Wednesday, 9 December 2015

“Islamist extremism: the menace many dare not speak by name”

Murder in Paris and San Bernadino and revelations of so-called “jihadi brides” has made many finally realise Islam’s war on the west is not going away.

A very good opinion piece by Chris Kenny in The Australian on Islam’s continuing war with the modern world and our lacklustre response to it:

Late at night (in this country) on September 11, 2001, we were shocked by the horror unfolding in New York and sensed our civilisation was under attack.
It was, and still is.
For all the terror attacks that have followed — and the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Africa — Western democracies have persistently tried to wish away the problem of Islamist extremism.
    The populist line has been the one that downplays the threat — Merry Christmas war is over. Tragically this has been an illusion.
    Unlike invading armies of the past from Germany and Japan, the war being waged against the western world by Islamist terrorists is insidious, inconsistent and often invisible. Then a plane flies out of the clear blue sky, a bomb explodes in a bar or a gunman takes to the streets.
    The threat is difficult to grasp and because it is related to cultural divisions in our own immigrant societies it can be deeply uncomfortable to confront. So there is a temptation to avert our eyes and forestall action.
    The trouble is that this threat also has a long and deep cultural foundation and its adherents are patient; so unless we tackle and disable its ideological wellspring, Islamist terrorism can hibernate and cultivate anywhere, including in our midst. And there can be no bargaining or negotiation — the Islamist aims cannot be satisfied except by subjugation, or death.
    The idea is to impose the Muslim faith, Sharia law and the rule of a caliphate over all of us — no ifs, no buts. This extremism opposes choice, democracy, plurality and liberty.
    We can always postpone facing this dilemma because it will not overwhelm us today or tomorrow.
    When attacks don’t come, we often revert to complacency or denial. Julia Gillard said the 9/11 decade was over and various so-called progressives mocked the Coalition’s early talk of a resurgent security threat.
    But Islamism’s historical roots (eloquently explained by Clive Kessler [in the post below]) should leave us in no doubt about the existential nature of the struggle.
    This column has warned about the dangers of jihad denialism since long before the upsurge of Western terrorist attacks inspired by Islamic State’s success in Iraq and Syria.
    Yet we need to grasp the evil genius of Islamic State — that simply by establishing a self-declared caliphate and sustaining it they have inspired Islamist extremists worldwide. This is why containment is no solution.
    Yet in this country and more broadly across the Western world we remain reluctant to discuss the issue and confront the challenge . . .
Read the whole op-ed:
Islamist extremism: the menace many dare not speak by name – Chris Kenny, THE AUSTRALIAN

Cartoonist and “recovered muslim” Bosch Fawstin reckons “If all those who discussed Islam actually studied Islam, there would be far less confusion about what to do about its true believers who are waging Jihad on us.” Professor at the University of New South Wales Clive Kessler has been studying political Islam, in South-East Asia and globally, since the early 1960s. Speaking about Islam’s historical roots in Quadrant he argues: “As a faith, and a civilisation built upon that faith, Islam over the centuries has displayed many faces, some peaceful and others not. Against the threat of violent Islam in our time, bland and disingenuous assertions of Islam’s essentially peaceful character are inadequate.”

…The suggestion that mainstream Islam is anything other than a religion of peace is arrant nonsense,” [many insist].
How convincing is this claim? Can we, in the face of threatened Islamist violence, find reassurance in that assertion? … Is it an adequate basis upon which to oppose the ISIS militants and to dissuade disaffected young Muslims, in Australia and elsewhere, from rallying to its call and banner? If Islam is a “religion of peace”, then what kind of peace does it imagine, aspire to and offer—to its adherents, to non-Muslims and to the world at large? …
    The conventional Islamic imagination is also “governmentalist”: Islam is both din and daulah, a faith and faith-based way of life and also a political order. It imagines and assumes a world organised upon Islamic principles, one that operates upon the basis of, and maintains, the Islamic social template.
    Conventional Islam has always assumed that it can and must “live in the world” on its own terms; that it is entitled to do so; that, in order to realise itself and thrive, it must do so; and that it may insist upon and even, when possible, impose upon others the terms of its own thriving according to its own ultimately sacred, since divinely ordained, sociopolitical template.
    Islam is—meaning that conventional Islam imagines and provides—a set of binding arrangements under which Muslims submit totally to Allah, to the transcendental overlordship of God, and where non-Muslims then submit, or accommodate themselves compliantly, to the worldly overlordship of Muslims, to Muslim rule.
    When one sets aside its divine dimension, Islam is in mundane terms a religion not of peace but of domination and submission: the submission of all Muslims to Allah, and of other Muslims to those Muslims who claim to exercise the authority of Allah; and of non-Muslims to Muslims, under arrangements that are said to embody the sovereignty of Allah. That is the basis upon which Islam claims to offer social peace and, in the words of its political apologists, to be a “religion of peace.”
    Of course, the champions of this vision would prefer to achieve peaceably—without resistance, by genuine or, if need be, dragooned consent—what in the end can only ever be established against serious, if not always overt, resistance. And the militants know it. Unlike the disingenuous and confused and even well-meaning apologists, they know what the achievement of that objective, a humanly “sacralised” objective of what they see as a divine imperative, entails.
    Many self-declared moderates are happy to dream or hope otherwise. But they are reluctant to criticise, and openly oppose, those who take the more strenuous view of what actualising this religion of peace may involve. And, to that extent, they too are prepared to go along with the militants, their ideas and agenda. No matter how reluctantly or uncomfortably, they stand “on side” with the champions of militant Islam…
    How is the “unpeaceful” side of Islam to be rejected? Sacred texts cannot be changed. It is a question of how modern people choose to live with, and understand, their sacred texts. And of how they choose to live with doctrinaire scripturalist authoritarianism. Of their readiness to stand up against narrow scripturalist literalism, the monopoly upon truth that the traditional custodians of that literalism claim, and against the political zealotry that is grounded upon the assertion of that narrow, literalist monopoly.
    How can this be done? The process begins not with loud accusatory cries of “Islamophobia!” but with the quiet and honest admission that, yes, there are things in the Islamic tradition that are, or should be, a source of concern to all Muslims of good faith—and if to them then also, and perhaps even more, to their non-Muslim fellow citizens. . .
Read the whole piece:
The Islamic State and ‘Religion of Peace – Clive Kessler, QUADRANT ONLINE

