Are We Tired of Fighting?

It seems as if some sort of microbial agent has subtly infected their minds, manifesting as a falling away from an earlier critical outlook accompanied by a growing tendency to regard Islam as inherently peaceful, beneficent, and innocuous. Terrorist violence is to be understood as the tradecraft of an “extremist fringe,” conveniently known as “Islamists,” as opposed to the sociable and nonbelligerent character of the “moderate majority” and the living marrow of Islamic orthodoxy.

Pointing out that “moderate Muslims” are largely invisible in the public arena as a countering presence to their more enthusiastic brethren cuts no ice with these new proselytes. Suggesting that the “moderate majority” actually provides the religion of violence with the continuity and staying power that it requires, lending it viability and enabling its more extreme practitioners to carry out their scriptural mandate is dismissed out of hand. Showing that violence against the infidel and the apostate is intrinsic to the Koran, Hadith, Sira, and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) -- the normative bedrock of the faith -- and that jihad constitutes a bounden duty for all believing Muslims is equally ineffective. Limning the 1400 year history of civilizational warfare prosecuted by Islam, detailing the provisions of Sharia law insinuating its way into Europe and America, and alluding to the thousands upon thousands of Islamic-sponsored terrorist acts and attempts, from the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to the Boston Marathon atrocity to the plot to blow up a VIA Rail passenger train over Niagara Falls to the beheading of a British soldier on a London street, has no impact on these insulated fantasists. After all, none of them has been singed by Islamic fire. They do not have to worry about mosques being erected in their generally tony neighborhoods and the ensuing thuggery forcing them out of their homes, as in many English working class districts. They have yet to confront bombs exploding at their festivities and communal events. They are not in wheelchairs but in Passats.

The gradual weakening and even betrayal of a once reasonably robust conservative consensus has begun to exert its influence even on those commentators and analysts whose acumen and traditional allegiances we have previously trusted. According to the swelling legion of propitiators and accommodationists, we must under no circumstances offend the community of “moderate Muslims” who presumably represent the last best hope for both Islam and for us -- a hope, be it said, projected into a distant and Arcadian future. No matter. It is thus no surprise that a considerable number of our intellectual and social elite have been profoundly impressed by Bassam Tibi’s 2012 book Islamism and Islam, with its intent to bifurcate what is canonically one, and by Daniel Pipes, who insists on the same distinction.

Andy Bostom points out that Pipes in his earlier book, In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power, noted that Islam (not Islamism) was a political creed, and that, in Pipes’ words, “mainstream Muslims follow legal tenets so similar to each other that these differences can be ignored” -- that is, the Sharia is incumbent on all Muslims. What new evidence has come to light convincing Pipes to change his tune? In a Washington Post article titled "Islam vs. Islamism," Pipes argues that many Muslims understandably suffer from the trauma of cultural eclipse, that only a tiny percentage of Muslims support jihad (a recent Pew survey of global Muslim attitudes to jihad and Sharia law proves him utterly wrong), that Muslim anti-Semitism scarcely existed before the establishment of the state of Israel, that moderate Islam is the solution to radical Islam, and that “a modern form of Islam can emerge.” All the indices show that Pipes’ apologetic stance is a pure fiction whose only consequence is to give aid and succor to a determined enemy bent on our destruction. In an article titled “Islam vs. Islamism: A Case for Wishful Thinkers,” former Muslim terrorist Wallid Shoebat has effectively demolished Pipes’ warped and carious article, showing how his data are cherry-picked and his claims woefully unsubstantiated and decisively refuted by historical fact. This is no doubt why Pipes has just refused an invitation to debate Bostom on the subject.