Saturday, February 23, 2013

Can Islam be Democratized?

Can Islam be Democratized? by Prof. Paul Eidelberg Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:25 am (PST) . Posted by: "Yaacov Levi" jlevi_us Can Islam be Democratized? Paul Eidelberg Ariel Center for Policy Research November 2002 (Abridged) Introduction The West is involved in nothing less than an existential war with Islam. No war can be wisely conducted and won unless the enemy is clearly defined. To understand this enemy, let us consult the doyen of Islamic history, Professor Bernard Lewis. In The Multiple Identities of the Middle East (1998), Lewis writes: A basic, distinguishing feature of Islam is the all-embracing character of religion in the perception of Muslims. The Prophet, unlike earlier founders of religions, founded and governed a polity. As ruler, he promulgated laws, dispensed justice, commanded armies, made war, made peace, collected taxes, and did all the other things that a rulers does. This is reflected in the Qur’an itself, in the biography of the Prophet, and in the traditions concerning his life and work. The distinctive quality of Islam is most vividly illustrated in the injunction which occurs not once but several times in the Qur’an (3:104, 110; 7:157; 22:41, etc.), by which Muslims are instructed as to their basic duty, which is “to command good and forbid evil”—not just to do good and avoid evil, a personal duty imposed by all religions, but to command good and forbid evil, that is to say, to exercise authority to that end. Under the Prophet’s immediate successors, in the formative period of Islamic doctrine and law, his state became an empire in which Muslims conquered and subjugated non-Muslims.[1] From its very inception, classical Islam fused religion and government, faith and power—with power concentrated in Muhammad and his successors, the caliphs…. Lewis’s description of classical Islam conforms to what he calls “The current wave of religious militancy,” and which he says is “one of many in Islamic history …”[2] In a most important conference held on October 3, 2002 at the American Enterprise Institute, Lewis declared that Islamic fundamentalism is “Islamism revived.”[3] Yossef Bodansky puts it more vividly: Throughout the Muslim world, from the Philippines to Morocco and in numerous Muslim émigré communities from Western Europe to the United States, Islamist terrorist and subversive cells are getting ready to strike out. As of late 1998, with the confrontation escalating between the United States and the Islamist international terrorist system as represented in the person of Osama bin Laden, the terrorists have become increasingly ready with redundant and resilient networks, weapons of mass destruction, and powerful bombs, as well as zeal and readiness for martyrdom—all for what they perceive to be the noble cause of bringing the United States suffering and pain.[4] A fatwa proclaimed, “one billion Muslims are capable of turning their bodies into bombs which are equal in force to all the weapons of … mass destruction possessed by the Americans.”[5] Having suffered scores of suicide bombers, people in Israel take such fatwas seriously. One wonders, however, whether America, despite 9/11, has the moral stamina to define and confront mankind’s greatest enemy, which, as have elsewhere shown, bears a striking resemblance to Nazism. Some fear that because of its economic interests in the Middle East, America may sacrifice Israel on the altar of Islam. Hence this essay. Part I. Defining the Enemy and Ourselves No less than Winston Churchill referred to Mein Kampf as “the new Qur’an of faith and war …”[6] Apologists nonetheless select passages from the Qur’an that mention Islam’s “pleasant and peaceful ways,” while ignoring those that inspire Islam’s hate-filled and murderous fanaticism. In a mosque sermon in Qatar on June 7, 2002, the imam prayed to Allah “to humiliate the infidels… destroy the Jews, the Christians, and their supporters…make their wives widows, make their children orphans, and make them a prey for Muslims.” Islam is anything but a religion of peace. Islam’s most distinguishing and historically dynamic principle is jihad), and all four schools of Islamic law (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i, Maliki) refer to jihad as a commandment to wage offensive war against infidels for the sake of Allah. Consistent therewith, Muslims have plundered, butchered, subjugated, and degraded countless Christian and Jewish communities since the time of Muhammad.[7] That they exult in this history of savagery in the name of Allah — we saw them rejoice throughout Islamdom in the destruction of the Twin Towers — is all the more reason why certain Islamic regimes must be conquered, as was Nazi Germany before it was democratized. America’s war against “international terrorism” is in truth a war against Arab-Islamic civilization. This war dwarfs all others. Muslim-Arabs, who have no regard for the sanctity of human life, are accumulating weapons of mass murder. Muslims commit atrocities around the globe. Throughout its vast domain Islam nurtures and provides havens for thousands of highly skilled terrorists committed to the destruction of Western civilization in general and of Israel in particular. Many of their leaders have been educated in the West and are familiar with biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. They are motivated not by a righteous desire to alleviate the poverty of the Muslim world, but by a satanic hatred of the non-Muslim world. As Lewis has warned, the suicide bomber may become the metaphor of the Middle East. Never has mankind been so menaced.[8] Islam is over-running Europe. Its goal is nothing less than conquest. And Europe, rotting in nihilism, hedonism, and anti-Semitism, is allied with its grave-diggers. The one country that stands in the way of Islam is the United States. Needless to say, the U.S. cannot wage war simultaneously against some fifty Islamic regimes. Accordingly, before this essay was written, intrepid commentators like Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute urged America to proceed incrementally, after disposing of Iraq.