|The United States is not at war with Islam; Bin Laden is not representative of Islam; Bin Laden is an extreme form of Islam; Islam is a tolerant peaceful religion; most Muslims are opposed to Bin Laden; Bin Laden represents an extreme variant form of Islam. There is not a clash of civilizations. True or false? False.These statements are part of the conventional wisdom concerning Islam. A conventional wisdom resembles an infantile regression to a primitive defence against a seemingly overwhelming threat commonly expressed in the plaintive question” why do they hate us?
Bernard Lewis seminal analysis “The Roots of Muslim Rage” (published 1990) www.theatlantic.com/issues/90/sep/rage.htm provides the historical backdrop to the phenomenon of Muslim fundamentalism. It is not a new phenomenon. Islam promotes theocracy, abolishes the distinction between church and state, does not recognize civil society as all of life is permeated by the teaching of the prophet, is eschatological and dualistic (the Muslim world and the world of darkness) monist and opposed to pluralism, militaristic in the sense that the prophet Mohamed was not only a prophet and teacher but head of a polity, ruler and soldier.
Secularism and modernism as symbolized by Big Satan (The US) and Little Satan (Israel) are central to the clash of civilizations-first termed by Lewis- ‘…This is no less than a clash of two civilizations.….the historical reaction of an ancient rival against our Judao Christian heritage, our secular present and the world wide expansion of both.’
Daniel Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) published New York Post, 22 October 2001 examines the reasons for the widespread approval of Bin Laden: ‘Muslims love Bin Laden’. He surveys pro-Bin laden demonstrations and riots in the Southern Philippines, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan, and notably Palestine. Pipes estimates that Bin Laden enjoys the emotional support of half the Muslim world. ‘The wide and deep Muslim enthusiasm for Bin Laden is an extremely important development that needs to be understood, not ignored.’
Political correctness, tolerance, ritualistic multiculturalism and pacifist pleas for accommodation to totalitarian Islam which is a chiliastic political religious transformist movement, at best, ambivalent, but most commonly deeply hostile to Western values and institutions, will not solve the problem of terrorism.