THE CHRISTIAN Science Monitor has the reputation of being an unbiased publication, but in a recent article, Why 'Islamophobia' is Less Thinly Veiled in Europe, I felt compelled to respond to many of Robert Marquand's (the author's) points.
Marquand begins by trying to show that Muslims in Europe are just normal Europeans — except that they are the target of unfair prejudice by non-Muslim Europeans. In other words, Marquand seems to unquestioningly accept the Muslims' standard position as the unfairly persecuted underdog.
The article quotes a Muslim apologist, Edward Mortimer, vice president of the Satzburg Seminar in Austria which helped launch the Muslim professionals network: "Values of national identity and patriotism are starting to take shape over an older argument in Europe about tolerance, plurality, freedom of expression."
This is an absurd and deceptive statement. The values of national identity and patriotism are not in conflict with tolerance, plurality, or freedom of expression, and to imply that they are is a verbal slight-of-hand. The principles for which Islam stands are intolerance, supremacism (anti-plurality), and total submission to Islamic law (anti-freedom of expression). And it is largely for this reason Europeans are asserting their desire to run their own countries and hold onto their Western values in the face of the relentless onslaught from orthodox Muslims pushing for "reverse integration" — the attempt to coerce Europeans to integrate into Islam.
Marquand doesn't know these are the principles for which Islam stands. A simple reading of the Quran would clear it all up.
"Social politeness and taboos on talking about Islam are eroding," Marquand writes, "at a time when Europeans aren't exactly sure what they think about Islam." That struck me as good news, although I'm sure Marquand didn't mean it that way. I hope it will stop being a taboo to talk about Islam. We need to talk about it.
Marquand writes, "The ground zero debate in Europe, for example, has brought a small geyser of anti-Muslim invective, even on websites like Le Monde's. They included an often articulate though sometimes churlish depiction of Islam as a single monolithic form of faith, inherently violent and extreme, and of Muslims as incapable of being moderate."
Muslims can be anything they want to be, but Islam itself is a single monolithic ideology, regardless of the local customs or ethnic origins of the Muslims of the world. All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence have a wide range of Islamic principles upon which they agree. Most doctrinal issues in Islam were worked out long ago and are almost universally considered "settled." And all are based on a single, unchanging collection of books, which is, in fact, inherently violent and intolerant.
Are Muslims capable of being moderate? That depends on two things: What we mean by moderate, and do we mean "even when they have the political clout to do otherwise?" For Marquand to understand this would require a couple of hours of Islam 101.
His readers probably don't know much about Islam, either, so they probably read the paragraph without a second thought, with the feeling that it all sounds perfectly reasonable.
Marquand and his readers might assume I'm prejudiced against all Muslims, but I'm not. For any particular Muslim, I don't know how much they accept or reject of Islamic doctrine. But I am definitely prejudiced against the doctrine. What is there for a non-Muslim to like about 527 unabrogated verses advocating intolerance or violence against non-Muslims?
Marquand writes, "They [Muslims] resent the fact that Islam is a subject of derision and reject the stereotype of Muslims as being one uniform, slightly sinister group."
And yet they don't resent it enough to openly reject what non-Muslims understandably object to! Muslims are welcome anytime they wish to speak honestly — to say, "Yes, that stuff is in our doctrine, and we reject it completely." I've never heard a Muslim say this. I've read a couple of people online do it, but of all the Muslims I've heard from and talked to, I've never heard a Muslim speak honestly about the objectionable material in the Quran and Sunna.
So here's the problem: Many non-Muslims have read the Islamic doctrines and we don't like what it teaches about us or about Islam's prime directive. Any idiot could see why a non-Muslim wouldn't like it. And yet, Muslims tend to focus on this "unfair" suspicion as if it's coming out of nowhere. This is hogwash. I don't believe such a large percentage of Muslims could be so dense as to be unable to see what non-Muslims don't like, and they could easily put us at ease to acknowledge it and reject it. But almost unanimously, they don't. Instead they are "resentful" at the "stereotyping."
Marquand writes, "Young second-generation Muslims have high expectations but often feel excluded."
But are they trying to discover why they are excluded? Are they explicitly rejecting the supremacism in Islamic doctrine? No? Then we should emphatically ridicule and dismiss their whining. We need to hold them to higher expectations and quit the coddling. Welcome them to the new era in non-Muslim-Muslim relations.
Marquand writes, "Some come to escape orthodox Islam while still being devout."
When I read that line, I actually laughed out loud! The Christian Science Monitor is considered a serious magazine. It has a good reputation. How did such a completely moronic sentence get past the editors? Orthodox means "Adhering to the accepted or traditional and established faith, especially in religion." That's pretty much the same as devout: "Devoted to religion or to the fulfillment of religious obligations."
We're talking about jihad. The thing non-Muslims object to most about Islamic doctrine is jihad — the deliberate, merciless intolerance against non-Muslims, the effort to impose their supremacist dominance wherever possible, and the relentless drive to bring all people under the rule of Islamic law. If a Muslim is orthodox, his religious devotion will be applied to this goal. If he is devout, he will be devoted to this goal.
So how is someone going to "escape orthodox Islam while still being devout?"
This is the problem. People like Marquand are completely missing the point and unaware of it. The article was accompanied by a video that equally misses the point, profiling three American Muslims all presenting themselves as normal as can be, all baffled as to why non-Muslims might look at them suspiciously, all equally self-righteous about how silly and misguided that is, and none of them mentioning the supremacism and intolerance at the core of their doctrines.
