The Hard Solution to Islamic Extremism

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Sat, Nov 14 - 4:52 pm EDT | 2 years ago by
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Urbanski Explains How We Can Stop Islamism By Changing Islam, If We Can Just Stop Listening To The Cowards In Our Midst

Paris Attacks
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

I have started to write this, at request of the Invincible Overlord, only a scant few hours following the most grotesque massacre to hit Paris since WWII. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m still a bit in shock.

But really, I wonder why I even am anymore. Should I be surprised? As a political writer and a guy with a background in religious studies, I know that – just like the last time – this attack was absolutely inevitable. It was inevitable because we are stuck in the same cycle we’ve been on for years, and it just keeps getting worse.

Even this year, we’ve been here before. In the exact same city. And I laid out the problem back then, too. And just like that time, odds are no one is going to change what they’re doing this time, either. The extremists will keep going in their steady inexorable dominion of the whole Muslim world, including the immigrant communities in Europe and North America. The hawks will talk about going to war with Islam as if we could solve this problem by throwing enough bombs at it. And the totalitarian progressive left will silence anyone who dares to question their narrative that Islam is a problem-free religion.

That’s the cycle we’re stuck in. In the ten months between Hebdo and this week, the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and its subsidiaries have murdered untold thousands of people. They destroyed priceless antiquities. They have enslaved women and very young girls. They are committing religious genocide on the Christian, Yezidi and non-wahabi Muslim sects (Alawite, Ahmadi, Sufi, Shiite) of every region they conquer.

But you already knew that. You heard about the knife attacks in Israel too. But you might not have heard about the huge increase of extremism in Indonesia, a country that was previously always known for having a peaceful and tolerant Islamic faith. The newly surging extremists in Indonesia have been on a rash of brutal violence and church-burning against the minority Christian community.

You no doubt remember the various shootings, rapes and other attacks perpetrated by Muslim extremists in Europe and the United States. You might not remember the violent attack on peaceful anti-government protesters in Turkey. Like Indonesia, Turkey was a moderate country for a very long time, that has for the last decade now been under the control of a party that gets more openly Islamist by the second. In spite of some wimpy fighter strikes against ISIS, the Turkish government is more interested in increasing religious fundamentalism at home. They are also plunging further into warfare with the courageous Kurdish forces that have up to now been the most successful opponents of the Islamic State.

The radical Islamists keep getting stronger.

Meanwhile, the worthless Western left keeps getting weaker. The morning of the Paris attacks, President Obama claimed that ISIS was ‘under control.’ The night of the attacks, the spineless freaking coward claimed that he “didn’t want to speculate” as to who was responsible for the Paris attacks ().

Tell me, Mr. President, what kind of “speculation” is necessary when the shooters are shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they gun innocents down? What information did you ‘not have at this time’ when you literally have “I am from ISIS” declarations from the attackers?!

Of course, I understand why he wouldn’t want to speculate ever, at all. Because for his side, making any connection at all between Islam and terrorism has become a mortal sin. People on the left are required to live in a fantasy world where brutally violent attacks are happening almost every week for reasons they have to pretend are complex and inexplicable. However they try to explain it, they have to say that it has nothing to do with Islam. Islam, they tell us, is a peace-loving religion that is in no way represented by some lone ‘murderers’ (half the time they can’t even dare use the word ‘terrorist’) whose motives are impossible to guess.

They tell us, over and over again, that the “vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving and moderate.” And at the same time, they call anyone at all who talks about Islamism and its threat an Islamophobe. They’re so desperately afraid of anyone being ‘intolerant’ to Islam that they’ve been willing to ignore hate speech, assaults, murder and even the organized gang-rape of 1400 young girls in England so as not to look racist.

On the other hand you have some people on the right, usually the religious right, claiming that all Muslims are terrorists plotting to destroy us. They want to imagine that it can all be solved by ideas like deporting all Muslims or starting another war in the Middle East. As if war with Syria would somehow stop attacks in Paris! Would invading Syria stop Palestinians from charging at Israelis with knives, or keep a terrorist in the U.S. from shooting up a recruitment office?

So what is the answer then? What can we do?

