Saturday, January 27, 2007

Telling the truth about Islam

There is a dispute going on between Dinesh D'Souza and Serge Trifkovic and a few others over the correct way to relate to Muslims. In short D'Souza believes that "attacking Islam" by writing books which accurately record the history of Islam, the true teachings of Mohammad on topics such as jihad, the position of women in Islamic societies and the way in which non-Muslims are treated in Islamic cultures will only drive "moderate" Muslims into the arms of the militant extremist Islamists.

D'Souza is most likely correct, however as Mr. Trifkovic points out, this essentially destroys D'Souza's case. If the alleged moderates in Islam will find the company of people who hijack airplanes full of innocent people and fly them into buildings full of more innocent people preferable to those who accurately report what the Koran actually says about "holy war" or the way women are forced to live in Islamic countries governed under sharia then how "moderate" are they truly?

If you are interested in following the debate you can visit Front Page Magazine. What I want to talk about here is this section of Mr. Trifkovic's article:

Furthermore, D'Souza uses "Islamophobia" with the implicit assumption that the term's meaning is well familiar to his readers. For the uninitiated it is nevertheless necessary to spell out its formal, legally tested definition, however. It is provided by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), a lavishly-funded organ of the European Union. Based in Vienna, this body diligently tracks the instances of "Islamophobia" all over the Old Continent and summarizes them in its reports. The Monitoring Center's definition of Islamophobia includes eight salient features:

1. Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change. 2. Islam is seen as separate and "other." 3. Islam is seen as inferior to the West, barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist. 4. slam is seen as violent, aggressive, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a clash of civilizations. 5. Islam is seen as a political ideology. 6. Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand. 7. Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society. 8. Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

Note that every single point in the European Union's definition of "Islamophobia" is to some extent true and most of them are completely true. What is significant is that in the EU under certain circumstances "Islamophobia" like other kinds of racism or sexism can be a prosecutable offense.

Europe has turned speaking the truth into a hate crime.

Here are some selected responses from Mr. Trifkovic's comments about each of the above points:

1. That Islam is fundamentally static and unresponsive to change is evident from the absence of an orthodox school of thought capable of reflecting critically upon jihad, Sharia, jizya, etc. and developing new Islamic interpretations that Western liberals (and notably the 9-11 Commission's Final Report) keep hoping for. Attempts to reformulate the doctrine are not new, but they have failed because they opposed centuries of orthodoxy. . . it is not the jihadists who are "distorting" Islam; the would-be reformers are.

2. That Islam is separate from our (Western, Christian, European) culture and civilization, and other than our culture and civilization, is a fact that will not change even if the West (Christendom, Europe) eventually succumb to the ongoing jihadist demographic onslaught.

3. Whether Islam is "inferior to the West" is a matter of opinion. That it cannot create a prosperous, harmonious, stable, creative and attractive polity is not. Whether Islam is "barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist" is at least debatable; but that its fruits are such is beyond reasonable doubt.

4. Islam is seen as "violent, aggressive, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a clash of civilizations" not because of an irrational "phobia" in the feverish mind of the beholder, but because of the clear mandate of its scripture, because of the record of almost 14 centuries of historical practice, and above all because of the timeless example of its founder.

5. "Islam is seen as a political ideology" because its defining characteristic is a highly developed program to improve man and create a new society; to impose complete control over that society; and to train cadres ready, even eager, to spill blood. The doctrine of Jihad makes Islam closer to Bolshevism or National Socialism than to any religion known to man. It breeds a gnostic paradigm within which the standard response to the challenge presented by non-Muslim cultural, technological and economic achievements is hostility and hatred. D'Souza's alleged distinction between Islamic "extremists" and "moderates" is a Western liberal construct. . .

6. Criticisms made of the West by Islam should not be rejected out of hand, they should be understood. Islam's chief "criticism" of the West—and each and every other non-Islamic culture, civilization, or tradition—is that it is infidel, and therefore undeserving of existence.

7. A priori hostility towards Islam should not be "used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims." Quite the contrary, a comprehensive education campaign about the teaching and practice of Islam should result in legislative action that would exclude Islam from the societies it is targeting, not because it is an offensive religion but because it is an inherently seditious totalitarian ideology incompatible with the fundamental values of the West—and all other civilized societies, India, China and Japan included.

8. "Anti-Muslim hostility" is not "natural or normal." The infidels' determination to defend their lands, families, cultures and faith against Islamic aggression is both natural and normal, however, and must not be neutralized by the Eurocrats from the left of by D'Souza and his likes on the "right." They will deny that Islam, in Muhammad's revelations, traditions and their codification, threatens the rest of us, that it is the cult of war and intolerance, but the truth will out. Until the petrodollars support a comprehensive and explicit Kuranic revisionism capable of growing popular roots, we should seek ways to defend ourselves by disengaging from the world of Islam, physically and figuratively, by learning to keep our distance from the affairs of the Muslim world and by keeping the Muslim world away from "the world of war" that it seeks to conquer or destroy.

This is all good sense. That it will be found contraversial by those on the left is an example of how disconnected from reality they are.