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June 23rd 2014 print

Peter Smith

Moderate Muslims and Mad Mullahs

Sure, the Prophet's gun-toting, plane-hijacking, head-lopping adherents represent only a small minority in the ranks of 'the religion of peace', but what of the largely mute majority? If silence gives consent it also confirms that Islam is antithetical to the secular values and traditions of the West

cartoon headEven on Fox News they still refer to ‘radical Islamists’, presumably to distinguish them from the overwhelmingly vast multitude of moderate Muslims who mind their own business as they go about practicing their religion of peace. They got one thing right. They certainly mind their own business. There is nothing to see here as the hands and heads come off and the bombs go off; nothing to do with us.

What really impresses me is the inoffensive, head-scarfed, top-to-toe covered, Muslim lady who regularly fronts the cameras to explain how moderate and peaceful she and her community are. I assume she is sped from place to place in a very fast jet. Of course, maybe there is more than one of them? I can’t tell. What I suspect is that she (or they) will be beaming and cheering when the Islamic flag is raised aloft over some Western European parliament building.

OK, where is this going? Let me explain by way of analogy.

When Liverpool Football Club brought home the first of its European Cups in 1977 half of the city was out on the streets to welcome the returning heroes. It is likely the overwhelming majority of those cheering and clapping had never been to a match. And of those who attended matches perhaps only a quarter were fanatical.

Half-a-million people were on the streets. Only two per cent were fanatics; the other 98 per cent were moderates. They were all cheering. The representatives of their tribe had tasted victory. It was a heady brew.

Who are these sporting fanatics and what drives them? ‘I don’t know’ is my answer, but what is abundantly clear is that they wear their fanaticism like a badge of honour. It distinguishes them from the crowd. And the crowd acknowledges their commitment. They are congratulated personally by their workmates and friends when their team wins.

They simply couldn’t be fanatics without the tacit approval and acknowledgement of the much greater number of the non-fanatical. The head couldn’t live without the body. How do I know all of this? I was a fanatic in my youthful days, suffering serious funk when Liverpool lost and exhilaration when they won.

We have to start coming to terms with the painful fact that extremism does not exist in a vacuum. Rabble-rousers are successful only when there are sufficient numbers willing to be roused. Even then a mob will quickly run out of steam if people are booing and/or making fun on the sidelines. That is why Sir Oswald Mosley flunked in England while Herr Hitler swept all before him in Germany.

Islam is the problem not radical Islam because radical Islam would have no legs but for the tacit underpinning it gets and/or believes that it gets from the hearts and minds of millions of ordinary people who would describe themselves as moderate Muslims; and who, in fact, are moderate. There is no deception going on just a complete lack of appreciation of their part in the unfolding conflict.

Our Western modern way of life depends absolutely on the separation of church from state. Laws can then be made by man without deference to religious writings. For example, we can make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation whatever passages found in the Bible may say. However, if the very basis of a faith is that there is no separation of church from state, that God’s law as written in a particular text must prevail, we have a problem.

This problem will not go away by pretending it doesn’t exist. It might not exist if a billion-and-more people did not go around identifying themselves as Muslims, albeit peaceful ones. But they do. I am a Christian. But I am more likely to define myself as a Liverpool supporter or as a conservative. And, in any event, Christ told me to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s.

Tony Blair doesn’t think the problem exists. Yes, he recently argued that Western leaders should prioritise combating radical Islam; which, however, he also said, “warps Islam’s true message”. I wonder what message that is exactly, and why so many imams haven’t caught on to it. They must be reading a different Koran and Hadith to Blair’s copies.

What is to be done? I think the only thing to be done is to recognise that we are in something akin to a hundred years’ war for our cultural survival. It is not a war to defeat Al-Qaeda or the mullahs in Iran on the battlefield. It is a long drawn out conflict between quite different ideologies.

I don’t know how it should be fought, but I suggest that whether Obama bombs ISIS forces is neither here nor there. Cut off a head and another will grow. Victory is by no means assured, particularly as no-one appears to be willing to face up to the threat among the mainstream political class and the Christian churches have turned into appeasing milksops.

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

Comments [4]

  1. Jon R says:

    Peter, given that the Muslim world is still in the 15th century I suspect we will have to wait a while. The only other option is to fight back!

    • Peter says:

      Yes I agree Jon, but how is the question when immigration has and is ensuring the growth of large Muslim populations in all Western countries (most of moderate disposition with voting power) and when counties like Turkey and Egypt have regressed having made what we would call progress up until the 1950s – 60s. So you have overt violence and terrorism in the Middle East and parts of Africa, a potential and growing ‘enemy of our culture’ lurking within, and social regression among numbers of other ‘peaceful’ Islamic counties. This is not like fighting the second world war or any conventional war nor is it like undoing the IRA or combatting any national insurrection. Peter

  2. Peter,
    Below is a letter to the editor I sent to the Australian but did not get printed:-

    According to Benjamin Franklin there are but two certainties, taxes and death. I would add a third. In any contest between freedom, capitalism and the Western way of life versus totalitarianism in its various guises such as Communism, Fascism and Islam, the left and its ‘intellectual’ spokesmen in Academia, the ABC and other mainstream media outlets will invariably take the side of the totalitarian.
    This is exemplified by numerous so called ‘neutral commentators’ who try to excuse the atrocities committed by Islamic extremists by saying that the majority of Muslims are decent people. I would agree with him, they probably are. However the majority of Germans and Japanese in WW2 were also decent people, but we still had to fight them.

    :- I would also like to contradict/add to John R’s comment in that to me Islam is not merely stuck in the 15th century, realistically it is a 6th century death cult that was in large part responsible for the ‘dark ages’. Mad Mullahs with nuclear weapons are truly apocalyptic and civilisation will be at risk until some of our ‘intellectuals’ in Academia and the media cease their suicidal ‘political correctness’ and ‘cultural relativity’.
    Dennis

    • Peter says:

      Yes Dennis, but I fear that political correctness and cultural relativity are simply regarded as being normal by those on the left. So I doubt anything will change short of catastrophe. Peter