Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the dhimmitude of the moral equivalence “all-religions-are-equally-violent” crowd:
One form of denial of the global jihad is that of pseudo-symmetries and moral equivalences. There are those who have made comparisons between the American kid-glove treatment (well, the gloves which Infidel soldiers are instructed to wear when handling the Qur’an so as not to offend Muslims by touching it with their “unclean” –najis — hands may not quite be made of kid) and the Nazis, or the Soviet secret police (whose idea of fun would be to insert a glass rod in a male prisoner’s urethra, and then to smash it in ways you can imagine — so very like the Americans in Guantanamo, no?).
But another is the telling pluralization in such Karen-Armstrongesque titles as “Religious Fundamentalisms” or “The Fundamentalism Project” or anything which implies that Jerry Falwell or Jerry Vines (whose accurate description of Islam, one that no brave defector from Islam would quibble with, is actually one of the “exhibits” of so-called “intolerance” at one of those Museums of Intolerance that the Wiesenthal Center supports — how stupid can some people be?), or those West Bank “settlers” who keep using those Biblical toponyms “Judea” and “Samaria” (my, my — why then do we keep using the Biblical toponym “Gaza” if not because the Arabs forget to rename that in 1948 as well?), are of a piece with Osama bin Laden and Al-Zarqawi.
There is a difference between those whose religion instructs its adherents that it is “to dominate and not to be dominated,” that insists that everyone in the world was actually born into that religion but fell away, that attempts to acquire converts (“reverts”) by withholding complete information (all one has to do is recite the Shehada in the presence of a Believer), that treats all believers, whether born into the religion or converts to it, as akin to soldiers in an army, and treats those who wish to openly declare their apostasy as deserters from the army who deserve to be killed, and other religions that simply do not teach such things. Islam puts all of its emphasis not on individual salvation but on the collective, the communal, the umma, the Community of Believers to whom all loyalty is owed. No loyalty can conceivably be offered to an Infidel nation-state — which raises a delicate but important question: can any true Muslim conceivably, logically, be a loyal member of an Infidel nation-state? How?
This business of “all religions do it” is comforting, however false. It makes Infidels feel better. We don’t have to really worry. It is just the hotheads, the extremists. Oh, maybe there are a few more of those in Islam than in other religions, but if they can only get rid of their poverty — we all know how “poverty” explains so very much — and can just get that “democracy” running in Light-Unto-the-Muslim-Nations Iraq, well Iraq will show the way. And with everyone taking time to run the country, get the sanitation system going, and a new subway system, and elections for Town Alderman, and having little New England Town Meetings in the Sunni Isosceles Triangle, they will be just like those Atlanta businessmen who had that slogan in the 1960s: “The city that is too busy to hate.” Yes, the Muslims in Iraq will show the way. Others will build their countries on the wonderful model of the nation-state of Iraq that we Americans will build this year, and next year, and the year after that, with the $595 million embassy we are building to show we are there for the long and expensive haul, and all those secret military bases that the Iraqis are allowing us to build. You don’t really think they just plan to take them away from us soon after we finish building them, do you? Why would they do that? We know that there will be no problem because once poverty in the Muslim world is licked peace will reign everywhere. (Sorry, we don’t have time to dole out hundreds of billions or even billions, or much of anything, to the non-Muslim poor. Since their poverty, for some reason, doesn’t cause them to be hostile, they”ll just have to fend for themselves. And we can’t ask the rich Arabs to support the poor Arabs, because that would annoy them, and we have annoyed them quite enough already — don’t you agree?).
All religions are not the same. The word “fundamentalism” should never be employed in the plural. When you find someone doing so, immediately swoop down on that usage and dissect it for what it is — an ill-concealed attempt to pretend that Islam does not contain elements that are peculiarly virulent, hostile, malevolent, and totalitarian. Obviously, some of those who call themselves Muslims are, on a personal level, friendly, affable, and so. The less they truly believe in Islam, the more lax they are in observance, the more indifferent they are, or ignorant of, the texts, the less of a threat they may be, for now, to Infidels. But one cannot base policy on the continued ignorance, or continued indifference to the tenets of Islam, of people who consider themselves Muslims. And that very affability, of the local Pak-Indian grocery where you just bought that large jar of Ginger Pickle (the grocery with the big new sign, in cardboard, that has been taped to the lamppost outside the store, on the city street, that reads “Halal Meat”), deceives. Deceives about the nature of Islam.
One may mock the occasional Elmer Gantry among Christian preachers. Mock them for all they’re worth. One may not always share a taste for the most extreme of the holy-roller programs with lots of shout-outs and so on. Turn the program off. But none of that represents a mortal threat. And no atheist is threatened, really, by so-called “fundamentalist” Christians or “fundamentalist” Jews or “fundamentalist” Hindus or “fundamentalist” Buddhists, all of whom have views that hardly threaten. Christians seek the salvation of individual souls, not recruits to an Army with a totalitarian system of Total Explanation and Total Regulation. Those “fundamentalist” Jews want, at most, to be able to retain at least part of the land that they may claim on religious grounds, but which they might equally claim on historical and moral grounds. They are not claiming, as Muslims are, the world. Rather, they focus on a sliver of territory so small (not to mention devoid of resources) that it can scarcely have its name discerned on maps of the world, or even of the area. “Fundamentalist” Hindus, too, have no world-conquering schemes. Mostly they would like some recognition of the terrible results, to Indian civilization, that the Muslim invasion and conquest caused, and some attempt to recover that Hindu past and Hindu identity. Even if there are the odd ducks (Mr. Thackeray, for example) whose views and words are unacceptable, the very idea of Hindutva should not be mocked. It has its points, and is certainly not a threat to people living in Thailand, or in Russia, or in France, or in Bolivia, or in the United States. But people in Thailand, or Russia, or France, or in Bolivia, or in the United States, are threatened by Islamic jihad. Not some “fundamentalist” understanding of jihad. Just traditional Islamic jihad. When that is better understood, there will be far less waste, financial and human, in such dismal efforts as the current wrong-headed campaign in Iraq — which is naively based on a misapprehension of what this “war” really is all about. It is ultimately not about “terror” but about Jihad, and not the Jihad promoted only through combat, but through money, propaganda, Da”wa, and demographic conquest from within.
Little by little, this will come to be understood. The steady stillicide of news about Muslim attacks has its effect, as do Muslim attempts to shut down criticism (see the Hate Speech law in operation in Australia’s Victoria State, and now being bruited about in the United Kingdom; see the informal ways — murder and threats of murder — that are employed wherever and whenever deemed to be an effective instrument, as in Holland today). Muslim outrages will, despite the best efforts of governments and The New Duranty Times and Le Monde and The Guardian, sink into the consciousnesses of many.
All it takes is for someone to say what so many are thinking, but have been afraid, or unable, to articulate.