First, we have to think in the long term. No short term fix is going to miraculously make the problem of 200 million extremists go away. Extremism has been growing stronger and stronger for a long time. It took a generation to take us from women wearing mini-skirts in Afghanistan to stoning any woman not in a burqa.

It’s going to take that long to even hope to get back.

Second, we need to get that we can’t fix Islamism at all. It’s the Muslim world that has to do that. Oh sure, we could blow the ISIS armies all to hell, and there might be a good argument for doing that. But there aren’t enough jets or guns in the world to kill an ideology.

What we need instead is for a better Muslim philosophy than Wahabism to become dominant in their intellectual world. As I pointed out back in the time after Hebdo, it’s really the Wahabis who are the problem. They are only 22 percent of Muslims, but have a huge amount of power in the Muslim world. And they are responsible for the 87 percent of terrorism.

The problem here is that to have any chance of a real solution, we have to let go of the two stupid ideas: the idea that all branches of Islam are equally violent, and the idea that Islam isn’t violent at all and you’re an awful racist for even daring to suggest it.

Both ideas are wrong. The first of the two is also impractical. If we want to put an end to terrorism we NEED to have a policy of encouraging reformers, moderates and alternate denominations to win back power from the Wahabis. In the end, whether it’s secularist Westernizers, mystical navel-gazing Sufis or just a less bloodthirsty branch of Sunnism than the Wahabis who beats back Wahabism (or most likely a mix of all three) matters a lot less than that Islam be won back by anyone but them. We can’t encourage alternatives with a lower asshole-quotient in the Muslim world if we refuse to believe they exist.

The second stupid idea is more than just impractical, though. It’s criminal. It’s giving aid and comfort to violent extremists. When the lily-livered progressive left tries to pretend that everything is just fine with Islam right now, that means that Islam doesn’t need to be reformed. And that means that you don’t have to help any of the reformers. In fact, all those Muslim people fighting against Islamic extremists become an ‘inconvenient truth.’ How can you be a good liberal douchebag and get to be all smug about your tolerance if there are Kurdish women taking up arms to stop the Islamic State from raping their baby sisters?

Kurdish female fighters
Photo by Ahmet Sik/Getty Images

Female Kurdish soldiers
Photo by Ahmet Sik/Getty Images

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(See these women? These are good Muslims)

If the West keeps pushing this idiotic narrative that there’s nothing wrong with Islam the way it is right now, it’s like we’re signing the death warrants of these fighters and thousands of other enormously brave dissidents, free-thinkers, religious reformers, secularists and others in the Muslim world who would fight against Islamist ideology (with better ideas, or literally, with guns). These opponents of Wahabism should be the natural allies of anyone who pretends to give a damn about “social justice,” the rights of women, freedom from religious oppression and democracy. And these are exactly the people we need, and who’s back we need to have in a fight that will take decades. These are the people the West needs to stop sacrificing to the murderous lunatics just in the vain hope that the lunatics not calling us ‘racist’ anymore.

So this is the simple formula:

A) We need to admit Islam has a huge problem with violence. We need to condemn that violence, without making any excuses for it.

B) We need to acknowledge that there’s a lot of people in the Islamic world who want to change that, and stop throwing them under the bus.

C) We need to channel a lot of resources into helping these people to be stronger, louder and more popular than they are right now.

Because it’s only the anti-Islamist Muslims who can make change happen. The West can’t force secularism on a Muslim culture, not with guns or money, any more than any amount of guns or money could convince most Texans to convert to Islam. It ain’t gonna happen.

Keeping on the way we are now is a recipe for a century of religious violence, and for countless lives to be lost in the West, the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere at the hands of these butchers. We can change that, if we figure out we have allies we should be backing. And if we can figure out how to stop listening to the spineless traitorous sell-outs of our own civilization.

Kasimir Urbanski doesn’t write on a specific subject; he’s EveryJoe’s resident maniac-at-large. A recovering Humanities academic and world-traveler, he now lives in South America and is a researcher of fringe religion, eastern philosophy, and esoteric consciousness-expansion. In his spare time he writes tabletop RPGs, and blogs about them at Follow Kasimir on Twitter @KasimirUrbanski.

