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Islam has no truly moderate wing

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in the course of being interviewed by Sam Harris:

The reason the so-called Muslim “extremists” are so successful at recruiting, keeping, inspiring, and mobilizing people – and then finally getting them to wage jihad – is that what they’re saying is fully consistent with the teachings of Muhammad.

My thanks to the ever alert Mick Hartley to alerting me to this interview. Hartley entitles his posting “The faith has no truly moderate wing”. That is certainly how Islam seems to me when I read its scriptures.

It may of course just be wishful thinking on my part, but I predict that, some time within the next hundred years or so, there will be a mass-abandonment of this horrible religion, by all those who find themselves being raised as Muslims but who just want to be human beings, rather than in a state of perpetual war – at best mere ceasefire – with all non-Muslims, and constantly at the mercy of lunatic preachers nagging them to actually do what they still go through the motions of saying they believe. The only truly effective way of shaking free from such influences is to say that the lunatic preachers are wrong about everything – about Allah, about the obligation to submit to Allah, about the whole damn thing. It is because they fear what I hope for that devout Muslims have always threatened such mayhem if anyone now proclaims themselves in public to have abandoned Islam, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The effort to establish the right to abandon Islam unmolested is a key locus in the righteous struggle to reduce Islam to insignificance and political impotence.

Christians often complain that atheists only complain about Christianity, rather than about Islam. This criticism does not apply to Sam Harris.

50 comments to Islam has no truly moderate wing

  • I’m generally somewhat skeptical about the idea that Islam as a whole, rather than in part, is a major threat to the West. Boko Haram are a part, not the whole, but I find myself much more sympathetic to the idea that this is a problem now that they have kidnapped 250 girls.

    At the other end of the link Sam Harris asks:

    Where are the moderates who have grasped its implications, realized that they are calamitous, and are working to transform Islam itself?

    Well, Mustafa Akyol wrote a book presenting an alternative. I must get around to reading it.

  • Surellin

    Mass abandonment of Islam may be a bit drastic. Islam is very much a culture rather than a religion, at least in Moslem-majority regions. On the other hand, should a substantial portion of the population become too revolted by the behavior of the lunatics, it is entirely possible that a much more moderate (and modern) version could be created – Moslem Unitarians, so to speak. In the free market of Islamic ideas, surely the invisible hand will provide non-lunatic mullahs and mosques to meet the needs of non-lunatic Moslems!

  • James Strong

    There is not now, never has been, and probably never will be, a ‘free market of Islamic ideas.’
    Islam maintains itself by oppression and the ever-present possibility of violence against dissenters.
    The way to deal with Boko Haram is with ruthless, merciless violence.
    I fear that may be necessary for the whole belief system; I certainly can’t envisage lots of willing apostates causeing mohammedanism to be reformed or to reform itself.

  • I agree with James that the only rational way to communicate with the likes of Boko Haram move at about 2,800 feet per second. However I also share Al-Qaeda’s view of Western Civilisation… we are the enemy because we will destroy them by assimilating them with bourgeois banalities. Well, unless of course we destroy ourselves first.

  • JohnW

    And how is secular Turkey coming along a century after Kemal Ataturk?

  • Confucious

    @Perry: Us destroying ourselves and Islam being destroyed aren’t mutually exclusive.
    The Nazis were ultimately defeated, but still managed to take Eastern Europe down with them. Likewise it’s perfectly possible for Islam to put Europe under it’s crescentshaped Jackboot over the course of the next decades, yet still be eventually destroyed by say a Sino-Indian alliance. What will be left of Europe afterwards is another matter.

  • I predict that, some time within the next hundred years or so, there will be a mass-abandonment of this horrible religion, by all those who find themselves being raised as Muslims but who just want to be human beings, rather than in a state of perpetual war

    There are quite lively ex-Muslim organisations in the UK and US, which I would encourage others to check out online. There are also some impressive Iranian exiles to be found across the West. The difference of course, it is one thing proclaiming yourself an ex-Muslim in a liberal democracy, another entirely in a Muslim majority country.

