The core issue between Islam and the West is control over women

I have written often at this blog about the wise words a friend of mine told me more than a decade ago.  I can no longer remember his precise words, but I can summarize them:  Islam’s problem with the West, he said, boils down to sex.  Muslim men are terrified that accepting Western ways means losing the stranglehold they have over women.  A religious and political leader in Iran confirms just how right my friend was:

Ahmad Khatami, a senior Iranian cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts that chooses the next Supreme Leader has warned Iranians not to fall into the trap of negotiating resolution of the nuclear issue with the United States. “If this issue is resolved, the [US] will raise the issue of human rights,” he said, explaining, “Today their problem is the nuclear issue, and when this issue is resolved, they will raise the issue of human rights and say whatsoever rights men have, women should have them, too.”

Read more here.

It makes sense, actually. Humans have needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), and humans have drives (sex, power, etc.). Once the needs are fulfilled, sex is undoubtedly the strongest drive. Western society constrains men’s sex drive; Islamic society constrains the women in service to men’s sex drive.

The utter depravity and nihilism of modern Islamic terrorism

The Watcher’s Council submissions this week are extraordinary, but this one rises head and shoulders above them all.  I don’t want it to be buried in the long list of articles that makes up the Watcher’s Council submissions.  This deserves to be read, read again, shared, analyzed, and otherwise trumpeted far and wide, because it is phenomenally important.  It is the most direct statement I’ve yet seen, not about the nature of Islam, but about the nature — the nihilism and depravity — of the violence committed in Islam’s name.  Moreover, it refuses to let the West pretend that the violent is anomalous, rather than being an intrinsic part of modern Islam.  In the same way, it is a scathing indictment of the moral cowardice and political correctness that renders the West incapable of acknowledging that modern Islam is very, very sick.  Its stark reality must be countered or it will destroy the world much more surely that Chicken Little fears about the earth warming.

The difference between Islam and other religions

Libby, a Bookworm Room friend, came up with one of the most accurate statements I’ve ever seen distinguishing Islam from other religions.  I have to share it with you:

The difference between Islam and other religions is that while other religions inspire their followers to control themselves to avoid sin, the followers of Islam seek to control their environment to avoid sin.

Did Kenya bring religion into disrepute?

I was trolling through Facebook, where one of my friends posted this article about last weekend’s events in Kenya.  (Read only if you have a very strong stomach or, if you don’t, are willing to be sick to yours.)  One of his friends, in turn, commented that Al Shabab’s acts are the kind of things that give religion a bad reputation.  I thought that was a surprisingly ecumenical comment.* I sat for quite a while afterwards trying to think of a single religion other than Islam that has, in the last, say 300 years, done anything even remotely like that.  I came up empty.

Until people are willing to admit that the problem isn’t religion, or even some generic “extremism,” but is, in fact, Islam, I don’t see us making any progress whatsoever in pushing back the barbarian onslaught.

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*I know “ecumenical” isn’t quite the right word, since it pertains to all Christians faiths, not all faiths, but I’m tired, and it was the best I could come up with.

As a Jew, why am I not more exercised about the use of poison gas in Syria?

As you’ve gathered, I do not support President Obama’s promised “show” strike against Syria to protest the Assad regime’s alleged use of toxic nerve gas against a community that presumably supported the al Qaeda rebels. To justify my position, I’ve pointed to the fact that there is no benefit to the U.S. in getting involved in Syria.  That still leaves the question, though, of why I, a Jew, wouldn’t want to see every country of good will make its utmost efforts to protest the use of poison gas against civilians.

It’s not that I think a Syrian civilian’s life is less valuable than a Jewish civilian’s life (or an American’s life, for that matter).  Based on the available news, I assume that those who died were just ordinary people, trying to live in a nation torn apart by an internecine tribal, Muslim battle.  If that assumption is correct, those who died are innocent victims, no less than those who lost their lives in Nazi gas camps and mass graves throughout the Pale.  So why don’t I want to help?

Well, there are several reasons.  My first response relates to my family history.  What’s happening in Syria is not genocide, a la Hitler, who wanted to remove an entire race from the earth.  There was no military objective underlying Hitler’s decision to round up 6 million people and killing them. Indeed, it was militarily stupid, because it diverted resources that were desperately needed for a two-front war.

