Robert Spencer disposes over an impressive array of encyclopaedic details that accumulate at a rapid clip. The wood he doesn't see for the trees is that Islam is a comprehensive and brutal mind control system. Yes, it is a religion, but only in so far as it sustains the relationship between the "scholars" and lay Muslims. In other words, as religion, Islam's business is with the people within it; as law (Shari'a), its business is with everyone on earth. Attraction and brutality come together in a total manipulation of pleasure and pain. This is why Spencer's proposal on how to deal with Muslims is so incongruous. He says:
The solution is really very simple but nobody wants to listen. Nobody wants to take it up, and that would be to say you are perfectly free to practice Islam in the United States, in India and Europe, wherever you want, no trouble at all, unless you begin to break the laws of the land. Then you will be prosecuted.
One could, of course, immediately respond that this still leaves Hindus fearing for their lives. It would be better, thought, to engage more positively with the solution proposed. One could, for example, highlight two oversights that would have fatal implications for the proposal. I am not suggesting that either of these two oversights play any role in the non-responsiveness to his proposal that Spencer complains about. That would be a topic for another discussion.
To address the first oversight, a single quotation would suffice to illustrate just how far off the mark Spencer's solution is. Keeping in mind Spencer's warning that, “there's no Muslim who doesn’t believe in jihad,” let us see what middle-class America's model Muslim, Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadhi, can teach us about the assumptions that underpins Spencer's solution.
Dr Qadhi, in conversation with British Muslim Dr Salman Butt and Swiss Muslim Brotherhood operative Professor Tariq Ramadan, took particular exception to Ramadan suggesting that he, Qadhi, is a law-abiding citizen. Clearly offended, the "moderate Muslim" sheikh stressed:
I do not have to respect the laws of the land. I have to abide, agreed. But I can criticise, I can hate it, I can try to change it. All of this is something I will do, as a Muslim. (My emphasis)
Little step by little step, law-abiding Yasser Qadhi works to supplant the law he is careful not to break with the law he actually respects. It is offensive to Muslims to obey the laws of non-Muslims, no matter what they say or agree to. Disrespect for and hatred of the laws of the land, and attempts to change them as a Muslim, are at the back of even a "moderate" Muslim's mind when he seizes his chance at perfect freedom "to practice Islam in the United States, in India and Europe, no trouble at all," and promises to never break the laws of the land. Three “moderate” Muslims in three different Western countries united in allegiance to a force that seeks to destroy the very countries they are citizens of. Spencer himself warns that, "The loyalty to Islam overrides every other loyalty," yet he ignores his own warning, and urges governments to ignore that warning, as well. The default state for Muslims is jihad, everywhere and always, even when they lie low for centuries, as in Poland.
Whatever would possess anyone in a free country to offer to a Muslim, "you are perfectly free to practice Islam in the United States, in India and Europe, wherever you want, no trouble at all, unless you begin to break the laws of the land?" Of course there will be trouble, and lots of it. They will break the law of the land, as soon as they can, to the greatest extent they can get away with. If you know about Shari'a, jihad, enforce right and forbid wrong, loyalty and enmity, dhimmitude, the centrality of violence, the virtues of killing, their science of lying, and the supremacism of Muslims (all Muslims), why in Heaven's name would you make Muslims an offer like this? It might even be Robert Spencer himself who coined the extremely useful term 'jihad imperative.'
The time of greatest danger is exactly when there are Muslims in your land who "don't take these verses as being applicable for our own day and don't behave in this way," yet feel compelled to always defend the good name of Islam. They are a red beacon to jihad recruiters signalling where young people can be shown the straight path.
Indeed, loyalty to Islam does override all other loyalties, but it does not obliterate them. On the ground, loyalty is more complex than the zero-sum relationship Spencer portrays. Loyalty is not only religious; it is also ethnic, it is linguistic, it is cultural, geographic, etc., all jostling amongst themselves to determine the Muslim's actions. The outcome is an explosive confluence of different hatreds all channelled through the ethics of violence and killing at the heart of Islam. Spencer's model Muslims might not "take these verses as being applicable for our own day," but the recruiters of the killers will show their impressionable youthful children exactly how observance of those verses will make Muslims great again.
