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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


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (55) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
"Moderate Islam" as compared to..... What?? [95 words]Ron BlowerFeb 9, 2016 02:29227996
This Great Article Made Me Think That Guliani Should Have Made This Contrast Between His Recognizing Islamofascism and Obama being Blind To It [277 words]Mike ConlonNov 16, 2015 22:25226429
Picture worth 10,000 words? [1 words]JIMJFOXAug 9, 2015 12:40224626
Losing by intimidation [202 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
jdubowMar 17, 2015 20:34222403
... in denial- pun intended [60 words]JIMJFOXAug 9, 2015 12:52222403
2jihad [69 words]cavan edwardsApr 30, 2013 11:23205753
1Da nile, not just a river in Egypt. [44 words]LynnApr 28, 2013 09:21205701
Islam is not the enemy, Muslims are not the enemy, the WSTJ cult is the enemy of the West [50 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AthosApr 26, 2013 02:27205630
You forgot Sirhan Sirhan [135 words]Wallace Edward BrandMay 7, 2013 01:40205630
1What message islamic terrorists are REALLY sending! [160 words]SteveMay 23, 2015 18:29205630
Disingenuous- Ironic, some?? [42 words]JIMJFOXAug 9, 2015 12:44205630
It needs to be monitored [187 words]john w. mcginleyApr 4, 2013 16:28204949
James Holmes of the Colorado massacre converted to the religion of peace! [39 words]dhimmi no moreMar 23, 2013 11:07204627
Islam & Islamism, one and the same. [19 words]Steven LMar 19, 2013 22:26204510
Denial Symptom [49 words]Clifford IshiiMar 19, 2013 20:50204505
1Denying Islam's role in Terror. Explaining the denial, rather the Obsession. [123 words]AnneMar 17, 2013 18:10204428
west,the terror of the world. [69 words]Muzaffar hussainJun 7, 2013 23:20204428
1Denying Islam's Role in Terror. The Denial is on your side. response to Muzzafar. [224 words]AnneJun 9, 2013 07:55204428
1Denial by Making an Issue Abstract (about 'Hate' Speech) [275 words]Ron ThompsonMar 17, 2013 08:09204409
2WHITE HOUSE COVERUP ON BENGHAZI ASSAULT [72 words]JERRY BORISMar 16, 2013 16:54204393
3Germany [68 words]ChristaMar 17, 2013 16:18204393
2Truth first, and then use the "shame" weapon [790 words]Mike C.Mar 16, 2013 14:00204387
1Can we reassert the right to scientific and scholarly criticism of ANY religion? [1020 words]Martin H. KatchenMar 15, 2013 20:49204377
1Good points, but I disagree with your conclusion [199 words]saraMar 15, 2013 21:10204377
I must respectfully rebut your disagreement [547 words]Martin H. KatchenMar 16, 2013 00:58204377
A voice of reason [13 words]LenoreMar 19, 2013 19:20204377
1Denying Islam's Role in Terror / Explaining the Denial [142 words]JudithMar 15, 2013 19:45204376
Excellent Review by Daniel Pipes [265 words]Carol CassadyMar 15, 2013 18:42204375
If you don't blame Islam, blame Asians [41 words]GamalielMar 15, 2013 18:39204374
So long as we look the other way... [182 words]NuritGMar 15, 2013 18:00204373
1A Different Suggestion on Why It Is So Very Hard to Get THE OBVIOUS Widely Accepted [1875 words]Ron ThompsonMar 15, 2013 13:41204366
Time to Stand-Up to Extremist Da'Wah and Jihadism! [225 words]GKMar 14, 2013 14:06204323
An idea [61 words]Kepha HorMar 13, 2013 21:18204306
1The terrorism that dares not speak its name [73 words]stuffagainMar 9, 2013 22:50204169
8Islam and terrorism [478 words]dhimmi no moreMar 9, 2013 08:07204144
Turkish Intelligence Recruits Al Nusra Terrorists to Fight in Syria [17 words]Young MCMar 10, 2013 09:27204144
The Turks and Jihadists fighting in Syria [120 words]dhimmi no moreMar 13, 2013 10:14204144
3Excellence [255 words]Tom DundeeMar 8, 2013 14:08204123
3They are not medical doctors [187 words]Y Brandstetter MDMar 7, 2013 06:03204087
I Agree With Your Intent, But Not Your Rationale [166 words]Tom DundeeMar 8, 2013 15:30204087
4When Islamists tell us the truth, can't we just listen? [331 words]JeffMar 5, 2013 13:01204051
why we listen and do not understand - aggression vs hostility [312 words]mythMar 6, 2013 06:57204051
2Dutch AIVD partly in denial [173 words]mythMar 5, 2013 04:59204046
3Our Government Has Forgotten Its Obligations [108 words]DaveMar 4, 2013 08:01204019
1Religion of Peace [45 words]Tom DundeeMar 8, 2013 15:12204019
7So who is really our enemy? [106 words]dhimmi no moreMar 4, 2013 07:29204017
9what is the nature of the Obama-moderates? [56 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
mythMar 3, 2013 19:33204006
9The elephant in the room! [131 words]dhimmi no moreMar 4, 2013 07:55204006
6moderate muslims [25 words]diana westMar 4, 2013 08:43204006
Excellence in Writing [102 words]Kevin SynnottMar 8, 2013 14:18204006
Outstanding Catch [2 words]Tom DundeeMar 8, 2013 14:21204006
response to moderate muslims by diana west [69 words]LilyApr 19, 2013 18:43204006
4Islamists have been given the license to kill [96 words]TomMar 3, 2013 19:14204004
6German "Verfassungsschutz" report a good read for US authorities [208 words]mythMar 3, 2013 18:19204003
2The agenda [42 words]BillMar 3, 2013 17:46204001

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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