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Have to disagree on a few points

Reader comment on item: How to End Terrorism:

Submitted by Noah Wilk (United States), Dec 5, 2006 at 18:31

I have to disagree with Dr. Pipes on a few points here. First, I want to address this statement: "Only by isolating why terrorism has emerged as so prominent a feature of Muslim life can the violence be countered."

We've already isolated "why". Islam. The Koran. That's the source of Muslim violence and fanaticism. Always has been, always will be.

Next, you wrote: "This aggression results not from some perverse impulse to inflict damage for its own sake; nor does it flow from the religion of Islam, which just a generation ago did not inspire such murderousness. Rather, it results from political ideas." Here I completely disagree. The history of Islam is a history of violence, rape, slavery, and conquest that goes back a millennium and a half. Almost 1,400 years of historical violence by Muslims. Nothing has changed in this generation except that Islam has spread geographically and Muslims are using more modern technology for their barbarity. Otherwise, Islam is no more violent now than it was 1,000 years ago. It's the same murderous, fanatical ideology it has always been.

Politics is not the cause, it is merely a tool being used by Muslims to engage in their current jihad against the world. I do agree that Islam is the third totalitarian ideology that's been ignored for quite some time. And it is indeed time to deal with it, finally and decisively. I also agree that Islam must be defeated on every level in every way. It must be purged from civilized society and isolated until such time as the Muslims are able and willing to moderate their belief system, become civilized, and put their fanaticism in the past.

However, I don't see this happening with Islam. Islam was founded on violence, its core books preach violence, its founder engaged in all forms of reprehensible behavior, and he is the one Muslims try to emulate. If you look at Christianity, the New Testament moderates the Old Testament. The peaceful teachings of Jesus Christ supersede the more violent writings of earlier authors. In Islam this is reversed. Most of the earlier writings of Islam promote violence, and those that do not have been superseded by more violent writings in later years.

So while the Bible essentially gained a new set of peaceful instructions via the New Testament, in Islam the new teachings only serve to eradicate any earlier peaceful ones while adding additional violence to the religion. If anything, it has become more violent in its teachings, not less violent as is the case with Christianity. And yet if we look back at history, we see a long period of horrendous violence associated with the spread of Christianity. This includes the massacre and genocide of entire populations.

If such a peaceful religion was able to justify such violence for so long before becoming civilized in modern times, what chance does an inherently violent religion like Islam (which has no moderating, peaceful set of instructions such as the New Testament) have of ever becoming peaceful and civilized? I'd say next to none. I'd argue that the only ultimately effective form of counter-terrorism is to totally remove Islam from civilized society and to utterly isolate it. Muslims should be forced out of civilized society and sent back to the Islamic countries they came from, or if native-born, forced to emigrate to the Islamic country of their choice. The only way Islam can hurt the free world is by eating at it like a cancer from within, which is what we see happening now.

Militarily, all the combined forces of Islam cannot defeat even tiny Israel alone, much less any other civilized Western country. It's only because of the fear of violence by Muslims living within Western societies that the West cowers to Islam. If we purge them from our midst, they cannot hurt us. Purge and isolate. That strips them of virtually all ability to harm us in any way. After that, we cut them off from all aid, all support, all dealings, unless and until they become civilized.

Any acts of aggression from Muslims would also then need to be countered with ruthless displays of superior power. If, for example, Muslims from Pakistan invade India, India and other Western states should simply wipe out Islam in Pakistan. Bomb them into oblivion. Kill them en masse. They need to see that jihad against the West results in genocide against Islam. \

At that point, only one of three things can happen. 1. Islam will continue to engage in jihad until the West is forced to systematically destroy Islam (which can and should ultimately include the nuclear destruction of Islamic population centers as well as "holy" sites like Mecca and Medina). Simply put, Islam will cease to exist as a major ideology. Problem solved. Permanently. I consider this the best and most effective solution.

2. Islam will re-direct its violent energies against other Muslims, knowing that they cannot win against the West. Sunni will attack Shia and vice versa. It will become a regional jihad of Muslims against Muslims. Who cares what the outcome is? Let them kill one another, as long as they leave the rest of the world alone. I consider this perhaps the most likely and most generally acceptable solution.

3. Muslims will realize that the only possible sane outcome is to moderate Islam, to abandon the violent teachings of the Koran, and to civilize their "religion". They will eventually realize that the only way to co-exist in the world and to have any hope of bettering themselves and their society is to join the 21st century and become civilized. I consider this the most generally desirable but also least likely solution. Even in the best scenario, this solution would literally take generations to succeed.

The current generation of children in Muslim countries are irreversibly brainwashed into violence, and it would take several generations just to produce a non-violent society plus another few to truly make peace take root and reform their religion. Basically, while it would be the outcome most of us would root for, it's also most likely a pipe dream that will never happen.

The problem is that the West cows to Islam and does not force it to reign in its violent tendencies. There is no incentive to change within Islam because the Muslims have seen the weakness of the West and, like an animal that senses fear, it only encourages their blood lust. The only way to have a dialog with Islam is to speak a common language, and with Islam that language is called force. People forget that Muslims belong mainly to tribal societies and that tribal mentality is far different than Western mentality.

What we consider civilized and peaceful negotiation, they consider stupidity. What we consider humane engagement in war, they consider cowardice. What we consider mercy, they consider weakness. You cannot have a dialog with someone until you speak their language. Islam knows only force, and it respects only power. We need to start speaking their language and show them that if they want to play the "force game", the West has far more power to speak of and is not hesitant to use that force. Only then will Islam respect the West enough to actually engage in dialog with us and truly understand their need to change.

Submitting....

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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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