Waging the War of Words

To the photo album of the two Bush administrations can be added a recent picture that accompanied an Associated Press article of May 16, “Saudi Arabia rebuffs Bush on oil production,” about the President’s one-day visit to the medieval kingdom. George W. Bush is seated next to King Abdullah. In a dark business suit, his hands folded on his lap, sitting on what looks like a throne, Bush stares grinning at the camera in that special imbecilic way of his that political cartoonists have exploited ever since the 2000 election.

On the other side of the low table separating them, Abdullah’s face is nearly inscrutable. Except for the Arab dress, he could be taken for a modern day Mafia chieftain. The spade beard and moustache, the dark glasses, and the smug blandness of the monarch’s expression speak volumes about his relationship with the American president. In this instance, he seems to be tolerantly humoring a high-ranking fool for whom he must put on a show of welcome with much fanfare. It would not be an exaggeration to say that humoring a fool has been the leitmotif of their relationship since its inception.

But Bush is a perfect portrait of dhimmitude. Dhimmitude, of course, means a state of subjugation under Islam. Dhimmis are also kaffirs, or non-Muslims or non-believers. And later on that day, Abdullah reminded the kaffir of his subjugation by rebuffing his plea that the Saudis increase oil production to help relieve Americans of soaring gas prices.

“The White House said Friday that Saudi Arabia’s leaders are making clear they see no reason to increase oil production until customers demand it.

“The Saudi oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, said there was no need to increase production now. ‘Supply and demand are in balance today,’ he told a news conference. ‘How much does Saudi Arabia need to do to satisfy people who are questioning our oil practices and polices?’

“He said the kingdom decided on May 10 to raise production by 300,000 barrels, at the request of customers and that increase was sufficient.”

Bush saw Abdullah in mid-January, made the same plea, and was also given the cold shoulder.

One thing should be clarified here, lest someone think that the Saudi oil minister, Bush and his economic advisors know what they are talking about.

“Bush’s visit to Saudi Arabia [fresh from Israel, no less, and one may speculate if the Saudis secretly objected to the whiff of "ape" or "pig" Bush may have brought with him], which has the world’s largest supply of oil, comes two days after Congress voted to temporarily halt daily shipments of 70,000 barrels of oil to the nation’s emergency reserve. Bush has refused to stop pouring oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saying the stockpile was meant for emergencies and that halting the shipments would have little or no impact on gasoline or crude oil prices.”

Actually, the world’s largest supplies of oil are in the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska, but they remain untapped because of environmental laws. Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest oil production capacity, thanks also to environmental laws coupled with an irrational foreign policy of appeasement and accommodation with the Saudis and OPEC that dates back to the 1940′s. This is aside from the issue of environmental law and other regulations that limit our ability to refine crude oil.

The Associated Press article spells out how the U.S. cut cards with the devil:

“The Saudi-American relationship began in the 1940s with a simple bargain: Saudi Arabia offered oil in return for U.S. protection. The United States became the kingdom’s biggest trading partner and the Saudis became the biggest buyers of U.S. weapons.”

Thus the West, and in particular, the U.S. and its oil companies, ceded to medievalist tribalists a monopoly on oil production. Subsequent environmental law and industry regulation ensured that monopoly. The devil is collecting his due and sticking it to all Americans. Earlier in the article, a security analyst observed:

“U.S. influence over OPEC and Gulf oil production is diminished. It’s not clear what the incentive is to Saudi Arabia. We can’t deliver on (Mideast) peace. We can’t deliver on arms transfers. We can’t deliver on the Iraq that Saudi Arabia wants. We are raising problems in terms of Iran. And the reality is the market isn’t being driven by us; it’s being driven by China, by India, by rising Asian demand.”

No, the market is being driven by the U.S.’s irrational policies, in conjunction with the statist policies of Russia, Venezuela, China, India and other countries. If anyone claims that the global market is driven by free enterprise, he is living on the planet Xanadu. Bush’s grasp of economics is as eclectically premised as his grasp of Islam, which, to him, is a “religion of peace.”

In my April 29 commentary, “State Department Goodthink,” I remarked on the State Department’s recent summary of “offensive” terminology concerning terrorism and jihadists.

“…[H]ere is another damning legacy being bequeathed to us by President Bush. He has claimed from the beginning that Islamic terrorism is perpetrated by people who have ‘hijacked’ a ‘great religion.’ But he himself has now hijacked and sabotaged language.”

On May 7, Jamie Glazov of FrontPageMagazine interviewed Bill Warner, director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. In “Kafir Dreams,” Warner explicated the precise meanings of terms that have been carelessly bandied about since 9/11, such as “moderate Muslim,” “kaffir,” and “jihad.” And, much to my surprise, Warner came to the same conclusion I have been emphasizing for years: that Islam cannot be “reformed” without turning it into something that is not Islam. This is a conclusion which not even Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, or Robert Spencer have endorsed. All three have stated or implied that Islam can be “reformed.” Warner is especially stirred by the sloppy use of the term “moderate.”

“Very few people know much about either the doctrine or history of political Islam,” says Warner, who distinguishes between religious Islam, as it is practiced by rank-and-file Muslims, and political Islam, which encompasses all facets of living, including law and ethics, and including kaffirs and dhimmis.

“So they think of Islam as only a religion and believe since Islam has so many members, it must be one of the great religions. And all religions are good, so Islam must be good….Since Islam has been defined as good, there must be an explanation [for today's terrorism and for Islam's history of conquest and slavery]. Those Muslims who kill must be ‘extremist’ Muslims. That leaves Islam as good with a few rotten apples.”

Glazov asked Warner if there was any hope or point in trying to “reform” Islam.

After an odd comment that there are “almost no points of comparison between Islam and Christianity,” Warner answered,

“The religion of Islam needs no reform. Who cares about how Muslims worship? All kaffirs must be concerned with Islamic politics or how Islam defines them. The Koran, the Sira and the Hadith determine the treatment of kaffirs.”

Neither Glazov nor Warner touched on the subject, but integral to Islam is not only how it is practiced in the mosque and at home, but what it requires of its adherents, such as honor-killings, female mutilation, the severing of hands for petty theft, dress codes, in some Islamic sects, self flagellation, and, in general, the whole “legal” universe of Shari law. For just a smidgen of the barbarity Islam imposes on its votaries, see this Voice of America article.

“To reform the Koran, all of the hateful, cruel, and bigoted references to kaffirs would have to be removed. If the kaffir material is removed, then only 39% of the Koran remains. The greatest part of the Koran, 61%, is devoted to negativity about kaffirs…..The Sira (the life of Mohammed) has about 75% of its material devoted to jihad. The Hadith [the teachings of Mohammad] has 20% of its material devoted to jihad. There is not one positive reference to kaffirs.

“If you delete 61% of the Koran, 75% of the Sira and 20% of the Hadith, you will have reformed Islam. You will also have destroyed it. There is a very good reason that Islam has never been reformed. It is impossible.”

To “reform” anything – whether it is a living room, a diet, a character, or a religion – means that the thing is no longer what it was. As for the “reformation” of a religion, one need only recall the history of the Catholic Church in the Renaissance. It was one of the most murderous, blood-soaked, chaotic periods of European history, in which uncounted tens of thousands died in religious wars, pogroms, church-conducted trials by Catholics and Protestants, the Inquisition, and just by barbarity in the guise of religious cleansing.

Books were burned in several cities and the homes and shops of Catholics and Protestants were destroyed in the best spirit of the Nazi Kristallnacht. Thousands of living bodies were tied to stakes after horrendous torture and burned to death. Secular humanists were hunted down and murdered. And all that was just an overture to the Thirty Years’ War, which ended in 1648. This was the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther in 1517.

So, any attempt to “reform” doctrinal Islam would ignite similar phenomena, and it would be exacerbated by the existence of the two principal and absolutist Islamic sects: the Shiite and the Sunni. One could argue that this conflict is occurring now.

During the interview, Glazov asked Warner why he objected to such terms as “moderate Muslim,” “extremist Muslim,’ “good Muslim,” and “radical Muslim.”

As Warner explains it, a moderate Muslim is one who simply obeys the Koran and the Sunna. He is chiefly a religious Muslim, but he harbors an indoctrinated antagonism for all kaffirs, which of course, can swell into a seething hatred, and ultimately action. Osama bin Laden, says Warner, is a Medinan or “moderate” Muslim. So were all nineteen hijackers on 9/11. All jihadists are “moderates.” Fundamentally, to Islam, the adjectives “moderate,” “extremist,” “good” and “radical” are interchangeable and mean the same thing. The only people who see any distinctions between them are kaffirs, who invented the terms, and those distinctions are wholly imaginary and the product of wishful thinking.

“The word kaffir is the worst word in the human language. It is far worse than the n-word, because the n-word is a personal opinion, whereas, kaffir is Allah’s decree. Nearly two-thirds of the Koran is devoted to the kaffir. Islam is fixated on the kaffir and the moderate Muslim thinks that you are a kaffir. How moderate is that?”

For a single, exemplary instance of how Sharia law in its political/religious mode is imposed on kaffirs, see this Associated Press report from February 20, 2007. Elsewhere, Warner clarifies the distinction between the kaffir meaning of “moderate Muslim” and the true, unalterable Islamic meaning of it.

“In any case, the term moderate Muslim has two totally different meanings. The kaffir meaning is warm, fuzzy, and incorrect. The Islamic meaning is cruel, precise and correct.”

I do not know if George Orwell ever had anything to say about Islam (his contemporary, Winston Churchill, certainly had nothing good to say about “Moslems”), but Warner deftly describes Islamic doublethink:

“What is a radical Muslim? A radical Muslim is capable of harming kaffirs. A radical Muslim is a Medinan (or moderate) Muslim, but a Medinan Muslim follows Mohammad’s actions. So killing kaffirs is not radical. Harming kaffirs follows Mohammad’s example and is pure Islam, not a radical interpretation.” (Italics mine.)

