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The Legacy of Jihad
All Jihad All the Time
What Andrew Bostom's "The Legacy of Jihad" tells us about the history of Islam.
by Dean Barnett
IN THE WAKE OF THE 9/11 ATTACKS, President Bush famously referred to Islam as a "religion of peace." To display solidarity with this notion, politicians of all rank in both America and Europe hurriedly made their way to the nearest mosque to show that, in spite of the destruction of the World Trade Center, they bore no animus to Islam.Bostom's experience is one that some of us can relate to. Without knowing the man I can already guess he has been labelled a vile bigot racist Islamophobe. What fascinates me is that even after 9/11 and in spite of the ongoing Islam-related violence around the world I still run into so many people who remain oddly incurious about the source of all the animus. Of course many people think it's quite clear: in the past the US shamelessly exploited the Third World and propped up horrible dictators there, and today we torture Muslims and piss on their Koran while we wage an arrogant unilateral imperialistic neocon war of whim. So convenient it is for these "patriots" to project their own anti-military, anti-corporate, anti-Bush motives on the enemy that they completely misunderstand what really motivates the Jihadis.
Andrew Bostom, a Rhode Island based physician, had a different reaction. Until September 11 Bostom had been completely absorbed in his medical career. Afterwards, he began a singular effort to learn as much about Islam as possible.
The results of Bostom's study have recently been published in book form. The Legacy of Jihad, for which Bostom is both editor and a contributing writer, studies jihad from the 7th century to the present day. It is a thorough work; hardly an act of offensive jihad in the last 1,300 years has escaped Bostom's scholarship.
It's a disquieting read. Counter to President Bush's simplistic characterization of Islam as a religion of peace, the truth is far more nuanced; parts of the Koran call for peace, other verses have a decidedly different tenor.
I admit it's not easy. First you have to overcome the politically correct Western education that has taught you that all religions are equal. Equally bad. "Religion, don't you know, is something that generally only stupid people fall for. It generally causes violence. Especially Chrisitanity. Look at the Crusades, the Inquisition. QED." Then you have the contemporary Western apologists for Islam, including many politicians and Middle Eastern studies professors, who from their positions of authority and expertise lecture on the loving tolerance of Islam. "There shall be no compulsion in religion." Yet we see, time and again, people shouting "Allahu Ahkbar!" as they blow themselves up or hack some defenseless hostage's head off. Those of us who note that the common thread is Islam are heckled for our ignorance. "You must not have read the Koran. Or you read it wrong. How many Muslims do you know?" Well. It turns out I don't know any Nazis, and I haven't read Mein Kampf, but I'm pretty sure Nazism was a bad idea.
Not all people have the capacity to question their deeply ingrained (dare I say brainwashed) principles of moral equivalence, or to withstand the slurs and intimidation of the intellectual elite. The easiest way to find that strength is to bypass these psychological obstacles and investigate Islam and Jihad for yourself. You still trust your own judgement don't you? Well go ahead and read the feel good pap intended for infidels. Maybe you've already read some. Well don't stop there. Read books like "The Legacy of Jihad". Read what Muslims say to other Muslims when they think infidels aren't listening. Dig deep enough and you'll find that Jihadi hatred of the West is based on its infidelness. Jihadis resent the West's involvement with their countries and their leaders because it pulls them away from true Islam. "Let not believers take infidels for their friends rather than believers." Infidels don't have to occupy their Holy Land - they never have. Turns out it's enough just to do business, to put the words and pictures and ideas of the disgustingly corrupt and degenerate infidel culture in front of Muslims. That is our crime.
Muslims believe that the Koran is the literal word of Allah, and it is blasphemy to question its infallibility. Which is strange because it often seems to contradict itself. Apologists like to quote the warm fuzzy side of any contradiction. They don't want infidels to know (or don't know themselves) that Islamic scholars have long used the idea of abrogation to resolve the contradictions. Unfortunately for infidels, the contradictions are usually resolved in favor of the message Mohammed gave in his later, less warm and fuzzy days.
The goal of the Jihadis is to crush the infidel, not to tolerate him. They don't make any secret of this, though they don't particularly care enough to write letters to the editor of the New York Times thanking them for keeping a leash on the NSA and CIA. The Jihadis are totally preoccupied with unbelievers, polytheists, and apostates. It is completely about religion for them, and not in the way of peace and love that most non-Muslims may assume. Jihadis are not like the ordinary "militants", "insurgents", or "guerillas" the press has conditioned us to associate with secular struggles for power. They are mujahideen, or holy warriors. They fight for a way of life, not a mere religion. They seek to gain power where they do not already hold it, and to wipe away all that is not Islam where they do hold power.
