Islam itself is a malignancy on the body of humanity. The actions of its consistent, true practitioner-maggots demonstrate that. But Bush can’t afford to say it. He himself is in thrall to a vicious religion that seems benign only because it has lost its political power—and under his Administration threatens to reclaim it. The President is undone by his own contradictions. Objectivists must point this out, loudly and relentlessly. (Read more...)
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But you know what? I don't believe that Bush is being sincere for a second when he says that the ideology of the Islamo-fascists "is very different from the religion of Islam." He must have done his reading. He must know that the goal of this religion - and its "dinky little savages" - is extermination of Western civilisation. I'm convinced that the only reason he persists in hailing Islam as "a religion of peace" is that he knows what a furore his denunciation of this ideology would cause in US-friendly places such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Sooner or later, though, he's going to have to call it by its proper name.
That, too, to be sure. But I think he believes it, as well as knowing it mollifies the allies you mention. Yes, sooner or later it must be called by its proper name. I think I said that:
That’s where Mr. Bush is wrong. Jihad, the slaying of idolators “wherever ye find them” is at the heart of Islam and permeates the Koran. The fact that most Muslims are not currently engaged in it doesn’t mean it’s not a requirement of their religion.
Islam itself is a malignancy on the body of humanity. The actions of its consistent, true practitioner-maggots demonstrate that. But Bush can’t afford to say it. He himself is in thrall to a vicious religion that seems benign only because it has lost its political power—and under his Administration threatens to reclaim it. The President is undone by his own contradictions. Objectivists must point this out, loudly and relentlessly.
Good analysis of these rabid, fundamentalistic, self-made psychos, AND Bush's public speech.
However, I think that we're always treading on thin ice in analyzing any public speeches given by influential people re what they really think (and, especially, decide) on the basis of what they say. I don't mean they speak with forked tongues just because they may be politicians (professional or de facto [representatives of companies doing PR]), but they know that they must be careful about how they say (and don't say) exactly what referring to whomever. And I don't necessarily mean 'be careful' re 'offending PC sensibilities.' --- Consider Greenspan's latest speech which I really don't think he'd have given any earlier than now, when he's leaving.
Re Bush, I'm sure he's just trying to continually forestall potentially automatic grass-roots ethnic/religious resentment of all Muslims by non-Muslims, especially here in the US. (Not that I think he's great in ANY of his domestic decisions.) Too many of the 'liberalized' Muslims are too quiet re the 'sickos,' granted (but, then so are lawyers about the sleaze ones), but, though all you say I agree with (and realize some 'modern' Muslims wouldn't), I'd think twice about expecting a President to even hint at having the same attitude...even if he actually might.
Christopher Hitchens analyzes this new Bali situation as showing the same thing you argue re the whole 'jihad' mentality, in his "Why Ask Why?" column at...
I posted this on a website right after 9/11. My position should be quite clear.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET THE INNOCENT THOUSANDS WHO PERISHED ON 9/11/2001 AT THE HANDS OF EVIL, DEPRAVED MEN FROM BARBARIC, OPPRESSIVE CULTURES WHO, MOTIVATED BY A MIXTURE OF HATRED, ENVY AND LUNATIC FANATICISM, TRIED IN VAIN TO BREAK OUR SPIRITS.
That being said, I do not detest all Muslims. We can coexist with those who reject jihad and are willing to live in peace. There are Muslims (hopefully many) who are not devout and reject jihad -- a bit like Jews who go to temple on the high holy days, and then ignore their religion, but I don't have the numbers.
Now that being said, (lots of things are being said!), as long as mullahs preach their hatred of the West, they are our enemies and must be dealt with if they send recruits to terrorist camps. Such mullahs (not all) must be punished and removed from their positions. They are cowardly murderers who send others to do their killing. They incite impressionable youngsters to become 'shahids' -- martyrs for Islam.
Moreover, states such as Iran that support terror must be neutralized, hopefully by revolution from within (with our help). I would love to see Iranian students who believe in separation of church and state (there are many) rise up and topple their evil government.
I really like the spirit of this article and I agree with most of what it says. But I think the final conclusion is profoundly wrong.
Bush says Islam is a "great" religion of "peace" which has been "hijacked" and that "this [jihadi] ideology is very different from the [normal] religion of Islam." George Bush, like Tony Blair, like everybody else prominent, is an apologist for Islam. These leaders are all enemies of freedom. They're worse than useless -- they're de facto allies of the jihadis. The moment we all spit in their faces and call them "Muslim-loving vermin" is the moment the world is suddenly a much better place. Such is the power of truth.
The way you assess a religion (unlike a philosophy, whose principles tend to be more precise and less a series of historical turns in direction) is to determine where its center of gravity is.
For those who have not done the reading into theology and history of Islam to assess the issues regarding i) a religion of conquest, ii) total submission, and iii) separation of church and state, there is one extremely simple way to determine if Islam is a religion very similar to Christianity today.
Look at its everyday practices:
*Prayer every day - not once but five times.
*Total symbolic, abject prostration and submission before God. Face down. On the ground.
*Super-fundamentalism with regard to the holy book being the literal word of God.
*A very deeply held us vs. them dividing of the world (believers and unbelievers)
*A long list of dress, eating, and conduct rules.
*Then there is mandatory tithing and mandatory pilgrimages...
These are practices not engaged in by -any- Christian fundamentalist sects (at least not by any large one).
There may be moderate muslims who don't take any of this seriously, but they are going -against- their religion and its "sense of life" or simply blanking it out. The logic of the ideology they give lip service to is constantly working to undercut them.
There are at least two other "everyday practices" one could add to Philip's list above:
Islam essentially commands you to learn (or at least recite, without comprehension) the original language of the Koran -- "classical" or Ancient Arabic which probably fewer than a million people today speek semi-fluently (think Beowolf). Westerners who denounce Islam without this fluency are generally instantly dismissed by Muslim leaders and scholars.
Muslims seems to commit 95% or so of world terrorism; and they denounce it with far less frequency, intensity, and sincerity relative to Christians, Hindus, Mormons, Jews, etc.
And altho' yesterday I seem to have confused "deft rabble-rousing" and "efficacious polemicism" with truth above [end of Post 6], nevertheless...I find George Bush and Tony Blair and pretty much everyone else you can name to be "Muslim apologists" and "dupes of Islam" and "Islamic fifth columnists" and "anti-Western traitors" and what Lenin would call "useful idiots."
Islam by itself -- even with all their stolen/"nationalized" oil money -- is virtually harmless to outsiders. It only gains fearsome power and destructiveness with the moral sanction and "sanction of the victim" of Bush and Blair. Folk-hero Osama by himself is an essential non-entity who is hard pressed to hurt a foreign fly. But Bush and Blair -- via their never ending flow of rhetoric and propaganda about mainstream Muslims and Islam -- are the problem.