Editor’s note: Gregory M. Davis is the author of “Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World,” now available at Shop.WND.com.
At a recent meeting of senior members of the British government, John Reid, the home secretary, warned that Britain risked losing the war of ideas with al-Qaida’s “single extremist narrative.” It seems that “radical” Islam is increasingly attractive to Britain’s Muslim youth, who, according to Secretary Reid’s Conservative counterpart, David Davis, are creating a system of “voluntary apartheid” rather than assimilating into British society. Similar sentiments are being expressed by the French as we approach the first anniversary of the riots by young Muslims that sent 300 of their cities into weeks of car-burning chaos.
While the news is grave, it can only be surprising to people unfamiliar with the basic tenets of Islam. Despite routinely spouting off the bromide that Islam is “a religion of peace” and blaming Muslim violence on “extremists,” European statesmen (and American) clearly have yet to take the time to acquaint themselves with what Islam actually says about itself. How many of them have actually read the Quran? How many know how to read the Quran? How many are familiar with the other canonical Islamic texts, the hadiths and the Sira? How many have any idea what the Prophet Muhammad really did or what he instructed his followers to do? This may sound like an unpleasant academic exercise, but with the Muslim populations of Europe rapidly expanding, it is now of the utmost practical importance.
The mistake Westerners make when they think about Islam is that they impose their own views of religion onto something decidedly outside Western tradition. Because violence done in the name of God is “extreme” from a Western/Christian point of view, they imagine that it must be so from an Islamic one. But unlike Christianity, which recognizes a separate sphere for secular politics (“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s”), Islam has never distinguished between faith and power. While Christianity is doctrinally concerned primarily with the salvation of souls, Islam seeks to remake the world in its image. According to orthodox Islam, Shariah law – the codified commandments of the Quran and precedents of the Prophet Muhammad – is the only legitimate basis of government. Islam is in fact an expansionary social and political system more akin to National Socialism and Communism than any “religion” familiar to Westerners. Islamic politics is inevitably an all-or-nothing affair in which the stakes are salvation or damnation, and the aim is to not to beat one’s opponent at the polls but to destroy him – literally as well as politically.
The riots in France of last fall and the widespread Muslim protests that now occur on the slightest pretext (cartoons of Muhammad, rumors that U.S. personnel mishandled a Quran, etc.) are the opening shots in Europe’s 21st century civil war. It is anybody’s guess when the real shooting will start, but start it will. So far, the European governments are doing nothing to forestall the coming disaster. Europe’s bland materialism is no match for a resurgent Islam confident that Allah has ordained its ultimate triumph. Why should Europe’s Muslims assimilate when their numbers and confidence steadily increase and European politicians offer nothing more that a steady stream of apologies and appeasement?
Europe’s plight should be a cautionary tale for America, but unfortunately her leaders seem just as unwilling to confront the true nature of Islam. Somebody needs to point out to them that wishing that Islam is “a religion of peace,” however earnestly, does not make it so. Whatever America’s current problems with the Islamic world today, they will pale in comparison to what she is going to face in Europe – and eventually in America herself – if her leaders remain unwilling to recognize Islam for what it is.
Gregory Davis received his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. He is the author of “Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World,” from World Ahead Publishing. He is also managing director of Quixotic Media and producer of the feature documentary “Islam: What the West Needs to Know,” now on DVD.