August 19, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the mosque in the Ground Zero zone...

... and on other "religious tolerance" issues in the news lately (such as "the eviction of American missionaries from Morocco earlier this year, the minaret ban in Switzerland last year, and the recent burka ban in France"). She'd like to reframe these issues in terms "of what the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington called the 'Clash of Civilizations.'"
[T]he survival of the West depends on Americans, Europeans and other Westerners reaffirming their shared civilization as unique—and uniting to defend it against challenges from non-Western civilizations....
President Obama, in his own way, is a One Worlder. In his 2009 Cairo speech, he called for a new era of understanding between America and the Muslim world. It would be a world based on "mutual respect, and . . . upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles."

The president's hope was that moderate Muslims would eagerly accept this invitation to be friends. The extremist minority—nonstate actors like al Qaeda—could then be picked off with drones....

The greatest advantage of Huntington's civilizational model of international relations is that it reflects the world as it is—not as we wish it to be. It allows us to distinguish friends from enemies....

Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion.
I question whether either model is really "the world as it is," but I certainly agree that it's crucial to face reality. Nevertheless, our ideals form a part of the reality that exists now and the reality that we are making for the future.  Ali never explains why the "Clash of Civilizations" template works better in the real world than Obama's idea. I'd guess that one needs to check one's perceptions alternately with both templates and that Obama does that and more as he decides what actions to take and what to say in speeches. He may do that badly on many occasions, but it's inconceivable that his aspirations toward mutual respect and shared principles blot out his awareness of the discord and disconnect.

78 comments:

HDHouse said...

Ooopsy...must of missed something here.

For the past 30-40 years we have played the us against them game and to what result? Now Obama feels there is an opening with moderates. That may or may not be true.

However, decades of war footing have left nothing except a population here who is ready for a rope and tree first chance it gets and a distrust so large that if a moderate did show up at the door the first impluse would be to find a gun.

That philosophy certainly appears to be a winner doesn't it.

The Drill SGT said...

I'll cut through all the proses:

Multi-culturalism = bad

assimilation = good

Sofa King said...

"He may do that badly on many occasions, but it's inconceivable that his aspirations toward mutual respect and shared principles blot out his awareness of the discord and disconnect."

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

lucid said...

Huntington's argument is well-developed and nuanced, and you should look at his essays or book and not only Hirsi Ali's summary.

Huntington is arguing that the differences in civilizations are profound and not easily bridged, that they are historically based and deeply different conceptions of what is good and how to live.

Huntington's view is opposed to the "Family of Man," "we all really just want the same thing" patronizing Western attitude toward the rest of the world. He thinks we need to support our wn values and understand what other civilizations want and need.

Amore unifed world, in a view compatible with Huntington's, may only evolve hundreds of years in the future.

ricpic said...

Why is one worldism an ideal? I can understand it being an ideal for elites who want to be once and for all done with interference from those pesky peasants...but what about us pesky peasants, what's in one worldism for us? Nothing, that's what. Nothing but shut up and obey.

Scott M said...

For the past 30-40 years we have played the us against them game and to what result?

Well, we won the Cold War, for starters. Then we assumed everyone would just hug and sing kumbaya while we gave up significant leads, particularly in aerospace.

I fail to see how the One World template is more accurate, given the vast differences in cultures and backgrounds, when here in the US, we can't even deal with One City in any of major metros without copious amounts of infighting, corruption, and cronyism.

It's like pretty much everything else the extreme left, or the extreme right for that matter, constantly misunderstands...human nature. People simply aren't as mature and benevolent as the left would like to think. On the other side of that coin, they aren't as shitty and evil as the extreme right believes.

Hey said...

Obama and the rest of the left agree that there is discord, but they blame it all on the US and the West. It's all the fault of the melanin-deficient phallocentrists. Which is why they supported Great Uncle Ho against imperialist machinations, why they defended Pol Pot against nefarious charges of genocide, why they support Iran in its peaceful development of nuclear energy to overcome their utter lack of energy resources.

It is simply the malevolent actions of reactionary racists in the US that need to be countered. The army conducts fake explosion drill so it can claim that Afghans place IEDs and uses computer wizardry to imagine imams saying death to america.

The world would be safer if the US defunded the DoD and got rid of its nukes, as the Chinese and the Iranians could ensure security.

TLDR - just as they always have been, the Left are nihilistic traitors who rejoice in the destruction of Western civilization. We need to treat them as the deadly enemies that they are, along with realizing the existential threat posed by Salafists. It's far past time for those who would annihilate the West to be eliminated.

AJ Lynch said...

Religions are like businesses. They must compete for congregants [customers] or the religion will wither and die.

Even President Obama should understand this Interfaith hand-holding is a kumbaya crock. No thriving religion sect should believe in it. It is the refuge of a few protestant sects who won't admit they are dying.

But Obama does not really get the concept of comppetition because he is a natural born girly man.

traditionalguy said...

