The War on Terror is a War of Ideas

The War on Terror is a War of Ideas – Page 1 – Jeff Jacoby – Townhall Conservative.

In the above link Jeff Jacoby comments on a subject that I think gets to the heart of the matter. Here is Jacoby quoting President Bush in the wake of 9/11. Bush is speaking to a joint session of Congress and it should be pointed out not using the opportunity to launch his re-election campaign as Obama did last week.

“Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime, but its goal is not making money,” Bush said. “Its goal is remaking the world — and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.” (Pres. George Bush)

Focus on the second part of the quote: Al Qaeda’s goal is remaking the world-and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.”

In saying this Bush cut to the chase of the conflict. Rather than give in to the idiotic hand wringing as the left asked “why do they hate us” Bush addressed the ultimate issue head on. They hate us because of who we are-period, and they won’t rest until they are dead or get their way.

The argument is consistently made that the Al Qaeda fanatics that destroyed the twin towers do not represent main stream Islam. In fact, any suggestion the terrorists were professing Moslems is met with charges of Islamophobia. Sometimes I think we’ll dig our own graves with our obsession with political correctness.

I kind of look at this way. Think of Islam as if it were a long spear. At the tip of the spear are fanatics, the suicide bombers who think nothing of blowing themselves up or of using women and children in the same role. This is the group we isolate as the enemy. In relative numbers to the rest of Islam they are a tiny minority. Apparently, even in an aggressive Islam there is limit to the number of people willing to strap on a bomb and blow themselves up.

A Spear as Islam

Yet, think of the spear analogy. The tip of the spear is the tip on the metal head of the spear. The head of the spear represents a rather larger group in Islam. These are the folks that won’t necessarily blow themselves up but have much sympathy for Al Qaeda or the Taliban or whoever is willing to “take it to the west.”

Keep in mind that we did not inform Pakistan that our Navy Seals were about to descend on Bin Laden. We violated the sovereignty of a country we sometimes call an ally in the war on terror in order the get the mastermind behind 9/11. Why? The answer is obvious. We did not trust Pakistan nor a large percentage of the people who live there. And why do we not trust them? Because we’re not sure where their true sympathies lie.

The head of the spear represents the many willing to aid and abet Al Qaeda and other “spear tips” by fighting alongside, by giving aid and comfort, by informing, by doing anything necessary to support jihad just short of blowing themselves up. As I said, I think recruitment for that job must be tough, even within radical Islam.

Most of Pakistan falls into this “spear head” category but it’s not the only one. Consider the psycho-state of Iran. Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah both of which are on the terrorist list. Many people see these two groups as an Israeli problem and that they hate us because we still kind of, sort of support Israel (very debatable under Obama what supporting Israel really means).

I think that view is naive. First, it’s not really about the land. Israel is a tiny country smaller than most US States. It is surrounded by Moslem countries with plenty of land. Second, is it really about the Palestinians? Did you know that 20% of Israel is Arab (sometimes that means Palestinian or other rather than Bedouin)? And of that 20% some 70% is Moslem. Many if not most are Israeli citizens and willingly so. Citizenship has been offered to all but has been rejected by some living in the occupied lands such as the Golan Heights. Yet, even in those areas they can vote and work in Israel much the same as any Israeli citizen can.

My personal belief is Israel is hated, not because they are Jews per se (mostly secular ones at that) or because they managed to win the Six-Day War against some pretty heavy odds and won’t give up some of the land gains for security reasons. They are hated as we are because of who we are-a liberal democracy whose values differ greatly from the average Moslem state. The land issue, the Palestinian issue are simply the means to an end, the end of the only genuine democracy in the area. Like the picture below demonstrates some Moslems and I repeat some favor world domination. Israel is simply the most vulnerable.

But back to the spear analogy. After the head of the spear is the shaft. The closer to the head of the spear the more supportive of the head and the tip of the spear. This group if okay with the idea of Islam coming to dominate the world. They might not be armed and dangerous and they might be willing to use the very system they integrate into in order to accomplish their ends,  By and large they are “for” Islamic domination of the entire world because they believe the Koran teaches it. In this way they are simply being true to their belief system. This should not surprise us.

The Shaft of the Spear

For example, did you know that France has a Moslem population of 8% and that there are “Moslem only” areas in France where sharia law transcends French law? There are areas in France where police and rescue units will not go because those areas are essentially self-governed by Moslems. And some of this is done to protect western people especially women from wandering into the Moslem areas. If a woman is strolling about in a Moslem only area without a burqa or hijab she is considered a whore and treated accordingly.

