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A blow to the idea that attacks on the West are “blowback”

Reading this item over at National Review’s Corner blog, which relates to recent attempts by Al-Quaeda types to attack targets in Western Europe – apparently foiled for now – got me thinking. One of the possible targets, judging by the comment, was the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It makes me wonder when the “blame-the-West-First” crowd are going to understand that it was always idiotic to claim that 9/11, or the Madrid atrocities, or the London bombings/etc could ever be described as the West getting some sort of “blowback” for its allegedly dastardly deeds against Muslim lands. Whenever this argument is made, the implication, explicit or not, is that the appropriate policy to adopt is the equivalent of hiding under the bed.

France, let’s not forget, has more than its fair share of bad relations with some Muslim lands – Algeria in the 1950s being a case in point – but in recent years, the country’s government has been at pains to distance itself from the supposedly “cowboy” policies of Bush/Blair, although possibly things might have hardened a bit under Sarkozy.

But it makes no difference. Whether you are an isolationist, multilaterialist, or neocon interventionist, the outcome is the same: the Islamists will try and kill you and your fellow citizens without discrimination. We can try and placate the crocodile, but it is ultimately a futile strategy. It is occasionally necessary to remind people of this grim fact.

49 comments to A blow to the idea that attacks on the West are “blowback”

  • Perhaps the ‘west’s activities in the middle-east do not explain all of the general militant Islam stuff, but I hardly think holding such an opinion is ‘idiotic’. In fact, it’s almost certainly part of the problem. Israel must surely be seen as the most major factor, no?

  • Ian F4

    On the contrary, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc are “blowback” from the original Muslim invasions.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    BenS, no, it is not “idiotic” to think that Western activities have contributed to Muslim anger, but then again, these things balance out over time. What about some gratitude, say, from those Muslims who were protected by NATO forces in the Balkans vs the Serbs?

    And on Israel: well, let’s not forget that a lot of various theocracies and assorted states – such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc – have whipped up hatred of Israel and patronised the Palestinians as a way of diverting attention from their own manifest failings.

    In any event, whatever might be said about the origins of Israel, it would be worth pointing out to Muslims who are upset about the alleged displacement of Palestinians to realise that many Jews have also been kicked out of their homelands across the MidEast over the decades, and yet this injustice is rarely thrown into the mix.

  • JP

    I am genuinely unsure about this. But it is at least possible that particular Western “atrocities” and “attacks” do serve to recruit Islamists. But, that these Islamists then regard the entire West as the enemy, and they then attack the weakest/most convenient targets in the West, rather than the bits most “to blame” for launching whatever attacks it was that got those particular Islamists angry.

    As far as Islamists are concerned, we are all guilty and all deserve to die. But particular things, done by particular Westerners, was what provoked them into thinking like this.

    That’s a kind of hybrid theory of all this, but I think it makes sense.

    I am not trying to make a moral point here, about whether they are or are not morally entitled to think and act like this. Just trying to pin down the facts of what is going on, and hence how the facts can be manipulated to the West’s advantage, and to the Islamists’ and to Islam’s disadvantage.

    I must say, the more I study it, the more I find Islam to be an extraordinarily interesting enemy.

  • Israel is not the issue. The issue is that we don’t put the missus in a tent, that we like beer and bacon. It is that simple. Just read anything by Qutb. Anything. Qutb describes an early ’50s tea-dance held by Methodists in frankly soft-porn terms. When he returned to Egypt he never married because he couldn’t find a woman “Islamically pure enough”. In Egypt! He was a lunatic. They are all lunatics. And they are for a very simple reason. They are torn between what they want and what there depraved Holy Book say they can’t. That’s what drives ‘em mad. 1400 years of asceticism (apart from rape, obviously) and they go mental when they see the glory of our civilization. They were sold a pup by Big Mo and now it’s our fault for tempting them. It’s our fault that the bikini is more alluring than the burkha. It’s our fault that practically no one in this country gets married without having a shag first because it is obviously vastly more moral to marry your daughters off as young as you like (the younger the better so as to prevent zina) to a cousin from Islamobad.

