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Reasons for optimism in the fight against Islamists

A forceful article in the Times today stating that the pessimists are wrong. In Iraq, in Afghanistan and at home, the death-cultists of Islamism are on the run.

What is also clear that if this progress is lost, it will not be because of the lack of bravery or skill of the US, British and other allied forces. They have been magnificent. No, the weak link in the chain remains, in my view, the craven attitude of the domestic western populations to the constant demands from home-grown radical Islamists. The farcical treatment of Mark Steyn in Canada is a case in point.

What remains an issue for advocates of isolationist foreign policy – which is actually not a policy at all – is how any of the gains that the Times’ article talks about could have been achieved by adopting the equivalent of hiding under the bed with a bottle of whisky.

19 comments to Reasons for optimism in the fight against Islamists

  • Surely, it is better to hide under the bed with a bottle of whisky than it is to pander to them via ‘race hate’ and ‘equality’ laws plus giving them an easy ride in Court and subsidising all these ‘Islamic’ groups and giving mosques charitable status?

  • Patrick B

    Complaint against Steyn dismissed—there is a little ray of hope.

    CHRC Judgement, just released:
    “The Steyn article discusses changing global demographics and other factors that the author describes as contributing to an eventual ascendancy of Muslims in the ‘developed world’, a prospect that the author fears for various reasons described in the article. The writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

    Overall, however, the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature as defined by the Supreme Court in the Taylor decision. Considering the purpose and scope of section 13 (1), and taking into account that an interpretation of s. 13 (1) must be consistent with the minimal impairment of free speech, there is no reasonable basis in the evidence to warrant the appointment of a Tribunal.

    For these reasons, this complaint is dismissed. ”

  • I am certainly happy for Steyn, but in the overall scheme of things, somehow this doesn’t make me feel much better.

  • Can Styn now counter-sue ? If possible he should do something to fight back aginst the attempt to silence him.

  • Ed

    The trouble is that even if our forces kill or capture every last terrorist in Afghanistan and Iraq the seeds of the violence will remain in the verses of the Koran that call for warfare and persecution against non-Muslims. Thus things are likely to revert to their old state as soon as we pull our forces out. We should remember that the parents of the 7/7 bombers were no radical Islamists, but rather their extremism grew directly out of their interpretation of the Koran. Not being a scholar of the Koran, I am not qualified to say whether this is the “correct” interpretation or a perservsion of it, and indeed it matters little, as whether right or wrong this is the interpretation taken by countless Muslims over the centuries. To expect this interpretation to suddenly disappear in favour of a gentler one would seem unrealistic.

    Such systematic violence is by no means a new phenomenon, only the form that it has taken in modern times. It has been going on since the day of Mohammed himself who led his followers to massacre those who would not accept his religion and therefore to think we can remake countries like Afghanistan after more than a thousand years of violent Islam in a timescale acceptable to us was naive. It was a pipedream of vainglorious politicians who imagined that in their brief and inconsequential period they could undo centuries of history and ows more to the radical and revolutionary universalism of Marx, Lenin or Trotsky than to any conservative tradition.

    Given this, the long-term occupation and ‘nation-building’ in Afghanistan and Iraq would appear to be futile and a waste of resources and soldiers’ lives. Rather, we should attempt to insulate ourselves from these countries and the terror they breed while reserving the right to defend ourselves by carrying out short-term expeditions to neutralise any specific plots they may harbour.

    In order to insulate ourselves we should halt Islamic immigration, including the importation of spouses. We must stop appeasing Islam in an effort to buy off radical Islamists through all manner of absurdities such as recognising and subsidising polygamous marriages and caving in to bullying such as the case of the hairdressing applicant awarded compensation for not being employed because she would not show her hair.

  • Pa Annoyed


    Agree with your first two paragraphs, disagree with the last two.

    The best option is what I would call a ‘cultural war’, in which Afghans and Iraqis are offered the opportunity and allowed to experience the many advantages of going secular. If you can’t beat ’em, get them to join you.

    The point of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is not to defeat the nutters directly by killing them all, but to hold open a political space for the people there to build a better country for themselves if they choose, without getting their heads chopped off by the Islamists for trying. We’re certainly not going to get Enlightenment secularism overnight, and we might not get it at all, but that’s the plan.

