Last month, I wrote a couple of posts on NewsReal criticizing the wisdom of one of my co-bloggers’ calls to “eradicate Islam in the West.” In a nutshell: Islam is a violent, totalitarian religion which needs to be aggressively and honestly confronted, but simply “eradicating” it outright would be not only impossible, but calling for such an eradication would confuse and alienate a heck of a lot of people.
One of my most persistent critics was a commenter using the name “ObamaYoMoma,” whose arguments were as verbose as they were insipid. In a nutshell: The West needs to be totally purged of Islam because it’s not really a religion anyway and therefore the First Amendment doesn’t apply to it.
Those interested can check out the sordid, stupid saga at the links above. Suffice to say, no amount of semantic gymnastics about what is or isn’t a religion can erase the fact that we have a First Amendment, and that according to just about every accepted definition of the term “religion” we have, Islam qualifies. And if you really think you’ll find enough public support, enough of a congressional majority, and elect a president who would support criminalizing an entire religion, plus find so much as a single court in the land who would stand for it…well, let me know how much luck you have.
This week, OYM popped up again on another of my posts, regurgitating the same idiocy. He wouldn’t define exactly what “banning” Islam would entail, nor did he answer my question about whether or not the First Amendment places any limits on what we can justly do to bring about Islam’s “eradication.” Instead, he smugly asserted that I don’t know what Islam is, and that I am “blinded by PC multiculturalism like John Gardiano” (wonder if he knows just how well John and I get along, or that John misrepresented my position on Islam).
Inasmuch as I made perfectly clear where I stand on Islam in each of the very posts OYM commented on, it’s hard to see him as much more than a liar or a buffoon. But to end this skirmish on a semi-productive note, let’s see what Robert Spencer, who OYM claims to be a disciple of, has to say on the subject:
The implications of what I’m saying are very bad. There’s no way to sugarcoat them. But there are precedents. And there are useful ways forward — if we have the courage to face this problem as it truly is.
This is a problem within Islamic teaching, within core Islamic teaching, founded on the Quran. As such, wherever there are Islamic communities, there will be terrorism and efforts to impose elements of Islamic law through peaceful means, to assert the precedence of Islamic law over the laws of the state in which the Muslims happen to be residing. That will always happen.
Now, in 1945, the McArthur government — the occupational government in Japan — issued an edict saying that Shinto (the religion of the Japanese that had fueled Japanese imperial militarism in World War II) would have no interference from the United States’ occupying forces as an expression of individual piety, as the religion of any Japanese citizen. No interference whatsoever from the government. However, Shinto would have no role in the government or in the schools.
The distinction was made — it was imposed from without — that Shinto would have no way to express the political militarism that had led to World War II in the first place.
Now, the United States, Great Britain, Europe, are all facing a very similar problem, with growing Muslim communities asserting political and societal notions that are at variance with our ideas of the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, the equality of rights of women with men, the equality of rights of all people before the law.
If our governments had the courage to stand up and say that any assertion of these political aspects of Islam that are at variance with our existing laws will be considered to be seditious under existing sedition laws, there would be a tremendous amount of progress made on this problem.
But of course we’re nowhere near that, because we can’t even admit that there are such initiatives going on from the Islamic communities as such.
And so as long as this unrealism persists, then the cognitive dissonance will continue to grow. And as long as the cognitive dissonance continues to grow, so also will the assertiveness and beligerence of the Islamic communities in the West, because they will see that we are not able and not willing to take the decisive steps necessary to do anything serious to stop them.
This is how we should treat Islam (or any religion, for that matter): firm, honest, and uncompromising toward its elements that are incompatible with liberty, but also thoughtful, responsible, and acknowledging legitimate religious rights. Thankfully, nobody with any real power or influence seems to be parroting OYM’s nonsense.