Talking about political Islam

Non-Muslims in the West are beginning to be divided into two groups: those who believe that it is possible and necessary to talk about political Islam, and those who see that discussion as religious prejudice, and therefore taboo.

The present American administration falls into the latter group. While it is committed to fighting against those who are waging war — jihad — against us, it has abstracted the violence from its religious/ideological context, and has done its best to forbid our government and law enforcement agencies from mentioning the context.

This is a logically incoherent position, and prevents us from taking appropriate actions to protect our liberal, secular and democratic way of life.

One of the main problems is that the ideology of political Islam calls for both violent and non-violent action to change the nature of society — American and European society — in accordance with Islam’s ideal, which is as different from ours as seventh-century Arabia is from the 18th century Enlightenment.

For example, recently we have been hearing about the ‘moderate’ Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. It is true that the Ikhwan (Brotherhood) is not presently engaged in actual warfare with the West, the way al-Qaeda is. But thanks to Raymond Ibrahim, we have a statement by Dr. Muhammad Badi, leader of the Brotherhood since 2010 that explains its true objective:

Dr. Muhammad Badi, supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said: “The Brotherhood is getting closer to achieving its greatest goal as envisioned by its founder, Imam Hassan al-Banna. This will be accomplished by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system [based on Islamic sharia], with all its institutions and associations, including a government evolving into a rightly guided caliphate and mastership of the world.” Badi added in his weekly message yesterday [12/29/11]: “When the Brotherhood started its advocacy [da’wa], it tried to awaken the nation from its slumber and stagnation, to guide it back to its position and vocation. In his message at the sixth caucus, the Imam [Banna] defined two goals for the Brotherhood: a short term goal, the fruits of which are seen as soon as a person becomes a member of the Brotherhood; and a long term goal that requires utilizing events, waiting, making appropriate preparations and prior designs, and a comprehensive and total reform of all aspects of life.” The leader of the Brotherhood continued: “The Imam [Banna] delineated transitional goals and detailed methods to achieve this greatest objective, starting by reforming the individual, followed by building the family, the society, the government, and then a rightly guided caliphate and finally mastership of the world” [emphasis added by Ibrahim].

This is somewhat incompatible with the principles of our Founding Fathers, isn’t it!

Especially in Europe after the mass murder committed by Anders Behring Breivik, any deviation from politically correct speech about Islam is criticized as “right-wing extremism,” tantamount to neo-Nazism. For example, in a fascinating interview, the Norwegian blogger Peder Jensen (‘Fjordman’) described his experience:

I have never once met Anders Behring Breivik in my entire life and have been checked out of the case by the police after an extremely thorough investigation that at best operated at the very fringes of what could be considered legal. I am obviously aware of the fact that I am one of the many people who have been quoted a number of times in ABB’s so-called manifesto. I intensely dislike this, as most sensible people would do in my place, but since all of my writings are available on the Internet there is, sadly, little I can do about that. I see no reason why others should be held accountable for the acts of an insane person they have never met.

I did seriously consider quitting as a writer in the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks due to the immense international pressure on my person at that time and because I genuinely felt horrible about being quoted by such a man. Being dragged into the Breivik case against my will is the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. After coming to my senses and recharging my mental batteries I decided to continue after all. I remain dedicated to the truth. Whatever was true before Breivik is also true after Breivik. If I ever quit as a writer I want this to be my own choice, not something I am forced to do by others.

Although Jensen vehemently opposes multiculturalism and calls for an end to Muslim immigration into Europe, he has never advocated violence against Muslims or left-wingers. He is not a racist or extremist, although he is regularly called such, as well as blamed for the murderous actions of Breivik.

If we want to survive as a culture, we cannot continue to ignore reality, to live in a world undergoing a titanic struggle while pretending that the struggle does not exist.

Is it possible for the Enlightenment-based West to coexist with Islam? Is it true a priori that Islam must be expansionist? We need to understand Islam in order to find out.

We can start on the road to understanding by dropping the rules of political correctness. It is possible to distinguish between opposing an ideology that wishes to harm us and irrational prejudice without making rules about what we are allowed to say, and what ideas we are allowed to entertain.

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