[9] Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two greatest sponsors of international terrorism, are certainly eligible for something more than sweet talk carrots. From the demise of these and perhaps one or two other Islamic tyrannies (e.g. Syria and the Sudan), a chain reaction may follow and transform Islamdom—or so it is hoped. On the other hand, some commentators have urged an American crusade to democratize the Islamdom. Predictably, they conceive of this crusade in purely secular terms. They ignore not only the fanatical devotion of the Muslim masses to Islam, but the unappealing aspects of the secular democratic world which, as eminent western scholars admit, is steeped in moral decay. Democratizing Islam might not be an unmixed blessing for the 1.5 billion Muslims that inhabit this planet. If the war against Islam is to be won, the partisans of democracy will require a deeper understanding of its shortcomings. These partisans invariably emphasize the freedom and equality enjoyed in democracies. They overlook the fact that, unlike in former times, democratic freedom and equality lack ethical and rational constraints. Moral relativism infects the democratic mind and saps the will to overcome the absolutism of the Islamic mind. Lovers of democracy need to ask: What is there about democratic freedom that would prompt a person to restrain his passions, to be kind, honest, just? What is there about democratic equality that would prompt him to defer to wisdom or to show respect for teachers or parents? Are such qualities conspicuous in the secular democratic state? The partisans of the secular democratic state need to recognize that freedom and equality, which they exalt, are only pure potentialities: neither good nor bad, hence morally neutral. In the war against Islamic barbarism democrats need to see that the sanctity of human life and the decency and civility still visible in contemporary democracy have nothing to do with democracy itself. They are rooted primarily in the Bible of Israel. Waving the flag of freedom and equality American style will not purge Islam, whose believers are willing to die for Allah. If, however, freedom and equality are derived from the Jewish conception of man’s creation in the image of God—which alone can provide democracy with ethical and rational foundations—and if democracy, so conceived and so proclaimed, rallies a hundred million Christians in America, so many of whom look to Israel for light, then it may be possible to illuminate and transform the Islamic world. But this means that America needs Israel in the war against Islam. Unfortunately, Israel’s ruling elites have uncritically embraced contemporary democracy as their religion despite its moral failings. The egotistical pluralism of democratic politics has fragmented the nation, and it made Israel just another secular democratic state. Such a state, devoid of Jewish wisdom and vision, cannot possibly inspire America in the war against Islam. Israel’s leaders can speak of nothing more than pedestrian than “peace and security,” for which they are willing to sacrifice Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish people. This not only diminishes American respect for Israel. It also arouses the contempt and arrogance of Muslims. But even if Israel’s Government were headed by a wise and dauntless leader, how can Israel’s cabinet, fragmented by rival parties, pursue a consistent and resolute national strategy whose initial objective is to eradicate the existential threat facing this country? On the other hand, what positive and distinctively Jewish goal can inspire this country when cultural egalitarianism takes precedence over Judaism in the minds of Israel’s ruling elites? Thus, to say that America’s needs Israel in the war against Islam can only mean an Israel very different from the present one. I have in mind an Israel whose structure of government inspires respect, and whose immediate goal vis-à-vis Israel’s enemies is not peace but victory.[10] Only such an Israel, working with America, can possibly bring about a salutary transformation of Islam. Part II. How Islam Might Be Democratized Unlike Soviet Communism, Islam is not merely a political ideology but a theo-political civilization which has imbued countless Muslims with overweening and aggressive pride. As indicated above, Muhammad and his successors established the most extensive empire in history. Islam’s past greatness is more real in the consciousness of the Muslim masses than Islam’s present backwardness. Western educated Muslim terrorists, who typically come from the middle class, disdain the blandishments of democracy. Beneath the veneer of Westernization these Muslims have preserved the cultural identity in which they have been weaned. Not only do they dream of Islam’s past glory, but their reveries inspire their hatred and contempt for Islam’s usurpers and drive these Muslims to suicidal murder. Muslim intellectuals, including those educated at Harvard and Oxford, despise the moral and cultural relativism that permeates the mentality of the West. I mention this because it would never occur to a relativist to refute Islam, which refutation may, in the last analysis, be necessary to break Islam’s hold on the Muslim masses. Who, indeed, in this age of theological egalitarianism will question Islam’s deity—say by discrediting his prophet, Muhammad? It was by destroying Zeus and Jupiter that the Greek and Roman civilizations were destroyed. And then there was Hirohito, the god of Japan, whose demise preceded the democratization of Japan. Bearing the conquest and American occupation of Japan in mind, only if certain Islamic regimes are conquered and occupied, only if an entire generation of Muslim children is re-educated, only if political power is decentralized and political accountability replaces Islam’s top-down leadership, can one speak sensibly of democratizing Islam. Merely to eliminate Muslim despots and institute democratic elections will accomplish nothing. Although Arab regimes have always been authoritarian, they divide into two basic types: military tyrannies and hereditary monarchies in which the military sustains the regime. Also, while some Muslim governments are conservative, others are revolutionary. Some practice capitalism while others practice various kinds of socialism. Some are either friends or enemies of the United States, while others are more or less neutral. And of course, there are enormous differences in the per capita income and in the education level of these various Arab and Muslim countries. Hence the type of democracy best suited for one state will not be equally suited for another. Doctrinairism must be avoided. A constitutional monarchy may be more appropriate in one country than a constitutional democracy. Similarly, in some countries a presidential system of government may be preferable to a parliamentary one. And wherever significant ethnic and religious diversity exists in a particular country as large as Iraq, a federal rather than a unitary system of government may be in order. In