The problem - What is wrong with the Islamic world?
when thousands of American innocents
were killed by Islamic extremists
for no reason,
the central question
is not: "Why do they hate us?".
The central question is not:
"What is wrong with American foreign policy?"
The central question is:
What is wrong with the Islamic world,
and how will it reform?
The basic problem is very clear.
It is that millions of people
in the Islamic world do not
believe in free speech, freedom of religion,
democracy, a secular state, free enterprise and human rights.
Millions of Muslims also have a hatred for Israel and America
that has no rational basis.
Who is our enemy?,
by Steven Den Beste,
has a hard time defining who exactly is the west's enemy,
but correctly points out it is not just
a small group of terrorists.
Much of the Islamic world
- and almost all of the Arab Islamic world
- must change.
"This war will continue until the traditional crippled Arab culture is shattered.
It won't end until they embrace reform
or have it forced on them.
Until a year ago, we were willing to be patient and let them embrace it slowly.
Now we have no choice: we have to force them to reform because we cannot be safe until they do."
"what we have to do is to take the 14th century culture of our enemies
and bring it into the 17th century. Once we've done that, then we can work on bringing
them into the 21st century
But they've got to accept their own failure, personally and nationally and culturally.
That is the essential first step. They've got to accept that the cause of their failure
is their own culture
And they've got to accept that the only way to succeed is to change.
That will be a difficult fight, and it's going to take decades.
Along the way it's going to be necessary to remove many governments
which come to power and yet again try to embrace the past"
The war will last decades:
"This war will end when they change, but not before."
We (the west)
don't want to do this.
We would far prefer to let them stay in their own failed societies.
Who on earth would volunteer for the job of reforming the Middle East?
What a pain that after finally winning the Cold War,
and entering what we hoped was a new era of peace and prosperity,
the west now has to sign up
for this endless exhausting job.
We don't want to do this.
We (the west) have to do this.
Because they threaten us.
Because they will destroy one of our cities with nuclear weapons
as soon as they get a chance.
So we have to reform them.
They have forced us to.
House of War
captures how annoying it is that we have to deal with these people (the Islamists).
It is almost embarrassing that these medieval savages
are the future we have to deal with.
He notes that despite having a centuries-out-of-date medieval philosophy,
they do know how to fight
a 21st century media war against soft democracies:
"The future is armed to the teeth and is highly motivated, it is dispersed across an ever wider landscape, and
it is not waiting for us to arrive: it has begun its relentless assault regardless, chanting the ancient slogans of religious bigotry and blood for a vengeful god. Unless we step into it and learn to fight the future war more effectively than our enemies, we have already lost."
"Which religion is the most violent?"
Survey of Americans,
They were asked to choose among these 4 religions only.
These are the percentages among those who gave an answer.
Most of the world would probably agree that the
"religion of peace"
is the most violent religion
in the world.
Pie chart generated with
Apologists for Islam say Islam means "peace"
and the fundamentalist killers are a tiny minority.
This is not true.
Opinion polls show that they represent mainstream opinion in the Islamic world
(large minority, and often majority):
Poll: Decrease in Palestinian support of terror,
Dec. 8, 2004.
After Arafat's death,
a majority of Palestinians, for the first time,
now oppose the intifada.
Albeit this would be for strategic reasons - because the intifada is not working
- not because they have suddenly discovered that killing civilians is wrong.
But still, it's a start.
It didn't last:
Poll, Feb 2006
- 56 percent of Palestinians support
suicide bombing of Israeli civilians.
Poll, July 2006
- 60 percent of Palestinians support
rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.
67 percent support
kidnapping and murdering Israeli civilians.
In which country would you most like to live? Top answer - USA.
Decrease in Islamic support for terror, 2005.
Far from "inflaming" the Islamic world,
America and Israel's responses to 9/11 and the intifada
have caused reduced support for terror, not increased.
This is really good news.
The left was wrong again.
There are some problems with the survey.
The survey only asked about suicide attacks on civilians in general.
