Jim Miller nails it:
But all these — and many more practical objections — are small considering the grandiose stupidity of his central idea, that our differences with radical Muslims can be worked out in an “honest discussion”. A significant minority in the Muslim world does not want to talk to us, but wants us to submit and, preferably, convert. Most Muslims do not want that, but most Muslims are not our problem. Our strategy must be to separate the radicals from the moderates, not to unite all Muslims to demand things from us.
(See also this post.)
Left and Right both err fundamentally by treating Muslims as monolithic. The Left imagines a harmonious Islam that the West has offended and should now appease. The Right is concerned about a monolithically hostile Islam that the West must defend itself against. In fact there are all kinds of Muslims, many of whom are friendly to the West, many of whom are part of the West. If our leaders don’t understand the important distinctions between Muslims then we will have great difficulty in responding effectively to events in the Muslim world.
Obama’s statements on foreign affairs reveal both foolishness and arrogance. Foolishness because appeasement as a strategy is never effective against committed enemies. Arrogance because it’s not all about us: there is big change underway in the Muslim world, it’s been going on for decades, and while we are now deeply involved and have a lot of power and influence, we didn’t start it. At best we can protect ourselves and help reasonable Muslims to prevail over the killers. But to do that effectively we need to draw clear distinctions between good guys and bad.
6 thoughts on “Obama and the Muslim World”
“In fact there are all kinds of Muslims, many of whom are friendly to the West, many of whom are part of the West.”
I generally believe what you have to say re. Muslims in your post Jim. However, the sentence from your post above doesn’t address the problem that those Muslims who will accommodate western civilization are hypocritical (with respect to their religion) or dissembling. The Koran clearly, very clearly, is intolerant, barbaric, and vengefully jealous. Therefore the “radical” Islamist problem will be (and has been, in fact, throughout their history) repeated periodically until it succeeds. To have Muslims turn away from this is like asking Christians to abandon the bible.
A Christian believes that the highest form of personal behavior is exemplified by Christ when he walked the earth and that his words are true and precious. So to the Muslims with respect to Mohammad.
Your post raises two issuesP
1. how do we sepagze the good from the bad among a zillion?
2. change has been “going on for decades”? But the attacks upon American installations has but taken place in very recent time, hardly for decades.
Obama, like most Leftist, is an articulate intellectual and he seeks define all problems in such as way that they can be solved by articulation. When the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems look like nails. Talking is basically the tool that Obama and others like him have in their toolbox so they therefore conclude that the only possible solution is dialog.
Defining a problem as one that cannot be solved by dialog means defining a problem as one that Obama cannot solve and he will not accept that. His skills, his view of himself and his desire for power within our society drives him to only see certain narrow solutions to very complex and persistent problems.
This post speaks to America’s #1 dilemma in the war against Islamic supremacism. Namely, that our ultimate victory or defeat in this war hinges in very large part on the outcome of what amounts to a civil war within Islam between the supremacists and proponents of more benign understandings of Islam, a struggle over which the U.S., on account of not being a Muslim society, has little if any substantial influence.
As Jonathan points out, Obama is repeating the Left’s standard fallacy that everything (or at least everything bad) that goes on in the world revolves around what the American “hyperpower” does or doesn’t do. This is silly in any case, and especially so when it creates the expectation that the U.S., of all nations, can somehow unify Muslim peoples who have been at each others’ throats since long before the U.S. even existed as a nation, much less unify them in our favor.
I guess that’s why he’d send missiles into Pakistan if he knew Al-Q’s position there.
Yall sure beat the hell out of that scarecrow, though. It’ll think twice before coming around here again.
Tyouth says “The Koran clearly, very clearly, is intolerant, barbaric, and vengefully jealous. Therefore the “radical” Islamist problem will be (and has been, in fact, throughout their history) repeated periodically until it succeeds. To have Muslims turn away from this is like asking Christians to abandon the bible. ”
Obviously, Tyouth has never opened the Qur’an and read it. He relies upon the words of demogogues and others who have specific agendas to fulfill.
Intolorant? Specifically in Qur’an we are forbidden from compelling anyone to believe as we do. We are bound only to deliver the message and leave the individual to decide for him/herself. Islamic history, if you take the time to study it will bear out that Cristian and Jewish communities thrived under Islamic Rule and were never subject to pogroms or ethnic cleansing. Can the Christian west make the same claim? remember, Hitler, Stalin, barbarosa and others where products of western Christian society, not Islamic society.
Barbaric? We are instructed bu Allah(swt) never to be the agresser but only to defend ourselves and our homes. Our book tells us if those who we are fighting stop fighting us and make peace, then to leave them alone.
When Christian Jerusalem surrendered to the Muslims ciRCA 780a.d. the Khalipha ordered no harm be done to any of the occupants, no churches where burned down or ransacked. In fact, gthe place where Al-Aqsa mosque stands today was purchased by the Khalifa from the Christian Church. The Muslims even allowed the Jewish community to return to jerusalem, something the Christians forbid. When the crusaders reconquered Jersusalem circa 1000 a.d the Christian army went on a rampage slaughtering all the inha bitants of Jerusalem including Muslim, Christian abd Jew alike. Then Jerusalem was recaptured again by the Muslims led by Salahu Din. Again the Muslims harmed none of the occupants and established once again a tolorant rule over the city. The current controversy in Jerusalem is the result of a Judaic-Christian reinvasion of the lAND.
What is going on in the Middle East today is in large part the result of several hundred years of Euopean Colonialism. Remember, Saddam Husein was America’s boy placed in power by the policies of Nuclear Nightmare Diplomacy.
The Islamic world is very messed up and confused. Extremists have left the wisdom of the Qur’an and Islam and pursued a policy of expediancy to gain redress for real and percieved wrongs. To these people, they have somehow decided that they use means outside of Islam to establish Islam. It is not going to work. Mainly because the provide the fuel and ammunition for demagogues and liars to creat the current hysteria agains Islam.
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