Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 16, 2007.
In his classic Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville writes: “There is hardly any human action, however particular it may be, that does not originate in some very general idea men have conceived of the Deity …”
Muslim clerics make this absolutely clear In a sermon delivered at the Qabaa mosque in Al-Madina, Sheikh Abd Al-’Aziz Qari declared: “Two groups—the Jews and the Christians—are the main elements constituting the ‘Camp of Kufur’ [infidels] and will continue to be its two foundations until Allah allows their downfall and annihilation at the end of days…”
In a sermon at a Mecca mosque, Sheikh Adnan Ahmad Siyami said: “… there is no way to reach Paradise and to be delivered from Hell except by walking in the path of our Prophet Muhammad and joining Islam…. In light of this, my believing brethren, how can it be claimed that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all paths leading to Allah [meaning to God] ?!”
Sheikh Siyami warned: “The call for the unification of the religions is a call for the abolition of religious differences among people: No more Muslim and infidel. All will come under the unity of human harmony…. This call will lead to presenting the infidels’ schools of thought as correct, and to silence regarding them; to permitting conversion to Judaism and Christianity with no shame whatsoever; to the abolition of the vast difference between the Muslims and others—a difference underpinning the conflict between truth and falsehood; to the transformation of the religion of Islam into a religion like the other, false religions, into a religion that has no advantage over the other religions …”
Finally, Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, imam of the Al-Haraam mosque in Mecca, told worshipers: “The most noble civilization ever known to mankind is our Islamic civilization. Today, Western civilization is nothing more than the product of its encounter with our Islamic civilization in Andalusia [medieval Spain] and other places. The reason for [Western civilization’s] bankruptcy is its reliance on the materialistic approach, and its detachment from religion and values. [This approach] has been one reason for the misery of the human race, for the proliferation of suicide, mental problems, and for moral perversion.”
Unlike the prevailing view in the West, Muslims reject theological egalitarianism. There is only one truth: Islam, and Mohammad is its prophet. Muslims reject cultural relativism. Allah has prescribed, in the Qur’an, the only true way of life.
Steeped in theological egalitarianism and cultural relativism, the West is intellectually incapable of refuting Islam. When American policy-makers and opinion-makers used to speak of the need for “regime change” in Iraq, that is, to democratize that country, they did not include the need to change, in any fundamental way, its prevailing religion. Their approach was as simplistic as it was secular: replace Saddam Hussein with a pro-American alternative and institute democratic, i.e., periodic, multi-party elections.
It so happens, however, that periodic multi-party elections alone do not make a liberal democracy, let alone a pro-American democracy. Turkey has had democratic elections for eight decades. Nevertheless, according to the PEW Global Attitude Project’s 47-nation survey released on July 11, 2007, the most anti-American country today is America’s 50-year-old-NATO ally Turkey.
Now, if, as I contend that Islam, contrary to the intrepid Daniel Pipes, is not compatible with liberal democracy, then, if we obscure this fact and fail to identify the enemy, we may lose the Third World War between Totalitarianism and Liberal Democracy—the war now upon us.
To talk seriously about democratizing Islam is nothing less than to talk about destroying the Ethos of Jihad and its theological foundations—something hardly anyone dares mention. In other words, to democratize Islam one would have to undermine its 14-century hold on the minds of more than a billion Muslims—not an impossible task, but not in the cards when the United States can’t even handle Iraq or Iran. Still, it should be borne in mind that throughout history, cultures and nations perished or were transformed by either destroying their deities, such as Zeus or Jupiter, or by eliminating their demigods, such as Hirohito and Hitler.
However, in the Third World War between Totalitarianism and Liberal Democracy, today’s liberalism is obsolete. Its effete humanism precludes the ruthlessness that was required to devastate Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and which is now required to defeat Islamic Totalitarianism. Besides, and as already indicated, to win the Third World War, it would be necessary to refute Islam and discredit its prophet Muhammad—something liberal intellectuals are ill-equipped to do buried as they are in moral and cultural relativism.
This mindlessness or madness of this relativism may be see in a document of the American Council of Learned Societies entitled “Speaking for the Humanities.” The document maintains that democracy cannot be justified as a system of government inherently superior to totalitarianism; it is simply an “ideological commitment” that the West has chosen to make. American intellectuals are not about to engage in a critique of Islam.
Consider the eminent Prof. Samuel Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations, who happens to be a cultural relativist. In his subsequent book, Who Are We? The Challenge to America’s National Identity, there is not a single reference to cultural relativism, even though the prevalence of this doctrine in American education is an obvious cause of America’s declining national identity. What irony, for his ancestor of the same name was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Or consider Prof. John Esposito, perhaps the leading academic apologist of Islam. Surely he knows that despite the Quran’s reference to Allah the “compassionate,” Islam is more conspicuous, in word and deed, as a religion of violent hatred rather than a religion of love. To any untainted mind Islamic scholar, it should be obvious that Jihad or holy war, one of Islam’s basic tenets, dominates Islamic history. According to the Center for the Study of Political Islam, Muslims slaughtered over 200 million people in the process of destroying a myriad of Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Hindu communities in Africa, the Near East, and Asia.
Such slaughter in the name of Allah should make some people wonder about this deity. Gerald Schroeder has said, “The god an atheist does not believe in is usually not the God of the Bible.” And he went on to say, “Unfortunately, the god of the ‘believer’ is also often not the God of the Bible.”
Unlike Judaism, Islam postulates absolute predestination of all that we think, say and do. Islamic fatalism therefore contradicts the free will implied in the Book of Genesis: the account of man’s creation in the image of God. This suggests that Allah is not the God Who created man—Adam—in His own image. The Adam represents humanity.
It is by no means trivial—indeed, it is of theological significance—that the Quran refers to Jews as descended from apes. This prompted me to ask one Muslim whether he agrees with Darwin that all men are descended from apes, and if not, why does Islam disparage especially the Jews?
Are not Jews homo sapiens, members of humanity?
In 1985, Said Raja’i-Khorassani, the permanent delegate to the United Nations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared, according to Amir Taheri, that “the very concept of human rights was ‘a Judeo-Christian invention’ and inadmissible in Islam.”
It may appear callous to question the religion of more than a billion people. But if the West is engaged in a clash civilizations—which Muslim clerics emphatically affirm—then it’s crucial to reveal the true nature of Islam. Eminent students of Islam such as Bernard Lewis avoid this issue, which has not only theological but strategic significance affecting the very survival of civilization. A question of deity is the ultimate issue of the Third World War.