A FEW MONTHS ago, in an extended conversation about Islam with a friend of a friend, after quite a bit of writing back and forth, he asked, "What do you think should be done?" The following is what I wrote back. The reason I'm writing this is because I think many of the people we talk to haven't given it much thought and don't really know what kind of solution you have in mind when you're talking about Islam, and I think sometimes they react in a way that rejects the solutions they assume you must have in mind. So it's worthwhile to let people know what you think ought to be done about it. They might have an easier time listening to what you have to say about Islam.
One of the things my friend of a friend mentioned was how comforting it is to know that most Muslims don't like terrorism. With all that in mind, here is how I answered him:
That's a good question. What is the solution? I think basic knowledge would be a good first start. Most people know almost nothing about Islam, even in the CIA and FBI. Even among politicians. I don't know all the solutions we'll come up with, but I know we'll make better solutions if we know what we're really dealing with.
If more of us knew more about Islam, I think we'd be less likely to make mistakes like foolishly allowing Sharia law to be written into the constitutions of both Iraq and Afghanistan. That was a big mistake. I don't believe it would have happened if more non-Muslims had read the Koran.
When someone in Afghanistan was going to be killed for converting out of Islam (apostasy is illegal, punishable by death under Sharia law), the U.S. State Department said, "Hey, what are you doing? Your constitution says you have freedom of religion." To which Afghans said, "Yes, freedom of religion within the bounds of Sharia law." The people in the State Department didn't know what they were dealing with.
So I think we need to at least know. That would be a start.
I think Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Norway are on the right track: They have explicitly banned Sharia law.
And I think another good thing to add would be the flex fuel bill that is now in committee. It probably won't get voted in this round, but a new bill will eventually be proposed and it should be done. It has the potential to seriously cut off funds to Saudi Arabia, which is a major source of our problems with Islam. They fund many madrassas and mosques around the world, and because they pay for them, they control what is taught there, and they are teaching orthodox Islam: Hatred of non-Muslims, political action, Sharia law for all, etc.
According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia controls an unbelievable 90% of the world's Islamic institutions. We need to cut off their money, and introducing mandatory flex fuel capabilities in cars sold in America would allow fuels to compete, which would bring down prices and take money away from Saudi Arabia.
We need more people who know more about Islam so that we can have more and better solutions to its growing influence.
I don't really want anything from Muslims. I want non-Muslims to stop pretending the problem doesn't exist. I want non-Muslims to discover that Islam is not a religion of peace and stop trying to pretend it is.
The biggest Muslim organizations in America — ISNA, CAIR, MSA, etc. — have all been created as arms of the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest international Muslim organization in the world. And they have said in internal documents that violent acts of terror are tactically foolish against America. 9/11 set their agenda back because it caused Americans to learn more about Islam. So they have revamped their strategy to keep a low profile, to infiltrate, to undermine and to sabotage. Terrorism against America doesn't work. We're not the kind of people who cower in fear and comply. Overt acts of violence against us make us aggressive.
Anyway, the fact that Muslims hate terrorism isn't as comforting as it ought to be.
And I agree with you, we should not overreact. And we should completely reject collective punishment, abandonment of reason, and we must keep the rule of law. I am advocating first and most importantly that people read the Koran. I think non-Muslims should know what's in it, mainly because so many non-Muslims assume they know what's in it and are dangerously mistaken. And I think you really have to read the whole thing to get the full impact of this amazing doctrine.
I don't think advocating knowledge is an overreaction.
I think in hundreds of little ways, once non-Muslims know what Islam is about, all the political insinuations of Islamic law into Western democracies will be curtailed, without bloodshed and without hatred. It will just be stopped because we can see what is motivating it, we understand what's behind it, and we don't want any part of it, now that we know what it is.
The Muslims-in-name-only can go on about their lives without any trouble — and without even knowing anything is going on. The active, orthodox Muslims will find themselves curbed whenever they try to limit freedom of speech or infiltrate the FBI or any of the other things they've been able to get away with because so few people know even the most basic information about Islam.
One place we differ is that you think things are already getting better, and I think things are getting worse. Muslim infiltrators with a political objective (Islam's prime directive) have gotten into the military, the FBI, the CIA, and actually advise President Obama just as they did with former President Bush. Why? Because even people at that high level believe the nonsense that Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims are gaining control of cities in Europe, the "radicals" are regaining control in Turkey and Egypt, they are gaining control of Lebanon, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They are exerting influence over American media, Hollywood movies, what's written in American textbooks, and it goes on and on and on. Not much is getting better. And lots of things are getting worse. And I'm an optimist!
I think your attitude that "things are getting better" is just another way to try to put this issue in a box so you don't have to worry about it any more. Throughout this conversation you seem to have tried your best to come up with anything you could think of to avoid having to accept the existence of something you don't want to be true. It reminds me of that scene from the first Terminator movie.
Kyle Reese has been sent back from the future to protect Sarah Connor, but she thinks she will just get away from the terminator and go on about her life. She was refusing to get it. Didn't want to get it. Does this sound familiar?
Kyle finally grabs her wrists and yells at her: "Listen! That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely WILL NOT STOP — EVER — until you are DEAD!"
At that point, she doubled over. All the breath went out of her body. It looked like she'd been punched in the stomach. She finally realized her situation. She stopped resisting it and started thinking about what could be done about it.
It seems to me you're not there yet. You still think you can go on with your life and ignore it. Everything will be okay.
But it will not stop. It will keep getting worse until it intrudes on your life in a way you can't ignore. You're a smart man. I believe some day you will get it, and it will hit you hard. But after that point, you'll stop resisting it and start thinking about what should be done about it.