Click through the gallery below to see photos of the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

Victim's Body - Paris Attacks

(Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Police During Paris Attacks

(Photo by David Wolff - Patrick/Getty Images)

Bullet Holes in Restaurants

(Photo by Thierry Orban/Getty Images)

Outside French Consulate

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Day After the Paris Attack

(Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)

Cleaning Up Blood in Paris

(Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)

Outside Bataclan Theatre

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Police in Paris

(Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

Mourners in Paris

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Police Stand Guard

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People Gather to Mourn Paris Attack Victims

(Photo by Thierry Orban/Getty Images)

Oscar Castillo draws "Pray for Paris" on the door of the popular Brooklyn French

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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  • Brigadon


    Like many others, you fail to embrace a simple fact.

    The problem with Islam is not Islam, it is the PEOPLE who embrace islam. And killing them IS the only effective way to contain it.

    The point is, the people who embrace it for it’s violence are, themselves, violent tribal primates. You cannot ‘change their religion to make it more peaceful’, as the religion is little more than an excuse to indulge in their violent intertribal warfare fantasies. You cannot treat them as individual criminals or even as a nation.

    There is one solution, and one solution only. When a terrorist or other islamic ‘extremist’ attacks, you must find their family, their ‘tribe’, and exterminate them. Every ;last one. From the toothless grandmother to the tiniest baby. If you leave one alive, you might as well place your cod on the chopping block, for that toothless grandmother WILL recruit more potential terrorists, and that baby WILL grow up ready to kill or die to avenge his clan. You cannot treat them as individuals because they do not think of themselves as individuals… They exert the will of the tribe.

    This is how the turks controlled their violent tribals. This is how Ghadaffi maintained a civilization. This is the tool that the desert nomads understand. You MUST make an example, and continue making an example every time they get out of line. It has worked for a thousand years, it worked quite well for the crusaders, and until western civilization can start saving many more lives by taking them in reparations, it will continue to eternally lose ground.

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    • John Markley

      It’s a rather sad day when the supposed defenders of Western civilization think we should take nomadic tribal vendettas, the Ottoman Empire, and a self-proclaimed champion of “Islamic socialism”- one overthrown and killed by the people he supposedly ruled so effectively, no less- as our role models.

    • Brigadon

      It’s an even sadder day when we realize that our only choices are to emulate 1400 years of dictators, or watch our civilization destroyed by retards that think removing their manhood in the name of social justice is the only route to sanity.

    • nomen nescio

      Borders. Language. Culture. Blood and soil.

      In the long run, nothing else matters.

    • James

      “Ghadaffi maintained a civilization.”

      You need to read up more on him. Think more of a North Korea in the desert. He just had oil otherwise he was collapsing the place like every other psycho.

      The region and the people there are just largely not ready for a democracy yet. Democracy is the Absolute Hardest form of government to keep or run correctly.

      They simply lack the cultural foundations to have it. It’s not that complicated. Hell its fucking near impossible for the US and europe to do it. We now have what are in effect a Plutocracy or Oligarchy in the West,

    • Brigadon

      I wasn’t idealizing him. What he didn’t have was constant terrorist attacks. He knew how to keep his tribesmen in line.
      You cannot gild a turd. Keeping them in line was the most you could ask for dealing with tribalist garbage.

  • ArmyAviator

    Eventually, the Europeans, led by the pope, will expel ALL the Muslims they can. There will be more Paris style attacks, maybe soon in ROME or maybe even the VATICAN. When Islamic State (IS) decides it’s time to “take out the pope,” and a few hundreds or thousands of Pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, then the fate of Muslims in Europe will be sealed! In the meantime, watch for Muslims to start blowing-up in shopping malls in Europe and maybe even America, during this Christmas shopping season! I hope I’m wrong, but when was the last time anyone was checked at Macy’s in New York, for a bomb vest, on their way in to all those “bargains?”

    • paul

      I would like to think the Islamist terrorist attack in Pars would be enough!

  • Charles

    Your first commenter wants to shoot Muslim babies. Your second commenter wants to kick all 50 million Muslims out of Europe. They don’t know anything about Wahhabism, even though they’re commenting on an article about it.

