Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, and now a member of the Hudson Institute, wrote today in the Telegraph:
The latest terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a grim reminder that the threat of global terrorism is unlikely to end until the resolution of the civil war of ideas between Muslim modernisers and those adhering to an outmoded theology of Islamic dominance.
Just as the post-9/11 war against al-Qaeda degraded Osama bin Laden’s group but gave rise to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), extremist Islamist ideology will likely give birth to “Terrorism 3.0” once the world has fought, contained and eliminated Isil. Security will return only after the widespread embrace of pluralism by Muslims and the defeat and marginalisation of the idea that Muslims cannot move in an orbit set by another.
This last comment brings to mind a story told be a friend of mine who had dealings with the Muslim community in a large Canadian city. The friend was dealing with Canadian Muslims of all stages of assimilation. One of them was frank enough to admit that the Koran did not allow for the peaceful cohabitation of Muslims as minorities; rather, they had to strive to dominate their environment and impose shari’a (Islamic law) on the societies where they dwelt. In short, peaceful cohabitation with Christians and others in a non-Islamic society was not part of the world view acceptable to Muslims as something provided for by the Prophet.
This is a very important aspect of our confusion and ignorance regarding Islam. Many people think that it is a religion, and therefore, since it is a religion, it will have the same effect on people as Christianity.
If they are atheists, they will think Islam causes people to believe impossible rubbish, and therefore should be tolerated in the same condescending way as they “tolerate” Chritsianity.
If they are Christians, they will probably look at Islam through Christian eyes, and since they do not understand their own religion, they will think Islam is like Christianity somehow.
It is not.
As I have said before, there are three axioms of Christian thought, and from which our civilization has flowed, which Islam rejects absolutely.
- That the domain of Caesar is different and distinct from the domain of God. This may seem the most powerful of differences in its implications, yet is in fact the least important, compared to the next two.
- That the universe is intelligible, and hence can be reasoned about. God has no power to make 2+2 equal anything but 4. For the Muslim, God is remote, unintelligible, and the only knowledge we have is what the Koran contains, and therefore God could have confused us even there, but the Koran is the only possible source of reliable knowledge.
- That God loves his creation, and therefore that family and social life should mirror or attempt to reflect that love. In Islam, God does not love his creatures. In turn, Islamic social and family life is not grounded in the idea of love of man for man or woman for woman, but of obedience to social custom only. There may be love in Islamic families (surely) but the religion allows you, indeed requires you, to drown your wife if she so much as offers coffee to the postman.
So when I call Islam a totalitarian social ideology, I mean what I say.
Maybe it is time for secularists to rethink some views and social attitudes towards the Christian faith.
And as the Pakistani Ambassador reminds us:
With over 1.4 billion Muslims around the globe, the swelling of the fundamentalist ranks poses serious problems. If only 1 per cent of the world’s Muslims accepts this uncompromising theology, and 10 per cent of that 1-per cent decide to commit themselves to a radical agenda, we are looking at a one million strong recruitment pool for groups such as al-Qaeda, IS and whatever comes next.
Only a concerted ideological campaign against medieval Islamist ideology, like the one that discredited and contained communism, could turn the tide.
I think that means saying rude and true things about Islam, and not just terrorists motivated my Islam.