    Similarly, Muslims being over here is good because it gives us more of an opportunity to demonstrate the virtues of our way of life. Invite them in and convert them. Don’t invite them in and leave them to fester in their own isolated communities. That’s our mistake.

    What it also needs is for it to be possible for the flaws of Islam to be openly discussed, and for Westerners to see their own culture and values as something to be justifiably proud of. We’re making good progress over there, but we’re losing the fight here at home.

  • acrobat74

    The fight against Islamists, a very tempting title.

    Why are we in Iraq fighting those ‘terrorists’ again?

  • Pa Annoyed

    Why put ‘terrorists’ in quotes?

  • Gabriel

    Because he’s a knob?

  • Pa Annoyed

    The thought had crossed my mind!

    I wasn’t sure if this was just another of those useful idiots working for the other side, alluding to some daft moral equivalence point, or somebody more sensible who was trying to make the point about “the war on terror” being misnamed, it really being the war on Islamists, and failing badly to express themselves clearly.

    Like you, I was leaning rather towards the former, but I do like to give people enough rope to pull themselves out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves, if they choose to.

  • David Cameron has pronounced! Hold your breath, chaps…Forced marriages are utterly unacceptable. Well, swelp me. It’s danged for a wombat I am. Should we mock or should we rather nurse the man towards greater heights? I think the latter. Independently of how one votes or even if one votes, any mainstream politician who shows so much as a flicker of understanding of the expressions ‘individual sovereignty’ and ‘personal ownership’ should be encouraged to explore these notions further.

  • Pa Annoyed

    “..and if the current legislation doesn’t work in ending forced marriages, the Conservative Party would consider making them a criminal offence.”

    Sounds a bit vague.

    I always wonder about that word, “unacceptable”. What does “not accepting” something really mean? That you never say you accept it, and glare at it in a disapproving manner indefinitely? Or that you are prepared to do absolutely anything to stop or reverse it?

  • marc in calgary

    the CBC in Canada referred to the war, as “the so called war on terror” without the quotations.

    some of us refer to the CBC, as “the so called Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and communications wing of the Liberal Party of Canada”

  • marc in calgary

    on a bright note, the supreme court of Canada did re affirm our right to free speech last friday, in a 9-0 ruling.

    which I hope has the so called Human Rights Tribunals fleeing for cover…

    http://www.ezralevant.com continues to hammer the points home as well…

    we´re winning.

  • acrobat74

    A knob?
    A useful idiot?

    Lol what manners 🙂
    Shame for that deficient upbringing.

    It is often said that one man’s terrorists are another man’s freedom fighters, no?

    There you go then, sans quotes:

    Why are we in Iraq fighting those terrorists again?

    Was it the WMD?
    Was it the links with ‘terrists’ as W liked to say?
    Do the words ‘sexy dossier’ bring anything to mind?

    As for those bad Islamists…who was funding Bin Ladin in the ’80s again?

  • Pa Annoyed

    Ah. As I thought.

    I don’t know about ‘knob’, but ‘useful idiot’ is a classic quote, (albeit probably apocryphal,) that you ought to recognise.

    The only people who say “one man’s terrorists are another man’s freedom fighters” are supporters of terrorism, using a doctrine called “moral equivalence” in which they try to weaken the West’s resolve by using its own principles against it, by setting out its every minor fault as being ‘equivalent’ to all the horrors perpetrated elsewhere, and by smearing with this label anyone who fights against their oppression for genuine freedom. Terrorists and freedom fighters are two entirely different categories, one defined by means and the other by ends. They sometimes intersect, certainly, but they are not different names for the same thing.

    And I would think it pretty obvious to anyone who had studied orthodox Islam that one thing the Jihadis are not fighting for is Freedom. Absolutely the opposite, in fact.

    So anyone who tries to use the line to defend Al Qaida murderers bent on imposing a certifiably insane totalitarian theocracy over the world by force is, if they know what they’re saying, evil beyond belief, or to do them the utmost kindness by supposing them to be merely ignorant and deluded, ‘a knob’.

    A lot of people play these sick games in which they neither know nor care about the pain of ruined lives they invoke in finding ever more extreme accusations to throw against their petty political hate-figures. They’ve never heard of the Laogai and only vaguely of the Gulag. They don’t know or much care what goes on in the lightless parts of North Korea. Or how the Copts in Egypt live, or servant women in Saudi Arabia. They don’t know what Sharia law has in store for them; what it has already done to hundreds of millions of people just like them. They’re just words, and it’s all a game, and it’s such a laugh to think up a funny new insult for George W Bush and how he’s, like, the worst thing ever.