    People like them are the reason the left won’t say “Islamic terrorism.” The phrase suggests we are at war with Islam. It feeds racism and xenophobia towards our Muslim and Arab neighbors. It also endorses increased military action in the middle east, which is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      Yes, I agree. But there’s also the problem that the left refuses to acknowledge there is a problem at all with Islam, and there is (Wahabism).

      So what I’m saying is that it’s far more productive to tell the racist fucktards and religious supremacist idiots and the armchair general neo-cons AND the excuse-makers for radical Islam to all fuck off. We need to form a grand Coalition of People Who Actually Get and Give a Shit About The Problem.

    • Brigadon

      “grand Coalition of People”

      yeah, that always works out well.

      Grow up. the only difference between radical and moderate islam is that radicals want to murder all infidels, while moderates are content to let the radicals do it.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      I’m sure you’ve studied the issue profoundly by reading about it on websites sponsored by fundamentalist churches and neo-nazi sympathizers, but I prefer to base my understanding of Islam on my Religious History degree.

      Also, since you want to “murder all Infidels” to your religion/race, that makes you indistinguishable from ISIS. You are every little bit as much of a piece of shit as they are.

    • Brigadon

      “but I prefer to base my understanding of Islam on my Religious History degree.”

      Obviously. since, you know, universities NEVER have any of social control or political motivation.

      Tell you what, When you have lived with, fought with, eaten with, and killed even a fraction of the number of Ragheads that I have, Then you may have n opinion… Your ‘university degree in religious history’ is not only (clearly) a lie and an attempt to create incontrovertible proof by authority, but it’s a particularly stupid lie, since few on this website consider universities as anything other than breeding grounds for unicorn worshippers and feminist rape apologists.

    • paul


    • paul

      I have a wonderful idea.

      Expell all Islamists, including you, back to land of origin.
      Problem solved! :)

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      I’ve got zero problem with extraditing, deporting, or arresting Islamists who encourage and advocate terrorism.
      But this doesn’t entirely solve the problem. For example, ISIS are masters of internet media and have radicalized a large number of young people in the western world entirely from Youtube, Twitter and other social media. So we also need to actively encourage non-Islamist movements in Islam.

    • paul

      You have your rational backwards. Islamists need to prove their loyalty to the USA. We do not need to prove anything. Until an individual swears allegiance to the USA and can contribute to the USA with merit we have zero obligation to them.
      I support solutions to problems. What the USA needs is immigration reform.
      Seal the borders and deport!

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      So… apparently you just decided not to even bother reading what you’re replying to anymore?
      Even if you closed the borders, that would not as such resolve anything. Not when Islamists have used Billions in Saudi Money to create an internet media empire they can use to create brand new terrorists who are already U.S. citizens, often U.S. born, sometimes not even from originally Muslim families.

      If a strategy fails to be either adequate, feasible, or acceptable, then it isn’t a viable strategy. Shutting down all immigration may or may not be acceptable, it could theoretically be feasible, but it would definitely fail to be adequate to solving the problem of Islamism.

    • paul

      Your irritated. I will not comply to complicated solutions which serve to compound the problem of Islam. So be it.
      My solution of deportation is humane. You won’t like my other solution but if you are unwilling to be reasonable, as Islamists typically are, just remember it was a choice you made of your own free will.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      I’m not irritated, I’m amused. You are funny to me. Funny because you don’t have the basic education to read what is actually written. Funny because you have arguments with people in your mind rather than any substantial debate with anyone real. Funny because you keep insisting on a “solution” that I’ve already explained doesn’t actually solve anything just because it’s your FEELS that you care about. You are based on emotion rather than fact. You’re a walking talking outburst with no logical basis and thus not worthy listening to. You don’t actually want to stop Islamism, you just want to throw people out that you don’t like whether or not they are Islamists.

    • paul

      What you did was avoid confronting the solution by obfuscating with belittling. You are a little man, a very little man. Go back to your homeland and rebuild the mess Islam allowed. I have no sympathy for liars and dishonest abusers.

      I swear allegiance to protect and defend the Constitution and the USA first and Islamists who had zero to do with the founding & building of the country are at the bottom of the barrel.