    So, where does that leave us? Potentially heading towards more of the same in countries such as Egypt, Algeria or Tunisia, where elites have been just about strong enough to hold off significant Islamist blocs. Elsewhere the situation is probably worse – all the long term trends in Turkey are deeply depressing, whilst the more I read and hear about Pakistan, the more convinced I am it will end in some form of Islamic götterdämmerung.

    If so, we better hope the Yanks and the Chinese get the nuclear weapons off them first.

  • Sigivald

    My understanding is that there is currently no “moderate wing” of Islam in any meaningful sense; while it seems from experience there are plenty of “moderate Muslims”, they’re not an organized bloc.

    But that’s historical happenstance, and can change; the modern Jihadi movement of forced-conversion-or-death is a relatively new resurgence; under the Ottoman empire’s Caliphate (and also the Fatimids), it wasn’t exactly like the Taliban would prefer, so to speak, even if it wasn’t ecumenical like a Unitarian convention.

    Enough “weak horse” action on the part of the Fundamentalist-Islamic powers and we may well see a moderate wing form.

  • Snorri Godhi

    “Moderate” is an unfortunate choice of word. If you are a “moderate” X, that means you are not much of an X. That holds whether X is Muslim, libertarian, conservative, socialist, or whatever.
    “Moderate” is also misleading in the sense that it gives the impression that it’s just a matter of turning a knob until one finds the optimal point.
    That suggests that “moderate” Muslims should, first of all, articulate a positive* belief system; and second, find a better label. (Beginning by changing the label would be a tactical mistake: the new label would be effectively meaningless.)

    *Didn’t Paul Marks say something about positive belief systems in the last few weeks?

  • PeterT

    Humans have a great capacity for double think and ignoring inconvenient dogma. Look at China’s ‘Marxist’ economy for example. ‘Radical Islam’ will be on the backfoot once/if populations in Muslim countries find a serious alternative in capitalism. Where there is no link between enterprise and wealth, whether through oil wealth in Saudi or benefits in Bradford, there may be no transition. One more good reason for shale now! And benefits reform.

  • Jerry

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Strong’s suggestions.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    The only truly effective way of shaking free from such influences is to say that the lunatic preachers are wrong about everything – about Allah, about the obligation to submit to Allah, about the whole damn thing.

    I’m pretty sure you are wrong about this, certainly about the “only”. PeterT cited an excellent counter-example (though I am not sure what he means by the rest of his comment about “an alternative to capitalism”.) You might have guessed thirty years ago that China in 2014 would still be under the leadership of the Party. Or you might have guessed that it would be a capitalist nation, in line with the longstanding cultural traditions of the Chinese as traders. You probably would not have guessed it would be both, yet so it has proved. And Maoism was as mad and bizarre and lethal as Islamism, and as fervently proclaimed by vast numbers of people.

    Thank God for hypocrisy.

  • Stonyground

    “Christians often complain that atheists only complain about Christianity, rather than about Islam. This criticism does not apply to Sam Harris.”

    This criticism does not apply to a single atheist that I am aware of.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Stonyground,

    Then you obviously don’t read the Guardian.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Sorry, PeterT, I’ve just read your comment properly. “Alternative in capitalism”. My eyes are beginning to go! Now I understand it, I agree with it even more.

  • Stonyground

    “Then you obviously don’t read the Guardian.”

    Well spotted, I don’t.

  • Nico

    Mass abandonment seems unlikely. Why hasn’t it happened anywhere yet? What has happened in some places is fertility rates dropping through the floor, which is a distant, but acceptable second choice (IFF we don’t self-destruct first).

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Snorri Godhi
    May 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    “Moderate” is an unfortunate choice of word. If you are a “moderate” X, that means you are not much of an X. That holds whether X is Muslim, libertarian, conservative, socialist, or whatever.

    I have to differ: IMHO, the defining characteristic of a moderate is that he acts as though he could be wrong, however strongly he believes in his principles.

