understand and flesh-out a sign of victory, the power of that sign is at its end, as with Hegel's owl of Minerva: deconstruction=death of the sign, and of the market on which the sign's yet unknown full significance had turned. So, it's time for a new sign and market to emerge. That is what we are telling the old media, the old parties, and the old Mandarins in the bureaucracies and schools. When we force them to enter new markets on more or less our terms, we will know we are winning and then we will start to know what this means.

truepeers said...

IN other words, each time we engage a little or small battle, it leaves behind it a sign which, if positive, we seek to re-iterate over time. With each re-iteration we get a little closer to the full meaning of what our conflict is about and for. Every purple thumb, every imam who leaves Denmark for Lebanon, every convert to our side, every one who finds the courgae and stands up to defend women from Jihad rape, every unequivocal defense of Israel, every revelation of the idiocy of Dean and Kerry types, etc. etc., are signs to be re-iterated and reframed across time.

truepeers said...

Skook, another thing worth discussing is this: "right now we can't as a society even define what the word [to win] means, which does not augur well. The other side has a precise definition, which is always helpful.

-well the Western Left today has no idea what they are really about - just vague allusions to a better tomorrow and pervasive resentment of today's reality. The Islamists believe in a global caliphate and Sharia law but how precise a vision of the future is that? If we assume it would require the destruction of much of the freedom and science on which a global economy depends, then their Caliphascist vision will surely require a massive reduction in the planet's population and a return to medieval conditions. Do they have the foggiest idea what that will look like, which five out of every six must die to allow for global Sharia? I think the Islamists fight on faith, lacking a real vision, even more than do we.

We often hear that in WWII, the West knew what it was fighting for. Well, Churchill made it clear that we were fighting primarily for survival and freedom, not any more specific vision. FDR had trouble getting America to commit to the war until the end of '41 but even then his idea of a new world order based on the partnership of free nations in some new, post-colonial United Nations was not a very well-considered - because it was a somewhat utopian - plan, one that arguably did more to create power vacuums after the war instead of fully asserting American authority, the victor's justice (e.g. in China and Korea). FDR's "victory" arguably prolonged conflicts between totalitarianism and freedom, conflicts we are still working through today when only now it is becoming clear that the UN vision was not based on a realistic vision of humanity and its needs for order, at least once every postcolonial dictator was allowed to join.

So, to say that our present position - where we have only the promises of our good faith to guide us through dark times when old enemies die hard - is unusual, is not I think true. What we lack, perhaps, is only enough young people to indicate that we are a hopeful, future-oriented people.

Skookumchuk said...

Truepeers:

Yes, you are right in what you say:

They have to be engaged, they have to know with what we J-C Westerners can and cannot live, and then the choices and pieces will start to fall into place.

My question should have been framed like this. There is not an undifferentiated West. There is an appeasing and forgetful West, intermixed with a more self-confident West. And that is likely to remain. Indeed, in the Middle Ages, switching sides was rather common in the wars against Islam. El Cid, the famous warrior of Spain, actually fought for both sides. And Venice and the other Italian principalities would ally themselves with the Turk against their countrymen. Not a lot, but ally they did. Very complex. And so it will be today and in the future - the dance of the devious involving us, Islam, the Chinese, the Indians, the Europeans, and the rest. How good will we - a messy democracy - be at this sort of thing? This is something new.

But I guess I can refine my question by asking it like this: how does the West - and our concept of the West - win when we are so divided ourselves?

If we run from the Middle East it will set us back a generation. Yet we may be preparing to do that. And if the Scots-Irish abandon the US military in disgust, then it is all over. Truly.

The Islamists believe in a global caliphate and Sharia law but how precise a vision of the future is that? If we assume it would require the destruction of much of the freedom and science on which a global economy depends, then their Caliphascist vision will surely require a massive reduction in the planet's population and a return to medieval conditions.

I don't think it matters to them. Well, I confess, I don't know enough about Islamic civilization to say how this is viewed. Perhaps it isn't articulated. Perhaps it doesn't matter. But establishing the universality of the caliphate is enough to motivate many and to cause great harm, for as far in to the future as we can see.

truepeers said...

how does the West - and our concept of the West - win when we are so divided ourselves?

-our division is understandable, no intellectually insumountable mystery: it's between those who want to remain within the post-WWII dispensation (postcolonial "white" guilt, UNutopia, etc.) and those who want to move on. Things change, inevitably, as conflicts grow and must be worked thrugh. In time, more will want ot move on as the implications of resenting "daddy" and assuming an omnipotent "save the world from daddy" attitude are seen eventually not to be without consequences (the smug assumption that daddy will remain in charge whatever the adolescents rant), but a path to Burkahood, etc.. But it's a real intellectual struggle for so many to get into the new post-white guilt paradigm when they live comfortable guilty lives and get promised governmental favors by white guilt parties. Reality has its ways of breaking through, however. We must be patient and ready to win converts when the moment arises.