In this regard, I know my views about “ordinary war” versus genocide are informed by my Mother’s experiences.  While she’ll go to the grave hating the Japanese guards who so brutally controlled the concentration camps in Indonesia where she spent almost four years of her life, she’s never been that hostile to the Japanese people.  “They were fighting a war,” she says.  “In this, they differed from the Germans, who were destroying a people.”

What’s happening in Syria is a civil war.  In the hierarchy of wars, civil wars are always the most bloody and least humane, in much the same way that, in the area of law, the most vicious cases are divorces.  Your opponent is close enough for you to hate wholeheartedly.

In Syria, we are witnessing a fight between two closely-related, rabid dogs.  These war dogs can be put down entirely or they can be ignored.  They cannot be trifled with in an inconsequential way, or they will turn the full fury of their wrath on the trifler, even as they escalate actions against each other.  If America goes in, she must go in to destroy one side or the other.  Doing less than that is futile and tremendously dangerous, especially because these are Arabs….

And that gets me to the main reason I’m opposed to intervening despite gas attack that Assad’s troops launched.  Perhaps to your surprise, I’m not going to argue that “Let the Muslims kill each other there, because it’s good riddance to bad rubbish.”  I certainly don’t mind Syria being so busy internally that she has no time to harass Israel.  However, that pragmatic response is most definitely not the same as delighting in the destruction of her innocent civilian population.

Instead, my sense of futility in getting involved in Syria is that what we’re seeing is simply how Muslim Arabs fight.  They don’t do polite warfare, with rules.  They do balls-to-the-wall warfare, with women and children as primary targets.  Their cultural preference when fighting war is rape, mutilation, torture, mass-murder, civilian massacres, and soaking-their-hands-in-their-victims’ blood.

When we oppose gas warfare, it’s because it is so wildly outside the rules by which Western warfare has so long abided:  we fire things at the enemy, whether guns, or cannon, or missiles.  Our culture accepts projectile warfare, but has been for at least a century extremely hostile to non-projectile warfare, whether it’s gas attacks, civilian slaughters, or concentration camps.

Within the context of the Muslim world, when it comes to warfare, anything goes.  If we stop one type of atrocity, they’ll come up with another one, because they have no parameters.

Also, to the extent all Muslim/Arab wars are both tribal and religious, they have no concept of civilians.  Whether you’re a newborn infant, a teenage girl, a mentally handicapped man, or a doddering old lady, if you belong to “the other” tribe or religion (and everyone does) then you are automatically an enemy and a target.  Today’s baby becomes tomorrow’s adolescent rock throwers.  That young teenage girl might give birth to another member of that tribe.  The mentally handicapped man is proof that the other religion or tribe is corrupt.  As for the doddering old lady, she almost certainly raised someone among your enemy.

I’m not saying anything surprising, here.  It’s why the Palestinians so enthusiastically target Jewish schools.

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that we did not go to war against Germany at the end of 1941 because it was harassing and killing German Jews.  We tend to leave countries alone, even when they slaughter their own people.  We went after them because they were trying to take over Europe.  To the extent the Roosevelt administration knew about the genocide, it kept it under wraps.  There was no way Roosevelt was going to take America to war over a bunch of Jews.  It was only after the war that everyone was shocked — shocked! — to learn about the scope of Nazi atrocities.

My daughter rather inadvertently pointed out how ridiculous this “mass slaughter of civilians” yardstick is.  For one of her classes, she is required to read three newspaper stories a day.  I suggested the report about Kim Jong-un’s order that his former lover and her entire band get machine-gunned to death.  I also told her that the regime forced the family’s of those executed to watch their loved ones die, and then shipped all the families, lock, stock, and baby off to the concentration camp system.  “They’ll be lucky if they die there quickly,” I added.  “The camps are that bad.”

When she heard this, my daughter, bless her heart, came back with a question that gets to the heart of Obama’s flirtation with bombing Syria:  “Then why aren’t we planning to attack North Korea, instead of Syria?”

Excellent question, my dear, especially considering North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.  We have shown for decades our willingness to stand aside when tyrannical regimes kill their own people — provided that those murders do not implicate American interests.  Even during the Cold War, our incursions into other countries were to protect non-communists from communists.  Since we couldn’t attack the Soviet Union directly, we engaged in containment by proxy.  In other words, our national interests were at stake, because the Cold War was a direct threat to American interests.

In Syria, however, both sides embrace Islam and hate America.  There are no parties there that need to be protected to further America’s security interests.  We should certainly decry the deaths of the civilians, but the average American on the street seems to understand better than the pettish, petulant Obama that this is one where we should stand aside.  This is their culture and they will defeat it only when they want to, not because of half-hearted, ineffectual, silly efforts on our part.