    Islam, unfortunately, doesn’t allow its adherents a lot of doubt, or provide many openings where belief and practice are up to the individual. It is literally ‘immoderate’ by its very nature.

    It is simply not credible that a religion (and lifestyle and political system!) named ‘Submission’ is going to regard Western notions of freedom as anything but an occasion of sin.

  • The Nazis were ultimately defeated, but still managed to take Eastern Europe down with them. Likewise it’s perfectly possible for Islam to put Europe under it’s crescentshaped Jackboot over the course of the next decades, yet still be eventually destroyed by say a Sino-Indian alliance. What will be left of Europe afterwards is another matter.

    Nah, I see it VERY differently. Islam in the west is not going to destroy us before it abrupt hits that quantum state at some point in the future (probably a generation from now) where people suddenly realise it has becomes a bit like the Church of England (ie an irrelevance). Only we can destroy us, Islam is actually weak as hell: a bit like a rabid toy poodle with AIDS… on crack… with a grenade between it’s teeth… but its still a fucking toy poodle.

  • Paul Marks

    Islam offers answers to the fundamental questions of life – they may be wrong answers (even evil answers) but they are answers.

    Most people (sooner or later) demand answers – there comes a point when the drink, drugs and porn are just not enough (indeed when they lead to self disgust).

    To defeat Islam one must offer alternative answers to the fundamental questions of human existence – just shooting people will not do.

    However, when I have made this point before I have got a generally hostile response – people do not want to talk in such terms (they prefer “humour”).

    That, Simon, is why Islam (not some little group with a soon to be dead leader)is a threat to the West – not because Islam is philosophically strong (it is not – not really), but because modern Westerners are philosophically weak.

    Horribly weak – and they (modern Westerners) do not even think it matters.

    Essentially Islam is expanding into a void – and nature abhors a void.

  • Regional

    Don’t worry about ‘em, ignore them. The more fanatical one becomes the less happy one becomes and all their homelands are backward shit holes, how many Europeans flee to the ‘Stans’ to claim refugee status.

  • Islam offers answers to the fundamental questions of life – they may be wrong answers (even evil answers) but they are answers.

    So do soap operas.

    To defeat Islam one must offer alternative answers to the fundamental questions of human existence – just shooting people will not do.

    Just let banal western civ be banal western civ. Sadly the statists don’t seem to want to let that happen. People don’t want answers to the fundamental questions of human existence. They just want a better life.

  • jdgalt

    There is not now, never has been, and probably never will be, a ‘free market of Islamic ideas.’

    It’s my understanding that there once was, but that “door was closed” in the 12th century.

    I don’t see any real possibility of a mass exit from Islam, not least because Islamic law decrees death for apostasy (leaving Islam), and in most Islamic countries that law is enforced by the mob, whether the authorities agree with it or not.

    But what I do see as possible, and worth pursuing, is a “Protestant Reformation” of Islam, led by the moderate believers who exist mostly in Western countries. Let that sort of schism develop here and flourish, and people in Islamic countries will start to defect to it.

    I wouldn’t go much beyond that, because terrorism still kills fewer people outside the Middle East than falling coconuts. Or overzealous TSA thugs.

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    jdgalt

    “But what I do see as possible, and worth pursuing, is a “Protestant Reformation” of Islam, led by the moderate believers who exist mostly in Western countries. Let that sort of schism develop here and flourish, and people in Islamic countries will start to defect to it.”

    The “Protestant Reformation” period of Islam is in full swing, and it consists of actually reading the Islamic scriptures and then trying to live in accordance with them. It has been triggered by mass literacy, just as the actual Protestant Reformation was. The problem is that what these Islamic “reformers” are now reading is … Islam, rather than that chaotic Rorschach blob of whatever-you-want: the Bible. Islam, unlike the Bible, is very precise. “Islamic Fundamentalism” is the Islamic Reformation. Mick Hartley is very good on this.

