Here's at least an outline covering only a couple of hotspots
Submitted by Michel (United States), Feb 5, 2007 at 20:12
Noah - I do not have much time, as I have a busy life and my dogs had to compromise a great deal lately, as I was babbling here, instead of taking them to the beach. Albeit, I will try one last time to clarify my stand, using short, simple sentences and bullet points, desperately hoping not to be misquoted or misunderstood again.
Due to time restraints, I can only deliver, what I call a rough outline of some of the focal points, as I see them. I was asked for a plan of my own and hope that below at least delivers some food for thought.
Ø all I said and will say is solely depiction and deduction based upon my personal opinion, my own individual experiences, education, professional background and belief system.
2. The Threat of Islam
Ø I believe it to be a topic of extremely complex nature
Ø I believe it must therefore be categorized, segmented. Individual topics and approaches for:
o Domestic Muslims (US)
§ Converted (blacks mainly)
§ Home Front (Our own society)
o Fundamentalist, Radical
§ Theology, Indoctrination, recruitment base
o Domestic Muslims (Europe)
§ Every country seems to deserve a separate category, due to different legal, socio-demographic, cultural and constitutional frame conditions
o Middle East
§ Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and similar
§ Saudi Arabia
§ Indonesia, Malaysia
§ All former Soviets
Ø I believe that, corresponding to above, individual strategies must be derived.
Ø I do not believe that there is one simple solution in response to all segments.
Ø Most of above categories are naturally interconnected and cannot be seen as isolated, but at least in context.
To discuss everyone of above categories, (there are many more) would exceed the realm of time I can allot to this. I will hence admittedly roughly outline just a few focal points, I deem as especially noteworthy.
I. Home Front
In order to persevere as society, I feel we must solidify our position first, understand our own weaknesses, then build a "strong defense". In order to evolve and persevere, some self-criticism must be accepted, as one has more credibility, if one acknowledges his own shortcomings.The best leaders I have personally encountered inspired not by way of knowledge or facts, but by their humility in interpreting them. Leaders I admire in that regards are Churchill, Reagan, Willy Brand, Gorbatchev, Gandhi, MLK - just a few examples to frame my individual position. All flawed sometimes even self-depreciating human beings who represented themselves as exactly that, and because of it, found widespread identification with their strategies or ideas. Buy-in, as I call it in the context of the corporate world.
Most of my below mentioned suggestions could be initiated by referenda, legal petitions and political activism.
- I do not promote abolishing our freedoms, but implementing legislature to prevent perversion of its intents. (Thin line between Freedom of Expression and promoting hate and intolerance)
- I promote strengthening of our society to counteract any form of (religious) intolerance and fanaticism by means of legislature, marketing, PR and education.
- I promote strong (financial) support for families to counteract the decrease of our population.
- I promote forced assimilation and hence an utter revision of all matters concerning Immigration. (Takes also care of the ghettos, as any next generation would be forced to assimilate, if they wanted an education.)
- In order to do all of the above, people must again en masse be motivated to partake in the political process – that can be done by means of modern marketing again and by regaining trust in our political leaders.
- In order to regain trust, the political system must be overhauled. (Term Limits, campaign contributions, porking, corruption, lobbying as just some potential directions)
- General decay of moral and ethical values must be counteracted.
- Significant increase of budgets towards our public school system with a resulting higher standard may also eventually contribute to a more engaged and educated populus.
- I see the principles of the US constitution to be a set of principles truly superior to any other form of governing system. In order to evidence that, one must live by example. Hence the above roughly outlined overhaul I propose. Side effect: it covers also the philosophical dimension of "the moral highground".
- I believe that integration and inclusion is the better approach than banning and deportation.
- I believe in education vs alienation. A unified school system, federally regulated and mandated equally for all ( no catering to minorities) will contribute to a balanced population demography and potentially to a commonly shared identification as US citizens and patriotism. Nationwide same teaching, same books, same level of teachers, same language (English), can only lead to a generation of children to growing up as US citizen. Eliminates the ghettos again in the long run and also counteracts any form of indoctrination at home. Nice side effect: Would also lift the US school standard to the level of Europe.
