Friday, July 17, 2009

Our learned analysts need to recognize Islam's fundamental semantic flaw: "Peace"

It does not mean what we think it means.

In response to my comment here:
What you are doing is the equivalent of interviewing Germans "on the street" during World War II and drawing conclusions about what should be done to win the war from only those interactions, while ignoring the ideology motivating and sustaining the greater Nazi effort.
Michael Totten replied:
That may well have been the case a few years ago. Apparently you missed it when every insurgent militia and terrorist group in the country got its ass kicked not only by Americans but by Iraqis. Iraqis "vomited out" Al Qaeda, as Charles Krauthammer accurately put it.
Here's my follow-up:
That's quite a non sequitur.

I was talking about your attacks on individuals for their pointing out that you are apparently unfamiliar with Islam's authoritative texts and history, and in "refutation" of that you offer . . . Muslims fighting other Muslims?

Each Iraqi who's fought with our military against foreign terrorists has done so for their own reason(s). I don't doubt some of those motives were good.

None of them, however, involve Muhammad's legendary religious tolerance.

So, are the terrorists in Iraq now, in only the last "few years," no longer Muslim?

In that case, who's doing the bombing today, Mennonites? Are the Iraqis returning to their own vomit?

Will there be more or less vomit once America is out?

Sunni and Shi'ite have been slaughtering each other -- when not enslaving and butchering non-Muslims -- since Muhammad died.
You are also apparently unaware of the fact that the U.S. has and has had terrific relations with Iraq's Kurds even while the rest of Iraq was on fire. And the Kurds are just as Islamic as the Arabs, though they are less strident and bigoted about their religion.
I don't recall mentioning the Kurds. Another non sequitur.

Is your point that not all Muslims are terrorists?

I've never said otherwise.

A variety of explanations exist for why Muslim nations refrain from attacking us directly.

One would be the large sums of taxpayer-funded jizya we send to several of those countries. Another is the fact that we are still -- despite "President" Obama's best efforts -- the only superpower in the world. To openly attack us would be suicide for that government.

(Perhaps you've noticed terrorism being carried out by small groups of "misunderstanderers of Islam" so that Muslim governments -- the Saudis, anyone? -- can maintain plausible deniability. Of course, with Obama apologizing to, dialoguing with, and releasing terrorists, no one will fear our strength for long.)

With regard to the Kurds specifically, they are by definition not as "Islamic" as "the Arabs," since they're -- in your own words -- "less strident and bigoted about their religion."

After all, Muhammad mandated, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him" (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57). You can't get more "bigoted" than that.

The Kurds' relatively greater emphasis on their ethnic identity rather than their religion is paralleled in other lands conquered by Islam, even among some Iranians (but I bet if you cite Muhammad's words or actions disapprovingly to a devout Kurd, that facade of Muslim civility will vaporize instantaneously!). Add to that their desire for a greater Kurdistan and having to contend with both Sunni and Shi'ite Arabs and "Persians," and you've gone a long way toward explaining relatively "good" relations with America.

There may even be some decent people there but again, that is in spite of Islam as defined by Muhammad, not because of it.
Iraq does not need to convert to Christianity or atheism (or whatever it is you're implying here) for it to be at peace with itself and the West. We have peaceful and normal relations with most Muslim countries. Even Israel has peaceful and normal relations with some Muslim countries. We weren't at war with Tunisia or Oman or Mali or Kuwait (etc) last time I checked. (I trust I don't need to give you the whole list.)
A few points:

1) I guess I'm not writing clearly enough. I wasn't aware I was "implying" anything.

I was stating that you are either unaware of or denying the fundamental role Muhammad's words and example play in modern Islamic terrorism, which is just one expression of the jihad commanded by Allah and carried out in fits and starts over the last 1400 years, beginning with Muhammad and continuing to this very day (nearly fourteen thousand Islamic terror attacks since 9/11 alone).

Any analysis that fails to account for this is flawed and will only hamper our efforts at self-defense. Spencer and Bostom understand Islam's history and ideology.

