Is Islam, not merely “Islamism” the problem? Geert Wilders, right-wing Dutch politico sure says it is. Loud and proud, does he say it. Is Wilders too honest and politically incorrect, or is he flat out wrong?
Depends who you ask. In the words of Charles Krauthammer, what Wilders says is “extreme, radical, and wrong.”
Pretty strong stuff. And, it would appear, that Wilders is an unpleasant sort, given to much hyperbole. Again, from Krauthammer:
He [Wilders] basically is arguing that Islam is the same as Islamism. Islamism is an ideology of a small minority which holds that the essence of Islam is jihad, conquest, forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam]
It is certainly true that “the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the U.S. are not Islamists.” That’s probably also true in most places around the world.
This should not come as a revelation, as it seems to me that almost all of us humans simply want to live our lives in peace as best we can and not suffer for doing so. But there are two problems with Krauthammer’s (and most other commentators’) conclusion. First, even a small minority of 1.5 billion is a huge number of people actively engaged in trying to kill or convert us.
Second, if Islamism is incompatible with Islam, why haven’t that large majority of peace-loving Muslims stamped it out? Isn’t it giving the peaceful Muslims a really, really bad name? Not to mention causing all sorts of foreign infidels stomping around their countries.
Islamists grow out of Islam, as surely as tomatoes grow out of well-nourished soil. Islamism appears to be fully compatible with the Koran, which enjoins all the Muslim faithful to strive to convert or kill us all (e.g. 2.191; many other citations here).
Now, to be fair and balanced, the Bible requires us to convert the inifdel (Matthew 28:19). But nowhere in the Bible are Christians enjoined to kill the infidel if he doesn’t convert. At the risk of vast oversimplification, Christian conversion is up to God’s calling and/or the individual’s free will. Punishment for not converting? These days we conform to the Bible by leaving it for God to be the judge. In Islam, it is the faithful who do the judging. And slicing. And beheading.
All of this leaves unanswered the big question: how do we protect ourselves and our freedoms? No matter what else we do, the very first step must be to recognize the scope of the problem. In our politically correct society, it seems we are willfully ignoring the obvious.
Doubt that? Explain how Nidal Hassan went undetected, despite all-but-ticking like a human time bomb. I don’t have solutions, at least none that could (or should, for that matter) be put into place in a free society. But I urge us all who have eyes to see and ears to hear: know that until Muslims clean up themselves, the problem is Islam.