You mean that the "All the world needs now is love" is a useless approach? But how can our Muslim Community organizer arrange for us a sweet peace by surrender if we wise up?

Hoosier Daddy said...

hdhouse can you clarify who exactly 'we' have been on a 'war footing' with for the last 30-40 years? I mean by my calendar, those decades hearken back to 1980 and 1970 and the only war footing we were on was with the Soviet Union.

I mean up until 9/11 Islamic extremists were just what John Kerry wanted them to be, a "nuisance". Hardly worth getting our thongs in a twist. So to speak.

HDHouse said...

Scott M said...
"Well, we won the Cold War, for starters."

Which by the way has nothing much to do with the Muslim issue other than we sided with them in Afghanistan and Iraq when it was convenient and pretty much left them high and dry when not. Our best Muslim friends seem to be in oil rich states that are not exactly models of democracy or of trickle down economics from ruling classes sent there by birthright and not any sort of elections.

Why the radical elements act as they do is religious and historical. If their entire populations embraced it equally then it would be a billion very well healed and oil rich muslims on our doorstep which clearly isn't the case.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, we won the Cold War, for starters.

Well in hindsight I for one miss the Cold War. Everyone knew thier place and the rules.

aronamos said...

Ali never explains why the "Clash of Civilizations" template works better in the real world than Obama's idea.

I suspect Ali believes that if someone says they will chop off your head for being an infidel or insulting the prophet, they are telling the truth. I suspect Obama believes it's poetical metaphor.

Scott said...

The problem with Islam is that, unlike Christianity or Judaism or most other religions, its central religious tract is held to be the directly communicated word of God. For most Muslims, it's only about understanding the word, not interpreting it. There can be no compromise with the non-believer; only accommodation until such time as the Sharia can be fulfilled.

This is why it's unlikely that there will be a "Islamic reformation". The Christian reformation was rooted in reason and doubt; a realization by believers that their leaders were doing things that were not justified by the example of Christ and the early Church. For Muslims, reason is not an option. You either have to accept the Qur'an or reject it. This was apparent to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She made her choice, and she is now living in fear for her life.

Given the United States' embrace of religious freedom and free speech, it seems like the only path available to us is to bifrucate Islam into religious and political aspects, even though it's a false model. Let people pray, but vigorously root out and confront political Islam as the threat to civilization that it is. The best we can hope for is a stalemate, however.

Perhaps the rest of the world is descending into darkness. Let's keep America free, and defend that culture of liberty from the assaults of fascists, whether they be Muslims or Democrats.

shoutingthomas said...

Since OmegaLiberal isn't here to say it, I'll say it for him.

This is just another example of bigotry.

The problem here is the bigots!

It's the bigotty-bigotty bigots!

You're all just a bunch of steenking bigots!

Sorry I had to do this, but OmegaLiberal is out right now, handing over the keys to his house to the nearest black person.

He loves black people so much! Don't you admire the halo on that guy?

If you bastards weren't such bigots (I'm speaking here for OmegaLiberal), you'd sign on to building an Al Queda barracks on Ground Zero. There's no reason to fear Al Queda troops unless you're a bigot.

Besides, those Al Quedas got good reason to hate us. Because we're a bunch of bigots. And imperialists, too.

Did I get it right, OmegaLiberal?

jr565 said...

HDHouse wrote:
For the past 30-40 years we have played the us against them game and to what result? Now Obama feels there is an opening with moderates. That may or may not be true.


Who is we? Are you indicting the US in this alone, or is it a collective WE? i.e. the countries screaming death to america every day for the past 2 decades for example.

However, decades of war footing have left nothing except a population here who is ready for a rope and tree first chance it gets and a distrust so large that if a moderate did show up at the door the first impluse would be to find a gun.


except that hasn't happened yet has it? Show me the instances of lynched Muslims in this country. Then show me the instances of intolerance in Saudi Arabia for example. Supposed I wanted to take a trip to SA? Being a non muslim I would not even be welcome there. If I came bearing bibles I'd be even less welcome than that. And you want to talk about lack of trust?

THen look at our giving of aid to Pakistan. I'm sure that is a policy we will not be credited for in any way. And note too that this is not a unique instance of our largesse. We've ALWAYS lent a helping hand when countries face emergencies like this. Even evil George Bush went out of his way to help countries in need.

I am getting sick and tired of your libeling the US of being racists out to lynch anyone. And your side has no reason to talk. WHen it comes to bashing religion, specificially christianity, your side has perfected it into a fine art. Yet, somehow you are now the protectors of all things religious. My ass.
Peddle your demagoguery somewhere else.

traditionalguy said...

Just a reminder, the western civilization she appreciates so much is an artifact of Christianity. Does this mean sitting on the fence of rational positivism will not suffice? Does she mean that having a faith sustains men, even that rogue Christianity faith from which we are being cleansed by the judicial enorcement of a Doctrine of Immaculate State and Public Life free from religious based spoken words and symbols?

Big Mike said...

but it's inconceivable that his aspirations toward mutual respect and shared principles blot out his awareness of the discord and disconnect.

