“Though tempered and qualified in different places and at different times, the Islamic longing for unfettered suzerainty has never disappeared, and has resurfaced in our own day with a vengeance.” – Efraim Karsh, from Islamic Imperialism, a history
Reading about ISIS in the newspapers every day is, for me, like reading a page—any page, from any time—of Islam’s history. Nothing much changes for the better when it comes to Islam. People come and people go—rulers and leaders and citizens (infidels and faithful both)—but Islam, whether the good strain or the bad, remains a constant on the planet Earth. “Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world…” portended Khaled Mash’al, leader of Hamas.
Of course, this has been the dream of many of Islam’s would-be kings and Caliphs since the time of the Prophet Mohammed. No revelation there. But what is most surprising to me is that so many of Islam’s decriers and defenders actually believe this expansionist dream has ever reposed from existence or become dormant. This dream, this imperial vision, is the very essence of Islam and the sole reason its religious zealots remain a threat to the Western world to date; its carcinogenic hatred of everything and everyone obstructing its movement abroad and beyond its traditional borders is the very same self-sustaining power today insidiously worming pathways into the governments of Western democracies. As Bertold Brecht wrote, “War is like love, it always finds a way.”
The bad news is, the Western world, whether we like it or not, is not immune from something so insalubrious and indefinite: Islam is here to stay, and with it the Quran’s political imperative of jihad against the “infidel nations.” This imperative—this expansionist ideal—makes Islam meaningful and attractive to all those who harbour panoramic visions of kingdom and caliphate. And as Neil J. Kressel warns in his book Mass Hate, “The supporters of Muslim extremism do not constitute a majority of Islamic believers, but neither are they an insignificant number.” The fact that those who support Islamic extremism are a minority within the Muslim communities around the world does not mean they are small in number, nor does it mean they are inefficacious.
Islamic jihad is never satisfied with its own, but only with complete possession of the other. They want only the field next to theirs, and once in their possession, Islam and the Muslim world concede nothing. It is meaningless to the Arab Muslim that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has been a holy site for Jews long before the Prophet Mohammed and even longer before his Muslim hordes invaded ancient Israel. The sensibilities of Christians are of no concern to the Muslim extremist whose religious intolerance has made Nazareth today almost uninhabitable for them. Samuel P. Huntington wrote that, “Islamic culture explains in large part the failure of democracy to emerge in much of the Muslim world.”
What has emerged in the Muslim world, again and again, from ancient times until the present day, is Islamic jihad. This is the toothache that won’t go away. And now its ugly head has surfaced in the West, most recently in Canada, which goes to prove Ajai Sahni’s statement, that “There is no locus of terrorism. The locus of terrorism is wherever the ideologies of terrorism penetrate, wherever they find supporters and sympathizers.” Islamic jihad is perpetuated in United States and Canada by all those who actively condone and support the political objectives of Hamas and Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. But also, and more deceptively, because of the fact that they do not publicly condemn Hamas and Hezbollah outright, by all those who instead excoriate the State of Israel and the defence of its citizens, which is, inevitably, in colligation with the policies and ideals of these extremely anti-Jewish terrorist entities.
Contemporary anti-Zionism, the noisy and aggressive sort espoused on North American campuses by pro-Palestinian supporters, has now become the new face of Islamic jihad: the political aims of the most violent and genocidal terrorist entities are touted on our campuses by these political parvenus as honourable and desirable for society at large. These anti-Israel activists are the next generation of Islamic jihad, not simply because they condemn the State of Israel and its Jewish citizens, but precisely because they consciously betray and trample all good things democratic to do so.
Michael Devolin has been a member of JDL Canada since the 1980s, and has served as the personal bodyguard to Meir Weinstein, National Director of JDL Canada, at several high-profile trials, including the Jim Keegstra hate crimes trial and the Imra Finta war crimes trial.