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back at you, Niels

Reader comment on item: Europeans Fleeing Eurabia
in response to reader comment: Van Gogh:' America is the last beacon of hope in a steadily darkening world'

Submitted by Sidda (United States), Mar 8, 2006 at 18:33

Niels, thank you for your articulate response. I'd like to make a couple of things clear from the very start. First, don't think that most Americans' immediate response to a threat is to light the torch and grab the pitchfork! True, some are like that, but not the vast majority of us! However, we do seem to be, in general, more comfortable with the use of military force when we feel all other options have been exhausted. Second, I in no way meant to imply that you should respond with indiscriminate "aggression" against Muslims. I'm sorry if anything in my post gave you that impression. Now, to move onto my other points.....

As to the "tolerance" of the Ottomon empire, I am quite sure that the Armenians would disagree with you. Not trying to be condescending here, but you should do a little more research on the Ottomon empire. That, along with reading the Quran and Hadiths and Suras should no doubt keep you very busy ;-). Let me explain something to you about Turkey just very briefly. The reason that Turkey was able to have a democracy was because Kemal Attaturk severely surpressed the practice of Islam. Islamic fundamentalists are gaining more and more influence in Turkey today.

For sure many terrible injustices and atrocities were committed in the name of Christianity; however, there was absolutely NO basis for these terrible acts in the Bible. You will find, though, if you read the Quran and corresponding texts that the jihadists are, in fact, following the teachings of Mohammed. You must realize that the more peaceful Meccan verses were quoted at a time when Mohammed was just beginning his "ministry." He was weak at that point and so his messages to the various tribes he sought to convert were conciliatory. That changed as he conquered more and more people until the later verses, called the Medina verses, became very violent. The more peaceful Meccan verses were ABROGATED by the later violent Medina ones.

And yes I do leave room for the possiblity that some imams, for their own purposes, choose to emphasize the most violent verses. For the extremist, the definition of "innocent" is very elastic. For instance, just resisting the spread of Islam could be defined as "aggression towards Islam" by them. They believe that there can be no true peace until Islam covers the world.

To address a couple of your other points, poverty cannot be used as an excuse for Islamic extremism. If it were only poverty, why do we not see Guatemalans, Haitians, or Hindus from Calcutta waging "jihad"? Why do you see only Muslim suicide bombers in Palestine, and not Christian Palestinians?

Surely it is not only Muslims as a group in Europe who have experienced poverty or some feelings of alienation. The 19 hijackers on 9/11 were all from wealthy or upper middle class families. Bin Laden is a multi-millionaire and his deputy Ayman al Zawahiri is a doctor (actually a pediatrician!). No, there is more to this than poverty and a lack of opportunities--it's the doctrine of "jihad." Again, though, I agree that poverty and frustration can make young people more vulnerable to recruiting by radicals.

There are several different facets to this jihad. One is the obvious violent jihad that we see in the way of the first bombing of the WTC in 1993, our embassies in Africa, the Cole, 9/11, Madrid, London, Bali, etc. But, the other is even more insidious. It is the "soft" jihad. Unfettered Muslim immigration into "infidel" lands. When they become a significant minority, they begin demanding more and more concessions from the infidels, all the time using the infidel's "tolerance" and "multiculturalism" to their (Muslim) benefit. When they gain the majority, they will institute Sharia law. We have a group in the U.S. who poses as a Muslim civil rights group (Council on American Islamic Relations - CAIR) who have stated as their goal to have Sharia law in America and the flag of Islam to fly on the White House. This is not some fringe whacked out group, it is a mainstream Muslim advocacy group.

Now that we have identified the problem, what is the solution? I don't claim to be an expert, but I know from all my research that this war against radical Islam must be fought on several different fronts. The military front is only one front. One thing we are trying to do right now is to deny the extremists any safe haven (country or territory) from where they can operate with impunity such as they did in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. That was the strategy behind our invasion of Iraq; to try to get a stable democracy, friendly to the West, in between two terrorist states, Syria and Iran. Whether that strategy will work is still up in the air.

As a practical solution to Europe's militant Islamic problem I would make the following suggestion. First, I would limit the amount of Muslim immigration now until you can better assimilate the ones already in your country. It does nobody any good to continue to accept people in who have no chance of jobs, and whose chances of becoming full-functioning members of your society is greatly diminished from the start. I believe Holland is now taking steps towards the goal of successful integration (learning Dutch, respecting Dutch language and tradition).

In your original post, you mentioned Holland's tradition of multiculturalism. Well, Niels, multiculturalism only works when the core values of the people immigrating into the host country are not diametrically opposed to those of the host country. You cannot be tolerant to the intolerant. Do you understand? There are some values that are non-negotiable in the West. I am sure you know what they are. You cannot allow those core values to be eroded under the guise of "tolerance." Because what will happen is that you will "tolerate" yourselves right out of existence. When you tolerate those who are intolerant, they will eventually use those freedoms against you and when they gain enough power, there will be no tolerance for YOU and YOUR way of life anymore. So, do not be intimidated with cries of "racism" (hint: Islam is NOT a race), or "discrimination" or "intolerance" when you need to make or keep rules that will keep Holland as a Western country with its Western values.

You must strengthen and support the moderate Muslims who come forward. Doing this requires doing what I mentioned in the last paragraph. When you give into fundamentalist Muslims' demands, you are weakening the position of reform-minded Muslims, Muslims who truly just want to live in the 21st century and not follow 7th century edicts. But, on the other hand, do not be fooled by those claiming to be "moderate" Muslims who are really wolves in sheep's clothing. A true moderate does not want Sharia law imposed, they do not believe in the supremacy of Islam over all other beliefs, they do not believe that Islam should "dominate and not be dominated" or that jihad (violent or soft) should be carried out until Islam "covers the world and all non believers are either converted or subjugated," they do not divide the world into Dar al Harb (land of war) and Dar al Islam (land of believers).

It is great that you have had such an opportunity to travel. It is true that we Americans find it harder to "get around." I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we have huge oceans surrounding us and it's a lot harder to get to other places. Although, I DO enjoy my visits to Canada!

I can relate to your concerns for any future children you may have. It was my concern for the future of MY young children which prompted me to seek knowledge and learn as much as I could.

Please do continue to read here as well as post. If you take a little time and read some of the posts, you will find there is a real diversity of opinion. It would be rather boring if everyone agreed with everyone else all the time. The free exchange of ideas is a good thing. There are many who post here who are quite articulate and informed and I have learned much from them.

Best regards


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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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