And finally from “recovered Muslim” Bosch Fawstin comes this commentary on “those moderate Muslims.”  He reminds us, “The only reason we’re talking about Islam is because it doesn’t mean peace. Islam wasn’t hijacked by a “small minority of extremists” on 9/11, it was hijacked by a very small minority of moderates whose embarrassment in being associated with such an immoderate religion leads them to engage in moderate truth telling about it, proving their irrelevance as allies.”:

-A̶l̶l̶ ̶M̶u̶s̶l̶i̶m̶s̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶g̶o̶o̶d̶ ̶
-A̶l̶l̶ ̶M̶u̶s̶l̶i̶m̶s̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶e̶v̶i̶l̶
All Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us.

My name is Bosch and I'm a recovered Muslim. That is, if Muslims don’t kill me for leaving Islam, which it requires them to do. That’s just one of the reasons I’ve been writing and drawing against Islam and its Jihad for a number of years now. But fortunately for us, Islam hasn’t been able to make every Muslim its slave, just as Nazism wasn’t able to turn every German into a Nazi. So there is Islam and there are Muslims. Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t.
    But that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad. I’ve been around Muslims my entire life and most of them truly don’t care about Islam. The problem I have with many of these essentially non-Muslim Muslims, especially in the middle of this war being waged on us by their more consistent co-religionists, is that they give the enemy cover. They force us to play a game of Muslim Roulette since we can’t tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does. And their indifference about the evil being committed in the name of their religion is a big reason why their reputation is where it is. In the toilet. 
    So while I understand that most Muslims are not at war with us, they’ve proven in their silence and inaction against jihad that they’re not on our side either, and there’s nothing we can say or do to change that. We just have to finally accept it and stop expecting them to come around, while doing our best to kill those who are trying to kill us.
Another problem with Muslims who aren’t very Muslim is that they lead some among us to conclude that they must be practicing a more enlightened form of Islam. They’re not. They’re “practicing” life in non-Muslim countries, where they are free to live as they choose. But their “Islam” is not the Islam. There’s no separate ideology apart from Islam that’s being practiced by these Muslims in name only, there’s no such thing as “Western Islam”.
    Non-observant Muslims are not our problem, but neither are they the solution to our problem. Our problem is Islam and its most consistent practitioners. There is nothing in Islam that stays the hand of Muslims who want to kill non-Muslims. If an individual Muslim is personally peaceful, it’s not because of Islam, it’s because of his individual choice, which is why I often say that your average Muslim is morally superior to Mohammad, to their own religion. The very rare Muslim who helps us against Jihad is acting against his religion, but that doesn’t stop some among us from thinking that his existence somehow means that he represents more than himself.

Read the whole post:
My Name is Bosch and I'm a Recovered Muslim – BOSCH FAWSTIN: ILLUSTWRITER

[Hat tip Leighton Smith]


  1. "If an individual Muslim is personally peaceful, it’s not because of Islam, it’s because of his individual choice, which is why I often say that your average Muslim is morally superior to Mohammad, to their own religion." This is it in a nutshell - some are nice in spite of being Muslim, not because of it.

    So, it follows that Islam is a problem in western liberal society and needs to be addressed if its practitioners are to reside here.


  2. The British outlawed & pretty much eliminated the practice of 'sati' in India (wife having to throw herself on the funeral pyre of her dead husband). They did not aim at the religion/culture itself, but simply at one of its practices & manifestations. And made -- rightly -- no bones about it (eventually).

    I think the same tactic could be applied to Islam. The focus needs be on the idea that it's ok to kill non-believers in the name of your god. That idea needs be identified and specifically outlawed, and overwhelming force applied swiftly in retribution to any that act upon it. It also means isolation of & no dealings with any group -- looking at you Iran -- that promotes or holds it.

    In this way, Islam is not the problem, but a specific Islamic belief is -- which I think is the case.


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