Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yes, but what if "islamism" is islam?

Daniel Pipes has a new piece at FrontPage in which he discusses the ever increasing calls to outright ban islam and the Koran in non-muslim countries. There he presents some of his ideas which at first glance look sensible, but once the surface is scratched, they appear either poorly explained or so opaque they could mean just about anything.

After giving a long list of demands to ban the Koran or islam Pipes give his opinion:

My take? I understand the security-based urge to exclude the Koran, Islam, and Muslims, but these efforts are too broad, sweeping up inspirational passages with objectionable ones, reformers with extremists, friends with foes. Also, they ignore the possibility of positive change.

Inspirational passages? That is a broad definition. A jihadist finds the passages Pipes deems "objectionable" as inspirational(as Anakin Skywalker says in the "Revenge of the sith":"From my point of view, the Jedi are evil").

As for the second part, how does Daniel Pipes propose we differentiate friend from foe and a moderate from an extremist? I am not the only one asking this. Robert Spencer on JihadWatch would also like to know:

Officials should proclaim a moratorium on all visa applications from Muslim countries, since there is no reliable way for American authorities to distinguish jihadists and potential jihadists from peaceful Muslims. Because this is not a racial issue, these restrictions should not apply to Christians and other non-Muslim citizens of those countries. Those who claim that such a measure is "Islamophobic" should be prepared to provide a workable way for immigration officials to distinguish jihadists from peaceful Muslims, or, if they cannot do so, should not impede basic steps the U.S. should take to protect itself.

His remark about "ignoring the possibility of positive change" is simply off the wall, based if not on fantasy then on a possibility that is extremely remote. It would be like saying that not wearing a helmet every day ignores the possibility of a bottle falling on your head from above.

Pipes ends with this:

More practical and focused would be to reduce the threats of jihad and Shariah by banning Islamist interpretations of the Koran, as well as Islamism and Islamists.

...and then cites some examples in order to give a vague idea what he considers "islamist interpretation" and "islamism" and how to deal with them. We have heard this one before not just from Pipes. The trouble is that these "islamist" interpretations have been shown to be firmly rooted in mainstream islam by several scholars and public personalities such as the afore mentioned Spencer, Srdja Trifković, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and others. Bearing that in mind, would Pipes follow upon his own advice?

Personally, I doubt that. The sheer number of those who make an "islamist interpretation" would take Pipes aback so hard he would give up on doing anything about the threat of global jihad altogether. That is because, in his heart, Pipes is still a multiculturalist and admitting to many of the realities of global jihad would be tantamount to him having to abandon the main idea that has been his spiritus movens all these years.

1 comment:

1389 said...

You certainly have Daniel Pipes figured out.

What a shame that so few people are big enough to admit that their old views were based on the limited knowledge they had at the time, and that they have learned something new since then.