For what seem only to be reasons of self-aggrandizement and history books, for decades American leaders have convinced themselves that peace is attainable in the Middle East.
Coexistence is a Western concept. When cultures and civilizations have met throughout history, conflict has ensued. While it is nice to say we are past all that, the “we” is the West. Only in the West is coexistence valued. Outside the West, the weak survive only due to the intervention, threatened or real, of the West.
Coexistence has not always been prized in the West, either. Becoming the dominant culture required destroying or making subservient those cultures at-odds with our culture. Slavery, child labor, infant mortality, short life expectancies, and more were vanquished by a West destroying the cultures with those values.
Coexistence was won through conquest: Adopt our values or we will kill you. Some regions, countries, cultures changed – others were annihilated.
This is not all back in the Dark Ages; I refer not to just the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Heard from NAZI Germany lately? Imperial Japan? Confederate slave-owners? The Souix? (Contrary to the adolescent nonsense that “war never solves anything,” only war solves major ideological conflicts.)
If one were to suppose it to be possible at the intersection of two civilizations for peaceful coexistence to breakout, one would be ignorant of the history of the Balkans, of European experiences with Africa through the centuries, of the British experience in India and Afghanistan, the American experience with our indigenous peoples, the Mongols with the Indians, Persians, central europeans, the American Civil War, etc., etc., throughout history.
While it is nice to fantasize that europeans settling in North America, for example, could have gotten along with the locals, it is just not true, nor could it have been, for reasons explained here.
Where two civilizations intersect, with drastically differing views on human rights (no, they are not “universal,” just stating that they are makes the point that they are not), womens’ rights, childrens’ rights, gay rights, etc. (all Western concepts so not in any way “multicultural,” but rather imperialist), one side – by definition – holds different views.
The more advanced culture would – and should – ensure their views become integrated into the other culture, by force if necessary. If they refuse to do so, the advanced culture is saying that their people are deserving of these rights – but other people are not. This is not “civilization,” but the acceptance of barbarism. It is the practice adopted by Obama in “degrading ISIS,” as though only Western human beings are worthy of freedom and liberty, of not being killed for peacefully following a different belief system.
In refusing to annihilate ISIS, we are accepting their depredations on other human beings; we are rejecting our own views on human rights.
Which brings us back to the fallacy of peace in the region.
Islam only has regressed over the past few centuries. You can read why in Bernard Lewis’ excellent “What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity.” The title is explanatory: The clash is modern v pre-modern; it is not between equal and equally modern – or equally moral – cultures.
Islam has traveled back in time in art, science, math, rights, liberties, freedom, morality, literacy. Those demanding sharia have chosen to become “pre-modern” peoples with a pre-modern view of human rights and liberties. They have chosen barbarism over modernity. Ataturk tried to move them forward in the first half of the 20th Century. The Muslim Brotherhood, Khomeini and others rejected him – and modernity – and moved them backwards.
Make no mistake – muslims themselves have allowed this to happen. Retarding islam centuries did not happen in a vacuum.
Had the West not advanced so quickly as to require oil in the quantities necessary to sustain and advance our civilization, the Middle East (and South Asia) would have been left alone but for the odd trade embassy. But as modern communications, broader literacy and travel have shrunk the world, we would have met soon enough.
Had the West never inserted Western civilization, via the creation of Israel, into the maelstrom of violence that has characterized Islamic lands for centuries as their two warring sects have been killing one another, the violence and lack of modernity and rejection of Western human rights would have continued to exist below our event horizon; those aware wouldn’t have cared and those unaware – as were so many prior to 9/11 – couldn’t care because they didn’t bother to learn.
But we did need the oil, and we did create Israel and the West and Islam intersected.
Islam does not believe in coexistence. They do not believe in multiculturalism. Asking – forcing – them to believe in coexistence, the demand of “peace negotiators,” is imperialism. Imperialism rarely has worked over time. Ask the British. Either you leave someone alone and they leave you alone – or you kill them or they kill you.
It can not be otherwise. If they reject coexistence they will fight by way of executing that rejection. If they don’t fight, they will have accepted your morality, making it dominant, and thereby surrendering their culture and civilization.
By demanding peace in the Middle East and South Asia we are demanding something that cannot happen: Islamic rejection of our way of life and their simultaneous refusal to demand their way of life.