      The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America contains an extremely important phrase that is almost always ignored by those who appeal to it, or to the men who wrote it, in defense of immigration. It states:
      We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

      The key phrase is this: “to ourselves and our posterity.” The blessings of liberty are not to be secured to all the nations of the world, to the tired and huddled masses, or to the wretched refuse of the teeming shores of other lands. They are to be secured to our children, and their children, and their children’s children.

      Kasimir- GO BACK HOME!

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      Ok, this is really funny now! Where do you think I come from? Or rather, where does the make-believe person you are arguing with in your head come from?

      Also, your interpretation of the Preamble is disgusting. The Founding Fathers would have had nothing to do with you.

    • paul
    • James

      It’s all about strength. They think they can do anything because we let them do anything. Teach them there are rules and consequences to shitting on others.

    • Charles

      If ISIS were a Christian organization, would you refer to them as “radical Christianity”? To many Americans, that would sound like a compliment.

      We should choose our rhetoric to isolate and stigmatize ISIS from the Muslim population overall. “Radical Islam” does the opposite.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      fair enough. I generally use the term Islamism. Did you have some other term in mind?

    • Charles

      “Terrorism” seems fine for most discussions. That lets us cast them in terms that are unequivocally negative. “Wahhabism” also works, and carries more nuance. I don’t think it helps us to refer to ISIS in terms of Islam — at least not colloquially. That muddles the line between them and the other 1.6B Muslims on the planet. I think we want that line to be as strong as possible.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      I think most people that insist on “terrorism” (though lately the Regressive Left has started saying even that word isn’t allowed) do so because they want to pretend that the problem isn’t coming from Islam at all. Which is the Second Stupid Idea I mention in my article that gets in the way of actually fixing things.

    • Charles

      You’re trying to have it both ways. To beat ISIS’s ideology, the world’s Muslims have to reject ISIS as un-Islamic. That’s hard for them to do when the West insists on referring to ISIS as Islamic. How many Muslims do you expect in your Grand Coalition when your slogan paints Islam as the enemy?

      I’m no fan of religion, but it’s shortsighted to blame a religion for terrorism. In Uganda, terrorists are radical Christians. In Myanmar, terrorists are radical Buddhists. The unifying factor is regional unrest, not faith.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      No, the world’s Muslims have to embrace one TYPE of Islam over another.
      Just as Christians came to embrace one type of Christianity over another type; a couple of hundred years ago. They gradually rejected the type of Christianity that said you should aim to murder members of a different sect than yours, and adopted a Christianity that was compatible with ideas of democracy, liberty, and toleration.

      To do that, Muslims have to admit the problem is in THEIR WORLD. It’s not the USA, it’s not the Jews, it’s ISLAMISM. And a lot of them do that already, recognizing that the Wahabis have hijacked their religion just as it was about to evolve into something more modernist.

    • Charles

      Religious terrorism isn’t a uniquely Muslim problem. There are murderous sects of Christianity (though none as large as ISIS). I look forward to when you tell EveryJoe’s primarily-Christian readers that LRA is a problem in THEIR WORLD.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      The LRA IS a problem. But it is not in control of the Vatican, or part of a sect representing 29% of the Christian population, or recruiting people worldwide through billions of propaganda dollars provided by Italy.

      If anything, the LRA and other violent Christian groups in Africa are notable in comparison to how Christianity in the rest of the world has, through the application of Enlightenment values, changed from its past nature where violence was considered a religious duty.

    • paul

      Probably just a typo in your conversation but if you would name one or two murderous sects of Christianity it would bolster your comment.
      At this time I know of none.

    • Brigadon

      People like you are the reason 153 people died last night. Disgusting coward.

    • nomen nescio

      We ARE at war with Islam. Islam has been at war with the rest of humanity for 1300 years.

      Closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “la la la I can’t hear you” won’t make it go away. Truth is like that.

  • paul

    The Islamist problem did not originate here in the USA so why do you not post your article at Mosques and other places where Islamists assemble in numbers?

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      The internet doesn’t just exist in the USA, you know… anyways, I’ve shared the article with lots of Islamic social groups, tweeters, etc. There are a lot of people out there who are trying to fight the Islamists.
      The main fight is in the middle east. But I assume you didn’t mean to suggest there isn’t a problem in the Muslim community in the U.S., because there is! The Islamists are trying very hard to take over American Mosques and radicalize American Muslim youth. They must be fought.