Obama is sort of beginning to grasp this fact, and he’s trying to save face by approaching Congress.  He assumes that the Senate will support his war cry, because Democrats are slavishly echoing him and there are a few Hawkish Republicans (like McCain) who support him.  He fully expects, however, that the House will vote him down, thereby saying him from the consequences of his own threats and posturing.  It’s quite obvious that he also expects that there will be a pitched battle on the House floor, exposing Republican callousness to a disgusted America.

Obama’s hope that Republicans display each other to their worst advantage in their own form of internecine warfare is misplaced.  Considering that only 9% of the American people believe intervention in Syria is a good thing, if the Republicans display even minimal good sense in opposing a strike, they will get the full support of the American people.

Satire for your reading pleasure

Did you know that the military has it’s own version of the inimitable Onion?  For those unfamiliar with the Onion, it is a brilliant satire site — and frankly, in today’s world, it’s very hard to maintain satire when the reality in which we live is so ridiculous and bizarre.

Anyway, a friend of mine directed me to a site called The Duffle Blog, which is a military satire site. It’s dedicated to churning out such articles as “US Praises Massacre Of Syrian Civilians Without Use Of Chemical Weapons.”  Yes, that’s exactly what happened when, for two years, our President was content to sit by as more than 100,000 Syrians died.  We all know that this whole “let’s bomb ‘em” thing is because Obama has to make good on last year’s off the cuff about crossing a “red line.”  Another incredibly funny one is “Admin Error Sends Bradley Manning to Death Row, Nidal Hasan to Gender Reassignment Surgery.”  Even the title is funny.

I wrote a post for Mr. Conservative about Obama’s proposed intervention in Syria, and ended up distilling in the last paragraph my problem with this whole nerve gas thing.  The lead-in to this paragraph was a quotation from Obama admitting that Americans are weary of war and dubious about any benefits resulting from lending America’s might and, possibly, her blood to yet another Middle East war, especially one that involves combatants that are both enemies of America:

In a narrow way, Obama is correct: The world does hold chemical weapons in abhorrence. We also know, though, that when Muslim nations in the Middle East go to war, they have a history of resorting to the utmost barbarity. In the context of their warfare, it’s very hard to say that a gas attack is any worse than cannibalism, random beheadings, and the use of children to commit their bloody acts. In other words, in the Middle East, the people themselves are the weapons of mass destruction.

Incidentally, if you want a good analysis about just how little Syrian fighters, Syrian affairs, and Syrian outcomes matter to America, primarily because the battle is internecine Muslim warfare, you can find one on my blog . . . in the comments section, from Kevin_B, a young Belgian man.

Douglas Murray’s “Islamophilia : A Very Metropolitian Malady” — a sharp, witty look at a Western world in deep denial

For a bibliophile, one of the joys of blogging is getting to review books.  I actually don’t review a significant percentage of the books I get because I find them unreadable.  This isn’t always an indictment of the books I receive.  They may be exquisite examples of their genre, but they just don’t work for me.*  Some books, however, are wonderful, and I can’t wait to share them with you.  Douglas Murray’s Islamophilia : A Very Metropolitan Malady is one of those books.

Murray’s premise is a simple one:  Western culture is caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of thought about Islam, both as an abstract religion and as a lifestyle force that a billion people around the world practice.  Scylla is the fact that anything that doesn’t affirmatively praise Islam, its prophet, its practices, or its practitioners is designated as Islamophobia.  Islamophobia differs from other phobias in a few ways.  First, it implies an irrational fear of Islam, which is rather funny when you consider that committing acts of Islamophobia, either intentionally or unintentionally, is tantamount to signing your own death warrant — and I don’t mean that as a figure of speech.  Salman Rushdie got real death threats, not poetic ones; and Theo Van Gogh got real death, never mind the predicate threats.

The Charybdis is that many people in positions of authority, rather than just falling silent about Islam have gone the opposite way and heap it with fatuous, extreme, and often extremely ignorant praise.  Some do this because they hate Western culture (American, British, European, etc.) and will praise any doctrine, entity, person, or organization that is intent upon destroying the West; some because they are too ignorant to know better; some because they inadvertently spoke the truth about Islam and, to avoid death, must do more than just walk their statements back; some because they want to skip the death threats entirely and just get straight down to fawning over Islam; and some because they actually like a religion built around submission, misogyny, and war.