If it asked about suicide attacks on Jews,
or on American civilians, I'm sure the numbers would have been
The majority in Jordan support
suicide bombing and other violence against civilians.
The majority in Morocco support
suicide bombing in Iraq.
The majority in Pakistan and Jordan support Osama bin Laden.
No, scratch that.
These same Islamofascist bombers have been killing Iraqi Muslims by the thousand,
to Palestinian applause.
By "civilians" they mean Palestinian Muslims.
Palestinians Taste Their Own Medicine
- Daniel Pipes
on the Jordan bombings.
"And, guess what: they did not like it.
Will the Palestinians' shameful love affair with suicide killings and "martyrdom"
diminish after the atrocity in Amman? Might a taste of their own medicine teach them
that what goes around comes around? That barbarism ultimately visits the barbarians too?"
91 percent in Egypt support attacks on US troops in Iraq.
91 percent in Egypt support attacks on US troops in Afghanistan.
68 percent in Morocco support attacks on US troops in Iraq.
61 percent in Morocco support attacks on US troops in Afghanistan.
25 percent in Egypt support Al Qaeda attacks.
A further 31 percent say they oppose its methods
but agree with Al Qaeda's attitudes.
40 percent of Egyptians have "positive" feelings towards Bin Laden.
Only 2 percent in Pakistan say Al Qaeda carried out 9/11.
27 percent say the U.S. government did it.
7 percent say Israel did it.
29 percent of Egyptians say Israel carried out 9/11.
79 percent in Pakistan agree "strongly" or "somewhat"
that there should be strict sharia in all Muslim countries.
76 percent in Morocco agree "strongly" or "somewhat"
that there should be strict sharia in all Muslim countries.
74 percent in Egypt agree "strongly" or "somewhat"
that there should be strict sharia in all Muslim countries.
There are some positive things in the above survey too.
I have just highlighted the most disturbing findings.
The Islamic world clearly has a long way to go.
Pew Survey of Muslim countries, July 2007.
Clear drop in support for Al Qaeda and suicide bombing.
The Bin Laden revolution may never happen.
The jihadis may be dying for nothing.
Muslim societies continue, it is true,
to have large numbers of supporters of Islamic terror.
But the civilized Muslims may be slowly winning the argument.
Back in 2002:
74 percent of Lebanese supported suicide bombing of civilians.
47 percent of Nigerians supported suicide bombing of civilians.
44 percent in Bangladesh supported suicide bombing of civilians.
43 percent of Jordanians supported suicide bombing of civilians.
33 percent of Pakistanis supported suicide bombing of civilians.
Now in 2007:
42 percent of Nigerians support suicide bombing of civilians.
34 percent of Lebanese support suicide bombing of civilians.
23 percent of Jordanians support suicide bombing of civilians.
20 percent in Bangladesh support suicide bombing of civilians.
9 percent of Pakistanis support suicide bombing of civilians.
8 percent of Egyptians support suicide bombing of civilians.
86 percent of Jordanians support death for anyone who leaves Islam.
84 percent of Egyptians support death for anyone who leaves Islam.
76 percent of Pakistanis support death for anyone who leaves Islam.
82 percent of Egyptians support stoning for adultery.
82 percent of Pakistanis support stoning for adultery.
70 percent of Jordanians support stoning for adultery.
49 percent of Nigerian Muslims approve of Al Qaeda.
34 percent of Jordanians approve of Al Qaeda.
Poll, May 2011: 51 per cent of Pakistanis feel "grief" at the death of Osama bin Laden.
Poll, Spring 2011,
shows only 8 percent of Pakistanis support suicide bombing of civilians.
This must be a reaction to the
tidal wave of jihadist violence
that Pakistan has been suffering in recent years,
a real example of "blowback" from the Islamic extremism that Pakistan has supported since its foundation in 1947.
As I said, all over the world, ordinary people
have disgusting and sick political opinions.
That's the way
the world is.
That's the way
it's always been.
That's why history is such a bloodbath.
