What if that plot to blow up airliners had not been detected well in advance, but had succeeded? What then? What would have followed? Other than stricter security measures at airports, what punishment would have been meted out to Muslims, to their interests, to the Umma — a collective punishment as in modern warfare punishments always are, so that it would be far less likely to happen again? What exactly would the Western world, would the United States, would Great Britain, would France, would Germany, would all the countries of the Western world have done?
Would they have bombed several of the entry points into Mecca, so as to limit access to it, and threatened to steadily bomb others, until such time as only one narrow road led in and out — a far better step, because deliberately incremental, than destroying Mecca or the Ka’ba itself, the Magic Wonderstone often confused with the meteorite which it contains within? Would they have promptly seized the assets of Saudis and other rich Arabs, declaring these to be the assets of enemy aliens, whose property was seized during World War II — or would that first require legislation? Would they do something, as obviously they should, to damage the interests of Muslims living within the Bilad al-kufr, the Lands of the Infidels, deep behind what Muslims themselves are taught to regard as enemy lines?
One wishes to know. Surely Muslims should know that these things are now being talked about, and that they cannot continue to assume that no matter what happens, their position in the Western world is safe, that the Western peoples will continue to exhibit the extraordinary forbearance that they have exhibited? Does one forget how the United States, which in the late 1930s had the 18th largest army in the world, roused itself, in a vision almost like Milton’s “methinks I see a puissant power,” and churned out tens of thousands of planes and tanks, many of them sent to the Soviet Union as part of a non-returnable Lend-Lease, and to the United Kingdom, and then entered the war? And within two years of entering the war American bombers were taking part in raids on Berlin and bombing German cities, and then Japanese cities.
The Arabs and Muslims do not really comprehend what warfare is. They have lost only to tiny Israel, a country determined not to use its full armory, and so far very solicitous of the enemy — partly because of that supposedly impressive but actually maddening doctrine of “purity of arms” (which gets them no points outside of Israel, none). Israel has never been permitted by the outside world, or by its own scruples, to inflict the kind of damage that the rest of the Western world can and will inflict, and not only militarily.
The plotters in England, or in a hundred other places, do not know this. No one has told them that there will be consequences. No one has told them that this can and will by many be treated as an act of war, an act of war by all those who participate in, or support financially or morally or demographically, the Jihad. This has to be discussed.
Again, I ask: if ten airliners had blown up in midflight over the Atlantic, what would have been the consequences, not merely for “increased security measures” and attempts to monitor specific individuals who are members of identifiable Muslim terror groups, but consequences for Muslims in Dar al-Harb, and Dar al-Islam? There cannot be any kind of deterrence for some thoroughly demented fanatics. But others will refrain from attacking. Egypt does not attack Israel, nor does Jordan, nor does Syria, and not because the first two have signed peace treaties. They do not attack because they are deterred. Deterrence may not work for all Muslims, but it will work with a great many. But they have to know that a price will be paid — a price comparable to that paid by Nazi Germany, by Imperial Japan.
And this brings me to the Taj Mahal, that “tear in marble.” Shah Jehan may have been one more Mughal ruler, the site itself probably built by Hindu workman for the Muslim lord. It is, however, to Muslims also part of India’s economy, a symbol of the nation to tourists, and so a fit target.
What if it were to be blown up? What then? What would the government of India, or the Hindus and Sikhs and other non-Muslims of India, do to Muslim interests in India? Would the mosques remain exempt from attack?
What would happen? What would not happen? Perhaps it is better to threaten repercussions now, so as to prevent certain kinds of behavior, rather than to let everyone think that nothing will be done in response. The more we begin to talk aloud about a proper response, the more we discuss all the measures that might in the future need to be taken, the more that is likely to prevent attacks by Muslims who follow keenly all that the Infidels say and do.
They have been led to believe that they can get away, in many places, with murder or even mass-murder. And still the Muslim immigrants arrive. Still they are allowed to bring in their families, still they are allowed to exploit the system, still they are allowed to make demands for changes in our rights, in our legal and political institutions and social arrangements.
These smug assumptions must be undone. Muslims should be treated with something like the same attitude, and the same solicitude, that they so famously exhibit and offer to non-Muslims all over Dar al-Islam. How could any Muslim object to that?