We may be witnessing something of a public conversion. Last week, I posted an article on JW from Townhall.com by Frank Pastore entitled “Islam Is Not the Enemy!” in which he criticizes those who see Islam and the West as incompatible. I thought it a good example of conventional misunderstanding. I see that it attracted 311 comments over at Townhall.com and got an average vote of two-out-of-five. I even think I saw a few Jihad Watch noms de plume chiming in.
Well, Mr Pastore is back with “Islam is Not the Enemy, Part II” — and no exclamation point. Let’s see what he has to say.
The elevator doors opened and in walked a young woman dressed in the traditional veiled hijab — I”m assuming she was a Muslim — and I thought to myself, “Is she my enemy?” Looking at the reaction to my last column, there’s a whole bunch of people whose default position is to believe so — and maybe they”re right. In their minds, “Islam is the enemy. We”re at war. She shouldn’t be here.” It’s that simple to them.
I suppose there are some people that simple, but most I expect are able to distinguish between the ideology and the individuals who may or may not fully subscribe to it.
After a brief Platonic interlude, Mr Pastore continues:
As Americans, we believe in the free exercise of religion, including Islam — but this belief is not reciprocal.
So, how do we deal with tolerating a religion that is itself intolerant of us? Ought we to pride ourselves on our tolerance and eagerly embrace their intolerance even if it leads to our own destruction? Or, perhaps we ought to abandon our First Amendment and be intolerant of Islam while tolerating only those “acceptable” religions that we decide are “peaceful”? Or, should we intolerantly force them to abandon their religion and embrace a “moderate” replacement that we approve of?
See, the problem is, Christianity teaches the Golden Rule while Islam doesn’t. The Koran teaches that every Muslim is superior to every non-Muslim and that men are superior to women. A Muslim may treat a Jew, a Buddhist, or a Christian with respect, but they will never be considered equals, for they are dhimmis, a near-slave status in Muslim teaching. This is the fundamental reason why Islam is incompatible with democracy and thereby the West.
The plot thickens!
In Islam, the world is divided into the world of believers, dar al Islam, and that of unbelievers, dar al harb. Islam is not merely at war with the West, it is at war with the world. No authority is higher than the infallible divine law contained in the closed canon of the Koran. Sharia law trumps all other claims to divine law, all natural law, and all positive law. No Muslim can be under any authority other than sharia law. To do so is to render oneself apostate and deserving of death. Reason itself is unable to inquire into the morality of the divine law. This is why the concepts of state, citizen, nation, pluralism and tolerance are alien to Islam. It is also why perhaps there is no more clear instance of the reformer’s di-lemma in all of history. To reform one must question, and to question is forbidden.
The challenge of the West to live peaceably with Islam is made perhaps impossible by both the historical record and simply by looking around today. What do nearly all the problem spots around the world have in common? What dominant Muslim country has anything approaching real human rights? Where are the Muslim denunciations of violence, terrorism, genocide, and slavery coming from the many mosques, universities, newspapers and capitols throughout the Muslim world? For that matter, where are the condemnations of these things coming from the American Muslim community? There are over one billion Muslims on this planet and their collective silence on these evils is deafening and threatening. What are we non-Muslims to think, other than that the vast majority of Muslims must either support if not tolerate such things? Perhaps “moderate” Islam is merely a Western fiction created to avoid addressing the unavoidable and inevitable reality of civilizational incompatibility.
The loudest and most clear message we non-Muslims hear from the Muslim world is “Convert, submit to Dhimmitude, or die.” Come to think of it, I”m not hearing any other message. And that is what is so deeply troubling.
Well! Quite a turnaround. I see Mr Pastore’s rating has gone from two- to four-out-of-five. Not bad.