Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the significance, or lack thereof, of the Muslim-against-Muslim attack in Jordan:
No one should allow himself to be confused because some Arab regimes may also be targets of Al Qaeda. This will, and has already been used, by the Saudis to pretend that the larger, worldwide terrorism is not “Muslim” in nature, nor part of a Jihad, but rather directed by those “extremists” who have “attempted to hijack a great blah blah…” No, the attacks on the domains of the son of the “plucky little king,” or on the corrupt House of Al-Saud, are not seen by the attackers as attacks on fellow Muslims, but on regimes that are corrupt — and “Infidel” in their willingness to now and again (but very much now and again) help, or at least not completely hinder, the Infidels.
The attacks in Jordan do not mean — as the apologists for Islam would attempt to convince us — that, after all, this is really just a “war within Islam.” Nonsense. It remains a Jihad; the primary target remains non-Muslim Infidels. No Jordanians or Saudis seem to object to a Jihad that confines itself to Infidels, or to such targets as the Lebanese Christians targeted in a previous bombing of a housing complex. What they do find disconcerting, and unacceptable, and contrary to Islam, is that Muslims should kill fellow Muslims. That is all.
The problem for the Saudis is to reassure their fellow Muslims that despite their liquor, their Western call-girls (taken on board by the boatload for the delectation of assorted Saudi and other Arab yacht-owners vacationing off Monte Carlo or Malaga), despite the coziness of Prince Bandar with some in Washington, they really and truly are Muslims, and should not be considered Infidels, still less bombed as such. Jordan’s Abdullah has much the same task, if not the same pattern of flamboyant consumption.
The attack in Jordan was most likely undertaken only because Abdullah’s regime was seen by some as insufficiently Islamic, so that he can be regarded as an “Infidel” and not a genuine Muslim at all. This whole business of attacks that result in “Muslim” casualties should be correctly understood and not cause for greater confusion.
Clarity by non-Muslims is important. The fact that some bombs go off in Muslim countries, almost always, but not exclusively, against Western targets, should not lead us to believe that, for example, the Saudis have ceased to support all sorts of terrorism outside of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi-financed mosques everywhere, from London and Paris and Rome, to the Comoros and Capetown, to Bosnia and Uzbekistan, and even throughout the United States, and Saudi-financed madrasas (especially in Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia) remain the most powerful weapon of Jihad. They turn out vast numbers of Jihadis or influence the beliefs of millions of potential Jihadis, a classic fifth column in posse if ever there was one.
Not too long ago Jordan’s Abdullah asserted in a speech to rabbis: “We face a common threat: extremist distortions of religion and the wanton acts of violence that derive therefrom. Such abominations have already divided us from without for far too long.”
What “common threat” is that? What “extremist distortions of religion” do Judaism and Christianity offer that “threaten” poor helpless cowering timorous Muslims worldwide, whether in Iraq, or Jordan, or Egypt, or in Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, London, Madrid, or New York or Washington or Lackawanna or Portland, Oregon or Falls Church, Virginia? What are the “wanton acts” that non-Muslims, especially apparently Jews, have “inflicted”?
Or did King Abdullah not mean to offer a false symmetry, but couldn’t manage even to utter the words (false, but less false than what he did say) that “extremist distortions of Islam” (not “religion”) “threaten” and have been responsible for “wanton acts” of violence? That would have been a little better.
As it is, his speech is another example of the realization that Islam is beginning to be understood, and that this is not a good thing. Perhaps both Abdullah and Pakistan’s Musharraf, who recently also made a self-conscious and hollow outreach to Jews, feel, in their vulgar way (the same vulgar way that King Hussein dedicated some book — you can search the Internet and find it listed — not to “Mr. Fulano de Tal” but rather “To my Jewish friend” — yes, some of his “best friends” etc. — even the most enlightened Arab monarchs and rulers think, at best, in those terms — let’s imagine Clinton signing a book for the late Vernon Jordan, and writing “to my black friend”) that it is “the Jews” who can be appealed to. For it is “the Jews” who some Muslims assume are so eager to believe that Muslim hostility toward Israel, and toward Jews, is merely a matter of “extremists,” and so let’s make overtures to them, and see if they, won over, will be the stalking-horses for the “real — i.e. good” Islam, became the new apologists for Islam. There were many ovations for Musharraf’s outrageous speech, and no doubt for King Abdullah’s.
