Urbanski Explains How We Can Stop Islamism By Changing Islam, If We Can Just Stop Listening To The Cowards In Our Midst
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?
Photo by Ahmet Sik/Getty Images
Photo by Ahmet Sik/Getty Images
(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 therpgpundit.blogspot.com. Follow Kasimir on Twitter @KasimirUrbanski.