Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Enemy's Biggest Weapon

Jamie Glazov interviews Robert Spencer in Front Page Magazine:

FP: What is your inspiration to speak the unspoken truths about Islam?

Spencer: I speak out simply because few others are doing so. The general refusal to face the realities of what we are really up against in what is popularly known as the war on terror is crippling our ability to mount a fully effective response to the challenge of the global jihad. Political correctness and well-meaning naïveté are playing into the hands of the jihadists and making for some egregious policy miscalculations. Several rather high-profile conservatives, for example, have told me that by focusing attention on the elements of Islam that give rise to violence and fanaticism, I am alienating moderate Muslims who might otherwise be our allies in the struggle against Islamic terror. So in effect they would prefer to pretend that Islam is a peaceful religion at its core in the hopes that this fiction will win us some friends in the Islamic world.

This kind of thinking is flawed in many ways. In the first place, pretending that anything false is true is not ultimately going to get us anywhere. And if we refuse to allow honest exploration of what it is about Islam that is making so many Muslims violent today, we are not really helping sincere moderate Muslims: in fact, we’re cutting the ground out from under them by denying that there is anything about their religion that they need to face and combat if they wish to establish a lasting framework for peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims.

I wish Robert Spencer would have been a little more clear here. He says that sincere moderate Muslims need to "face and combat" the realities of their religion. Yes, I do believe that there are sincere moderate Muslims who possibly need to "face" the reality. However, the emphasis should be on combat. Moderate Muslims know what the problem is. But, they need to find it within themselves to combat the Islamofascist Jihadis in their midst.

I find it hard to believe that people who are sincere moderates do not know what the problem is. Let's face it, normal human beings, would prefer to live in constand enmity with their fellow man.

I have often said, that I believe that the preponderance of Muslims are absolutely normal people - people just like us. However, I think they find themselves in the same situation that Natan Sharansky describes in his book The Case for Democracy. They are living in a Fear State. The cost of speaking out against the prevailing system is perceived to be too high to be worth doing.

This is why our overarching strategy in the War on Terror is the correct strategy. By setting up states within the Arab World which can serve as an example - of Democracy and Human Rights - to those who live in fear states, we are giving them the idea that they can overcome by speaking out. At a certain point, if we persevere, we will have brought about the tipping point, and all the dominoes will fall, as they did when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The problem is, in my opinion, we are a long, long way from that happening at this point. And, I believe that Iran is probably the key. And, apparently, it is the key we are afraid to turn.

Anyway, back to the Spencer interview. Glazov asks Spencer a great question:

FP: If Islam is truly a religion of peace and tolerance than why is it so dangerous to say what you want about it? You have received death threats over the years for instance. Can you talk a bit about this?

Spencer: Yes, these threats are in effect saying, “Say that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, or we’ll kill you!” I have received death threats, but I am not going to stop telling the truth because of them. If everyone who tells truths that others don’t want people to know gives in to violent intimidation, what kind of world would it be?

I'm glad Robert Spencer doesn't allow the death threats to stop him from speaking out. We all owe Robert Spencer our gratitude for the work he is doing. But, the truth is, even here in America, Robert Spencer is afraid.

You will notice he doesn't do a lot of public speaking. In addition, you might notice that no one knows where he lives. People like Michelle Malkin, or the boys at PowerLine, who do blogs which focus on a wider range of issues, and who do not make it their business to try to educate Americans about the menace of Islamofascism do not have any problem telling us where they live.

Robert Spencer will not do so, nor should he.

Now, think about it, if Robert Spencer has to be afraid living here in America, how much worse must it be in the Islamic world? That is the sum total of the problem. Fear is the biggest weapon of the enemy we have to defeat.