    That we actually enjoy life is what fecks them off. Islam is a grimancious faith that revels in it’s misery and grows a fuck-off pondering beard over it. That is why they hate us. And by “us” I mean pretty much everyone. Do they like the average Western European – no. Americans – no. Thais – no. Indians, Russians, Australians – no. They don’t like us because, for all our sins, we try and make life amusing and that is wrong. The Ayatollah Khomeini is on record as saying, “There is no fun in Islam”. Well, I have been to parties hosted by Catholics, Anglicans, Jews and there was fun aplenty. They just need to get over themselves and they won’t do it by blowing us up.

    I have met many very charming Muslims but the extent to which they were charming was exactly the extent to which OBL would have them tortured to death. Hell’s teeth, when I worked for BT, J was our designated driver. He’d go to nightclubs with us and drive us home. Lovely bloke. Unlike the spoiled London bombers who believed “those slags dancing are hardly innocent” he could separate his faith from what the average Geordie does.

  • Ian B

    Well, I just scrubbed a loooooong comment because Nick wrote a better version of it for me. Heh.

    One thing just to add; one of my closest friends was the building engineer in the building that housed Tiger Tiger, before the failed bombing. He is a bit of a paranoid nut, or well prepared, take your pick (he keeps 3 geiger counters at work in case of a dirty bomb, a gas mask, and he has a stash of food and water in case he’s buried in his basement office) but anyway, he several times warned the building management that they were at risk from terrorism. His reasons? The building has plenty of places to park a car bomb outside. It has plate glass windows. But most significantly, it was full of tarts dancing round their handbags on a saturday night.

    The management couldn’t see that that made them a target, since a nightclub has nothing to do with the military etc. Like most westerners, they couldn’t see that what made them a target was being a centre of immoraityl and that “those slags” are, in the eyes of an Islamist fanatic, the source of western corruption.

    The first major violent campaign by the Muesli Brotherhood was an arson campaign in Egypt of nightclubs, restaurants, theatres, hotels etc. It was designed to frighten colonials away, certainly, but the targets were targets because they are westernised liberal things. There are no nightclubs in devout Islam. As even Wikipedia says-

    “In 1952 members of the Muslim Brotherhood are accused of taking part in arson that destroyed some “750 buildings” in downtown Cairo — mainly night clubs, theatres, hotels, and restaurants frequented by British and other foreigners — “that marked the end of the liberal, progressive, cosmopolitan” Egypt.”

  • Andrew Duffin

    “We can try and placate the crocodile…”

    Haven’t we been here before?

    “And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.”

    Why do we never learn?

  • PeterT

    It has been commented that a reason that there are so many angry young men in the Islamic world has to do with sexual frustration. This is not just because of the absence of pre-marital sex, but also because there is a lack of women – since some men have more than one wife it follows that many men have none.

    What really annoys me about the Islamic world is that they get to benefit from our technology, by the greatness of Newton and others (oh, well and far eastern high tech as well), which sprang out of our Western culture. And they use it to threaten us!

  • “The West” may or may not have done things to annoy the worlds of Islam. But we are hardly alone. Islam is spreading terror everywhere, starting at home. They must defend themselves against the Christians, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the animists and atheists, and they’re rather annoyed with the communists. I can’t think of anyone, anywhere, with the possible exception of the Inuit, that hasn’t wronged Islam in some way needing violent retribution.

    What is the common denominator?

  • g1lgam3sh

    Well said Jonathan, I do believe though that people are waking up.

    They have declared open war on me and mine…They have sown the wind and WILL reap the whirlwind.

  • Chuck6134

    The animus between Islam and the West started long ago, long before the modern nation state actually. Does anyone even bother to remember that almost all the Muslim world (violent part anyway) was once Christian, at least nominally under the Romans/Byzantines?

