February 22, 2006

Are We Fighting Islam Or Islamofascism? There Is A Difference!

Olaf from extrablog, a blog from germany and a new friend recently sent a track back to the Photoshop efforts below contributed by Jeremy Brown/Dr. Sanity. Too, Olaf asks a good question and one that I think deserves an answer. His question, as presented in his blog is:

Would you try to enrage the Ummah, all the Muslim communities in the world, if your brother, your husband or your friend was in Iraq or in Afghanistan?"
Olaf goes on to state:
The Enduring Freedom Coalition fights terrorism, not Islam. So shouldn't we. Many Muslim nations are our coalition partners: Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Emirates, Yemen and more."

First, let me say that I have the utmost respect for anyone's faith if that faith is expressed in terms of kindness, charity and love. I also expect that the faith of others will exhibit the same tolerance for my faith, and the faith of still others.

Having said that, let us take a look at the Ummah. The Ummah is described as the worldwide community of those of the Moslem faith and the question directly asks would I deliberately insult the worldwide community of Muslims if I had a relative or friend fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. The underlying question is will the Muslim faithful harm my relatives or friends if they are offended by me. There in lies the threat. If insulted, will my friends/family be harmed by those who are insulted? Those are the terms of the debate. Do we knuckle down to the threat of violence by a so called community of believers?

Going back to the 80's, we have the Marine Corps barracks bombing, the WTC (This coming Sunday is the 13th Anniversary of the WTC bombing in '93), the US Embassies in Africa being bombed, the USS Cole, Military Barracks in Saudi Arabia, and of course 9/11. These attacks were not initiated by Baptists, Anabaptists, Confuscians, Buddists, Methodists, Catholics, Hindus, anamists, pagans, Mormans atheists or agnostics. They were carried out by Muslims of a particular mindset that we call Islamofascists. Those rioting and burning and killing and threatening to behead the insulters are also Muslims upset that someone had the temerity to draw cartoons of Mohammad. The countries that Olaf mentions, while nominal partners in the so Called Global War On Terror (GWOT) have neither discouraged nor put down the riots. In fact, many "official" spokesmen (read Imams) of some of these countries continue to urge greater violence up to and including offering a bounty of a million dollars for the execution of one of the cartoonists. So, are they complicit in the rioting and threats of violence, or are they willing dupes or are they really, part of the problem all along?

In normal circumstances, I deplore making fun of the faith of others. But these circumstances are not normal. One does not react to a damned cartoon with threats of beheading. One does not react to a damned cartoon with acts of war (attacking and burning the Danish Embasssy). One does not react to a damned cartoon by murdering people of other faiths (Christians murdered by Muslims in Nigeria = and in this case, the Christians rioting back and killing Muslims).

Islam is a faith, no more, no less. In my faith, Islam is wrong, that the Son of God is Jesus the Christ. But not everyone shares my faith and that is OK. I did not riot or burn or kill when Piss Christ was published, when a rapper wraps a crown of thorns around his head for a Rolling Stone issue and I have no respect for those that would. The threat of violence by the Islamofascists because they are "offended" is offensive to anyone who is at least semi-civilized.

The countries mentioned by Olaf are indeed part of the GWOT, but they are also part and parcel of the problem. Olaf, take a look at some of the cartoons published in the pseudo-official papers of the countries you mentioned. The slurs against Christians, Jews and other Non-Muslims are horrific. Yet, are we not THEIR partners in the GWOT? Do they not have an equal obligation to not "offend" us? In order to obtain respect, one must give respect. Respect is not the fear of reprisal, respect is the full acknowledgement that one does not have to believe as you do in order to be accorded the same rights as someone that does.

I have no quarrel with Islam. My quarrel is with any Muslim that is not willing to give the same respect that he or she demands. My quarrel is with those that believe that it is ok to toss out death sentences against those that do not cower in fear of the threat of violence. My quarrel is with Islamofascism. There really is a difference.

UPDATE: Captain Ed puts it pretty well methinks:

In fact, most Muslim journalists who have criticized the response to the cartoons find themselves either in jail or facing arrest, and the article itself provides a very telling look into why. The isolation and persecution of these journalists show that the riots and demonstrations represent mainstream Islam, despite the multicultural pablum given by most pundits over this eruption. Friends and relatives of these reporters remain silent for fear of violent retribution. A significant moderate faction within Islam has been cowed into almost-complete silence by the ascendant violent and radical factions."
H/T Shrinkwrapped and as Shrinkwrapped notes:
Islam is under tremendous pressure and the Islamofascists are winning. The Moderate Muslims are unable or unwilling to confront their violent and vicious coreligionists, some significant percentage are basically in agreement that all non-Muslims are inferior, and there is no tradition of democracy or self-governance to fall back on."

