In a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy on October, President Bush explained the threat facing the free world from Islamic militants. He said:
"... their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane.
Some call this evil Islamic radicalism. Others militant jihadism. Still, others Islamo-fascism. "
For obvious reasons, he was quick to add this politically correct qualification:
"Whatever it's called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent political vision: the establishment, by terrorism and subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom. "
Who are these Islamo-fascists and what do they want? Just like Mussolini wanted to recreate the Roman Empire, these Islamo-fascists regret the abolishment of the Caliphate and want to recreate a Muslim empire over as much territory as possible. They divide the world into two parts - darul Islam (land of peace. Islam = peace) and darul Harb (land of war). It follows that the non-Muslim world is an enemy that must be subdued and brought under Islamic law.
They draw inspiration from Muslim empires of the past like the Ummayad and Abassid Caliphates. The last great Muslim empire was the Ottoman empire which ended with their defeat in World War I. After the war, the Caliphate was abolished in 1924.
All these past empires were ruled in accordance to Islamic Law called the Shariah. Under the Shariah, non-Muslims were treated as second class citizens. For example, the testimony of a Muslim trumps that of a non-Muslim in an Islamic court. While non-Muslims are allowed to convert to Islam, the penalty of any Muslim leaving his faith was death. Non-Muslims had to pay the jizya tax which Muslims need not pay.
So Bush is right to say that these Islamo-fascists are trying to create a totalitarian empire that denies political and religious freedom. What Bush did not tell you is that these Islamo-fascists are a "blast from the past" in trying to restore the classical form of Islam which was practiced by past Muslim empires as the mainstream Islam.
He also did not tell you that the center of this religious ideology is in Saudi Arabia, a totalitarian kingdom (too small to be called an empire) that denies all political and religious freedom. Another centre (the Shiite variant) is in Iran. What Bush also did not tell you is that while most Muslims would not commit violence, many sympathize with the goals of the Islamo-fascists.
Leaving aside the question whether Islamo-fascism or Islamic radicalism or whatever you choose to call it is the real Islam, let us focus on something more practical. How do we defeat it?
I have come up with a multi-prong approach.
1)The Economic Front
The only significant product the Muslim world produces is oil. This is the source of their wealth and power. With the money from its oil wells, Saudis are spreading their intolerant version of Islam (aka wahabbism which they claim to be the real Islam - a claim I do not wish to dispute) all over the world. According to one estimate, 80% of mosques in the USA are controlled by Wahabbis.
The Saudis have created a totalitarian state that denies all political and religious freedom. They rightfully belong to the axis of evil but Bush can't say that because 25% of the world's oil reserves are in Saudi Arabia. The world needs Saudi oil, the disruption of which will cause a global depression. That, I believe, is one reason why the US invaded Iraq - to lessen global dependence on Saudi oil.
The less dependent we are on Saudi oil, the more vulnerable they are to pressure. If not for the accident of oil, the neocons would be calling for regime change in Saudi Arabia by now. The long term solution is not to depend on fossil fuels but to rely on non-polluting alternative energy. Bush is spending billions on the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. A portion of that money can be used to speed up the switch into alternative energy like Solar, geothermal, wind, biomass etc. A little spending will pay enormous dividends in the long run.
If the US is no longer dependent on Saudi oil, the US can then call for regime change if the Saudis do not reform their society and religion. Besides developing alternative energy, the US must conserve energy. It has the lowest taxes on gasoline in the OECD. Compared to Japanese and European pump prices, the US car owner pays the lowest price. No wonder SUV's are so popular in the US. The US must impose a gas tax in the interest of energy conservation. But it will take at least 20 years to switch to alternative energies.
2)The Geo-political front
The US must focus on one enemy at a time. This is simple common sense. Hitler tried to fight two fronts (the West and the Soviets) and lost. Then the Soviets made the same mistake by invading Afghanistan. Not only did they face a hostile west but they then also faced a hostile Muslim world which sent aid and mujahideen to fight in Afghanistan. The Soviets were bled dry. Today, it is America's turn to make the same mistake by having quarrels with two large powers - Russia and China.
