In “The Weird Beards Are Winning” (18/2) I said that identifying the enemy is an essential precursor to developing a winning strategy. By the way, I am not using the perpendicular pronoun to claim any revelatory insight. It is not revelatory. It is the bleeding obvious. How is it possible to defeat an enemy you are too intimidated to name?
Islamism is the enemy. World domination is its goal. Yes, I know, that’s been mostly tried in movies. But it has been tried in real life too. And here we go again; despite the witless wishing and hoping on the part of our effete political elite.
Islamism is a fanatical ideological movement which draws its inspiration directly from a literal (not an invented) interpretation of Islamic scripture. It is pursuing its goals on two fronts. First, by way of terror and militancy to gain ground and intimidate Muslims into allegiance (join us or get your head cut off is a powerful persuader aimed at 1.6 billion Muslims). And, second, by way of politicking, preaching and populating to weaken and collapse the fabric of Western civilisation.
Attention! This is an important message to all those of us who believe they are making some telling point by saying that ISIS forces are killing more Muslims than Christians and Jews. Of course they are. There are more of them in the vicinity; and the game plan is to cow the rest. Don’t worry, don’t feel left out, our turn will come.
Take an optimistic leap; assume that our leaders begin seeing the bleeding obvious. What could and should be done to defeat Islamism? Hopefully that decision point will be reached before it becomes too late and the West’s own defeat looms.
A first thing not to contemplate is a war lasting 100 years, as per the assessment of former Australian army chief Peter Leahy. If it is to take a century, we — Western civilization — will lose. Only religious fanatics have that kind of resilience. And that is quite apart from the power of demography.
Muslim populations are growing relatively rapidly. Pew Research forecast the Muslim population of the world to grow at twice the rate of non-Muslims in the period from 2010 to 2030. The Muslim population in France over the same period was forecast to grow from 7.5 to 10.3 per cent of the total; in the UK from 4.6 to 8.2 per cent and in Germany from 5 to 7.1 per cent. How robust theses figures are I don’t know but they appear to be conservative in assuming a steep decline in Muslim fertility rates. Once you go beyond 2030 conjecture largely takes over.
Different fertility rates and immigration levels can radically change the outlook. However, it isn’t hard to construct scenarios which would see Muslims forming the majority in the UK, in Germany and in France in fifty years’ time, never mind in one-hundred years. But more to the point Muslims have proved to be squeaky wheels. They need far short of a majority to make themselves heard and have disproportionate influence.
As Raphael Israeli puts it: “Muslims of Europe today, varying from 5 to over 10% of the population of each country, have already made an impact in domestic politics in their country of shelter” (Muslim Minorities in Modern States. These aren’t the kinds of migrants to simply busy away making themselves as wealthy as they can in their new lands of opportunity. Representative bodies with political agendas grow like Topsy. Clearly, they have already succeeded in creating a rift between Europe and Israel and, by doing that, between Europe and the United States. It is not hard to imagine a time when as Mark Steyn writes America [is] Alone.
The question is how to defeat Islamism, and quickly. Of course, I don’t know the answer. But when has that stopped me? And, in a sense, faced with a crisis to which our political leaders appear oblivious, it might be incumbent on us all to give the matter thought. Here is my go at it. At least, as I see it today.
Islamism has to be fought abroad and at home. A total war is called for. The war abroad is simpler in concept than at home. I suggest it would have two components. First, a standing coalition of air, sea and ground forces led by the United States would root out and kill Islamic militants and terrorists immediately they raised their ugly mugs. Second, military and international aid to, and trade with, Middle Eastern and North African countries would be made absolutely contingent on their governments clamping down on any growth of Islamism.
The war at home would need to be more nuanced. It is time to broach a difficult subject. Islamism has to be in the West’s cross-hairs not Muslims. Muslims living in the West must be treated equally and with exactly the same consideration as shown to people of other faiths and to those of no faith. At the same time, we must recognise that many moderate and peaceful Muslims are potential fodder for Islamists. The question is how these two imperatives are brought together and handled.
I suggest that an essential step would be to severely restrict further Muslim immigration. This would mean excluding many good people who would undoubtedly contribute to the national life of their destination countries. However, it takes only a few to cause enormous damage and to lead others astray. It is simply not safe to go on inviting Muslims into tolerant societies when they have allegiance to a faith that has, through the ages, been a wellspring of intolerance. Tolerant societies are by definition ill-equipped to deal with intolerance.
A second essential step would be to adopt a ‘broken windows’ approach to Islamic extremism. Public financial support, including taxation exemptions, would be totally withdrawn from any institution — mosque, school or charitable organisation — which allowed extremism (as defined) in words or deeds to flourish for more than half a second.
A third step would be to cancel the passports and deport those with foreign citizenship who exhibited Islamic extremist behaviour.
A fourth step would be to tighten up those aspects of the welfare system which reward cultural practices inconsistent with societal norms, such as de jure or de facto bigamous relationships. This might also save public money but that would be an incidental benefit.
To those who think that these steps discriminately profile Islamism, well, they are right. If Presbyterianism were ever to turn intolerant and violent we should profile that too.
A great fifth step would be to revive a sense of patriotism and pride in national life. Unfortunately, in all Western countries the schools, the universities and the mainstream media have been largely taken over by national apologists. It is a pity about that. It makes us weaker in the face of an Islamic foe which believes in its superiority and, ironically, with so little to feel superior about.
I am sure that better and more complete strategies to defeat Islamism could be developed by those with expertise in such matters. The problem is that Obama and company seem only to have a Mr Micawber strategy that something will eventually turn up. Well, if we are not careful, the something that will turn up is men in baggy black outfits carrying butchers knives and blow torches.
P.S. The above steps might be avoided by finding jobs for budding terrorists. This suggestion comes courtesy of US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.