  • Daniel Barger

    The problem with islam IS islam….AND the people who embrace it.
    The Quran contains WELL over 100 verses exhorting the death, maiming,
    enslavement, extortion and conversion of EVERYONE EVERYWHERE.
    To say that islam…. a sociopolitical construct closer to communism/fascism than
    it is to any western religion is ‘peaceful’ is ludicrous. Islam is the modern embodiment
    of evil. It’s adherents are fanatically devoted to it’s tenets up to and including blowing themselves up in order to kill a few infidels. You don’t reason, negotiate or coexist
    with that type of insane fanaticism that is driven by commands to kill. You exterminate it. The issue is not WHAT to do but HOW to go about doing it. Because it’s THEM or
    US…..and if the west doesn’t wake up and grasp that modern civilization will die and
    homo stupidicus returns to the 7th century.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      The Old Testament contains many of the same sort of verses; and yet we don’t have the same terrorism problem with Jews and Christians. Why?
      Because those religions are largely dominated by anti-supremacist groups. By secularists, reformers, freethinkers, people who don’t take a literal interpretation (even Fundamentalist Christians in the Bible Belt don’t actually take the Bible “literally”, which is why you don’t see people in Alabama stoning gays to death).
      The idea that the Koran is in some way more “evil” than the Old Testament is stupid. The difference is what ideology is dominant in the religion.

    • J Kim

      I partly agree, but it seems to me that it is a matter of politics and economics more than either ideology or religion. Historically, when Christians are in unstable economies and under stress, then they will absolutely turn to violence and kill off Jews, Hindus, or Muslims. Look at Bosnia or the Lord’s Resistance Army in Sudan for recent examples, or all over in the early 20th century.

      My question to Kasimir is – Do you honestly think that your essay is convincing to moderate muslims reading it? It seems to me that it doesn’t have much that would resonate with them.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      Bosnia didn’t exactly benefit from the Enlightenment the way western european countries did. You still see similar backwardness in some devoutly Christian African countries, where there are still witch-killings and the likes; but in general Christianity underwent a transformation due to the influence of Enlightenment values.

      I can tell you this as to your question: I’ve gotten TONS of retweets and congratulations from a lot of Muslims: the point is not that they’re “moderates”, they are people fighting very hard to change their culture. I don’t think “moderate” is a good term to describe those people. I got retweets and thaks from several Muslims who have been very vocal for years now in opposing Wahabism and Islamism, at the risk of their lives. Hell, I got thanked by people from the Peshmerga (the Kurdish army fighting ISIS) for this article. So yeah, they like it. But they’re not the ones who need convincing. Nor is it our job to convince the large mass of ‘average’ Muslims who don’t stand up for anything much; that would be job of the Anti-Islamist Muslims, who could do a WAY better job of it than we could.

      The people who I was hoping to convince here are rational Conservatives, who I’m hoping could figure out that we can have allies in the Muslim world if we back them, and if we make a point of making it clear that we are the ones who have got secular, democratic, reformist, minority-sect, and other anti-Islamist’s back in this fight, while the Left is abandoning them. A lot of these Muslims admire western values (hell, the Kurds LOVE us, and if we had the balls to back a Kurdish state, instead of supporting the Saudis, we’d instantly gain a new country aside from Israel that would be a radically pro-Western bastion in the middle east); and the real problem is that the American and European Left no longer loves those western values enough to stand up to ISIS and the Islamists and support these fighters against Islamism.

    • J Kim

      I’d certainly welcome rational Conservatives who back anti-Islamist activists. At present, though, it seems to me that the Left is more vocal about backing anti-Islamists – like Malala and Irshad Manji, for example.

      I would argue that it is a mistake to only back those Muslims who admire Western values and want to Westernize. I feel that this was the reasoning behind our backing of the Shah Mohammad Reza, and it was disastrous. It feeds the perception that many Muslims have – that the West is engaged in a parallel to the 19th century Opium Wars, where they demand that Muslim countries buy into their culture of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll – and will blow up those who resist with drone strikes.

