Daniel Greenfield, writing in his Sultan Knish column on February 2nd, “Will Banning Muslim Migration Ruin the Anti-ISIS Coalition?” noted:
The Muslim world wants to know what to expect from us. It hates Obama because of his unreliability. To them, his political ideology resembles some species of mysticism which they do not share. It much prefers an arrangement based on mutual interests over our misguided mystical attempts to discover shared values by pretending that Islam is just Christianity misspelled. (Italics mine.)
I couldn’t resist using that last part – “Islam is just Christianity misspelled” – as the thematic title for this column. But it is true. The phrase encapsulates the common notion that Islam “shares” the same humanistic values as Christianity and Judaism. The three faiths are alleged to be interchangeable, distinguished only by their traditions and rituals, with no significant or worrisome doctrinal differences. Christian and Jewish clerics who engage in “interfaith dialogue” with Muslims act under the assumption that Islam is just another religion, basically benign, not out to threaten or hurt anyone or force people to act against their religious beliefs by converting “peacefully” to Islam.
But there is no “peaceful” conversion to Islam. Islam tolerates no other religion. It is fundamentally “anti-coexistence.” To paraphrase Henry Ford’s 1909 dictum, Islam’s philosophy of coexistence is, “You can have any religion you want as long as it’s Islam.”*
I discuss the futility of “interfaith dialogue” in my January 2nd Rule of Reason column, “Interfaith Bridges to Islam,” which is based on Stephen Coughlin’s vital critique of our current and absolutely anemic and counter-productive “War on Terror” policies, Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad. Coughlin offers a brutal, thorough, but necessary vivisection of the pretentions and fallacies of interfaith dialogue. I noted that:
Postmodernism has allowed Islam unopposed and unparalleled entrée into the minds and values of Westerners. Coughlin discusses how this entrée works and the consequences of Christian and Jewish religionists compromising their own beliefs by agreeing to form a “united front” for peace and coexistence and multi-beliefs with Islam. He correctly identifies the chief culprit and enabler of Muslim Brotherhood-dominated interfaith dialogue as postmodernism. Postmodernism is not incidental to the inroads being made by Islam in the West. It is a key factor.
Without the assist of postmodernism – which Islam did not create – neither the Brotherhood nor the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) could exploit the self-criticism of the West nor inveigle their way into the language and behavior of non-Muslim interfaith participants. Islam would be stopped cold, told to return to the miserable pestholes from which it came, and not admitted through the gates of Aristotelian thought. The shiny shield of reason consistently applied to everything and every idea could not be breached by the underhanded finagling and deft finessing machinations of the Brotherhood and the OIC.
A West that doubts or questions its own value qua West is destined for destruction, either by Islam or by “its own hands.” Islam will provide the rope.
But our political leaders, academia, and the news media all “blank out” the fundamental nature of Islam – that it is totalitarian – and Islam’s primary and steadfast goal: the imposition of Sharia law on the West and on America.
Greenfield continued near the end of his column:
It’s not an immigration ban that poses a threat to the coalition, it’s the insistence that shared values come before shared interests. If we are to have shared values with a Muslim coalition, that requires us to prosecute blasphemy against Islam, provide a special status to Muslims and a lower status to non-Muslims. Such an approach is incompatible with our own values, yet we have begun doing just that. Locking up filmmakers and condemning cartoonists has given us more in common with Saudi Arabia and ISIS. And it would be unfortunate if we had to become an Islamic state to fight the Islamic State.
We can best fight ISIS by being a free nation. There is no use in defeating ISIS just to become ISIS. That will not prevent us from joining coalitions of shared interests with anyone else, but it will stop us from trying to find shared values with Islamic tyrannies of the axe, burka and sword. A ban on Muslim migration will allow us to fight ISIS abroad instead of fighting ISIS and becoming ISIS at home.
President Barack Obama indulged in his own brand of “interfaith dialogue” when he spoke on February 2nd at a Baltimore mosque about “shared values.”
If you listen to Obama claim – or if you read the transcript of his Baltimore speech – with his signature, folksy, bilious bombast, that Muslims contributed greatly to America’s history and growth, you would be left with the impression that Muslims were all over the place, from colonial times to the present, whooping it up with cowboys in North Dakota, “cranking out cars” on Henry Ford’s assembly line, designing Chicago’s skyscrapers – and that Muslims were Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s best friends and regular house guests. Obama insinuated in his speech that without Muslim contributions, America would be so much the poorer. To his hand-picked and highly-screened audience he said:
Generations of Muslim Americans helped to build our nation. They were part of the flow of immigrants who became farmers and merchants. They built America’s first mosque, surprisingly enough, in North Dakota. (Laughter.) America’s oldest surviving mosque is in Iowa. The first Islamic center in New York City was built in the 1890s. Muslim Americans worked on Henry Ford’s assembly line, cranking out cars. A Muslim American designed the skyscrapers of Chicago.
There was one claim in his speech that piqued my curiosity, that a Muslim designed many of Chicago’s skyscrapers. So, I did a search, and found Fazlur Rahman Khan (3 April 1929 – 27 March 1982; naturalized American citizen, 1967). Khan was from Bangladesh. It is highly doubtful that this accomplished man had been a practicing Muslim. Reading his life story, you can't imagine him taking time out five times a day to perform the self-abnegating Islamic prayer ritual. Further, he can't have been a practicing Muslim when “He believed that engineers needed a broader perspective on life, saying, ‘The technical man must not be lost in his own technology; he must be able to appreciate life, and life is art, drama, music, and most importantly, people.’"
