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January 24th 2015 print

Peter Smith

The Elusive ‘Moderate Muslim’

It comes as no surprise that tolerant and pacific followers of the Prophet opt for the most part to stay mum. Knowing full well that their sacred texts extol violence, which leaves little room for doctrinal debate, they are also aware that the creed's more ardent acolytes have knives at the ready

behead those whoIslam has five pillars. They are inwardly focussed and innocuous taken in isolation. The problem lies elsewhere — in the Koran and Hadiths and in the widespread preaching of intolerance, domination and violence which are integral and endemic to that scripture.

Apologists for Muslims and Islam also have five pillars. These are not innocuous. They support a flaccid and vacillating response to a dire threat. In no strict order, these pillars are as follows.

  1. Terrorism has nothing to do with true Islam.
  2. The vast majority of Muslims are moderate.
  3. Western wrong-doing and war-mongering inspires terrorism.
  4. Alienation, disadvantage, and/or mental instability are often behind home-grown terrorism.
  5. Muslims suffer most from Islamic terrorism.

On the first, a modern version of an old adage is apropos. There are none so blind as those useful idiots in the West who, having not read a word of Islamic scripture or any critiques of it, conclude in the face of carnage that Islam is a religion of peace. It is not clear what can be done about this astounding level of ignorance.

Certainly many thousands of imams can’t be blamed. They pray openly for Muslim domination and for the universal application of sharia law. They quote their scripture. They encourage jihad. I have seen numbers of them on television and, more starkly, on YouTube before they are taken down, and read accounts of many others.

Korans can be bought by anybody for a small price. Equally, books on Islam by Mark Steyn, Mark Durie, Robert Fletcher and others are readily obtainable. Churchill is on the record on one side of the Atlantic and John Quincy Adams on the other. And now, bravely or foolhardily, Egypt’s President Sisi has called out the religion of peace. (editor’s note: watch the video below to learn what happens when a British political candidate quotes Churchill on “the curses Islam lays on its votives”)

I can only assume that the ignorance exhibited by political leaders like President Obama and prime ministers Cameron, Hollande and Merkel is wilful. Or, does it mean that they have accepted dhimmitude ahead of time? As dhimmis, of course, they will be able to live peacefully while they show deference to Muslims and pay the jizya. I simply ask the question: Is this what they mean by the religion of peace?

I witnessed a woman on Fox News downplaying Islamic terrorism by referring to historical instances of Christians attacking abortion clinics and those who work in them. This kind of ‘reasoning’ is gratingly specious. Our civilisation is not under threat at the hands of followers of any faith but Islam.

I will only begin to worry about, say, Mormons when they reveal scriptural plans to take over the world, preach hate, set up no-go areas, and begin a world-wide rampage of beheadings while shouting ‘Holy Joseph Smith is great!’ Maybe a new rider should be added to the right of free speech, outlawing specious reasoning. That would be intolerant of course. Useful idiots have rights.

The vast majority of Muslims are moderate, so we hear. I want to know what is meant by ‘moderate’ in this context. My dictionary says moderate means ‘not radical’. It is, I submit, ‘radical’ to cut off people’s heads if they have (according to someone) disagreeable views. On that score, I don’t think the vast majority of Muslims are radical. But are they moderate?

Of the 1.6 billion Muslims, how many believe in the application of harsh punishment (including capital punishment) for one or more of adultery, sodomy, blasphemy, or apostasy? I don’t know the answer, but many Muslim countries have laws on their books meting out death for these ‘offences’. In early 2011, the governor of the Punjab province in Pakistan, Salmaan Taseer, was assassinated for opposing blasphemy laws which had resulted in a Christian woman facing execution.

Mark Durie Islam, Human rights and Public Policy (2009) refers to a poll taken in 2006 which found that 58% of Indonesians believed adulterers should be stoned to death. The Pew Research Centre found in 2010 that 84% of Egyptians, 86% of Jordanians and 76% of Pakistanis favoured death for apostasy.

How many Muslims believe, as the Koran plainly says, that men are superior to women and that wife-beating is permissible? How many believe in female genital mutilation? How may believe in marrying off young girls? How many believe in honour killings. How many believe in amputations for theft? How many believe that Muslims are superior to Kafirs? How many believe that Sharia law should be the law of the land?

If any one of the questions above draws a ‘yes’ I would not regard the person as moderate. I don’t think it is at all clear that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate. Moderation certainly conflicts with their scripture and that must make it difficult to be moderate.

On Western wrong-doing, most blame for inspiring terrorism is accorded to the Iraq War and its aftermath. Take out a strong man, put a tribal society in the hands of the majority and then skedaddle and trouble will brew, as it has. However, 9/11 predated the Iraq War, as did the first attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 and the bombing of USS Cole in 2000.

