One of the most succinctly put conundrums facing “moderate,” passive, non-violent Muslims was cogently put by Saba E. Demian in his Gatestone article of January 25th, “Europe's Civil War: The Politics of Separateness.” In it he states:
One unanswered question is whether Islam is a religion of peace. First, the Arabic word Islam does not mean "peace" but an act of subjugation to God (Allah) and His will. Second, the basis and teaching of Islam is understood universally to consider non-Muslims as infidels. Third, infidels have to be wiped out [or compelled to submit to Islam and pay jizya or the protection tax] There is no gainsaying the word of Allah in the Koran, the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad and the shari'a. Thus, Muslims by birth or conversion, regardless of whether they are ultraconservative, moderates or secularists, are trapped in this vise-grip of enforcing the will of Allah on everyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, if they veer away from the straight and narrow. [Brackets mine]
Or attempt to veer away from the contentious, violence-sanctioning elements of Islam, or to renounce Islam, or to repudiate it.
And there you have it: Muslims of whatever stripe are stuck between a rock and a hard place – between the totalitarian nature of Islam, and its absolute, non-negotiable imperatives of Islamic dogma. Demian is one of the very few analysts and critics of Islam who clearly, correctly, and honestly dissects Islam’s comprehensive character without reservations or qualifications about “benign,” non-violent Muslims. There is nothing in Demian’s statement that suggests: “Oh, not all Muslims are bad people. Many wouldn’t harm a fly,” or, “There are nice Muslims who want to reform Islam to make it compatible with Western culture.”
Except that Islam can’t be reformed without killing it. The violent verses in the Koran are the principal sources of any power it might have. Remove them, or concoct pretzel-like explanations of what they don’t mean, and what you’d have left is an unstructured mishmash of banal homilies and exhortations to be a “good” Muslim, whatever that might mean. “Kill the Jew hiding behind a tree” doesn’t mean “kill him with Seinfeld jokes,” and “by your right hand possess” doesn’t mean embracing a woman’s waist during a ballroom dance.
And your friendly Muslim next door may regard you as less than a fly and eminently swatable.
As Saudi Imam Issa Assiri recently lectured his congregation in Jeddah earlier this month about the Charlie Hebdo massacre by devout Muslims on January 7th:
“When someone curses or mocks the Prophet Muhammad – what should be his punishment? Cursing or mocking the Prophet is an act of apostasy, as all scholars concur, whether it is done seriously or in jest. Anyone who does this, Muslim or infidel, must be killed, even if he repents.”
The violent verses in Islam’s sacred texts, whether they’re read in Arabic or in English or any other translation, are quite clear and unambiguous. Because they are supposedly Allah’s own words, one must take those verses literally, and not attempt to “interpret” them or quote them out of the context, as Allah’s words as supposedly whispered into Mohammad’s ear are unalterable and exempt from correction, emendation, and line-editing. They mean what they mean. Period. For example, in the Shi’ite view of the rape of women capture by jihadists, Koran 4.24 says:
“And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise.”
This applies especially if the captured spouse of the married woman has been beheaded or otherwise slain. Married one moment, widowed the next. And then the Muslim warrior can do with her what he wishes.
The verse does not imply that the jihadist (or Muslim) will set up house with his captive and live in permanent marital bliss. “Temporary” means a one-night stand for both the Muslim, who may already be married, and the woman. Or it can mean the immediate or eventual rape of a captured woman. The Religion of Peace site focuses on this aspect of sex slavery or “temporary” marriages or permanent and involuntary concubinage. To wit:
Qur'an (33:50) - "O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee" This is one of several personal-sounding verses "from Allah" narrated by Muhammad - in this case allowing himself a virtually unlimited supply of sex partners. Other Muslims are restrained to four wives, but, following the example of their prophet, may also have sex with any number of slaves, as the following verse make clear:
Qur'an (23:5-6) - "..who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess..." This verse permits the slave-owner to have sex with his slaves. See also Qur'an (70:29-30). The Quran is a small book, so if Allah used valuable space to repeat the same point four times, then sex slavery must be very important to him.
Qur'an (4:24) - "And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess." Even sex with married slaves is permissible.
Qur'an (8:69) - "But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good" A reference to war booty, of which slaves were a part. The Muslim slave master may enjoy his "catch" because (according to verse 71) "Allah gave you mastery over them."
It’s not an issue of having your cake and eating it, too. It’s an issue that Muslims must eat the whole cake, and not what is convenient for them to consume, or of what is palatable from individual Muslim to individual Muslim, for otherwise they will have no authentic Islamic identity. They must wage jihad (internally as a chronic anxiety, or externally by violence against infidels or Muslims of another sect). If it is only by internally wracking one’s brains about whether or not one’s submission to Allah is sincere, with no visible actions taken against the infidel or to advance the conquest of the West, and developing a neurosis about it, only then can one be called a conscientious Muslim. Otherwise, he is a MINO, or a Muslim in name only.
The alternative is to wage violent jihad against everyone and everything that is not by definition or is not perceived by Muslims as Islamic. This requires the jihadist to prefer death and “martyrdom” to life.
Reading the Koran and the Hadith, both of which were works-in-progress for centuries, one naturally gets the sense that they were being made up as the interpreters and scholars went along.
What's to stop them from realizing their desire for death? What stops conscientious Muslims from jumping off Brooklyn Bridge or slitting their wrists in bathtub? The knowledge that they can't take everyone who loves life with them; they want to hear us scream before we die. They won't be satisfied until they know that no one is left alive who loves life. On one hand, Muslims are the meek who want to inherit the earth. On the other hand, if the meek can’t inherit the earth, if they are arrested in a kind of Islamic stasis, then they want to ensure that the living who love life won’t inherit it, either.
An earth cleansed of all infidels and Jews would be an Islamic earth: desolate and inhabitable except for the Muslim manqués and the semi-zombies of the faithful. That is the Islamic vision of existence. Heads, it’s death. Tails, it’s death. Islam is not a “religion of peace,” but a death cult that worships and preaches a living death, or literal death.
That is nihilism with a capital N. This is what more Americans and Westerners must grasp, and ignore the blandishments and excuses and evasions of our corrupted, ostrich-like political, academic, and media establishment, which is more a peril to the West than is Islam itself.
If the establishment will not countenance or tolerate any words or images that might “offend” Muslims, then there is no defense against the stealthy and incremental Islamic incursions into Western culture, and the jihadists will be free to say or do what they please. The jihadists near and far – from London to Dearborn to Stockholm to Mosul to Karachi – know this, and say and do what they please.
This is not a conundrum or conflict we Westerners need to wrestle with. The problem is wholly the Muslim’s own.