Friday, April 21, 2017

"No strategy" is not a strategy

One of the responses to a previous post on here--the one showing that 30% of British Moslems support the Islamic State and bemoaning the British government's steadfast refusal to combat Moslem terrorism by, inter alia, calling it Moslem terrorism--observed that the Western governments' apparent impotence in the face of Islamic terrorism and extremism owes to their desire to not alienate the (probably? hopefully?) 70% of the Moslems who do not support the I.S.  Even though support for the I.S. is just one measure of the nomos of the Moslem communities and societies worldwide--and other criteria yield far more depressing statistics, well exceeding a half of the Moslem populations--, that statement is essentially correct.  The Western governments do not want to alienate the Moslems living in their countries who, even if they hold abhorrent views, do not actually go out bombing, raping, running over, and hacking up people.  They also do not want to incense those who, while neither engaging in nor supporting such acts, are Moslem in name and do take pride in their Islamic heritage.  That much is understandable and even commendable.

The problem, however, is that the Western governments are not doing much of anything.  (And no, pretending and contending that terrorism is a bane upon everyone, that "far-Right" "extremism" is as much a danger as Moslem terrorism, and that the answer is more unity, more diversity, and more love does not count as doing something.)  Essentially, those governments do not wish to alienate their Moslem communities--or the global Islamdom--but they are simultaneously bereft of any vision of how to approach the Moslems living in the West, which includes endeavoring to coopt them in the fight against terrorism.

The first step, surely, would be to acknowledge that terrorism is rooted in the Moslem community and, indeed, that it is rooted in the ideology to which the members of that community overwhelmingly subscribe.  That does not need to be an indictment of the entire community or of Islam but there has to be a recognition that, sometimes, something goes wrong there and that it is largely that community's responsibility to ensure it does not.  After all, Moslems generally have a propensity to both hold Westerners collectively accountable for our "foreign policy" as well as boast of their strong family ties that contrast favorably with the hedonistic individualism of the wretched infidels.  It would surely not be too much to insist they took better care of their much more nuclear and close-knit communities.

How to encourage the Moslem communities to take point in battling the terrorism emanating from them is another matter.  There is not much of a carrot to dangle in front of them.  Despite the occasional howls of hysteria about "Islamophobia," Moslems in the West are not discriminated against in any palpable way.  They have free and ready access to the same education and employment opportunities as anyone else.  The stick approach would not be necessarily more desirable because it both would effectively criminalize and marginalize the entire Moslem community--and collective punishment is instinctively wrong to the modern Western psyche--and would necessitate immense resources to monitor millions of people scattered throughout a country.

The only realistic option left, then, is the proverbial if jaded "battle for the hearts and minds."  The Moslems of the West must be persuaded of the virtues of the classical liberal worldview, including the rule of law, the separation of church and state, the equality of the sexes, the protection of minorities, the freedom of conscience, the freedom of expression, and so forth.  That persuasion must be confident and resolute.  The inevitable pushback--from segments of the Moslem communities as well as the inevitable Leftist professional activists screaming about "racism"--must be confuted unapologetically and with ever-renewed vigor.  Naturally, doing so requires repudiation of the poisonous cultural relativism credo and rediscovery of pride in the Western classical liberal thought.  The toxic self-flagellation by the Western society over the past half a century or so has resulted in a dispirited, mentally-feeble, morally-rudderless majority people.  Such demoralized Westerners are no match for the more assertive and aggressive cultures.

The first step in answering how to foil the germination of terrorism in the Western Moslem communities is therefore to bolster the fundaments of the Western society.  The second step is to essay to extend those ideals to the Moslem communities, too.  It may or may not be effective, but one thing is certain: Failure to take this path will ultimately result in repression of the entire society by governments anxious to get a handle on rampant terrorism, and that will in turn eventuate in everyone losing the benefits of the civil liberties listed above.

© 2017 Michael L.S.

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