Islam in the West

Almost every day there is an article by some academic, journalist, or blogger on how to defeat the ISIS. Many attempt to understand the appeal of the ISIS to Muslims, ( or try to convince the reader that they have some new in-depth knowledge of the Islamist  threat.)Most take great pains to differentiate political Islam or Islamism, Jihadism, or especially the ISIS, from Islam the religion.  There is a great deal of confusion on this point and sometimes the difference becomes  diffuse and an academic minefield. The danger of equating  the two is to  risk destroying one’s academic credentials within the  academic or scholarly world. Being labeled an “islamophobe”  in the ultra politically correct world of academia is the kiss of death, at least if you want to be invited to the academic galas and forums. For certain you will not be on the main stream media short list for  “experts.”

muslims-in-france

Andrew Mc Carthy is a writer for the National Review. He was previously a prosecuting attorney for the southern district of New York. As such he was the prosecuting attorney in the World Trade Center Bombing conspiracy trial in i993.  Ironically I was a defense witness (under subpoena, of course, by the defense attorney for Elie Nosair, one of the 10 defendants)   I have written about this trial in a previous blog so will not elaborate here.      (see my earlier blog)  McCarthy is often labeled as an Islamophobe because he basically believes that Islam itself is the problem.  I disagree with him in this sense; In my experience,  over the years in the Arab world, it was not always that way. I never really viewed Islam as a threat to the West. It was rampant aggressive Arab nationalism or communism, but not Islam. Arab nationalism of the sixties and seventies was always inimical to U.S. interests and Islam was seen as a basically anachronistic relic of the past.

73-yusuf-al-qaradawi

Sheikh Yusif Al Qaradawi a leading tele- islamist and a promoter of Radicalism in Islam

But in viewing the current environment,  I do agree with McCarthy in the context of  Islam as it is being taught promoted and inculcated today. It does constitute a threat to the Western concept of a civil society. Singling out the ISIS or “Jihadism” or Al Qeaeda as the threat is highly misleading and dangerous. It dilutes the more menacing threat. More menacing in that it is not violent and much more insidious.

Today apparently the more liberal see the fact that most Muslims oppose the violence of the ISIS as proof that all is well, but that is highly misleading.  The same polls indicate that  tolerance or respect for other  religions is  always lower among Muslims.  Many view the weak responses of the West to atrocities and expulsion of non Muslims from the Their native lands in the Middle East as proof of  their God -given superiority.  This is supported by the illogical ultra left  that seems to take great pleasure believing  ” Christian America ” is dying. It is an ultra racist view but finds currency today in intellectual circles.

The main threat today is the Islamist supremacists.  They are everywhere ,  the percentage I do not claim to know but they are numerous,  sometimes including your Muslim neighbors  who seem friendly and have the mom and pop food stores , or  work in the medical profession.  They are law abiding, work hard,  pay their bills, take care of their families. But in too many of their homes it is a different matter. At home they are Islamic triumphalists and supremacists. They demand their children conform to strict outwardly Islamic  customs,  especially girls,  inculcating the current Islamist  belief that  their American neighbors  are immoral and corrupt. The children are constantly exhorted to  keep a certain distance to avoid contamination.  The young are taught ( at home and in that Mosques) that their  American neighbors, however friendly they may seem,  are unbelievers and must be regarded with vigilant suspicion. The father demands that the sons constantly spy on their sisters  to ensure no occasions of impropriety.  Any protests from the girl is met with accusations of being a slut, and threats of being expelled from the family. In the close knit Arab Muslim family such a threat is worse than death. Family is everything. Even if the girl has the courage to make the break she will, on occasion be overwhelmed with guilt. In some countries honor killings still happen and in the Islamic world, the perpetrators are socially  applauded and the civil authorities only punish with a slap on the wrist.

honor-killing

Noor Al Maliki, Iraqi American. Killed by her father in Arizona for un -Islamic behavior

These modern day patriarchs inculcate a disdain for all things un Islamic …. other religions, secular living Muslims, or Muslims , such as the Ahmadiyas , anything different from the traditional concept of Islam. Within the family the patriarchs use mind conditioning to create a sort of pavlovian response to anything considered to be “un Islamic.”  Especially that relates to the outward appearances, particularly dress for women and habits that many would Western secularists often regard as comically hypocritical and false.   This includes girls wearing hijabs but wearing the tightest of jeans imaginable. ( Go check out the Galleria in Tyson’s Corners  some evenings). It is all predicated,  not so much on morality  and certainly not spirituality, but  rather “what will our friends think”?

hijab-with-jeans

Nicely attired  The Prophet said ( well according to Al Bukhari Al Fathi anyway) It is unlawful for a man to wear women’s clothing and women to wear men’s. i.e., trousers

 

The hypocrisy particularly includes  the male  oppression  or domination of women while demanding very little of themselves. On the beaches of the Arab counties one observes men in disgustingly immodest speedo bathing trunks while their  women are covered head to foot.   Some Muslim women would  say that they prefer it way.    No doubt that is true but in  many ( if not most) cases it is a matter of avoiding harassment by Muslim men.  I saw that in Cairo.  Men demand their women  wear the hijab, not because they are particularly religious, but because they will be taunted by their male relatives as being weak. Mostly I think it is consequence of the mind conditioning mentioned earlier, or in many cases, It  has a similar effect as the Stockholm syndrome. You begin to agree with your oppressors.  For many young men in the West, making the hijab mandatory for their women has become sort of a middle finger to Western civilization.