It’s a binary world – only one choice can survive: We accept their barbarism without attacking it, thereby showing how little regard we really have for the human lives it is slaughtering – Or we destroy their civilization or they destroy ours.
“Getting along” isn’t in their belief system. Foundationally they cannot accept it.
Nothing in the entire Islamic tradition – religious and secular – is informed by the single most important verse in our Bible, the one that gave rise to Western civilization, literacy, science, liberty, freedom, industry, education and wealth: Luke 20:25, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what it God’s.”
This is the foundation of our liberty. It is – uniquely – Western. It is the foundation of all modernity.
This one verse allowed us to set-aside religion – not to ignore it, but to set it aside – as we pursued science. It often is referred to as “the tension between Athens and Jerusalem,” between the foundation of science and liberty, and the foundation of belief – a tension that still exists, but which the West, alone among cultures, has accepted.
It cannot be overemphasized that this belief in separation does not exist in islam.
Nor can it be ignored that it is a belief.
Islam does NOT believe this.
The West DOES believe this.
By definition, beliefs are not subject to facts – they are beliefs, not proofs. No amount of talk will convince one who holds a belief very deeply and strongly that it is wrong. It never has and it never will. (Nor is this cultural: one can find many Americans with the belief that, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it,” an equally pre-modern worldview.)
Differences in beliefs spawn wars. And always will – until everyone accepts one system at the core of their culture.
And that acceptance is… Western and modern: You believe what you want and I will believe what I want. It is not in any way multicultural.
A modern islam may decide to believe that Mohammad rode his horse across the sky and wrote the Koran, and accept Western human rights and liberties – and the Western concept of coexistence. We got here via the Enlightenment; we didn’t always believe as we do today. Then we could find peace.
But as long as muslims demand FGM, slavery, amputation, whipping of rape victims, execution of gays and apostates (“multiculturalists”), the rejection of female equality, as long as they demand that their social and legal structure be informed by an unchanging and unchangeable ancient text, and act on that text as though the intervening centuries had not occurred, they are rejecting modernism and all modern concepts of human rights and liberties.
Until they accept our liberties at the core of their culture, not only can we only be enemies, we must be enemies.
Fundamentalist, pre-modern islam can not allow the West to survive – and be true to their beliefs.
The West can not allow fundamentalist, pre-modern islam to survive – and be true to our beliefs.
There can be no peaceful coexistence between adherents of these two divergent belief systems. Demanding islam accept western philosophical concepts of liberty and human rights, while simultaneously demanding that the West allow that islam be islam is a logical absurdity.
Either fundamentalist islam accepts Western cultural beliefs of liberty and equality and self-determination, we accept their belief in the lack of liberty and equality and self-determination, or we fight.
Islam attacking its opponents is exactly what the West did in order to become dominant. The difference is that we advanced our technology to defeat peoples, defeated them massively, and then modernized those willing to try a new way. (Rome did the same – and the parallels are striking.)
Islam does not do this, and for two reasons: First, it is not modern, nor does it want to be. In fact, it demands to be pre-modern. Second, it is too late – we already won; the West ascended due to its advances in agriculture, rights, literacy, liberties, capitalism and self-determination.
Modernity must not fall to the pre-modern. Allowing that fall – demanding it as do the apologists – is a rejection of modernity itself, as explained in the above-linked column. (Yes, we “won,” but unless we continue to fight our enemies, we will lose – history is not “over.”)
Fundamentalist islam cannot coexist peacefully with the West, no matter how many presidents, secretaries of state, EU heads, and pundits ignorantly (or cynically) pretend that it can.
The parts of Islamic culture that modern people find objectionable must be destroyed, period. Sharia must be reduced to ashes and history books. They must adopt the Western value of coexistence.
Or they must be annihilated.
There is no alternative: Either they accept our principles and beliefs and respect Western notions of human rights and coexistence, or they must perish.
Realize what the former entails: Their beliefs emerge from a competing holy text; we will be forcing them to accept that their religion is wrong – this is why coexistence cannot happen.
Or we are saying we really don’t believe in human rights and liberty, which means we really don’t believe in Western Civilization, which means we already have lost.
It is that simple.
Everyone telling you it is more complex than this either doesn’t understand the issue or is lying to you.