“The false names used by kaffirs [such as our policymakers and in the news media] are an attempt to humanize Islam or suggest that violence is a bizarre interpretation of Islamic doctrine. But Mohammad was involved in a violent episode on the average of every six weeks for his last nine years. Again, Mohammad defines moderation, and the violence is integral to Islam.”

Elsewhere, Warner says,

“Dualism is the key to understanding Islam. On the surface many parts of the Koran contradict each other. The usual explanation is that the older, nicer verses [purportedly composed in Mecca] are abrogated by the later verses [purportedly composed in Medina]. But in reality all of the Koran is true since it comes from the only god, Allah. Allah is perfection, and therefore, the contradictory statements in the Koran are all true. That violates Aristotelian kaffir logic, but it defines the Islamic dualistic logic. In Islam, two contradictory things can both be true at the same time….Contradictions are integral to Islamic logic.”

“Logic,” wrote Ayn Rand in 1974, “is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.”1. Doubtless, Islamic scholars would dismiss that statement as an irrelevant kaffir-ism and possibly even an insult to Islam and Muslims for accusing them of illogic, and call for another round of riots, car burnings and killings.

Warner labels the three basic views of Islam and its doctrine as believer, kaffir, and dhimmi. “The believer-centric view is the standard Islamic viewpoint. For the believer, the Koran is the perfect word of the only god of the universe and Mohammad is the perfect pattern for all human life and all times.”

“Kaffir-centric is the view of the victim…the kaffir-centric school is skeptical and analytic.

“The dhimmi-centric viewpoint is the academic school and is neither fish nor fowl. It is marked by political correctness and never refers to the deaths of the 270 million kaffirs [over 1,400 years of Islamic history], never talks about the suffering of the dhimmis. The dhimmi-centric school is actually believer-centric ‘lite.’ It rarely applies skepticism. The dhimmi-centric school is the predominate school in the universities, military, law enforcement, government and the media.

“One of the marks of the dhimmi-centric school is to ignore Islamic political theory.”

Which school is President Bush a member of? Condoleezza Rice? The current presidential candidates? Most Republican and Democratic politicians? Even our highest-ranking military officers?

The dhimmi-centric school. To them, to perceive nefarious designs on the West by Islam is thoughtcrime.

Warner makes another interesting observation, this one on what he calls “kaffirized” Muslims, that is, Muslims who live in Western, secularized societies but who attach some value to some Western institutions in some unacknowledged, pro-life way (and not in the way that Saudi libel tourists, for example, place some value on British or American legal systems, which is their form of cultural jihad). Clarifying the term “kaffirized Muslim,” Warner says:

“What are its advantages? It is better than any of the alternatives such as a ‘good Muslim,’ or a ‘moderate Muslim’ or my ‘Muslim friend.’ All of these names are an attempt to bring some good out of Islam. But, there is no good in Islam for kaffirs, only for Muslims….The goodness of your Muslim friend comes from the kaffir civilization, not Islam. Your friend is a kaffirized Muslim, but he is not a good or a moderate Muslim….”

Warner claims that it is important to discriminate between Muslims and “kaffirized Muslims,” for the latter should be judged as individuals and not as members of an entrapping “box.” Orthodox Muslims do not regard “kaffirized Muslims” as true or actual Muslims. Kaffirized Muslims, he argues, in practicing the “ethical dualism” mentioned above, are nominal participants in what he calls “the shared reciprocity of altruism,” that is, they observe the Golden Rule to “treat others as you want to be treated.” (“Do unto others what you would have others done unto you.”)

The flaw in Warner’s position here lies in his notion of the “reciprocity of altruism,” which he states “is the very basis of civilization” and which he rightly says Islam neither practices nor condones. Treating others as one would want to be treated is not fundamentally an “altruist” ethic. True altruism, like “moderate” Islam, is actually a mortal enemy of reason and civilization. Both have as a basis a belief in the supernatural, from which are decreed their separate moralities. They are tautologically identical but with different ends.

Witness Bush’s costly altruist policy of bringing “democracy” to Iraq and the value he places on self-sacrifice (of both individual American soldiers or of our whole nation) to accomplish that end, or the regular use of American military power to act as an agent of humanitarian aid to countries struck by catastrophic natural disasters (when it should be unleashed to destroy our enemies, which is its sole legitimate function).

And, witness the jihadist policy of bringing Islam to the West, and the value it places on “self-sacrificing” martyrs who devote themselves to slaying kaffirs, and the especially Saudi-financed campaign to brainwash Americans into believing that Islam is just another “good religion” that means them no harm.

However, Glazov’s interview of Bill Warner sheds much needed light on the fallacies and folly of politically correct goodthink about Islam as practiced by our policymakers, the news media, and academia. It is a refreshing antidote to the puerile dhimmitude of George W. Bush.

1. Ayn Rand, “Philosophical Detection,” (1974), in Philosophy: Who Needs It, 1982. New York: Signet, p. 15.