Those who are criticizing Congressman Virgil Goode these days are engaging in moral preening, without any felt need of responsibility to study carefully both the actual contents of the belief-system too easily assumed to be a “religion” (and therefore, presumably, to be accorded the status of a Good Thing). It is assumed, furthermore, to be a “religion” just like, more or less, any other (because we are told or allow ourselves to believe that All Religions Stand for the Same Thing).
Nor is there any felt need to study the actual history of Jihad-conquest and of the subsequent treatment, according to well-elaborated rules that are to be found in the Shari’a (see Antoine Fattal, “Le status legal des non-musulmanes en pays d’Islam” for the best compendium), of non-Muslims. There is, after all, a complete doctrine set out for Muslims, and the division of the world between Believer and Infidel remains central to Islam, and does not differ between Sunni and Shi’a, or for that matter, in any important way, among the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence.
Moral preening: we know, say the editorial writers of the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. So sayeth Susan Estrich, still casting about for something else to say since her long-ago book on rape and flurry of brief fame for some world-conquering purchase on the universe: we know all about Islam. How do we know? Oh, we just know. And therefore we just know that Virgil Goode is a bigot, and we know that the people in France, Italy, England, Germany, and Holland who are worried to death about the colossal presence of Muslims have nothing to worry about. And we know that all those who do worry aloud about the islamization of the Western world — such as Bassam Tibi, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina — are bigots all, and so too is the scholar of the dhimmi condition Bat Ye’or, and Professor Bernard Lewis, and Professor Hans Jansen, and so many other of Europe’s true scholars (as opposed to the apologists paid for by the Saudis and other Arabs). So too was the late Oriana Fallaci (wasn’t she practically a Fascist? Wasn’t her family part of Mussolini’s crowd?), and Alain Finkielkraut, and Alain Besancon, and Pavel Kohout, and those crazed right-wing editors of Jyllands-Posten, and that crazed bigot Theo van Gogh, and all the others who have concluded that Jihad is something to be resisted. They are bigots all, although some have come to their conclusions about Jihad from their direct experience with large numbers of Muslim immigrants to the Lands of the Infidels (as Muslims call them). Others have come to these conclusions through their study of the canonical texts of Islam — Qur’an, Hadith, Sira. Still others have come to them through their study of the history of Muslim conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims. Finally, some have realized that Jihad is a menace through taking in, and making sense of, observable Muslim behavior in the southern Sudan, in Nigeria during the Biafra War caused by the “Jihad” against the Christians (as Col. Ojukwu noted in the Ahiara Declaration), in Thailand, and in Bangladesh and Pakistan (where life has led to a steady outward flow of Hindus and other non-Muslims escaping Muslim persecution and murder, while the Muslim population of India itself steadily rises both relatively and absolutely). They have observed the treatment of non-Muslims everywhere in Dar al-Islam. The states — such as Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran — that are most fanatically Muslim in their application of the Shari’a are the most dangerous for non-Muslims. Life is only better for non-Muslims in the handful of Muslim states that have mitigated the force of Shari”a, either through the benefits of Kemalism, as in Turkey, or because of the Soviet campaign against religious belief and the forced secularization of so many now-nominal Muslims, as in Kazakhstan (the other four “stans” are another matter).
No, none of this is studied, and a good deal more is ignored as well. Don’t confuse us with facts. We are good Americans. Virgil Goode is a bad American. Only a Bad American — the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun suddenly have draped themselves in the mantle of, and are channeling the voices of, Martin Dies and the House Un-American Activities Committee — can conceivably worry about Islam or about Muslim immigration.
Just look at France, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden. Look in particular at Malmo, and at Rotterdam. What’s the problem? What’s worrisome about any of that?