In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Below is an article by Ralph Peters published in the New York Post. It is a must read. Please send the Post a note of thanks: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISLAM-HATERS: AN ENEMY WITHIN
By RALPH PETERS
September 7, 2006–ISLAMIST fanatics attacked us and yearn to destroy us. The Muslim civilization of the Middle East has failed comprehensively and will continue to generate violence. The only way to deal with faith-poisoned terrorists is to kill them.
And the world’s only hope for long-term peace is for moderate Muslims – by far the majority around the globe – to recapture their own faith.
But a rotten core of American extremists is out to make it harder for them.
The most repugnant trend in the American shouting match that passes for a debate on the struggle with Islamist terrorism isn’t the irresponsible nonsense on the left – destructive though that is. The really ugly “domestic insurgency” is among right-wing extremists bent on discrediting honorable conservatism.
How? By insisting that Islam can never reform, that the violent conquest and subjugation of unbelievers is the faith’s primary agenda – and, when you read between the lines, that all Muslims are evil and subhuman.
I’ve received no end of e-mails and letters seeking to “enlighten” me about the insidious nature of Islam. Convinced that I’m naive because I defend American Muslims and refuse to “see” that Islam is 100 percent evil, the writers warn that I’m a foolish “dhimmi,” blind to the conspiratorial nature of Islam.
Web sites list no end of extracts from historical documents and Islamic jurisprudence “proving” that holy war against Christians and Jews is the alpha and omega of the Muslim faith. The message between the lines: Muslims are Untermenschen.
We’ve been here before, folks. Bigotry is bigotry – even when disguised as patriotism. And, invariably, the haters fantasizing about a merciless Crusade never bothered to serve in our military (Hey, guys, there’s still time to join. Lay your backsides on the line – and send your kids!).
It’s time for our own fanatics to look in the mirror. Hard. (And stop sending me your trash. I’ll never sign up for your “Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.” You’re just the Ku Klux Klan with higher-thread-count sheets.)
As for the books and Web sites listing all those passages encouraging violence against the infidel, well, we could fill entire libraries with bloody-minded texts from the Christian past. And as a believing Christian, I must acknowledge that there’s nothing in the Koran as merciless as God’s behavior in the Book of Joshua.
Another trait common among those warning us that Islam is innately evil is that few have spent any time in the Muslim world. Well, I have. While the Middle East leaves me ever more despairing of its future, elsewhere, from Senegal to Sulawesi, from Delhi to Dearborn, I’ve seen no end of vibrant, humane, hopeful currents in the Muslim faith.
I’m no Pollyanna. I’m all for killing terrorists, rather than taking them prisoner. I know we’re in a fight for our civilization. But the fight is with the fanatics – a minority of a minority – not with those who simply worship differently than those of us who grew up with the Little Brown Church in the Vale.
Does Islam foster practices that inhibit progress or integration into the modern (and postmodern) world? Yes, as practiced in the greater Middle East, from the Nile to the Indus. Our “allies,” the Saudi ruling family, are the embodiment of evil – but they’ve done far more damage to the Muslim world than to us.
Elsewhere, Muslims are struggling to move their faith forward in constructive ways. And all religions are what living men and women make of them.
In our own country, we should respect our fellow citizens who happen to be Muslims – instead of implying that they’re all members of a devious fifth column. More than 3 million Americans profess Islam. How many have strapped on bombs and walked into Wal-Mart?
Sure, bad actors will emerge. But every immigrant group has produced its gangsters, demagogues and common criminals. Fools who insist that “Muslims can’t be good Americans” insult both Muslims and America – whose transformative genius should never be underestimated.
The problem isn’t the man or woman of faith, but cultural environment. Once free of the maladies of the Middle East, Muslims thrive in America. Like the rest of us.
We are in a knife-fight to the death with fanatics who’ve perverted a great religion. But those who warn of Muslims in general are heirs of the creeps who once told us Jews can never be real Americans and JFK will serve the Vatican.
Obviously, there’s a moral reason for not condemning all Muslims. Real Americans judge men and women by their individual characters and actions, not by the color of their skin or the liturgy they recite on their respective Sabbaths. Sorry, all you bigots: You’ll never get the Wannsee Conference, Part II, at Lake Tahoe.
But even for our inveterate haters, those whose personal disappointments have left them with a need to blame others (sounds like al Qaeda to me . . . ), there’s a Realpolitik reason not to insult all Muslims: In the serious world of strategy and the military, you don’t make unnecessary enemies.
We’ve got our hands full in the Middle East. Why alienate the Muslims of Indonesia or West Africa (or California)? A wise strategist seeks to divide his enemies, not to recruit for them. Some of the bigots out there might like to try to kill a billion Muslims, but I’m not signing up for their genocidal daydreams – nor will my fellow Americans.
Ultimately, our military actions can only buy time. The long overdue liberal reformation within the Islamic world can only be carried out by Muslims themselves. Those who believe in Islam with all their hearts will have to be the ones who defeat those who hijacked their faith.
Do we have to fight? Yes. But let’s fight our true enemies, not the innocent.