From a Muslim Reader
Commentary for 16 January 2017
I received an interesting letter from a former Islamist in Germany. He liked my new book, Der Tor und Sein Widersacher: Die Metaphysik des Bösen (which, if I can find a publisher, may soon appear in English as The Fool and His Enemy). I have received several friendly emails from Muslims in the past, but this one merited a special response. My Muslim correspondent wrote as follows: "In my youth I was involved with many Islamic currents and was a true-believing jihadist and a leading al Qaeda propagandist in Germany for about a year."
He does not say exactly why, but writes of a change of heart as follows: "Being led to a long self-critical analysis of this [Islamist] ideology, I left it behind and wanted from conviction to make a contribution to the security of [Germany]."
This is a brave thing to have done, and signifies a special kind of person. "The whole time," he wrote, "I was always a conservative man...." He added, "I share [your] convictions ... except with regard to Islam. I'm a believing Muslim and see also, after years of intense Islamic studies, no contradiction to the positions of anti-communism, quite the opposite. I understand that Islam appears to be the problem, but there is in fact a larger danger, and it is not Islam. To generalize about Islam is wrong, despite the advent of Jihadist terrorism. In truth, Islam has been just as abused and perverted by communism as Christianity.”
My Muslim correspondent is right when he adds: “You should not forget that the communists say Jesus was the first socialist. If we agree that this is a distortion of Christianity, imagine the different twists and turns by which Islam might also be used as a vehicle for the extension of leftist terrorism and the destabilization of the West. A kind of 'Islamic liberation theology' has been established, which contradicts ancient Islamic teachings. Muslims observe many traditional and conservative rules, having an aversion to everything socialist. Hence, I hold it important that we few conservative anti-communist thinking people stick together, despite differences in religious thinking. It is a counterfeit Islam which attacks and frightens the potential allies of authentic Islam, deterring a combination against communism. I have Muslim friends who think as I do; however, because of repeated attacks on the Muslim religion, are reserved and doubtful about aligning with Western conservatives. Therefore do I think of Reagan, a Christian believer who worked with religious Muslims to contain Soviet communism. To the very end I thank you and your country for fighting against evil; for the fight against communist is, truly, a fight of good versus evil. On one side stands religion, freedom and values; on the other side, with communism, we see slavery, corruption, injustice, atheism, and so on. I am against egalitarian religions, politically correct mind control, and I see many commonalities between Christianity and Islam from which a common interest results: to fight evil in the form of communism. Today I fight the radicalization of Islam. Yet, if the West sees all Muslims as enemies, we are then driven into the Socialist camp of Russia, China and Iran. If, by the same logic, we listened to the communist claims about Jesus, then fighting communism would mean fighting Christianity. Is this a trap we should fall into? Need I point out that many Christians collaborate with communists, for example, in the area of climate change propaganda. See how Merkel uses Christianity and god to obligate people. Just as treacherous actions are currently covered with Christian charity, and with Christian justifications in general, we see religion fulfilling the same role which the abused religion of Islam plays."
What he says has some merit. Islam and the West are both threatened by Russia and China, and by their infiltration tactics. This does not mean that hundreds of years of enmity between Islam and Christendom can be entirely forgotten, however. The past is important, and we should own it. Muslims and Christians can make common cause against Russia and China. But we cannot do so if we lie to ourselves about our past.
Muslims and Christians should cooperate against Communism. Such an alliance would be advantageous to both sides. Reagan did exactly this – in Afghanistan, by helping the resistance fighters there. But we all know how that turned out. We supported the Islamic fighters only to find our homeland attacked by Muslim terrorists operating from caves in Afghanistan. Moscow probably used these terrorists, but it doesn’t make Islam any less problematic.
In writing this I do not wish to attack Islam. I merely speak as a political realist and not as a political fantasist. Why should Muslims be allowed to move into Germany in large numbers? It is not a Muslim country. In fact, it frightens me to think that Germany will become, one day, Islamic. For as I am of the West, I cherish the culture of the West. I cherish the legacy of Greece and Rome, of ancient Scandinavia and Germany. Islam is not my heritage, but the heritage of an alien civilization. It is normal and right that I should oppose the colonization of Europe by Muslims, just as a Muslim would be right to oppose the colonization of Arabia by Europeans. The Muslim does not wish to see heathens flooding into Mecca. The Western conservative does not want Muslims flooding into Berlin and Stolkholm.
Let us agree on this. Each side wants to preserve its territory and heritage. Writing this does not signify an attack on Islam. Rather, let the Muslim keep to his lands and the Christian keep to his. We should not be mixing Muslims up with non-Muslims in the heart of Europe; for if you want a bloodbath, then this is the formula to use. The end result will be the slaughter of each by the other. Islam is not compatible with Western ways. To say this is not an attack on Islam. Those who are wise, on both sides of this divide, should be wise enough to see what is happening. The idea of putting millions of Muslims into Germany is not good for Germans. It is not good for Muslims. Moscow is the beneficiary of putting two scorpions in a bottle. And if the Germans are politically correct today, they will not remain so forever. They will one day wake up, and old instincts will resurface.