But establishing the universality of the caliphate is enough to motivate many and to cause great harm, for as far in to the future as we can see.

-so we have to change the horizon, and make clear to all involved that we know we are fighting a deadly fantasy ideology, deadly for everyone; that's why engagement of the conflict with leaders ready to set new terms is so important. However, it may be that we will have to wait a while for the old school of white guilt completely to consume its legacy with the help of those Islamic forces that are highly parasitic on it. Let them destroy the remnants of the old order; some of us will be waiting in the wings when their futility is evident for all to see.

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

However, it may be that we will have to wait a while for the old school of white guilt completely to consume its legacy with the help of those Islamic forces that are highly parasitic on it. Let them destroy the remnants of the old order; some of us will be waiting in the wings when their futility is evident for all to see.

Yes, and it may well happen in just that way. But at a terrible price, the problem being that much can happen as we "wait a while." It may be that democracies, and the US in particular, essentially have only two popularly accepted choices in war - total Jacksonian wars of annihilation or of no war at all. It is the messy, post-colonial police actions with terrorists in civilian clothes that we are no good at. Or rather, that our politicians are no good at.

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

Here is what Wretchard says.

Olmert temporized and another war in Lebanon is expected presently. Is this the fate that awaits America?

Maybe. Not in particulars but in structure. There is now a much smaller chance that the terrorist problem can be resolved at a low level of conflict. There is a greater likelihood that it will be allowed by neglect or paralysis to metastize into a canker which will develop into a catastrophic confrontation in five or ten years time. A likelihood, but not a certainty.


That is a sort of variation on what I have been saying - that perhaps for a democracy such as ours, wars must be all or nothing propositions. The moment of catastrophe has to be upon us in order to unify us, and we must endure ebola released in our subways killing 20 million of us six months later after which we turn the Middle East into a sea of glass. My earlier musings were partly about how not to reach the point where such a decision must be made. We postpone having to develop a strategy that stops short of these draconian actions because we can't do it - we seemingly don't have the unity or the focus. And that is what we must work on.

truepeers said...

Snook,

Maybe you're right, maybe if Bush had been highly aggressive in pushing his new doctrine - e.g. cleaning out the old school in the State D., CIA, etc.; providing a very strong rhetorical rebuttal to the MSM; promoting new media and education; and just saying no to the Palestinian terrorists, instead of sending them Condi to compare them to the US founding fathers; making clear who is going to rule in Lebanon, Iran, etc. - it might just have been too much too soon. THe rest of the world might well have gone completely bonkers. The imperialists who would sacrifice nations - i.e. humbly realistic self-ruling polities - to their fantasy ideologies or Eurabia, etc., are just too numerous and so the unveiling of the GNostic lie must be corresponsdingly unmistakable.

Maybe people really do need to see in the starkest terms what we can already sense are the implications of appeasing and feeding the Jihadist fantasy. Selling a new revelation is always a tricky business, requiring communications mastery and so it usually only happens when the crisis is widely evident. Maybe, but no excuse for us not to continue trying to change minds short of nuclear war.

I have often thought it will require civil war in much of Europe for the tide truly to change. How far off is that now? In a way, maybe this US election will diminish the anti-American rhetoric in Europe and strengthen those who want to sober up and face up to their own national challenges for what they are. WIll that quicken of dampen the trends towards civil war?

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

In the abstract, yes, Bush should have done all those things. But it is a very tall order - almost impossible.

You said:

I have often thought it will require civil war in much of Europe for the tide truly to change.

Since Europe is the lodestone for our cultural elites, Islamification of that continent will be the test. There are so many imponderables it is tough to know where to begin. It depends on what each side does.

In response to a European intifada, either we will see some new nativist US leftism emerge that somehow disassociates itself from the ideologies of PC appeasement or of neo-fascist racialism in a warring Europe, or our intellectuals and those of Europe continue to "feed the jihadist fantasy" as you put it and throw the Jews under the bus. It is tough to envision the former, and in my more pessimistic moments I feel that the latter is already occurring.

truepeers said...

Sure, if you had to lay a bet, you'd have to say Israel is less likely to survive than England or France, wouldn't you agree? The left positively want to give Israel up and they turn a blind eye to, e.g, Egyptian military build up in that direction. But if Israel goes under, that won't sate the Jihad in Europe and elsewhere and the American left will then have to come up with a new strategy if they wish to continue being heard in public without risking being strung up as traitors.

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

But if Israel goes under, that won't sate the Jihad in Europe and elsewhere and the American left will then have to come up with a new strategy if they wish to continue being heard in public without risking being strung up as traitors.

Yes. Israel going under will mean different things for Europe, where it might be shrugged off, than for America, where it won't.