Saturday, July 05, 2008

A worthy consideration.

Just read an article that was featured at Five Feet of Fury, which has crystallized some thoughts about our society I've been having of late.  It is a posting by Diana West regarding her book, "The Death Of The Grown-up".  Her contention is that our "war on terror" is just a misstatement of the facts.  She contends we are at war with Islam itself.
I have come to believe that the Western way of life — which I’ll define in brief as life lived according to Judeo-Christian-evolved morality and liberty — is imperiled by the demographic spread and influence of Islamic ideology and laws. Notice I didn’t say the spread of “Islamism.” Or “Islamist-ism.” Or “Islamofascism.” Or just “Wahhabism.” Or “fundamentalist militant extremism.” Over the years, I have used most of these “ists” and “isms” in my column, trying them out one by one until I got to the point where I realized they were serving as a distraction, a form of verbal camouflage that turns our attention away from the ideology and laws of Islam itself. In the cause of not-giving-offense — the highest cause of Westerners-turned-multiculturalists—we have prevented ourselves from undertaking a hard-eyed appraisal of Islamic ideology as a whole, jihadism included, and engaging in a serious discussion of how to contain it.
This is of course a very radical statement.  Being at war with the entire nature of Islam, not just the violent elements of it, wowser.  That would imply there's a <gasp!> value judgment to be made that Western Civilization is <double gasp!> better than Islam!  In fact, better enough that its worth fighting, maybe even dying for.  Holy crap, Batman!

Well, yeah.  I agree with that.  And I agree with Ms. West that we are in a war.  But I don't think Islam is who the war is against. 

Consider the Sikhs, just for a bit of real world contrast.  They basically live in a constant state of war with Islam.  Their whole religion is designed with that in mind, and it has worked really well since they've successfully resisted wave after wave of jihadi invasions for 500 years.  The Punjab is not Muslim, even though some new Muslim instigated outrage is seen once or twice a year.  Non-Muslims dragged from their houses and killed in retribution for the outrage of the week, mosques burned as payback for that, what have you.  The war continues, the Sikhs keep being Sikhs.

We are not at war with Islam.  They may think they are at war with us, and in fact there's some justification for them thinking that.  Women's rights and the sovereignty of the individual are reason enough for them to think that.  As Ms. West says,
Consider the overarching conception of “freedom” itself. The entry on freedom, or hurriyya, in the Encyclopedia of Islam describes a state of divine enthrallment that bears no resemblance to current Western understandings of freedom as predicated on the workings of the individual conscience. But multicultural “we,” rigorously trained to see all peoples and all cultures and all religions as ultimately wired in precisely the same way, persist in overlooking such distinctions. We instead regard our kind of “freedom” as being one-size-fits-all “universal” freedom — universally valued and universally desired. Then we scratch our heads when large swaths of the monocultural Muslim world regard it as an ineluctably Western (if not infidel) threat to Islam. Frankly, I don’t think that convincing Islam otherwise is where our security interests will be met, or even can be met.
If we were at war with Islam the way the Sikhs are, even just since 2001, it'd be over by now. Europe and N. America  vs. the rag-tag "armies" of the Middle East?  Fighting like we mean it?  No PC rules of engagement, just full-on if it moves shoot it, if its not moving blow it up real friggin' war?  Over already.  Ask Saddam, he knows.

So who are we at war with, really?  Diane West explains it well.
Recall the academic “culture wars” of the 1980s and 1990s — a struggle that was, in large part, a war over cultural identity. Were we going to remain heirs to the Western canon, or become children of a multicultural world? Because that question was asked of a post-grown-up society exhibiting classic symptoms of “identity crisis,” the winning answer came decisively from the multicultural Left.

I didn’t realize the full extent of that victory until much later, beginning on 9/11, when the Multicultural States of America—a nation that had taught itself to believe, for example, that the complete works of Alice Walker and William Shakespeare were interchangeable, offering equal enlightenment and meriting equal study (giving Shakespeare the benefit of the doubt) — came under cataclysmic attack. Was it a real war, this time, not a culture war … or was it a real culture war?
I submit, now its a real war.  Islam can't possibly win unless WE LET THEM.  The only reason we might even think of letting them is multi-culti socialism.  That's who we're really at war with.  You can tell because the bad guys have started doing things like the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the gun registry (and gun control generally), and this gem of gems from England yesterday, which I can't freakin' believe: Britain's top judge says Sharia law should be allowed in Britain.

I'd prefer to win this war in the propaganda stage and defeat these CRETINS at the ballot box, before the shooting starts.  Shooting is for the range.  Shooting downtown, that's not good.

The Phantom

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