Tags: Holding | Muslims | Account

Holding Muslims to Account

Friday, 22 September 2006 12:00 AM

Watching the pope humiliate himself last week, after media badgering, made me cringe – groveling to hypocritical Muslims who, whipped into the usual frenzied outrage by their local imams, demanded an apology for quoting some critical remarks from a 14th century Byzantine emperor.

It's high time that the rest of the world, and Western societies in particular, refuse to kowtow any longer to this perpetually offended denomination with its peculiar ways, in this case followed by torching a Christian church and killing a nun in Somalia.

There are two principal reasons for taking the gloves off with this group. First, Western societies have long passed the point where criticizing religious beliefs is regarded as sacrilegious. It took centuries of heresies, inquisitions, wars, schisms, scientific skepticism and biblical criticism throughout Christendom to put the blocks to dogmatic clerical authoritarianism intolerance. In this context, there is no reason why Islam should be considered a "sacred cow," immune from criticism, scrutiny or even condemnation by others.

More importantly, tip-toeing around the sensitivities of Muslims is a guarantee that it will be interpreted as one more sign of Western weakness and confusion, and will only embolden them to summon the mob whenever something is said or done that they don't like. The extremists in their midst will, of course, take things into their own hands.

Ask fatwa-magnet novelist Salman Rushdie or the late Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, murdered on the street by one of Mohammed's minions for cinematically depicting Islam's brutal treatment of women. Or the publishers of the Mohammed cartoon caricatures.

Most non-Muslims in the West are totally ignorant of the past, tenets and customs of Islam. They know only that it is foreign to them. But recent experience has shown them it is not particularly tolerant. Now that extremists are in the driver's seat and terrorism is spreading around the world, the West is slowly beginning to awaken from its slumber to recognize the threat that Islamic fanaticism holds for civilized societies.

The search for "moderate" Muslim leadership to rise up and cast out the demons from their midst has so far been futile. Only perfunctory lip-service condemnation of violence is generally offered, with no serious action movements within the religion itself to purge the killers and radical clerics. And these same groups continue to rail against Israel and wink at the activities of Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood.

There are propaganda lobbies in the U.S. for American-Islamic relations, whose specialty is to soft-pedal extremist outrages by implying that these are somehow only aberrations, and not reflective of the "peaceful" Muslim majority. In practice, it is a smokescreen palliative served up to a gullible public, disguising more sinister motives of encouraging a virulent Islamic militancy in countries around the world.

In fact, during the recent battle in the Middle East, American Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan, sponsored by the Congress of Arab American Organizations, held pro-Hezbollah rallies denouncing the United States and Israel and deifying global terrorists in general.

In France, Germany, Indonesia, the United States, Nigeria and other countries, large numbers of disaffected Muslim populations – spurred on by radical clerics and jihadi recruiters – are beginning to function as fifth columns, clandestinely seeking to undermine the larger nation to which they are expected to be loyal. They foment civil unrest, torch churches and behead reformers.

All this, while the so-called moderate Muslims, in effect, do nothing. Either they are afraid of being mortally targeted by their militant brethren by speaking out, or they are simply employing the insincere, Koran-endorsed practice of taqiya – religiously sanctioned dissembling.

Students of history will discover that the present politicized strain of extremist Islam is reminiscent of the Kharijite sect of Islam in the late seventh century. Fanatics to the core, they committed frightful massacres and made war on every Muslim who did not follow the religion as they understood it, adding a so-called "sixth pillar" of Islam, jihad.

The Kharijites ("Seceders") went so far as to assassinate the fourth caliph, Ali, with the mission to exterminate any competing version of Islam. Historians claim that it took 200 years for Islam to put down this heresy. Today's extremists are sometimes referred to as neo-Kharijites.

If Osama bin Laden is to be believed, there has been an ongoing war between Christianity and Islam since the seventh century. Of the two "infidel" superpowers, the Soviet Union and the U.S., one has already been defeated. "Dealing with the pampered and effeminate Americans will be easy," said bin Laden.

With the growing possibility of an Islamicized Western Europe, the duplicitous efforts of Iran (and sub rosa terrorist organizations) to obtain nuclear bombs, and a fifth of mankind roiled in anti-Western sentiments, clamoring for the establishment of a global caliphate governed by Sharia law, it gives one pause to consider the stakes in the present crisis.

There are no easy answers in knowing how to deal with this growing threat, with a politically divided America and weak European leaders who favor appeasement asleep at the switch. One thing, however, is for certain: Islamic fanatics have to be brutally driven out and moderate Muslims need to be held accountable for both their actions and inactions.


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Watching the pope humiliate himself last week, after media badgering, made me cringe - groveling to hypocritical Muslims who, whipped into the usual frenzied outrage by their local imams, demanded an apology for quoting some critical remarks from a 14th century Byzantine...
Friday, 22 September 2006 12:00 AM
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