Why is this "inconceivable"? It's certainly not inconceivable to me. Despite everything that's happened since Election Day, I think you're still projecting too much of your own hopes onto an empty suit.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Our best Muslim friends seem to be in oil rich states that are not exactly models of democracy

Really? Well for starters, you're hard pressed to find Muslim states that are anything but democracies (funny that isn't it?). We have pretty solid relations with Jordan and Egypt and they have little in the way of oil. Morroco as well.

The problem with the ME is that there are no moderates, none of any significance that can rally any real popular support. Take Mubarak out of the picture and the Muslim Brotherhood would sweep in with popular support. Try and find a 'moderate' and he'd be dead within 2 weeks. That scenario fits pretty much the whole region by and large.

Scott M said...

Which by the way has nothing much to do with the Muslim issue

It has everything to do with it, but that was not my point. As Hoosier asked you, going back 30 to 40 years takes us back into the Cold War when the "Muslim issue", as you put it, was far less prevalent and less important to our security calculus.

The end of the Cold War with it's bipolar power arrangement actually made the world a multi-polar, ie a more dangerous place simply due to the number of falling and rising actors and their manifold webs of interactions. Basic Poli-Sci 101.

If the Cold War were still the status quo, we wouldn't be worrying about this "muslim issue".

pm317 said...

but it's inconceivable that his aspirations toward mutual respect and shared principles blot out his awareness of the discord and disconnect.

As when he "unwittingly" walked into this mosque fiasco? He thought he would lecture us all about tolerance and miscalculated how it would be received. Yep, his ego, his narcissism, and his smug attitude that he has something better to say than anyone else blots out his awareness if there is any, of reality. The thing is he thinks he is special that everybody would fall at his feet accepting his pronouncements but everything about him screams he is mediocre. America does not want a "philosopher King" but somebody who is one of their own but who has stepped up to that office and runs a good government. Now if he can translate his aspirations into policy and make them work that is a different matter. Just speeches won't cut it.

In fact Bill Clinton had said in one of his speeches/interviews that bridging that gap between aspirations and policy is the hardest thing to do. The lazy Obama is the last person to do it. May be he will think about it this week on his vacation in Martha's Vineyard as he recharges his batteries.

Joe said...

HDHouse, the Althouse version of Joe Bite Me...

So we've
For the past 30-40 years we have played the us against them game and to what result?

But then he tries to weasel out, dood the last 40 years makes it the COLD WAR, you might ahve missed it playing Jazz...any way we WON the Cold War and liberated a whole bunch of East Europeans. That's what Us v. them got us...

But it has Nothing to do with the Muslims, HDHouse responds, which leads us to ask the question, then why even make the statement in the first place? I guess because HDHouse ahd to say something...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I don't even buy the concept of "moderate Muslims". Where are they? Who are they? The most moderate statements I hear from Muslims run along the lines of "Too bad 3,000 of you got killed, but what did you expect?"

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why the radical elements act as they do is religious and historical. If their entire populations embraced it equally then it would be a billion very well healed and oil rich muslims on our doorstep which clearly isn't the case.

Well I'll argue that while they're not devoted to the jihad cause, they're apathetic or at best, indifferent to it. In other words, they're not going to stick their necks out to reject it either.

I'll say it again, this supposed teeny tiny percentage of radicals simply cannot operate to the extent it does without substantial local support.

LarsPorsena said...

Communism is a religion disguised as a political system.

Islam is a political system disguised as a religion.

Lem said...

A little background..

Ms Hirsi Ali (the writer of this column) has a fatwa (an Islamic death sentence) for writing a play critical of Islam with regard to women.

The play was made into a film by film maker Theo van Gogh and he was murdered for it.

Ms Hirsi Ali is also against female genital mutilation.

I can hardly blame her for choosing the clash instead of the white flag.

roesch-voltaire said...

I respect Ayaan Hirsi Ali and attended her lecture when she spoke here at the UW. And I agree we should defend our Western Enlightenment approach by clearly stating its values and pointing out where they differ from those in the Muslim world thus exposing where real friction exists. But I don't think this means we can export democracy to the Middle East or other countries, nor do I think it means glossing over differences and historical realities--but I do think we can find common areas of agreement on the world stage--look at our relationship with China or India. In our country I think it is reasonable to ask that minority groups assimilate into American culture at least to the point of recognizing the importance of the constitution as our guiding principle.

Jenner said...

I've come to the conclusion that to be Muslim in America, you cannot be the same Muslim you were Saudi Arabia, or other places where a "stricter" form of Islam is practiced. Amercia is tolerant and all that, but in the end, this is AMERICA gosh-darn-it and you either embrace those values or you get out. If AMERICAN values don't fit into your faith, too bad.


To answer the "clash of civilization v. one worlder" question - on some things there will be no common ground, so one side will decide (by might or by persuasion) what belief system is superior. That's reality. So far strength has been on the side of liberty. I hope it stays that way.

phx said...

