A LITTLE WHILE ago, someone wrote me a long email message, and I wanted to answer it here, because it brought up points worth thinking about. Here is what I wrote:
I've been blogging on Citizen Warrior for nine years now, and I have never gotten a message like yours. I'm not going to answer all of it, but there were a few things I wanted to answer. The first was your statement, "As an outsider, who am I to tell a foreign cultural group to 'change' their ways or to lobotomize their belief system to make it safer for me?"
You have a duty to yourself to survive. If someone or something is threatening your survival or even threatening your ability to thrive, you have a inborn right to defend your life, whether that right is sanctioned by law or not. And beyond that, if someone wants to move to a country, that country has every right to say, "We will not allow anyone to immigrate who is intent upon overthrowing our government or causing harm to our citizens."
If you are my next door neighbor and you have some belief that endangers me, I will insist you change your ways. For example, if you believe that burning plastic bags in your front yard protects you from evil spirits, I will insist you stop it because those fumes are poisonous to me.
I believe people should be able to believe what they want, and do what they want based on those beliefs as long as it doesn't harm others who do not believe that way. If you are doing something that isn't safe for me, that is more important than my respect for your cultural values.
In your email, you also said that trying to make someone change their belief system to make it safer for me is "just as arrogant or non-consensual as Muslim extremists attacking non-Muslims or ex-Muslims." You're basically saying that if I insist that a Muslim change his belief that he should make war on non-Muslims, it is just as arrogant and non-consensual as that Muslim killing me because of his belief. Those are not the same. Not even close.
Later in your email, you said you could only see three possible options for non-Muslims:
1. Become a Muslim. Join the dominant culture, much like Native Americans did when they saw the Great Melting Pot could not be defeated.
2. Fight against Islam. (And because the name of this site is Citizen Warrior, you assume this is the one I choose.)
3. Relocate to a new area.
I would suggest a fourth alternative: Educate non-Muslims. The Native Americans were outgunned and outnumbered. Non-Muslims are not. The biggest problem we have is not Islamic beliefs; it is non-Muslim ignorance. This is citizen warrior. The military and security agencies have a job to do. But what can citizens do?
Citizens can solve the problem of the vast, incomprehensible ignorance of their fellow non-Muslims.
Islam has been gaining ground — not because they are stronger or have a better military or have more intelligent people or have a numerical superiority. They have been gaining ground because we have been giving it to them. Why? Because of our ignorance of Islamic doctrine, our ignorance of Islam's prime directive, and our ignorance of Islamic history.
Because we have an already-existing and perfectly understandable commitment to multiculturalism, that commitment is ruling the day for the lack of anything to oppose it or refine it. But if more of us simply knew about Islam, the problem would be largely solved. As they pushed for concessions, they would find their way blocked by people who knew better, in the same way a "mark" no longer falls for a con job once they have been educated about it.
If you had never heard of email scams, you might fall for it. But once you know about it, the problem is solved. You simply delete the message, and the harmful intentions on the other end of the line are blocked. If enough people know, the scammers go out of business. It is no longer profitable. It has become a waste of time.
That's what we're trying to accomplish on Citizen Warrior. We aim to put orthodox Muslims out of business.