1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

So what is your solution?

Reader comment on item: How the West Could Lose
in response to reader comment: My average American's opinion

Submitted by Major Dave (United States), Jun 12, 2007 at 23:53

Dear "kid bertha"

I completely agree with you about the causes, motives, scriptural texts cited, and tactics of radical jihadis.

However, I have not seen your proposed response to this threat. I proposed one myself. That is to take steps to gain the trust of Islam, because Islam will be able to destroy the radical jihadis that kill Muslim people and threaten the Muslim land for no other cause but their own criminal intent. I have seen Islam rise up to this charge, and they are very very effective.

I never said that Islam was peaceful or that it respected human life. My Muslim brothers that fought with me against the al'Qaeda were more ruthless then ever. They wanted nothing more than to gloat and celebrate over the dead bodies of the al'Qaeda "criminals" that invaded their country. We had to tell them that since they were working with Americans, it was not all right to impale the dead al'Qaeda bodies on sticks for the rest of the people to see and celebrate over. These people will be our greatest allay in our fight against radical jihadi criminals… they already proved to me that they can gather much more intelligence on al'Qaida then I could ever hope to achieve with my lilly-white skin, English language, and all of my technology (I can't go into more detail on this in an unclassified forum).

The biggest problem with the Muslim faith is the biggest problem with my own Christian faith, Jewish faith, and all other faiths out there—that they are led and preached by men and that men are corruptible. Many Muslim Clerics preach violence and hatred because it feeds their own power base—not because it is a tenant that their people inherently believe. Many men interpret the Muslim doctrine of respect for women as a justification to oppress women (tell me that no Western man in history has ever oppressed a women—it is corruptible men, not religious doctrine). What is more, many people in predominantly Muslim countries are illiterate, and rely upon their preachers for the word of the scripture as well as the interpretation. This is similar to my own Christian faith in the days before the Reformation, when all scripture was printed only in Latin and Greek. Also, when you look at it, for all of the peace and non-violence that Christianity preaches and that I hold true, my paratroopers and I had no problem what-so-ever killing al'Qaeda.

The realist side of me would like to follow your line of thinking about how ALL Muslims are not to be trusted since everybody is radicalized. If this is the case then what we need to do now is to evacuate all Westerners out of the predominantly Muslim countries—from Morocco to Indonesia—seal off their borders and Nuke them. Those that are in this and other countries need to be rounded up and placed into camps. Then we can start the "Final Solution". You fire up the furnaces, Adolph; I'll start the showers. All of them are bad from kindergarten on up, so we need to address this problem now. Shame on George W. for not figuring this out earlier.

The idealist, the Christian, and the Patriotic American in me, however, has a lot of problems with this method. Call me weak, Christian, or American, but I believe in the values that "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." I also believe in Freedom of Religion, Separation of Church and State, Innocent until Proven Guilty, Freedom of Speech, and I do highly respect the Value of Human Life. I hope that you do not have problems with these values, because then you and I will have a problem. I know that the afore mentioned line of reasoning would lead to the unjust deaths of a great many innocent people, and that would break the moral fabric that makes me an American and a Christian, and I would not stand for it!! Neither will I give in to the radical criminals, as I suppose is the only option that you suggest, without breaking our own (hopefully shared) moral fabric.

You say that Muslims lie. The truth about Muslims is that if they swear an oath to you, they will hold it much more sacred than any Western politician ever would. It is easy to categorize everyone that you don't understand as "they". You say that the radicals are in power. If radicals were in truly in power over 1.2 Billion people in the world, as you assert, then things would be very very different right now.

The most important thing is that Muslims respect American Values, admire our economy, but hate (but actually truly misunderstand) our current foreign policy, and are fearful that we wish to oppress them simply for their beliefs and for who they are. The truly important thing is that what Muslims hold most dear is Respect! If you show true respect to a Muslim, then they return it in kind ten-fold, and will be your staunchest allay. They will also respect your religion.