Even without the jihad murder of infidels, violence and killing do not horrify people raised in an Islamic milieu as it does those raised in healthier ethical environments. When mothers tell sons to kill their own sisters, that is only the tip of the iceberg at which the victim's plight bursts into the open, and Western people respond to the individual incident in isolation from the ecosystem that engenders and will always engender such incidents, regardless of those who see certain verses as no longer applicable. A great deal of violence might well have preceded the killing, or not ended up in killing because the victim of the violence submitted.
Entertaining the notion of Muslims' discomfort with certain versus suggests that they know the verses of their own accord, rather than that the kufaar and the murtaddun have rubbed their faces into those verses and stirred their humanity. In general, lay Muslims do not know anything about any verses at all. Islamic ethics creates the culture, which assumes a life of its own and sustains itself regardless of the religiosity of those within the culture. The propensity for violence and killing thrives independently of the Islamic requirement for it.
Shame and loss of face only have meaning under the gaze of others, and so honour and face can only be recovered under the gaze of others. Violence takes place within the family before the detested behaviour reaches the public gaze. If the victim ends up dead before anyone outside learns of the behaviour, all is good, because honour and face will not have been put in jeopardy and life can continue as normal. Once others learn of daughter X's disgraceful behaviour, she will have to be killed to the knowledge of those aware of the behaviour in order for honour and face to be restored. If a wife is seen leaving the house without her husband's permission, she is going to have to be beaten in full view of those who saw her do it, else honour and face will not be restored. The violence preceding the killing has nothing to do with forestalling the killing and everything to do with stopping the behaviour before anyone finds out about it. In other words, by the time anyone gets any inkling of it, the law has already been broken many times over.
Similarly, the many different ways in which Muslims can commit jihad create the cultural conditions for every action associated with jihad to take on a life independent of its original religious imperative. All sorts of actions become socially acceptable, no longer requiring any knowledge of what the scripture says or does not say. Bank robbery and drug production and trafficking, for example, detach from financing jihad. Secretiveness and reticence, including never reporting the presence of jihad terrorists in their midst, become a cultural norm detached from Islam. The Islamic scripture only directly guides the "scholars," and by the time the target country's authorities offer "you are perfectly free to practice Islam, ...unless you begin to break the laws of the land," even to bearded mediaeval freaks, that country has already lost.
There is another aspect to Spencer's offer that bears thinking about. Looked at from the point of view of non-Muslim citizens inside the country, they already obey the laws and have done so all of their lives, yet have been offered no special incentive to do so. The Muslim at the gates is offered both entry to the country, and the freedom to practice a religion that will only end up costing the country a great deal of money, the society its peace and the citizens many innocent lives, in exchange for nothing more than obeying the law, which everybody else already does without gaining anything extra for doing so. A fairer solution would be to say, "You are perfectly free to give up Islam and enter the United States, India or Europe, wherever you want, no trouble at all, unless we find out that you are still practicing it anyway. Then you will be expelled." That is fair treatment.
For the sheer folly of making Muslims an offer such as "you are perfectly free to practice Islam in the United States, in India and Europe, wherever you want, no trouble at all, unless you begin to break the laws of the land," the wonderful, peaceful havens of Sweden, France, the UK and Germany are now destroyed. Most troubling in Spencer's offer is the careless phrase, "no trouble at all." To the Muslim mind, "no trouble at all" amounts to a promise of no interference, no surveillance, no investigation, no tracking, no arrests, no convictions, no expulsions, no trouble at all. Why would the most evil Islamic masterminds not come flocking —where do I sign? It is too late to blame the police for fearing charges of racism and "Islamophobia;" that's built into the "no trouble at all" offer.
People formed under totalitarianism are nurtured on a toxic cocktail of supremacism and self-negation, together with an all-consuming mission to advance their group's interests at the expense of all others. No matter how miserable a Muslim's life, Islam must dominate. Chinese people can be welded into their homes there to starve, but China must become the centre of the world. Soviet-era Russians can survive in utter destitution, so long as Mother Russia is feared by all. Such people are not amenable to any deals that constrain the dream that sustains them. It took nothing less than two atomic bombs to stop the unrelenting stream of Japanese, raised under Kokka-Shinto, soldiers and civilians alike, rushing forth to kill and be killed for their Emperor.
