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Reader comment on item: How Terrorism Harms Radical Islam

Submitted by Aquinas Invictus (United States), Jan 10, 2015 at 11:33

Dr. P. Congratulations! Another excellent OpEd. I hope your optimism persists and prevails.

In historical perspective, however, the tactics carried out by extremist Islamists have had a record of more successes than failures. And as the West becomes more comfortable its luxuries and safety, and more willing to compromise in the face of conflict, and to avoid any charges of islamophobia, the West becomes more attractive a target, and the persistence of the radicals moves closer toward their inexorable goals: success at global "da'wah", a global Muslim plurality, and near-global recognition of sharia. Once those goals are reached, various factions of the radicals will then sort out among themselves who are the inheritors of the bounty and of their prophet's good graces.

From the time of Mohammad, terror was used to silence enemies of Mohammad and to exact revenge against his enemies and the perceived enemies of the Umma. And, under the next "global" Muslim leader, Abu Bakr, the Ridda Wars (http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=6703.0) took vengeance on all of Mohammad's former subjects who wanted to go their own way after Mohammad's death. Today's faithful believers look to at Ridda Wars as a divine guidebook on how to "perfect" Islam by correcting apostates and "faulty" believers through terror and the sword. Amazingly, given the extremists' warped theology, they find no contradiction in the Ridda Wars' tactics and their faith and strategies. These Ridda Wars and Mohammad's conquest of Mekka should be instructional to security agencies to show them the challenge posed by the terrotists.

But the Islamists hold on to the belief that there will be periods of victory and defeat, but that their momentum is ever on their side. They point to the conquests of Khalid over the Persians and Byzantine Romans as the first sign of their faith's own "Manifest Destiny".

Sure, Europeans and Hindus have stalled global Dawah. In Europe, after conquering all of North Africa and much of Western Asia, some would-be Muslim conquerors found their match in 732 in the Battle of Tours. But the lines between the Christian West and the Muslim leaders in Spain, North Africa and Baghdad remained in semi-conflict. In Spain, where the caliphate was generally considered pluralistic and cultural center, the North African Al Mohads, salafists of their day, came in to "perfect" the beliefs of Christians, Jews and educated, moderate and liberal Muslims, which led to a backlash that eventually led to the Reconquista of Spain. That reconquest is one bright light that the Islamists aim to avenge.

When entering the mind of the radicals, the Al Mohad conservative theologians and Cairo's Caliph Hakim, who persecuted Jews and Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, remain heroes. And even though the Byzantine Navy protected the Europe from Muslim invasions during the dark ages, Europe's Crusade's weakened the Byzantine Empire's buffer between the East and the West. The Crusading West's victory over the Cairo Caliphate was short-lived, and in the end, Saladin's defeated Richard Lionheart, the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem eventually failed and disappeared, and the crusader-weakened Byzantine Empire collapsed and was succeeded by the Seljuk Turks. As the radicals would say, "Allah is great."

Tamerlane's 1396 invasion of Europe and the fall of the Balkans, marked more aggression from the East versus the West and a period of continual strife culminating in the 1529 attempt by Suleiman, to capture the city of Vienna. Even after the Hapsburgs won a decisive victory at Lepanto on in 1571, hostilities from the East continued until 1683's Battle of Vienna. Although Europe's victory reduced the Ottoman efforts to size, Muslim hostilities against Europe only formally ended in 1791 with the British-brokered Treaty of Sistova that ended the Austro-Ottoman Wars.

And yet, despite all of this, the persistence of jihadism and Islamist da'wah seems to pay off. Sheik Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792) prevented the colonization of Arabia when he decreed that the Europeans were not potential allies "al Kitb", but instead polytheists, who should be treated as "kaffir". Even after the Ottoman Empire failed after WWI, the wahhabbis of Arabia inherited a vast treasure in oil that today funds the global Salafist da'wah. Is there any reason for the extremists not to doubt that they will prevail after setback and setback? In their minds' view, the setbacks will be matched by successes. And throughout it all exists a liberal, free-thinking West that is aging and losing its historical perspective, but which, instead, believes that the "The End of History" (by Francis Fukuyama) has arrived … and that the West's childless affluence will continue undefended forever.

In my opinion, the West needs to wake up to the old saw that "Freedom is not free", and that our civilization's hard-won liberties cannot be assumed to survive a period where they are threatened without an intelligent reckoning of the risks ahead.