such cases a bicameral legislature may be desirable, where one branch represents territorial divisions. Most important, the legal distribution of power assigned to the various branches of government must take account of the factual distribution of power in a particular country. Indeed, it will be necessary to radically change the factual distribution of power of Islamic regimes if any type of democracy is to endure, and the changes must be institutionalized and supervised over a significant period of time. Finally, there inevitably arises the relationship between religion and state. Let us be candid and admit that the separation of religion and state or public law in the West has not been an unmixed blessing. Separation surely was conducive to personal freedom and a more tolerant daily life. But over the course of the last two centuries, as personal freedom and daily life became more and more removed from religion, or, conversely, the more religion became a Sunday or fringe affair, freedom became separated from morality. The moral corruption now rampant in the West is a direct consequence of the separation of church and state. I hasten to add, however, that this separation was not unrelated to the church’s own corruption. Hence we must avoid both secular and religious dogmatism when addressing the problem of democratizing Islam. To illustrate the problem, recall Algeria’s experiment with multiparty national elections in December 1991. In the first round of voting the Islamic Salvation Front did well enough to prompt the military junta in power to cancel the second round and outlaw this populist party of unadulterated Muslims.[11] The capitals of the democratic world breathed a sigh of relief at this failure of “democracy”! Meanwhile, Islamic terrorism continued to bloody Algeria. Another illustration: Democracy means popular sovereignty, which translates into the rule of the majority. But the rule of the majority in most Muslim countries would result in the suppression of many rights associated with democracy. Bernard Lewis put it this way: “In the Western world, we are accustomed to regard women's rights as part of the liberal program. In the Middle East, it doesn't work that way. The liberal program is giving people what they want and what the people want [in Arab-Islamic countries] is suppressing women, so that you find that women's rights [in the Middle East] fair better under autocratic than [they would] under democratic regimes.” This is one reason why Lewis believes that constitutional monarchy, which would be more compatible with Islamic culture, may also be preferable to unqualified democracy. The above illustrations suggest that, given the religiosity of the Muslim masses, successful democratization of many Islamic regimes will have to benon-secular and moderately hierarchical. Consistent therewith, Islamic law embodies certain concepts which may serve the cause of democratization, if these concepts are newly interpreted, taught in schools, and used to restructure the governments of Islamic regimes. I have in mind four concepts which Muslim apologists refer to as having democratic significance, but which skeptics reject as illusionary. Here is how Haifa University political scientist David Bukay defines and dismisses these concepts: An immense literature has been published under the rubric, “Democracy in Islam”. It has several aspects: first, shurah consultation, as if it functioned as in the Western system of parliamentary power; second, ijma’, the consensus of the community, as if there were social and political pluralism with decisions based on a majority; third, ijtihad, innovative interpretation, as if there were readiness to absorb opposing values and positions into the functioning of the Muslim political system; and fourth, hakmiyah[as if it means popular] sovereignty. Even in the conceptions of Islamic thinkers, shurah does not mean participation in political processes or politcal bargaining, including representation of pressure and interest groups … What they were referring to was an advisory council of experts in the moral field. Further, ijma’ does not express consensus of the community. Rather it is an accepted tribal framework made of the tribal leaders or the heads of the community, or a “council of wise men”. Consensus was never a basis for general public expression. The same applies to ijtihad .… there is no readiness to absorb the basic values of democracy, such as freedom of assembly and participation or individual rights. These were the prerogatives of the ruling elites alone. The people were never sovereign and were never asked its opinion on political issues. Sovereignty [of the people] … cannot exist in an all-embracing religion like Islam.[12] Dr. Bukay’s skepticism regarding these concepts may not hold IF key Islamic regimes are conquered and transformed, something he does not contemplate. Moreover, the characteristics he attributes to democracy apply primarily to contemporary democracy, which is seeular and devoid of substantive ethical norms. The present wrier rejects normlessdemocracy and proposes, for Islam—indeed, for the West as a whole—a normativeor classical conception of democracy, which can be assimilated to Judaism and Christianity. Bukay errs when he says that “any religion is opposed to democratic values in its conceptions and basic principles.”[13] As I have elsewhere shown,[14]Judaism provides a solid rational and ethical foundation for freedom and equality. Muslims will the more readily embrace these principles if they are derived from a religious source rather than from secular humanism. Returning to the four Islamic concepts in question, no doubt Professor Lewis had these in mind when he said “there are these older traditions, I will not say of democratic government but of government under law, government by consent, and government by contract in the Islamic world…. And this I think holds possibilities for the future.”