The President has referred to “Islamic fascists.”
Hold your huzzas.
“Islamic fascists” has both good and bad points. It is a great improvement over that idiotic phrase the “war on terror.” It is no longer possible for our government, or other Western governments, to pretend that Islam has nothing to do with the assorted terror plots foiled, or in some cases carried out, all over the world. The Administration must have sensed the fury directed at it not least from those whom it might have counted on to support it — and who, for good reason, are opposed to the timidity and the stupidity with which the Administration has so often behaved.
But “Islamic fascists” is only a milestone along the way. Islam appears only adjectivally here, modifying the noun “Fascists.” This still hints at a group that has possibly “hijacked” or “perverted” a great religion. Much remains to be made clear. What are these things about Islam, and the Jihad, that need to be made clear?
They include the following:
1. The Jihad to spread Islam must continue until all barriers to its dominance are removed, and it dominates, and Muslims, the Best of People, rule. This is as Allah wishes it. This is the just and natural outcome that all Muslims must work toward and for. The fact that some do not means merely that they are insufficiently devout, or lazy, or unobservant. No one should take comfort in this, for at any moment a lapsed or lazy or unobservant or insufficiently devout Muslim may become the real thing, prompted by some event in the great world, or often prompted by some event in his personal life which we, the Infidels, have no way of knowing will set him off. And then there is also the “My Son the Fanatic” phenomenon, in which immigrants do not have the leisure to dwell on their “humiliation” in this or that Infidel land, but their children, sons or daughters, proudly “return” to Islam — in a way that of course spells danger to Infidels and to their laws and even, in the end, their lives.
This Jihad is both a collective and at times individual duty. It is to be pursued using whatever instruments come to hand. In 7th century Arabia the main instrument was “qital,” or combat. But Islamic texts and Islamic commentators, are well aware of all the other instruments of warfare: the “wealth weapon” (which today means oil revenues, and the use of boycotts, bribery, support for mosques, madrasas, propaganda, and armies of Western hirelings ready to defend and promote Muslim and Arab interests); that of “pen and speech” (again, propaganda to spread Islam, or to protect Islam from those inclined to question or oppose its spread); and the newest instrument, that of immigration. This weapon is openly discussed and even boasted about by Muslims, but hardly noticed by Infidels — or if noticed, those Infidels simply throw up their hands and say “What can we do?,” as if the initial mistake of allowing large numbers of Muslims into the Western world cannot possibly be rectified. Not a single idea can come to any Western people as to how they might halt and reverse this Muslim presence, as if it were simply an impossibility to figure out ways to protect the laws, customs, the civilizational legacy and the very lives of those Infidels from those who do not respect, and who cannot respect, those laws, customs, that inherited civilization created according to Infidel freedoms, and Infidel ideas of what is to be allowed. Nor do they respect those Infidel lives.
The phrase “Islamic fascists” implies that there are those among good Muslims, obedient Muslims, devout Muslims, those who could be other than “fascistic.” But is this possible? Is this belief-system (do not call it a religion because the word “religion” in many quarters commands automatic respect) capable of permitting mental and other kinds of freedom? It presents itself as a Total Regulation of Life. Everything is either forbidden or commanded, and there are lists of such things, from foods and hairstyles, to matters of the most intimate personal hygiene. All written down, all carefully collected. And then there is Islam as a Complete Explanation of the Universe, with vague passages in the Qur’an supposedly containing all of modern science, from vulcanology right to Benoit Mandelbrot’s fractals and the nature of DNA, the nature of atom and subatomic world. It’s “in the book.” But, you will answer, there are Muslims who do not decide everything according to the Qur’an, do not follow Muhammad in every particular. True, but irrelevant. As long as, in the population of Muslims, most of them are primitively wedded to the real Islam or can be made to be so because the textual authority is entirely on the side of those “Islamic fascists,” then one has a problem with Islam that never goes away.
Furthermore, as we can see from the observable behavior of Muslims in the West, they do not express loyalty to the Infidel nation-state. Everywhere, whatever Infidel land they manage to end up in, the same disturbing attitudes of anger, hostility, a sense of “humiliation” and growing, not lessening, hatred of the Infidels, can be observed. That a handful are not like this, and in fact have become merely “Muslims-for-identification-purposes-only” Muslims, does not make up for the very large number who openly demonstrate their insensate loyalty to the most cruel acts of Muslim terrorists, who attempt always and everywhere, it seems, to mislead us as to the nature of Islam, with such obvious examples, to those who have studied something about Islam, of taqiyya-and-tu-quoque. These are easily exposed. Yet everywhere, these deceivers continue to explain things away, to mislead us as to what Islam teaches, or at the very least to do nothing to teach us about what it is all about. And our government does nothing to change this. Ask the soldiers returning from Iraq what they were taught about Islam, and what they more or less picked up, about the nature of Islam, from the behavior of the Muslims they were sent to “liberate” and to “help” — never mind those they were asked to fight.
