What are words for?
When no one listens, what are words for?
When no one listens, there’s no use talking at all
—Missing Persons, What Are Words For?
I see that once again we have a cease-fire in Gaza that will ultimately prove temporary, and with crises burning there, in Iraq, in Syria, and in Ukraine, the President who as candidate pledged to forego vacations as part of the sacrifice inherent in the office is heading back for his annual half-month respite on Martha’s Vineyard.
Some things never change.
Quite so, actually. Much of my recent delay in posting is I’ve been trying to work through some thoughts on the Gaza situation, and I keep coming back to the idea that in fact in that context some things don’t change, and there is a broader lesson to be learned.
And it has everything to do with Islam.
Rusty, you know that Hamas and other groups like it are just an extremist minority, and that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful.
So I keep hearing from the PC-crowd. Indeed, every U.S. President since George H.W. Bush (as well as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) has told us that Islam is a “religion of peace.” But if the radical jihadists are a tiny extremist minority, and there hundreds of millions in the vast peace-loving majority, I have one question:
Where are they?
Let’s consider some facts.
Wikipedia lists 45 armed conflicts currently ongoing around the world. Islamists are involved on at least one side (sometimes both) in 28 of those conflicts (most of the rest involve communist revolutions). In other words, although Muslims make up less than a quarter of the global population, roughly two-thirds of all the war on the planet today consists of Islamists either (a) trying to establish an Islamist state by force (e.g., Afghanistan, Gaza), (b) trying to enforce Islamic law against non-Muslims (e.g., anti-Christian violence in Egypt), or (c) fighting with each other over who has the “correct” version of Islam (e.g., Syria, Iraq).
This is not new.
After moving from Mecca to Medina—prior to which time he had gained fewer than 100 converts to his new religion—Muhammad was essentially a pirate and warlord. In 630 A.D. he attacked and conquered Mecca, and went on to force almost the entire Arabian Peninsula to convert to Islam or at least submit to Islamic law.
After his death, Muhammad’s armies continued to spread Islamic rule—not by evangelism and thoughtful conversion, but by the sword—throughout the Fertile Crescent, across North Africa, and around the Mediterranean. Islamists conquered all of the Spanish peninsula and penetrated into southern France by the end of 8th Century, where they remained for 700 years. They pushed eastward into what are today Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 1453 they took Christian Constantinople (today Istanbul), and conquered all of what is now Turkey. In 1529 and again in 1683 Islamist armies nearly captured Vienna, in the heart of Europe. They pushed across India during the 12th to 18th Centuries. The late 19th and entire 20th Centuries saw Islamists slaughter millions of non-Muslim Armenians, constant bloodshed between Sunnis and Shiites fighting over the “truest” version of Islam, and the never-ending quest to drive the Jews of Israel into the Mediterranean. Even today, Islamists are fighting not only in the Middle East, but across much of Africa, Indonesia, and the Caucasus.
The so-called “religion of peace” has been engaged in wars of religious conquest literally from its very beginning; wars that have continued non-stop for 1,400 years. They have fought and killed Christians. Jews. Buddhists. Hindus. Zoro-Astrians. African tribesmen. At some point, the apologists claiming that those waging jihad are only an extremist fringe have to answer some questions:
How do you explain a 1,400 year track record of non-stop violence if they are only a tiny minority?
How is it that these are extremists who are perverting the true religion, when these wars of religious conquest trace all the way back to Muhammad himself, and were continued by his original direct followers?
These questions become extremely important once we are willing to acknowledge the motivation driving the jihadists. This is not about American “imperialism” and decadence; Islamist violence and conquest was going on for 1,000 years before this country was founded, and the majority of it today is taking place against people other than the West. No, what this is all about for the Islamist—and has been since the days of Muhammad himself—is forced conquest of the entire planet for Allah, or more specifically, for Islam.
This goal continues today. A 1982 Muslim Brotherhood manifesto on a “worldwide strategy for Islamic policy” states among its objectives “to establish an Islamic State,” by infiltrating and influencing media and the government to push the Islamic agenda both informationally and legally. Following up on this, a 1988 Muslim Brotherhood document applying this manifesto to North America in the same manner said:
“The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house . . . so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Understand that Islam is not just a religion, and thus Islamist conquest does not mean religious conversion to the worship of Allah (or at least does not mean that exclusively). Placards at Islamist protests proclaim “Islam is a Perfect System for All Mankind,” “Death to Those Who Insult Islam,” or “Islam Will Dominate the World”—it’s always about Islam (or Muhammad), never about Allah. Islam does not distinguish between matters of worship and matters of civil politics and legal governance. Religion and law are one and the same, and you see this in the full imposition of sharia law in a number of heavy Muslim-majority countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, just to name a few. This alone begs the question just how “extremist” the Islamists really are within the broader Muslim community.
Rusty, it’s not like anyone is going to invade and conquer the U.S. to impose sharia law here. And besides, we have the Constitution.
It doesn’t always take a violent conquest. Consider the situation in Europe. We’ve discussed this before, but the overall population of Europe, exclusive of immigration, is in decline. Non-Muslim fertility rates in Europe are almost uniformly below the 2.1 per female necessary for a culture to sustain itself. In places like the U.K., France, Norway, and Finland, the non-Muslim fertility rate hovers at about 1.8, while the Muslim fertility rate is north of 3; in other words, Muslims in those countries are having 60% more babies than non-Muslims. Some researchers believe the U.K. will become a Muslim-majority nation within 35 years.
The situation isn’t much better here. The fertility rate for Muslims is between 2.6 and 2.8, while the overall U.S. fertility rate (including Muslims, meaning that the non-Muslim rate is actually even lower) is about 1.9. This disparity and its implications for our demographics raises serious questions about just how extreme the Islamists’ attitudes and drivers really are.
We’ve covered this before. In 2011 the Pew Research Center found that roughly 1 in 5 U.S. Muslims believe that violence in defense of Islam could be justifiable in some circumstances, and agree that there is at least a fair amount of support for “extremism”; 20% is no mere fringe minority. Half identify themselves as “Muslim-first.”
Globally, the vast majority of Muslims believe that sharia should be the law of the land. A 2012 study—commissioned by WND, so take it with a bit of a grain of salt—suggests that as many as 40% of U.S. Muslims share that belief, even to the point of trumping the Constitution. Muslim groups have virulently opposed proposed legislation in states such as Michigan and Oklahoma aimed at precluding the application of foreign law over U.S. and state law, arguing that it is racist and “anti-sharia,” even though the proposed measures never mention sharia by name. Why would these Muslims care enough to oppose these laws as “anti-sharia” unless they were in fact intending to apply sharia law?
Rusty, sharia is just a code of conduct, no different than a WWJD bracelet. It’s just a cultural difference, and you’re being a racist Islamophobe.
Under sharia, non-Muslims are not technically required to convert (although this allowance is often more honored in the breach than the observance), but must accept second-class dhimmi status that denies them many rights and privileges reserved for Muslims, and must pay a special tax called the jizyah. I will not attempt to catalogue all the evils of sharia, but just to give you a flavor, under sharia law:
- A woman who is raped must produce four male witnesses (and if she cannot,her accusation is an admission that she is guilty of adultery, which subjects her to death by stoning);
- Amputation remains a viable form of punishment for crimes such as theft;
- Merely insulting Islam, the Qu’ran, or Muhammed is a capital offense;
- A man is entitled to beat any of his up to four wives.
In sharia countries, women cannot drive, and often cannot even attend school. Nor may they appear in public without a male relative. Homosexuals . . . well, they are commonly hanged on construction cranes. And if you can stomach it, go see how many internet videos you can find showing the beheadings of non-believers, then get back to me on the “cultural difference” debate.
The first steps are already here, consistent with the strategies of infiltration, influence, and propaganda set forth in the Muslim Brotherood’s 1982 and 1988 strategic memoranda. The UN is considering resolutions that would effectively criminalize criticism of Islam. Similar measures are being proposed in the U.S. that would categorize such behavior as a “hate crime.”
It may not be by the scimitar—although 1,400 years of history suggests that if it is, that’s fine with the Islamists—but make no mistake: Islam, and more to the point, sharia, is coming to a statehouse near you.
And you’re not going to like it.
For further information, check out this well-done video by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim anti-Islamist activist.