"Ali never explains why the "Clash of Civilizations" template works better in the real world than Obama's idea. I'd guess that one needs to check one's perceptions alternately with both templates and that Obama does that and more as he decides what actions to take and what to say in speeches. He may do that badly on many occasions, but it's inconceivable that his aspirations toward mutual respect and shared principles blot out his awareness of the discord and disconnect."

Just worth saying again.

Hoosier Daddy said...

--but I do think we can find common areas of agreement on the world stage--look at our relationship with China or India.

Yes, politics makes strange bedfellows as the saying goes. The fundamental difference is that China and India aren't populated by religious fundamentalists whose religion is a major driver in their political system.

I'll agree with you about exporting democracy. The last thing I want to see are free elections in Egypt or KSA. Democracy, as we know it isn't just about going to the polls and voting. Its about mutual respect, civil rights, gender rights, religious tolerance and individual freedom. None of those ideals are very welcome in the ME.

HDHouse said...

@hoosierdaddy...

recollection is that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and our support went to the Afghan resistence thereafter. The Iraq-Iran War kicked off in 1980 and we did everything we could to prop up the Iraqi side because, as you remember there was some bad blood involving Iran and the embassy...so we are back 20 years in a heartbeat and i'm sure if we plowed through the 70s we could find more but perhaps not as blatant.

pm317 said...

@Jenner, totally agree with the first part of your comment.

The best way to deal with Islam in a pluralistic society is to tell them that they can’t have everything they want in the name of religious tolerance. They will get some concessions and protection for minority rights (like every other minority) but only in the context of the greater societal obligations and the rule of law.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If AMERICAN values don't fit into your faith, too bad.

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's.

Can't really find a better quote for a person of faith living compatibly in a secular government.

Scott M said...

@roesch-voltaire

Agreed. I don't think anyone is championing the export of democracy at this point, though, beyond trade policies. Rather than looking to bolster the moderates abroad, our primary focus, in this era of recession and public debt, has got to be on minding our own fences. We do not have the resources for anything else.

LarsPorsena said...

Islamic modus vivendi = what's ours is ours; what's yours is negotiable.

pm317 said...

"Ali never explains why the "Clash of Civilizations" template works better in the real world than Obama's idea. I'd guess that one needs to check one's perceptions alternately with both templates and that Obama does that and more as he decides what actions to take and what to say in speeches. He may do that badly on many occasions, but it's inconceivable that his aspirations toward mutual respect and shared principles blot out his awareness of the discord and disconnect."

Why does Althouse give so much credit to Obama? It is irritating. May be she rationalizes her vote for him that way.

Hoosier Daddy said...

@hdhouse

Yes I remember all that but I was under the impression from your original post that we were on a war footing and us against them game with Muslims.

Point is, up until 9/11, few people in this country had issues with the Muslim world. Most, including myself felt that the radical elements (PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah etc) were all fringe groups that didn't represent the broader demographic.

After 9/11 and the scenes of Palestians cheering and the rest of the Muslim world while not actively cheering it on, did respond with a 'what did you expect?' and didn't seem overly upset over it. Again, while they may not openly support the jihadists, I'm not seeing a whole lot of pushback either.

Point is tolerance is a two way street and it seems that we're only allowed to drive one way.

Scott M said...

recollection is that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and our support went to the Afghan resistence thereafter. The Iraq-Iran War kicked off in 1980 and we did everything we could to prop up the Iraqi side because, as you remember there was some bad blood involving Iran and the embassy...so we are back 20 years in a heartbeat and i'm sure if we plowed through the 70s we could find more but perhaps not as blatant.

Proxy conflicts fought between the US and USSR using regional dupes. What about that aspect of the Cold War don't you understand? Those conflicts you cite are examples of how the cold war (30-40 years ago by your own reckoning) have everything to do with the "muslim issue".

Are you arguing just to gainsay at this point?

Salamandyr said...

You know, I personally find Obama and company's unwillingness to take offense when it is offered to be patronizingly racist, or perhaps culturalist is a better term.

He always expects Americans to be the bigger person, to be the accommodating one. That's because in his heart of hearts, he doesn't recognize Muslims as mature enough to judge by adult standards. As one forgives the offenses of a child, he forgives the offenses of those, supposedly less enlightened cultures; after all "they don't know better".

Obama is just one of many; Mayor Bloomberg might be an even better banner carrier for this attitude.

ricpic said...

What's the one country in the middle east that WILL NOT fall to the "Death to America!" crowd? Israel. Yes, Israel. But just ask AL, or HdHouse, or Mundane Mundane, or Jeremy, or any of the other Jew hating vile Lefty freaks who frequent this site what the problem state in the middle east is and they'll scream, "ISRAEL!!!" Get rid of that pernicious nest of insidious Jews and all will be sweetness and light and an endless embrace from our natural Arab allies. Go ahead. Ask them. Ask them what they REALLY think.

jr565 said...