Murray offers examples of each class of Islamophile, whether in the world of politics, literature, or entertainment, all described in pithy, witty, pointed, and very accessible prose.  Politics?  Learn about former British PM Tony Blair, who converted to Catholicism, but nevertheless boasts that he reads the Koran daily “mainly just because it immensely instructive.”  You don’t have to go as far as England to find fatuous politics at work in the world of Islamophilia.  We’ve got plenty of Islamophilia in American politics, starting with George Bush’s oft repeated phrase about Islam being a “religion of peace” (and you’d better say that or we’ll kill you) and going through to CIA Director John Brennan’s manifest adoration for all things Muslim, including “Al Quds” (the place Israel and the Bible call Jerusalem).

When it comes to the world of the mind (or perhaps it’s more accurate to call it “the world of the mindless”), Murray talks about the intellectual corruption that sees the London Science Museum, the New York Hall of Science, and the California Science Center in Los Angeles all host a vast exhibit touting “1000 Islamic Inventions.”  We all know about Arabic numerals (for which we are grateful, even if they did actually originate in India),  but did you know that Muslims invented everything else?  Flight?  A Muslim invention.  Cameras?  A Muslim invention.  And if you’re silly enough to think Erno Rubik invented the cube of that name, please disabuse yourself of that silly notion.  Muslims invented that too.  It’s one thing politely to avoid pointing out the paucity of Muslim contributions to the world of the mind; it’s another thing altogether to propagate gross falsehoods — but that’s what Islamophiles do.

Do I even need to point out about Hollywood?  No.  I won’t bother.  Read the book and watch Murray slice, dice, and eviscerate the Hollywood crowd that, out of fear, keeps resurrecting Nazis or parading corporate monsters about, all the while pretending that there hasn’t been a serious existential threat to America since 1945.

Murray seems to reserve his greatest disdain for the literati, describing in quite embarrassing detail how such intellectual luminaries as Martin Amis and Sebastian Faulks backed down from criticizing (fairly mildly, one might add) Islam.  They didn’t just say “we misspoke.”  Nooo.  When the long knives (or scimitars) were turned their way, these two “men of letters” became groveling sycophants who exhausted their impressive vocabularies heaping praise upon every aspect of Islam.

All these people are fools if they believe their slobbering love affair with Islam will protect them.  Like Churchill’s famous appeasers, they’re hoping to delay the crocodile’s jaws, but they’re deluding themselves.  Even saying complimentary things about Islam can be dangerous.  In a hysterically funny, but still depressing, chapter entitled “Islamophilia is no defence,” Murray relates the history of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina, which was meant to be a nice book about Islam.  Unfortunately, it made too many people aware of some habits Mohammed had that tend to rub at least some Westerners the wrong, with a child bride topping the list.  After you’re done reading the chapter, you’ll also want to weep when you realize how little faith the West has in the values and virtues of its own culture.

Murray is a delightful writer.  His prose is clear and assured; his wit pointed, but controlled; and his fund of knowledge satisfyingly vast — although what he knows and shares is inevitably depressing.  I recommend this book wholeheartedly, all the more so because it’s a very user-friendly length.  I read it in a couple of hours, despite my family’s constant interruptions.

It might interest you to know that Islamophilia is published by EMBooks, which is Melanie Phillips’ ebook press.  Phillips writes regular about Islam and antisemitism in England.  Read her non-fiction Londonistan if you want to have nightmares about the toxic combination of Islam and British Leftism.  Although written a few years ago, the book is as applicable now as it was when originally published.

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*  An example of this — a really good book that I just couldn’t read — is Dakota Meyer’s Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, which he wrote with Bing West.  It’s extremely well-written and very interesting.  I’ve started it three times, but every time I get to that fatal day in Ganjigal, Afghanistan, the one that earned Meyer his Medal of Honor, I just can’t bear to read it.  I seem to have exhausted my courage reading Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.  I highly recommend the book, though, because I’ve read enough of it to know that the rest will be fascinating for people more courageous than I am.

Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley — a patriot and soldier who is being destroyed by political correctness (at great cost to America)

A friend sent me an email which reminded me that I have been remiss insofar as I have not posted about Lt. Col Matthew Dooley.  I’m reprinting the email here to make up for that omission:

Lt Col Matthew Dooley

Lt. Col Matthew Dooley, a West Point graduate and highly-decorated combat veteran, was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University. He had 19 years of service and experience, and was considered one of the most highly qualified military instructors on Radical Islam & Terrorism.

