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To Speak Up, or Remain Silent?

Reader comment on item: "You can't fight Islamism with ideas coming out of Europe"
in response to reader comment: Not so certain

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Dec 12, 2010 at 18:28

Your entire middle paragraph tends to strongly reinforce my view that Islam is inherently a totalitarian political/theological/military system, and I thank you for providing me and perhaps others with a few more strands of observation and argument which make that point.

Islam may not have been a totalitarian movement at the time Mohammed founded it, if only because the totalitarian cast to authoritarian and autocratic regimes such as his, which turns them totalitarian, is a malignant product of Modernity allied with the evil side of human nature (the former of course new, with the latter age-old) That is to say, we now have what was unavailable to him 14 centuries ago, authoritarianism and intolerance on steroids, by means of the modern technologies of, first the printing press, and then ever more efficient means of violence along with successive waves of electronic mass media - telegraph, radio, movies, television, and now of course the Internet.

But I think all the seeds of totalitarianism were there from the beginning, as your comments point out.

And therefore I want to further suggest, or ask, do you think the failure to Speak Up against the inherent unfixability of Islam, if that's in fact true, decreases or increases the odds of increased military action? In other words, we have so far 'turned the other cheek', condemning 'radical' or 'militant' Islam, or 'violent extremism', but being oh so careful to avoid calling into question the character of Islam itself.

Does this rather remarkable forbearance encourage the broader masses of Islam - the Arab 'street' - and the terrorists to see us as weak and therefore encourage them to further attacks, while at the same time undermining our resolve by failing to identify the right enemy, and also allowing free rein to all those who blame the West (and of course Israel) for our problems with the Moslem world.? Or would we increase the likelihood of military action by Moslem states and more terrorist attacks if we decide that Islam, rather than us or a mere tiny fraction of Moslems, is the enemy, and stand up to it, at least with words?

Maybe it is in fact better to remain silent in the face of all the ideological attacks - not to mention allowing Israel to be demonized as the worst State in the world - while passively hoping that sooner or later some sort of not-very-visible 'Moderate' Moslemswill take up the ideological struggle we are failing to wage in our own defense.

But I'm inclined to think failing to speak up is more apt to increase than decrease the dangers we face. More apt to increase rather than decrease the dangers of much wider war. Although I fully realize its not EXACTLY the same, we were quite willing to use strong language vs the totalitarian ideology of the Soviet Union, and it certainly seems to me that language played a vital part in winning that titanic struggle without war. Ron Thompson

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