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How to defeat Islamo-fascism


By Ohmyrus

2005/12/30

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. 

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