Planning to run for office? Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald has a few words for you:
I don’t know what Democrats, or Republicans, hoping to run for Congress in 2006, or 2008, or 2010, are now doing. But whatever else they are doing, they should realize that there are certain things about Islam — that is, practically everything about Islam — that they do not know, and that they have a duty to inform themselves about.
Does anyone think that, had the leaders of Western Europe fully informed themselves about the tenets of Islam, about the contents of Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira, they would have ever allowed so many Turks into Germany, so many Pakistanis into England, so many Moroccans into Spain, so many Algerians into France, so many Egyptians and Libyans and Somalis into Italy? Not to mention smaller numbers, into every country in Europe, of Muslims from all the places mentioned and all the other Muslim countries.
Whether you hate Bush or not, whether you think the war in Iraq was completely unjustified, partly unjustified, perfectly justified, or justified in the early stages and a senseless squandering and misallocation of resources in its Light-Unto-the-Muslim-Nations Phase (roughly, from the mid-fall of 2003 on), you have a duty to study Islam. And not from the nonsense of Armstrong or Esposito, or the coffee-table books, all blue mosques and Iznik tiles, with nothing sensible or truthful about the nature and centrality of Jihad, and nothing at all, really, on the subjugation and mistreatment of non-Muslims under Islam. And while much can be gleaned from the writings of Bernard Lewis, he is extraordinarily inattentive to the condition of the dhimmi, has done nothing to promote Bat Ye’or (and something to discourage her reception). And because of his extensive personal and professional ties to Turkish scholars, to a well-connected Arab claque in Amman that likes to be thought cultured by a cultured Western scholar, and he in turn would not like to offend them, he sees, for example, the islamization of Europe, but dares not see far enough. For to do so would require him actually to suggest some of the things suggested here. And that Bernard Lewis cannot do — though now he should be thinking only of the future of Western civilization, and not what fellow Ottomanists in Istanbul, or Prince Hassan of Jordan, may think of him.
And if you are going to study Islam, start with Robert Spencer‘s texts. Forget all those received opinions, and forget that epithet “right-wing.” Forget that Regnery is his publisher. Pay attention to what he has actually written. Does what he writes hold up? Does it make sense? Does he offer copious quotation from the Qur’an and the Hadith? Does he have the air or tone of a fanatic, of someone who twists the evidence, or does he not?
And when you have begun to figure out what the Hadith and the Sira are, then you might go on to the three essential books on the Dhimmi by Bat Ye’or — The Dhimmi, Islam and Dhimmitude, and The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam. Then you might add Eurabia, so that what has been going on in Europe can be better understood.
Then you might also add a book or two by Ibn Warraq, that articulate apostate. There is his own testimony, Why I Am Not a Muslim. And there are the testimonies of other apostates that he collected and published in Leaving Islam.
Someone should distribute copies of such books to Bush, Cheney, Rice, Hadley, and all the others. And even to Paul Wolfowitz, who might begin to understand that his own experience as a well-publicized Jewish American ambassador to Jakarta, where everyone was quick to tell him what they thought he wanted to hear, did not exactly give him a realistic view of Islam. In an interview two or three years ago, Richard Pipes, who had served with Wolfowitz on Team B, pointedly noted that while Wolfowitz, while he may have been a brilliant weapons systems-analyst, understood little or nothing about the effect of culture (and ideology) on the minds of men and their behavior. He was not terribly interested, and had no training in, that indispensable thing we call “history.”
Even he, Wolfowitz, still has time to learn a lot about Islam. Perhaps that will chasten, just a bit, all his grand schemes for remaking the world through the World Bank’s largesse — the same kind of grand schemes he had in mind for Iraq.
And of course the Democrats, those feckless Democrats, had better get cracking. It is not enough to hate Bush. It is not enough to see that the Iraq venture is at this point a colossal waste. It is not enough to thereby inherit the earth. The Jihad is real. It is not a fiction. The menace of the islamization of Western Europe is not a fiction. It will not do to rub one’s hands in glee and wait for the inevitable election victory.
Now, not then, is the time to study up on Islam. And spare us please going to all the Democratic idiots — people like whatshisname, Dennis Ross (who should be banned from any position of power). For that matter, the man who proved that Peter Jennings must have been really awful for Kati Marton to find him preferable — Richard Holbrooke — shows no signs of understanding Islam.
Finally, a note to voters: fresh blood, please. Fresh blood pumping into minds that are willing to study Islam. Not the same old. Please. It is too important.