    This Islamic Reformation is the current problem. What is needed is not Reformation, it is what came next in Europe, namely Toleration, for which Christians found plenty of excuses in the Bible, just as other Christians had for Reformation. But the only way to achieve Islamic Toleration is to dump what Islam actually (and very clearly, as you point out) says, in other words to dump Islam.

    The good news is that “the mob”, which as you also say currently enforces what Islam says about dumping Islam, eventually gets old. Mass literacy based fanaticism cools, as the German, English, French, Russian etc., Reformations and Revolutions all illustrate, and the same thing is happening in the Muslim world as we comment. The difference is that whereas Toleration could be fitted in with what remained of Christianity (because Christianity is whatever you want it to be), Islam is far more inherently intolerant. It says what it says, and it doesn’t tolerate reinterpretation. This is why I say there might be a mass exodus from Islam, odd though that now seems to many.

    Many Muslims will, I surmise, convert to Christianity, in order to continue getting those “answers” that earlier comments referred to. Christianity has never been more vigorously entrepreneurial than it is right now. There are bound to be several brands catering particularly for ex-Muslims. I’m guessing there already are.

    Islam is, compared to Christianity, far more rigid, but also far more fragile. The Muslim clergy instinctively get this, which is why they make such a murderous fuss about apostasy. They fear the ideological near-extinction that I hope for.

    Well, we shall see. I won’t, but “we” will. Yet another reason why I’d love to live to 200.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Do not forget that the only role-model for all mohammedans is Mohammed, and he was a warlord, camel-raider, slave-taker and child-bride advocate who kept a harem. What’s a good follower to do?

  • Regional

    Nick,
    Foxtrot Oscar!

  • Rich Rostrom

    Islam is different from Christianity in that it mostly doesn’t have formally organized sects with doctrines and practices common to all congregrations.

    If I go to a Lutheran, Presbyterian, or Catholic church, I know what to expect, and what they believe. The bodies which maintain these creeds have been formally organized for hundreds of years. Thus we can look at Christianity, and say “this sect over here is ‘moderate’, this sect is ‘dogmatic’.”

    That is not true of Islam, AFAIK. It’s far looser and mushier. There are no strong “institutions” in Islam, and none that have formally adopted “moderate” doctrines, like say Unitarians. The strong institutional influences in Islam are the Iranian Ayatollahs, who sit at the top of what seems to be the most formal hierarchy in Islam, and Sunni religious colleges which are largely funded by Saudi Arabia. (I am pretty sure that Saudi money supports Al-Azhar, and there is some kind of state religious body in the Kingdom.)

    He that pays the piper calls the tune, and the Saudis have the most disposable money among Moslems.

    This has a had a peculiar effect in the last 40 years. Islam was always entangled with Arab culture, but recently it has been heavily re-Arabized. Saudi-funded “missionary” operations promote Arab-flavored Islam, i.e. portraying as “Islamic” practices which are really just Arab.

    That said – I don’t see how a “Reform” Islam can arise. Judaism developed its “Reform” branch when Jews needed to adapt to the larger society around them. Moslems don’t.

    Islam is not an existential threat – fanatical Moslems can cause damage, but not achieve real power.

    Mass abandonment of Islam may happen – but for what alternative? Not Christianity, nor atheism. The typical “modern” position of assimilation to nothing in particular?

    Some Moslems assimilate. Lately fewer do. There are ‘gatekeepers’ enforcing compliance. At some point perhaps the gatekeepers will fall.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Perry,

    People don’t want answers to the fundamental questions of human existence. They just want a better life.

    People differ, as do definitions of a better life.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry you just do not understand.

  • What Brian said.

    And what Natalie said. What Paul said, but Natalie put a finer point on it, because Paul’s position is the mirror image of Perry’s, in that they both seem to think that everyone else is like them (on this particular issue). Not everyone needs religion or some other sort of philosophy that “answers” Those Questions. But there are always enough people who do, and they tend to be the ones who push for changes, whatever those changes may be, good or bad.

