Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Separating Islamic wheat from Wahhabi chaff

James Woolsey has written a telling and compelling article about Wahhabism. He carefully describes why it is such a dangerous doctrine, and warns us that the Saudis are spending billions to ensure its world-wide dissemination. One of the take-home messages for me, though, was Woolsey's warning us to distinguish between good Islam and bad Islam. In the following passage, I believe his point is not to allow our multiculturalist fears to prevent us from pointing out and destroying the totalitarianism inherent in the Wahhabi doctrines:

There are two important points we must understand in dealing with this ideology and its teachings. First of all, the rest of us — Christians, Jews, other Muslims, followers of other religions, non-believers — are under absolutely no obligation to accept the Wahhabis' and their apologists' claims that they represent "true Islam." This is equivalent to the claims of Torquemada in the 16th century to represent "true Christianity." He tortured and persecuted Jews, Muslims, and dissident Christians, burned many at the stake, and stole their property. We are under no obligation to take Torquemada's word that he represented "true Christianity" and would be under no obligation to take the word of any successor should one arise. By the same token, we are under no obligation to accept the Wahhabis' claim to represent the great and just religion of Islam. Second, it is difficult for Americans to bring themselves to draw distinctions among those who claim they are following the requirements of their religion — we generally do not want to quarrel with others' religious beliefs even if they seem very strange to us. But we must realize that murderous totalitarianism that claims religious sanction is different. We have defeated four major totalitarian movements in the last six and a half decades: German Nazism, Italian Fascism, Japanese Imperialism, and Soviet Communism. Only Japanese Imperialism had a major religious element. Communism however was secular, so our current generation of leaders has little experience with a totalitarian ideology that seeks to hide behind one of the world's great religions the way Torquemada cloaked his murderousness in claims to represent Christianity. This makes it difficult for most Americans to understand IslamoNazism. We tend to regard each person's religious beliefs as a private matter. But we must learn to make an exception for theocratic totalitarianism masquerading as religion. During the Cold War we had little difficulty in distinguishing between, say, the Khmer Rouge and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, although both called themselves "Socialists." But it is harder for us to bring ourselves to distinguish between those who follow the Wahhabi party line on the one hand and, on the other, brave and decent individuals such the American Sufi leader Sheik Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, who has been warning Americans of the danger of Islamist terror since well before 9/11. We must get over this reluctance to challenge the perpetrators of and apologists for theocratic totalitarianism.
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil is an entirely unacceptable approach under these circumstances.