For The Love Of Islam
My unremarkable contention that the president sustains a love affair with Islam drew ire from the tin-foil hat faithful, one of whom wrote:
“Excuse me, but what planet do you live on? The love affair I've seen has been with Zionists, the NOW [New World Order?] and big money.”
Understandably, it’s not easy to reconcile Genghis Bush’s aggressive war against a Muslim state with his affinity for Islam. It takes a double take to realize that neoconservatives, led by the Bush-Blair pair, are equally devoted to both warring with Muslims as well as promoting the Religion of Peace pie-in-the-sky. In accordance with their paradoxical mission, they’ve endeavored to anesthetize their “subjects” to a faith that defies sanitation. Those who resist risk being labeled Islamophobes, or worse. In barbaric Britannia, for instance, Tony Blair and his Labor Party have taken a crack at criminalizing criticism of Islam by introducing the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill.
When it comes to anodyne assurances about Islam’s compatibility with diversity and democracy, Bush is no less of a dhimmi. As Paul Sperry has documented in Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington, Bush inaugurated the practice of always mentioning the nation’s churches and synagogues in tandem with its mosques. He has promised Muslim leaders never to pair “Islam” with “terrorism”—you’ll not hear a peep out of him about “Islamic terrorism,” only equal-opportunity terrorism. He hosts regular iftaar fast breakers, and has selected as his “expert” on Islam a dabbler—a law professor called David Forte who doubles up as a “religious pluralist.” Forte authored one of the administration’s central stupidities: the notion that the essential Islam has been hijacked by a couple of bad-assed Arabs. Thus Bush offers non-stop incantations about “Islam being fully compatible with liberty and tolerance…a faith based on love, not hate,” ad nauseam.
According to the ideologues who purport to be saving us from the scourge of Islamic terrorism, the Religion of Peace was doing what it does best—inspire peace and prosperity—when suddenly radicals materialized and derailed it. This volcano of vomit is both ahistorical and illiterate, easily corrected with the aid of a good history book and a Quran.
The first will show that the sword has always been integral to Islam, and that conversion has invariably meant conquest and untold carnage. The second will prove that, to be fair to Islam’s alleged “hijackers,” they’ve done no more than act on the dictates of their faith. Bin Laden is an obedient Muslim. He has obeyed the Quran. “The Call to Jihad” instructs Muslims that, “When you meet those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them.” “Holy war, which is demanded in Islamic law, is not defensive war as the Western students of Islam would like to tell us,” warns Serge Trifkovic, author of “The Sword of the Prophet.” Even apologists for Islam à la (John) Esposito admit that murderous missionizing is indeed a filament of the Islamic faith. “Jihad means to fight to spread Islam, not just to defend it, and to wage war against [Jews and Christians] who refuse Muslim rule.” Sure, peace has its place in Islam, Sperry (who has mined the Quran) promises. But “only after the entire world is conquered in the name of Allah,” and even then, peace is the province of Muslims only, while others are subdued and must pay for protection.
The Quran’s ruthless particularism runs counter to the universal concepts of justice and love of the Hebrew and Christian bibles. Islam, moreover, has changed little over 1,400 years. Unlike the Jewish (and no doubt Christian) holy texts which have been reinterpreted by the sages over the centuries, the Quran has not—its decrees are not debatable and are to be taken literally. Bin Laden may not be a perfect Muslim—he prefers bombing to beheading—but he comes close.
On the question of whether the term “Islamic fundamentalist” is just a redundancy, commentator Robert Bidinotto has put it thus: “If there really is some sort of ongoing war between ‘extremists’ and ‘moderates’ for the soul of Islam, it appears to be one of the quietest contests in the history of ideological warfare.”
The historical and textual deficiencies characteristic of the neoconservatives’ approach to terrorism—and Islam—are rounded off by a geopolitical blind spot. Agree or disagree with it, a recreational war, launched against a sovereign Muslim nation—Iraq—was bound to serve as a catalyst for Islam’s natural born killers. But the same policy pinheads who extol Islam refuse to factor American foreign policy into the terrorism equation.
Supporters of Bush’s foreign policy would do well to remember that even if they believe, as Bush expects them to, that war in Iraq and terrorism in America are mutually exclusive conditions, they must at least concede that the president’s domestic positions on immigration, border security, and the imperative to be “minimally observant” about America’s enemies (comedian Dennis Miller’s term for racial profiling), amount to a reckless indifference to the sovereignty and safety of Americans.
Then again, as this column has observed, “Inviting an invasion by foreigners and instigating one against them are two sides of the same neoconservative coin.” Ditto loving Islam and leveling an Islamic country.
© 2005 By Ilana Mercer