UPDATE # 2: David Bernstein writing in the Volokh Conspiracy weighs in with a quote from his You Can't Say That that addresses the paucity of the argument of not offending (Muslims, or any others for that matter):

One price of living in a free society is having to tolerate those who intentionally or unintentionally offend others. The current trend, however, is to give offended parties a legal remedy, so long as the offense can be construed as "discrimination." Yet the more the American legal system offers people remedies for offense, the more they are likely to feel offended. This is true for two reasons. First, as economists point out, when you subsidize something, you get more of it. Therefore, if the legal remedies of antidiscrimination law, particularly monetary remedies, subsidize feelings of outrage and insult, we will get more feelings of outrage and insult, a net social loss. Second, economists have also noted the psychological endowment effect, which, in effect, means that people tend to consider something they own to be more valuable than it would be if they did not own it. Similarly, once people are endowed with a right, they tend to overvalue it and react passionately when it is interfered with.

Unfortunately, Americans increasingly coddle and even reward the hypersensitive, perversely encouraging ever more hypersensitivity. In one notorious incident, a Washington, DC city official was forced to resign for using the word "niggardly" at a meeting because the word sounded like a racial epithet, even though it is actually an innocent synonym of Scandinavian origin for "miserly." It should hardly be surprising, then, that people are suing for and winning damages when they are offended by colleagues at work, when they are excluded by private clubs or turned down as roommates, or when they are fired from church-run schools after reneging on promises to obey church doctrine. Neither should it be surprising that legislatures are increasingly succumbing to the temptation to expand the laws to protect from discrimination every group with a grievance, including the vertically challenged (short people, protected in San Francisco and Michigan), the body-pierced (among those protected in various jurisdictions, including Washington, DC, that ban discrimination based on personal appearance), recovering drug addicts (protected by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and local equivalents), and the Hell's Angels (protected, along with other motorcycle gang members, in Minnesota).

Preserving the liberalism that defines the United States, and the civil liberties that go with it, requires Americans to show a certain level of virtue, including a phlegmatic tolerance of those who intentionally or unintentionally offend and sometimes—when civil liberties are implicated—even of those who blatantly discriminate. A society that undercuts civil liberties in pursuit of the "equality" offered by a statutory right to be free from all slights, protected by draconian antidiscrimination laws, will ultimately end up empty-handed with neither equality nor civil liberties to show for its efforts. The violation of civil liberties required to achieve this kind of equality will diminish constitutional restraints on the government, while the additional power garnered by the government, introduced for noble reasons, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests. In these days of the Oprahization of public discourse, when even presidential candidates swear that they feel the public’s pain, asking Americans to display a measure of fortitude in the face of offense and discrimination is asking for a lot. But in the end, it is a small price to pay for preserving civil liberties."

UPDATE # 3: Always on Watch provided this link. A sample:
I see it like this. You can sleep in peace and comfort today, and pay the price later when you wake up in hell—and I am not talking about that hell that Satan lives in, but the hell that Islam intends to bring to the whole world soon. Or you can sacrifice your peace now and make sure that future generations will never have to fight. The choice is yours."

Posted by GM Roper at February 22, 2006 08:38 PM | TrackBack

I have a quarrel with Islam because Islam is a satanic cult whose sole destiny is to convert, enslave or kill me. Yeah I have studied Islam and what gets me angry are these 'sholars of Islam' like John Esposito, David Forte, and Karen Armstrong who defend Islam and mislead our leaders about what Islam is all about - 'all that inner struggle' is total bs. Beautiful religion, inner peace, tolerance, all bs. I spit on them for misleading our leaders at this critical time.

I think Andrew Bostom's book The Legacy of Jihad should be mandatory for all reporters covering the 'war on terror' as well as all of our politicians. It is something how often we get slammed by Islam and we keep on saying Islam is a religion of peace and only a tiny minority are doing these horrific acts that are 'against' Islam. Please. Anyone who has really studied Islam knows these acts are the greatest honor in Islam and are the expressway to heaven. In fact, martyrs are the only ones guaranteed to get into heaven PDQ. Your average Muslim must toss and turn in a cold dark grave until the Muslim apocalypse and then they get to find out if they go to heaven (but only at a lower level, there are 9 levels) or go to hell (almost all women go to hell - Mo said he saw a ton of women in hell when he visited it on one of his 'night trips.' It's a sick cult and I refuse to pretend otherwise. All this denial is just going to make things worse and, if we don't wake up, get us all converted, subjugated or murdered.

Posted by John Sobieski at February 22, 2006 11:25 PM

Hello George and Guten Tag! Great to see you back on the blog. In general I take the points you make, I, me personally. But do they really count? This is, what I think is the problem: They are only our points of view.

1) I think nobody can deny there are no spontaneous demonstrations of the arabic street, least of all in countries like Syria or Iran. These demonstrations are motivated by islamofascist of one or the other color. I think they are not representative for the majority in the Ummah, they are only representative for the local state-run TV-stations.

