Barack Obama has now assured the world’s Muslims that the United States “Is Not At War With Islam.” Apparently this declaration is supposed somehow to magically change things. Muslims will see us differently. And the deep source of their hostility, the inculcated opposition to all Infidels who appear resistant to the spread and dominance of Islam, or the attempt to spread Islam and have it dominate, is somehow to undergo a sea change. But how exactly will an assurance made by a young President who, self-assured himself, is altogether shaky on the subject of Islam, manage to change the immutable texts and tenets, that is, the ideology, of Islam?
We are told, the Turks have just been told, the whole world has been told, by Barack Obama, with stunning presumption, that the United States (and presumably the rest of the West) is “not at war with Islam. ” But, still worse, the peoples of the West, and the rest of the Infidel world, continue to not be informed by the members of their political and media elites. Therefore they fail to grasp in sufficient numbers that Islam is a belief-system that inculcates views in its adherents — many of whom, almost all of whom, do take their Islam seriously — that the division of humanity that matters is not between the good and the bad, the just and the unjust, or any other division save that between Muslim and Infidel. And the former have a duty to remove, everywhere in the world, whatever obstacles that the Infidels have created to the spread and then the dominance of Islam.
Such obstacles may be military in nature, or they may consist of legal and political institutions that embody and help to sustain a different view of humanity from that which Islam mandates. For example, the individual liberties guaranteed by the American Constitution flatly contradict, in letter and spirit, the Holy Law of Islam, the Shari’a. Barack Obama, who lectured for years at the University of Chicago in Constitutional Law, and takes pride in his grasp of and respect for the Constitution, appears not to have given thought to what the Shari’a is all about.
For Obama, knowledge of Islam, of its texts and its tenets and its history, has not been important. His knowledge of this most-literal and book-centered, of ideologies is not that acquired through reading, but rather, through his “experience” of Islam, as supplemented by the Assumptions of the Age, especially that which tells us that All Religions Are The Same, We All Want The Same Thing, and People Are The Same The Whole World Over. “Diversity” yes, as long as that “diversity” is understood to mean, in the end, a fundamental Sameness that is not to be questioned. He, Barack Obama, “knows” about Islam because from the ages of 6 to 10 he lived in Indonesia, just the way that Paul Wolfowitz “knew” about Islam and hence became so enthusiastic for the Iraq venture. Wolfowitz did not grasp the essential folly of thinking that a Muslim state could become “democratic” and even a model for other Muslim states, a veritable Light Unto the Muslim Nations.
The premise and the assumptions behind Obama’s remarks indicate his willingness to ignore the nature of Islam, or to feel he has no obligation to study the matter or, at the very least, to consult the studies of the greatest Western scholars of Islam. The greatest Western scholars of Islam are not the espositos and armstrongs and MESA-NOSTRA apologists, but Joseph Schacht, and C. Snouck Hurgronje, and Arthur Jeffrey, and Henri Lammens, and many dozens of others who wrote before the Age of Apology and Inhibition set in, round about 1970, all over the Western world. Obama has not read the Muslim texts and their Muslim commentators — when those commentators are writing not apologetics for Infidels, but the Muslim understanding for Muslim audiences. And finally, he has so far failed to consult the great defectors from Islam — Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, and many others, not all of them household names, who are even more valuable, in their knowledge from inside the world of Islam, than the defectors from the NKVD, or KGB, were during the long period of the Cold War.
It is bad to state — why say anything at all? — that America is “not at war with Islam.” We are, after all, at the beginning, not at the successful end, of a contest that is not merely a “Long War” (the Bush Administration’s curious formulation) but a war without end, though not necessarily a war through military means. The Muslim understanding of Muslim texts is clear, and both Muslim scholars — has Obama read them? — and the Western scholars of Islam know that Islam is a faith that insists that its adherents have a duty to participate, directly or indirectly, in the “Jihad” or “struggle” to push back the borders of the Dar al-Islam until they are coterminous with the world itself. Muslims must identify all those obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam, and work to remove those obstacles. Such obstacles could be an army. It could be an Infidel nation-state, especially gnawing if that nation-state is on land once possessed by Muslims. Israel, India, the Balkans, the Iberian Peninsula, and Sicily were all once under Muslim rule, and therefore they are at the top of the To-Do List of Muslims, though it could happen through demographic conquest that lands never before under Muslim rule should succumb to it before, say, one of the parts of the world on that To-Do List succumbs to Islam. This is all part of the duty of “Jihad” — because it is Islam itself that calls for a “struggle” or Jihad against all Infidels, a struggle that may take the form of open warfare, that is, qitaal, or what for many Muslims is merely a justified variant (because the Infidels are militarily stronger) of qitaal, what we in the Infidel world have no difficulty defining as “terrorism,” but can also employ many other instruments — the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da’wa, and demographic conquest — in order to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam.
There is no sign that Barack Obama has studied the texts or tenets of Islam. Nor is there any sign that those texts or tenets have been studied by those who think they have so ingeniously been “reaching out” to the world’s Muslims — as they continue, by doing so, to ignore their responsibility to instruct their own people (not necessarily directly, for sometimes oblique methods will do) in what Islamic texts inculcate, what the tenets of Islam are, and what attitudes naturally arise among those who grow up in states, or societies, or communities suffused with Islam. And even if one wishes to argue that “moderate” Muslims do not fully subscribe to those tenets, or do not always exhibit the attitudes that a Muslim exhibits when he takes his Islam not diluted or nuanced by time and history, including the effect of proximity to large numbers of non-Muslims (as in the Balkans, or in Kazakhstan, or to a much lesser extent, in Lebanon and Indonesia), at least those who govern us all over the Western world, have a duty to inform and instruct us. And they have a duty not to inform or instruct us in pieties that do not reflect reality, but are deliberately intended to mask that reality, in the hope of somehow confusing Muslims themselves as to what Islam inculcates, and what it requires of its adherents. This is a vain attempt, and a dangerous one, for the only people likely to be confused are non-Muslims, and perhaps even the utterers — such as Obama, or Blair, or Bush — of such preposterousnesses themselves. Since Obama is much more intelligent than Bush, and less, one hopes, of a sentimentalist, his misstatements are even less forgivable.
One has a duty to inform the people you claim to be able to protect as to what those tenets are. Certainly nothing should be done to further confuse people, or to delay the day of recognition that, among the more vigilant and intelligent, has already come, even if sometimes such knowledge, and the misgivings about Islam that it naturally engenders, has not always and everywhere been expressed with full-throated, well-justified alarm. This confusion delays the recognition that Islam is based on a division of the world between Muslim and Infidel, and an insistence that a state of permanent war exists between the two, and always will, until such time as Muslims fulfill their duty of “struggle” or Jihad so as to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam everywhere. It is most accurate to say that Islam is always making war, often through means other than the military (as in Western Europe), sometimes even unrecognized or imperceptible (especially when Muslims are keenly aware of their weakness vis-a-vis Infidels), sometimes quite open and aggressive (when they feel that Infidels are weak, and susceptible to Muslim demands and pressure and even outright military aggression).
Most fail to realize that whether Barack Obama declares that “we are not at war with Islam” once, or twice, or a hundred times, the grim fact remains what it has been for 1350 years, everywhere that Muslims have gone, and have behaved as their belief-system so clearly dictates: “Islam is at war with us.”