Bush must improve relations with the Russians and the Chinese and focus on the Islamo-fascists. America's biggest quarrel with the Chinese involves Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade rebellious province. From the Chinese point of view, it is as if after the fall of Richmond in the US Civil war, an European power intervened to save what was left of the Confederacy. It is a very emotional as well as practical issue for the Chinese. If the center does not take a tough line on Taiwan, other parts of China might want to assert their independence too.
Of course, the Americans would turn the analogy on its head. To them, the correct analogy would be if Robert E Lee had won the battle of Gettysburg and an European power intervened to save what's left of the government of Lincoln (the good guys) who wanted to free the slaves. After all, the government of Taiwan is a democracy and that of China is not. That means that Taiwan is the good guy.
One possible approach is for Bush to explore the possibility of a trade. If the US agrees to abandon all help to Taiwan, the Chinese must also agree to abandon all help to North Korea, without which the North Korean government will collapse and N Korea will be re-united with South Korea. The Taiwanese will lose their freedom while the North Koreans will gain theirs. America will be swapping a knight for a rook.
In one fell swoop, it would end its biggest quarrel with China and take out one of the axis of evil. So long as the evil Kim Jong Il rules Korea, there is the possibility of nuclear proliferation. He might provide terrorists with nuclear technology.
Without the albatross of Taiwan, there is the real possibility of gaining China's support in America's war against Islamo-fascism or at least its neutrality. After all, China has common interests in the outcome. It too wants secure oil flow from the Persian Gulf. It too has no love for Islamo-fascism which has the potential of stirring up trouble in its oil rich Sinkiang province. As China becomes increasingly capitalist, China has a stake in continued world prosperity. It needs rich western markets to sell its goods. As China becomes more prosperous, there is a real possibility of its people demanding an end to authoritarian rule as happened in Taiwan and South Korea.
Judging by the life of the Hongkong people, the Taiwanese will not lose all their freedom. On the other hand, the North Koreans on reunification with the South Koreans will be much better by leaps and bounds.
Next, we turn to the Russians. At first glance, it would appear that the Russians would be solid allies in the war against Islamo-fascism. After the massacre of the children in Beslan by Muslim militants, both nations have a common enemy. Yet recently, Putin declared that the Islamic world has no better friend than Russia.(1) Not only that, they are helping Iran with its nuclear program. Why is that?
The pride of the Russian bear has been wounded. It watched the dismantlement of the Soviet empire when Eastern Europe joined the west. Former Soviet Republics like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are now part of NATO. Former Warsaw Pact countries like Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria are now also part of NATO. They also want greater integration with the EU.
On top of that US troops are now stationed in places like in the central Asian republics, which is Russia's backyard. The US is also meddling in Ukraine, supporting democracy there at the expense of Russian influence. Ukraine is one place where the Russians get emotional about because it is so bounded up with Russian history. In the ninth century, the Kievan Rus' was established in Kiev, now in modern day Ukraine. This was the predecessor state of modern Russia as well as of the Ukraine and Belarus. There are also lots of ethnic Russians still living in the Ukraine, especially in the Crimea. The Ukraine also gives Russia access to the Black Sea.
To show its displeasure, Putin is supplying Iran with nuclear technology. Without the help of Russia, attempts of nuclear non-proliferation cannot work. Russia may be cutting its nose to spite its face by supplying nuclear technology to an Islamic fundamentalist regime after what happened in Beslan. Hopes that they will change tack have not come true so far. I think the US should try to improve relations with Russia. Perhaps a deal can be struck.
The US will pull out its troops from the 'stans' and stop supporting the Ukrainians even at the expense of sacrificing its embryonic democracy. We can't have everything. In exchange, Russia must stop helping the Iranians, support the US in the likely event of military action to stop the Iranians from acquiring a nuclear bomb. If I am Bush, my policy would be to confront one enemy at a time.
Perhaps his desire to do the right thing has made him unwilling to compromise his principles. He is supporting democracies in Taiwan and Ukraine which cost him two allies in the war against Islamo-fascism. Of course, today's allies can be tomorrow's enemies. The US allied with the Soviet Union against Hitler. After the war, the Soviets became enemy number one. Then the US allied itself with the Islamo-fascists to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Now we have a war against the Islamo-fascists.
History may again repeat itself and today's allies become tomorrow's enemies. But that is in the future. Trying to achieve too many goals risks the failure to attain any goal at all. The US is stretched too thin as a result of trying to achieve too much.
