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Join Gab (@StFerdinandIII) Western Civilisation was and is superior to anything Islam has developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Raising the alarm about the fascism called Submission since 2000.  

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

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Book Review: 'The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy', by Walid Phares

Yes it is a book by a non-Anglo criticising Islamic radicalism and Western cultural Marxism. Fancy that.

by Ferdinand III




Phares is a former Muslim and academic who has studied Islamic radicalism and jihad for over 20 years. Originally from the Middle East, Phares has first hand experience with the doctrines of radical Islamic ideology and the struggle between East and West over ideas. He views fundamentalist Islam as a monumental threat to civilisation – a threat premised on ideas and culture more than military power. He is equally as certain that the West's Marxist-Liberalism and politically correct fascism, is culturally neutering us from within; allowing Islamic jihadists time and space to further their quest for world domination.

Phares is certain that this world war is about ideas, more than it is about relative military, technological or economic power. He puts it thus, 'Particularly in the Arab Muslim nations, the War of Ideas is raging. It has inflamed millions of readers, viewers and listeners, tranforming large numbers of them into militants and demonstrators, some into suicide bombers, and many into voters [for radicals].' If this is true, and it certainly appears to be, than some obvious facts reveal themselves. Phares cites them all:

-Western elites have failed to name the enemy in the war of ideas. For some of the elite the conflict is against terror; for others it is not a war but American imperialism; for others it is about oil; for some Christians it is retribution visited on the unholy by God through radical Islam. There is no single theme.

-Marriages of convenience exist between odd bed-fellows – jihadists, marxists, anarchists, feminists, and socialists [all of whom hate Western civilisation to some degree], exist and these groups are very active in domestic Western society to try and destroy the war effort.

-Hollywood and the mainstream liberal media is pronouncedly anti-Amerian and anti-war. This gives great propaganda support to the jihadists.

-Denial in the West about Islam's historical slave trading of 20-30 million blacks and whites; its imperialist wars of aggression in which 300 millions are dead; its enslavement of women; its denial of basic human rights and the poverty of its economy and political structure. Few in the West understand that Islam means submission and division of powers, individualism, and free will are all to be eradicated in an Islamic regime. Allah is all.

-The elevation of all things Arab and Muslim to be good if not great and superior to Western constructs, innovations and history.

-Multi-lateral institutions are largely useless in combatting Islamic fascism and aggression. There is no evidence that any group, including the UN, is supportive of the American led war effort, or has ever, in past history, stood up to Islamic terror.

The above are serious enough to have the West lose this war.

Democracies are by their nature riven by dissent, competing factions and power politics. But according to Phares and others, there is no general feeling in most of the West, that radical Islam is a pernicious threat. This is extremely dangerous. The collison between civilisations is inevitable, or as Phares puts it, 'between the mosaic of democracies and the panoply of Jihadism, the disagreement is philosophical, historical, and doctrinal: it is about how the world has functioned for centuries and how it should evolve.' The conflict with radical Islam is of course an unavoidable clash. But few understand that.

Phares goes through Islam's ideological construct, and its various interpretations and important ideas. Almost any interpretation of Islam is at odds with Western civilisation. On any issue – legal, women, slaves, blacks, economic, social, philosophical – there is nothing in common between Islam and especially its radical interpretation, and the Western world. As Phares rightly states, 'Jihadism, by its own premises, cannot coexist with other Islamic schools of thought, let alone with socialism, liberalism, Marxism, capitalism........and so on...it is an ideology clashing with all other ideologies...'

Radical Islam is a supremacist and universalist ideology. It is not a religion. It is more pagan – akin to Nazism, Communism or other pagan constructs dedicated to world domination. Phares describes the incompatibility of Islamic jihad with modernity as a; '...systematic conflict between democracies and Jihadism [which] stems from the latter's vision of an inevitable clash of civilisations....all jihadists subscribe to the overarching doctrine of dar el harb, linguistically translated as the 'house of war', but ideologically meaning the 'zones of our enemies', which are the target areas of Jihadism...' Phares believes that Huntington's clash of civilisations is a Muslim obession, not a Western one [which the bloody borders of Islam supports as an idea], and that jihadist radicals view war upon the kaffir or kufr or unbeliever, as the main duty of modern Islam. War is thus inevitable.

Jihadists aim, according to Phares, to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate, torn down in 1924 by Atarturk when he nominally secularised Turkey and disbanded Muslim imperial pretensions. This event is viewed as a cataclysm within Islam. Once the Caliphate was abandoned, then humiliation, war and Western domination followed. For the modern jihadist only a reborn Caliphate stretching from Morocco to India can hope to counter balance the power and the imperialist ambitions of Western states.

Phares does a fine job of identifying the vibrant propanda which emanates from Arab, Muslim and anti-Western sources, both domestic and international. In the war of ideas, it is media, education and propaganda which are vital to control. According to Phares the West is losing this battle. Al Jazeera, the internet, the Western mainstream media, Western colleges, fundamentalist Islamic schools, mosques, and Marxist historical revisionism, all these outlets with their constant anti-American, anti-Zionist, anti-Western appeals and lies are eroding the West's self confidence, its ability to properly identify the enemy, and the capability to win the debate over ideas.

Jihadist demands are resonating across the world. As Phares discusses at length, legal systems; educational curricula; social conventions and international aid are all rewarding jihadist ambition. US lawyers defend jihadists by blaming US actions for terrorist activities which kill innocents. Universities backed by Saudi Wahabbi money, twist history and modern international relations theory, into a pro-jihad cult building program. Politicians brokered by Arab money and wary of offending oil interests mouth platitudes defusing the real threat of the jihadists and engaging in cultural relativity by highlighting Western historical guilt and culpability. International money flows reward terrorism, transfer billions of non-petro dollars back into jihadist areas, parties and actors, and yet we hear daily about the lack of Western aid for dispossessed Arabs or poor Muslims in Asia or Africa.

Ideas can win wars. As Phares states, 'The estimated $600 billion spent by all players in wars provoked by the jihadists and Baathists since 1990 could have been used to solve a number of medical problems....instead kids today from Pakistan to New York City are taught to become suicide bombers for Allah.' Indeed.

Radical Islam brought us war, enslavement, suffering, racism, supremacism, and a disavowal of the basic ideas and culture that have made Western civilisation supreme. Radical Islam declared war, stretching back 1400 years ago. What then should we do? Is giving up an option? Is denying reality an option? Is the marketplace of Western ideas and history worth defending? In a war of ideologies, ideas do matter, and the West as a collectivity, at some level, needs to coalesce around some basic ideals, as to why our world is worth defending.

Phares' book is an important addition to the information being brought to bear by Arabs and former Muslims, about radical Islam. Ideas do matter, and if we don't understand the ideas, the motives and the words of our enemies, we can't win the war to preserve civilisation.

====
Walid Phares. Senior Fellow at the The Foundation for the Defence of Democracies. Professor of Middle East studies. World respected expert on terrorism and jihad. Author of the best-selling book; 'Future Jihad'.


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