- I promote a catalogue of radical means of our own to counteract this monumental threat of global (Muslim) terrorism
o Intensify the war on terror on all fronts (economical, intelligence etc.)
o Global intelligence network by networking computer systems of all intelligence agencies a la Interpol for just terrorism related data (so it would be feasible)
o Assigning budget for a border control which deserves its name
o Draconic penalties for hate crimes and terrorism of any kind (life sentences instead of death sentences is much more deterring in face of Muslim terrorism)
o Implement legislature to intelligence gathering by drastic means (including torture – but also independent control by judicial branch )III. Domestic Muslims
o Strong and decisive retaliation geared at any organization and/or government in support of terrorismup to and not limited to military action.
o Revise military doctrine and org towards special forces ( mini armies)
o Sustain elevated budgets for upkeep, motivate, pressure, influence Europeans on all levels to follow suit.
- Much of above mentioned ideas would eliminate them as a "threat", inasmuch, as any minority would learn it to be very hard to pervert and subvert this strong and unified society which I deem as possible.
- I believe that there is a large number of Muslims here, who do not engage in any criminal or subversive activities and do not plan to do so. It is irrelevant, if the number is 3 M or 30.
- I feel that there is ample time for a societal overhaul, until that minority grows to "critical mass".
- I feel that demonisation of this minority leads to "creating the monster" as a natural response.
- Any form of "affirmative action"" is to my opinion counter-productive.
IV. Middle East
- A successful "Domino" strategy could be implemented to further modern democracy and human rights in this region as well as eliminate the breeding grounds for radical fundamentalism.
o Support integration of Turkey into EU with "by design" control of positive development as far as the modern principles of democracy are concerned.
o Support liberal tendencies ( grassroots) in Jordan, Egypt and the likes, help them to become "model states of democracies with ISLAM as predominant religion, yet separated from state. Support in form of individual Marshall plans, custom -tailored, monitiored per each of these countries. Support stable economies, eliminate the base. Provide jobs and that base will shrink, is my ideology. (See Ireland as template)
o Show of strength and power towards IRAN and Syria up to and not limited to intrusive means of warfare. In the case of IRAN I sadly can only see a full out invasion. I consider this one focal point/category as the most urgent and mission-critical. If we do not soon take action, IRAN alone will tumble us all into a chaos of unheard magnitude. That can happen within the next decade and inactivity will prove to be desasterous for more than just the immediate region. Action, backed by the entire industiralized world, must be taken, before Israel is put into the literal corner, where they do not see any other way to survive, other than employing their own ear arsenal. Classic Crisis mechanism, where appeasement and passiveness will not lead to any other result than massive loss of human life. This is one case of the terrible decision between the lesser evil and the greatere good we are indeed faced with.
o Topple the corrupt regime in Saudi Arabia, seat of fundamental leaders of the religious movement after all. Once moderate voices sound off Mecca and Medina, a large segment of the global Muslim pop will follow. Apart from the fact that the financial backbone of Al Khaeda and the likes would be gone.
- Force feed some form of new radical idea as to ISRAEL/Palestine in order to resolve the impasse and continuous burning ember of the mutual hatred in that region.
o My idea would consist in some form of a Vatican style solution, as far as the combined holy sites are concerned. Compensation to Israel with financial aid for Polders style land out of the Mediterranean sea. The UN could be in charge of all holy sites and otherwise completely demilitarize those.
o Maybe such a solution could only be achieved by massive UN backed troop presence throughout this entire area. Disarm all groups in Palestine (Hamas, Fatah etc., by placing 500000 soldiers in the area with clear directives and rules of engagement in any case of violence. Seal the borders air tight. Yep - that would cost a fortune, but I deem a huge bill now better than an endless conflict for the next 100 years. Time for the UN to justify its existence.
Please understand - I am standing here with a penlight inside of the Carlsbad Caverns, unable to explore the entire matter. Above is only a short term catalogue of potential tactical approaches the West could take.
My ideas may not be easy feasible, or will take a long time. But, as Plato so eloquently responded, seem at least more pragmatic than banning a religion, deporting its followers back to the middle east, or nuking entire countries.
A couple of comments in general to the last posts:
I consider Noahs negative examples as much as non-representative as mine. In the end, he admitted himself, his Muslim friends disappointed him. So logically deducted, his experiences were in fact negative, even, if they started up as positive. Hence I am provenly right in my assessment of him arguing at least in part from a mindset of negative personal experiences.