[15] Let us see how this can be done from a theoretical perspective. Abstracted from the oligarchic power structure that dominated Islam in the past, “consultation,” “consensus,” “innovative interpretation,” and “sovereignty” may be construed to justify a classical, democratic system of institutional checks and balances. “Consultation” and “consensus” can prescribe and describe the functional relationship between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. The Executive obviously consults the Legislature when submitting bills to that body. Whether unicameral or bicameral, the Legislature, which in the West represents the diverse interests and opinions of civil society, deliberates and reaches an agreement (or consensus) to approve or reject or propose amendments to the bills in question. The concept “innovative interpretation” may be assimilated to the function of a Supreme Court that can narrow or broaden the application of a law which citizens, in society at large, may challenge as violating a higher law, a constitution. The principles of this constitution must not clash with Islamic law as qualified by the first three aforementioned concepts (and others to be mentioned further on). As for the fourth concept, “sovereignty,” it must be limited to the majority of the people as represented in one branch of the Legislature if the latter is bicameral, as may be desirable in many Islamic regimes. Suggested here is a constitutional and somewhat hierachic system of government based on religious principles. The constitution would prescribe, in addition to Islamic courts, an independent, unitary executive having the power to propose legislation, but which legislation would require the approval of a popularly elected assembly. This assembly need not have the power to initiate legislation. In fact, it was not until the 17th and 18th centuries that representative assemblies acquired that function. One can even go back to classical antiquity and find examples of popular assemblies whose function was not to make laws but to approve or reject proposed legislation submitted by magistrates. (John Stuart Mill has said, a “numerous assembly is as little fitted for the direct business of legislation as for that of administration.” The primary work of legislation must be done, and increasingly is being done, by the executive departments and administrative agencies.) We want to interpenetrate democratic and constructive Islamic values. * * * A crucial aspect of Islam’s democratization is the introduction of a market economy. Such an economy would decentralize the corporate power of Arab regimes, raise the living standards of their poverty-stricken people, and hasten the development of civil society, meaning private and social institutions to counterbalance the power of government. One last word. The democratization of Islam would be facilitated if Israel herself were a genuine constitutional democracy inspired by the sublime principles of the Torah and cease stumbling from one crisis, or from one meaningless election, to another as just another secular democratic state.☼

An On-Going Debate about Islam

Fw: An On-Going Debate about Islam: Part I Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:31 am (PST) . Posted by: "Yaacov Levi" jlevi_us An On-Going Debate about Islam: Part I Prof. Paul Eidelberg Below is a slightly condensed version of a July/August 2010 interview of Daniel Pipes on Islam. Dr. Pipes’ basic position on Islam has not changed to the present day. Hence, a response is in order and is scheduled to appear soon in Part II. Elwood McQuaid Israel My Glory Magazine July/August 2010 EDITOR'S NOTE: Our executive editor, Elwood McQuaid, spoke recently with Daniel Pipes, founder and director of the Middle East Forum and one of the world's leading experts on Islam and related issues. We are privileged to print edited excerpts from that interview. Elwood McQuaid: Dr. Pipes, it seems the United States and Europe are resigned to Iran developing nuclear weapons. Should we be concerned about this? And what should be done about it? DP: If Iran gets a nuclear bomb, it changes the dynamics - not just in the Middle East, but worldwide. If the Obama administration has in mind to do something, it's not about to broadcast it. So we don't know. But I'm not optimistic…. EMQ: Can sanctions really accomplish anything? DP: I don't think so. I don't think sanctions have any value beyond window dressing. I don't think agreements have any value. I don't think threats have any value. It boils down to whether we accept the Iranian nuclear program or we destroy it. EMQ: How should Israelis feel about this? DP: I think it's realistic for the Israelis to attack and do real damage. Now, what constitutes success, I'm not exactly sure…. If I were [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, I would say to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, "Why don't you take out the Iranian nukes? Or else we will And we will not do it by trying to fly planes across Turkey and Syria or Jordan or Saudi Arabia. We will do it from submarine-based, tactical nuclear weapons. You don't want that; we don't want that; but that's the way we can do this job for sure. You do it your way so we don't have to escalate to that." That would be a way of applying pressure. There are so many details which I'm not privy to. But that would be my kind of approach if I were the Israelis. EMQ: Do you believe leaders in the West are actually listening to [Iranian leader Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and believing it? DP: There seems to be a growing willingness to accept Iranian nuclear weapons and work the Iranian government into the international system. But whether or not there is also an effort to undermine and even to destroy this, I can't tell you. EMQ: On the issue of Israeli and Palestinian peace, apparently nothing is happening. Why is this true, and has Palestinian determination to destroy Israel diminished? DP: No, it hasn't diminished. It's there, virulent as ever. … EMQ: Do Western leaders, including Americans, really understand the root of Islamic militancy? They keep attempting to separate it from religion. Do they "get it"? DP: Basically, no. I would say there are three interpretations of the current state of affairs. One is what I call the establishment view … People say, "Islam has been hijacked; the problem is terrorism; Islam is a religion of peace." [This is] a denial of the problem. The second is what I call the insurgent view: "Islam itself is the problem. Islam has always been a problem, with jihad, honor killings, and the like. Islam is itself evil and problematic. Muslims are inherently a problem." I think that is too broad-based and wrong. And then there is the middle position, which I subscribe to. It would be summed up by saying, "Radical Islam is the problem, and moderate Islam is the solution." I believe there is a possibility for Islam to evolve in a way that is moderate, modern, and willing to live in harmony with others. I think it is possible for non-Muslims and moderate Muslims to work together to achieve that. Even if you believe the insurgent approach, that Islam itself is evil, there's no policy you can pursue. What can you do if you're president [of the United States] and you believe that? Are you