Islam frowns on, if not outright prohibits, art, drama, and music.
But Obama insinuates that Islam was somehow responsible for the man’s achievements. Not the man himself. Obama suggested that Khan was accomplished because he was a Muslim, not in spite of it. Assuming, that is, that Khan was not an apostate or a lapsed Muslim.
In his speech lauding Muslims and Islam, Obama employed all the flattering “puffery” devices invented by Mr. Puff in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s comedy, The Critic, all intended by Obama to inflate the “self-esteem” of Muslims and the Muslim “community”: the puff direct, the puff preliminary, the puff collusive, the puff collateral, and the puff oblique (or by implication). And also intended to put over a lie and a fraud.**
Pamela Geller, in her February 3rd Atlas Shrugs column, “Radical Speech: Muslims Keep Us Safe,” stressed the evasive deviousness of Obama in Baltimore:
In the wake of the San Bernardino, Chattanooga, Paris and Garland jihad attacks, President Obama visited a radical mosque in Baltimore today.
“An attack on one religion is an attack on all religions,” Obama says as he visits a U.S. mosque for the first time as president.
Pathetic. The only religion attacking, subjugating and slaughtering members of other religions en masse is Islam. The religion attacking other religions is Islam. President Obama speaks nothing of this. Gender apartheid, creed apartheid, cultural annihilation, jihad wars, and enslavement are raging across the world under his presidency. And yet Obama proselytizes for Islam.
This is nothing new. Obama has been engaged in his own brand of dawah since his first day in office. And Islam has been on the warpath for 1,400 years.
Geller went on:, quoting Obama:
“For more than a thousand years people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace,” Obama says of Islam. [Islam has been on the warpath for 1,400 years.]
He neglects to mention that it is at the end of a sword. [Convert, or else.]
He gives Hollywood his marching orders: “Our TV shows should have some Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security,” “It’s not that hard to do.”
Obama’s stunning silence on Christian genocide, Yazidi genocide, and Islamic Jew hatred is criminal and inhumane.
“Muslim Americans keep us safe,” Obama says as he visits a U.S. mosque for the first time as president. “They are our police. They are our fire fighters. They’re in Homeland Security.”
No one takes issue with law-abiding, peaceful Muslims. But there are millions of Muslims waging jihad in the cause of Allah. What about them? And why is opposition to jihad terror labeled “anti-Muslim”?
As for the Muslims working at Homeland Security, how have they been vetted? By appointing Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Elibiary a senior member of DHS’ Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), then we have serious problems.
This is where I disagree with Geller. Islam is not an incubator of individualism, it is not a fountainhead of independent thought, it is not a promoter of independence from the crowd, from the mob, from the collective, from the herd. It is a totalitarian cult that attracts selfless conformists because it saves them the bother of egoism. It saves the intellectually lazy the effort of thinking for themselves. “Law-abiding, peaceful Muslims” frankly constitute a fifth column of the Muslim Brotherhood’s overall plan to Islamize America. They are oblivious to or hostile to any Freedom of Speech or First Amendment issue. They simply parrot whatever their spokesmen say in public. When Muslim spokesmen speak of “Freedom of Speech” or “Freedom of Religion,” they are talking about a Muslim’s freedoms, not those of non-Muslim.
In Baltimore, Obama touched on ISIS and other “radical” Islamic terrorist gangs:
Now, we do have another fact that we have to acknowledge. Even as the overwhelming majority -- and I repeat, the overwhelming majority -- of the world’s Muslims embrace Islam as a source of peace, it is undeniable that a small fraction of Muslims propagate a perverted interpretation of Islam. This is the truth.
Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL, they’re not the first extremists in history to misuse God’s name. We’ve seen it before, across faiths. But right now, there is an organized extremist element that draws selectively from Islamic texts, twists them in an attempt to justify their killing and their terror. They combine it with false claims that America and the West are at war with Islam. And this warped thinking that has found adherents around the world – including, as we saw, tragically, in Boston and Chattanooga and San Bernardino – is real. It’s there. And it creates tensions and pressure that disproportionately burden the overwhelming majority of law-abiding Muslim citizens.
And that overwhelming majority of “law-abiding Muslim citizens” is largely silent about the mass crimes committed in their religion’s name. Islam has not been “perverted,” nor has it been “hijacked.” The “violent” verses that ISIS and other groups cite as justifications for terrorism abrogated or replaced the earlier, “peaceful” ones. Terrorism, per Sharia and scholarly interpretations of Islam, refers exclusively to Muslims killing other Muslims. However, Muslims killing non-Muslims is condoned and encouraged in the Koran and Hadith.
Christianity and Judaism, while as mystical as Islam, at least offer individuals a chance to live independent lives and to make independent choices. Islam, which means submission;, does not. it does not mean “peace,” or “peace be upon you,” as Obama claimed in his speech. (“And the very word itself, Islam, comes from salam -- peace. The standard greeting is as-salamu alaykum -- peace be upon you” – if you’re a Muslim. If not, then no peace for you.) Islam is totalitarian, root, branch, and trunk, as Judaism and Christianity never were.
Islam is not Christianity misspelled. Islam is Islam.
Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad, by Stephen Coughlin. Washington, DC: Center for Security Policy Press, 2015. 788 pp.
* https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henry_Ford -- My Life and Work (1922), Chapter IV, p. 72.