God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

THERE WILL BE PEACE ONLY WHEN ALL IS ISLAM AND ISLAM IS ALL

In his article "Islamist Way Or No Way" [ hat tip: Tammy Bruce ] Mark Steyn lays it on the line for anyone who wants to pretend that Islam can be negotiated with. It cannot, because Islam cannot bear objective criticism, it is totally inflexible, it is incapable of taking a moderate stand or sharing the spotlight with any other belief. For Muslims, Islam is the only truth and there is no room for any other belief or philosophy, period. When Islam declares that it wants "peace", what it means is that it wants peace over your dead body. There will be peace only when all is Islam and Islam is all.

Snipets:

I found myself behind a car in Vermont, in the US, the other day; it had a one-word bumper sticker with the injunction "COEXIST". It's one of those sentiments beloved of Western progressives, one designed principally to flatter their sense of moral superiority. The C was the Islamic crescent, the O was the hippie peace sign, the X was the Star of David and the T was the Christian cross. Very nice, hard to argue with. But the reality is, it's the first of those symbols that has a problem with coexistence. Take the crescent out of the equation and you wouldn't need a bumper sticker at all. Indeed, coexistence is what the Islamists are at war with; or, if you prefer, pluralism, the idea that different groups can rub along together within the same general neighbourhood. There are many trouble spots across the world but, as a general rule, even if one gives no more than a cursory glance at the foreign pages, it's easy to guess at least one of the sides: Muslims v Jews in Palestine, Muslims v Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims v Christians in Nigeria, Muslims v Buddhists in southern Thailand, Muslims v (your team here). Whatever one's views of the merits on a case by case basis, the ubiquitousness of one team is a fact.

"Men of intemperate mind never can be free; their passions forge their fetters," wrote Edmund Burke. And, in that sense, Bali is more symbolic of the Islamofascist strategy than London or Madrid, Beslan or Istanbul. The jihad has held out against some tough enemies: the Israelis in the West Bank, the Russians in Chechnya; these are primal conflicts. But what's the beef in Bali? Oh, to be sure, to the more fastidious Islamist some of those decadent hedonist fornicating Westerners whooping it up are a little offensive. But they'd be offensive whoever they were and whatever they did. It's the reality of a pluralist enclave within the world's largest Muslim nation that offends. It's the coexistence, stupid.

So even Muslims v (your team here) doesn't quite cover it. You don't have to have a team or even be aware that you belong to any side. You can be a hippie-dippy hey-man-I-love-everybody-whatever-your-bag-is-cool backpacking Dutch stoner, and they'll blow you up with as much enthusiasm as if you were Dick Cheney. As a spokesman for the Islamic Army of Aden put it in 2002, explaining why they bombed a French oil tanker: "We would have preferred to hit a US frigate, but no problem because they are all infidels."

[ ... ]

As Bassam Tibi, a Muslim professor at Gottingen University in Germany, said in an interesting speech a few months after September 11, "Both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms, these mean different things to each of them. The word peace, for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam -- or House of Islam -- to the entire world. This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought. Only when the entire world is a Dar al-Islam will it be a Dar a-Salam, or House of Peace."

That's why they blew up Bali in 2002, and last weekend, and why they'll keep blowing it up. It's not about Bush or Blair or Iraq or Palestine. It's about a world where everything other than Islamism lies in ruins.

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