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A Different Suggestion on Why It Is So Very Hard to Get THE OBVIOUS Widely Accepted

Reader comment on item: Denying Islam's Role in Terror: Explaining the Denial

Submitted by Ron Thompson (France), Mar 15, 2013 at 13:41

An ongoing mystery is why the Totalitarian nature of Islam is not nearly as widely recognized and accepted, across political lines, as was Communist Totalitarianism.

Why is this?

It is quite remarkable for me to read a lengthening list of books and articles from a wide variety of sources and individuals exploring and exposing in a comprehensive way the fundamental incompatibility of all the core doctrines of Islam with the supposed common values of the West, and yet a broad range of Public Opinion is determinedly resistant to accepting this incompatibility.

Why is this?

These comments will suggest four reasons, with the fourth, that the denial is a function of domestic politics, is perhaps the most difficult to consider.

First, the core doctrines of Islam, as taken from the Koran and from a host of recent statements by Muslim clerics, political leaders and placards carried by those demonstrating or rioting in the name of Islam across the planet, are just too incredible to be believed.

For instance, it is better to die for Allah than live in peace with non-Muslims; women who leave their homes alone or without their faces covered are 'asking to be raped'; Islam deserves to take over the whole world and then there will be universal peace and justice; Any debate or criticism of Islam, however truthful, is proof of 'Islamophobia', a recently discovered form of discrimination worse than all others in the contemporary world; Mohammed revealed that lying to advance Islam is a form of holiness, and he is the 'prefect man'; Mohammed married a nine-year old, and he is the 'perfect man'; hating Jews is a form of worship of Allah; any Muslim who leaves Islam, and anyone who criticizes anything about Islam, should immediately be killed; it is right that non-Muslims in all the Western welfare states should work for a living while Muslims seek to obtain this welfare in all its forms while attempting to avoid work, as these payments are a form of Jizya, the tax non-Muslims pay to Muslims in order to be protected and live in peace in an Islamic world (this last publicly and repeatedly proclaimed by one of loudest Muslim voices in England).

All these, and many similar beliefs are central to the practice of Islam, and to theology-based Sharia law, which is the equivalent of our secular Constitution and absolutely forbids separation of Church and State. And yet none of these universal beliefs and practices of Islam are enough to cause a widespread conviction that Islam is totally incompatible with the supposed core values of the West.

Could this be because these Islamic beliefs and practices are simply regarded as too preposterous to take seriously? 'They can't really mean them'.

Put another way, is there a psychological process going on whereby these Big Beliefs become a strange mutant form of Big Lie – that is, even though they are not Lies, they are simply too bizarre to be believed no matter how passionately and repeatedly they are stated and shouted by Muslims?

The second reason is more straightforward and easily stated. If there were over a Million Muslims in the world rather than over a BILLION, would there be this same resistance to believing what Muslims say is their goal – to take over the world? In other words, while the explanation for the first reason is an unwise indifference to Muslims beliefs and demands, the explanation for the second may be a profound fear, leading to Denial, and a hope or belief that the threat will eventually just … go away.

The third reason is a combination of several emotions – indifference, denial, fear, and hope - and has to do with the centrality, for good and bad, of Religion in the history of the West.

Since religion is seen as the primary source of personal morality for many in the West, then for one branch of believers the contrast with Islamic morality is obvious and they are utterly opposed to it.

But for another large group, equally believers but with a different moral focus to their belief (unlike Islam, Western religion has a far wider range of belief coupled with a definite, if reluctant, minimum tolerance for other religions and sects within itself) they find it easy to ascribe or project the same underlying motives of tolerance and peacefulness to this newly surging religion, perhaps because the West has always had periodic waves of religious renewal. And so Islam is assumed to be just another such 'surge' which will soon enough 'calm down' in its wilder statements and join the 'family' of other religions in the West.

This latter attitude is also more easily fallen into because Islam, unlike an atheistic Communism taking over the non-Western nations of Russia and China, is seen as coming from a 'common' tradition of the 'three Abrahamic religions'. Again, coming to this conclusion requires either not paying close attention to what Muslims say about their own religion and its goals, or, if paying attention, not taking what is said seriously. It also requires a feeble or non-existent familiarity with the history of Islam, and of the fact that Christianity gave up, in disgust and horror, killing in the name of religion some 400 years ago.