Ricpic wrote:
What's the one country in the middle east that WILL NOT fall to the "Death to America!" crowd? Israel. Yes, Israel. But just ask AL, or HdHouse, or Mundane Mundane, or Jeremy, or any of the other Jew hating vile Lefty freaks who frequent this site what the problem state in the middle east is and they'll scream, "ISRAEL!!!" Get rid of that pernicious nest of insidious Jews and all will be sweetness and light and an endless embrace from our natural Arab allies. Go ahead. Ask them. Ask them what they REALLY think.


They think that if they just have the jews fed to the wolves then they can placate the wolves who will now like us for helping them kill off their enemy. However, Israel is the little Satan, and we are the Great Satan. All that feeding the jews to the Muslims trying to destroy them will lead to dead jews and the extremist muslims knowing that they in fact, if pressuring the world with enough violence, will get the great Satan to capitulate. Remember the lesson OBL tried to teach about us being a paper tiger.
Also, remember how much our aid of Afghani freedom fighters got us, as far as goodwill.

sunsong said...

I like the idea of a community of nations - not a "one-world-global-citizen-we-are-the-world-all-the same-paradise".

The idea of nations workng together inspires me. The old idea of empire or of one dominant country who is in charge is for the last century and the last millenium, imo :-)

The idea that everyone in the world wants to live in an American style republic is not true. Having respect for other cultures and other countries does not mean, imo, that they need to be elvated in some way. It is simply human respect of the beliefs, values, dreams and aspirations that others have. Just like, hopefully, you treat unique human beings with respect :-)

edutcher said...

The so-called moderate Moslems are either like the 'good Germans' of the '30s and early '40s or too scared (fatwas, bombings, murders, etc.) to say or do anything. They do not in any way call the tune.

Only when they are fed up enough to stand against the crazies - which will necessitate an end to their moderation, probably - will they speak with some authority in their own countries.

HDHouse said...
Ooopsy...must of missed something here.

For the past 30-40 years we have played the us against them game and to what result? Now Obama feels there is an opening with moderates. That may or may not be true.

However, decades of war footing have left nothing except a population here who is ready for a rope and tree first chance it gets and a distrust so large that if a moderate did show up at the door the first impluse would be to find a gun.

That philosophy certainly appears to be a winner doesn't it.


This, for those too young to have heard it first run, was what the useless idiots and fellow travelers used to use as their oh-so-sophisticated argument to convince everyone to disarm and trust the Soviets.

As I say, the Lefties need some new writers.

Geoff Matthews said...

Maybe she is looking at her own experiences with Muslims in The Netherlands. I understand that her life was threatened there.
Perhaps it is her belief that the US's experience with Muslim immigration will be similar to The Netherlands?

Joe said...


Just like, hopefully, you treat unique human beings with respect :-)


How much respect ought I give Hitler, Himmler, or Goering, or Lenin, Stalin, Yezhov, Yagoda, or Beria? Or Mao or Chou Enlai? Or Mugabe? Or "Son of Sam" or Ted Bundy? OR far that matter Al Bundy or Peg?

Joe said...


Perhaps it is her belief that the US's experience with Muslim immigration will be similar to The Netherlands?


Anecdotally stories from my friends about Dearborn Michigan don't bode well....lots and lots of barred basements, to keep the "honour" of the family safe and the daughter's verginity equally safe.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Also, remember how much our aid of Afghani freedom fighters got us, as far as goodwill.

Our aid to the Afghans was simply payback for Soviet support to the North Vietnamese. Hell I didn't buy the 'freedom figher' crap even then.

None of the aid ever brings us any goodwill anywhere, ever. I remember the tsunami when we had a carrier task group onsight within a day doing humanitarian work and we were called 'stingy' for not putting up enough money for aid.

c3 said...

from my past reading of Ms. Ali's opinions, I would put in perspective her viewpoints on Islam as "a" viewpoint. I'm always cautious about someone's view of a religion when they've experienced abuse, rejection etc. I'm not discounting her experiences nor her opinions. I would feel the same about an ex-Catholic's view of the Church who had experienced sexual abuse from a priest as a young boy. Likewise an ex-fundamentalist who had a harsh, strict-ruled based upbring would have a certain "more than objective" take on Christianity.

Ms. Ali always brings up good points. Because she's tough on Islam she gets a consistent hearing in conservative circles. That's odd for many reasons IMHO.

At its core though, it suggests (and this editorial is explicit in this) that its Islam against the US. I'm not naive enough to say there isn't such an element out there. But to only view it in such a dichotomous way limits both Islam and America.

c3 said...

As an example of what I'm suggesting, look at Iran. We're "against" the theocracy and Ahmadinejad and for the popular uprising. Do we believe their (those against the regime) have a brand of Islam more to our "liking". Are we missing the social class factors at play (Ahmadinejad appeals to the working classes)? Do we miss the ongoing conflicts between Persian Iran and its Arab neighbors? Do we "misplay" the centuries old conflict between Shia and Sunni?

Its too easy to see it as "the democracy-lovers are our allies".