    No, many here in the West continue to bemoan the past few decades of our “bad acts” with a part of the world heavily influenced/ruled by medieval religious fanatics. They forget how far back this bad blood goes and simply how much of it is unabashedly their fault. Never mind the sheer jealously for a world that lives in a manner they cannot even conceive.

    There is simply no way we can make nice with them unless we dramatically change our lifestyles or religions to match them.

  • Rob

    We are ‘infidels’. That’s it.

    I think Western progressives tie themselves in knots of guilt because, as atheists, they simply cannot comprehend how religious fundamentalists think. It is inconceivable that people, especially those of a favoured ‘minority’, could think this way.

    Add a generous dollop of the ego-satisfaction of ‘liberal guilt’ and soon you have the ‘liberal’ position – that everything they do is in response to us.

  • Rob

    We are ‘infidels’. That’s it.

    I think Western progressives tie themselves in knots of guilt because, as atheists, they simply cannot comprehend how religious fundamentalists think. It is inconceivable that people, especially those of a favoured ‘minority’, could think this way.

    Add a generous dollop of the ego-satisfaction of ‘liberal guilt’ and soon you have the ‘liberal’ position – that everything they do is in response to us.

  • Ian F4

    The Western “guilt” is merely the hijacking of Christian values by humanist/atheist liberals, ashamed that their ideology is in fact based on core Christian virtues they attempt to imply that the “golden rule” is a natural human instinct and that liberalist free-thinking is what everyone wants deep down (including Muslims).

    Everyone knows that a bunch of humans bereft of societal norms quickly degenerates into a “Lord of the Flies” situation, it takes a hardened faith to keep human nature in line. It is no coincidence that the a bulk of the world’s free-thinking liberal democracies were all once Christian (especially protestant) cultures.

    Once you’ve convinced yourself that everyone thinks along the same “treat everyone like you’d wish to be treated” lines, it becomes a complete mystery when entire legions of religious nutcases seem to think otherwise.

    The answer is because they aren’t Christian, but that would mean admitting you are.

  • Petronius

    You must also realize that the Blowback theory has a specific corrollary: non-western peoples are immune from it. I read some guy recently who claimed that Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was blowback for President Teddy Roosevelts’s mediation of the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, but the atomic raids on Japan weren’t blowback for the Rape of Nanking.

  • Petronius

    You must also realize that the Blowback theory has a specific corrollary: non-western peoples are immune from it. I read some guy recently who claimed that Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was blowback for President Teddy Roosevelts’s mediation of the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, but the atomic raids on Japan weren’t blowback for the Rape of Nanking.

  • The answer is because they aren’t Christian

    No, the answer is ‘because they are Muslim’ – not the same thing.

  • Ian B

    It is no coincidence that the a bulk of the world’s free-thinking liberal democracies were all once Christian (especially protestant) cultures.

    Ah, religion. Always grabbing credit for the good regardless of its source, and denying credit for the bad. Christianity of course played an important role in shaping the European mind, but it is not a specifically liberal faith and only certain interpretations of it, none of which were prevalent during Christianity’s Golden Age, are compatible with liberalism. You can equally say that Democracy comes from the pagan Greeks, and Republicanism from the Pagan Romans. If Rome had become a liberal democracy under Christianity you might have a point, but its Christian era was one of Oriental despotism.

    You can also make a strong case that the individualist ideas that became liberalism predate Christianisation and managed to survive despite it; pre-Christian Europe had no major empires (until Rome arrived) and thus had looser tribal cultures. The tradition of kings ruling by some degree of consent rather than by divine right is basically Germanic, for instance. The English Parliament evolved from the Saxon thing. The importance to the development of liberalism of the concept of rulers as human leaders rather than divine or divinely appointed cannot be underestimated.