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
Self Destruction [81 words]LarryFeb 20, 2015 18:43221857
1The Barbaric Form of True Islam Reveals Itself in ISIS Immolation [81 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
LudvikusFeb 5, 2015 00:32220881
1German paper Focus joins a Kalashnikov and the word Islam on its front page [281 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
mythJan 21, 2015 16:28220570
1serious mistake of President Hollande [58 words]Yael FJan 21, 2015 06:31220549
1How terrorism harms radical Islam [145 words]brianJan 15, 2015 00:12220369
Spot on Daniel Pipes [56 words]JPatriot18Jan 14, 2015 09:21220353
1Worship of death over life [77 words]Irma RochlinJan 13, 2015 15:36220342
How Terrorism Hurts Radical Islam.....I agree most adamantly. [170 words]AnneJan 20, 2015 08:09220342
Muslims will be the permanent neighbours of the West,no more. [91 words]PermReaderJan 13, 2015 15:07220341
1It's all about testosterome, and POWER [128 words]Michael SJan 13, 2015 11:53220332
my friends: [38 words]Bruria from IsraelJan 12, 2015 08:42220300
1Could this have been prevented? If there is any good to become of the Charlie Massacre - progressives may awaken to the threat to freeedom and liberal values [103 words]Gus AquinoJan 12, 2015 08:42220299
I hope your optimism prevails. [466 words]Gustavo AquinoJan 12, 2015 06:21220295
Others' hatred = victory [72 words]Naftali GreenwoodJan 12, 2015 04:32220292
2How Terrorism Helps Radical Islam (Note: editted version of prior submission) [268 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Stu FaginJan 11, 2015 21:11220288
Ways in which Terrorism Helps Radical Islam [218 words]Stu FaginJan 11, 2015 18:51220285
1Good-Cop versus Bad-Cop [64 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
LTECJan 11, 2015 18:11220284
1Does Hollande understand freedom better than Obama? [181 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Richard StoeckerJan 11, 2015 13:02220277
my senility not too bad yet [136 words]Richard StoeckerJan 14, 2015 10:06220277
Golden Age [50 words]Barry BlackJan 11, 2015 09:17220269
overly optimistic [81 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Greg LJan 11, 2015 08:01220266
1Time to fight back [256 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Charles MartelJan 10, 2015 23:49220261
response to Dr. Pipes' question [48 words]Charles MartelJan 15, 2015 14:07220261
1Another Thought [125 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Eli IgnatotffJan 10, 2015 17:51220260
2Terrorism Works [351 words]Uncle VladdiJan 10, 2015 17:07220257
4The delusion of multiculturalism [284 words]martin kesslerJan 10, 2015 14:38220254
5Your hopeful optimism [173 words]AndrewJan 10, 2015 14:21220252
What about the poor Pakistani school kids [44 words]Gustavo AquinoJan 12, 2015 19:02220252
1Andrew, I hope so, too. [244 words]JeffJan 13, 2015 13:06220252
4Nous Sommes Charlie et vive la France! as for "Those that slander the prophet of Islam" at Charlie Hebdo: may they rest in peace [120 words]dhimmi no moreJan 10, 2015 12:24220249
3From Your Keyboard To God's Ears! [801 words]Aquinas InvictusJan 10, 2015 11:33220248
2Who will fall first? [121 words]JD WillJan 10, 2015 11:32220247
Who will fall first [22 words]JanaJan 11, 2015 05:02220247
2We Need You to Interpret Islamic History [125 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Richard H. ShulmanJan 10, 2015 10:55220243
1Common strategy [51 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
GomesJan 10, 2015 10:21220242
2The Answer [154 words]Andrew HJan 10, 2015 10:17220241
7Terrorism Helps Ethnic Cleansing [73 words]DaveJan 10, 2015 08:16220233
2How about a New Quran? [184 words]Peter MilesJan 10, 2015 04:59220232
2We are losing our civilization [146 words]MisfitJan 9, 2015 21:55220221
1"Allah Is With Us" [104 words]m. langeJan 9, 2015 21:05220218
2Victory by terror [174 words]WeMustResistJan 9, 2015 19:48220217
1If only Daniel Pipes is right. [165 words]Wallace SchwamJan 9, 2015 19:33220216
1Terrorisms primary goal is all out domination of their *own* [224 words]Basat TayfunJan 9, 2015 19:30220215
3Daniel Pipes ... [293 words]TL WinslowJan 9, 2015 19:24220214
There will be other attacks [158 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
JACQUES HADIDAJan 9, 2015 17:58220212
Answering Islamism [18 words]Clifford IshiiJan 9, 2015 17:56220211
Answering Islamism [127 words]JanaJan 12, 2015 02:30220211
How The Iranian Nuclear Program Harms the Islamic Republic [41 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexJan 9, 2015 17:28220208
Terror may bring its agenda closer to a deserved collapse, but in the long term, we are all dead. [91 words]MarkJan 9, 2015 17:11220205
Al-Sisi Position Suggested for an Article [61 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Mark WerfelJan 9, 2015 17:07220204
2Living in the Lower Worlds [74 words]Michael Hanni MorcosJan 9, 2015 16:55220202
4Je Suis Charlie and the elephant in the room aka Islam [110 words]dhimmi no moreJan 9, 2015 16:53220201
Terrorist [89 words]steven LJan 9, 2015 16:44220200
1French Preliminaries of Renewed Global Terror [514 words]M. ToveyJan 9, 2015 16:39220199
Islam self harm [59 words]JanaJan 9, 2015 16:34220198

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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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