A third part of the role of religion in the West has been, at least since the Renaissance over 500 years ago, a major role for religious Non-Belief. And since the acceptance of non-belief, while real, is still not complete and probably never will be, many in this camp are apt to regard the 'excesses' of Islamic statements as simply more evidence that they (religions) 'are all intolerant' – and therefore these mere 'excesses' are more apt to be ignored than contested when Muslims express themselves with vehement intolerance of Jews, Christians, Atheists, un-enslaved Women, Gays, Hindus, Non-Muslims, Infidels, other Muslims, etc.

Again, for this to happen, non-believers have to be not paying close attention to what is said, nor giving Muslims the respect of taking them seriously.

Or they are frightened and hope the problem will just … go away.

And then there may be a fourth reason that Islam is actively, even passionately NOT regarded as a threat despite all its core doctrines being completely antagonistic to what are usually regarded as basic Western freedoms. That reason is because the issue of how to regard Islam and what to do about its demands and hostilities to Western modes of thought and behavior has become deeply and dangerously subservient and secondary to domestic politics.

For it is quite stunning how almost all those who are insisting on the mortal danger Islam poses, either immediately or long-term, to Israel, Europe, and the United States seem to be not only on the Right, but on the Far Right of American domestic politics. While all those who insist that there is no problem whatsoever with Islam, but only with a 'fringe' element of 'violent extremists' who have nothing to do with the 'real Islam', have a radically different vision on the role of government and the appropriate domestic policies for the well-being of the country.

During the challenging four decades of the Cold War, from about 1947 to 1989, there was nothing like this strict line-up in seeming lockstep behind absolutely divergent views on BOTH domestic and foreign issues by partisans on the Left and on the Right. During those decades, there was a large number of Democrats who completely shared the views of many Republicans that the Soviet and communist threat was serious and real, and had to be confronted - in fact Democrats were first to assert the threat.

And there was an equally significant roster of Republicans who came to agree that most of the reforms of the New Deal, and the later Civil Rights laws and Medicare, were useful and permanent improvements to American society.

It is unfortunate that all those whose personal memories go back no farther than 25 years, can have no clear memories of how different the American political landscape used to be, when there really was a fairly broad 'Center' of shared views on either Domestic or Foreign policy issues if not both.

And so one is left to ponder – has the issue of Islam become fundamentally a function of domestic politics?

For if this is true it means that BOTH the Left and the Right are unwilling to consider what's best for the country IF it means compromising or moderating their views on issues that are anathema to the other side. It also means that if Islam really is The major national security threat the West faces, then BOTH sides are unintentionally contributing to that threat if each remains unwilling to rethink or modify at least one of their basic policy positions.

For the Left such a change might be willing to reconsider the lazy view that since the Right is regarded as extreme in all its domestic policies, therefore strident warnings about Islam are just another extreme view that can be summarily dismissed. To stop instinctively viewing the question of Islam as merely another mistake from the Right would not seem too much to ask.

For the Right such a change might be willing to rethink their adamant refusal to significantly compromise on any of their domestic policies, even though the last national election was a significant repudiation of many of them. At the very least, since they seem to have the facts about Islam on their side, it doesn't seem too much to ask that they question whether the widespread refusal to consider what they say about Islam may be a function of their tendency to regard all disagreements, either domestic or foreign, as a lack of patriotism.

In short, in order to serve the country both claim to love, both sides may have to consider the question: Do they dislike and oppose their domestic opponents more than, on the Right, they fear the threat from Islam, or on the Left, they dare to acknowledge that that threat may be every bit as real as the Right says?

This is a very cursory view of four reasons – especially the fourth – on why what seems obvious as a factual matter has failed to become a dominant majority reaction to the Islamic pursuit of world domination, as its spokesmen in many countries keep proclaiming loudly and clearly, a quest backed up by daily news in the world's media of killings, indiscriminate mass murders, and plots of more 9/11s in dozens of countries in pursuit of Islamic power.

My thesis is that if Islam really does deserve the kind of awareness brought about by Pearl Harbor and the Soviet Nuclear/Ideological threat, then both sides of the American political divide, albeit for very different reasons, bear equal responsibility for our dangerous national failure to generate a widely agreed-upon response in thought and action. Both sides bear an ominous responsibility for the inability to generate a coherent response to the divide and conquer strategy being, so far, successfully pursued by the champions of Islam. (That is, and most ironically, this strategy is being successfully pursued against the West even though the adherents of Islam remain murderously divided among themselves.)

Ron Thompson

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