    That is not to say that Christianity did not do many good things. It emphasised charity. It abolished nasty practices such as child sacrifice. It bears much credit for discouraging slavery. But the idea that one must be a Christian to be a liberal is clearly false. The desire to be left alone to get on with one’s life to at least some degree may not be a human constant- humans are capable of living under an astonishing range of social systems- but it is a natural enough human feeling. It takes an enormously powerful hegemonic system like religion to crush that out of people, normally justified by convincing them that-

    “a bunch of humans bereft of societal norms quickly degenerates into a “Lord of the Flies” situation [and] it takes a hardened faith to keep human nature in line. ”

    A faith like Islam, for instance.

  • Laird

    Thanks for the quote, Andrew.

    Isn’t it interesting how Kipling always seems to have something cogent to say?

  • JadedLibertarian

    Islam is the religion of perpetual outrage.

    If they’re not rioting, burning effigies and butchering their countrymen because of “outrage” at our conduct in their lands, they are doing so over our conduct in our own lands.

    There is quite simply no pleasing them, so they are best ignored altogether. Although part of me thinks we should in fact go out of our way to provoke them. There are only so many times in a year 1 billion people can throw a collective dummy spit. Perhaps we can desensitise them to being offended?

  • Jonathan

    Not the first time they’ve tried:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_8969

    As someone with many muslim friends and acquaintances; my family originates from the middle east, they are all perfectly reasonable, intelligent, friendly people. At least until I mention either Israel or the US, then I’m treated to a rant about how evil the west is and how wonderful the islamic world is. To which my reply is: “.. and yet here you are.” They just seem to have a blind spot when it comes to islam.

  • Daveon

    I think it’s highly mistaken to think that the French haven’t done enough things in and of their own right to have their own special class of blowback without even thinking about the US and UK.

    Islamic terror groups have been targeting French assets for decades over France’s former colonial assets and behaviour there.

    It’s a mistake to think the French don’t deal with these things. The French are the world champions of self interest foreign policy.

  • Ian B

    One way of looking at it, (and I fear this may be misconstrued, but what the hey) is to look at it that the motivations of the Mueslis aren’t that mysterious. The problem is the extremity of feeling and violent methodology. The basic position they hold is that their ideal society is polluted by foreigners, and thus they wish to (a) remove the foreigners (b) prevent the foreign influence by attacking the foreigners at home and (c) then overrun the foreigners entirely and convert them to Mueslism, because Mueslism is objectively superior and will be good for them. Except the Judes, who are beyond redemption, of course.

    Now you can see other versions of this style of thinking. Higgler believed that Germany was polluted by foerigners, and wished to remove them and destroy them. It’s not much different.

    On a much weaker level, and I emphasise again this is just talking about motivations and “worldviews”, there are many American conservatives (a leading example being Mark Steyn) who believe that America is in some way “exceptional” and is being ruined by foreign “European” influences. Steyn frequently calls the Democrat Party the “European Party”. There is indeed an entire theory around how European “cultural marxism” is the source of all America’s woes. We see a similar philosophy. “We are special, and those foreigners are polluting our way of life”. Now I emphasise I’m not implying or insinuating anything about Mark Steyn, who is a fun and often insightful writer. But let us suppose that the moral panic intensified in the USA about this supposed “European” influence. Perhaps some Steynist Brotherhood forms. They believe the threat to Americanism is so intense that they must violently eject the Europeanists and then, recognising the continuing polluting influence of Europeans and their ghastly socialist ways, must destroy Europe as well to prevent reinfection. And hey, Americanism is so much better than being a Euro-socialist, the foolish Europeans will ultimately benefit by having their way of life changed to the superior- indeed exceptional- American model, even if that requires a bit of collateral damage along the way.

    The motivations of Mueslists are really quite normal human motivations. They just happen to be at a particular fever pitch right now. In our Steyn example, the Americanists are motivated to destroy Europe merely by it existing and polluting (in their view) American purity. It’s the same kind of thinking. Obviously I’m not suggesting that Mark Steyn is going to lead a Holy War against the EU; but if you turn his reasoning up to 11, that’s where you do end up.

