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Far Too Sanguine?

Reader comment on item: Caliph Ibrahim's Brutal Moment

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Aug 5, 2014 at 13:40

Dr Pipes provides excellent background to the concept of the Caliphate, but I'm quite amazed that he thinks only a Brutal "Moment" is involved.

'Caliph' Ibrahim may be eliminated tomorrow by a rival or a drone, but the idea he has ignited, which tens and hundreds of thousands have been yearning for and thinking about for most of the last century will not die with the death of a single individual.

It seems hard for Westerners, even those steeped in Islam's history, to realize that even though the goals are indeed "hideous" and can only be advanced with immense "carnage", that doesn't mean these results will disqualify those goals in the eyes of True Believers. Muslims already have ample evidence from numerous countries of immense carnage in several countries - Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, .....(a non-exhaustive list) - and there is no evidence that the motivating ideology has been discredited anywhere in the Musim world.

Sure, PARTICULAR expressions of the ideology have been rejected, in Egypt, a heroic attempt was made in Iran in 2009, mounting resistance may be occurring in Turkey. But nowhere is there any group, let alone a political party, that is doing anything like what occurred in Eastern Europe 25 years ago, when Communism itself was explicitly rejected.

Isis is already better-trained, better financed, more numerous, more successful, and more confident than bin Laden's el Queda ever was. So it seems frighteningly clear that even if this not well known 'Caliph' were eliminated tomorrow, other Pretenders will spring up to champion the mad dream of a worldwide Muslim State led by a Caliph who they believe will outshine any imaginable leader from the 'decadent' West. Certainly we have no leaders at present whose personal qualities offer any rebuttal to this prospect.

But the most startling element of Dr Pipes' article is ... the map in black. This is a vast contiguous landmass larger than Africa, most of which is already in Muslim hands of one kind or another. (I'm a little surprised Europe wasn't in grey). It seems all too easy to imagine numerous wannabes looking at that map and their hearts racing with ambition and anticipation, each one dreaming of being the leader of the world's newest and most dynamic Superpower, a dream far more plausible than that of Hitler and the Japanese generals 75 years ago with their far smaller numbers and land base.

Lastly, I'm not sure who Pipes is referring to in his last sentence with the word "those". Is he referring to Muslims or Westerners who will supposedly awaken to the "barbaric zealotry" of the "Islamist" agenda?

Unfortunately, my sad prediction is that if either or both awaken only to the "Islamist" agenda, rather than to what is inherent and ineradicably menacing in Islam itself, then we are in for a mounting worldwide threat and an increased likelihood that only a third Hot war (as opposed to another Cold war, like the one we actually won after 45 years) will prevent the ultimate death of the West.


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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Daniel Pipes replies:

Look at my conclusion and you will see that I wrote almost the same as you did at

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Reader comments (38) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1folly of the 'experts' [94 words]David, ThailandSep 20, 2014 23:48218084
Will NATO have to save Turkey and stop the barbarians at the gate? [164 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
PezDispenserAug 16, 2014 16:26217194
1Turkey's intentions are aggressive, not defensive [136 words]Michael S.Aug 19, 2014 16:35217194
Er, just for the record... [140 words]David, ThailandSep 21, 2014 00:45217194
3Iraq's al-Malik gave ISIS $500 Million? [822 words]Michael SAug 12, 2014 16:41217111
2all very puzzling [124 words]saraAug 12, 2014 20:36217111
1A Millipolar/ Bipolar/ Unipolar World [857 words]Michael SAug 13, 2014 05:07217111
1Complex response [577 words]saraAug 14, 2014 21:46217111
1The Samson Option [527 words]Michael S.Aug 15, 2014 03:07217111
1ISIS AND THE SAUDI GOVERMENT [260 words]IMAD NAHAS /NEO KORBENAug 25, 2014 19:06217111
1Turkish support for IS [217 words]Michael SAug 27, 2014 04:28217111
Looking at the map… [14 words]Richard BudelbergerAug 11, 2014 08:47217078
2Will the "clerks" wake up? [373 words]Fred BaehrAug 9, 2014 15:13217032
حش كوكب or Hash Kawkab? It is the ultimate punishment for a Khalifa! [171 words]dhimmi no moreAug 9, 2014 11:29217016
1al-Khulafa' al-Rashidiin الخلفاء الراشدين three of them we murdered [253 words]dhimmi no moreAug 9, 2014 08:33217008
1El califato universal [19 words]Angel OterosAug 8, 2014 02:39216978
2You made a minor mistake in the Map of Dawlat-al-Khilafa [133 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
PrashantAug 7, 2014 04:53216948
1Nice to Hear from a real Historian [307 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexAug 6, 2014 22:13216827
The Real Reason Why "INTO THE DARK" Made it Into The Journal of Middle East Studies [46 words]PezDispenserAug 9, 2014 11:00216827
close but not complete... [131 words]shAug 6, 2014 21:06216812
4Genocide Against the Yazidi in Iraq by IS [64 words]LudvikusAug 6, 2014 09:55216649
4Evil flourishes when the good do nothing (or not enough) [149 words]Doug MayfieldAug 6, 2014 06:49216607
the map reflects a narrow world view [55 words]mythAug 6, 2014 06:12216598
1Time for lies [64 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
MuslimAug 5, 2014 21:04216554
5Cannot underestimate the Caliphate [148 words]Michael Hanni MorcosAug 5, 2014 17:32216548
1barbarians at the gate [26 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Steve bryanAug 5, 2014 16:04216544
Interesting [94 words]PHILIORAug 5, 2014 14:40216543
Interesting is perhaps Too interesting [138 words]Jules PostenAug 7, 2014 03:27216543
Far Too Sanguine? [507 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Ron ThompsonAug 5, 2014 13:40216542
THE MAP IS FALSE...THE ISLAM HAVE MORE IN EUROPE: FRANCE, GERMANY, HOLLAND,, ETC... [21 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Mateo MathausAug 5, 2014 13:09216540
Spheres & power [40 words]David W. LincolnAug 5, 2014 12:26216538
maps differ [26 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
JayAug 5, 2014 10:38216536
Your title may be premature [13 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Roslyn FranklAug 5, 2014 10:31216534
Hopefully the west will wake up [10 words]Ilana GoldsteinAug 5, 2014 10:08216532
The World stands on the Brink [371 words]Jules PostenAug 5, 2014 09:45216531
2From the Arab Spring to the Islamic Caliphate - While Operation Protective Edge Simmers [209 words]LudvikusAug 5, 2014 09:22216530
We might encourage the Caliphate... [190 words]Mr. DownerAug 5, 2014 08:52216529
Domestic Vignette in ISIS Household [14 words]DaveAug 5, 2014 08:11216528

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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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