As I travel around the country and give talks trying to raise awareness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, the question I am most often asked is, “What can we do? What can I, as a private citizen, do to help defeat the global jihad?”
There are as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it. Raising awareness of the problem, amid the prevailing fog of political correctness and multiculturalism, is still the primary task we face. That is, of course, what this site attempts to do, and there is a growing number of other sites that do so as well. Some may give articles or books to friends and relatives. Others may write letters to the editor — certainly there is enough CAIR propaganda in any American newspaper on any given day to warrant a reply. Still others may attend mosque open houses, and try to find out what their local mosque teaches about jihad and Islamic supremacism, and who funds it — and to call public attention to the findings and their implications, whatever they may be. Some may begin to ask their elected officials for clarity in their stance on these questions, signaling (as the numbers of such people grow) that we are no longer willing to accept myopic misguided policies based on politically correct misdiagnoses of the challenge we face. Ultimately what one person can do depends on his or her time, resources, intelligence, imagination, interests, dedication, and a thousand other things.
But amid the myriad of possibilities that a determined anti-jihadist might take up, a few recent news stories indicate several paths not to take.
One is the brouhaha in Florida: see “Bush blasts couple’s comments: Mary Ann Hogan responds that she’s been left cold by some of the governor’s statements, too,” by Asjylyn Loder in the St. Petersburg Times. Governor Jeb Bush, the President’s brother, has condemned Hernando County commissioner Tom Hogan and his wife Mary Ann for remarks about Islam. “There is no room for bigotry and hatred in the state of Florida,” huffs Bush’s communications director, Alia Faraj. “The governor is extremely disappointed in their inappropriate comments.”
A letter by Mary Ann Hogan to the St. Petersburg Times touched off the furor. She objected to the county”s assistance to a local mosque’s celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan on Oct. 23.
“Don’t the administrators of this county know that in honor of Ramadan the Muslims in Iraq have killed an even greater number of our soldiers and Marines than in the preceding months?” she wrote. “The stated goal of the Muslim faith is to kill us, the ‘infidels.” By providing county employees for their use Hernando County is sanctioning this hateful, frightening religion.”
Now, it is certainly true that, at least in this one St. Petersburg Times story, neither Jeb Bush nor CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper or Ahmed Bedier say that what Mary Ann Hogan said is false. CAIR is masterful at mau-mauing people for true statements about Islam, but in this case something Mary Ann Hogan says is indeed false, and that fatally weakens the point she is trying to make. She says, “The stated goal of the Muslim faith is to kill us, the ‘infidels.– In fact, as I have pointed out here hundreds of times, the stated goal of Muhammad the prophet of Islam, and the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence, is not to “kill us, the ‘infidels,'” but to extend the hegemony of Islamic law over the world. Muhammad told his followers to offer “polytheists” conversion, subjugation as dhimmis, or war, and Qur’an 9:29 makes it clear that that offer is to be extended to Jews and Christians. Cherry-picking violent texts? Alas, no: the imperative that the Islamic umma must wage war against non-Muslims until they either convert or submit is taught by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and reinforced by the near-unanimous example of Islamic history. Contemporary jihadists invoke these texts to justify their actions and make recruits among Muslims, as I show in my book The Truth About Muhammad.
This is a global problem, few are facing up to it, and CAIR et al are skillfully using charges of “bigotry” against those who point out the Islamic teachings that are justifying violence and need to be addressed by Islamic reformers if they are sincere about reform. But to characterize the situation as Muslims wanting to “kill us, the ‘infidels'” is an inaccurate and inflammatory reductionism that only makes the speaker sound like a crank, instead of sounding the alarm in any effective way. Likewise the “hateful, frightening religion” remark. There are aspects of Islam that are hateful and frightening indeed, and aspects that aren’t. There are Muslims who are hateful and frightening, and Muslims who aren’t. It is much better, I believe, to focus on the aspects that are hateful and frightening and oppose them on the grounds of human rights, human decency, Judeo-Christian values. Characterizing the religion as a whole as hateful and frightening just made it easier for CAIR to pounce, and for Bush to throw the Hogans to the wolves.
I sympathize with Tom and Mary Ann Hogan. But I believe that Bush really could do nothing else, given the situation. If their statement had been completely accurate and less inflammatory, it might have been more difficult to dismiss, although of course CAIR has never been stopped by accurate, scrupulously careful statements in the past. I do believe, nevertheless, that careful accuracy in anti-jihadist statements is imperative, and gives the opposition less to work with.
The other thing “not to do” is more spectacular, and less likely to be imitated in any case: “Priest burns himself to death over Islam,” from the TimesOnline, with thanks to all who sent this in:
A retired priest committed suicide by setting himself on fire in a German monastery in protest at the spread of Islam and the Protestant Church’s inability to contain it.
Roland Weisselberg, 73, poured a can of petrol over his head and set light to himself in the grounds of the Augustine monastery in the eastern city of Erfurt, where Martin Luther spent six years as a monk at the beginning of the 16th century…..
The Provost of Erfurt, Elfriede Begrich, told reporters that Weisselberg’s widow had said that he killed himself because he was alarmed at the spread of Islam and the Church’s stance on the issue.
She described Weisselberg as an erudite man who had addressed repeatedly the Church’s position on Islam in meetings over the past three to four years. He had written to her, urging her to take the matter more seriously, she said.
The Protestant Bishop of Saxony, Axel Noack, said the suicide had shocked the community and that he hoped it would not hurt relations between Christians and Muslims.
Oh heavens to betsy, Noack, I hope not. But in any case, I find this story ineffably sad. Not only is a man dead, and needlessly, but in an certain sense his action recapitulates what has so far been the stance of Western authorities toward the jihad threat: instead of a strong defense of our people, our values, and our civilization, we are getting self-immolation: endless self-recriminations about what we have done to set off the poor dears, and what we can do to pacify them; endless concessions to jihadist intimidation and Sharia insinuations in the West, endless assumptions that somehow the whole problem can be bought off.
Well, it can’t. As Tawfik Hamid said, “Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They’re slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can’t you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want.” This is self-immolation no less than Weisselberg’s, and it must stop. It is time to fight, with all our military and cultural and spiritual and intellectual resources, not to destroy ourselves in one grand gesture of despair.
Let us fight now, so as to win.