Such people cannot seek "co-existence;" they can only seek domination. They cannot seek peace; they can only seek war. They cannot seek stability; they can only seek instability; and none of them, ever, holds an agreement sacred. Thus it is with growing up under Communism, Islam, Nazism, Fascism and every other totalitarian order. I'm sorry to say, but we always flatter ourselves to think that we can change this by sheer force of better example. We see this same delusion writ large in the Western demand that Vladimir Putin "come to the negotiating table."
As for dissidents, and all totalitarian systems have them, Islam pre-emptively safeguards itself against their pernicious influence by insulating itself against those who "don't take these verses as being applicable for our own day and don't behave in this way," including by obligating those who hear and obey to kill those who do not. Every Muslim who deviates from the straight path knows that at any moment a Muslim can turn up to fix that. Spencer might put his faith in Muslims exercising their free choice to "not behave in this way," but those who continue to behave in this way do not recognise such freedom, and if the dissident is not careful, Allah will soon enough find out where he or she lives.
The second oversight is the circumstances under which Muslims are to be made Spencer's offer. The circumstances that Spencer imagines are the entry points to the United States, India, Europe or whatever country Muslims seek entry to, and it is perhaps natural that the Western focus will be on Muslim immigrants. Western populations become entirely clueless the moment the Muslim immigrant attains citizenship. Never mind that loyalty to Islam overrides all other loyalties, in the minds of the dhimmified Westerners, "they are American citizens," in other words, it is a post-factum imposition of "no trouble at all." The key point here is that Spencer has in mind the Western situation of Muslims seeking entry to the country. The situation facing India is very different.
Although Islam was imposed on India by Arab and Turkic Muslim invaders a thousand years ago, and that invasion continues across both the Pakistani and Bangladeshi borders, illegal entrants are not what Hindus have in mind when they express alarm at the Muslim murder of Hindus in the wake of the Nupur Sharma controversy. The Muslims in question are long-established indigenous Muslims, ethnic Indian descendants of Hindus, Sikhs and others who were forced to become Muslim over the centuries. Today, Muslims in India number 197.3 million, roughly 14.2% of a total population of 1.4 billion. Their number has increased spectacularly since two pieces of India were partitioned off "just for Muslims" in 1947, supposedly leaving the rump of the state "for Hindus" and everyone else.
Since no one except Muslims hold fast to an ideology that calls upon them to kill everyone else unless the join you or submit, the cost of having Muslims in a non-Muslim country's population, by virtue of their religion alone, means trouble as soon as they can get away with causing it, and to the full extent that they can get away with keeping the trouble going. Every state has a safety and security budget, even with a generally law-abiding population. But where a section of the population is inherently antithetical to the peaceful order of society, be it on account of an entrenched criminal culture or on account of jihad, such a population alone will absorb state resources way in excess of their proportion of the population. In short, Muslims will first bankrupt your country, or its sub-national jurisdictions, simply by being Muslim, and eventually impact the state as a whole.
Enough Muslims stayed behind in "Hindu India" to set about turning that, too, into "Muslim India," — what Partition? — and they have Pakistan and Bangladesh as sovereign bases from which to infiltrate, as well as the Muslim enclaves within India. India's problem is that it gave a sucker an even break. It became a secular democracy instead of a Hindu nationalist one. Instead of defending its State against Islam from the outset, it tried to be "fair" to all sections of its population when to one of those sections, fairness equates both to discrimination, and to an opportunity to undermine the secular, democratic order. Islam must dominate, that is imperative, and until it does, no non-Muslim country with Muslims will ever be free of trouble, costly, deadly trouble.