  • Richard Garner

    I think a good deal of Islamic violence against “the west” is blowback. I think a lot of it is also stupid religious motivated crap, and I think that whenever it is either one or the other, usually the violence is targetted at entirely unrelated victims. Example: Rights outside German embassies because an American pastor threatens to burn Korans.

    Personally I don’t doubt that France is a target partly because of that clamping down from Sarkozy you mention. That is a partial explanation, not a justification.

    G1lgam3sh, saying “They have declared open war on me and mine…They have sown the wind and WILL reap the whirlwind.” You sound like one of those anti-semites that thinks that because some Jew is related in some way to a bad thing that happens, it is fair to say that “the Jews” did it. You say “They” have declared war. Who are “they”?

    As a final note of caution, though – the phrase “Blowback,” I think comes from the CIA, who themselves warned that US foreign policy may incite anti-US terrorist acts, even before 9/11 (which may not, of course, be a reason to abandon that foreign policy). But we all know what we should think of government bureacrats and their information, right?!

  • Nuke Gray

    Mohammed conducted camel raids on neighbouring tribes, and waged war on his kin until they became followers. Mohammed was mainly a man of war, who took lots of wives, some of them not yet in their teens; he also justified keeping and using female slaves.
    Good muslims are supposed to see him as an example- to be followed as closely as possible. A muslim would be a lousy neighbour even to other muslims- civil wars occurred early and often in Mohammedan history.
    If we tried to assign the major Elements to religions, Christianity would be water, Mohammedism would be Fire, Hinduism with its’ castes would be Earth, and buddhism would be Air.
    Peace with Mohammedism could only be like a cold war- no permanent peace is possible.

  • Ian B

    There’s a lot of talk of this eternal war twixt Christendom and Islam. I’m interested to know what those commenters who insist that we are in this state of eternal war would do if they had command of Christendom and its armies. If you were the American government, or NATO, or King Of The Western World or such, what exactly would you do?

    It’s all very well making a speech about how they will reap the whirlwind. What IS the whirlwind, specifically?

  • Nuke Gray

    Ian the B., A good Christian will make love, not war. Jesus tells us to love everyone, even those who hate us.
    A ‘good’ mohammedan (in this context, ‘good’ means ‘diligent’) will make war, because Mohammed tells them, in the unchangeable Koran, to wage war until the whole world is subdued. Mohammed commanded the assassination of people, even women, who were simply critical of him. Contrarily, Jesus told his disciples to tolerate abuse, and not to respond in kind. Kings and Statesmen may not be diligent in applying Christianity, but the two messages are different!

  • Nuke Gray

    And there are religious reasons for them to hate Jews, as well. Jews are described by Mohammed as untrustworthy, so a diligent mohammedan will accept that as his own opinion, since Mohammed is believed to be the best possible man.
    Also, the re-establishment of Israel seems to repudiate the Koranic idea that Allah’s benevolence has shifted permanently to the Mohammedan Community. The Jewish Diaspora was Allah punishing them for not being Muslims. Does Israel reborn mean Allah has changed His unchainable mind? Are mohammedans now to be dhimmies?
    Lastly, Israel is a secular Democracy with rights for women, so having such a confronting example in their neighbourhood is very unsettling!

  • James Waterton

    Israel must surely be seen as the most major factor, no?

    Nonsense. Israel is so useful to the Arabs and Iranians that if it didn’t exist, they would have to invent it. One of the most idiotic assumptions about the mess in the Middle East is Jimmy Carter’s famous platitude-dressed-as-an-aphorism, “the road to peace in the Middle East runs through Jerusalem”. I find it (almost) unbelievable that a former US president’s analysis of the situation could be so unsophisticated – and not to mention just plain wrong.

