Roger L. Simon

Dangers of Dawa

I have never been much for proselytizing, whether by Scientology or Amway. The cult-like quality of this behavior is all too evident, if sometimes comic. But this morning it wasn’t so funny when I read on LGF that the US Navy sailor whose email turned up on the computer of a terrorist in Britain told his British compatriot he wanted to “keep up the dawah.”

What is dawa? For those who don’t know, it’s proselytizing for Islam, “an obligatory duty (fard) for Muslims.” This is the kind of obligatory duty, of course, that encourages a fanatic to write email to homicidal lunatics with the locations and counter-terror strategies of naval vessels (or anything else, for that matter… like where you go to work). I am tired of the War on Terror euphemism. This is mind-cult enemy which must named. This is a War on Islamofascism. You wouldn’t fight AIDS by calling it a War on Sickness.

UPDATE: Belmont Club has a characteristically brilliant post in which he posits the possibility that we may be closer to winning this war (whatever we call it) than we think, then jumps ahead to what this all might mean. The Sam Harris book linked below is mentioned. (BTW, Wretchard’s theory seems contingent on the premise that Al Qaeda in and of itself is the enemy. I think that may be too limiting.)