Personally I'm dumbfounded when someone in Iran can in one moment say how much they want to come to America and then, in a crowd, shout "Death to the Great Satan"

Trooper York said...

Islam has taken the place of communism as the greatest threat to our American way of life.

Unfortunately our current President seems to be a devotee of both at his core. Both had a fundamental part in his upbringing and have influenced him beyond measure.

His tenure will be proven to be a disaster for our nation

Lisa said...

Have you read Nomad? She clearly outlines why this is a clash of civilizations.

The basic ideals of Islam are contradictory to everything modern America stands for... equality (between the sexes, races), respect for other religions (she details how she was taught in religious school to curse the Jews as part of her prayers) and the rule of law.

Unless there is a Muslim reformation, there can be no reconciliation between the West and Islam.

Paul Snively said...

Lisa: Unless there is a Muslim reformation, there can be no reconciliation between the West and Islam.

As Mark Steyn pointed out in "America Alone," what if Islam already had its Reformation, and it was Wahabism? That is, who's to say that "Reformation" necessarily has a positive outcome?

Dark Eden said...

For the past 30-40 years we have played the us against them game and to what result?
>>>

Um...

The muslim world has been in a near constant state of war (hot or cold) for about a thousand years now.

You hear all about the crusades but the PC textbooks glaze over the Muslim campaigns like the Siege of Vienna, the conquest of spain, the invasion of France, the constant nearly unending invasions of Eastern Europe, the sacking of Constantinople and the eastern roman empire. Vlad Tepes, the historic Dracula, was dealing with muslim invasions of his land or the threat of them for his entire reign. And his father's reign. And his grandfather's. And so on.

So this is one of those things that wasn't caused by 30 or 40 years of mean westerners. Its been going on about five or six times longer than our country has even existed.

The global caliphate thing is not some BS a bunch of xenophobic evil white guys came up with. Its a very real thing that not every muslim subscribes to, but enough do that its a threat. Putting your head in the sand and pretending if we're just nice they'll be nice is dangerously naive.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Putting your head in the sand and pretending if we're just nice they'll be nice is dangerously naive.

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy' until you find a big stick.

lucid said...

@Lisa

I agree. Islam is much more political and imperialistic than other modern religions.

If one were to think of Islma as a political party rather than as a religion, what would one say about it then? It would widely viewed as a threat to the security and peace of the world.

The problem is that there are a billion and a half adherents to this dangerous political program.

It does need a reformation, in just the way you describe.

But the extent to which Muslims fail to assimilate and become transformed by their residence in Western countries is a grave impediment to a truly moderate Muslim faith.

Duncan said...

So Germany and Japan were very warlike nations bent on world conquest.

We invaded them and defeated them and like good primates their testosterone production declined (a protective device to prevent losers in fights from self-destruction by continuing fighting) and they became two of the wimpiest nations around.

We do the same with Islam and reformation occurs.

I know it's harder because they're spread around more but defeating their Mideast core countries would help.

Luckily their military forces suck.

lucid said...

@pm317, who said:
"Why does Althouse give so much credit to Obama? It is irritating. May be she rationalizes her vote for him that way."

Althouse always getrs a little loopy-liberal the day or two after she has been mentioned in the NYTimes. Some asppiration of hers, maybe left over from living in New York, seems to get evoked; or rubs off on her from finding herself in the paper's pages.

She'll almost certainly come back to her senses in a few days.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Luckily their military forces suck.

You don't really need a top notch militray force when your religious bretheren are indifferent to your actions and a small but influencial segment of your target bends over backwards to make your ultimate goal more easily obtainable.

Don said...

Ali never explains why the "Clash of Civilizations" template works better in the real world than Obama's idea.

No - read the article. That is exactly what she does. She uses Turkey as an example to illustrate the Obama model's weakness. Sheesh, its called reading comprehension people.

ndspinelli said...

Few people understand the Muslim world better than Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It would be wise to listen to her on this issue.

Kirby Olson said...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has the double-advantage of race, gender and actual inclusion in the Muslim world, so you'd think all the libtards would listen to her, too.

I don't understand when people talk about the Muslim moderates. Who is the face of the Muslim moderates? Is there a single Muslim world leader who has any credible within the Muslim world who is also a moderate?

There is no Muslim country with anything like a free press is there?

Obama is just playing the appeasement game. Churchill said that appeasement solved nothing.

Obama is trying to appease the Mexican cartels to the south, the Islamics to the east, and the Chinese to the west.

Appeasement might work with Eskimos.

Ironclad said...

There has been a clash of civilizations going on for a long time - and people need to realize that it has always been a two way street (even if most history books these days seem to concentrate on Western "crusader aggression"). September 11 was chosen for the Twin Towers date to debase the anniversary of the battle of Vienna in 1683 when the Ottomans siege was broken and totally repulsed. (for the 2nd time - the first one was in 1529.