He taught military students about the situations they would encounter, how to react, about Islamic culture, traditions, and explained the mindset of Islamic extremists. Passing down first hand knowledge and experience, and teaching courses that were suggested (and approved) by the Joint Forces Staff College. The course “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” ,which was suggested and approved by the Joint Forces Staff College, caught the attention of several Islamic Groups, and they wanted to make an example of him.

They collectively wrote a letter expressing their outrage, and the Pro-Islamic Obama Administration was all too happy to assist. The letter was passed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Martin Dempsey. Dempsey publicly degraded and reprimanded Dooley, and Dooley received a negative Officer Evaluation Report almost immediately (which he had aced for the past 5 years). He was relieved of teaching duties, and his career has been red-flagged.

“He had a brilliant career ahead of him. Now, he has been flagged.” – Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center

“All US military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau, and Joint Chiefs are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated order to ensure that henceforth, no US military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive ,or just too informative.” – Former CIA agent Claire M. Lopez (about Lt. Col Dooley)

The Obama Administration has demonstrated lightning speed to dismiss Military brass that does not conform to its agenda, and not surprisingly, nobody is speaking up for Lt. Col. Dooley.

IT’S A SAD DAY FOR THIS COUNTRY WHEN GOOD LOYAL MEN LIKE THIS GET THROWN UNDER THE BUS BECAUSE NOBODY HAS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP!

Share this if you would. Lets bring some attention to this.

Lt. Col. Dooley is the tip of the iceberg. Soon, as PC continues to pave the way for Sharia law, we will all be Lt. Col. Dooley.

The Middle Ages were brilliant

One of the standard paradigms of modern Western culture is that the Middle Ages were a dark, primitive time.  While that’s true for the era between Rome’s fall and about 1,000 A.D., after 1,000 A.D. Europe enjoyed an explosive, intellectually vibrant time.  (To understand the groundwork for this intellectual explosion, I highly recommend Thomas Cahill’s completely delightful How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe, which tells how Irish monks, by preserving and spreading Christianity, set the West on its path to modernity.)

Interior Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Interior Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Recognizing that the Middle Ages were a splendid, dynamic isn’t just a matter of setting the historical record straight.  Every PC-educated school child will tell you that Islam is good because, during the Middle Ages, when the West was mired in filth and ignorance, the Islamic world was a paradise of tolerance, beauty and learning.  I’m not going to denigrate the medieval Islamic world.  Certain parts of the medieval Islamic world were indeed places were Jews and Christians, although second class citizens, were able to thrive intellectually and economically; the art and architecture were beautiful (one word:  Alhambra); and the culture was sophisticated and rich.  The medieval Muslim world should be accorded recognition for its achievements.

Alhambra, Spain

Alhambra, Spain

The problem is that PC education, to ensure Islam its proper place in the scheme of things, then dishonestly paints the Middle Ages as a primitive, ugly, antisemitic, misanthropic world.  This is true, but such a fragmented part of the truth that it distorts the whole.  The fact is that medieval Europe was different from, but just as bad as — and just as good as — medieval Islam.  Both were worlds of explosive intellectual growth, celebrations of God and nature, travel and conquest, artistic beauty, misogyny and antisemitism, religious bullying, and all the other stuff that makes medieval cultures fascinating and frustrating, enticing and off-putting.  The crucial difference is that the European Middle Ages were a springboard, whereas the Islamic Middle Ages were an apex.

With that as a brief and scrambled intro, you might enjoy this short video about the brilliant Middle Ages.

A quick riff on yesterday’s events in London

Beheading is a peculiarly devastating form of murder, more so than shooting or stabbing. Human identity is tied to the head. From birth, we are programmed to recognize faces and voices. It’s the human face and the mind behind it that separate us, not only from other animals, but from each other: The contents of our minds and the features of our faces are what make us unique. Decapitation therefore doesn’t just kill people, it effectively erases them. It seems fitting, somehow, that jihadists who buy into an extremist Islam that demands complete submission – the denial of the individual — would use beheading as their preferred form of execution.

The Islamic-inspired murder of a British soldier yesterday on London’s streets horrifies us because the men who carried out sought, not just to kill a man, but to erase him. The brave women who stepped forward to challenge these men remind us that, at least for now, in the West individualism still exists. The entire event, which played out before witnesses who were tweeting, photographing and videoing, therefore had a bizarre, Kabuki-quality to it, as if the actors were carrying out culturally defined roles in a play.