One of the women in the video even pointed out that believers of other religions don't get this kind of scrutiny or prejudice. I wanted to tell her, "That's right. It's been a long time since anyone worried about the Amish rioting, beheading people, infiltrating governments, threatening violence to silence their critics, or blowing up buses. Ideology actually counts."
We don't have a situation where all these religions are the same but one is being picked on unfairly. We have a situation where most religions share many principles about universal love and kindness, but Islam does not. According to Islamic doctrine, Muslims are the best of people and non-Muslims are the worst of people and deserve to suffer in this life and burn in the afterlife.
One man in the video implied that if only people could get to know him and his family, their suspicions would disappear. I wanted to tell him, "Dude, how you treat your family is the least of their worries. They wonder whether you are a believer in jihad in any form. They wonder if you pay your zakat and thus potentially fund suicide bombers. They wonder if you participate in CAIR or ISNA or any of the other Muslim organizations under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood and if you've aligned yourself with its goal to sabotage our government. They wonder if you believe in reverse integration and if you're striving in the way of Allah to Islamize America. They wonder if you follow the Quranic teachings to never make friends with non-Muslims — to go ahead and fake it, but never actually befriend them or like them."
If he is actively working toward Islam's prime directive, no amount of "getting to know him and his family" will matter. What might matter is if he acknowledged those teachings and rejected them. And told us he rejected them. That would at least be a start. But in this video, which would make any PR hack proud, you hear nothing of the sort.
Marquand writes, "Muslims agree that some younger adherents get radicalized."
In a recent study in Britain, they found second-generation Muslims are more "radical" than their parents. That is, they hold more orthodox views. In other words, they believe in Islam's prime directive. They are more committed to jihad than their first-generation parents.
Why would this be? Because of what I'm harping on: All these perfectly nice Muslims in the PR video are raising their children without ever telling them that supremacist and intolerant teachings are strewn throughout the Quran and Sunna, and without saying, "but we completely reject those teachings." No, they say nothing of the sort. They do just the opposite. They tell them being a Muslim is great, that the Quran is the word of the Almighty, that they are being unfairly persecuted by non-Muslims around the world, and they must band together and "defend" Islam.
So our young Muslim grows up and gets easily recruited by a devout Muslim who simply tells the kid to read the Quran and discover his obligations as a Muslim.
Marquand writes, "In university settings and among some Muslim moderates, frank reappraisals of the Koran are under way, which includes a tougher look at its calls for militancy."
Some Muslims are taking a tougher look? Big deal. These doctrines are clear and easy to find. They don't need to be looked at; they need to be vociferously repudiated, clearly and forcefully. These teachings are imbeded deep in Islam throughout its doctrine and throughout its history. And Muslims are acting on these passages all over the world, killing people, destroying property, and wrecking lives. They're doing that right now, today. Someone will die today because of these doctrines. The situation is urgent. A "tougher look" doesn't cut it. Not even close. Does Marquand really believe that we can all relax now because some Muslims are taking a tougher look? Give me a break.
Marquand quotes Ahmet Mahamat, an immigrant from Chad who lives in France. Mahamat said, "Immigrants are linked to criminality or delinquency or fanaticism." He meant "linked in peoples' prejudiced minds." Wah wah wah. I wanted to tell him to suck it up and prove people wrong, just like every immigrant group before him has had to do. Everywhere immigrants arrive on foreign shores, they face prejudice. And if they work hard and prove themselves loyal members of that society, they are eventually accepted and embraced. That's how it goes. You want to be on our team? You had better prove yourself worthy. We don't owe you anything. We've already let you move here — the rest is up to you. If anything, you owe us.
But Mahamat is pursuing the example of Mohammad the Whiner. "I look in the eyes of so many people," he says, "and what I see does not correspond to who I am. They see another me."
I want to tell him, "Look, man, they know the ideology you supposedly believe in. You say you're a Muslim. We naturally assume you believe in Islam. We assume you are an adherent of Islamic doctrine. We assume you believe in the supremacism and intolerance inherent in your ideology. Either stop calling yourself a Muslim or explicitly say, 'I reject jihad, I reject Mohammad's political, supremacist model, and I embrace Western values of freedom, women's rights, religious equality, etc.' It took me all of twenty seconds to say that, so what's the problem? If you can't honestly say those things, then our suspicions of you are correct, so quit your whining and get used to permanent rejection because you do not belong in this society."
When you know something about an ideology, you treat the person differently. And you should. You don't feed a Jain a steak dinner when they come to your house (Jains believe you should not kill any living creature). You don't invite a Buddhist with you on a deer hunt (Buddhists believe in trying to avoid harming living beings).
If you know about someone's ideology, you usually will (and definitely should) treat them differently.
And in the same way, if someone's ideology calls for unrelenting jihad against non-Muslims until the whole world submits to Islamic law, generally speaking, you don't invite them to come live in your country and bring their wives! And if they are already in your country, you usually will (and definitely should) be wary of them until they prove their devotion and loyalty to your country and the principles your society is founded on. In this case, until they forthrightly reject the objectionable precepts of their religious ideology.
This should be common sense. If it doesn't make sense to you, your first step should be to read the Quran. Start here: Take the Pledge to read the Quran.