3)The Home Front
I think its time to ask for sensible immigration policies. The recent riots in France show that multi-culturalism is not working when we are dealing with Muslims. Other immigrants to Europe don't riot or have terrorists in their midst. Most have prospered and assimilated reasonably well. The problem is that Islam teaches brotherhood amongst believers and loyalty to the Ummah (Islamic nation). This means that you will have a group of people whose loyalties are elsewhere and not to the country that gave them shelter. Islam produces backward societies (see my earlier essays) and it is understandable that Muslims wish to leave their often dysfunctional societies for a better life elsewhere.(8) However, it is ironical that Muslims wish to replicate the same kind of societies that they ran away from.
As their numbers grow, their political power will also grow because they have the right to vote like other citizens. They will slowly change the way westerners live. Let's take a look at the situation in Britain for example. In July this year, the House of Commons passed the Religious Hate Law which forbids inciting hatred against any religion. The law was urged on by British Muslims. The irony is that their Prophet Mohammed himself was guilty of hate speech against other religions. Although the British government promised that reasonable criticism of religion will be allowed, it is clear to me that as Muslim votes increase with immigration and their higher birth rates, what is deemed reasonable will also change in accordance to political pressure.
While non-Muslims may be unsure of what is allowed, British Muslims have no doubts about it. To Sir Iqbal Sacranie, a British Muslim leader, criticizing their Prophet warrants prosecution, according to Barnabas Fund, which is fighting against the Religious Hate Law. (9)This is in line with Islamic teachings because there are two examples I know of where Prophet Mohammed ordered the deaths of two of his critics. If such a law was in place 15 years ago, Salman Rushdie would have been prosecuted and not protected. Thus an increase in the percentage of Muslims will ultimately lead to the erosion of hard won rights western societies have enjoyed as a result of the Enlightenment. The more Muslims there are, the more western society with its one-man-one-vote system will resemble the Muslim countries that they come from.. Therefore Muslim migration to western society must stop immediately until such times when Islam has reformed itself to make it compatible with the principles of the Enlightenment.
This is very difficult, if not impossible, because the behavior of their Prophet Mohammed was in contradiction with the notions of the Enlightenment. For Muslims, he is the perfect example for them for all time even though he lived in the 7th century. His behavior may have been normal for a 7th century ruler of semi-barbaric people but a person behaving like him today would be jailed for a long list of crimes - including murder and pedophilia. In fact, the murderer of Theo Van Gogh was only trying to imitate his Prophet's behavior by killing someone who insulted Islam.
Therefore, a case can be made that Islam as it is currently practiced in the majority of Muslim countries is incompatible with the values of western societies. For example, apostates in Muslim countries suffer varying degrees of persecution, including the death penalty. Thus it follows that Muslim migration to a non-Muslim country will put western societies under stress. Perhaps the Paris riots were the first shots of an European civil war that will make Yugoslavia look like a schoolyard brawl.
Why allow people in when they reject your values? Perhaps, it was thought that once over in the new country, they will embrace new values after one generation. But this has not happened with many and probably most Muslims. The Muslims who took part in the 7/7 attacks in the London subway were born in Britain. Although most Muslims disagree with their actions, the fact that the suicide bombers were British born shows that even after one or two generations, they have more in common with Muslims in the Mid East or Pakistan than with their countrymen. It should be noted that converts to Islam sometimes also start acting this way. J Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, is an example. Somehow, Islam has a way of instilling 7th century Arab warrior values into people.
However, putting such a case forward in the open would create problems. Firstly, European leaders will have to consider their Muslim voters. Secondly, it will worsen relations with Muslim countries whose help we need to fight the Jihadists. Telling Muslims that their faith is a retrograde force will not win friends and also drive moderates into the hands of the radicals.
But there is more than one way to skin a cat. Instead of making it so obvious, western governments can limit immigration to the top 50 countries of the Human Development Index. The public argument would be that a country must only admit people from progressive nations. In that way, we can be assured that they can adapt to a modern society. Culture, is the main determinent on whether a people succeed or not. To illustrate this point, let me again take a look at Britain.