  • James Waterton

    Oh oh, smitebot strikes. Although it’s not so bad, because I *really* dig that smite control graphic. Getting to have another gander at it is almost worth being smote!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Brian, it may be the case that the Islamists are targeting some western countries which are seen as “soft” on terror; there may be even be the dim realisation on their part that the US and UK, despite changes of government recently, are fairly tough nuts these days for terrorists to crack. I dunno – trying to figure out the thought processes of these bastards is not easy.

    Of course, the recent move by the French government to ban things such as wearing of burkas and the like may have teed some Muslims off (although some women may be delighted, if not in front of their husbands and family). But I recall reading that totally covering up women is not actually sanctioned by the Koran, but one of those traditions that took hold later on, rather like the Catholic thing about celibacy and priesthood.

  • There’s a lot of talk of this eternal war twixt Christendom and Islam. I’m interested to know what those commenters who insist that we are in this state of eternal war would do if they had command of Christendom and its armies. If you were the American government, or NATO, or King Of The Western World or such, what exactly would you do?

    Tell Islamic countries to sort their shit out or become occupied client states of the west.

    If they do nothing, destroy their nuclear reactors, occupy their cities, kill Islamic fundamentalists wherever you find them until they either abandon their crusade or they are all dead.

    It’s them or us. I would rather it be them.

  • g1lgam3sh

    “It’s all very well making a speech about how they will reap the whirlwind. What IS the whirlwind, specifically?”

    Islamists have made it perfectly clear it’s them or us…very well…it’s them.

    “G1lgam3sh, saying “They have declared open war on me and mine…They have sown the wind and WILL reap the whirlwind.” You sound like one of those anti-semites that thinks that because some Jew is related in some way to a bad thing that happens, it is fair to say that “the Jews” did it. You say “They” have declared war. Who are “they”?”

    I think you will find that the overwhelming majority of Jews are not actually semites. So what’s your point, beyond ad hominem of course.

    ‘They’ is perfectly clear, have you read the Quran and Hadiths? It is their religious duty to make war on Kuffars using any means possible, one of the principal tactics being Taqiyya.

    Whilst I think there is certainly such a thing as a ‘moderate’ muslim there is not and by definition cannot be such a thing as moderate Islam.

  • Ian B

    Islamists have made it perfectly clear it’s them or us…very well…it’s them.

    Meaning what? What do you actually propose to do? Specifically?

  • g1lgam3sh

    ” Islamists have made it perfectly clear it’s them or us…very well…it’s them.

    Meaning what? What do you actually propose to do? Specifically?”

    I have never offered violence to anyone in my life and never will, on the other hand I regard self defence not just as a moral issue but as a moral imperative.

    That’s my strategy which I don’t mind revealing… ‘specifically’ only a fool would reveal possible tactics.

    In the meantime here’s an interesting article I just fell over.

    http://islamsfatalflaw.blogspot.com/

  • Laird

    Indeed, an interesting article, g1lgam3sh.

  • TDK

    It’s self evident that Islamist attacks on the west are driven by a perception that we are directly or indirectly a threat to them. The al Quaeda’s of this world don;t like our influence let alone trade. So blowback must some part of the explanation for their behaviour. The issue is how we respond.

    We can hide under the bed or we can do something about it.

    Many start from the premise that our society is fundamentally wicked and therefore assume any attack on it must be legitimate. The unspoken assumption is that once we stop being Capitalist all the world’s problems will vanish.

    This amounts to allowing our foreign and perhaps domestic policy to be determined by what Islamists want. That’s the absurdity, not the blowback argument.

    We’ve reached the position where it is rare for anyone to articulate the idea that we have interests, the pursuit of which, might bring us into conflict with others but that we should pursue them anyway because the alternatives are worse.

  • Ian B

    G1lgam3sh, thanks for that link; a very interesting and enlightening article. It’s nice to read something that offers one a very fresh perspective rather than what we all tend to do of going around saying the same things over and over again.

