Saturday, April 26, 2008

Extremists, not Islam, the problem?

The State Department, DHS, and the NCTC urge that it's time to forever separate Islam and terrorism--in our diplomatic lexicon, that is:
Federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen," according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Lingo like "Islamo-fascism" is out, too.

The reason: Such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates.

For example, while Americans may understand "jihad" to mean "holy war," it is in fact a broader Islamic concept of the struggle to do good, says the guidance prepared for diplomats and other officials tasked with explaining the war on terror to the public. Similarly, "mujahedeen," which means those engaged in jihad, must be seen in its broader context.
"Islamo-fascism" never made much sense. "Islamic fundamentalism" is a better descriptor of the ideological force driving terrorist attacks on Western targets. Of course, such a phrase indictes Islam as a compelling engine of the contemporary international terrorist problem. Can't have any of that.

Can Islam be stripped of its martial essence? Tough to see how that'll be pulled off, since Islam's central figure, an expansionist military leader, is having revealed to him (and his followers) the commands and teachings of God throughout the Koran.

In contemporary Christianity, by contrast, the divinely blessed violent conquests are in books most Christians know almost nothing about. Joshua paraded around Jericho and it fell, right? Oh, the walls fell and then all the inhabitants inside (including livestock) were massacred? My pastor never told me that. Judges, I assume, has to do with ideals of justice, right? Oh, you mean it's a compendia of accounts of the violent military expansion and contraction of Israel under various obscure leaders? Huh, wasn't aware.

Christians primarily pay attention to the four gospels (especially Luke and John) which together comprise about one-tenth of the Good Book. And that 10% doesn't condone violent militancy at all.

We'd be better off pointing out the strong connection between Islam and terrorism against the West and then doing everything we are able to do to separate Islam and the West from one another.

5 comments:

John S. Bolton said...

I would like to see the term Islamopurism used, since it allows for a distinction between the various degrees of intensity of Islamic feeling. It is important for Islam itself not to get whitewashed. The 'Religion of Peace' is a whited sepulchre. Islam is a military indoctrination for the war of religion against the infidel, even though its spirituality is undoubtedly sincere. Therefore it ought not to be covered by constitutional free exercise of religion, because this could not have been intended to cover essentially 'fighting faiths'.

Al Fin said...

The problem is that Islam is an inferior religion--and I say that as an atheist who does not actually appreciate any religion, except perhaps Zen Buddhism.

Islam is intrinsically inferior in its origin, in its teachings, and it is particularly inferior in a large portion of its demographics.

That does not make the problem of coexisting on the same planet impossible, just very difficult.

Multiculturalism--which declares the inherent superiority of every other civilisation over western civilisation--is particularly deadly for the west in this unavoidable cultural confrontation.

Many countries of western Europe can probably not be saved.

Audacious Epigone said...

JSB,

Right. Guaranteeing freedom of religion, when that equates to freedom for aggression against other religions, isn't viable. Guaranteeing freedom, in this case, may mean guaranteeing freedom from, not of, Islam.

AF,

Well, Zen Buddhism is essentially atheistic, so you're being consistent :)

The best chance European civilization has in an uneven growth in its nations' various Muslim populations. If a few like France or the Netherlands go over the edge, that might prod countries like Switzerland and Denmark into serious restriction to preserve their liberal entitlement states.

Dino said...

Actually, Zen is not atheistic, it is non-theistic. It does not teach the existence of the divine but, unlike atheism, it does not deny its existence either.

Audacious Epigone said...

Dino,

You're right. I suppose it would be better described as "not theistic" as you wrote.