But Indeed, Noah bases his evidence on examples from around the world and certainly studied the matter extensively. No doubt - that is evident.
I did indeed call for "censorship" or even closing the session, as for my taste the tonality became extremely hostile, insulting, offensive and disturbing.
I too - I sadly admit - used inflammatory, offensive language - Albeit - I formally apologized, whereas my apology was "used" to further twist my meanings or "slap me in the face.
I do not know about you, silent reader, but reading just this thread, just the responses after my own apology, seem to violate above at least in terms of hostility. Is it just me who feels, that too much freedom of expression is granted in this blog?
For once I felt that it was me, who delivered several examples for the mentioned perversion in support of my stand for needed reform of our legislation.
Michel lies yet again in his latest post, saying:"All I wanted was to hear from the average john doe. No matter, if he was Muslim or anything else."And yet prior to that, he said:"We seem to argue with children here, Plato and I just realized, after reading the other outright moronic responses, that we absolutely waste our time here. I have way better things to do than to argue with people who see our world as a video game."
I still want to hear from any Moderate of any kind. The notion of videogame was meant in context of the suggested nuclear approach to IRAN. The call for nuking these countries came across as so abstract, it did remind me of a video game. But we are talking about real people here, real victims, real blood and I tried to reason for some consideration for the accompanying misery and the terrible consequences resulting from such action.
He also said that he was only interested in hearing from his mythological moderate Muslims which he claims exist all over America. In fact, that's all he did at first was whine, beg, and plead for his imaginary moderate Muslim friends to come to his aid. Many of us called him out on that.
I thought I could not be misunderstood – Okay - in simple words again: I love to hear from any moderate Muslim, but am already happy to hear from anyone who shares my view point or had similar (positive ) experiences. Kind of downscaled my expectations, as I am sick of hearing about all the negs, but for a change would hope to hear about some positive or constructive ideas and experiences.
Despite the most accurate assessments numbering them around 2 million, and even CAIR claiming only about 6 million, Michel suffers under the delusion of there being 30 million Muslims in the USA. He's claiming between 5 and 15 times more Muslims than any other reputable source agrees on.
I disclaimed my estimate ( of course conveniently overlooked). But the actual number is in fact irrelevant. We obviously agree that the number is significant, and even, if only 4M, percentage wise the homegrown Muslim unrest or militancy is marginal compared to our own. Current statistics of the prison pop here in the US seem to evidence that.
He clearly wants us to equate Christianity with Islam, but he cowers from the truth. And that truth is that Christianity is not trying to establish Old Testament law in America, nor is it trying to become the only religion in America, nor is it trying to force the government to give it special treatment, nor is it trying to sue its critics into silence, etc.
How often have I said, that I do not wish to enter the slippery slope of comparing Christianity with Islam. What I have done or tried to do as a matter of fact , is to point out that there are various tendencies to clamor special treatment from a variety of different movements, including the Christian Church.
If one really wants to single out one such religion or movement, how about these who try to re-install the school prayer? The ones who want to see creationism integrated into Science classes? And yes - we have currently lawsuits in process going either way. So the system is in fact currently abused to sue for special treatment. And it comes from all directions. Hence my call for legislative reform.
Why do you have such a problem with my stand that I condemn equally all such efforts to abuse our legal system and rights to allow burkas and school prayers on one side of the extreme, and on the other, call for removing landmarks, under god off the pledge , all that to the level that we can no longer wish someone a merry Christmas anymore without being politically incorrect.
After all - I seem to agree with you - just widen the scale to incorporate not just Muslim based such tendencies.
All of those things are true of Islam in America. As usual, Michel ignores the facts and will run and cower when confronted with my exposure of his tactics, since he is not man enough to face the truth.
So are they true of other movements, and I do not ignore it, but would oppose all such efforts instead of just vilifying one.
"We do not need lowering ourselves down to entertaining banning and deportation. All we need is to repair our own broken system and the threat, as far as our direct own domestic minorites are concerned, would become irrelevant. That is within our powers and realm of control. He is obviously blind to the fact that even if we fixed our broken immigration system (which I do agree with him on), we would still have 2 million (not 30 million!) Muslims who are already here to deal with. And even if only half of the absurd claim that only 10% of them are violent is true, that still amounts to 100,000 jihadists in America hell-bent on destroying us, and integrated deeply and inextricably with the mythological moderates. A literal, subversive, standing army. And we have more proof of the existence of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster than we do of moderate, reform-minded Muslims in America.