The difference between Islamist moderates and extremists is patience. Even ignolamists (to coin a phrase) know that anything perceived to go against Islam is to be feared and avoided because it will "create extremists". That's a major boo boo. "We'd better not try to keep them from getting nukes. Why? Because they might nuke us. If we just bide our time the moderates will eventually moderate. Or something." When you know what actually motivates the Jihadis you aren't afraid to piss them off or make more of them. You realize that their idealogy is already out there metastasizing. The only sane thing civilization can do is confront it.
For Clooney fans this may all seem too complicated. "Isn't it George Bush and the corporations who are evil?" OK. If you investigate Islam and you still want to delude yourself that corporate greed and presidential overreach are a bigger threat, then by all means go ahead. It's a free country, at least as long as you and brave patriots like you can fight off Bush's police state. Of course if you didn't have such opinions, or have come to change them since, then you may now understand the sense of betrayal and dismay I feel at the false guilt of the useful infidels who bin Laden counts on to undermine their own way of life.
The author of the Bostom book review, Dean Barnett, also writes at SOXBLOG. His wit, insight, range of topics, and output far exceed mine. Scanning back I found this apt observation:
If they read the papers and watch the newscasts, our Jihadist foes will doubtlessly get the wrong opinion of the American people. They will wrongly conclude that the American people are obsessed with the niceties of wire-tapping and torture, completely unaware that the overwhelming majority of Americans is entirely indifferent to the rights of suspected and/or actual terrorists.
There should be no mistake about the following - if there is another attack on American soil, especially one involving WMD, the demand from the American public will be for blood and lots of it. But do our enemies know this? Are they deceiving themselves into thinking that America will react like the Daily Kos, John Kerry and the New York Times almost unquestionably will – blame Bush first, respond later?
That is the real disservice such entities are doing America. It’s not that they are traitorously providing aid and comfort to the enemy. It’s that they are giving the enemy false hope.
And the results of that may be tragic.
Yet Another Grim Milestone
"This brings to 2000 the number of American soldiers kill in Iraq."
Celebrating the 2000th American Death in the Iraq War
I decided to check out the AFSC's "Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar" event in San Francisco to settle the dispute. Would the rally be a somber and respectful memorial to our troops -- or a fun and exciting "death party"?Recall the hoopla around the "grim milestones" of 1000 and 2000 American dead in Iraq? Is there any doubt there will be more hoopla for 3000? Will we ever see some hoopla over the ongoing assault by Islamists against civilization? At this moment the count of deadly attacks carried out by Islamists since 9/11 as kept by TheReligionofPeace stands at 3999. In the first week of January 2006 they note 40 attacks, with 268 dead and 407 critically injured. In all of December 2005 they account for 127 attacks, 490 dead and 778 injured. Is it any more morbid or gauche to note this than it is to constantly mention the US military's accumulated dead in Iraq?
Why are we fighting? Why are Americans dying 4+ years after 9/11? It's hard to tell based on what we hear from the mainstream media. Rather than reporting each attack around the world - Madrid, London, Bali (twice), and all the smaller events - as if they were totally unrelated, as if they had nothing whatsoever in common, wouldn't it be refreshing to hear them say or write, just once "this brings to 4000 the number of Islamist attacks since 9/11"?
The West's Suicide Bomb
It's the Demography, Stupid
BY MARK STEYN
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST
Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries.
Speaking of which, if we are at war--and half the American people and significantly higher percentages in Britain, Canada and Europe don't accept that proposition--then what exactly is the war about?An unusally long piece from Steyn which, true to his style, is marred only by his occasional flippancy when discussing a deadly serious subject.
We know it's not really a "war on terror." Nor is it, at heart, a war against Islam, or even "radical Islam." The Muslim faith, whatever its merits for the believers, is a problematic business for the rest of us. There are many trouble spots around the world, but as a general rule, it's easy to make an educated guess at one of the participants: Muslims vs. Jews in "Palestine," Muslims vs. Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims vs. Christians in Africa, Muslims vs. Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims vs. Russians in the Caucasus, Muslims vs. backpacking tourists in Bali. Like the environmentalists, these guys think globally but act locally.
Yet while Islamism is the enemy, it's not what this thing's about. Radical Islam is an opportunistic infection, like AIDS: It's not the HIV that kills you, it's the pneumonia you get when your body's too weak to fight it off. When the jihadists engage with the U.S. military, they lose--as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. If this were like World War I with those fellows in one trench and us in ours facing them over some boggy piece of terrain, it would be over very quickly. Which the smarter Islamists have figured out. They know they can never win on the battlefield, but they figure there's an excellent chance they can drag things out until Western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default.
The short story: THEY are outreproducing US. If you think splitting the world into US and THEM is simplistic you obviously have no idea what THEY have in store for YOU. Wake up already.
You might also be interested in Steyn's discussion of the article with Hugh Hewitt.
Muslims and Eurodhimmis Reject Free Speech
Europe Criticises Copenhagen over Cartoons
From the desk of Paul Belien on Wed, 2005-12-21 15:13
According to Islam it is blasphemy to depict the Prophet Muhammad. Last Summer a Danish writer complained that he could not find an artist to illustrate his book about Muhammad because illustrators feared retaliation by Denmark’s Muslim immigrant population. This prompted Jyllands-Posten (JP), Denmark’s largest newspaper, to test whether the threat of Islamic terrorism has restricted the freedom of expression in Denmark. JP asked a considerable number of artists to draw a picture of Muhammad to illustrate an article about freedom of speech in a multicultural society. Only 12 artists were prepared to do so.
On 7 December, the 56 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) unanimously condemned Denmark for its refusal to act against alleged “islamophobia” in the press. In a letter to the OIC Louise Arbour, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, deplored the Danish newspaper’s “lack of respect for the religion of others” and announced that the UN experts on racism would take the matter up with the Danish government.Islamophobia ? Is that what you call it when Muslims make death threats?
Of course Muslims are well-known for their sense of humor. Ahem. Take for example Albert Brooks' Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World:
Although the movie does not discuss religion and lightly ridicules Washington, Brooks faced difficulties getting it on screen. He said the title caused Sony to refuse to distribute it fearing reprisals from Muslims, a reaction he said underscored the importance of challenging stereotypes in Hollywood.According to Brooks Americans are so stupid we can't tell the difference between Arab and Asian Muslims. Ha ha. Let me take a crack. One wants to conquer the world starting with the Middle East, the other wants to conquer the world starting with Asia. Or is there something about dar al islam, dar al harb, and jihad that I don't understand?
So what is the result of the Jyllands-Posten "test"? Where are the brave free speech advocates and champions of secularism that should be leaping to the defense of this Danish newspaper? They leap to the defense of those who drown Christ in piss, but Allah forbid you draw his Prophet. Cross that line and you're on your own islamophobe.
Hypocrisy at the NY Times
Andrew Cochran at The Counterterrorism Blog quotes NYT's Brian Calume:
NY Times's Ombudsman: Explanation of decision to report NSA program was "woefully inadequate"
January 01, 2006
Protection of sources is the most plausible reason I've been able to identify for The Times's woeful explanation in the article and for the silence of Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Keller. I base this on Mr. Keller's response to me: "There is really no way to have a full discussion of the back story without talking about when and how we knew what we knew, and we can't do that."Newsmen demand transparency from everyone but themselves. They pretend to be above it all, to not take sides. They must protect their Holy Sources.
The impact of a new book about intelligence by Mr. Risen on the timing of the article is difficult to gauge. The book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," was not mentioned in the Dec. 16 article. Mr. Keller asserted in the shorter of his two statements that the article wasn't timed to the forthcoming book, and that "its origins and publication are completely independent of Jim's book."
The publication of Mr. Risen's book, with its discussion of the eavesdropping operation, was scheduled for mid-January - but has now been moved up to Tuesday. Despite Mr. Keller's distancing of The Times from "State of War," Mr. Risen's publisher told me on Dec. 21 that the paper's Washington bureau chief had talked to her twice in the previous 30 days about the book.
So it seems to me the paper was quite aware that it faced the possibility of being scooped by its own reporter's book in about four weeks. But the key question remains: To what extent did the book cause top editors to shrug off the concerns that had kept them from publishing the eavesdropping article for months?
Bullshit. They do take sides. They choose what to publish and when. They out some people and hide others. Like everyone else they have a worldview and it affects their decisions. Look at Deep Throat. They protected that Holy Source for 30+ years. When his identity was revealed the fanfair was just a wee soured by the realization that, for those honest enough to admit it, the liberal icon might have had an axe to grind. He had a grudge against Nixon. Wouldn't it have been nice to know this back when he was revealing secrets?
And so it is likely to be in this case. Whether the NYT publishes secrets to avoid scoops, to hurt a president they oppose, or to make money - does it matter? Is there some nobler reason I'm missing? Maybe "the people have a right to know"? Oh really? Then maybe the people have a right to know more. Like who is undermining our government and why.