In the The Income of Ethnic Minorities (2), a study conducted by Essex University, it can be seen that Chinese and Indians have done well in the UK but not the Pakistanis and Bangla Deshis. It reported that 60% of Pakistanis and Bangla Deshis are poor. Unlike poor Chinese and Indians who tend to be found in depressed areas, Pakistanis and Bangla Deshis are poor everywhere - even in rich neighborhoods. Indians, Pakistanis and Bangla Deshis are racially similar and so the problem is not racial discrimination. They all started migrating to the same country - Britain - from the 1950s onwards. So nobody had a head start. All three countries had the same colonial master which taught them English. Thus language is not the problem. The only major variable that is different is religion. The Indians are mostly Hindus while Pakistanis and Bangla Deshis are mostly Muslims. This is evidence that Islamic culture hinders progress as I argued in my earlier essays.
There is no good reason to welcome immigrants whose culture does not produce productive people. Immigrants should benefit the receiving country. Otherwise, the host will soon suffer economic decline. A case could be made that immigrants should come only from countries from the top 50 of the Human Development Index without mentioning Islam or Muslims. You will see that apart from a few small oil rich countries (Saudi Arabia not among them), the other countries are non-Muslim. The top 50 comprises mainly western and east Asian countries. Because a few Muslim countries are in the list, politicians can argue that they are not targeting Muslims.
Though my quick study on Muslim immigration only focused on one western country - Britain - I think the experience of most western countries are about the same. Stopping Muslim immigration to rich countries may help Muslims in the long run. Immigration to rich countries is like a safety valve for dysfunctional societies allowing them to defer reforms. By letting the steam build up, the governments there might be forced to change. Or things could explode. One last point. If western governments cannot restrict Muslim immigration now, when they are a small percentage of the population, how can they when their numbers grow larger?
4)The Military Front
What to do with an Iran that is determined to have nuclear weapons? Remember that Iran is a fundamentalist Islamic nation. People who welcome martyrdom cannot be deterred by the assurance of Mutually Assured Destruction. If they get nukes, they could pass them to terrorists who would then smuggle them thought the porous Mexican-US border. They are also interested in missiles that can reach Europe.
Though Shiites, the Iranians share the same Islamo-fascists world view that Al-Qaeda and other terrorists have. In other words, the world is divided into two parts - darul Harb (land of war) and darul Islam (land of Islam). It is the duty of all good Muslims to ensure that the whole world obeys Allah's law. I will let Iran's founder, Ayatollah Khoemini do the talking:
"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of (other) countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world." (5)
The economy produces nothing worthwhile apart from oil (and maybe Persian carpets) which will run out in 20 years' time. The Iranians are Shiites. Though Shiites are about 15% of the global Muslim population, they are concentrated around the Persian Gulf. More than half of Iraqis are Shiites and the oil rich provinces in Saudi Arabia are in mainly Shiite regions. Perhaps, the Iranians harbor ambitions to redraw the map.
If they make a grab for the Kuwaiti and Saudi oil fields, will the US fight a nuclear armed foe? Unlikely, especially if Iran has the missiles to reach Europe. If the Iranians have nukes, the Saudis will begin to doubt the ability of the Americans to protect them. So the Saudis will think about protecting themselves and seek to acquire them too. Since the time of Roosevelt to the present day, the House of Saud relied on American protection. In exchange, they ensured that the world has adequate supply of oil. American protection gives the US some leverage in securing some co-operation against terrorism. The Saudis are caught in between the US and the terrorists (or Islamo-fascists) like Osama bin Laden. To the Islamo-fascists, friendship with unbelievers makes you an infidel too.
Did the Koran not say, "Do not take Christians and Jews for your friends..." (7) Thus they co-operate just enough to keep the US off their backs. If the value of US protection declines then co-operation against Al-Qaeda will also decline. They will conclude that it is better to acquire their own nukes than to depend on the US who is unlikely fight against a nuclear armed Iran. The time is fast coming that Iran can make their own nukes. Military action is needed.