How, for example, can the restoration of radical Islamism in Iran in 1979, or the current internecine conflict in Syria (which spawned ISIS) or the civil disarrays in Libya and in Yemen, or the vicious activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon be attributed to western wrong-doing and warmongering? How can the visceral hatred of Israel? The answer is that they can’t; though self-loathing Western intellectuals are bound to find a way of sheeting some blame home to George W. Bush.

Radical Islam is on the march. Thinking that we caused it leads to appeasement and inevitably to defeat. The Versailles Treaty did not cause Hitler and, in any event, apologies for it would not have stopped him.

‘The perpetrator was deranged’. This is the case, we are told, whether the perpetrator is hacking at rookie cops in New York or shooting an unarmed soldier in Ottawa or killing people in a cafe in Sydney. The tenuous nature of this explanation becomes apparent when there is more than one perpetrator. It is more difficult to say that the two, three or more perpetrators acting together were all deranged. No-one, so far as I know, has called the Charlie Hebdo killers deranged. Let me be the first, because anyone who deliberately sets out to kill men and women going about their normal daily affairs or schoolchildren is deranged.

In the case of Islamic terrorists they have been deranged not by disadvantage (plenty of people are disadvantaged and struggle on without killing people) but by a poisonous creed.

It is true that Muslims are now suffering most from Islamic terrorism, if a death count is the measure. But if you are a Jew or Christian, as yet unharmed, be in no doubt (wherever you are) that your turn will come unless Islamism is defeated. All despotic regimes provide the same generic lesson in tactics.

They get rid of their internal competitors before turning their attention outwards. It is probably despotism 101. Ernst Röhm’s Brown Shirts provided the initial vanguard for Hitler in ridding him of competitors, before he replaced them with the SS. A complementary tactic is to scare those at home before those abroad.

Which moderate Germans would not have been afraid and fallen into line when they saw Jews, Gypsies and dissidents, and anyone found helping them, being brutalised and hauled away. So, yes, at this stage, Muslims are being killed — and being cowed — in larger numbers than are non-Muslims. And, make no mistake; the message is being received in Europe, as it is everywhere where Muslims congregate.

The message to Muslims is clear. There is no future for you in opposing us. If you were a Muslim with a wife and family, which side of the street would you choose to be on when the crunch comes?

To sum up: Terrorism has everything to do with Islam; a religion of jihad not of peace. Even if the vast majority of Muslims are moderate, which is conjectural, it makes no difference; the tough guys will cow them. Blaming Western wrong-doing is akin to blaming French intransigence at Versailles for Hitler: even if it true, which is extremely doubtful, it is now totally irrelevant to solving the problem. All Islamic terrorists are deranged, which rather negates any likelihood of successful intervention with social programs or psychotherapy. While Muslims are currently dying at a greater rate than non-Muslims this is a temporary aberration which Islamic barbarians intend to correct given half a chance.

The threat we face is existential. Continuing ignorance of its nature on the part of western political leaders, the intelligentsia and assorted useful idiots will be our undoing. We better ‘get busy’ learning and living or ‘get busy’ deferring and dying. Think it can’t happen? Ask the Jews.

 

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [8]

  1. acarroll says:

    “How, for example, can the restoration of radical Islamism in Iran in 1979, or the current internecine conflict in Syria (which spawned ISIS) or the civil disarrays in Libya and in Yemen, or the vicious activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon be attributed to western wrong-doing and warmongering? How can the visceral hatred of Israel? The answer is that they can’t; though self-loathing Western intellectuals are bound to find a way of sheeting some blame home to George W. Bush.”

    Well call me a self loathing Western intellectual for pointing out that a democratic insurgency to overthrow the Shah (first time) was crushed by the USA so they could reinstall the Shah. The only opposition left to perform the 2nd insurgency to overthrow the Shah being the Islamists. The USA (and unfortunately by association — the West) are culpable. And it’s pretty clear that this started way before George W. Bush came to power.

    And in regards to Libya and Syria — no, no Western meddling in their affairs at all. Who benefits from the chaos created in Libya, Iraq and Syria?

    Please excuse me if I’m speaking from a European ethnocentric world view, but if foreign nations were interfering in my nation’s affairs so violently my natural tendency would be to blame the outsider. I’d naturally align with “my own”. Right or wrong that appears to be human nature. If some parasites find this situation a rich breeding ground to recruit for their cause, good luck to them. But I don’t know, maybe the populations of these places that have been torn to shreds have hatred for the West in their DNA, picked up a chronic hate virus out of thin air perhaps?

