“Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.” – George Santayana
I would not say that the apologists for Islam, even the most shameless, have forgotten their aim. I think one of their highest hopes is that we, the opponents of Islam, forget the aim of these apologists, which is to achieve in the Western world, if not complete political clout and religious preponderance, then, for the time being, a reputation for good the religion of Islam has never acquired complete possession of. They are contented with the fact that we are conveniently distracted by the many violent examples of Islam’s most extreme blood-junkies while the less noticeable proponents of this insalubrious faith, with all the privileges our Western democracies provide, stealthily emasculate all willingness on the part of our elected leaders to resist the erosion of our traditions and our freedoms. We are asked to combat and halt the expansion of ISIS in the Middle East while simultaneously the apologists for Islam here condemn us for not accommodating the same religious garb the ISIS henchmen require their multiple wives and traumatized sex-slaves to wear over there.
The axiom “You can’t have it both ways” is rendered ever more meaningful by noetic contortionists like Tarek Fatah. His ilk promotes the premise that Islam is good, but only without the extremists and those “moderate” Muslims advocating sharia law. The problem with their premise is, obviously, that Islam is seldom, if ever, found anywhere in the world today without the extremists and sharia law advocates. Apologists like Fatah, while playing the Muslim-defender-of-Western-democracy card, are all the while defending the religion which, initially, gave birth to the extremist and those warped minds advocating for the implementation of sharia law into Western courts of law. I find no difference between the fanaticism of these self-deluded apologists and the fanaticism of the Islamists they condemn. Only they, and no one else, these apologists tell us, know the truth about Islam (which sounds very much like the Islamist boast). As Mr. Fatah once told a Canadian senator who was bold enough to question his defense of Islam, “Senator, I resent the fact that you’re teaching me about my religion.” I would have told Mr. Fatah, had I been that senator, that Islam is not his religion alone but also (and more precisely) the religion of Mohammed, of an atrocious history left in its wake, and of a few billion other Muslims along the way. I would have told Mr. Fatah also that Islam cannot be judged by the examples of a very few well-behaved Muslims but only by the masses whose behaviour, at the behest of the tenets of this angry ideology, is far from exemplary.
Islam cannot be exculpated from blame simply because, as Mr. Fatah tells the world, its application has been transmogrified long ago by violent and Jew-hating sheikhs. Islam is what Islam was and has become. There is only Islam, an ideology never intended to be non-aggressive and without imperialistic aims. Neil Kressel writes in Mass Hate, “And we are left with the bigger question, whether hatred traveling under the veil of extremist Islam will succeed in overpowering the more tolerant humanistic forces within the religion. Recent events leave us with few reasons for optimism.” As it turns out, Kressel’s book Mass Hate was published in 2002, and “recent events” since then (this being the year 2015), in my opinion, leave us absolutely no reason for optimism.
For Fatah and his kind to purport that Islam has no obvious connection to Islamist violence and Jew-hatred is as much fanatical behaviour as the Islamist proclaiming that this same violence and Jew-hatred is advocated by the tenets of Islam. Even more harmful than the Islamist fanaticism is the fact that the fanaticism of Fatah legitimizes Islam’s 7th century ideals and exculpates these same ideals from any responsibility for, or connection to, Islamist violence and barbarity in the world today. To dissemble that Islam does not advocate Jew-hatred and intolerance against all other religions (but especially against Judaism), to purport that all anti-Jewish violence on the part of Palestinians against Israeli civilians (Muslim, Jew, and Christian) would cease so soon as the State of Israel made room in their already tiny country for a Palestinian state is to expose oneself as a sophist driven more by Islamic imperialistic tendencies than one in possession of an honesty effective enough to publicly acknowledge the real reason for the lingering, ever-present impasse between Arab and Jew in the Middle East, which is the religion of Islam. As Raphael Israeli has written, “…when one bears in mind, on the one hand, the harsh, even fanatic, reaction of Muslims worldwide to what they perceive as the profanation of their holy sites or any slur to their culture, or the enthusiastic and self-assured way they go about spreading their faith and imposing it on others; but on the other hand, the unbearable ease with which they deny others’ religion rights, and even step in to obliterate the religious heritage of other faiths.”
Stephen Schwartz has written, “But even if Palestinians were not directly involved in September 11, many of them support the terror campaigns of the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Are they not victims of Israel? Do they not suffer in wretchedness, cooped up in camps? In reality, the answer is No…” So how does such a constituency, the same constituency responsible for setting Hamas into power in Gaza, appear to Tarek Fatah as so capable and willing to exist contiguously with the State of Israel? How could anyone not a fanatic suggest out of one side of his mouth such a perilous contrivance for the citizens of Israel while out of the other side of his mouth publicly inculpate the government of Israel for not acting in accord to such a perilous contrivance? And if it is true, as Mr. Fatah insists, that Mohammed’s Islam was hijacked along the way by Wahhabis and extremists and the subsequent despoiled version deceitfully imparted to the umma as the original Islam, how should we expect the same Umma (and especially the Palestinian segment), corrupted in such a manner, to live peaceably beside a predominantly Jewish state?
Again, Mr. Fatah, “You can’t have it both ways.” I believe your aim has always been to construct a mythical, modernity-friendly Islam, albeit a non-existent Islam, as a counterpoise to a very violent and unfriendly veridical Islam, the Islam that exists in the world today, just as it has since the time of Mohammed. But time is running out for you, Mr. Fatah. Two American presidential candidates have recently remarked unfavourably in regards to Islam. Of course, these statements must surely have caused great consternation and horror in the news rooms of what has become a morally defunct and epicene Western media. And these candidates, to my knowledge, are not retracting their statements. Your advocacy, on behalf of an Islam that has never existed, that will never exist, that you insist does exist, will soon be exposed as nothing short of the same fanaticism synonymous with so many of your fellow religious. Only yours is the “moderate” version.