If I worked for TSA, I could search every Muslim that ever crossed my path—only I would do it with the utmost respect, especially showing respect for their women and children (values they hold dear), and would explain that I hated targeting them because that is exactly what the al'Qaeda wants—to make me try to hate them and to make them feel uncomfortable in this great country that respects ALL men, ALL religions, and respects freedom. But that the truth is that together we must find these criminals that sometimes target U.S. Airlines, but daily target innocent Muslim people on the streets; and, I absolutely hate to say this, but al'Qaeda attempt to blend in as innocent Muslims, and hence they are to blame for this current injustice that they force me to bring upon you. With my utmost apologies, I would then wish them great flight, and thank them for coming to share in my great country all that we have to offer. Assalam Alaikim...Unfortunately, most TSA employees probably target Muslims, but are fearful of apology because it confirms their suspicion that they are targeted or profiled, and they treat them as "terrorists who just weren't caught today," instead of the true victims in the al'Qaeda plot.

My technique worked remarkably well for me in Afghanistan. Its pay-off was that the local Muslims, to whom I showed the utmost respect even when I searched their compounds, chose my side in the fight. The tangible benefit was that my company killed more al'Qaeda than any other company in theater and not one American suffered a single wound under my command. I do regret to say that some of my Muslim brothers gave their lives fighting the al'Qaeda for me—they are so brave and showed the utmost respect for their liberators—but they were much more willing to risk their lives fighting for their cause then I was willing to risk the Americans under my charge.

Islam is one of the great world religions. All religions are corruptible, all have violent pasts, all have been used to sow hatred; but Islam has just as much to offer as any other, if not more. The Ottoman Empire was just as glorious and just as violent as the Byzantine, Roman, Macedonian, or Holy Roman (Austrian Hapsburg) empires, or the French, Spanish, British, or Prussian Kingdoms, or the Xia, Shang, Zhou, or Qin Dynasties for that matter. Radical criminals wish to use some of Islam's tenants to mould the discontent of Muslim people into supporting their cause. They feed their power-lust on the blood of the misguided and angry devout and the innocents. Muslim people are discontented because we Westerners fail to even attempt to understand their culture or who they are, we do not respect their pious ways, and we blindly charge into the fray and assume that they are all evil.

Islam preaches that their women are to be treated with the utmost respect. We see their women in veils and assume that the men are treating them as slaves. They see our women in skimpy outfits and assume that our men are treating them as prostitutes. Neither is bad; both are just different. Both viewpoints fail to understand the history, culture, and values of the other, but instead, simply make judgments.

You have to understand the impact of culture on a society. If you think that our own culture isn't barbaric, here is one for you: I was a victim of "Infant Genital Mutilation" as are many American boys today, and for what? Because Puritans lived here centuries ago and had crazy Old Testament notions that were de-bunked from the Christian faith in the time of St. Paul and St. James the Just in the 1st Century AD, and that some quack doctors in the past justified it as sanitary? Why stop there for sanitary? We could scalp all babies and then they would never have to use shampoo or worry about head-lice? There isn't a logical reason for the Puritan influence on our culture—even when it manifests itself in barbaric rituals performed by legitimate doctors against our infants—but it is still there. Don't assume that all cultures—save your own—are bad. Recognize and respect cultural differences; that is what makes our country great.

We treat Islam with disrespect and suspicion, just as the radicals want us to—playing into their trap, and so innocent Muslims have a hard time turning to us for support. Angry young Muslims are actually more likely to turn to the radical criminals than they are to turn their aggression towards rooting out this cancer and bringing peace and ultimate prosperity to the Muslim people worldwide, because the radical criminals welcome them, direct their anger, and tell them that the actions that they will take are pious and devout; whereas we tell them that they are evil, we don't trust them, we disrespect them, and that we want nothing to do with them. And guess what, unless you wish to surrender to the radicals today, we need the support of the worldwide Muslim population to win. In fact, they are silently screaming for our support because today a moderate Muslim is in much more danger from a radical than you or I, but we make it easy for them to believe the radical' lies about our motives—mainly because of what you wrote and what you seem to believe. And remember, there are about 1.1 Billion Muslims in the world today that fall somewhere on that scale short of radical. These ones need our help; these are the ones who's help we need; we gain this mutual help and support through respect, not through hatred and misunderstanding.

No, kid bertha. I disagree completely with what you believe that Americans should do. I believe that Americans should recognize our enemy, his motives, and his actions; and make every effort to extend a hand to the people of Islam--who suffer more at the enemy's hand then we ever will, rather than making these innocent and oppressed people, whose support we need, into a made-up enemy for no good purpose, actually playing into the hands and the plot of our true enemy. Even breaking our own values and moral fiber in the process. We need to cling to what is good and just about America in order to show the good people of Islam that we are the friend that is both deserving of their support and willing to offer ours.

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to So what is your solution? by Major Dave

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)