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Roger’s Rules

World Order and Islamism

July 7th, 2013 - 9:05 am

I’ve been meaning to say something here about Charles Hill’s brilliant book Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism.  Published in 2011, Trial is a profound meditation on one of the most pressing questions facing the world community: whether Islam can integrate itself into the secular international order of states.

There are abundant reasons to conclude that the answer is probably “No, Islam cannot integrate itself into the secular order without ceasing to be Islam.”  The Egyptian author and activist Sayyid Qutb (an early and prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, executed by Egyptian authorities in 1966) said why in a sentence:  “A Muslim has no nationality except his religious beliefs.”

Is that so? It depends whom you ask. Nervous Western politicians disagree. They insist that “we are not at war with Islam.” When Cairo erupted a couple of years ago and Hosni Mubarak was deposed, James Clapper, the dunder-headed director of national intelligence, assured members of Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was “a largely secular organization,” i.e., nothing to see here, move along.

Reality failed to live up to Mr. Clapper’s fantasy (or was it merely his mendacity?), but the question lingers: Is Islam the problem? Or is it only those bad hats who have a fondness for blowing up things, treating women as chattel, abominating anyone who is not a paid-up member of the Ummah, and generally endeavoring to impose sharia, Islamic law, on everyone everywhere?

Again, it depends whom you ask. Jacqui Smith, the former British home secretary, showed that she was a comedienne of Clapper stature when some members of the religion of peace blew up an SUV at the Glasgow airport a few years ago. Ms. Smith insisted the we not call such events instances of “Islamic terrorism,” but rather call them examples of “anti-Islamic activity.” Why? Because even if the “extremists” responsible for such outrages just happened, by some wild coincidence, to be Muslim, they were acting contrary to their faith. Right. So shouting “Allahu Akbar” and steering a jetliner into a skyscraper is not Islamic terrorism but really, deep down, essentially, anti-Islamic activity. (And I, to quote Dorothy Parker, am Marie of Roumania.)

Hopeful Westerners cherish the consoling thought that we can distinguish effectively between moderate Islam, which deserves, and which wishes to have, a place at the table of modern states, and the other sort of Islam — radical Islam, jihadist Islam, extremist Islam, etc. — which takes the Qutb line and rejects statehood as the work of the devil. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey, doesn’t like such distinctions. They are, he says, “offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that’s it.” Is he right?

There are some countervailing Muslim voices. Charles Hill cites several towards the end of his book.  Indeed, he concludes on a hopeful note, which is only appropriate for a book that is part of the Hoover Institution’s Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order, which “seeks to engage in the task of reversing Islamic radicalism through reforming and strengthening the legitimate role of the state across the entire Muslim world.” That’s the antistrophe of his argument: to distinguish firmly between Islam — a religion like any other — and Islamism: the triumphalist ideology of Islam which might make use of modern modern liberal institutions, but only tactically, to increase its own power.

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Top Rated Comments   
Islam vs. "Islamism" is a left-wing fabrication. An affectation that hopes to hide the fact that the left-wingers want the violent ones to do all the damage when necessary, and then, later call upon the right-wingers to abolish them, all-too-voluntarily.

In colloquial parlance, it's called "playing both ends against the middle".

This is why president mom-jeans and all the devout lefties embrace and seek alliance with the muslims. The muslims think the lefties are insane, not realizing that the lefties will be subject to beheading, same an ANY infidel and the lefties think they are funding a war against the right.

Either way it's pretty much a suicidal pact and is tantamount to using a hand grenade as a hammer. But it also fits in well with evil human behavior throughout history. The lefties KNOW they cannot expect peace from terrorists and, in fact count on it while blathering to the contrary. The muslims know they can't trust the lefties and are counting on that and are wondering how long the gravy train will run while simultaneously taking every UD tax dollar they can get their hands on to fund jeee-haad.

Rome allied itself with various factions and often found themselves on the short end of the stick, repeatedly having to build additional armies to defeat the army they just allied themselves with.

Proof that humans seem to be generally incapable of learning.

Enter the modern day liberal citizen who believes that islam is just like any other religion. I see the black women at the local walmart wearing their ridiculous getup in 100 degree heat and then I see them get in the car and drive away. I see them talking on their cellphones. I see them talking to men who aren't family or husband. Hmmmm.

So what part of islam is that? Or is it more accurate to assume they have NO IDEA what the Kuran says, what it really means and who wrote it? Wearing the entire "kill-infidels" ensemble while ignoring the basic tenets of islam seems to be some form of the religion that I am unfamiliar with.

'Course in the US, people are afforded the right to practice religion as they see fit, provided it doesn't conflict with local/state/federal law. But it befuddles me that so called muslims here behave in ways that their religion clearly do NOT permit.

I watched one day as one of these shawl-clad women grabbed a case of Busch Light out of the cooler. Okie dokie then. Please, then, when I laugh at you to your face, say I'm "intolerant" of your "religion" which, I think is a smokescreen to avoid something else in your life.

In any case...I agree that we're headed for another crusade. The muslims are like bugs and they will not go voluntarily. They'll decry that their rights are being violated while they splash acid on some teenage girl who rejected a male suitor. Etc., etc.