going to throw out freedom of religion? Are you going to exclude Muslims? Are you going to fight wars abroad to promote Christianity? It's not who we are. It requires such fundamental changes that I'd say it's just not possible. So I think it's a dead-end approach. Even if you believe that, and I'm sure some of your listeners do, I'd say you have to join me in seeing Islamism as a political ideology comparable to fascism and Communism because we have tools to defeat that. We have won wars against them: the Second World War and the Cold War. We can do it again. But if we see the problem as religion, we don't have tools; we can't win…. EMQ: If Muslims are concerned about their religion being hijacked by radicals, why the silence from Islam generally about this issue? DP: It's not a complete silence. There have been important exceptions. Perhaps the most dramatic was in mid-2007 when literally millions of people on the streets of Turkish cities said no to Islamic law. And there have been other major demonstrations in Pakistan and elsewhere. But I accept your basic point that, in general, Muslims who don't want the Islamic law imposed on them and don't want the caliphate have been all too quiet. I think that has to do in part with intimidation, in part with lack of organization, with ideology, and with funding. I think there is also a respect that these people [radical Islamists] are really living and applying Islam in its fullness. Just because there isn't enough of a moderate-Muslim push-back today doesn't mean there won't be in the future. I believe that is a goal we should work toward to help moderate Muslims. The U.S. government and other public institutions have been very deficient in this. If you look at television or go to a university, you'll find over and over again it is the Islamists who are in place. We should consciously exclude them and push them to the side, exclude them as we would the KKK or Nation of Islam. Exclude them from the public square and invite the moderates instead. (A response to the notion of a moderate Islam will appear soon in Part II.) Reply to sender . Reply to group . Reply via Web Post . All Messages (1) . Top ^ 2a Fw: An On-Going Debate about Islam: Part II. "Muslim Moderates�€ Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:47 am (PST) . Posted by: "Yaacov Levi" jlevi_us An On-Going Debate about Islam: Part II. "Muslim Moderates” Prof. Paul Eidelberg Middle East expert Daniel Pipes focuses public attention on a distinction between Muslim "moderates" and "extremists." He also distinguishes between “Islamism” and “militant Islam” from Islam per se. Now, let us admit at the outset that not every Muslim is a Jihadist. Indeed, Dr. Pipes' estimates that "only" 10 percent of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims support Jihad: that’s 150,000,000 people, a comforting number. Other experts estimate the number of Muslim supporters of Jihad as more than 20 percent or 300,000,000, roughly the population of the United States. That should make Obama voters sleep well. That 9/11 was gleefully celebrated throughout Islamdom makes the distinction between “moderates” and “extremists” appear academic or “politically correct.” Not that there are no Muslims who sincerely deplore the extremists. Dr. Pipes has brought the names of some moderates to the public’s attention. He succumbs to obscurantism, however, when he admits that “militant Islam, with its Westphobia and goal of world hegemony, dominates Islam in the West [my emphasis] and appears to many to be the only kind of Islam” (Jerusalem Post, September 24, 2003). Yes, that was ten years ago. But why did Pipes, ten years ago, limit “militant Islam” to the West? Doesn’t “militant Islam” dominate the East—the heart of the Islamic world? But now I ask: “Why this attention to Muslim ‘moderates’—a strategically insignificant matter when Muslim extremists dominate Islamdom and when America is at war with the most authentic disciples of Muhammad, who readily defeat 'moderates' in any debate over the meaning of the Quran?" In fact, Pipes himself has indicated that many “moderate” Muslims may be or become quiescent “extremists”! This is more than a semantic issue. Imagine focusing public attention on German “moderates” in the midst of World War II. Wouldn't this be disarming in the democratic world so given to pacifism or milk-and-toast liberalism? Moreover, didn’t all this talk about Muslim moderates mislead the West regarding the “Arab Spring”— which pundits on Sunday applauded as a democratic wave sweeping across the East only to discover on Monday that the “Arab Spring” was a misspelling of “Muslim Brotherhood”? In his book Militant Islam Reaches America, Pipes quotes the following spokesmen: (1) Algerian secularist Said Sadi: “A moderate Islamist is someone who does not have the means of acting ruthlessly to seize power immediately.” (2) Osmane Bencherif, former Algerian ambassador to Washington: “It is misguided policy to distinguish between moderate and extreme Islamists. The goal of all is the same: to construct a pure Islamic state, which is bound to be a theocracy and totalitarian.” (3) Mohammad Mohaddessin, director of international relations for the People’s Mojahadin in Iran, a leading opposition force: “Moderate fundamentalists do not exist…. It’s like talking about a moderate Nazi.” Dr. Pipes is not a milquetoast expert on Islam. But since he sees no way the United States can vigorously counter Islam without ceasing to be a liberal democracy, he obscures the evil nature of Islamic theology by reducing it to a political ideology. Islam is then metamorphosed into “Islamism,” a political ideology comparable to Nazism and Fascism which can the more readily be overcome. Really? Yes, by not giving Islamophiles free space in the public forum or in college class rooms! Unlike Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington, Pipes denies a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West. He even contends that Islam is compatible with democracy; and he has actually assembled a wealth of information confirming what he denies! However, to minimize the appearance of this clash of civilizations, Pipes states in the preface to the 2002 reprinting of his 1983 book In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power, that “militant Islam [is] best understood not as a religion but as a political ideology.” But Islam has always been "political," while Muslims genuflect to Allah, and while their imams purvey a theology diametrically opposed to the theology of the Bible—as lucidly demonstrated by Robert R. Reilly, The Closing of the Muslim