Okay - 100000 hell bent fanatics. If that is true, where is the widespread unrest? Where are the suicide bombings? All you listed was a small amount of participants in a rally in Arizona, some efforts to legislate burkas and special treatment, isolated incidents of Muslims condoning fanaticism. CAIR and its objectives.
I dare to venture that there is as little evidence for your fanatic minority, as there is for my silent moderate majority. Is it really so naïve to assume that fanatics of all creeds and origin are usually the loudest voices?
Please do not nail me on expressions or words, but the proponents of "extreme measures" in response to ISLAM seem to be the majority here. I see it as kind of a lab experiment on a small scale proving me right. The same applies to the few muslim voices here, where pretty much solely classic propaganda is served, but no insight.
So once again Michel's false accusations, lack of ackowledgement of reality, wildly erroneous facts and refusal to answer criticism is highlighted for all to see.
Noah – I think that by now my posts contained a lot of acknowledgment. As I indeed question most sources (even mine) normally my "erroneous" facts were accompanied by some form of disclaimer, so the conclusion should not be drawn that I considered myself as the owner of the ultimate truth. Answering criticism and responding to insults on a personal level is, for me at least, a whole different ballgame.
Hence, I decided to - before I get angry or acryd or sarcastic (again) - rather abstain from engaging. Respect results in respect. As long, as you stay away from offending me as a person, but smash my arguments to pieces, I am with you.
Look, Noah – just for a second, put yourself into my shoes and read my (heartfelt) apology to you guys and especially dhimmi. Then read the responses. How would that make you feel? While, as opposed to me, you see such as weakness, hence you find yourself rarely in that situation, I still think that you should be able to sum up the needed empathy to try it for just a second.
Come on, you are a gifted debater and know how in any good debate one is supposed to assume the other viewpoint for a moment, in order to understand the other's position. Responses based upon that methode are evidently deemed more convicing. At least, that's what the debating theory says.
To use an analogy out of my beloved game of chess: The figures (arguments) on the board do the fighting, not the people moving them. In my book, a good game is not about winning, but about the quality of the game, even, if I lost. ( And I lost oftentimes). In a way, there are either no winners or both are. Heck, my best friend and I sure enjoyed a bit of (friendly and humorous) taunting in between, but never ended in a physical fight or exchange of personal insults.
Shouldn't a good debate follow the same basic ideas and rules? If you entertain my notion for a sec, a really good debate can therefore also not be won, but all parties end up winners, as we all learn, see different viewpoints, sometimes even end up agreeing on sub topics or concede individual points.
Allow me to state for the record, that it was never my intention to convince or conquer. My intention was to deliver a different angle, make people reflect at best. Maybe show that there are various streams and beliefs within our ownb society, not just proponents of opinions who see ISLAM as one fundamental evil force. Maybe lend an opening for a dialogue with my mythical Muslim. But that's pretty much the extent of it.
Noah - do you sincerely believe that such a "quality" debate can be won? My means and knowledge about Islam is admittedly limited and I woul d have loved to see a "Muslim Noah " argue point by point, quote by quote in a rational , unemotional manner. That has not happened. Maybe the time is not there yet, or maybe that group of modern Muslims does in fact not exist.
I MYSELF DO NOT KNOW, but, depending on, where one comes from, there are either plausible or naive explanations for the phenomenon of this silence.
So – I said, what I had to say.
Here is my virtual hand once more extended in respect and the understanding that we agree to disagree. Willing to reach out and meet me a 10th of the way?Once more - at least , since my honest meant apology to all of you - I had no intent to insult or offend anyone with these last posts and will also in the future try hard to refrain from it.
I can only invite you guys to follow suit, but in the end, can only control, what I can control - my own individual reaction.
Now I really have to go and take my congregation of fanatic Briards to the beach.
o Follow through in IRAK, send not 30 but 200k more troops to implement stability.
o Implement massive border control vs Syria and IRAN to hamper influx of weapons, soldiers and support.
o Syria could be pressured in many ways ( see lybia)- they would cave facing war and destruction. Would also solve some of the problems in Lebanon.
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".
Reader comments (2098) on this item
Comment on this item
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes