I could not more vigorously disagree with my friend Daniel Pipes, who disappointingly lays fault for yesterday’s carnage at the feet of Reverend Terry Jones. In essence, Daniel — like much of the progressive, bipartisan U.S. ruling class — adopts the reasoning of Muslim Brotherhood jurist Yusuf Qaradawi, who admonishes that women who fail to conform to fundamentalist Islam’s restrictive sartorial standards have onlythemselves to blame when they get raped.
Let’s say Terry Jones was Imam Terry Jones. It is not hard to imagine because there goes by not a day when some Islamist leader of far more consequence than Jones matter-of-factly spouts hatred of America and the West that is more provocative, and more representative of his country or region, than anything that has ever passed Jones’s lips. Would it make you riot? Would it make you commit murder? Would it foment more than a yawn? And if it did stir so much as a suggestion that this typical Muslim leader should be silenced, the only public protests and pious government caterwauling would be directed at that suggestion, not at the anti-American incitements that prompted it.
The coordinated violence against American installations in the Middle East on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 was caused by one thing: Islamic supremacism. Contrary to the knowing lies government officials and opinion elites have been feeding the American people for 20 years, Islamic supremacism is not the fringe ideology of the terrorists; it is the predominant Islam of the Middle East. By margins of upwards of 2 to 1, the United States and the West are despised in countries like Egypt and Libya. As I point out in my just-released book, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, when given the chance, Egyptians elected Islamic supremacists by a 4-to-1 margin. The only surprise in the voting was not the weakness of secular democrats — that they are a non-factor, even though American politicians continue to depict them as emblematic of the Muslim Middle East, was a given. The surprise was that the Muslim Brotherhood, which has reaffirmed its goal of a global caliphate ruled by sharia, is not quite devout enough for about a quarter of Egyptians, who voted for the even more extreme “Salafist” parties.
Under sharia, as construed by Islamic supremacists (i.e., at least two-thirds of Middle East Muslims), any negative criticism of Islam or its prophet, no matter how trifling, is deemed to be blasphemy and warrants violent reprisals — including death. These Muslims — hundreds of millions of them — consider this to be a divine ordinance and thus to be imposed on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Understand that Islam, particularly as Islamic supremacists interpret it, is not merely a religion; it is a totalitarian ideology that has some spiritual principles, which make up a small subset of the belief system. Blasphemy is not applied only to the spiritual principles — say, to the oneness of Allah, and the like. The speech prohibition applies across the board to all Islamic doctrine. You’ve got a problem with a woman’s court testimony being worth only half of a man’s? Blasphemy! You’ve got a problem with needing four male witnesses to prove rape? Blasphemy! You’ve got a problem with the death penalty for homosexuals? With stoning for adulterers? With scourging for the consumption of alcohol? Blasphemy, blasphemy, blasphemy!
That’s what causes the rioting and murder. The “blasphemers” are only a pretext. What causes this is the indoctrination of Muslim populations in an evil ideology that justifies savagery over nonsense. That’s the proximate cause. If you want to look at a material cause beyond the proximate cause, the place to start would be American officials like the ones Daniel cites with seeming approval: David Petraeus, Robert Gates, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — and I’d add Lindsey Graham to the list. They are the officials who condemned Terry Jones’s exercise of free speech — book burning — because, as Daniel gently puts it, they were “worried it would lead to Muslim violence against Americans.” That is shameful. What “leads to Muslim violence” is the toxic combination of Islamic teaching that violence is the appropriate response to even minor insults and the dhimmified superpower’s acquiescence in this barbarism.
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