Mind. Pipes has succumbed to self-contradiction. As the subtitle of his book Islam and Political Power suggests, and as its content makes obvious: “However much institutions, attitudes, and customs have changed, the Muslim approach to politics derives from the invariant premises of the religion and from fundamental themes established more than a millennium ago” (my emphasis). While I applaud Pipes' courageous exposure of “militant Islam,” I find his denial of a clash of civilizations incomprehensible. Are we to regard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's maledictions "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" as nothing more than political posturing devoid of theological significance? Those two maledictions mean nothing less than "Death to Christianity" and "Death to Judaism." That has always been the goal of Islam and its genocidal theology as evidenced by the Muslim slaughter of more than 200 million non-Muslims since the time of Muhammad. We are at war. We can't win this war merely by winning the hearts and minds of Muslim moderates, however noble that effort may be. “Islamism” has become a euphemism for Islam. This being demonstrably the case, it follows that the conflict is first and foremost a theological conflict, far more awesome and comprehensive than any political ideology. This is precisely what Americans need to be taught (which is why I deem Mr. Reilly's book more important than those written by the most renowned scholars of Islam). As I pointed out a few days after 9/11, the United States cannot win the war thrust upon it by Islam unless Americans identify the enemy. That enemy is not "Islamism" or "political Islam" or "radical Islam," but rather the source of these politically correct euphemisms.

If You Like Egypt, You'll Love "Palestine

Louis Rene Beres/Israel National News/July 2012 Thu Feb 7, 2013 10:57 am (PST) . Posted by: "Rufina Mausenbaum" bernardetti _____ From: Yaacov Levi [] tem=12552> &type=1&item=12552 MUST READ: If You Like Egypt, You'll Love "Palestine" For Israel, there is no immediately obvious military solution to the expanded threats posed by this 23rd Arab state. At the same time, the prospects for any negotiated solutions are negligible to nonexistent. There are certain options, however. From Prof. Louis René Beres Egypt is microcosm. The disarray, the ritual violence, the rancor, the intermittent anarchy; indeed, the endless cycle of replacing one tyranny with another, this is also the predictable future for "Palestine." There is, however, one very notable caveat. Inevitably, "Palestine", borrowing certain complementary disintegrative behaviors from Syria as well as Egypt, will be far worse. In the short term, Palestinian Arab authorities in West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Gaza will vie fixedly for national power. Unsurprisingly, Hamas and Fatah fighters will obligingly kill and torture one another as they have in the past. Choosing sides carefully, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, and still-unknown or little-known Jihadist groups, will enthusiastically enter the fray. Periodically, the warring factions will stop briefly to exhibit cooperation on the one "higher philosophy" that can ultimately hold them together - a conspicuously binding, intellectually barren, and ecstatic hatred of Israel. In turn, this rehearsed antipathy will trace its core origins to a meticulously cultivated and antecedent loathing of "the Jews." Hillary Clinton notwithstanding, Palestinian opposition to Israel has never really been about land. It has always been about God. To a determinable extent, we have seen this movie before. Now, however, a still thoroughly-corrupted Palestinian Authority, openly failing to meet any and all of the legal requirements of statehood that are strictly defined at the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1934), has managed to gain firm international support from the U.N. General Assembly. To those many U.N. members that voted on behalf of the PA petition, an unfounded request to upgrade Palestine to the status of a "nonmember observer state," all that really mattered was to act "pragmatically." In the end, of course, the unfortunate result of the PA's end-run around international law will turn out to be more than "merely" illegal. It will also prove radically destabilizing and sorely deconstructive. What, exactly, can we expect from Palestine? After initial periods of egregious intra-Arab conflict and corollary war crimes, periods during which the competing Palestinian factions will fashion crisis-cross alignments with willing elements in other parts of the Islamic world, the crushing war with Israel will resume in earnest. Now, endowed with unprecedented geopolitical advantages against a substantially diminished Israeli min-state, a Lake Michigan-sized country with gravely-reduced strategic depth, the newest Arab state will fire much more advanced rockets, coordinated and in tandem, from the two more-or-less disjointed sectors of Palestine. Simultaneously, we may confidently expect, there will be resurgent attacks upon Israeli schools, buses, and hospitals, unleashed by the next heroic wave of Palestinian "martyrs." In partial response, following the alleged success of Iron Dome in Israel's recent Operation Pillar of Defense, the Jewish State will plan to rely heavily upon its uniquely capable active defenses. As long as the incoming rockets from Gaza, "West Bank" and possibly Lebanon (Hizbullah) were to remain entirely conventional, the inevitable "leakage" from Iron Dome and (possibly) David's Sling (aka Magic Wand), may be "acceptable." But the moment these rockets are fitted with chemical and/or biological materials, such leakage could promptly prove to be intolerable and overwhelming. The most serious security problem posed to Israel by a new state of Palestine will be one involving anticipated collaboration with Iran. Nowhere is it written that the developing Iranian nuclear threat must remain strategically and tactically unrelated to a seemingly discrete Palestinian Arab threat. On the contrary, it is entirely plausible, in time, that Iran could mount its own attacks upon Israel, and with much longer-range ballistic missiles. Unsurprisingly, this could be accomplished together with its dedicated allies in Hamas, Hizbullah, and possibly elsewhere. Most ominously of all, should Iran be allowed to go fully nuclear, which now seems likely, it could plan to fire its advanced ballistic missiles, now fitted with nuclear warheads, against Israeli cities. This plan could be undertaken in close operational coordination