      There are a ton of anti-Islamists who don’t want a return to the time of the Shah, with women in miniskirts and bars on every corner, but also are opposed to Islamism and terrorism. I think it goes a long way to reach out to these people as well, and in particular to stop backing people who make token pro-American statements like the Saudis.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      The problem with the Shah wasn’t that he let women wear miniskirts; it was that he was a vicious dictator.

      As for the left backing anti-Islamists, that’s funny. The ONLY anti-Islamists they back are those who perfectly fit their narrative: people who never speak out as such against Islamism as a general problem in Islam, people who aren’t interested in fighting, people who they won’t be accused by their fellow regressives of being “islamophobes” for talking about. That makes for a VERY short list. Malala is on it, sure, but only because she’s being carefully managed. And largely because she’s still a little girl, I bet you it’s only a matter of time until a Muslim woman feeling oppressed by Islamists becomes too inconvenient for the Regressive Left narrative that “all Muslims are wonderful people who don’t oppress women”. After that, they’ll start treating Malala like they treat Ayan Hirsi Ali.

    • J Kim

      I would agree that the Left tend to only back those anti-Islamists who fit their narrative. On the other hand, at present the Right doesn’t seem to be supporting *any* anti-Islamists within the Muslim world. If you think they are, then please suggest some anti-Islamists that the Right are behind.

      You seem to have faith that the Right will come around and become rational and open-minded as a group. I consider this unlikely, and think that rational and open-minded people will have to continue to push from the fringes for a while.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      First, I have never ever heard anyone on the right this side of the KKK have anything at all bad to say about Malala. And the right will keep backing her after the left abandons her as too “problematic” to their narrative.
      Aside from her? Ayan Hirsi Ali, Asra Nomani, Imram Said, Haras Rafiq, Maajid Nawaz, and many others. And of course the PKK and their hot ISIS-killing army babes. A lot of people on the right are behind all these guys.

  • Cristian Justet

    I agree with lot of the things that you say, not all of course, but I have a doubt. So, please correct me if I am wrong, your marvelous and innovative idea to solve the problem with Islamism consist in admit there is a problem with Islamism and pick a faction like the Kurds in order to help them to be stronger and to make and win the war to ISIS?

    If it is that, I must say I believe it is neither marvelous or innovative. But what can I know? Afterall, you are the expert in history and religious, so I imagine that if you can’t find even one history event similar to your proposition it is because never were accomplished. I guess your ideas could not be compare with USA supporting Al Qaeda. I guess nothing could work wrong with supporting the “less worse” Islamist faction.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      The Kurds aren’t Islamist. They’re anti-Islamist. They are relatively secular. Their women mostly don’t use the hijab. They are religiously tolerant compared to any of their neighbours. They love the U.S. and if they had their own state would instantly be the only nation in the middle east besides Israel that the U.S. could truly consider its ally in the region.

      The cold-war support for Al-Qaeda (or for any number of dictatorships) to oppose the Russians was not the same, because they were not trying to choose a good option, they were setting one bad option against another. That’s why we can’t support Assad, for example.

      There is one case where this strategy worked before in history, but not in Islam. Its what worked with Christianity. It’s the reason why Protestants and Catholics still aren’t butchering each other on battlefields when they’re not busy burning witches. It changed because a group of people dedicated enormous effort and resources to encourage new ways of thinking, to introduce the Enlightenment ideals. Some of those people were the Founding Fathers of the U.S.

    • Cristian Justet

      I don’t knew Kurds don’t belong to Islam, but I already knew that they are more tolerant than other in the region, that kurdish women have more rights, even I heard to a journalist say that some kurdish politicians think that all political positions should be duplicated, occupied by a man and a woman at the same time (with good intention but not too practical in my opinion). I’m sure that my knowledge about kurdish people is limited, at least compared with you. Still, I sustain my opinion, your ideas are not so marvelous and innovative.

      Until now, I heard not any idea that I think could definitely solve the Islamist conflict (or whatever name you want to assign to it). I believe some strategies are less worse than others. What you propose is probably just the less worse strategy that I heard in this days but not a new idea. I even think that possibly there is not another way better to solve the conflict in medium or long term. Nevertheless I have some concerns about that strategy. If the Kurds love USA I don’t know, but it is something that do not make me feel more relieved. I don’t trust USA more than I trust a crook. Of course a crook is better than an assassin (USA could be easily charged of both, although may be more subtly and less repulsive). I don’t see that USA-Israel alliance has produced less violence, rather seems to me that it change the way the violence occur.