    Rich, I’m glad you put “Reform” in quotes with regard to Judaism, lest anyone confuses that with Reform Judaism – which is nothing of the sort of reform discussed here, and is all about Progressivism disguised as Judaism Lite.

  • I understand Paul, I just don’t agree. Most people are not ‘activists’. People for the most part want a bigger house, a nicer car, cheaper broadband so they can access a wider choice of streamed moronic reality TV shows. This is why Primark and YouTube and RyanAir and PornTube and Virgin Wines are a vastly bigger long term strategic threat to Islam than Lockheed Martin. Wars of any kind, cultural or military, are not won by whoever has the most resolute belief that the true Meaning of Life is found by understanding (heaven/nirvana/72 virgins/Ayn Rand’s enthusiastic selfishness/materialist dialectics). And moreover, our “scum of the earth”, to whom we dish out the shootie things, are only marginally less benighted than their “scum of the earth”. No, wars are won by who can put the most affordable interesting choices in the supermarket, because everything else springs from that in an exponential cascade of consequences and emergent properties.

    People who come to samizdata and places of a similar ilk are the ones who ponder questions most people cannot be bothered to ask. I know this and you know this. We have both on oh so many times raised Important Questions to people outside our particular Bubble that tend to get met with incomprehension. Money Supply? Morality? Metaphysics? “What does that have to do with the price of beans?” they ask, because to them, the price of their beans in the supermarket really is all that matters.

    Of course the actual answer is “more than you realise, you ignorant wanker”, but that tends to win few hearts and minds. Indeed most hearts are only very tenuously attached to a mind at all. The only questions most people are willing to ask are utilitarian ones and Islam is spectacularly bad at doing that. “Haram” is the word that will be chiselled on Islam’s tombstone.

  • Perry/Paul

    This is alarmingly relevant: http://libertarianhome.co.uk/2014/04/station-theta-gamma-by-jeremy-wells/

    I think perhaps a military humiliation has a place, hopefully on the scale of humiliating Boko Haram (perhaps by shooting each one of them in both knees and both elbows, if they have in fact sol girls into sexual slavery) but generally I’m inclined to agree more with Paul than Perry. People do not vote their pocket books; if they believe they should endorse war/intolerance because it is the right policy then they will endorse war/intolerance.

    Rich Americans vote Democrat don’t they?

  • Mr Ed

    The problem is that those who want a better life are hors de combat, they do not prevent genocidal nutters arising or acting, but the more who seek a better life, the smaller the pool from which the piranhas emerge. Douglas Adams’ Krikkit Wars: Ford Prefect said: ‘They care, we don’t, they win.’.

    Would anyone looking at 15th Century Catholicism at the time, or mid-17th Century English Christianity, have imagined that it would lead to the current Catholic Church, the C of E and the coke-snorting Methodist Minister cum banker at the Co-op that we can see today? I am comparing apple trees with cacti perhaps, but both bear fruit.

  • PeterT

    Rich Americans vote Democrat don’t they?

    Yes, and that example can also be used to provide further colour to my earlier point. People have a bunch of beliefs, which may be contradictory. If any of these beliefs begin to have a serious negative impact on you as the belief holder then the belief can be watered down, or even ditched.

    Lets see how the equation stacks up for rich Americans:

    - Taxes are higher for the rich but the impact on well being is lower than for the middle class (when you are richer each extra $ is less valuable in terms of increasing well being).
    - There are also material benefits in the form of public services. Less applicable to the super rich of course.
    - There is a social cost to holding non-mainstream beliefs. Apart from not being invited to parties you may also not get invited to business meetings. I’m quite vocal in the office about this global warming business and the most positive reaction I get is bemusement. The Dutch guy across from me just puts on his silent face. Note that it is irrelevant what the actual mainstream belief is.

    Something that is a worry is that, as we get wealthier AND the source of that wealth becomes increasingly divorced from capacity to act rationally, the opportunity cost of holding wacky ideas reduces.

