I recently encountered a piece of commentary entitled Moral Equivalence, Moral Idiocy by Bruce Thornton; an excellent item explaining exactly what is going on in the “Arab-Israeli dispute.” It reminds me, in some ways of a piece written by Israeli commentator Ephraim Kishon that I read in 1968 or thereabouts, in the wake of the June 1967 Six Day War. Kishon’s piece was entitled “Why Israel Forfeited World Sympathy.” The crux of it was that if Israel had lost and everyone living there was wiped out a large number of world figures would be crying crocodile tears over what happened while doing nothing. But Israel won an improbable victory and suddenly the sympathy went over to the poor Arabs who had been beaten up by a nasty bully.
But what Thornton concentrates on is the mythical “cycle of violence” which asserts that there is blame enough to go around on both sides. In debunking this myth he ignores the underlying facts that need to be addressed, and in particular that the average Arab today does not see the world in the same way the rest of us do.
What has characterized “Western” civilization for centuries is the cosmopolitan nature of its culture. In part, this was the product of the various migrations and invasions that occurred during the Roman and Medieval periods in Europe. The result was a continent populated by many different cultures, languages and religious beliefs. This did not lead to a peaceful co-existence, but rather precipitated rivalry, strife, and until after 1945, major wars. But despite all of this, the various different cultural and national identities survived.
A similar situation appeared, significantly, in the United States, where, until recently, legal immigrants from throughout the world joined the “melting pot” and became part of the American idea. Because this melting pot was and is imperfect, cultural identities remained present, so that art, music, food, religion and other characteristics were continued in the manner of the “old country,” even though the participants were, for most other purposes, Americans. This maintained the cosmopolitan society through a variety of cultural inputs that provide fascinating undercurrents to the dominant culture. Arab-Islamic culture has never had this characteristic.
What distinguished Islamic culture from its inception was the desire to extinguish any competition for cultural control or even input. Thus, according to most sources, the Great Library of Alexandria, containing the combined literary wealth of Greco-Roman civilization, was purposely burned because “if it is in the Koran we already have it, and if it isn’t then we don’t need it.” This is typical Islamo-fascist behavior as its promoters work to establish a monoculture wherever they hold the power to do so.
Creating a monocultural approach to civilization limits the ability of the average person to think “outside the box” because the box is all that they are allowed to see. By the use of intense information control people are left to believe what they are told without question. Because the vast majority of residents of Islamic controlled regions are also illiterate the result is an inability to inform one’s self. As is seen recently in Pakistan and in Nigeria people are being pressured to avoid any western oriented education including the English language. This sort of cultural isolation has been the rule for centuries in some regions. It is being spread to others by the fanatics such as ISIS, the Taliban, and Boko Haram.
The constant refrain, in use for nearly 1000 years, that theirs is the only legitimate way of life and that all others must be destroyed by death or conversion; the demand for killing and that war against people who do not conform is mandatory continues to this day. The reader is encouraged to see, for example, Raymond Ibrahim’s recent piece on Islamic rhetoric.
These are not people who can be reasoned with, or compromised with. Instead, the only rational response with any chance of success is to employ their own approach against them. If they refuse to conform to a modern world in which pluralism is the accepted way of life then they must be destroyed. Because they only understand brute force then brute force must be used to prove to them that it is not the will of some divine being that the world be brought into slavery to an atavistic culture based on the megalomaniacal teachings of a deranged mind.
Interestingly, the biggest problems facing western nations today is not the Islamist threat, which can easily be disposed of militarily if the will exists. Firstly, the will must be awakened within the halls of governments which do not wish to accept the fact that there is a real, existential threat. The ordinary citizens who have to deal with this threat every day understand it, but must be willing to extend that knowledge into the halls of government when election season comes around. Secondly, and more importantly, the resurgent Russians and the Chinese, both of whom have imperialistic ambitions are using and would like to continue to use the Islamists as surrogates against the west, and particularly the USA. Dealing with this diplomatically is the only solution, perhaps by agreeing to allow these two nations free reign in Central and Western Asia if they help eliminate what will eventually become a threat to them as well and leave Israel alone.
Finally, those who are looking for an Islamic “protestant reformation” to occur, and end to the violence are looking at this all wrong. The resurgence of violet behavior is the Muslim equivalent of the Protestant Reformation, and the increased violence is their return to the scriptures, even as Luther and Calvin taught to the Christians in Europe. The difference is that the Bible doesn’t advocate gratuitous violence. The Koran does. Thus, until there is a reformation of foundational doctrine, or its elimination, the violence will continue.
In any event, there is no possibility that the threat to the rest of the world will go away of its own accord. It knows only violence, and because it insists on living by the sword, it must then perish by the sword. There is no other way.