It would be wise for you to do so also.

2) Iraq could possibly be truly at peace with the West, but that will be in spite of Islam, not because of it. How can anyone who obeys Allah's commands to wage war against all who refuse both the "invitation" to Islam and subjugation as slaves (dhimmis) be[,] by definition[,] "at peace"?

That is logically and linguistically impossible.

What do you know about Turkey? It was a model moderate Muslim state, but that was because Ataturk crushed public expression of political Islam. Now that Erdogan is in charge, in which way is the country moving? Toward shari'a.

Are you aware that just a few years ago (I haven't checked lately), Mein Kampf was a best-seller there?

Why is that, do you think?

Could it have anything to do with:
"Allah's Apostle said, 'The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him"'" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177).

". . . We were (sitting) in the mosque when the Messenger of Allah . . . came to us and said: (Let us) go to the Jews. We went out with him until we came to them. The Messenger of Allah . . . stood up and called out to them (saying): O ye assembly of Jews, accept Islam (and) you will be safe.

[. . .]

"he killed their men, and distributed their women, children and properties among the Muslims, except that some of them had joined the Messenger of Allah . . . who granted them security. They embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah . . . turned out all the Jews of Medlina. Banu Qainuqa' (the tribe of 'Abdullah b. Salim) and the Jews of Banu Haritha and every other Jew who was in Medina.

[. . .]

"It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah . . . say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4363-4366)"?
3) If you knew of Muhammad's practice -- which is exemplary for Muslims because Allah called him a "beautiful pattern of conduct for those who want to please" him -- you would know that when the Camp of Islam is weak, it seeks time to build or regain its strength (you see this in the truces for which Hamas calls whenever Israel finally gets serious about defending itself).

When strong enough, Muhammad violated his treaties and attacked his enemies ("enemies" because they would not submit to his "religion").
Iraq's problems have been catastrophic, and religious zealotry has been only one of its problems. If Iraq is doomed solely because it is Muslim, then every Muslim country should look like Iraq. Yet that's not the case
This is simplistic and inaccurate.

Iraq may be doomed for a variety of reasons; the main one is that once under the rule of Allah, always under the rule of Allah. Secular rule must be abolished.

You have two main threats to Iraq's viability. One is that those forces seeking to subjugate the country to full-blown shari'a (you are aware that shari'a is part of the Iraqi constitution, right?) will use any means necessary -- including terrorist bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations -- to accomplish this goal.

The second major threat is the conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite. Ahmadinejad's been courting Maliki. Considering Iraq's Shi'ite majority and Iran's nearing completion on its own nukes, it can't be long before the majority Sunni nations (or their agents) enter into more overt efforts against their historic rivals. Perhaps you've heard recently of Saudi Arabia's tacit consent for Israel's use of its airspace to take out the Iranian program.

What's happened to Iraq's Jews and Christians? Have you interviewed any of those people "on the street"? Probably not, since Iraq's ancient Jewish population has been largely driven out of the country and its Christians are routinely threatened, intimidated, and murdered. Their numbers are dwindling rapidly.

Why is that, do you think?

I hope that Iraq can become a nation truly free from Islam. You see in Iran among those protesting for an Islamic tyrant of their own choosing -- whatever the outcome was in that election, the theocrats were going to stay in power -- people protesting for real Liberty.

I'd like that for all Muslim lands and all Muslims. Whether it's a conversion to Christianity (the best outcome), Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, the cult of Artemis, I don't care -- as long as anyone believes their god commands them to "fight . . . until all religion is for Allah" (Qur'an 8), there can be no peace.

The only lasting "peace" Islam recognizes is that which arises when the competition is in either hijab, chains, or the grave.

And you're still conflating Allah's commands and Muhammad's example with individual Muslims.

Doctrine is not necessarily practice. Texts are not human beings. Paper is not people.

The command of Allah and the words and deeds of Muhammad are not individual Muslims.