On August 29 of this year, a certain Afsun Qureshi published an article in the National Post instructing non-Muslims how to save their lives should they ever have the misfortune of finding themselves in the hands of Muslim jihadists. Her model was the massacre that occurred at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi last year when the terrorist group al-Shabaab “weed[ed] out” the faithful from the infidels by having them recite the shahadah, one of the five pillars of Islam, testifying that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet. Those who could perform the task, (among other shibboleths) were spared; those who couldn’t were slaughtered.
“If one ever finds oneself in a similar situation,” she wonders, “could even a rudimentary knowledge of Islam save us?” In order to protect ourselves against the extremists, “it is worth getting up to speed on what these fanatics are so fanatical about.”
Ms. Qureshi is doubtlessly motivated by the most benevolent of sentiments. However, a little thought will serve to indicate that the shahadah alone is insufficient to resolve the dilemma we may one day have to face — as the victims in the Sydney hostage crisis, who were not even asked to recite the shahadah on the black flag they were forced to hoist, recently discovered. Besides, the terrorists are not stupid people and — who knows? — may have gotten wind of Ms. Qureshi’s considerate article. Moreover, as we recall, the shahadah was not the only litmus test al-Shabaab applied in Nairobi to facilitate the weeding out process. How many of us know the name of Muhammad’s mother — another key identification marker to determine who was to live and who was destined for torture and a gruesome death? And, for that matter, how many of us can rise to the challenge in Arabic, an unfortunate hitch in Ms. Qureshi’s thinking?
The solution to the terror onslaught that continues to plague us, as recent events in Canada, Australia and Pakistan amply attest, lies not in a hastily cribbed sleight of speech, or in any other tactical expedient, but in Islam itself. As we have been told by enlightened Western intellectuals, journalists and political figures, by Muslim organizations in every Western country, by imams interviewed in the press, and by Muslim authors penning their commentaries and elucidations, Islam is a religion of peace and does not countenance violence in any way, shape or form. We are informed that jihad is a spiritual and not a military struggle. Concerning the latter, we can surely dismiss the inconvenient findings of Danish linguist Tina Magaard, whose study of the Koran has yielded only one reference to jihad as “an inner spiritual phenomenon…and more than 50 references to actual armed struggle.” She is certainly mistaken and is plainly a professional Islamophobe intent on poisoning our minds. After all, reading the Koran as it is written is a sure sign of intentional misdirection, and citing its directives a clear expression of out-and-out Islamophobia. (This may explain why I was personally accused by a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation journalist of hate speech for quoting selected passages of the Koran in conversation with her.)
We are further apprised by a surfeit of commentators that the atrocities carried out by extremists have nothing to do with Islam. Rather, such aberrations are the rotten fruit of distortion and misinterpretation, the result, according to the panoptic scholar of Islam John Esposito (whose Georgetown University Center is sponsored by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal), of “a long list of grievances” and “moral outrage,” of poverty and injustice. Additionally, the killers are “religious novices” who merely need to be set straight. If only the Prophet’s votaries were capable of emulating his example, all would be well. For despite a few biographical trifles, like wedding a six-year-old girl, maintaining a household of multiple wives, breaking a solemnly sworn treaty (Hudaibiyah), beheading the men of an entire Jewish tribe (the Banu Qurayzah), having those who offended him eliminated, and enjoining perpetual battle against unbelievers (Koran, passim), Muhammad retains the radiant and immemorial title of al-Insan al-Kamil, “the perfect man,” or in the words of Claflin University professor Anisah Bagasra, echoing many of Muhammad’s disciples, “the best model of the spiritual life.” Perfection is, in the case of one anointed by God, perfectly consistent with inconsistency.
To return. There is only one answer to the horrors we are confronting. Scholars at prestigious institutions like al-Azhar University in Cairo, often described as a kind of Islamic Vatican, influential members of the ulema (Muslim legal scholars), Western luminaries like Karen Armstrong and the aforementioned John Esposito who assure us that the religion of the desert is the most beneficent of faiths, political heavyweights who are favorably disposed to Islam and receptive to its transcendent message like Barack Obama (“no faith teaches people to massacre innocents”), John Kerry (“The face of Islam is not the nihilists… whose actions are an ugly insult to the peaceful religion that they violate every single day with their barbarity”), and UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond (“Isil’s so-called caliphate has no moral legitimacy; it is a regime of torture, arbitrary punishment and murder that goes against the most basic beliefs of Islam”)—these erudite authorities on the subject of the Islamic faith should arrange to meet in a world-historical conclave in order to pool their efforts and resources into convincing the so-called “fundamentalists,” the rampaging terrorist militias and their myriad tacit advocates, as well as the host of religious leaders and “spiritual guides” who promote a 1400-year tradition of conquest, to convert to Islam and learn to practice its irenic doctrines. Many Westerners have done precisely that, turning their lives around by accepting the Koran and reciting the shahadah—not to save themselves from al-Shabaab or the swarming pack of “lone wolves” creating territorial havoc but to save their souls from hellfire and enjoy the pastoral serenity Islam brings. They may even know and venerate the name of Muhammad’s mother.