  • Laird

    Sorry, Paul, but I agree with Perry on this. Most people aren’t concerned with “the fundamental questions of life”, but merely with daily living. Certainly, sometimes in the wee hours they may briefly ponder the Great Questions, but only rarely and for most it’s simply not a pressing concern. Most people don’t choose a religion, they are born to it and accept it as uncritically and unthoughtfully as they do their nationality and favorite sports teams.

    However, I will concede that Islam does a far better job of dealing with daily life than do most other religions. It seems that a large number of people aren’t interested in having to think or make decisions, but prefer to be told what to do. This is what Islam excels at, big-time. So if your argument were not that Islam deals better with Life’s Great Questions, but rather with its little ones, I might be tempted to agree with you. (And of course its use of tactical fanaticism as a retention tool helps, too.) But that doesn’t seem to be a strong recruiting tool today (it may have been more of one in the 14th century), and on balance I think that in the modern (post-Industrial Revolution) world Islam’s failures from a purely utilitarian (quality of life) perspective will be its downfall. We just have to hope that western civilization can survive until that occurs.

  • Mr Ed

    Well coming back to events in Nigeria, if this report from the BBC of 200 Boko Haram fighters killed in a raid on three villages by the villagers (note the language ‘vigilantes’ and ‘suspected militants’, in the words of Cpl Jones, ‘They don’t like it up ‘em’.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Alisa @ May 14, 2014 at 9:47 am:
    Rich, I’m glad you put “Reform” in quotes with regard to Judaism, lest anyone confuses that with Reform Judaism – which is nothing of the sort of reform discussed here, and is all about Progressivism disguised as Judaism Lite.

    IANAJ, but Reform Judaism substantially predates Progressivism. Also, I’m not sure what is “the sort of reform discussed here”, but Reform Judaism appears to me to be”Judaism Lite”: retaining formal Jewish identity and core practices, while discarding he rigid observance of practices that set Jews apart from society at large.

    That seems rather like what many think Islam needs. There is a greater need, in that Islam, unlike Judaism, is a “church militant”. Jews, being powerless, long ago abandoned any doctrines that would bring them into physical or political conflict with gentiles. Christians gave up such doctrines to stop fighting each other, and because they caused too much trouble in dealing with powerful heathens (in China, India, etc). Moslems are not powerless, and hold fast to them.

    Though I do note this. Moslems in power tend to be oppressive toward infidel minorities. But Moslems ruling over really large numbers of infidels tend to back off and become accommodating. For instance in pre-colonial India. The Mogul Emperor Akbar even tried to form a syncretic Moslem-Hindu “compromise” religion.

    One factor that may affect current Moslem attitudes: nearly all the wealthiest and most influential Moslems live in 90%+ Moslem countries. Perhaps this fosters a supremacist attitude in those countries, which spreads into Moslems elsewhere.

  • the other rob

    There’s an interesting discussion at Legal Insurrection around whether al-Sisi might be trying for Brian’s “Toleration” in Egypt.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perhaps i can suggest a compromise that will leave both Paul and Perry unhappy. (Not sure whether Natalie and Alisa will be happy or not.) This compromise is actually implicit in what Laird wrote above:

    Most people don’t choose a religion, they are born to it and accept it as uncritically and unthoughtfully as they do their nationality and favorite sports teams.

    So (practically all) people do need a set of “positive beliefs”, as Paul claims: beliefs about their identity, the world, and values; but in fact, the vast majority of people acquire this set of beliefs before leaving elementary school. Barring major teenage or midlife crises, they can spend the rest of their life worrying about the price of beans, how to get laid, and other quality of life issues.

    I note, however, that in England i found an exceptional number of people uncertain about values, the world, and their place in it — and i write this as an Anglophile, when it comes to *historical* England/Britain.

    But never mind England: the fact is that, if people turn to “radical” Islam, then they must indeed feel the need for certainties that they did not acquire in elementary school. (Unless it’s elementary school which turned them to radical
    Islam.)
    In the case of such people, Paul is right:

    To defeat Islam one must offer alternative answers to the fundamental questions of human existence – just shooting people will not do.

