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August 3, 2005

To Stop Religious Terrorism, Permit Religious Politics

For my column — which will now be appearing every other Wednesday — I pondered the formation of London's homegrown Muslim terrorists: "Exploding Across Arm's-Length Tolerance." The bottom line is that the common thread that runs through the astute explanations — the root cause, if you will — is disengagement. And pushing religion, and the religious, away from politics and government will only exacerbate the problem.

Posted by Justin Katz at August 3, 2005 8:38 PM

Justin, you are in your own way dancing around the elephant in the room. The apartness that you decry is required of good Muslims; they are told by their Allah in the Koran not to take Jews, Christains or other 'unbelievers' as friends. They are told that it is their destiny to rule others, not to be ruled, and therefore they must remain apart.

Of course, the welfare state has made this very easy to do; the unemployment rate of Muslim immigrants to Netherlands was around 60% or more the last time I checked, and many of those had never worked. The just moved from Africa to Europe, registered with the government and began collecting checks; from their perspective, they were being paid jizya.

Not all monotheistic religions are the same, and they don't all teach the same things. I'm sorry if this is upsetting or offensive, but it happens to be the truth: the Koran, the hadith (sayings of Mohammed), the Suna (life of Mohammed) and the law derived from these things (fiqh) are all clear. Frighteningly clear, in fact; "good" Muslims are called to fight those who do not worship Allah in a multitude of ways, one of those ways is demographic.

But the Jihad can never truly stop so long as the entire Earth does not yet bow down to Allah. You might want to bear that in mind.

Posted by: NotDhimmi at August 4, 2005 12:38 PM

Notdhimmi, you are generalizing about all Islam on the basis of its most extreme fundamentalist factions. There are liberal and pacifist traditions within Islam, such as the sufi, which counterbalance the blatant demographic chauvinism of the fiqh.

Posted by: Matt Taylor at August 4, 2005 5:05 PM

The most common catch-phrase these days is "freedom of religion, not freedom from religion." In the US, we have a secular government that should embrace the moral values of our culture. Those values are derived from our Judeo-Christian heritage. The problem is, we're currently fighting a war against religious extremists that want nothing to do with a secular government. To these extremists, it's either a strict Islamic government or it has no right to exist. Matt is correct in that this only represents the extreme elements of Islam. Most Muslims are perfectly content in secular society, as evidenced by the number living peacefully in the US, UK and India. Unfortunately, the extremists have our attention and will continue to do so as long as they keep blowing things up.

Posted by: Ron at August 8, 2005 10:14 AM

I know we call them extremists, and to some degree I think that is an appropriate description - they are following Islam extremely closely (at least according to its texts as identified by NDhimmi). What we want are more Muslim "Lite" practitioners. Although, it should seem odd to someone that following their professed religion closely leads to destructive behavior.

Posted by: c matt at August 9, 2005 11:07 AM

Yep, I say give us the heretical Muslims any day of the week compared to the orthodox Muslims that want to kill us.

Posted by: NotSamIAm at August 9, 2005 1:16 PM

Notdhimmi, you are generalizing about all Islam on the basis of its most extreme fundamentalist factions.

I am writing facts. Go and read the Koran, go and read the life of Mohammed, go and read the Hadith. Spend some time understanding why the Ayatollah Sistani refuses to meet with any non-Moslem; learn what "unclean" means, and what is "unclean" to him.

There are liberal and pacifist traditions within Islam, such as the sufi, which counterbalance the blatant demographic chauvinism of the fiqh.

The Sufi have their own tradition that demands razzia (raids) and killing unbelievers, although it appears to be a bit less violent than other branches of Sunni Islam. I do not know what you mean by "demographic chauvinism of the fiqh", since "fiqh" as I understand it is Islamic law.

To the degree that a Moslem becomes more liberal and humane, he or she becomes less of a follower of Mohammed, less of an obeyer of Allah, and thus less of a Moslem...thus, the charge of apostasy can be leveled by the likes of bin Laden against any Moslem who strays too far from Koranic life.

And what is the punishment demanded by Allah of those who leave Islam, hmmm?

Getting Moslems more involved in politics is a recipe for Sharia law, which is disaster.

As for "moderate" Moslems, bear in mind that the one who assassinated Theo van Gogh grew up in the Netherlands, was just another beer-drinking Dutch resident. Then something happened, he focused on his religion, he wanted to be deeply Islamic, and when van Gogh made his film "Submission" with the help of Hirsi Ali, a "moderate" Moslem got a gun and a knife, shot van Gogh many times from a few feet, nearly cut his head off and stabbed him multiple times in order to pin a Moslem manifesto to his dying body.

Sentenced to life in prison, this "moderate" Moslem says that what he did was right and he'd do it again.

Which political party should he vote for in the next election, I wonder?

Posted by: notdhimmi at August 9, 2005 9:45 PM