    Well, I can tell you, the Iraqis know exactly what we’re fighting for, and having suffered the alternative for at least a quarter of a century, are in a position to appreciate it. And the Islamists the Iraqis are fighting are complete and utter bastards. I know whose side I’m on. Whose side are you on?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Why are we in Iraq fighting those terrorists again?

    Why do you need to ask? Cannot you read a fucking newspaper? Ever heard of Saddam, his numerous breaches of the 1991 ceasefire, his use of chem. weapons vs. the Kurds, his initiation of two major wars of conquest (Iran/Kuwait); his financial backing of Hamas, etc; his provision of shelter for some al-Q terrorists; his hiring of WMD scientists and development of a WMD programme….

    What is the matter with you? Why is it so constantly necessary to point out that the Saddam regime was vile, dangerous, untrustworthy and stood in the way of any decent chance to put together something better in the Middle East and hence, to gradually “drain the swamp” of terrorism?

    Seriously, do you folk really believe that a “do-nothing” attitude towards the Mideast would have worked? Are you really that thick?

  • acrobat74

    It is idiotic to believe that liberal democracy can be exported at the point of a gun.

    The Iraq war was about one thing and one thing only: oil.

    The plan has always been to stay there.

    Who funded and supplied Bin Ladin in Afhganistan?

    Who funded and supplied Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war?

    Sexy dossier? WMD? Abu Ghraib?

    Oh yes, I do recognize bloodthirsty, sexually frustrated, unmitigated idiocy when I see it.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    acrobat74, okay, since you are one of those “it was all about the oil” types, I would normally not bother to debate with you but I cannot resist giving you another round in the boxing ring before the ref. steps in to stop the fight and drag you off to hospital. Let’s deal with each of your points:

    It is idiotic to believe that liberal democracy can be exported at the point of a gun.

    It may be “idiotic” to transplant democracy by force; it is certainly not silly to overthrow tyranny by force (it is not always possible to do so peacefully). The spread of democracy is not my primary concern in Iraq; the advance of freedom and resistance to thuggery most definitely is.

    Who funded and supplied Bin Ladin in Afhganistan?

    The Saudis, mostly. He also got support from Pakistan and the Taliban. Like many “warmongers”, I believe that a vital strategic goal of the West is to reduce its use of ME oil to squeeze the Saudis into stop supporting such people; the Taliban support and protection of al-Quaeda justifies the West’s attack on Afghanistan after 9/11. Yes, the West did support the Afghans in the 1980s against the Russians – in the Cold War, a lot of silly things happened.

    Who funded and supplied Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war?

    His own regime, mostly, plus a variety of Western powers who – mistakenly – thought of him as the lesser of two evils in that war. But answer me this: does the West’s previous, stupid support for Mr H. mean that it is wrong to subsequently change our minds? I have never understood this idea that because we supported X in the past, that it is wrong to ever change course. In fact, our brief support for this man creates a moral obligation on our part to write that previous wrong. What would you have done about that?

    Sexy dossier? WMD? Abu Ghraib?

    I oppose torture and have said so. On the WMD issue, as I said in my comment above, there is evidence that SD had, and was building, a WMD programme and had the scientists and support to set one up very quickly. It is a myth, put about by the “Bush lied, people died” people, that there was no WMD programme in place. And remember that SD’s consistent opposition and frustration of UN weapons inspectors was taken, by all the intelligence services of the West, as a sign that his intensions were malign. Again, I challenge you to argue how his activities could have been ignored.

    Oh yes, I do recognize bloodthirsty, sexually frustrated, unmitigated idiocy when I see it

    Abuse is not a substitute for argument. I also notice that you have not answered my, or PA’s points either about things such as Saddam’s support for Islamist terror groups, etc.

    With hindsight – a very dubious guide – we can all argue that there might have been different ways to somehow deal with and contain Iraqi aggression, etc. I challenge the opponents of the war to come up with constructive suggestions. But they rarely do so, and I have reached the point in doubting their good faith and honesty. If the best you can do is throw around childish insults, then we have won this argument, and you would be best advised to admit as much.