  • Reform Judaism appears to me to be”Judaism Lite”: retaining formal Jewish identity and core practices, while discarding he rigid observance of practices that set Jews apart from society at large.

    Rich, short answer: if only. Long answer would be too much of an OT for this thread, so perhaps some other time.

  • Snorri: happy or not, your assessment seems to me the closest to reality so far in this thread.

  • Russ in TX

    Here in TX we beat down Islam every single day, by showing Christians, atheists, and just-generally-everybody to be way more polite, kind, and considerate to muslim women than any muslim men happen to be.

    The behaviors change. Some of the muslim schoolkids I’ve taught have been proud to be niqabi-ninjas. But most of them were much happier to gradually assimilate than to be drama-whores looking for affirmation.

  • Alsadius

    Religion is a mirror of the people who believe it – any religious text on the planet is long and convoluted enough to justify absolutely anything. As long as most Muslims want to be assholes, Islam will be an asshole religion. When they don’t, it won’t be. (And I know some who don’t – they’re as sedate as an Easter-only Catholic)

  • James Waterton

    What Islam needs is most certainly not a Lutheran Reformation. Islam needs an 1890 Manifesto forced upon them.

    Religions have been known to abandon their core beliefs if external forces make these beliefs untenable. Islam won’t reform itself. It will be reformed.

  • James Waterton

    Or it will be dealt with in the manner James Strong mentions above, ie. exterminated with extreme prejudice – Muslims forced to dump Islam or be killed. Which seems fair, as it’s the same fate it prescribes for those it considers infidels.

    I suppose the third alternative is it will subjugate the non-Muslim world.

  • Mr Ed

    Neither the Soviets, the Communist Albanians nor the Red Chinese succeeded in eliminating Islam by terror and propaganda, albeit that they offered an alternative belief system that was inherently vile, so I do not see ‘forced conversion’ or ‘diversion?’ (How can there be such a thing?) as a means of tacking the problems arising from the implementation by adherents of the more extreme aspects of their strains of religion, and there is the device of taqiyya, dissimulation as a tactic, historically used by the Alawites in Syria and Shia to cope with Sunni oppression, and by Sunni after the Reconquest in Iberia, when not killed or expelled, along with the Jews. Portuguese cuisine has a Pork and Clam stew supposedly designed as a means of affirming one’s willingness to eat food that is not kosher or haram.

    I am aware of a town in northern Portugal where the Jews adopted Christianity outwardly and maintained elements of their Judaism secretly, their descendants only ‘coming out’ in 1928! Rather poor timing given events to come in Europe, but Salazar would have none of it from the Nazis.

    I would have thought that any crypto-Muslims in Iberia would have come out by now.

  • jdgalt

    An “1890 Manifesto”, if you mean it close to literally, would be evil. Polygamy in itself is not a harmful practice.

    What we need them to be made to adopt would be tolerance of (or at least a pledge of no violence against) dissent including ridicule, apostasy, and marrying out of a faith. Indeed, I’d vote to ban any organized group that is willing to use force for those reasons, or to shelter those who do.

    I’d also like to see something along the lines of “Radio Free Europe” directed into the Islamic countries. Preferably not government run. If they can have “Al Jazeera America” we can return the favor.

  • Kirk Parker

    Brian,

    Doesn’t your cell phone have at least a rudimentary camera?

  • Kirk Parker

    If they can have “Al Jazeera America” we can return the favor.

    Amazingly, AlJ America sometimes has real stories…

  • Kirk Parker

    Islam is not an existential threat

    Oh, please. Yes, it’s a dying dragon; but that dragon is incredibly dangerous as it thrashes around–and moreso as too many on our side of things disagree that’s there are any precautions that need to be made!

    Mass abandonment of Islam may happen – but for what alternative? Not Christianity,

    Ah, so you’re not aware of what’s been going on in Iran? Noted.