    • en passant says:

      acarrol: you are partially right as the overthrow of the Iranian government to install the Shah who favoured the West eventually turned out to have even worse unforeseen consequences years later. It is also irrelevant when considering unforeseen later outcomes as what was done was done; the issue is what next? In fact, in the normally barbaric M.E. the Shah was relatively benign and the cities in Iran prospered, but the rural areas did not. Unlike Kemal Ataturk in Turkey the Shah did not co-opt Islam and the Imams to his modernisation and westernisation programme (which would be economically beneficial for all), but ended up disputing and warring with them. Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Iraq and Libya all had near permanent Islamic insurrections which they managed to supress for decades, so your reasoning concerning the fall of the Shah is neither true, nor inevitable. Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya all installed strong men who could not be defeated, though the cohesion of Iraq and Libya were eventually destroyed by external western forces. Libya remains (and will remain) a failed state for the foreseeable future. Democracy nearly brought Egypt undone (thank goodness for a military coup that brought back some sanity to their nation!) and Assad is proving more resilient than the ‘experts’ anticipated. He will remain in power as the massacre of the 1M Allawites who support him would be the destined result of his fall). I wrote the following in 2011: “It would be best if Assad held on in Syria, which he will, made possible with Russian military aid and provided ‘Hilarity’ Clinton does not completely lose the plot.”
      So, Egypt has been normalised, Turkey is regressing, Iran is mad & bad, Assad is surviving, Iraq is beginning the long climb back, ‘democracy’ in Yemen is failing – and as usual chaos reigns with or without western help in a bewildering array that follows no logic.
      ISIS could be militarily defeated in three months by a single western army division and the Arab normality of low-level, sectarian and tribal guerrilla warfare and internecine bloodshed would be restored, then we could all get back to watching a dozen small wars on TV
      It was inconceivable to me a few years ago that I would side with maintaining Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad and the Saudi kleptocracy, but as they are the least bad versus badder alternative I did. Go Assad! Hang in there and feel free to appropriately deal with any Australian jihadi your army finds.
      Of course (and this takes in denandsel’s comment) there are many who think we can negotiate, and I agree. it took me only 5-minutes to compile the following negotiating points:
      We need to learn to negotiate with them (Muslims).

      I know you will cry that we cannot, but there is room. For example:

      1. Only sharp blades to be used when cutting off Christian and Australians heads
      2. If not offensive to their version of god victims, I mean sacrifices to god should be stunned first
      3. Islamists should always be given first choice in rejecting work in favour of Centrelink benefits
      4. Their families and friends, in fact their whole village, tribe and country should be given preference for immigration into Australistan
      5. The claim to be a member of an ‘islamic death cult’ can be used as a defence to override Australian laws to take into account special cultural behaviours. An example is for such cultural non-’crimes’ as rape, honour killings, murder in defence of the prophet, female genital mutilation, paedophilia, etc. Compensation would be available to those men (wrongfully) accused of all sex crimes and the female involved would be handed over for stoning to death. Even the femonazis would be in agreement as they are already putting their weight behind it
      6. Islamic studies could be made compulsory in all kindergartens and primary schools with chaplains being replaced by imams
      7. All Jewish visas. passports and immigration would be stopped and Jews already here ordered to wear a yellow Star of David. Who could disagree with such a moderate proposal?
      8. Every Friday, Sharia would be the only law applicable in Australia, as this would introduce we sceptics to its benefits. Of course I would no longer be able to write this nonsense as I would expect to have both hands cut off (with a sharp knife) fairly early on.
      9. add your own ideas

      So, you see, it takes only a couple of minutes to fantasise about how we can negotiate with barbarian aliens from planet islam.

      Unfortunately, our current crop of pollies will take up this cause and condemn me as the real threat to peace and harmony.

      • acarroll says:

        “ISIS could be militarily defeated in three months by a single western army division”.

        If ISIS is such a bogey man, why is that not happening? Perhaps because the West’s attacks on ISIS are just a cover for another crack at toppling Asad? Again, what’s the end-goal of causing more chaos? Who benefits?

        “Unfortunately, our current crop of pollies will take up this cause and condemn me as the real threat to peace and harmony.”