5)The Ideological Front
I have save this for last because this is the most important front in the war against Islamo-fascism. Sun Tzu (or Sun Wu) once said:
"The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger. " (4)
Sun Wu placed the Moral Law as the first of five factors that must be in your favor before going to war. What he meant was that the people must be sure that their cause is just and know what is at stake. When a leader is asking people to make sacrifices, they must understand why they are fighting and convince them that their sacrifices are worth it. Without this, none of the earlier "Fronts" I listed is going to work. This is because each "Front" requires some sacrifice from the people. If we ask people to conserve energy by having a gasoline tax or to pay more for alternative energy, they are going to ask why.
If we have to sacrifice Taiwan and Ukraine to win over China and Russia in the war against the Islamo-fascism, they also want to know why. If we are going to restrict Muslim immigration, they also want to know why. Lastly, if we need to go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring nukes, they definitely want to know why.
Unfortunately, western governments like the US and British governments are not doing a good job on the ideological front. They are ham-strung by the need for political correctness and also the need not to offend moderate Muslim countries that we need as allies. Recently, it was revealed the FBI is monitoring mosques in the US for radiation. This has brought complaints about profiling from Muslim organizations.
Monitoring mosques is perfectly sensible because Islamo-fascism is an ideology that is rooted in their interpretation of Islam. Thus it makes no sense to monitor churches, Hindu or Buddhist temples because they pose no danger. Yet the FBI must walk on egg-shells on this issue. In so doing, the people are still in the dark on the danger that the civilized world faces. That is why sites like Jihadwatch, Faithfreedom, Barnabus Fund, Annaqed, SecularIslam and others play an important role in filling the gap. The world must know about Islam and its scriptures and how they are being used to incite hate and terrorism.
What if our governments fail to defeat the Islamo-fascists? What if Iran produces several nukes and passed them to Al-Qaeda? Al-Qaeda then destroys New York and then threatens to destroy another six cities unless we cave in? What do we do?
In case of fire break glass
Desperate situations call for desperate solutions. In such a situation, we need to take out the brass knuckles. Fortunately, Islam has a weakness that can cause it to come crashing down. According to scholars, the Surat Al Fil in the Koran refers to an attempted destruction of the Ka'aba in the Year of the Elephant. The Yemeni ruler, Abraha wanted to destroy the Ka'aba in retaliation for his cathedral being defiled by a Muslim. He assembled a huge army which included elephants to attack Mecca. (6)
His elephants refused to enter the holy city and fled home. Then Allah sent a flock of birds which dropped hardened clay on Abraha's army, destroying it and killed Abraha. Thus Muslims believe that Allah protects Mecca. If this is proved false, their faith crashes. If you find it hard to believe that a 1,400 year old faith can suddenly end, you only need to look at another "religion" that is older than Islam which ended suddenly.
I am referring to the Emperor worship of Japan. For thousands of years, Japanese believed the Emperor was a god and they worshiped him. They also believed that the gods protect Japan and therefore they cannot be conquered. This gave them the courage to attack the USA which at that time had a GDP 15 times that of Japan. It also gave them the courage to become suicide bombers. Remember the kamikaze pilots?
After their cities were destroyed and Japan occupied, they suddenly stopped believing the Emperor to be a god, ending a faith that lasted many thousands of years. What Bush can do in an emergency is to issue a challenge which will lead to either Islam's final triumph or it final defeat. Give Meccans three days to evacuate the city after which a nuclear missile will be fired at it. Tell Muslims that if Allah saves the city again, the whole non-Muslim world will definitely convert to Islam in the face of such a miracle. Islam will finally triumph and dominate the world which Muslims believe will eventually happen.
If Allah fails to save the city, then Islam is false and there is no need to fight anymore. After all, there are no Heavenly Virgins awaiting martyrs who fight for Islam. I can imagine the fundamentalists telling the Meccans not to leave. Any who leaves the city is not a true believer and must be killed. Some will actually fly to Mecca to witness the expected miracle which will lead to Islam's glorious triumph. I think they will be disappointed - IF they survive the destruction.
socialpolicy/sprN48.asp Income of minorities
(3) Human Development Index http://hdr.undp.org/
reports/global/2004/pdf/hdr04_HDI.pdf#search='human development index'
(5) See page 11 of the book, "Why I am not a Muslim".
(6) The relevant scriptures from the Koran and a
fuller explanation from Wikipedia are as follows:
(7) See Koran 005.051 and 004.144:
(8) See my essays, “The Problem with Islam and “Why Islam failed Muslims”.
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