It might be noted to that civilizations do cast shadows on others as they wax and wane - I am reading a very good account of the reasons for the Dark Ages in Europe - and the explanation (in a very politically incorrect, but well researched book) points more to the emergence of the early Islamic empire through North Africa that closed off the Mediterranean Sea to commerce to Western Europe. More telling was the end of the papyrus trade to Europe from Egypt - cutting off in a single stroke the source of writing paper for books and trade. (Vellum is an expensive substitute)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes some very good points, but the main one she makes is that you have to deal with the Islamic culture as they deal with you - always from strength and always demanding reciprocal arrangements. What one culture views as "tolerance" another views as pure weakness.

HDHouse said...

@hoosierdaddy...

your "tolerance is a two way street" is well taken. my rejoinder to that is that there appears to be any number of Muslims who have chosen "us" rather than "them" - demonstrating some degree of moderation although many think that just a fake and a plot.

I believe that Mr. Obama's point is that these moderates or seeming moderates need the encouragement to at least keep their minds open otherwise they will either be driven back into the hard line fold or disappear so as to not be caught in the crossfire.

I think that is a valid point and worth discussion.

Richard Dolan said...

The "clash of civilizations" idea is fine as far as it goes. But it's too general to be a programmatic guide to action. When I read her piece yesterday, it seemed clear that she thought that the US (meaning, mostly, O) should adopt a different tone and change his rhetoric. But many have said, here and elsewhere, that O's rhetoric is almost beside the point -- if you want to know what he thinks and intends, pay attention to what he does and forget about what he says.

Ann comments: "Ali never explains why the 'Clash of Civilizations' template works better in the real world than Obama's idea." Template for what, exactly? Both are just highly generalized views of the world emphasizing different aspects of a common reality. And what do you mean by "works better," since neither slogan (Clash vs One-ism) seems to be doing much "work" at all?

On the international front, O's administration has kept in place most of the Bush Admin's policies from the no-longer-named War on Terror. It has increased the use of drones to attack al Q operatives; it has increased US forces in Afghanistan; it has kept in place almost all of the surveillance techniques that the lefties had previously vilified; and it is even basking in the glory of a win in Iraq (which, with luck, the O Team won't turn into its opposite). The only sharp turn from Bush Admin policies is in relations with Israel, and there O's position seems to stem from a lefty academic view that the clash is one between white oppressor and minority victim. Apart from tone and rhetoric, I couldn't figure out what actions she was proposing the US should do differently.

Where her criticism has a bit more bite is on O's domestic agenda. O and his administration seem to have a pathological inability to admit the obvious -- terrorism today is mostly an Islamofacist problem. (Remember the painful display that Holder put on a few months ago, testifying before the Senate.) But on that score, the problem isn't 'one worldism' vs. 'clash of civilizations.' Instead, it comes from a typical academic lefty fondness for seeing racism and bigotry everywhere as the universal explanation for 'root causes', blah-blah-blah.

"Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended." Amen. But apart from retuning the speechifying, what "active defense" does she think is needed that "our civilization" is not getting?

It wasn't clear to me and still isn't.

Sofa King said...

Our civilization is not getting a *moral* defense.

We certainly have the most guns and the biggest bombs. What we lack is a coherent moral justification to use them.

Rod said...

In order to have a clash of civilizations, you need more than one civilization. A group of people who advocate beheading, stoning women, flying airplanes full of non combatants into buildings full of non combatants and other 8th century pratices, I, for one, do not consider civilized.

Kev said...

But then he tries to weasel out, dood the last 40 years makes it the COLD WAR, you might ahve missed it playing Jazz...

I agree with everything else you've said, but please don't tar all jazz musicians with an HDHouse-colored brush. Not everyone in the arts is a leftie, y'know; it just seems like their side is more vocal with their beliefs. Some of us just shut up and play our horns (and throw in the occasional blog comment, of course).

traditionalguy said...

For the record, a "moderate Muslim" is an intelligent and well educated administrator/Doctor/manager that tries hard to fit into our society very successfully. The Jihadists are usually the next generation young males that have heard at mosques how they are superior to Americans since their mosque and their families are superior, but they feel unfairly excluded from the role of masters over American rednecks(this being a common bond with liberals). They cannot receive grace like Christians do, so they are left with a strong need to eliminate the threat to their Muslim identity, of a natural superiority, by refusing to make the compromises their parents made to fit in here.

Cedarford said...

Rod said...
In order to have a clash of civilizations, you need more than one civilization. A group of people who advocate beheading, stoning women, flying airplanes full of non combatants into buildings full of non combatants and other 8th century pratices, I, for one, do not consider civilized


Thats what the Romans thought. Smug, fat, stupid. Invulnerable. Complacent and always underestimating their foes civilizations and threats to Rome. Cannae, the nasty Jews, Vercingtorix, the Punt savages and many others sported smug Roman heads from pikes...

Next thing they knew, barbarian hordes were sacking their cities copulating with the Romans wives at swordpoint and the "civilized Romans" were told to kneel and obey and pay annual gold to some red-haired Germanic, hair and beard dressed in rancid pig grease and soot - henceforth.