Clearly, such a process of bulk reclamation would not happen overnight, but if the vast consortium of terrorists, their radical supporters, apologists and silent fellow-travelers, and, indeed, the lion’s share of the ummah steeped in misconception, could gradually be persuaded to see the beauty of Islam and become loyal communicants, to download the truth that Islam is a religion of peace and act accordingly, we will eventually reach a point in time when terrorism will have become a relic of the misguided past.
The solution we are envisaging, then, is to initiate a program of universal re-education. The world must decide upon a strategy of redemptive proselytization, urging every Muslim jihadist, every prodigal son and daughter with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other (whose numbers, be it said, are off the charts) to embrace the faith. But why stop there? We should strive to cajole every Muslim communicant, nominal or otherwise, back into the genial and consecrating arms of Islam.
There should be no exceptions. We need to address every champion of the punitive shariah. Plus, every purveyor of fatwahs. Every polygamist and wife-beater. Every serial rapist. Every beheader. Every persecutor of homosexuals. Every anti-Semite. Every aspirer to the Caliphate. Every honor-bound practitioner of filiacide. Every jizya collector. Every pedophile and child-brider. Every genital mutilator. Every church arsonist. Every marabout and muezzin. Every inebriated Saudi prince. Every slave owner. Every acid-thrower. Every stoner of adulterers and executioner of apostates. Every despiser of infidels. Every mufti and ayatollah. Every torch-bearer and spear-carrier. Every “religious novice.” Every violent demonstrator and traffic-blocking supplicant. Every manipulator of taqiyyah. Every member of the Muslim Students Association and its parent organizations. Every rioting migrant. Every perpetrator of “workplace violence.” Every alcohol-prohibiting taxi driver. Every speechifier and writer of pro-Islamic tracts. Every “groomer” of underage girls. Every aggrieved Palestinian. Every Westernized revisionist intent on re-interpretation. Every heavily bearded phallocrat and his burka-tented matron following ten paces behind pushing a stroller and crowding pedestrians off the sidewalk. Every refugee-cum-hostage taker. Every community leader and Every Islamic Cultural Center in toto. Every creedal hater of dogs. Every executive director of Every Arab Association. Every applicant for plural-wife welfare. Every offended imam and lawfare plaintiff. And every importuner for special privileges at the expense of the host society.
Ms. Qureshi, for all her laudable concern for the welfare of her fellow citizens, has failed to appreciate the real predicament from which we suffer, that cannot be resolved by the application of split recitatives and mnemonic gimmicks. This is a mere placebo, a verbal stunt or widget. The only solution lies in the Muslimization of Muslims or, what amounts to the same thing, the introduction of Islam to itself. Islam has clearly pre-existed its own founder and has yet to be properly incarnated, a project on which we have no choice but to embark forthwith.
It stands to reason that it’s the only viable defense against the lessons of Islamic history, the mandates of Islamic scripture, the burden of Islamic scholarship, the evidence of Islamic practice, the call of Islamic da’wah or “invitation to submission.” Not to mention the scope of Islamic immigration, and the proliferation of Islamic so-called culture-and-interfaith centers. And the Islamic hijacking of the justice system to criminalize dissent and criticism, the spread of Islamic terror and the dogma of Islamic supremacism.
The solution is quite simply, to Islamize Islam, to pacify the religion of peace, to set it before the looking glass, in effect, to transform Islam into itself, and to offer the religion to its adherents. For as things now stand — and perhaps always have — it is clear that Islam has nothing to do with Islam. All that is required, then, is the metamorphosis of the same.
We can no longer play fast and loose with the prospects of our survival. For in the final analysis, nothing less will suffice to guarantee our security than the reflexive self-identity of the faith, followed by the mass conversion of the world’s Muslims to Islam.