Remember that despite the disgusting opinions
of their fellow Muslims, who did nothing to help them
and everything to stop them being helped,
most Iraqis support the war on Iraq
and are grateful to America for ignoring the
Islamic world on that issue.
Appallingly depressing survey results of the Islamic world, 2012.
Summary from here
this poll of 2012, released Apr 2013.
There is some hope in the Balkans, Turkey, Lebanon and the former Soviet Union.
There is no hope in Palestine, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq.
This is a crisis caused by the Islamic world.
It is not the fault of the West.
One of the most depressing aspects of this crisis
has been how little soul-searching there has been
in Islam since September 11th.
There has been depressingly little discussion
of what is wrong
with the Islamic world
to have: (a) produced these evil butchers,
and: (b) to have so many poor and unfree countries.
Apart from a couple of days pause,
there has been just the same old Islamic arrogance,
as if it's the West that has to apologise
for being rich and free.
No More Fanaticism as Usual
by Salman Rushdie
on the silence of moderate Muslims
"Where, after all, is the Muslim outrage at these events?
As their ancient, deeply civilized culture of love, art and philosophical
reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists,
tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?"
"Muslims love to live in the U.S. but also love to hate it. Many openly claim that the U.S. is a terrorist state
but they continue to live in it. Their decision to live here is testimony that they would rather live here than
anywhere else. As an Indian Muslim, I know for sure that nowhere on earth, including India, will I get the
same sense of dignity and respect that I have received in the U.S."
"It is time that we acknowledge that the freedoms we enjoy in the US are more desirable to us than superficial solidarity with the Muslim World. If you disagree
than prove it by packing your bags and going to whichever Muslim country you identify with."
"Imagine that a sect of fanatical Jews blew up three American buildings,
killing thousands. Imagine that this sect of Jews issued a declaration of holy war
on the United States, in the name of Judaism."
"What do you think would have been the response of the rest of the Jews in America
and around the world? Our ears would have been deafened by the roar of Jews' moral outrage,
their resounding support for America, and their demands for the destruction
of the radical sect. You wouldn't be able to turn around in NYC or any urban center
without seeing Jews wearing some insignia to show their love for America
and hatred for the sect. There would be endless TV spots sponsored by Jewish organizations,
there would be T-shirts with "Those killers aren't Jews,"
there would be multitudes of young Jews volunteering to go into the military
to fight the sect."
Why didn't Muslims do this?
Thomas Friedman, 3 Dec 2008, on the hypocrisy and silence of the Muslim world after
"After all, if 10 young Indians from a splinter wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party traveled by boat to Pakistan, shot up two hotels in Karachi and the central train station, killed at least 173 people, and then, for good measure, murdered
the imam and his wife
at a Saudi-financed mosque while they were cradling their 2-year-old son - purely because they were Sunni Muslims - where would we be today? The entire Muslim world would be aflame and in the streets."
"Has Friedman seen massive protests in the streets against radical Islamist terrorists in these Muslim countries, ever? Did any of them protest the 9/11 attacks, or the Madrid attack, or any of the large-scale attacks on Western civilians or previous attacks in India at all?"
Denial and obfuscation
The crackpot websites of
illustrate clearly the state of denial
of so much of the Islamic world:
Her YouTube channel
is mainly a load of requests that non-Muslims stop stereotyping all Muslims
just because of the vast amount of Islamic violence in the world.
While obviously such stereotyping is wrong, this misses the point.
The main point is the vast amount of Islamic violence in the world.
Non-Muslims having a more subtle or less subtle view of this violence
is going to do nothing to actually stop the violence.
To stop the violence would require addressing the popular ideology of Islamist terror and jihad,
which is popular in Jordan and surrounding countries,
and which has its roots in the Koran
and the violent life of Muhammad.
It seems unlikely that she will ever address these issues.
Queen Rania does condemn the Jordan bombings:
which is a start.
But it would be more convincing if she demonstrated her horror at
similar bombings in Israel,
especially given that
the majority of her fellow Jordanians support them.
If she ever addresses the fact that the majority of Jordanians
support terror bombings of Jews in Israel,
please let me know.
