Thursday, August 5, 2010

Opposing the Cordoba Mosque, Intolerance or Prudence?


Robert thought that the question of whether I used the term "Islamism" or some other term representing "Traditional Islam" was a big deal. I don't think it is. Some time ago I debated a fellow named Omar on that subject. Is there any difference? Or has Islamism become the dominant force in Islam, specifically Arab Islam today? I asked him to point me toward an Arab scholar, or someone other outspoken Arab Muslim, who advocated Traditional Islam and opposed Islamism. He found one non-Arab Pakistani scholar who lived in a protected enclave. The others he found were mostly American or European. Those who might truly favor a non-Islamist point of view (if any such people actually existed) were afraid to speak out -- and they still are.

I oppose the Cordoba Mosque, but those who accuse me of intolerance have it exactly backward. I oppose the Cordoba Mosque because Islamism is intolerant, violently so, and they are running roughshod over Muslims who don't agree with them. And they represent a danger to any Liberal Democratic nation that tolerates them.

Do you want me to feel good about the building of Mosques? Then let these Mosque builders establish "statements of faith" like the Protestant Churches have. Let these statements repudiate Islamism and its violent teachings. Let it repudiate the killing of infidels. Let it permit the peaceful transition of Muslims to other religions; just as those other religions permit the transition of their members to Islam. Neither side may like it, but that's okay as long as they don't do anything violent to prevent it.

But at present there is nothing like that in Traditional Islam. They don't speak out against Islamism. They are afraid to do so. Which means that Islamism is tolerated within the midst of "so-called Traditional Islam". So, no, Robert, I don't think it's a big deal whether I call the Cordoba Mosque Islamist or Islamic or some other term less offensive to the Islamists. A pox upon the Islamists and upon the "traditional" Muslims who tolerate them.

There should also be in their statement of faith the avowal that they do not advocate the violent overthrow of any nation. That will stick in their craw because Islamists do advocate the violent overthrow of all Infidel nations. But so what? If these Mosque builders want Americans to tolerate them, then let them be tolerant themselves. This should work both ways, shouldn't it?

I am speaking in this note to Liberals and not Leftists. Leftists would like to see the overthrow of Liberal Democracy and they aren't too squeamish about whether the means turn out to be violent. I am speaking here about Liberals who believe in Liberal Democracy but may also believe in the ACLU and don't want to do anything "unconstitutional." I'm usually impatient with those people as well, because they are not very quick about sensing danger to our nation. In an earlier era they didn't believe there was a "Communist Menace." Along with Truman they thought the concern about a "fifth-column" Communist activity in the U.S. was a "red Herring." Now that the Cold War is over and the KGB has opened its archives to scholars we know that there was indeed a secret Communist activity in the U.S. They were busily at work passing military and scientific secrets back to Moscow. There really was a Communist menace.

Well what was wrong with that, some Liberals might still say? What harm did it do? We won the Cold War didn't we? These Liberals are partly right, but we as a nation sleep-walked through all the dangers. Our Liberal ideology didn't save us. Blind luck did. There could easily have been a nuclear war as a result of the USSR moving missiles into Cuba. We were at the "brink" as John Foster Dulles said. We played chicken with nuclear war as Bertrand Russell said. And the reason we were at the Brink and the reason we "played chicken with nuclear war" was that Americans-turned-Soviet spies gave the Soviets our military and scientific secrets. I don't believe we should poo-poo that earlier danger. We should learn from it. We weren't destroyed and we had no nuclear war but the Liberals of that day did nothing to prevent those occurrences. Instead they were like Alfred E. Newman. They claimed there was nothing to worry about.

Moving forward in time, and having learned nothing from the Cold War, they think there is nothing to worry about if a nominally traditional but practically Islamist Mosque is erected with a provocative name two blocks from the greatest Islamic attack that has ever been perpetrated against our nation. Are they being "tolerant" to favor the building of this Mosque? Only in the sense that their ideological ancestors were tolerant of the spies who sold us out to the Soviets.

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