“Islamic fascists”? Perhaps one will now go beyond this formulation, better for the moment, but only just, then the previous efforts to hide the Islamic nature of the enemy, the Islamic goals of the enemy, the Islamic tactics of the enemy. (“War is deception” said Muhammad, and it is around us, we are swimming in Islamic deception, all over the world.) It still reveals nothing about the Islamic attitudes toward Believers and Infidels (loyalty is owed to the first, no matter what they seeming wickedness they may do, and hatred owed the second, no matter what kindnesses they do).
It has taken nearly five years for President Bush to begin doing (if he has begun) what he should have done in the many months following the 9/11/2001 attacks. At that time the American ruling elites should have, as part of their duty to protect and instruct us, begun to study the contents of Islam — and not relied on armstrongs and espositos, or part-time “experts” on Islam of the kind known to have advised Bush. They should have begun to instruct us not only about what is in the Qur’an, but what is in the Hadith collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim, and not only what is in the Qur’an and the Hadith, but about the Life of Muhammad, that Perfect Man, the man whose every word and deed and even silences tell the Believer how he should act, what he should do. That was not done. It still has not been done. Bush is said to have taken to the Crawford Ranch three books. Two of them are, we are told, about Lincoln. But it is silly for Bush to think he can learn about how to deal with Islam by reading about Lincoln during wartime. He can’t. What he should have done is do what Abraham Lincoln would have done. He would have studied Islam. He would not have been satisfied to call it a “religion” and then without any grounds at all proceed to tell us that this “great religion” had been “hijacked” by a “handful of extremists.” Lincoln would have studied the matter, and he would have looked at history. He would have asked himself what he could learn, what one could be taught, by an examination of the 1350-year history of Jihad-conquest, and of subjugation of non-Muslims everywhere. He would, in short, have known how to study. But then, Lincoln was also a man who could debate for hours, without notes or a speechwriter, Douglas and other opponents. He knew the value of words. He knew the importance of framing things correctly.
We are waiting for someone, anyone, to frame things correctly. It took Bush five years to get to the point of using that phrase “Islamic fascists.” A tiny step, and insufficient. It must be followed by many more, until everyone understands that the duty of Jihad, to spread a belief-system which uncompromisingly divides the world between Believer and Infidel, is the problem. And it is a problem not only when terrorism is the instrument, but when the money weapon, and Da’wa, and demographic conquest, are the instruments. The plotters picked up in London are obviously the enemy, but so to are those Muslims who lie to us about Islam, who lead campaigns not to save souls, but to acquire, within the Infidel lands, more recruits for the army of Islam.
One of the least convincing arguments about the fiasco in Iraq is that “we have to fight them over there so we won’t have to fight them over here.” It is unconvincing because each passing day shows that they are “over here.” Each passing day shows that they do not have to find a place to train in Iraq, or Afghanistan. They can train in Pakistan — are we ready to invade Pakistan? And they do not even need Pakistan, or any country in Dar al-Islam. They can train down the street, in a basement, in a park, in an empty building, in a gymnasium, in a squat in Brick Lane over a curry takeaway, or in a posh apartment on Park Lane, funded by some rich Arab trying to atone, islamically speaking, for his decadent Western life by supporting such plots to kill Infidels, storing up points for his Muslim Heaven.
Bush is not there, and one doubts if he will get there. Why? He had a plan in Iraq, and now the plan has him. He still thinks that in Iraq there are those who are fighting against “freedom” and those who demonstrated that they “love freedom” by engaging in that purple-thumbed vote. Is that what happened? Did the Shi’a who voted in such numbers vote because they “love freedom”? Is that why they were so enthusiastic about the vote? Of course not. They were told to vote. They were issued a fatwa to vote. They wanted to vote because they knew that they constituted 60-65% of the Iraqi population, and they could win, or for those very rich American invaders, handing out all sorts of gifts and rewards, could legitimize, the transfer of power to them from the Sunnis that became inevitable once the regime of Saddam Hussein collapsed. Had the Sunnis constituted 60-65% of the population, instead of 19%, do you think they would not have enthusiastically gone to the polls and held up those purple thumbs? Of course they would have.
