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Radical Suggestions for Dealing with Militant Islam

Reader comment on item: Bolstering Moderate Muslims

Submitted by Robert Odean (United States), Apr 19, 2007 at 12:12

Dear Daniel:

I agree with those that ask the question: "What moderate Muslims?"

If I had not lived in the Middle East for three years, and traveled widely from Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, Gaza, and Turkey, I might be tempted to believe that the increasing number of reports in the media from the Islamic world of violence and corruption were all media exaggerations, but even my limited experience tells me otherwise.

During that time, I got to know Arab Muslims; I was entertained in some homes, spent hours discussing and drinking tea in their shops, etc. I kept asking questions to learn what they believed.

Surprisingly, even among the self-professed, non-religious, when the surface was scratched, I discovered again and again attitudes to amaze me; such as, a blind hatred of Jews, and a belief in the Qur'an for which they professed they had never studied. I was struck by the thought that under a moderate exterior, a radical could very well emerge if the situation changed.

I would agree with the authors of "Building Moderate Muslim Networks" that Washington has no consistent view of who the moderates are. Less than consistent, it is confused and misleading. I would add that Washington is without a clue on how to meet the challenge militant Islam represents.

In spite of the academic and what appears to be a political correctness inspired effort to draw a distinction between Islam and Islamism, I can't see a practical difference. In my mind it is a difference based on wishful thinking.

The very idea in your article "Bolstering Moderate Muslims" of finding ways to financially give support to such "moderate" Muslim groups is a bad idea. Money is not only not the problem it is part of the problem.

I have come to some radical conclusions:

1. Disallow Saudi Arabian and other Muslim sources from funding Wahhabi informed institutions and mosques in the United States;

2. Require all independent Islamic schools to offer curriculum free of anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and anti-American content;

3. Require of Islamic immigrants tests beyond a monosyllabic grunt to eliminate any and all unwilling to support the United States Constitution;

4. Restrict the possibility of citizenship to such persons and their children for periods of probation;

5. Require a follow-up of all immigrants at reasonable periods to assess their compliance to live under the U.S. Constitution and American legal system with swift deportation exercised when they fail that test;

6. Reassess foreign policy initiatives in Muslim nations; end the black hole of aid, and all future military involvements except where there are threats to the supply of oil.

These recommendations are admittedly departures from current policy and law. However, such notions are not all that alien to some countries in Europe that have long had in place regulations for self-protection. Other European countries are beginning to wrestle with new requirements for immigration and citizenship. Much of the Islamic world has terrible restrictions against Christians and Jews. We have turned a blind eye to this. We cannot support human rights notions that are detrimental to the well being of our country. It is time that Congress began passing laws to strengthen our country.

It is time we require of the Islamic world that they set their house in order. We can't solve their problems. It is time they solved their own problems of violence and corruption. Until they accomplish this, let us deal with them with respect but at arm's length.

The example of how the West dealt with the Soviet Union is an inappropriate model for dealing with the Islamic world. Communists were not motivated by the belief they were obeying the word of God. It is time our secularist elite begins taking seriously Islam as a religion, a profound belief-system, not just another authoritarian ideology.

Robert Odean

Ottawa, Canada


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