Islam is an effective consolidating civilization. Since AD 700, for every step back they have taken 5 steps forward. Once in majority control..the number of non-Muslims is progressively reduced until elimination, save perhaps in a place like Syria
BTW, nothing wrong with killing or pillaging enemy non-combatants. Euros did a lot of it and then while they were powerful, passed Hague and Geneva feel-good rules the other nations signed onto because it was smart to go along with the West for a while.

America did effective work in Shermans March, handling native savages, and firebombing Tokyo and Dresden. Hardly 8th century stuff.

9/11 was a very effective military strike by people that saw the great seam in America's protection - the inability of civilian law enforcement centered on suspects, provable evidence, reactive only to offenses committed - and "getting convictions" to effectively deal with an invading commando force.
America in moments after started confused and stayed confused. Rudy did more damage than good calling it "a big crime scene".
Had the Islamoids been a bit smarter and hit 9/11 on off-hours, they could have legitimately claimed they declared war formally, then hit America's military command center, it's global finance command center, and had a 3rd strike force headed to take out enemy leadership. BUt they got a little carried away with celebrating the enemy non-combatant deaths they inflicted...

deborah said...

aronamos:

"I suspect Ali believes that if someone says they will chop off your head for being an infidel or insulting the prophet, they are telling the truth. I suspect Obama believes it's poetical metaphor."

Heh.

deborah said...

roesch-voltaire:

"In our country I think it is reasonable to ask that minority groups assimilate into American culture at least to the point of recognizing the importance of the constitution as our guiding principle."

The problems will come with Sharia-creep. For example, in Britain, the Koran is now expected to be kept on a top shelf in libraries. There are now segregated gym classes, and the like, at the behest of Muslim leaders.

knox said...

Perhaps the rest of the world is descending into darkness. Let's keep America free, and defend that culture of liberty from the assaults of fascists, whether they be Muslims or Democrats.

I'm putting this on a T-shirt.

Richard Fagin said...

"Ali never explains why the "Clash of Civilizations" template works better in the real world than Obama's idea."

He doesn't have to. Jews, Hindus and Christians do not fly aircraft fully loaded with fuel into occcupied office buildings, nor bomb tourist filled beaches, nor to they bomb neutral embassies. President Obama's idea is that of a child. Muslims do. the Koran commands it. The real world is full of these irredeemably bad people. These people need to be destroyed lest they make the world a gulag for the rest of us, i.e., reduce us to dhimmitude. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Ho Chi Minh. No need to list any more unless your moral compass is in one of those polar reversals mentioned in an earlier post.

William said...

Western societies present an illustrated history of dead ends and cliff dives. But it must be observed that underlying all the catyclsms and failures, there was a willingness to move forward and learn from the past....Islam seems to view the past not as an admonition but as an ideal. I have read about the various Caliphates. They were not the high water mark of civilization and humanity. It seems passing strange that anyone would want to recreate those nightmare states....Well, human beings are pretty stupid. A good portion of the Islamic population feel that if they stone adulterers with more vigor, their problems will be solved. I wonder at what point a nation decides this is a bad idea and that it's just not working. Maybe never. Afghans actually lived under Taliban rule and yet they cannot find enough cohesion and cooperation within their society to defeat the mullahs. It's very discouraging.

John Lynch said...

Why Huntington should be taken seriously is that he formed his thesis in the early 90s, when everyone was patting themselves on the back for winning the Cold War and living it up. So far, it's stood up amazingly well, I think.

Huntington-bashers should keep in mind that his book specifically said that the US should not ever invade an Islamic country. Core states shouldn't do things like that.

Also, he thought it was fine that people had their own customs in their own countries. He just thought it was a bad idea to have a bunch of mutually incompatible cultures in the same country. I can't think of two less compatible civilizations than Islam and the West.

John Lynch said...

I remember when Reagan's excuse for selling arms to Iran was that he was helping the moderates.

Really, that's what was said.

I didn't buy it then, either.

Krumhorn said...

Ann wrote:

Ali never explains why the "Clash of Civilizations" template works better in the real world than Obama's idea. I'd guess that one needs to check one's perceptions alternately with both templates

Surely, Ann, you have some idea of this woman's biography and what she has seen of the "real world" compared to The Messiah's idiotic notion that he can make us infidels less disgusting and killable.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has seen the beast up close and personal. We ignore her hard won insights at our peril.

Do you suppose it's time for her to give up her bodyguards in an open-handed display of bonhomie and good will?

We are, indeed, in the middle of an ancient clash of civilizations, and there is truly no escape. It's time for us to put on our big boy pants, Ann, and stop with this girlyman stuff.

Oddly enough, those pants never looked better than they do on Ms Ali and...............dare I say it.......Sarah Palin.

........

Ann Althouse said...

"Surely, Ann, you have some idea of this woman's biography and what she has seen of the "real world"..."

Yeah, but that doesn't mean she can spout off in generalities and have special authority. The substance and wisdom needs to be there.