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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All Roads Lead to Caliphate Shangri-la

It is encouraging to know the US Government is doing everything they know to protect us from acts of terrorism. But there’s a more insidious concern.

Perhaps not as obvious to the casual observer, is the need to understand, not only how Islamic ideology drives Islamists to commit acts of terror, but also how that same ideology energizes a subversive "stealth jihad" that seeks to gradually transform our culture by infiltrating our institutions of government, education, and law.

I am not at all convinced that radical and Islam are separable, exceptions notwithstanding. If, as author and syndicated columnist Mark Steyn discredits, radical Islam is "desperation born of poverty,” then equal opportunity and “random acts of kindness" toward the Islamic community should defuse their animus. If, however, Islamic fundamentalism and Islam's own sense of its “manifest destiny” are driven by core theological beliefs, then a 'social services' approach will cost valuable time and resources and accomplish little to interdict the real problem. I believe it is mostly the latter with poor economic and social status fueling proselytizing efforts.

I am amazed at the level of ignorance and "Willful Blindness" (to borrow the title of Andrew McCarthy's book) most Americans exhibit toward the Islamist threat to our way of life, style of government and culture. Few, including most policymakers, understand the 'pathology' of Islam that sometimes leads to terrorism. As a result, the West is capitulating fast, particularly Western Europe. If we are to create effective solutions, we must 'choose wisely' in assessing the underlying energizing theological principles that spawn terrorists. Otherwise, we will be firing at the wrong target and empowering the real threat as we strive to convince our sworn enemies that we aren't such bad people once they get to know us.

Few would disagree that Islam is an ideology; it is also a religion with a mono-deity, a holy book (the Koran), a one-of-a-kind 'prophet' who ostensibly received the revelation recorded in that book, which book enjoins strict and extreme requirements on its adherents, including an austere set of religious disciplines. Taken together, these ingredients provide a powerful inoculation against Western attempts to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, not to mention understand and combat the terrorist threat. In order to fully and accurately assess the threat, analysis must be informed by an unvarnished understanding of Islam in its various forms. Understanding the ideology may also shed light on the method or timing of terrorist attacks. Absent this understanding, analysis is apt to misread the 'tea leaves' in its assessment of 'cold, hard facts.'

All this to say, the West must not force its “politically correct” filter over Islamism. Otherwise, we risk walking into a seductive trap. Islamists don’t particularly care which road they take to Caliphate Shangri-la; they just want to arrive. Terrorism or subversion from within, either will do. Superimposing our own idiosyncratic wishful thinking on Islam that “Mohammedism” is a “religion of peace” may make us feel more secure, but it won't prevent Islamists from turning us into a nation governed by sharia.

Islamists neither play by nor recognize our world view or principles of governance; they will gladly allow us to believe that they want what we want, when they do not. Until we come to terms with this "elephant in the room," we will continue to problem-solve by exception with our pineapple doormat set out to welcome those who would replace our way of life. Our good intentions may pave the road to our demise.

Associating Islamic extremism with Islamic ideology creates discomfort because it flies in the face of prevailing 'politically correct' beliefs. Of course, if this connection is made, it will force us to rethink our position on multiculturalism and a religious freedom that keeps quarter with an ideology sworn to supplant it. Then we really will have something to worry about.

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