To be fair to Robert Spencer, the mischaracterisation of Islam and Muslims comes also from the side of the Hindus themselves, and very strongly so. If only the Indian government would face up to what really transpired at Galwand, and talk about it openly, then perhaps the country will stop screwing itself every time someone tries to abuse it. Talking about these things openly will soon reveal the parallels between the Chinese behaviour on India's external border, and the behaviour of Muslims both within and around the country. But that would require them to also take a very hard look at how Muslims have behaved ever since they first set foot in Hindustan. I fear there is little chance that the Government will do that. In a rather lengthy passage, M. A. Khan offers important insights into the Indian government's "cluelessness," but also into why, to Hindus, "this was unexpected." Khan writes:
Curiously, of the two foreign rules in India, only one—the British rule—is termed colonial and singled out for condemnation by historians, scholars and citizens of the subcontinent and elsewhere. A conscious and deliberate effort has been made to whitewash the no-less dark and disastrous and much longer period of Islamic rule. Quite oddly, the Islamic rule is mostly shown in a positive light by most of the leading modern historians and writers. This remains the dominant theme in modern history writing, not only in Islamic Pakistan and Bangladesh, but also in Hindu India. ...For example, Nehru, who was at the forefront of whitewashing Islamic atrocities in India, says, ‘Islam brought an element of progress to India.’
The future stability of India is increasingly threatened by rising radicalism, intolerance and militancy amongst its sizeable Muslim population. ...Factual investigation and discussion about the deleterious impact of the Islamic rule have hitherto remained largely shrouded in a policy of silence or denial, or a de-facto taboo subject in India. The elite historians, intellectuals and writers adamantly refuse to acknowledge the real consequence of the Islamic conquest... This viewpoint, however, shows a wilful disregard for an overwhelming body of recorded evidence left behind by Muslim historians and chroniclers of those times.
The point of Khan's passage, for me, is that the problem of jihad in India is not simply a matter of how individual Hindus deal with it. When Minnie says that the government is clueless, it means that half the Muslims' work is already done for them: the state is paralysed, or worse, acts against its own interests.
To Spencer's anti-boycott stance, one might respond with several points. Firstly, anyone can at any time for any reason choose where to spend or not spend their own money. Secondly, it is quite preposterous to equate a boycott to an attack, let alone a killing spree. The consequence of a boycott on a Muslim’s business is that one business loses (and another gains). The consequence of a Muslim perpetrating a jihad attack is that someone ends up dead. Incidentally, one of the ways in which Muslims take over a part of a city is by driving out non-Muslim businesses through violence, arson, vandalism, assault, extortion and incessant intimidation until the non-Muslim owner sells his business to a Muslim (the Muslim names the price) and moves out. No prizes for guessing the poor Muslim barber's stance on such behaviour.
When Hindus talk about boycotting Muslim businesses, it is partly out of helpless despair, something that comes across clearly from what Minnie describes, and partly out of an urgency to do something when they have no idea what to do. There is nothing either helpless or desperate about jihad murder. It is calculated, meticulously planned, and painstakingly executed, sometimes over the course of a century. There is no equivalence whatsoever between Hindus boycotting Muslim businesses and “jihadis attacking random people for supporting Nupur Sharma.”
Thirdly, there is nothing random about “people supporting Nupur Sharma.” All people who support Nupur Sharma support Nupur Sharma. The real perversion that Spencer does not touch on, is that the Muslims killing their “friends” could just as easily be doing so as to demonstrate that they are not friends with Hindus, rather than to kill for the sake of Allah. It is a choice none of these killers need to make, because there is only one Nupur Sharma, yet nine Hindus are dead, and the blood of many more is bayed for — and just in case it needs to be spelt out, of course, I'm against harming Nupur Sharma in any way. The state should go out of its way to protect her.
Finally, Spencer's sentence: “What the authorities should be doing is absolutely tolerating none of it,” is a powerful topic sentence that promises an examination of the government’s options and the most feasible way forward. Yet, instead of delivering, Spencer deflects to what is clearly a more important priority for him, clarifying Minnie's term “Islamist businesses” to make sure she doesn't mean all Muslims. This simply reinforces the general tenor of the piece: tiptoe around Muslims.