      On the other hand, terrorist attack already occurred before France declare the war to ISIS, and that was just because France and other countries were intervening. In such way that, support Kurds is another way of intervention and therefore will not avoid the danger of another terrorist attack more than make a direct war against them. So, to sum up, in my opinion a lot of things could work wrong with that but in the absence of a really new and innovative idea, possibly is better than the other choices.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      Kurds are Muslim. They are not Islamists. There’s a difference between Islam and Islamism, and people like the Kurds, secular Muslims, Sufis, etc. all prove that difference exists.

      I’m not sure where you are getting the idea that I ever said my idea was “innovative”.. it’s something that a great deal of anti-Islamist Muslims have been begging the west for, for a long time. Nor is it ‘marvelous’ because there is no marvelous answer. There’s no one single policy that will stop terrorism tomorrow. The fucking stupid thing, on the other hand, is to keep looking for that instead of focusing on a long-term strategy that is actually feasible.

      Please understand that the goal of this strategy is not to stop terrorist attacks from happening tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is to cut off the root source of Islamic Terrorism: the Wahabi sect. Get rid of the Billions in Saudi Oil Money they get in propaganda. Put a great deal of our own money into both supporting and making propaganda for the best ideological alternatives in Islam for Wahabism (which I think has to be more than one option, because no single option will necessarily draw away all the demographics Wahabism has sewn up), and meanwhile not be afraid to condemn Islamism in the West (rather than being scared to say anything lest we get called ‘racist’).

      We could also keep bombing stuff or assassinating ISIS leaders, but the more we implement the rest of the plan the less necessary that would become.

  • Tom

    My first thought regarding this issue has an oddly tactical conceptual basis. “IFF” short for IDENTIFY FRIEND OR FOE. As concepts go its not a new one, its quite historical. Since the beginning of recorded warefare leaders have always chosen to mark their forces and followers. Flags, Standards, Crests, emblems, uniforms, logos, etc.

    Don’t expect the enemy to cooperate in the creation of your dream engagement.

    A dream engagement would be where terrorists identify themselves as such and can be shot on site as they deserve.

    In the case of Isis or Isil or whatever we are currently refering to these assholes as, they all insist they are Muslim; followers of Islam, blah blah blah. They cannot be differentiated from peaceful non-child-raping-murdering actual Muslims.

    The rest of the world obviously cannot simply ask them to identify themselves. They’re liers; it goes hand in hand with raping children and murdering innocent non-combatants. But for the sake of arguement what if normal peaceful Muslims simply identified themselves as such.

    Couldnt the various religious leaders of non-murder non-child rapist islam ask their followers to identify themselves as such?

    The closest parallel I can draw is protestants and catholics during the late 1400′s. They both believed in God but one did not have to be concerned that a Protestant would sick the Inquisition on you. They identified themselves specifically to differentiate against beliefs and behaviours they found offensive.

    I’m under the distinct impression that being Muslim normally would involve strongly frowning upon the murder of innocents, kidnapping and rape.

    I’ll say it again. Non-murdering non-kidnapping non-child raping Muslims need to identify themselves as such. Find a new name for your faith. Something that kidnapper-child-rapist-murders would take offense to and refuse to identify themselves as such.

    Proclaim it loudly and proudly. Make it like pink teeshirt day for Islam. Innocent Muslims are being targeted because other than decrying the attrocities commited they do nothing to differentiate themselves from those responsible.

    If Muslims refuse to differentiate themselves they would be aiding the enemies of humanity by allowing them to hide in their midst.

    The NAZI’s started out calling themselves the National Socialist Party. There can never be another political party that even sounds similar. The term has been tainted by the evil done by those in its name. Islam may need to pick a new name.

    • Kasimir Urbanski

      They can identify themselves by standing up to fight actively against Islamism in the battlefield of ideas, or against ISIS in the literal battlefield, as many Muslims have already been doing.

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