with non-nuclear rocket attacks launched at the same time from Gaza, "West Bank", and/or southern Lebanon. Here, Israel's primary ballistic missile defense system, the Arrow, would require a literally 100% reliability of interception against the incoming Iranian missiles. Achieving such a level of perfect reliability, however, is inconceivable. Here, obviously, the leakage of a single incoming Iranian missile would be unacceptable. Here, Israel's too-great a reliance upon ballistic missile defense could prove existential. Long before missiles and anti-missiles, Sun-Tzu, in Chapter 4 of his classic essay, The Art of War, had argued famously: "Those who excel at defense bury themselves away below the lowest depths of the Earth. Those who excel at offense move from above the greatest heights of Heaven." This sound advice was offered almost 2,500 years ago. In the Middle East, at least, it is still valid. Ideally, following Sun-Tzu, Israel will be able to meet the various impending and intersecting strategic threats soon to emanate from Palestine Iran, and other potential state and sub-state enemies, and to do so without having to engage in actual fighting. In principle, this optimal sort of success would mean very problematic, but ultimately gainful, excursions into complex and multi-lateral forms of diplomacy. In reality, however, when facing a many-sided enemy that looks disdainfully upon Israel as a commonly despised object for indispensable extermination, the true prospects for any residually useful negotiations are few. In narrowly military parlance, the overriding core problem facing Israel is one of critical "synergies" or "force multipliers." Working together against the Jewish State, Palestine, Iran, and assorted other enemies could quickly pose a cumulative hazard that is tangibly greater than the arithmetic sum of its parts. Perhaps, in already anticipating this dire prospect, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to speak hopefully of a Palestinian state that would be "demilitarized." But any such expectation is strategically naive and legally unsupportable. In effect, whatever else it may have agreed to in its pre-state incarnation, any presumptively new sovereign state is fully entitled to "self-defense." Under authoritative international law, this right is fundamental and immutable. It is "peremptory." Recognizing the inherent limits of its active defenses, Israel will soon need to improve and refine its current strategies of deterrence. At the same time, Israel's leaders will have to accept that certain of its existential enemies might sometime not conform to the usual criteria of rationality in world politics, criteria that are always an essential pre-condition of successful deterrence. In such circumstances. Jihadist adversaries in Palestine, Iran, and/or Lebanon might simply refuse to back away from contemplated aggressions against Israel. Moreover, these enemies would exhibit such evident recalcitrance even though they could expect an utterly devastating Israeli military reprisal. If you like Egypt, you'll love Palestine. For Israel, there is no immediately obvious military solution to the expanded threats posed by this 23rd Arab state. At the same time, the meaningful prospects for any purposefully negotiated solutions are negligible to nonexistent. Hillary Clinton notwithstanding, Israel has no sincere peace "partners" in the region. It has only more or less lascivious adversaries. For a time, the incontestable superiority of the IDF may still allow Israel to undertake certain cost-effective preemptions, up to, but not likely including, Iranian nuclear infrastructures. Yet, any such defensive first-strikes directed against specifically Palestinian targets, however feasible in operational terms, and however justifiable in law as "anticipatory self-defense," would elicit widespread and near-visceral howls of indignation. Unhesitatingly, for the commendably good citizens of the United Nations "international community," Israel's reluctant resort to force in order to stave off national extermination would cheerfully be labeled as "aggression." The cry "Death to Israel," like the kindred call, "Death to Jews," is always screamed in chorus. A hater of Israel, like a hater of individual Jews, is always attached to a crowd, to a mob, to what Nietzsche, and later Freud, insightfully called the "herd," or the "horde." In such primal hatreds, one can never be absolutely alone. It is precisely this comforting tradition of communal hatred that draws myriad adherents to continually mobilize against the Jewish State. There is utterly no point for Israel to try to transform this insidious inclination, as it plainly satisfies a grotesquely desperate human need to belong. Instead, Israel's leaders should now focus only on enemy calculations that can still be changed. Above all, Israel must take appropriate steps to assure that (1) it does not become the object of non-conventional aggressions, and (2) it can successfully avoid all forms of non-conventional conflict with adversary states and sub-state foes in the region. To accomplish this vital objective, which pertains especially to Iran, and to a still-transforming Palestine, it must strive to retain recognizably far-reaching conventional superiority in both weapons and manpower. Such a retention could reduce the likelihood of ever actually having to enter into chemical, biological or even nuclear exchanges. Simultaneously, Israel must begin to move very deliberately away from its longstanding and increasingly fragile posture of "deliberate nuclear ambiguity." By moving toward selected and partial kinds of "nuclear disclosure," by taking its bomb out of the "basement" in certain calibrated and visible increments, Israel could better ensure that its several cooperating adversaries will remain suitably subject to Israeli nuclear deterrence. In this connection, Israeli planners will first have to understand that the efficacy or credibility of the country's nuclear deterrence posture may vary inversely with enemy views of Israeli nuclear destructiveness. In other words, however ironic and counterintuitive, enemy perceptions of a too-large and too destructive Israeli nuclear deterrent force, or of an Israeli force that is not sufficiently invulnerable to first-strike attacks, could render this deterrence posture less compelling. It is similarly necessary that all of Israel's prospective strategic adversaries see the Jewish State's nuclear retaliatory forces as assuredly able to penetrate any Arab or Iranian aggressor's active defenses. In the final analysis, Israel should continue to