Even in the UK and US concessions are being made towards sharia law. So when you see chaps like the fellow on the left holding signs that say Islam will dominate think of the masses of Moslems who are okay with that notion even if they live in liberal democracies like France, the UK or the US and all who value freedom of religion. Keep in mind that sharia law does not get along well with freedom of religion. Islam like genuine Christianity is a missionary religion. It’s just a question of what means are being used to accomplish the end result. Christians should be all about the gospel as the means to evangelize; Moslems it appears are all about sharia law as the means to control.

I think that shaft of the spear closest to the head also includes countries. I’d put Saudi in this camp. Most of the terrorists on 9/11 were Saudi nationals. The Saudis for the time being seem to be pragmatists. They are also Sunni Moslems who do not always get among well with the Shia variety. But despite their intramural squabbles they are still Moslems and the Saudi Sunnis are the ones of 9/11 were Wahhabists.  Here’s a quote to explain what that means in Saudi now:

The Wahhabi emphasis on conformity makes of external appearance and behavior a visible expression of inward faith. Therefore, whether one conforms in dress, in prayer, or in a host of other activities becomes a public statement of whether one is a true Muslim. Because adherence to the true faith is demonstrable in tangible ways, the Muslim community can visibly judge the quality of a person’s faith by observing that person’s actions. In this sense, public opinion becomes a regulator of individual behavior. Therefore, within the Wahhabi community, which is striving to be the collective embodiment of God’s laws, it is the responsibility of each Muslim to look after the behavior of his neighbor and to admonish him if he goes astray.

In the 1990s, Saudi leadership did not emphasize its identity as inheritor of the Wahhabi legacy as such, nor did the descendants of Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab, the Al ash Shaykh, continue to hold the highest posts in the religious bureaucracy. Wahhabi influence in Saudi Arabia, however, remained tangible in the physical conformity in dress, in public deportment, and in public prayer. Most significantly, the Wahhabi legacy was manifest in the social ethos that presumed government responsibility for the collective moral ordering of society, from the behavior of individuals, to institutions, to businesses, to the government itself. King Fahd ibn Abd al Aziz Al Saud repeatedly called for scholars to engage in ijtihad to deal with new situations confronting the modernizing kingdom.

 This is a bigger deal than you might think. This is why you see American Moslem women wearing the hijab. This is why there was such a big to do in France over the wearing of the burqa, the head-to-toe covering Moslem women are supposed to wear. The very liberal French banned the burqa with Sarkozy deeming it “slavery” which of course it is. What’s remarkable is that the very liberal, usually political correct French seem to “get it.”

In other words Islam does not always have to use force in order to get its way. In our quest to be wonderfully multi-cultural we will, unless showing some back bone become an Islamic culture as Moslems are given their own areas to practice sharia and burqa wearing comes to symbolize an ever-growing Moslem minority.

The US used to be a melting pot but as other countries are finding out and as we are finding out as well Moslems as a whole do not “melt well” for sharia prohibit melting.

This brings me the end of the spear. Just as Saudi seems to be the pragmatic country I think many Moslems in the west are pragmatists. They are content to live within their faith, not make too big a fuss and probably okay with whatever way the whole thing turns out. I think they are content to live within a “community” within the larger US culture perhaps similar to the Amish who just want to be left alone unless they are selling quilts or furniture or something. I think many fit into that camp.

However as one Dutch politician said he was okay with sharia if the majority of people voted for it. I think many Moslems are okay with that too. That’s pragmatism, it works and it’s fine if someone else is doing the heavy lifting to make it happen.

Just as the violent make up the tip of the spear and/or are supported greatly by the head of the spear  and quietly supported by the shaft there are Moslems not part of the spear at all. Remember George Bush’s words:

“Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime, but its goal is not making money,” Bush said. “Its goal is remaking the world — and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.” (Pres. George Bush)

There are Moslems not intent on remaking the world and truly wanting to assimilate into the culture they have migrated to. I’m just not sure how many because by and large they are silent. I suppose for them to aggressively speak out carries for them great risk since the head of spear teaches if you are not with us you are clearly against us and it is also clear that the head of the spear is quite willing to kill fellow Moslems if it advances their goal of world domination.

What we have is a clash of ideas, a clash of civilizations. One as a whole values conformity to sharia , the other values individual  liberty. The war is won or lost on the battlefield of ideas.

We know what the tip of the spear is against

It’s pretty clear what Islam is against what is more important to understand is what is Islam for in the western countries where Moslems are residing in ever-increasing numbers.

7 comments on “The War on Terror is a War of Ideas

  1. […] The War on Terror is a War of Ideas (broeder10.wordpress.com) […]

  2. I find your spear analogy to be very thought-provoking. The future, in some very critical ways, appears grim.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. I get lots of hits on that one for some reason. I think many of us underestimate the connection between jihad and sharia. We tend to think of jihad usually in terms of violence when it cane much more subtle.

  3. […] The War on Terror is a War of Ideas (Something I wrote years back.) […]

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