Richard Fernandez noticed much the same thing, only he said it a lot better than I could:

This incident illustrates, if nothing else, the endpoint of the social engineering of the West. It has been remarkably effective.

From a certain point of view, the British crowd behaved perfectly and this is the way “they” all want us to behave. The populace sheltered in place, didn’t do anything rash, talked to the perpetrators as people. They waited for the police to come and the hospital helicopter to take the corpse away. Some will doubtless get counseling to overcome their shattering experience.

And then they will congratulate themselves on how tough British society is; resilience and all that. The more caring will leave some flowers by a railing and hold a few candle vigils for healing and peace, until these wither and blow away and the news cycle washes up a new object of attention.

The attackers knew they were actors in a drama — as keenly watched in their communities as on the BBC. And in that other audience they were asking: “How will the locals behave?” We know now. And that other audience may derive an entirely different lesson from this tableau: “See? Only their women act like men. They follow orders. They are nothing anymore — these Westerners. They are a civilization whose core has been destroyed.”

Well, exactly.

What Richard didn’t know yet when he wrote those words is that, while Prime Minister Cameron did so the attack was terrorism, the Department of Defence had a different response:  it told its troops to shed their uniforms when on British streets.  The DOD assured everyone that this was a temporary move, while they figured out what to do, but the fact is that the damage was done the moment the order went out.  The once mighty British Empire had been told to stand down.  When I saw the Scottish play “The Black Watch,” I wondered whether it spoke to the end of the British soldier.  The verdict is still out on the troops, but that’s irrelevant.  Without leadership, even the best troops in the world are pointless.  They’re merely victims along with everyone else.  England has been turned into one vast field of sheeples, watched over by the wolves her Labor government deliberately invited in in order to destroy the Tory party.  (And yes, of course I’m thinking of the Gang of Eight’s amnesty . . . er, immigration reform bill.)

One more thing.  While I was trolling through my overflowing email inbox yesterday, I found a link a friend had sent me shortly after the Boston Marathon Bombing, in which Leftist talking head (or do I mean writing hand?) Marc Ambinder says “Folks, you must stop blaming Islam” and then tells us that America’s gun culture was the reason the Tsarnaev brothers killed.  Now we know, of course, that Islam was why the Tsarnaev brothers killed.

Ambinder is right that in America we have free speech, that people are allowed to disagree on things, and that ugly ideas can exist as long as they don’t become ugly acts.  Islam, though, is sui generis because the Western idea of free speech and individualism is predicated upon voluntary assimilation.  We allow things to happen on the fringe because we assume that everyone will gravitate to the bell curve portion of society, and embrace society’s values, whatever they happen to be.  Islam, however, does not assimilate.

Think about that for a minute, because it’s a rather staggering concept.  One of the hallmarks of being human is that we adapt.  I do believe that only cockroaches have the ability to adapt to as many climates, including extreme climates, as we do.  For humans to have adopted a mindset so impenetrable that it is incapable of change is really amazing.  In any group, of course, you’ll have some people who are more adaptable than others, but we’re talking about a religion/worldview that renders adaption impossible.

When I was a child, my parents told me (rightly or wrongly) that Turkish soldiers could not be brainwashed.  They were so self-assured in their Turkishness that they were invulnerable to lies, blandishments, fantasies, etc.  They were Turks.  End of story.  It occurs to me now that this myth might have been true, not in terms of modern, secular Turks, but in terms of the Janissaries, who were the most elite soldiers of the Muslim Ottoman Empire.  Once your brain has been steeped in Islam, perhaps you become incapable of blending….

Everyone is free to have his own opinion — so long as it precisely tracks Islam

The Economist has a chart that tracks the data Pew gathered when it polled Muslims around the world about their beliefs.  It turns out (no big surprise here) that those of you who denied the existence of assimilated, “moderate” Muslims were right.  To the extent these MINOs (Muslims in Name Only) exist, they’re a very, very small minority.  Most other Muslims, given their dream world, see sharia as the answer, not the problem.

What I found amusing, in a grim, bitter way, was this statement from The Economist:

The report also reflects man’s infinite capacity to hold contradictory views at the same time. Almost 80% of Egyptian Muslims say they favour religious freedom and a similar number favour sharia law. Of that group, almost 90% also think people who renounce Islam should be put to death. Confused? So are they.

They don’t seem confused at all to me.  When the Muslims polled speak of religious freedom, they mean the freedom to practice Islam — or else.