Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ten Steps to End Jihad in the West, I

Craig Biddle has a lengthy article with this title in The Objective Standard.  I'll make a few comments.

"The relationship between Islam and our current military enemy is essentially of the same kind as the relationship between Nazism and Nazi Germany or Shinto and Imperialist Japan in World War II. Nazism is an ideology, a body of ideas; Nazi Germany was a state ruled by a regime that was motivated by its leaders’ and supporters’ acceptance of those ideas. Shinto is a religion; Imperialist Japan was a state ruled by a regime that was motivated by its leaders’ and supporters’ acceptance of that religion. Likewise, Islam is a religion; various states, regimes, and groups today are motivated by their leaders’ and supporters’ and members’ acceptance of that religion."

All analogies break down sooner or later, and this one breaks down quickly.  While I don't know much about Shintoism, Nazism was an aberration in German history and wasn't ingrained in the minds of Germans. Also, Japan and Germany were industrialized countries. Once the war was over, the people there just wanted to get on with their lives. More importantly, the allegiance of the Muslim is not to Saudi Arabia, Iran, or any of the 49 countries that have a majority Islamic population.  The allegiance of the Muslim is to the Ummah, the spiritual Islamic nation.   Saudi Arabia and Iran could be bombed, its rulers converted to Quakerism or what have you and that would not change the Muslims' obligation to engage in Jihad.

Certainly Biddle can't explain (or doesn't even try to explain) why acts of terrorism in the West would cease if a better or more aggressive foreign policy were implemented.   Consider the San Bernadino, California terrorists. They were of Pakistani descent.  The guy had a decent job and the couple a six-month old baby. For whatever the flaws of the West, it gives Muslims a better chance for a happy life but for Muslims this just creates on big chip on their shoulder.

A couple of years ago, a Jihadist in France got into his car and ran a dozen people over.  Does Biddle think this person would not have engaged in this attack if the United States had a better foreign policy?  It certainly doesn't take funding from an Islamic nation to run people over.  Nor will Biddle tell us how his ten steps will end the rape Jihad in Europe, an issue on which he has been completely silent.

Of course, Biddle takes this position because he refuses to discuss the relationship between Islamic immigration into the West and terrorism.  In fact, Biddle appears to support "open immigration" of Muslims into the West and (I assume) Israel.*

One argument which I've heard open immigration Objectivists make is that destroying Saudi Arabia or Iran would demoralize Muslims and discourage them from engaging in Jihad.  Biddle appears to take this position as well:

"[I]n the wake of a campaign of total destruction of Islamic regimes and jihadist groups that have attacked us in the name of an allegedly all-powerful 'Allah,' even the dimmest mullahs and jihadists who escaped destruction would have to wonder whether Allah is as great and powerful as they had assumed. They might even begin to doubt his existence. 'If Allah is not willing or able to save us or our regimes from the retaliatory wrath of the West,' they might wonder, 'then maybe he’s not all he’s cracked up to be . . .' The more intelligent survivors might make substantially deeper and broader connections: 'Maybe, instead of serving Allah, we should serve ourselves. Maybe we should do what those triumphant, wealthy, happy Westerners do, and go by reason rather than faith; be productive rather than destructive; pursue life and happiness rather than death and martyrdom; establish rights-respecting republics rather than rights-violating theocracies . . .'

Islam has been around for 1,400 years and Biddle gives no examples from Islamic history where its defeats have prompted a rethinking of the Muslim's allegiance to his faith. Consider the failure of Islam. Yes, it has had its periods of success (the Arabs early on and also the Turks), but relatively soon the religion was on the retreat militarily, culturally and scientifically. Even the more populous Arab states couldn't prevent the creation of Israel in 1948. If any thing, this made the Muslims more bitter. Grant Jones observes that radical Islam emerged out the defeat of Islam in the early 20th century:

"Islam has suffered many devastating military set-backs from the sacking of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 to the slaughter of the Mahdi’s forces at Omdurman in 1898. From the ashes of numerous defeats, Islamic conquest, in its many forms, rebounded once the victors became tired, soft or converted. Biddle seems unaware that it is for this very reason that the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928. Hassan al-Banna’s purpose was to revitalize Islamic resolve after the overwhelming defeat of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The Caliphate was dissolved and large sections of the Moslem world were under foreign domination. This disaster did not 'deflate their motivations to kill.' Instead, the Islamists became ever more vicious, as their alliance with Nazi Germany makes clear."
*Under open immigration, Europe would gradually become Islamic.  As the Muslim population increases support for military action would decrease.  Eventually Europe would become majority Muslim, with its armies and nuclear weapons under Islamic control.

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