2) Our demonstrations on the Blogosphere, for freedom of speech, are not representative for our troops envolved in operations like Enduring Freedom (or ISAF, or Iraqi Freedom). Of course every soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq has his personal opinion, but he is not allowed by order to articulate it to the public in each case because by doing so in his uniform he would imply it was an official statement.

3) Every western government has objectet insulting Islam or the Prophet Mohammed as well as violence against embassies. This starts with the US-Government, goes on with Denmark's and down to the smallest of our allies. I think that is more wisely than many people recognize because it shows that our governments not only take care about our rights, but also for the responsibility for the safety of our troops.

That's how it is: The Danish troops in Iraq spread leaflets to convince the Muslims they have to deal with that they don't agree with insulting the Prophet. So it hardly can be called 'solidarity with Denmark' if we shout these soldiers shown - it rather had to be called obstruction and I strongly object such disrespect for the official interests of our troops or our allies.

If we want to reach the silent majority within the Ummah it would be easy to find propositions they could share - although they might not be, for obious reasons, answered immediately.

We didn't win the cold war by insulting the populations of the Warszaw Pact per se, but by putting their interests in first place, for example.

There are many ways one can use his right of free speech and in our nations one may also say things which are contrary to the interests of our troops and alliences, but the difference lies in the responsibility you show - be it for your own interests, your ego, your personal crusade or other dedications - or for your own troops standing in front line.

Our soldiers deserve our highest solidarity, that should not be forgotten. Don't do the opposite of what they do. This is what my campaign "Support our troops: Fight Terror-not Islam" is all about.

Posted by Olaf Petersen at February 22, 2006 11:36 PM

Some typos - ...we shout these soldiers down/-not shown. Sorry

Posted by Olaf Petersen at February 22, 2006 11:45 PM

Many people try to bring up, as a defense of Islam, the old tenets of the Christian faith which condone, even encourage, violent behavior. This is wrong to do. The real issue is - do the Christians act on these tenets? No they don't. You'll see the occasional, abberant behavior crop up, but they are quickly condemned by those even of the same faith. You don't see this in Islam. It was readily apparent in the wave of voilent "protests" in several countries. Embassies were burned in Lebanon and Syria (and others countries) but hundreds of arrests were made in Lebanon. In Syria? None.

I emailed GM about this. The other day he talked about punishing bad behavior and how it works in child rearing as well as other facets of life. Reward good behavior - punish bad behavior. The voilent urges that are not controlled in many Arab nations continue because their is little or no punishment. The ruling classes severely punish any dissenting behavior directed toward their own government and you don't see a lot of that dissent, do you? One person pipes up and they go to prison. End of story. So when they act out against outsiders and don't get punished, it's almost like a reward. "I'm not being punished, so I must be doing something right." It's another tenet (wrongly interpreted or not) of Islam being reinforced. It's okay to kill and destroy anyone or anything non-Muslim.

If Demark wanted to get serious, they would sanction the countries in which their embassies were burned and no punishment was meted out, no arrests made and no condemnation of the act was issued.

But they won't.

Posted by Oyster at February 23, 2006 07:01 AM

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property‹either as a child, a wife, or a concubine‹must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science‹the science against which it had vainly struggled‹the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome." --- Winston Churchill

He and I beg to differ, I fear. The 'vibrancy' in Islam has always, and is NOW, with the lunatic fringe . Moderation in Islamic thought is a very, very, relative term.

Posted by dougf at February 23, 2006 10:06 AM

"I have no quarrel with Islam.", You may not, but Islam has a problem with you. We are not fighting a "war on terror" because the very notion is laughable. Are we fighting road side bombs, ak47's, planes, etc? NO. We are fighting the GOOD Muslims that follow the Koran to the letter. Fight and in Allah's cause , etc. Mohammed had peoples heads cut off for simply making fun of him. Not to mention his pedophilic marriage to a child, when he was 50+ years old. It seems everytime I converse with people that "Have no problem" with Islam, usually have never even read one page of the Koran or the Hadiths. No, we are not at war with Islam, but Islam is at war with us.


Posted by Jeff Davis at February 23, 2006 01:02 PM

Terrorism is one way to advance the establishment of the caliphate; moderatism is another. Both lead to the destruction of the freedoms of Western civilization.

Islam itself divides the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. IMO, that's why there is no stampede of moderates to take back a "hijacked religion."

The voices of apostates are important to listen to, I think. See this.

I struggled with the reality. It's ugly. Islam is more a geopolitical ideology than a personal faith--and has always been so, at least since the Medinan verses of the Koran.

Posted by Always On Watch at February 24, 2006 07:52 AM

I just found this. Worth your time, I think, as are all of Avenging Apostate's posts.

Posted by Always On Watch at February 24, 2006 07:59 AM

Not to mention that appeasement is viewed by extremists as "concession" which inevitably escalates the violence.

Posted by Angel at February 24, 2006 02:30 PM

Well spoken, GM. I really have nothing to add.

Posted by civil truth at February 25, 2006 07:07 PM

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