As a very sharp Muslim lady expressed it to me, the Hijab  has become more of a social custom than  a religious garment but not wearing it exposes a woman to harassment and denunciations as a whore.  It has become just another device  to “keep women in their place.”

arab_girls_on_beach

fat_man_beach

enough said

In Egypt this has become particularly severe.  It is an outward facet of Muslim Fundamentalism,  wrapped around the issue of Sharia, or Islamic law, which has a number of inherent issues at odds with a secular civil society. Muslim fundamentalism is not intrinsically violent, but it goes far beyond the relatively trivial issue of women’s headgear.  It governs every aspect of human life. At best it would require two systems of law; One for Muslims, and one for everyone else. At worst, in a Muslim dominated society, would require  non Muslims to revert to the status of Dhimminis (second-class citizens) as they were for centuries. It has become a threat to almost every concept of personal freedom and  a civil society. The Sharia, as it is being expressed from many mosques, is not a harmless concept  of law that  can be melded into a multi religious or secular society. It is antithetical to the very idea of equality and democracy, particularly in protection of  the rights of religious or  ethnic minorities, (or mute majorities) The application of the Sharia  demands application of religious law that makes a civil society impossible. Without a civil society democracy has no  chance.

ayaanhirsiali

What I found particularly disturbing to me all these years, is the apparent  Muslim insensitivity to other peoples religious sensibilities, There is a term for  Islamophobia but is there  one for Christianophobia.? As an example,  when I lived in Jordan my  Jordanian army officer  buddies would bring their girlfriends to my house to be  safe from prying eyes. These girls were always introduced to me as being from Madaba, a subtle way of telling me they were Christian (which was by no means certain). At that time Madaba had a large Christian population, but like Christian all over the Islamic world  they have mostly fled to the West). There was never a thought that implying  “loose” girls had to be Christian would bother me. I can only imagine entering a Muslim home and  doing the same with a Muslim girl.

2014-05-02-antiahmadiyya

The Ahmadiyyas  consider themselves Muslim but Most Muslims do not. They believe in a Prophet after Muhammad. A serious  problem

Basically it exists because there is a real sense in The Islamic world that Christianity is an inferior system of beliefs centered around  worshiping idols and statues. Moreover Christians who come into contact with Muslims generally fail to defend their Christian beliefs, especially these days in which  devout  adherence to religious beliefs in the West has largely disappeared; A huge problem for another blog posting. It is extremely ironic that the most liberal media, who attack any hint of Christian beliefs in the market place of ideas, are the most supportive of Islamist supremist ideas. They would be the first to suffer persecution in an Islamist environment.

 

I know  many “Muslim intellectuals” and their numerous facilitators in the Western Academic community would disagree with me (if they read this, which of course they will not) . Writing this would put me in the “Islamophobe” category even though I know many Muslims are being silenced by intimidation and  would agree with me, especially the educated women. I always vet any article I write with my Muslim friends to ensure I do  not go over the top.

The irony of today’s politically correct government, media, and academia  is that forward looking Muslims are not supported in the West. This entails a tacit surrender to extremism in the forlorn hope of appeasement. There are many Muslims who  look for Western support for a more enlightened Muslim leadership but do not find it, especially in the current administration in Washington.

maajid_nawaz_speaking_at_libdem_campaign_event

Unless there is a major reformation of Islam, especially within Sunni Islam, but also among the Shi’a to reject the Iranian totalitarian approach to Shi’ism (and their  clerical establishment), any  progressive change is doomed.  The Sunni clerics have  been  bought or influenced by Wahhabi fundamentalism and the Shi’a clerics by Iranian  threats and cash.   Until these insidious movements are challenged and stopped. I see no possible change in the current increasing Islamic totalitarianism among the Muslims in the Islamic communities, and more dangerously, in the Western world.

 

 

 

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About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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4 Responses to Islam in the West

  1. ddeatkine@comcast.net says:

    Great article, Tex. How I wish more people could read this.

    Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. latortueweb says:

    Hello, Tex. My name is Sherry. DB sent me your way, and I’m so grateful he did. You’re a wonderful writer and reading these posts feels like coming home. Your words are deeply reassuring. No one is reasonable anymore. No one is forthright and clear. I look forward to reading each of your entries. Thank you.

    Like

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