strengthen its abundantly superior active defenses, but also do everything possible to improve each critical and intersecting component of its deterrence posture. In this very complex matter of strategic dissuasion, the Israeli task may also need to include more explicit disclosures of nuclear targeting doctrine, and, correspondingly, a steadily expanding role for cyber-defense and cyber-war. Even before undertaking such important refinements, Israel will need to rigorously distinguish between adversaries according to leaderships that are presumably rational, irrational, or "mad." This is because the ultimate success of deterrence will be contingent upon having an informed prior awareness of enemy preferences, and enemy hierarchies of preferences. In a few months, "Palestine" will begin to look very much like Egypt, or perhaps even Syria. Although it may already be too late to prevent "Palestine" as a presumptively legal entity, Israel can still better prepare to face expected synergies between its principal enemies. Potentially most urgent among these foreseeable interactions are those unprecedented force multipliers that will soon emerge between "Palestine" and Iran. LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971), is Professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue University. In Israel, he was Chair of Project Daniel (2003). Professor Beres was born in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 31, 1945, and is the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies

German View of Islam

A MUST READ...PASS IT ON!!! The German View of Islam Thu Feb 7, 2013 6:19 am (PST) . Posted by: "Yaacov Levi" jlevi_us Yes, we peace-loving types hate confrontation and war, yet we must speak up and fight! I was asked to pass this along. It is worth reading and passing on. Unless enough people realize it, history will repeat itself yet again. Each of us is only one person, but our influence grows as we join together... >>"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway"John Wayne >> >>>Subject: The Reality of Islam >>> >>> >>>The author of this email is said to be Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. >>> >>>A German's View on Islam >>>A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.' >>>We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. >>> >>>The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers. >>> >>>The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful Muslim majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous. >>>Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China 's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. >>> >>>The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians -- most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. >>>And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'? >>> >>>History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: >>> >>>#1 -- Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. >>>#2 -- Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. >>> >>>#3 -- Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts--the fanatics who threaten our way of life. >>> >>>#4 -- Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late.


1 Fw: Fwd: Holocaust Files Tue Feb 5, 2013 12:22 pm (PST) . Posted by: "Yaacov Levi" jlevi_us I don't normally send chain mails to anyone, but this is an inside look at these 19 miles of files the Germans revealed on the occasion of Ahmadjihad denying the holocaust. Al -------- Subject: Holocaust Files Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2013 18:00:40 -0500 From: To: FW:1 Fw: Fwd: Holocaust Files Tue Feb 5, 2013 12:22 pm (PST) . Posted by: "Yaacov Levi" jlevi_us I don't normally send chain mails to anyone, but this is an inside look at these 19 miles of files the Germans revealed on the occasion of Ahmadjihad denying the holocaust. Al -------- Subject: Holocaust Files Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2013 18:00:40 -0500 From: To: FW: Holocaust Files HARD TO BELIEVE THE KRAUTS KEPT THIS A SECRET FOR ALL THESE YEARS. I WONDER WHY? This story was aired on CBS on "60 MINUTES" ** about a long-secret German archive that houses a treasure trove of information on 17.5 million victims of the Holocaust. The archive, located in the German town of Bad Arolsen , is massive (there are 16 miles of shelving containing 50 million pages of documents) and until recently, was off-limits to the public. But after the German government agreed earlier this year to open the archives, CBS News' Scott Pelley traveled there with three Jewish survivors who were able to see their own Holocaust records. It's an incredibly moving piece, all the more poignant in the wake of the meeting of Holocaust deniers in Iran and the denial speeches in the UN. We're trying to get word out about the story to people who have a special interest in this subject. It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russia peoples looking the other way! Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million and is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide! Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world. Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain. Please don't just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along -;lst;9 -- Norma Schonwetter HARD TO BELIEVE THE KRAUTS KEPT THIS A SECRET FOR ALL THESE YEARS. I WONDER WHY? This story was aired on CBS on "60 MINUTES" ** about a long-secret German archive that houses a treasure trove of information on 17.5 million victims of the Holocaust. The archive, located in the German town of Bad Arolsen , is massive (there are 16 miles of shelving containing 50 million pages of documents) and until recently, was off-limits to the public. But after the German government agreed earlier this year to open the archives, CBS News' Scott Pelley traveled there with three Jewish survivors who were able to see their own Holocaust records. It's an incredibly moving piece, all the more poignant in the wake of the meeting of Holocaust deniers in Iran and the denial speeches in the UN. We're trying to get word out about the story to people who have a special interest in this subject. It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russia peoples looking the other way! Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million and is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide! Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world. Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain. Please don't just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along -;lst;9 -- Norma Schonwetter