It's a joke, but actually, it's serious too.
Imagine, for just one second, that the above could happen.
Imagine what a future of freedom and prosperity there would be for the Islamic world.
Will it take centuries
before the Islamic world gets sense, and becomes rich and free like us,
or will it only take decades?
From The People's Cube.
The Iraqi Shiite cleric, Sayyid Iyad Jamaleddine after the liberation
- "We want a secular constitution. That is the most important point.
If we write a secular constitution and separate religion from state, that would be the end
of despotism and it would liberate religion as well as the human being.
The problem of the Middle
East cannot be solved unless all the states in the area become secular.
The neighboring countries are all tyrannical countries and they are wary of a modern, liberal Iraq.
That is why they work to foil the U.S. presence.
If the U.S. wants to
help Iraqis, it must help them the way it helped Germany and Japan,
because to help Iraq is really to help 1.3 billion Muslims.
Iraq will teach these values to the entire Islamic
The future of Islam
Caution about the likelihood of an Islamic "reformation"
by Theodore Dalrymple
- It may not go inevitably the same way that Christianity did.
"Devout Muslims can see (as Luther, Calvin, and
others could not) the long-term consequences of the Reformation and its
On the other hand, instead of a reformation,
Muslims may simply lose their faith
as they are exposed to the modern world and its ideas.
And remember the majority
of them have not yet been exposed to it.
If you disagree, show me
in the Islamic world
which explains the arguments for atheism
that have been developed in the west over the last 400 years.
Wrestling with Islam
by David Warren
argues that Islamism
is a reaction to the fact that
the Muslim world is losing its faith.
In fact, Dalrymple, an atheist,
does think that ultimately Islam will go the same way as Christianity.
Later in the article above:
control that Islam has over its populations in an era of globalization
reminds me of the hold that the Ceausescus appeared to have over the
Rumanians: an absolute hold, until Ceausescu appeared one day on the
balcony and was jeered by the crowd that had lost its fear.
ultimately the fate of the Church of England awaits it. Its melancholy,
withdrawing roar may well (unlike that of the Church of England) be not
just long but bloody, but withdraw it will. The fanatics and the bombers do
not represent a resurgence of unreformed, fundamentalist Islam, but its
also compares Islam's hold over its people with communism
- brittle, and about to collapse.
An Iraqi blogger
condemns the Iraqi Islamofascist "resistance"
- "Islam indeed excuses such barbaric acts.
So yes, Islam is the problem here.
Poverty, economic conditions, abuse by so called colonialism, and political frustration are not.
Similar conditions elsewhere in the world have not prompted non-Muslims to commit suicide bombings
or fly planes into towers. Islam, along with favourable cultural, tribal, and social values existing in the Arab world
has prompted that drive. Islam and the Quran alone are the root cause.
The solution is not however to alienate all Muslims, or to expel them, or annihilate them.
It is up to "moderate" Muslims and their clerics to carefully examine their scriptures and to reform,
the same way Jews and Christians did."
"unlike most Muslim-majority nations, Kosovo is overwhelmingly pro-American,
and its relations with Israel are excellent
In 2004, a Gallup survey measured popular opinion of U.S. foreign policy around the world. Only ten countries rated American foreign policy favorably, and among those, Kosovo scored highest, registering 88 percent approval.
Kosovars are fans of George W. Bush, both because he recognized Kosovo's independence and simply because he's the president. Graffiti in one Kosovar village proclaims THANKS USA AND BUSH. "You should have seen President Bush's face when he came to Albania," says a Kosovar Albanian ... "All over Western Europe he was met by protests, but the entire country of Albania turned out to welcome him."
And Bill Clinton, who ordered the 1999 military intervention, is lionized."
"Kosovo's brand of Islam may be the most liberal in the world. I saw no more women there wearing conservative Islamic clothing - one or two per day at most - than I've seen in Manhattan. There is no gender apartheid even in Kosovo's villages. Alcohol flows freely in restaurants, cafés, and bars, where you'll see as many young women in sexy outfits as you'd find in any Western European country.
