Sex on the Beach No Excuse for Jihad

Britons do not need to go as far as having sex in a public place to provoke Muslim "hostility" and its corollary "extremism." Convicted terrorist Omar Khyam, so different from his romantic near-namesake, was provoked by "slags dancing around" at a nightclub. Muslim "extremism" is highly combustible: New English Review's Hugh Fitzgerald has listed Almost One Hundred Things That Fuel Muslim Extremism. They include Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, Pim Fortuyn's remarks about Muslim resentment of Dutch liberalism, and Pope Benedict's refusal to continue apologizing for his remarks on Islamic violence. To which could be added Salman Rushdie's knighthood, the Danish cartoons, and Gibson Square's proposed publication of The Jewel of Medina, which literally "fueled extremism" in the form of an arson attack. Time and space are the only limitations to the length of a list of things that fuel Muslim extremism.

Like Minette Marrin, conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza believes that Western permissiveness, specifically "the cultural left," is to blame for Muslim hostility, and by implication Muslim violence. Robert Spencer, writing at FrontPage Magazine, makes short work of this idea:

The immorality of the West has been a feature of Islamic anti-Western writings since long before Britney Spears took to the stage. Jihad theorist Sayyid Qutb was scandalized by the dancing at a church social in Greeley, Colorado, in 1948. ... It should be borne in mind that from the Islamic perspective, Christians are inherently immoral simply by virtue of their -- in the Muslim view -- exalting Jesus to divine status.

As Spencer explains, jihad is a permanent feature of Islam; indeed it is commanded by Islam. Orthodox Jews in Israel would disapprove of sex on the beach as strongly as any Muslim, but this would not protect them against jihad attacks by the Palestinians.

And what of this much-vaunted Islamic morality, so easily offended by ours? For men, and only for men, Islamic law permits promiscuity in the form of polygamy and concubinage. For Shiite Muslims, it permits prostitution in the form of temporary marriage. It also legalizes rape -- of slave girls and other non-Muslim women. Worse still, Islam allows child "marriage," better described as child rape: when Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in Iran in 1979 he lost no time in lowering the age of "marriage" for girls to nine. In doing so he followed the example of Mohammed, who "married" Aisha when she was six and "consummated the marriage" when she was nine. Dubai is relatively liberal, but Westerners who work there tell of the hordes of visiting Saudi men who come over on weekends for some drinking and whoring -- the latter not forbidden by Islam if it is with non-Muslim women -- and then go back and infect their wives with AIDS and other diseases. The wives have no such latitude; strict Sharia means that they can be lashed or stoned to death for being raped.

Islam does not permit sex on the beach, but neither does Christianity, and neither do traditional Western laws and standards. Islam has nothing to teach us about morality, and we should not pander to Muslims by claiming that it does.

Palmer and Acors got what they deserved. They knew the law of Dubai and should have respected it. Would some British Muslims respect our laws, instead of trying to bring in Sharia.

But we have no need to abase ourselves before Muslims. Licentious behavior should be condemned because it is wrong, not because it fuels jihad, and not because of Muslims' supposed moral superiority. The eternal flame of jihad burns without fuel from us -- and Western morality is still, even in this permissive age, superior to that of Mohammed.