Islam has traditionally been a religion at war with Christendom. As such, Islam is Europe’s oldest enemy. It is a religion that has made war on us through many centuries. Most of the lands now occupied by Muslims were originally provinces of the Roman Empire. Some of us recall that Islam dealt a crushing blow to European civilization, despoiling the Mediterranean trade through piracy, plundering many cities, carrying millions into slavery. Islamic warriors invaded Egypt, Libya, Spain, France, Sicily, Italy, Syria . They sacked Byzantium in the 15th century. They invaded the Balkans and Central Europe; they subjugated Hungary and marched on Vienna. Islam does not rule Europe today because the armies of Islam were defeated by European armies. Given this terrible history you might begin to see how a historically aware European might feel. We hear the call to prayer in our cities, and the call of Muslims to form a Caliphate in Europe. How would you feel if Christians started flooding into Arabia building Churches?
I am afraid of the “religion of peace.” The “magnificent 19” hijackers of 9/11 were Muslims, even if the Russians manipulated their lethal sentiments. In the years before this attack, America had come to the defense of Muslims in Kosovo. We defended Saudi Arabia in the First Gulf War. America aided the faithful in Afghanistan. We did this with the expectation of peace between us. But Islam is not a religion of peace. It was not so for the Christians in Lebanon, or the Hindus of the Subcontinent, or the Serbs and Croatians, Bulgarians or Russians. Islam is not a religion of peace. Perhaps you are a peaceful Muslim. Perhaps you understand Islam differently. But as the scholar Bernard Lewis pointed out in his book, The Political Language of Islam, “The basis of the obligation of jihad is the universality of the Muslim revelation. God’s word and God’s message are for all mankind; it is the duty of those who have accepted them to strive (jahada) unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.” [p. 73]
Before the submission of the whole world, as my Muslim correspondent must know, the world is divided into the House of War, compromising the entire non-Muslim world, and the House of Islam. Lewis writes, “Between the two there is a morally necessary, legally and religiously obligatory state of war, until the final and inevitable triumph of Islam over unbelief. According to the law books, this state of war could be interrupted, when expedient, by an armistice or truce of limited duration. It could not be terminated by a peace, but only by a final victory.”
I would like to know what my Muslim reader in Germany would say to this. Would he say that I am “attacking” Islam? Or would he admit that I am “describing” Islam? Lewis says that only a minority of Muslim scholars would disagree with what I have written here. Are they also “attacking” Islam?
I appreciate that my Muslim correspondent recognizes the threat from Moscow and Beijing. And there is good reason for an armistice between the West and Islam. But when Russia inevitably collapses from its own self-enfeeblement, will the Muslims then launch a war against the West?
The West is in a serious state of decline and confusion. That is why I wrote my book for Germans. I did not write my book for Muslims in Germany. I do think we ought to be temporary allies, but nothing positive will come if we cover up the truth about the House of Islam and the House of War.
To my Muslim correspondent in Germany I ask: What is the Westerner to think of your mass migration into the heart of Europe? Is it peaceful? Or is there a plan of attack once you have grown in strength, as happened to the Christians in Lebanon? I am sorry, but I judge your religion by its history and its stated doctrines. I do not judge it by the politically correct standard of the idiot liberal who thinks all religions are one and nobody should distinguish between one faith and another. At the moment I would say that Europe is headed for the gravest possible danger, even if Russia collapsed yet again. If you think this is an unreasonable position to take, by all means, tell me where I have made a mistake in my analysis. Please tell me what my factual errors are.
An armistice between peoples should be based on political realism, not on political fantasy. Neither of us made the world the way it is. We merely inherited from our forefathers those conflicts which were already given to the world before our time. Europe is the homeland of Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, French, Dutch, etc. Your religion threatens to supplant these peoples and cultures, to override our free institutions, to eliminate our peace and quiet with acts of terror and violence. Already Islam is subtly imposed on us by the imputations of political correctness.
Is Christianity manipulated by the communists? Of course it is! All religions are being infiltrated and “conquered from within” by Russia and its minions. What that signifies in practice, however, is that Christianity becomes increasingly pacifistic and helpless while Islam becomes more militant and assertive. This is the dialectic which the strategists in Moscow have set in motion to produce a crisis that they hope to exploit. Christ said, “Love your enemy.” He said, “Turn the other cheek.” Islam says, “Make war on the idolaters. “ It says, “Slay them wherever you find them.” The Russians and Chinese have found in Islam an “icebreaker” of the revolution. Your religion damages the West, making Russian intervention into the affairs of Europe inevitable and necessary. Your religion paves the way for the atheist/socialist extermination of all religion. Has this been understood? Look at the dialectical use of Islam, and the path which Islam naturally follows when the way is open.
Islam is incompatible with Christianity, incompatible with free institutions, incompatible with European folkways – from polygamy to Sharia, your folkways are not our folkways. The two things cannot exist (in peace) at the heart of Europe. I do not like war, or want war with Islam. I am only describing things as they are. Europeans do not want to be crushed under the tires of a truck while Christmas shopping. They do not want to be blown up or assassinated because they disagree with Islamic precepts. It is not our way to censor books and magazines in order to spare Muslim feelings. We would prefer to live in peace with Muslims, but this is only possible if there is a defensible line between us. You have your lands, we have ours. We do not want to suffer the fate of Lebanese Christians who thought they were living in peace with Muslims until one day the Muslims launched a tremendous surprise attack against them. Assurances of peaceful intent were given then, and they will be given again. We do not want assurances. We want a defensible border, a firm line. We do not want the house of Islam making war on our office Christmas party, or slitting the throats of an airline stewardess so that our flight to New York can be used to take down a skyscraper. Please forgive us our fear. We have reason.