We are just not going to get anything like candor, something asymptotically close to the embarrassing home truth about many Muslims and about Islam (as embodied in Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira — note that Muslim organizations, so quick to mail out Qur’ans, are silent on any offers of collections of Hadith, or a version of the Sira, in the same version that Muslims read), from these people. Even many of those seemingly fully Westernized and integrated Bright Young Muslim Things in the Western world, talking about “reforming Islam” and so on, once you show that you are not fooled, and not impressed one whit by Islam, immediately dissolve into a hysterical fury and Defense of the Faith. I have experienced this again and again from people one would never have expected to act in such a strange fashion. Islam has a hold, and that hold is connected most especially with matters of what some like to call “identity” and “self-esteem.” Ethnic identification with “Arabness” reinforces Islam. Apostates from Islam tend far more often to be Iranians, Turks, Pakistanis, Berbers, Kurds, and other non-Arabs, not only because they lack that “Arabness” that can cause even Christian — especially “Palestinian” Arabs — to exhibit “islamochristian” sympathies, but because having thought about things, they may begin to resent the use of Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacist ideology, to see through the universalist claims and resent, among other things, the cultural and linguistic imperialism that comes with the arabization that often arrives with islamization. This is particularly noticeable among the Berbers of the Kabyle.
Many Muslims who among themselves may conceivably begin to discuss their own tentative gropings toward comprehension of what the Qur’an inculcates, nonetheless will almost never share their own misgivings, or skepticism, if they have it, with Infidels. They will not speak directly and truthfully about what is actually in the Qur’an and Hadith and Sira. They can’t. Try to have such a conversation — you’ll see what results. But don’t ever give in or think you have misunderstood something. You haven’t. All you have misunderstood is the psychology of these Westernized Muslims, which for many of us remains a mystery to be plumbed.
And now some will be telling us that the attacks in Jordan constitute evidence of a “civil war” within Islam. Abdullah will gain support from the West as a result. More jizyah in the form of foreign aid. More friendliness to such “staunch allies” as Mubarak and the House of Al-Saud. More attention to the need to promote “democracy” in Iraq which will naturally have — well, some kind of effect on something. Exactly how events in Iraq will help prevent the islamization of Europe, the death threats against individuals in Holland, the death threats against an entire country in France, we aren’t told. Meanwhile those threats are eagerly presented by the Craig Smiths of this world as merely a desperate attempt by outsiders who want wholeheartedly to participate in France, to be French, but through no fault of their own, nothing to do with their own attitudes and beliefs, are cruelly being prevented from doing so by those beastly, racist French. No one dares to investigate, to even suggest investigating, the relationship of Islam to the attitudes of those who are not only rioting because it’s fun, but to get back at the “French” — which is to say, the non-Muslim “French” who do not deserve to dominate and to rule, and to tell Muslims anything about anything. It is against the natural law — the law of Allah. And if the French are so intolerably racist, how have all those people of non-French background, with names like Sarkozy, or Todorov, or Semprun, or Trinh Vinh Luong, or AimÃ© CÃ©saire, managed to rise so high in the French establishment? No, let’s just keep our attention carefully deflected from the growing islamization of our own countries, and just as carefully keep insisting to ourselves and everyone else that “Islam is not the problem.” Why not? Because if it were, everything would be too difficult, too unpleasant, too much beyond our poor power to add or substract. Let’s stick to platitudes and bromides — a round of geopolitical alka-seltzer for everyone to calm them down. After all, that’s what the boys in the back rooms of the White House, 10 Downing Street, and the ElysÃ©e are having.
And the jihad will go on.