Lately I have been somewhat preoccupied thinking about the geostrategic position the US and even the wider Western world find themselves in. Â While I do not believe that the world is on the cusp of some massive catastrophe, it does seem to me that the rise of Militant Islam in the last ten years presents problems that are new or that at least have not been faced on such a scale by Western countries since before the rise of the modern nation state.
Essentially, I think that Islam is facing the West with a crucial choice, one the West would rather not have to make as it goes against all Western tradition for the past several centuries. Â That choice is:Â Muslim or Christian? Then again, is this even the right question to be asking? Â I would say no, the right question is the WestÂ againstÂ Islam. Â Let me define theÂ WestÂ as I see it. Â The West can be defined most easily and simply as:Â The nations of WesternÂ EuropeÂ and thoseÂ nationsÂ settled by European colonists and largelyÂ followingÂ the secular, humanist, and liberal traditions first established during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Â The extra European nations thisÂ encompassesÂ are essentially the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, with India and South Africa included with qualifications. Â That seems a broad definition but I do not really think it is. Â It is actually probably much narrower than many Transnational-Progressives would have it, but then again, they includeÂ everybodyÂ in their strangeÂ worldview. Â Defining Islam is much simpler but even their distinctions have to be made between the vast majority who only tacitly support the militants, the militants themselves, and the bare minority of tolerantÂ Muslims.
Back to the question of the WestÂ againstÂ Islam. Â Islam,Â specificallyÂ militant Islam, started this struggle and it dates back to before 9/11, I personally date it to the creation of the State of Israel, which every Muslim loves to hate. Â As a matter of fact, the Muslims, but specifically the Arabs hate Israel so much they would probably make a pact with the devil himself to see that countryÂ destroyedÂ and the work of Hitler finished where the JewishÂ peopleÂ are concerned. Â That may seem like a strong claim but it is no more than many Muslims themselves say from Hamas in itsÂ founding Charter, The Iranian President inÂ Public Speeches, to theÂ Muslim Brotherhood. The hard part is finding Muslims willing to at least tolerate Israel’s existence and those that do tread a dangerous path indeed as the fate of Anwar Sadat shows. Â Of course, there are Jewish hardliners too, such as the guy that assassinated Yitzhak Rabin who was killed by a Jewish extremist in 1995 for advocatingÂ accommodationÂ with the Arabs in a quest to achieve peace.
The tagline of the post poses the question Moral Quandary? Â The moral quandary is whether it is right to shun all Muslims because of the extremists? Â I am not sure I have the answer to that question. Â My gut tells me no, but Muslim actions seem to point the other way. Â I almost tend to think that some sort of loyalty oath should be required before permitting Muslims to live in the West but the Western part of me say that defeats the whole purpose of Western institutions and tradition. Â I am left with two options, letting them in while keeping them under suspicion or keeping them all out and ejecting those that already live in the West. Â Keeping them under suspicion or some sort of provisional status also seems a betrayal of Western ideals, which leaves ejecting them, and that means all of them without qualification. Â That too, would probably create as many problems as it solves. Â The problem of Militant Islam seems a Gordian Knot that defies so simple a solution as a sword stroke.
There are no doubt some moderate Muslims, I have even met some. Â They are also the ones who tend to be least radical, least observant, and most secular though. Â It appears as though devout Islam requires some level ofÂ fanaticism. Â I cannot count the number of times in Iraq I was told that Islam and Christianity are compatible and the Muslims I talked to just could not seem to grasp how I could possibly disagree with them. Â The prophet said it was so and if I did not agree it was because I was not aware of the truth. Â It did not matter to them if IÂ explainedÂ that accepting that Jesus was merely a prophet is a betrayal of everything aÂ ChristianÂ believes because ifÂ ChristÂ was only a Prophet then he could not be the Messiah and if Mohammed was a prophet as well then the Messiah was still yet to come. Â They just could not square that circle.
There is also the Transnational-ProgressiveÂ strain of Western thought that is caught in a continuousÂ loop of self-hate and seems to actively seek the destruction of the very society that gives them the freedoms they claim to love and enjoy. Â In my mind they are just as bad, if not worse, than militant Islam because they aid andÂ abetÂ it in its quest for the destruction of the West. Â The only difference is the means used. The Tranzis seek to destroy the West from within while theÂ MuslimsÂ seek to destroy the West from without. Â Those actually seeking to uphold WesternÂ idealsÂ are fighting two battles and most only acknowledge the oneÂ againstÂ the external enemy.
At times, I feel like Vegetius or Tacitus decrying the moral weakness and decadence of the Roman Empire.
Thus still leaving us at the end with the Moral Quandary. Â I am increasingly convinced that Islam andÂ WesternÂ ideals are fundamentally incompatible yet can come up with no solution that lets the West adhere to those very ideals. Â Perhaps it is true that in order to defeat our enemy we have to become like him.