        Yes, that kind of extreme right European nationalist beliefs are the real threat to the safety of the world. Any other kind of extreme right and you’d be safe as houses — particularly if the West is one of your targets! ;)

    • Peter says:

      The US can’t win really – certainly in that part of the world populated by people whose culture doesn’t allow them to govern themselves democratically. Support the strong man and face criticism for his despotism. Or leave a vacuum and watch chaos and the Islamists take over; threatening their neighbours and the world. And then we get, well if the US had only supported some democratic shoots in Iran or in Syria, or somewhere, all would have been well. No it wouldn’t. The evidence is simply not there; anywhere. Iran brought Islamism back onto itself. Unfortunately, the only solution is to support despots, while keeping them in line. it might have worked for Saddam Hussein as it worked for Gadhafi before someone had the bright idea of toppling him. Libya is not too democratic now. And, yes, Assad looks better than the alternative and wouldn’t it be nice to have a shah back. So my conclusion is that none of the chaos is or has been the fault of the West; except to the extent that we didn’t go all out to support (and manage)despots. Democracy is a dream. The fault lies in the religion and culture. What can be done about that? Nothing! The pity of course is that this dysfunctional religion and culture is now part of the West, because of reckless immigration policies – presumably orchestrate by political elites who thought Western values would overcome a medieval religious ideology. If they thought at all. Well, they were wrong and the price has still to be paid. What we have seen so far is just a small down payment.
      Peter

      • acarroll says:

        Although I don’t profess to be an expert on Iran, I do know that its ethnic composition and history are vastly different to much of the middle-east. For example, something like 80% of the population speak an Indo-European language, the majority of the Indo-Iranian group. What’s more their religious traditions contrast radically to the rest of the Islamic middle east. Two major religions have originated from there: Zoroastrianism and the Bahai faith. For those who’re unfamiliar with the Bahai faith, its founder claims to be a prophet receiving revelation from God AFTER Mohammed and professes a philosophy far more in-line with European Enlightenment or 18th century Christian Evangelical teaching.

        My understanding is that Iran has always been relatively progressive compared to the rest of the middle east, and the current Theocracy is generally hated. Iranians have an identity that pre-dates Islam significantly.

        I do however see your point in regards to democracy. Most cultures are not capable of being ruled as democracies. It’s no accident that the West is the exception. Does a people/ethny make a culture or does culture make a people/ethny? The prevailing view of those meddling in middle eastern affairs appear to subscribe to the latter position, supported by the left-wing academy.

        It’s neo-colonialism and extremely Eurocentric to project that idea on the peoples of this part of the world. Either it’s a misguided ideology or a deliberate sales tactic for getting buy-in from Western populations to give the green-light to spend more of their taxes on dubious foreign policy.

    • Mohsen says:

      - acarroll. You could argue that Iran’s revolution occurred as a result of the U.S interference, but it’s being Islamic was only incidental. AS in Communist countries like Cube: the USA and capitalism are considered the culprits, but the Communists are not Islamic.

  2. [email protected] says:

    A moderate Muslim is someone who will watch a ‘radical’ or ‘extremist’ Muslim cutting somebody’s head off or killing them in some cowardly way. Due to cowardice [but also sometimes with unadmitted secret approval] the moderate Muslims will rarely condemn the actions of the radicals or in any way defend any victims of such uncivilised barbaric behaviour.
    It is the totalitarian nature of Islam that makes it such a threat to freedom everywhere, and to the Western way of life, much more so than any theological considerations. Islam doesn’t make anybody commit atrocities, but it attracts those ‘criminal lunatics’ who will, and the Koran provides the rationalisation for those ‘criminal lunatics’ who commit those atrocities.
    The intellectual fight for freedom/civilisation is made more difficult in that many secular leftists, especially those in academia and the MSM have the mistaken belief/confidence that they can somehow use Islam to weaken/debilitate Western society/Capitalism to the extent that they will then be able to pick up the pieces of what is left of civilisation to establish their mythical socialist utopia.
    To me that notion is nothing more than a masochistic suicidal death wish. Islam is totalitarian. Islamic totalitarians, be they theologians [mad mullahs] or terrorists cannot be bargained with and will not be easily deterred from undertaking precipitous and aggressive actions because believing in afterlife and ‘rewards’ in heaven they do not fear death to the extent that the secular despots do. Some even welcome it.

  3. Jody says:

    You should read Tanveer Ahmed who claims that Islam is a religion of humiliation and this is its raison d’etre. It beggars belief that these Muslims want to come and live in Australia but, on second thoughts, this country is such a soft touch that they must think it’s very funny how easy it actually is.

    Meantime, this Australia Day, my husband and I will think of a better, past Australia which took immigrants who assimilated well into our population – with the exception of the Italians, who brought with them all the joy of the mafia. Surely, this later aspect of immigration should have alerted us to being more vigilant next time to cultures which want to bring their violence and stand-over men with them. But, no, this country is bullied by the “rights” cohort of oligarchs; probably the same people who are permissive parents and send their kids (for free) on overseas trips and Bali holidays for ‘schoolies’ and look at themselves and us for being ‘progressive’ and a good parent. I cannot help feeling this permissiveness has become pervasive in our polity.