But as long as the national socialists use them to foment unrest in Europe and here at home, we've got a real problem, Houston.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a reason that we of the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman tradition have been fighting these barbarians since they rode out of the desert. Like the alien in "Independence Day" all they want us to do is die. As I and others have said before, the difference between a moderate Muslim and a radical Muslim is that the radical Muslim wants to kill us, the moderate Muslim wants the radical Muslim to kill us. You cannot be a faithful Muslim and a loyal citizen of a Western democracy or even of the sorta' Western states that have adopted a communist/state capitalist system of government; Islam admits of no deviation from its dogma. There is no place for that in free society. We should stop immigration, deport all those no already "naturalized" and contain them as we contained the communist menace to Western civilization.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"is Islam the problem? "

The question is, do we want 2 billion Judeo-Christians to be at war with 1 billion Muslims? Do we fight in North Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia, along with the 'Stans?

That is an awful big war, and if I look at western Civilization these days I think we were better prepared for a global war on December 6, 1941. Or even, to pick a random date, March 24, 1937. Not because we had a powerful military, which is simply a matter of producing stuff, but because if we were attacked, we would all come together for the duration.

If the Boston Marathon bombing was a battle in the global war with Islam, what does it say about our side when we have people hoping that it was perpetrated by one of our own, not Muslims? December 8, 1941 we could count on San Francisco. Today, I'm not so sure.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Moderate Islam? No such animal. Even their grannies are blood thirsty. Remember that video of Palestinians celebrating in the streets over the killing of a Jewish family? Handing out sweets because they were so overwhelmed with joy? Remember the celebrations in the middle east after the attack on 9/11?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Islam, or Islamist?
In the early days of Islam, the conquering armies gave the defeated population a choice:
Convert (change) or Die!
That is the choice that we should give today's Muslim World:
Change, or Die!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
My opinion is that Islam is worse than Communism in that there was no doubt as to the intentions of the USSR-Red China versus the West. We understood this. In the case of Islam we don't understand that Islam is just as hostile to the West as that of the Communists. The only difference is that the Communists could be held at bay with military power, including the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. So far we haven't threatened Islam with nuclear destruction, which in my opinion is a serious mistake. As a matter of fact we should create a military alliance with every non-Islamic nation, retarget all nuclear weapons so that they threaten every major Islamic city on Earth. The threat of nuclear destruction is probably the only thing that will deter the Islamic nations from carrying out Mohammed's orders to conquor the entire Earth for Allah!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mecca as a glass parking-lot in the middle of nowhere.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Islam is the millstone. If your plan doesn't include constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam, you don't have a plan. WHat you have is a hope.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
It simply is not necessary to decide whether islam/islamism is a tenable distinction because one can measure it.

Islamism runs court systems that provide for the death penalty and lesser physical punishments on a universal jurisdiction basis and not under the meaningful control of a recognized national government. You can count that. The meaningful questions for our elites is whether they recognize their duty to protect us from courts who want to kill us, and are they keeping an eye on such courts?

If the percentage of such courts are massively dominant, then Islamism *is* Islam. If such courts are a fringe in either numbers or influence, then the distinction between Islam and Islamism is useful. In either case, this is a matter of fact and measurement. So what are the facts? Our State and Defense departments should measure this for foreign jurisdictions and DHS/Justice should do the same domestically. Are they doing so?

After a decade of wrestling with the problem of extremists trying to kill us, we have no excuse not to have in the public sphere at least a census of how many of these courts exist and what is their nature. So where is it?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems to me that being a "moderate muslim" (e.g., not believing the sura of the sword) would be like being a "moderate christian" and not believing that Jesus was the Son of God.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think that they call those Unitarians.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wold feel much more optimistic about the existence of "moderate" Muslims if I had ever heard any great cry of outrage from them after some Islamist dirtbag committed a heinous crime. Mostly I could just hear the chirping of birds drowning out the voices of the "moderates".
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I used to think that way, and then I actually tripped across one, bookmarked his blog, and found out that there's a whole set of muslim communications channels that I was wholly ignorant of. I'm not plugged into it very well even today but I'm more cautious about thinking I have a clue as to what's actually going on in terms of muslim talk. That's why I focus on identifying the courts, judging them moderate/Islamist on objective criteria, and monitoring their judicial judgments for instances where they want to kill americans for exercising ordinary american liberties. That's actually something that is more objective and achievable. It is also something that neither party has championed.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great article. I think I have something to add. David Goldman wrote a few moths ago that the modern nation state emerging from the treaty of Westphalia can be seen as idolatry because it puts the nation state above God. That astonished me - even my inner neanderthal conservative! But I began thinking about it and came to see that modern Western people really do, as you put it so well, relegate religion and God to the seminar room. Then the first shoe dropped. The difference between Islam and Islamism (political Islam stemming from the end of the Caliphate in '24 or the beginning of the Muslim Brotherhood in '33) puts political power above Allah. You can slaughter innocents for God. Blow yourself up in the marketplace. I know the does not trip off the tongue naturally: 'the idolators used pressure cooker bombs to randomly murder spectators at the Boston Marathon.' But that is what happened - and here is the other shoe - we can't see it because wee are rising 400 years gone into idolatry. The word means nothing to us. In is no longer a category of Western thought. It makes no sense to us to see materialism - you know: iPods. Mac Mansions etc. as a form of idolatry. We wouldn't recognize an act of idolatry if it bit us on the....or slammed into our tallest buildings. We are so far gone that some among us convince themselves that it is workplace violence and in any case our fault for our own cultural arrogance. It is perfectly logical to see people who still have the capacity to understand idolatry as neanderthals clinging to guns and God. They are obsolete. Beyond the Pale of modern secularism. Just try to do a thesis on Goldman's thesis if you want to be laughed out of every history department in the land.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great perspective. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wouldn't we be helping Islam to modernize if we sent back all the nice modern Muslims living in The West to train their barbarian brothers in the peaceful implementation of Islam?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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