Religion in Kosovo is a private matter, not a public one. "We never talk about it," Berisha says.".
"offer the hope that Muslims need not be enemies of Christians, Jews, and the West, and that Muslim societies are not inherently opposed to religious pluralism and democracy.
while the jihadist movements in the Middle East may appear to be an inevitable product of Islam, in many ways they are simply a religiously themed manifestation of the Arab world's political backwardness."
Western women in the Islamic world.
There are parts of the Islamic world
that tolerate - for the sake of western money - westerners behaving in ways that the locals would never be allowed to.
These women are bringing the dress codes of the
1950s-1960s sexual revolution
- an important part of western culture -
to the beach in
Let us hope that decadent western culture destroys
traditional Arab Islamic culture over the next few decades.
Let us hope that their young people are seduced by the glamour of the West.
Let us hope that their traditional ways are lost forever,
and the vulgar secular consumerism of the West triumphs.
I am not kidding.
I really do hope this will happen.
It is sad, given its current state,
to think that
the Middle East was once
the greatest place on earth
- the centre of human civilization,
the heart of all human knowledge.
Will it ever be a great place again?
Only if it changes its entire present culture,
which may not involve abandoning Islam,
but will certainly involve becoming more secular.
Egypt's lost glory:Egypt
was once the greatest country on earth,
at the vanguard of humanity's glorious civilization.
And then the torch passed to other places,
and Egyptians adopted ideas of little importance to human progress.
It is sad to consider Egypt now,
compared with what it once was.
Even the discovery of Egypt's glorious past
was done by westerners
not by Egyptians, who were largely uninterested in the topic.
In fact, in 1196
Egyptian Muslims vandalised the Pyramids
and tried to destroy them,
and it was recorded that in 1378
Egyptian Muslims vandalised the Sphinx.
Let us hope that some day Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries
are again at the frontier of human thought.
For that ever to happen, they must change, and abandon the culture
of their ancestors.
uses the above pictures to make the same point.
What kind of brain could you have to regard the woman on the left as "progress" from the woman on the right
4,000 years ago?
"Helping construct a stable democracy after decades of dictatorship is a
massive undertaking. Yet we have a great advantage. Whenever people are
given a choice in the matter, they prefer lives of freedom to lives of fear.
Our enemies in Iraq are good at filling hospitals, but they do not build any.
They can incite men to murder and suicide, but they cannot inspire men to
live, and hope, and add to the progress of their country. The terrorists' only influence is violence, and their only agenda is death.
Our agenda, in contrast, is freedom and independence, security and prosperity for the Iraqi people.
Our coalition has a clear goal, understood by all
- to see the Iraqi people in charge of Iraq for the first time in generations.
Like every nation that has
made the journey to democracy, Iraqis will raise up a government that reflects their own culture and values. I sent American
troops to Iraq to defend our security, not to stay as an occupying power. I sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free,
not to make them American. Iraqis will write their own history, and find their own way. As they do, Iraqis can be certain, a free
Iraq will always have a friend in the United States of America.
We believe that when all Middle Eastern peoples are finally allowed to live and think and work and
worship as free men and women, they will reclaim the greatness of their own heritage. And when that day comes, the bitterness
and burning hatreds that feed terrorism will fade and die away. America and all the world will be safer when hope has returned to
the Middle East."
George W. Bush, May 2004,
Such incredible generosity in saying
"Iraq will always have a friend in the United States of America" -
after Iraq had threatened the USA and its allies
for so many years.
America is fast to forgive, once a country changes.
If the Arab Middle East can change
modern ideas of freedom, everyone there can be free, rich allies of America.
Heaven on earth
is there for the taking.
"Here is something I have learned the hard way, but which a lot of well-meaning people
in the West have a hard time accepting:
All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not.
It is part of Muslim culture to oppress women
and part of all tribal cultures to institutionalize patronage, nepotism and corruption.
The culture of the Western Enlightenment is better.
Instead of affirming the value of tribal lifestyles, people in the West
- activists, thinkers, government officials - should be working to
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali,