Not long ago Robert Spencer and another speaker were attempting to elucidate, for an audience in New York, the ideology of Islam, that ideology that explains, without much trouble, the behavior of many Muslims, and the real attitudes of many more. Someone in the audience caused a stir, and while the security guards ran to deal with it, from an unsecured side door out rushed two people bearing pies that they flung at Spencer (who successfully dodged the pie meant for him) and his associate, Mr. Elan Journo, who was not quite so quick, and was hit. These were pies, and pie-throwing may make us think of the late Soupy Sales, and campus shenanigans that are supposed to be hilarious but somehow never are.
But in this case, the pie-throwing was no joke, because what the speakers were speaking about was Islam, and in many countries many death threats have been delivered, and some of those death threats acted upon, in many different places. A Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie was stabbed to death; a Norwegian translator was attacked but survived. Political figures, such as Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands, have been killed. Cultural gadflies, who dared to deal with Islam as they dealt with Christianity or Judaism or the monarchy or anything else, such as Theo van Gogh, were killed. Wafa Sultan must live in hiding. Geert Wilders, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Magdi Allam, in Europe, must all travel with a constant escort of armed guards, and Wilders, at least, must frequently move from house to army base to house.
People suddenly appeared from the side entries running toward the speakers with something that “looked like pies” — but pies can contain all kinds of toxic substances, and can even conceal bombs. How are the police or security guards to know that what is being hurled is a pie, that the pie contains nothing toxic, that the pie is not a diversion for someone else’s gun? If we did not have a long history, in this country and in other countries, of Muslim death threats, and the carrying out of such threats, we would not be compelled to consider this possibility.
Given the world today, we must consider it. And those who disrupt such gatherings which attempt, in the mildest and most reasonable of ways, to present certain uncomfortable home truths, should be met with appropriate force. “Appropriate” force means “reasonable” force. If such an attack were made, say, on Ayaan Hirsi Ali, would her contingent of Dutch bodyguards, trained in the use of deadly force, not be perfectly justified in not hesitating, not waiting to find out, but in using that force? And those who protect Geert Wilders?
Charges should be pressed, and a case made that will ensure the pie-throwers are themselves thrown out of decent society. A jail sentence might be just the ticket. A little time in Riker’s can help change behavior, if not win hearts and minds. The hearts and minds of those who threw those pies are impervious to reason and decency. So forget about that. Just change their behavior. And make the punishment sufficient to give others pause.
If those setting out the ideology of the Nazis before an audience in, say, New York, in 1942, that is, once the war had begun, been attacked, what would the government have done to the attackers? But, you will say, we are “not at war.” Oh yes we are. The Jihad war has begun in earnest, and along with the many thousands of terrorist attacks by Muslims recorded just since 9/11/2001, the other instruments, even more effective than those acts of terrorism, of Jihad include deployment of the Money Weapon (and the propaganda it can buy), campaigns of Da’wa, and demographic conquest.
Those who attempt to shut down or intimidate, not rabble-rousers, but all those who try to elucidate matters by quite reasonably bringing to the public’s attention the texts and tenets of Islam that explain the acts and the attitudes of many Muslims, which cannot be changed unless Islam itself were to be changed or the Qur’an cease to be regarded as the uncreated, literal Word of God, should be heard. For what they are attempting to make clear is that those texts, those tenets, explain Muslim behavior, including the behavior of those murderous smilers in that novemdectet, acting — as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan, Magdi Allam, and all the other defectors from the Army of Islam well know and have explained and explained — according to, and not in opposition to, the texts, the tenets, the attitudes, the atmospherics of Islam. Not all Muslims take Islam fully to heart. Some, fortunately, are lapsed or indifferent or bad Muslims. But those who take their Islam straight up, instead of on the rocks, need to be understood. We won’t have what the Muslim boys in the back room are having; we just need to know exactly what is in their drink. And that is an effort that recent events at Fort Hood make clear that many of us, and many of those who rule over us or are supposed to instruct or defend us, have not yet done. But they will.