    It came across to me as saying a number of things, but one useful perspective was seeing the “terrorism” as just kind of the top of a pyramid of intra-societal violence and repression. It made me try to think of other examples, and one that occurred to me is parts of society dominated by gangsters- the kind of Mafia stereotype. In this parallel, the wars between gangs are just the top of a society dominated by violent peer pressure (“peer murder”?) and it occurred to me that in the Sicilian gangster stereotype there is also a strong essence of an “honour and shame” social system.

    You fucked my sister you motherfucker? I fucking kill you Luigi!

    —as directed by Martin Scorsese.

    We might see this as some kind of “social package”. Strong extended families, control of women, “peer violence”. Compared to the “western” model of weaker, more nuclear families, higher status freer women, and less “peer violence”.

    Anyway, thanks again for the link. Made me think a lot, though I’m not sure what the conclusions are.

  • mehere

    The root of the problem is simply one of integration. Most groups (e.g Brits going to live in Oz or on the Costa Plenty) are reluctant to integrate into the host society, though they do gradually.

    Yet here we have the Mo-followers arriving with all their paraphernalia of a desert culture backed with the increasing insistence they remain ‘true’ to their faith by dressing and behaving as they always have done. Our world is plainly not theirs, though they will take the gifts of healthcare and benefits, just as they take the advantages of our technology to use it against us where possible.

    Either it is this determination to stand apart or our reluctance to accept them as equals — and I suspect more the former than the latter — means that by separating themselves as much as possible from the host nation the Religion-of-Peacers can preserve their beliefs, which may or may not include the reduction of the west. Sadly, this approach can only bring tensions.

    So long as militant Mo-followers regard the loss of southern Spain, the establishment of the state of Israel, the wearing of mini-skirts, the attacks on criminals and terrorists in Afghanistan, dancing and other injustices as causes for anger and retaliation, we will all have problems.

  • It’s nice to read something that offers one a very fresh perspective rather than what we all tend to do of going around saying the same things over and over again.

    I wouldn’t call it ‘a very fresh perspective’ – it sounds to me like the received wisdom of the past decade or so within the right-wing circles. What is new here is an analysis of that received wisdom that is deeper and more detailed than the one we may have been accustomed to. In that sense, it is indeed enlightening, and I’m glad G1lgam3sh posted it.

  • Ian B

    Well technically, I was saying that it was I that got the very fresh perspective, not the article :op

    I think it characterised the nature of the threat well, and I haven’t seen things put that way before. But maybe it’s just that we’re all different, and will get different things from reading different things. An article or blog or comment can spark one’s own thoughts in certain directions, but not the thoughts of other readers perhaps. It reawakend some lines of thought I’ve neglected for a while, about family structures shaping the greater nature of society, and I think there may be some intellectual profit to be had from them. Or maybe not :)

  • Sure. I was just really wondering what was all the fuss about while I was reading it, but by the time I got to the end I did realize that I got a picture that was fuller than the one I had before. Either way, it is interesting.

  • g1lgam3sh

    Glad to be of service…as you may have guessed this subject is a particular interest of mine and has been for over 40 years.

  • g1lgam3sh: do you know who wrote it?

  • Richard Garner

    G1lgam3sh,

    “‘They’ is perfectly clear, have you read the Quran and Hadiths? It is their religious duty to make war on Kuffars using any means possible, one of the principal tactics being Taqiyya.

    Whilst I think there is certainly such a thing as a ‘moderate’ muslim there is not and by definition cannot be such a thing as moderate Islam.”

    Likewise, I suppose, there can be no such thing as moderate Christianity, since, whilst I have not, as you surmise, read the Koran, I have read the Bible, and I know the word of God in that book instructs his followers to kill adulterers, people that would try to convince you not to follow him, and those men that “lie with” other men as they would a woman, and tells us that men whose testicles have been destroyed by cutting or crushing shall not be allowed in church! I suppose that, by the same argument as you employ, if no Moslem is a follower of Islam if they don’t believe that they should wage war on non-Moslems, then nobody is a Christian if they don’t believe they should refrain from eating black puddings or ensuring the only slaves they own are foreign!

  • Nuke Gray

    Richard, not all of the old testament laws were adopted into Christianity- Jesus pointed out that only sinless people had the right to stone others, for example, and there were none of those around him!
    Would you agree that the two examples are different? Would Jesus make a better neighbour than Mohammed?

  • Paul Marks

    BenS – “Israel must surely be seen as the most major factor, no”.

    No.

    Israel does not explain Islamic attacks on India (there is violence every day) – or the fact that whilst there are more than a 100 million Muslims in India (more than 60 years after the great divide) there are few Hindus (or Chistians) left in Pakistan or Bangladesh.

    “This is a special case” – no it is not.

    Read Winston Churchill’s “The River War” (an unedited version of course) – it points out the same basic Islamic view of the world in the late 19th century as exists now. That it is the duty of Muslims to use violence to restore the purity of their religion in Muslim areas (to punish backsliders – i.e. “moderates”) and to expand the area under Islamic control as much as they can, and that violence is a perfectly acceptable method of expanding this area of rule.

    If you doubt me – go and visit a French suburb, the power of Islam will make itself felt upon you quite quickly.

    The Sudan in the 19th century also shows how vast things can change. When General Gordon first visited the place (in order to fight the slave trade) there were barebreasted women in villages, wine was often drunk and so on.

    He left thinking that Islam was quite a moderate faith – but, of course, what he was seeing was not “moderate Islam”, he was seeing backsliding.

    This he found out on his return visit – the population (or much of it) had utterly transformed in the few years he had been away.

    It reminds me of the French people who say “the Muslims dressed as we do and they drank wine at dinner – and suddenly they changed…..” they blame this on the war in Iraq, or on Israel, or on anything – apart from the truth.

    The truth being that Muslims are like unexploded bombs – they may be “moderate” (i.e. backsliding) for years, but then (overnight) be returned to their faith.

    This is because people need beliefs – and when a Muslim stops following Islam (strongly) Western society offers him NOTHING in place of it.

    Material things (wine, pornography – whatever) are not beliefs, they do not fill the spiritual void in the hearts of men and women.

    So, sooner or later, (and sometimes overnight) the Muslim will return to Islam.

    I.E. will return to the religion of Muhammed – read Robert Spencer’s works on the life and teachings of this man. Deception (swearing peace, whilst planning an attack), rape, slavery, murder – all these are the basic elements of Muhammed.

    All human beings are just that – human beings. A Muslim can be converted (to Christianity, or to Randian athiesm, or whatever), but modern P.C. doctrines (i.e. Frankfurt School Idenity Politics doctrines – for that is what they really are) denounce such efforts.

    Even in the United States people who try and argue against Islam (not against a “perversion of Islam” because the terrorists are NOT perverting it) and try to convert Muslims away from Islam (to other belief systems) are attacked by the mainstream media, academia and so on.

    It is the “treason of the intellectuals” they will side with anyone (anyone) against the West.

    The West was NOT the “unintended consequence of human action, but not of human design” Hayek and Hume were WRONG.

    The basic principles of the West were argued for and faught for and people devoted their lives to them – if they are neglected (treated as just stuff that happened) then they will decline and die – and be replaced by belief systems that people are willing to live and die for (such as Islam).

  • g1lgam3sh

    “Posted by Richard Garner at October 4, 2010 12:10 AM”

    No argument here. I agree.

  • Nuke Gray

    The major sin of the West is success. The Western secular ways have proven successful, not the Eastern State Religion system. The Koran promised them that they were the blessed people, but this doesn’t seem true in this day and age. So what is a good muslim to do? Do what Mohammed did, and raid or destroy the infidels!!! (Even if I’d had negative I.Q., I could have answered that one!)