All this comes across as if Spencer were more concerned about the social life of a potential killer, than he is about the life of the potential victim. Since jihad is the Muslims' permanent war upon the kufaar, and “there's no Muslim who doesn’t believe in jihad,” why would any potential victim equivocate in this matter? In my opinion, the Hindus' real problem is that they don't go nearly far enough. Instead of merely boycotting Muslim businesses, why not boycott all Muslims and everything Muslim altogether? Why not study and openly talk about India's tragic experience with Muslims? Why does the taboo on talking about Islam in India still shackle the Hindu mind? India is an independent country of a billion Hindus. It should act like one.
I refer readers back to Dr Kedar's list in Part 1. Any Muslim can at any moment without warning slide to anywhere up or down the jihad scale. By boycotting all Muslims, at least you know that your friends are actually your friends, and none of them is going to turn up at your house one fine day and slit your throat. Far from it's being a terrible way to live, it would be a terrible way to die. Of course, it is possible that Spencer has some Muslims friends (I have none, so I don’t have this problem), and he is free to live life on the edge, if he so chooses. It is irresponsible to urge that choice upon others.
The hapless Indian authorities, too, can take their lead from their own recent achievements. Offering rapid immigration processing to non-Muslims from surrounding Muslim countries is absolutely the right thing to do. A great tragedy it would be for a Hindu who sought refuge in India from Muslim killings in Bangladesh to end up killed by Muslims in India. Revoking autonomy in Kashmir was absolutely the right thing to do. Another Muslim pogrom against Hindus there would signal that Muslims are still able to act with impunity.
To show weakness in the face of Muslim agitation for pogroms against Hindus now is to invite agitation to reverse both of the above great gains, as well as for the lifting of the ban on triple talaq. To Muslims, no matter which Court orders what, no matter which government legislates what, nothing is settled until they have Shari'a, and if they are not killing and intimidating to bring that barbaric legal system about, or to restore it, they are plotting, scheming and manoeuvring to do exactly that. Remember the stones piled up on the roofs of mosques before the Muslim pogrom against Hindus last year, or the weapons hidden inside Al-Aqsa? The undermining of civilisation will never stop while somewhere on this earth there is Islam.
On the boycotts, Spencer says, “Hindus rightly deplore that and say that's a terrible thing.” Firstly, it is Hindus calling for the boycott. These Hindus obviously do not deplore it or think it’s a terrible thing. The balanced assessment would be that Hindus responded with a number of conflicting positions, which, incidentally, speaks to their vast moral superiority over Muslims. There is no moral equivalence between these two peoples. When Spencer urges Hindus to, “be aware and be careful and be alert, but the whole idea here is to distinguish ourselves from the jihadis by not victimising and brutalising innocent people,” one has to immediately jump in and remind Spencer that the whole idea here to ensure that no more Hindus get murdered. As for the distinction, he, in fact, makes two distinctions: “ourselves” versus “jihadis” and “innocent people;” and “jihadis” versus “innocent people.” It is the second distinction that slips in under the radar and needs to be unpicked.
Since “there's no Muslim who doesn’t believe in jihad,” then who are the “jihadis” and who are the “innocent people?” This distinction is just one step away from distinguishing between “jihadis” and “Muslims,” and from there onto the slippery slope to distinguishing between Islam and “Islamism.” Boycotting, i.e., avoiding interaction with, is very different to “victimising and brutalising.” Avoiding Muslims is not penalising Muslims. All that is happening here is safeguarding your life against providing the Muslim with the opportunity to kill you, should he ever become so inclined, something that the potential victim cannot be expected to have any control over.
Playing with language in this way only raises questions. To put it bluntly, there is nothing balanced about talking about Muslims who are never going to "do that," versus Muslims who do "do that," because the crisis facing Hindus does not lie between these two groups of Muslims. Spencer tries to subsume the Hindus' urgent concern within this false construct. Trying to have it both ways is to mess with people’s heads.
Part 4 to follow/...
- The same suicidal myopia afflicts the Israeli Left with respect Muslims in Israel openly intent on destroying that state: "They are Israeli citizens" is a retort that promises nothing less than, "no trouble at all."
- M. A. Khan, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery, Felibri.com, 2011, p274-5.