The phrase “Islamic fascists” still shows how far Bush is from understanding, how timid he will remain. He has not declared and will not declare, or even to hint at, the fact that it is Islam itself, not “perverted” nor “hijacked” but rightly, straightforwardly, understood, that is the source of the menace to us. He should further understand that his clumsy or awkward attempts to not-quite-understand, not-quite-comprehend, have real consequences for the fashioning of policies. These policies in Iraq and Afghanistan were, after the initial destruction of Al Qaeda’s setup in Afghanistan, and by the scouring of Iraq for all major weapons and weapons programs (the reason we were given for the invasion of Iraq, and a reason that, according to the information Congress and the public were given, was a rational one, for no Muslim state can be permitted to acquire or retain such weaponry), allowed to metastasize idiotically, pushed by the smooth Iraqi exiles, into becoming an attempt at instant makeover in Iraq.
If Islam is correctly identified as the source of the menace, so that Believers, to the extent that they are Believers and take Islam seriously, even if this must be expressed synecdochically by the word “Jihad,” then the folly of remaining in Iraq becomes clear. It may be that the Bush Administration is working backwards. It has a policy in Iraq. It doesn’t know how to get out of it in a way that is face-saving. And so we still have the fiction that we must support those good Muslims, those Muslims who “love freedom,” against that other group, the “Islamic fascists.” Yet this is a drama that does not exist, or is hardly useful. Does Al-Maliki strike you as someone who “loves freedom,” a regular reader of Spinoza and Hume, a man entranced by Jefferson and Madison, and the First Amendment? Does he? Does Al-Hakim? Does Moqtada al-Sadr? Does any of the winners in the winner’s circle in Iraq today strike you as a true friend of freedom, democracy, the individual rights enshrined in the American Constitution, and in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man? Even close?
There is the camp of Islam. There is the camp of the Infidels. Any Muslim who is a true Muslim is hostile to the camp of Infidels. It is not a question of “Islamic fascists” but of Muslims, and of the extent of their belief and their commitment and the choice of the instruments they use to further Jihad. But whatever instruments are used to further Jihad are, from our Infidel point of view, dangerous to us.
In Iraq we have available, at the same time, two of the three main divisions within the camp of Islam. Those sectarian and ethnic divisions, between Sunni and Shi’a, and between Arab and non-Arab Muslims, are just waiting to be exploited.
That Bush cannot see this, that he persists in his inability to name, or even to identify for himself, the enemy rightly, and thus pursues this policy in Iraq is both wasteful and dangerous. It is wasteful because of the expending of the lives of soldiers, who by the time of their second or third or even fourth tours, know what a crock the whole thing is. If they return, it is not out of any love for the so-called “Iraqis” but only out of a sense of duty and loyalty to fellow soldiers. But in the end the harm done to the morale of soldiers and officers has long-term consequences. The indifference to this by the Administration, with those Potemkin-village arranged meetings with Bush and a backdrop of a dozen soldiers carefully instructed not to say anything controversial, merely disgusts. And then there is the damage to civilian morale, and the discouraging of the forces that want a withdrawal in order to more effectively deploy resources, of men, materiel, and above all money. What could the costs, past, present, and committed for the future of this Iraq tarbaby — some $400 billion — have accomplished if it had been used entirely for nuclear, solar, and wind energy projects, and subsidies to mass transit, and other energy-saving programs? What might that have done to diminish the “money weapon” of Arab and other Muslim members of OPEC, and hence taken away the main weapon of Jihad, the one that after 1973 permitted the worldwide goals of Jihad to be undertaken instead of merely this or that local, or Lesser, Jihad (against Israel, against India)?
Some will be full of praise for Bush. In my view, the only praise will come when he finally understands that the camp of Islam must be weakened, and he acts accordingly in Iraq, using whatever excuse he needs: “we can’t get involved in a civil war” or “we’ve done our part, now it’s up to all Iraqis who love freedom to do theirs” or other plausible mountebank’s patter to the same general effect.
Until then, until this or any other Administration instructs us in the nature, the promptings, and the goals of Jihad, and in the various instruments of Jihad, we will still be lost in the darkness. Until this or any other Administration acts against not merely “terrorism” or those who “fund terrorism” but against all the instruments of Jihad, we will continue to be at a disadvantage. Until someone in power articulates the problem cleverly and convincingly, in a way that CAIR and other spokesmen for the Jihad (for what is CAIR if not an organization determined to spread the role, and therefore rule, of Islam?) will find, no matter how hysterically they scream, unanswerable — because based, unanswerably, on a knowledge of what is actully in that Qur’an, in those collections of Hadith, in that Life of Muhammad — we will continue to be losing this great struggle.