Leaving Islam




Jihad’s Fellow Travelers

by Srdja Trifkovic


[Excerpts from Dr. Trifkovic’s new book, Defeating Jihad, which will be published by Regina Orthodox Press later this year.]

Members of the West European and North American elite class approach the war on terrorism in a schizophrenic manner. Their world view rejects any possibility that religious faith can be a prime motivating factor in human affairs. Having reduced religion, literature and art to “narratives” and “metaphors” which merely reflect prejudices based on the distribution of power, the elite class treats the jihadist mindset as a pathology that should be treated by treating causes external to Islam itself.

The result is a plethora of proposed “cures” that are as likely to succeed in making us safe from terrorism as snake oil is likely to cure leukemia. Abroad, we are told, we need to address political and economic grievances of the impoverished masses, we need to spread democracy and free markets in the Muslim world, we need to invest more in public diplomacy. At home we need more tolerance, greater inclusiveness, less profiling, and a more determined outreach to the minorities that feel marginalized and threatened by the war on terror. The failure of such “cures” leads to ever more pathological self-examination and morbid self doubt. If the spread of jihad is not due to the ideology of jihad itself, which it cannot be, then it must be our own fault.

Already with the Rushdie affair 17 years ago an ominous pattern was set. It has been replicated on both sides of the Atlantic ever since. It has three key ingredients:

1. The Muslim diaspora in the Western world, while formally denouncing “terrorism,” will accept and condone religious justification for acts that effectively challenge the monopoly on violence of the non-Muslim host-state.

2. The Muslim diaspora will use a highly developed infrastructure of organized religion in the host-state—a network of mosques, Islamic centers and Muslim organizations—and deploy it either as a tool of direct political pressure in support of terrorist goals (e.g., British Muslims vis-à-vis Rushdie), or else as a means of deception and manipulation in order to diminish the ability of the host-society to defend itself (e.g., CAIR vis-à-vis post-9-11 America).

3. The non-Muslim establishment—public figures, politicians, journalists, academic analysts—will seek to appease the Muslim diaspora, or else it will shy away from confronting the problem of the immigrants’ attitudes and impact by pretending that it does not exist.

The issues of immigration, identity, loyalty, and common culture are accordingly not treated as an area of legitimate concern in the debate on terrorism. The result is a cloud-cuckoo land in which much of what is said or written about terrorism is not about relevant information that helps us know the enemy but about domestic political agendas, ideology, and psychology.

The New America Foundation Conference on Terrorism, Security, and America’s Purpose, which was held in Washington D.C. on September 6-7, 2005, provided an excellent illustration of the above mindset. It gathered over 70 politicians, top bureaucrats, policy analysts, nationally known journalists and top-tier academics. It was scary.

There was the billionaire “philanthropist” George Soros, insisting that the War on Terror has “done more harm than good.” It has alienated Muslims and diverted our attention from other vital missions, such as fostering “democratic development in order to provide legitimate avenues for dealing with grievances that otherwise might be exploited by terrorist movements.”

Francis Fukuyama saw the root problem in the Muslims’ “alienation from modernity.” The solution would be for young Muslims to learn how to choose a personal identity just like everybody else, rather than accept Osama’s prefabricated one.

Madeleine Albright, of all people, declared that it is “important to listen to what others are telling you” and to distinguish friends from foes. James Steinberg of Brookings urged America to ask itself how she can help provide better governance, better economic lives, better political contexts. Senator Joe Biden argued for debt relief and funding of education programs in Muslim countries. GOP ex-Senator Warren Rudman argued that “America and our allies must address global poverty, disease, and underdevelopment in a far more aggressive and comprehensive manner.” General Wesley Clark (he who helped make Kosovo safe for the KLA) now wants a new global security framework based on the United Nations. Charles Kupchan, former Director of European Affairs on the National Security Council, headed a working group on strategy that focused on “stepped up efforts to secure fissile materials in the former Soviet Union . . . and vigilant efforts to contain and shut down nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.”

On the key issue of the identity of the enemy, on the scriptural message and historical record of Islam, the conference had nothing to say. On the role of the Muslim disapora in the West the conference’s Summary Report was brief and to the point: “The government must rebuild vital relationships with Muslim and Arab communities in the U.S. and around the world, that have been so severely strained by actions and policies undertaken in the name of homeland security.” Furthermore, “changes in visa policy and passport reform . . . have made America less attractive to students and visitors” from the Muslim world, which is allegedly detrimental to U.S. interests. Furthermore, privacy and due process must be protected so as to avoid “disproportionate law enforcement efforts against Muslim Americans.”

Are these people merely deluded, or malevolent, or perhaps both? It is worth examining the record of one of them, multibillionaire George Soros. A year before addressing the Washington conference Soros had already made his contribution of sorts to the war on terror by bankrolling Northeastern University’s project known as the Promising Practices Guide: Developing Partnerships Between Law Enforcement and American Muslim, Arab, and Sikh Communities. This self-styled “basic curriculum for future law enforcement and community training activities” claimed to offer ways to take advantage of the unique “linguistic skills, information, and cultural insights” of Arabs and Muslims in America (forget the Sikhs, they were added for diversity’s sake) in the war against terrorism.








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